Physically Disabled Dogs Are Perfectly Able To Share Love & Happiness
We tend to think of dogs as "perfect companions" because of their loyalty and the unconditional love they give us. But if a dog is born with a physical defect or develops a disability due to injury, can it still be a perfect companion? The answer is: Absolutely! In fact, their loyalty and love might just be even stronger!
Just ask Jennifer Milstein or Aimee Galarza. These two women run local rescue groups that specialize in dogs with disablities, although both will admit this was never really planned.
According to Jennifer & Aimee, any breed is susceptible to a birth defect or physical disability. There are certain breeds that are more prone to the type of spinal injuries that cause herniated discs leading to IVDD. Those breeds include Dachsunds, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, German Shepherds, and Labradors. Typically, an injury that would cause IVDD would happen in the dog's first three years, perhaps from a bad jump or fall, or even from rough-housing with another dog.
When this type of injury happens owners will often surrender their physically disabled or injured dog to the local shelter because they think they won't have the time or financial resources necessary to help the dog live a happy life. The women say it's important to get these dogs out of the shelter quickly, because most shelters don't have the capacity to care for them or keep them long-term. Just don't count these dogs out!
Thankfully, there are several local rescue groups that work together to watch for and quickly take these dogs. Sometimes they're alerted by a quiet conversation with a vet who reveals that there's a recently whelped pup with a birth defect; sometimes it's a worker in a shelter who will notify Jennifer or Aimee that they're heroism is needed. Jennifer and Aimee then work to find appropriate fosters, and often they find support from Mutty Paws Rescue or Little Paws of Love.
When there aren't any local fosters to handle a disabled dog, Jen & Aimee will turn to a national network of fosters, and they'll work with volunteer transporters to get the dogs wherever they can be cared for.
If you would consider fostering or adopting one of these disabled pets, please continue to read the next blog on what to expect.
If you'd like to help these women keep up the great work they do, check out their Wishlist: Mr. Jack's Essentials