Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good news for disabled pets!

Maybe things ARE changing for the better, at least a little. We've often mentioned on this blog the fact that disabled pets have a difficult time getting adopted from shelters, and how they constitute the majority of euthanized animals. But today I discovered some GOOD news on this topic and want to share it with you!

Dr. Walton Schalick, a physical and medical historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says animal disability is an emerging field of study and he challenges his students to consider its complexity. Schalick also is a specialist in pediatric rehabilitation at American Family Children's Hospital in Wisconsin and associate editor for Encyclopedia of Disability.

He coined the terms "xenodisability" and "zoodisability" to refer to animal disabilities and said humans owe disabled animals an enormous debt for what they teach us about ourselves.

"They tug at our heart strings and bring out the best in us," Schalick says. "With their big eyes and heads that are sometimes larger than their bodies, they can look like children. How we approach an animal with a disability says a lot of how we, in general, treat people with disabilities."

Now, here's the surprising statement:

A disabled animal will often find a permanent home sooner than a healthy one will, said Larry Ringbauer, facility manager of the Will County Humane Society in Shorewood (Chicago area).

"It's a sympathy thing," Ringbauer said. "If they have the patience for it, people can help handicapped animals live a normal life. But we won't let people adopt disabled pets just because they feel sorry for them. Having a handicapped animal is like having a handicapped child"

Sound familiar? Check out the whole story for yourself, and give yourself a little smile today.


The OP Pack said...

That is wonderful to read. If Mom were a whole lot younger, she thinks she might have chosen a career in the veterinary field where she could help pups like this.

Woos, the OP Pack

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Coming from someone who adopted a blind dog years ago, yes, sympathy does play a part in the adoption, but once you get that baby home, the disability is totally forgotten! The furry baby becomes a member of the family and is treated just like the others - with some accommodations, of course☺

patricia said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


VickiT said...

Kudos to Denise Baron-Unland for her well done article in the Chicago Herald News. Anyone who has lived with (and learned volumes from!) a pet with disabilities can attest to all that she reports.