As rescue pets become more and more common family members in today’s households, it’s wonderful to know that there are rescues and shelters out there advocating for, rescuing, and adopting out dogs with all kinds of disabilities. Some are blind, some are deaf, some require wheels to get around, but all of them need a loving family to call their own. Thanks to shelters that specialize in animals with disabilities, these dogs are no longer considered “unadoptable,” but are given the best possible shot at finding the perfect home.
Taking in a pet with special needs can require a little more time and be a bit costly, so there are a few things your should consider before making this commitment. Needless to say, special needs dogs can be just as amazing, loyal and affectionate companions as any other dog – if not more so!
If you’re interested in adopting a special needs pup and changing their lives forever, check out these awesome rescues that are doing amazing things for dogs with disabilities!
1. AngelDogs Foundation Deaf Dog Ranch – Acton, CA
Founders Mark and Lisa Tipton have been rescuing deaf dogs since 2009 and in 2012 they opened the AngelDogs Foundation Deaf Dog Ranch. The first all-breed deaf dog rescue in the country takes in and adopts out deaf dogs, but only after they have been spayed or neutered, vetted, and micro-chipped. Deaf Dog Ranch also offers hand signal training to all their adopted dogs and their new families!
2. Blind Dog Rescue Alliance – Seymour, CT
Since its inception in 2009, the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance has adopted out over 400 visually impaired dogs! Comprised only of volunteers, the rescue is spread out through the United States and Canada. Their goal is to rescue as many blind dogs as possible, assist blind dog guardians, and educate the public about what wonderful family members these sightless canines can be.
Blind Dog Rescue Alliance/Facebook
3. Deaf Dogs Rock – Salem, VA
The story behind Deaf Dogs Rock starts with an abandoned little deaf boxer puppy named Nitro. After rescuing this little puppy, the founders of Deaf Dogs Rock launched their national website and set out rescuing and adopting out deaf dogs. As the organization’s CED (Chief Executive Dog), Nitro also helps to educate the public about deaf dogs to help save other dogs like him!
4. Heath’s Haven Rescue – Post Falls, ID
Heath’s Haven is a special needs rescue that focuses on dogs with all kinds of disabilities. From neurological issues and spinal injuries to paralysis and mobility issues, Heath’s Haven rescues them all from shelters. Dogs who come to this amazing rescue are evaluated by neurological specialists then started on whatever therapy is needed, be it hydrotherapy, acupuncture or good ol’ fashioned physical therapy to help them recover. Dogs with mobility issues get their own set of wheels and when possible, they are adopted out! Even the worst of the cases are given a second chance at a happy, healthy life!
5. Love Handlers – Greenville, TN
Love Handlers is the quintessential Appalachian animal rescue located in an old southern town, resting on 60 acres of pasture. This idyllic sanctuary is known for its breathtaking habitat and admirable humanity for the “differently-abled” and blind dogs in their care. Although the organization is quite large now, Love Handlers started out small, inspired by a little dog named Apples (who is credited as the founder of the sanctuary). The sanctuary since has been featured on Animal Planet and they are proud to adopt out their rescued crew.
6. Pets With Disabilities – Prince Frederick, MD
Pets With Disabilities is a rescue will take in and help any disabled dog “because their spirits aren’t broken.” That sums it up pretty nicely, doesn’t it? It started with saving one dog, then quickly snowballed into another … and another. This lovely group of volunteers now dedicates their lives to rescuing blind, deaf, and paralyzed dogs from all over the country. They spend countless hours speaking on behalf of these wonderful animals and educating the public on what amazing family members they make, simply because their spirits aren’t broken.
Pets With Disabilities/Facebook
7. Rolling Dog Farm – Lancaster, NH
Since 2010, Rolling Dog Farm has been taking in blind, deaf, and otherwise disabled dogs and horses. These animals come from different shelters and rescues all over the country to come get their much deserved second chance at happiness. No matter the handicap, they all get to live out their lives being loved on a gorgeous farm in the mountains or with their new forever families. Either way it’s a win!
8. Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (SNARR) – St. Martinville, LA
Dedicated to giving hope back to the hopeless, SNARR rescues and adopts out the toughest of the tough – the deaf and blind dogs or those with other serious medical conditions. These dogs are considered “unadoptable” by most shelters, but in the eyes of SNARR they merely need a second chance at a new beginning and a place with a forever family.
9. Special Needs K9 – Oakland, NJ
A rescue dedicated to dogs with physical, medical, and other special needs, Special Needs K9 not only focuses on saving dogs in shelters, but also provides post-adoption assistance to the families that take in these extra lovable animals. This is a rescue that recognizes that extra funding is often needed to care for dogs with special needs, and they don’t discriminate against families who have big hearts but small wallets.
Welcoming a Special Needs Dog Into Your Family
If you would like to sponsor a disabled dog or donate to one of these amazing rescues, please visit their websites and do so now. If you are considering adopting a pet, please think about taking in a special needs dog. They are no more difficult to train than a “normal” dog and have just as much love to give. Never take adoption lightly, as it is a lifetime commitment; however, once you bring a disabled dog into your family, you are sure to love them forever!
Image source: jimnista/Flickr