Here at CHS we often have animals come in that have some kind of physical disability. At least that’s what the world would call it. They come in missing a limb, or an eye, or are deaf, blind or have some sort of sight or hearing impairment. Some animals even have multiple impairments.
Many of these animals are our best teachers. Unlike people, animals adjust amazingly quickly to the loss of a limb, loss of sight or hearing. They experience no sense of loss. They simply adjust to their new reality. Animals are a great example of embracing the present moment. There can be no loss experienced in that. It is just a new way of being in the world.
These animals often take longer to find homes because of our human fear of their apparent deficits. Here at CHS, what we find interesting is that often these animals seem to bring an even greater joy than usual to their new families. We’ve seen that time and again.
We had an exceptionally beautiful, young, friendly, deaf cat here for a really long time. Her name was Sophie. Once she was adopted the family was thrilled with her. They knew they had adopted a really fabulous cat. And Sophie, was more than thankful to be rescued!
One of our staff members recently adopted a dog here that had all 4 legs, but one leg dangled uselessly. The dog sat here for awhile with no visitors. Nothing about her damaged leg needed further veterinarian treatment, but it clearly turned off potential adopters. The dog was well-used to her leg as it was. Our staff member Crystal, see lots of dogs throughout the year. She could have adopted any of them.
Yet, she chose Lydia. She saw the special quality of warmth and intelligence in Lydia’s beautiful brown eyes. Crystal saw the dog’s abilities—not her disabilities.
And that’s what we ask of you. Look first at the animal’s positive characteristics. There is often something special—and overlooked—about an animal with some sort of physical impairment. We don’t know why it works that way, but it sure seems to be the case.
If you are interested in an animal with a physical disability, please know that when you adopted a dog or cat here at CHS your will receive a wellness certificate. The certificate lists 23 area veterinarians. Any of these veterinarians will provide you with a wellness exam of your animal, at no cost to you, as long as the exam is scheduled within 2 weeks of the adoption. A wellness exam normally costs between $45 and $60. This is completely free.
Adopters can use their wellness exam to ask their veterinarian any key questions about their new pet’s medical condition. This should help quiet any fears that you may have about your new pet.
The sense of extra joy derived from adopting special needs animals is very real. But don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself.