National Specially-abled Pets Day

Pet Health and Safety  •  Pam Karkow  •  Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The first time I watched the Animaltarian video submitted by the Southeast German Shepherd Rescue, I was completely amazed. These dogs, which had a wide variety of birth defects, amputations, and genetic disorders, were being given a second chance at living a normal life. I saw a puppy named Nemo, who was born unable to walk, be rehabilitated and up and walking in days, and an adult dog using a wheeled cart to support his limp back legs.

National Specially-abled Pets Day History

So when I heard there is a national holiday to celebrate these pets, I was thrilled! Everyone deserves a second chance, and it is comforting to know that a day like National Specially-abled Pets Day, celebrated on May 3rd, can bring attention to the millions of homeless pets with disabilities that make them more difficult to adopt.

Formerly known as Disabled Pets Day, National Specially-abled Pets Day was founded by Colleen Paige in 2006 to celebrate disabled pets. Author and Animal Behaviorist, Paige is the founder of several special days, including National Puppy Day, Dog Day and Cat Day. She changed the name from Disabled Pets Day to National Specially-abled Pets Day when she decided “The name held too negative a connotation...because these pets are very able.”    

Adopting a specially-abled pet

There are plenty of specially-abled pets out there. Just check out Petfinder. When I plugged in my state and asked for young, special needs pets (any gender) within 100 miles of my area, I found 74 adoptable pets. By the time I was finished looking at all the adoptable pets, I was ready to adopt Ribbons, the adorable seven month-old deaf Boxer/Lab mix and Bumper, the sweet, unbalanced one year-old kitten with a list. 

And then my friend Debbie told me the sweetest story. She was looking on Facebook at some pictures of dogs who needed to be adopted, and saw a pit bull puppy. Knowing her husband wants a pit bull as their next dog, she showed him the picture and he agreed to go “look” at the puppy. They didn’t know he had three legs until they got to the adoption center, but fell in love, and couldn’t say no.  Love is blind, they say. They’ll be welcoming their sweet three-legged friend, Ranger, into his forever home very soon.

Do you want to give a specially-able pet another chance to live a happy, healthy life? The very best way you can celebrate this day is by adopting one of these special pets. Just go “look” for yourself. I dare you not to fall in love!

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