When you think of your adored dog, does it matter if they are blind? Deaf? Unable to use their back legs? For many animal lovers, the answer is a definitive NO. We treasure special needs animals just the same because they love us just the same. But sadly, for many, special needs dogs are marked with negative connotations. Some only want a “certain” type of animal, with kittens and puppies being the most likely to get adopted and disabled animals constantly being passed by when they are just as deserving of a forever home.
Vanzetti, a little Chihuahua knows this sad reality all too well. But thankfully, he was lucky enough to be in the care of Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, a rescue only comprised of volunteers, spread out over the U.S. and Canada, before finding a home to call his.
Vanzetti, a little Chihuahua is one of the rescue’s success stories. Due to his impaired eyesight and his traumatic past, Vanzetti was first placed in a foster home to recuperate and until a forever home was found. Heartbreakingly, he was so scared he wouldn’t even come out of the crate. His foster Mom left the crate open inside of a xpen (a foldable metal exercise pen) and placed a soft bed inside for him. His foster Mom placed food in the crate but, Vanzetti cowered in the back, shaking.
But then something great happened. Vanzetti must have realized that not all humans are mean because, after 12 hours of the foster Mom’s patience, Vanzetti came out of the crate! His foster Mom was able to pick him up and cuddle with the little one. Today, Vanzetti is in a loving, forever home where he is a cherished member of the family.
Vanzetti has been in his forever home for about a year now and his human Mom couldn’t adore him any more than she already does. When he first arrived, he was skittish, afraid and clingy. Vanzetti could barely be left alone for a moment at a home and would have accidents around the house, despite how many times his Mom took him outside. He would only trust his Mom and was distrustful of anyone who came near him.
But look at the difference a year has made…
Vanzetti is active, happy, loves his family and his dog brother, Miso! His Mom says that Vanzetti is the “light of her life” and she couldn’t have asked for a more loving little creature to come into her life. He loves wearing outfits to keep warm (and of course, to be stylish) and Vanzetti is also a big fan of long walks with his family.
Vanzetti is just one of the hundreds of dogs that Blind Dog Rescue Alliance has saved and rehabilitated throughout the years. With love and patience, Vanzetti was transformed!
Healing Animals, One At a Time
Started in 2009, Blind Dog Rescue Alliance has helped adopt out over 500 blind or visually impaired dogs, as well as dogs that are both blind and deaf. Their goal is simple: rescue as many blind dogs as possible, help blind dog guardians and educate the public about the joys of blind dogs.
Members attend events in various states to raise much-needed funds to care for the fosters in Blind Dog Rescue Alliance’s care, as well as spread the word about how blind dogs can live happy lives. Foster parents who are currently caring for a blind dog will attend such fundraisers to help educate the public and reference sheets of tips for how to live with a blind dog are provided. Some Blind Dog Rescue Alliance members are even trainers and will help guardians with training tips with their blind or visually impaired dogs!
The dogs rescued by Blind Dog Rescue Alliance are visually impaired for various reasons. Some have entropion, a condition in which the dog’s eyelid folds inward. Other’s are unable to see because they have cataracts (the most common, this is when a film is formed), have glaucoma (an increased pressure in the eyes) suffered an eye infection or have had their eye’s removed.
How You Can Help
In addition to rescuing blind dogs and helping adopt them out to forever families, Blind Dog Rescue Alliance also provides “courtesy listings” on their website. This way animal shelters and animal rescue across the country can list blind dogs on Blind Dog Rescue Alliance’s for free, in hopes of reaching more people who may want to adopt one of them.
Feeling inspired to help blind dogs? One easy way to help is opening up your home to foster an animal while they wait to be adopted. Being able to place animals in foster homes frees up room in shelters, allowing for more animals to be saved. And because the shelter environment can be stressful for some animals, causing them to shy away from prospective adopters, giving them a temporary place to stay can help increase their chances of finding a new home.
The most important thing you can do to help animals in shelters is to adopt and encourage others to do the same. With so many animals already needing homes, there’s no reason to purchase from a breeder.
Even if you can’t adopt (yet), there are other ways you can help shelter animals.
- Share this article with your friends and encourage them to adopt.
- Help dispel the myths surrounding shelter pets and adoption.
- Give shelter workers a hand by volunteering at your local animal shelter.
- Sign up to foster an animal while they wait to find their forever family.
- Donate money, food, toys or other pet care essentials to a shelter or rescue organization.
For information on how to get involved with Blind Dog Rescue Alliance and for other ways to help, such as helping schedule transport of dogs to their rescue, visit their website.
Image Source: Blind Dog Rescue Alliance/Facebook