Where Unwanted Disabled Animals Go29 Sep 2011
When someone is born with a disability these days, they are usually given the best chance at a ‘normal' life. Doctors intervene, pointing new parents in the right direction about where the best places to get assistance are. It's quite rare in western cultures now, that children are abandoned or given up for adoption, just because of a disability.
What about in the animal kingdom? In the wild, ‘disabled' animals are seen as weaker pray, and are picked on by stronger, healthier animals, and they usually don't survive very long.
Animals bred for show are some of the most unfairly abandoned animals, who are tossed aside, for no reason at all. If a breeder feels that they won't be a champion, they are sold for a massively reduced price, or if their differences are too severe, they are sent to the pound.
Some show dog and cat breeders will give up an animal if their nose isn't long enough, or if their tail is deformed, heaven forbid if they're missing one leg. These animals often end up in shelters, they are usually the least likely to be adopted, and are sadly euthanized.
Domestic animals are also frequently sent to pounds, animal shelters, or abandoned, after illnesses or accidents, when their owners can't afford vet bills to help them return to their previous quality of life.
I don't know what it is, if maybe it is because I have a disability and I can relate, but I always feel very drawn to a disabled animal. I think it's something in me that just wants to give them the extra attention and nurturing that they desire, especially if they are unwanted.
Today, I found an interesting story of a two faced cat, called Frank n' Louie, who made it into the Guinness World Records, for being the oldest cat with two faces, at 12 years of age.
Cats born with such deformities, rarely make it to full term, dying in the womb, even if they do, they usually don't live longer than a couple of days.
But little Frank n' Louie, was adopted by a caring veterinarian, who has raised and cared for him, since he was a kitten. He is a beautiful cat, who lives his life, just as normally as any cat, except, he has to swivel his heads around from left to right to see in his blind spots.
To take a look at Frank n' Louie, click here to read his story: http
While doing further research for other ‘disabled' animals, I came across a lovely couple from Montana, Steve and Alayne, who began an animal sanctuary in 2000, called Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary.
They left their corporate lives in Seattle, and purchased a 160 acre ranch in Montana, where they dreamt of rescuing and re-homing disabled dogs, cats and horses.
The organisation survives on donations alone, and has helped to enrich the lives of hundreds of animals in the eleven years it's been running.
Most of the animals that they rescue are deaf, blind, or both, or have missing limbs or neurological disorders or suffer from deformities.
In 2010, the ranch was relocated to the beautiful White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and was renamed to Rolling Dog Farm.
The new property is 120 acres, and has a dog wing, equipped with a wheelchair accessible ramp, for those who require doggy wheelchairs, it also has large horse stables, and a people wing.
They chose to move the ranch for financial reasons, as they hope to keep doing the same job well into their retirement, and also because they were so far away from any main towns, that it was difficult to find volunteers to help them care for their animals.
They mainly focus on rescuing dogs now, but still have the odd horse and a few cats that they care for as well. Steve and Alayne are living out their dream, and say that despite their adopted animals' disabilities, they are all loving, happy, energetic, and are grateful to have been given a second chance at life.
I just loved Steve and Alayne's story, because it's something that I can truly relate to; my partner, Todd and I, would one day love to be able to rescue stray, injured, disabled and abandoned animals, to save them from being euthanized, and then re home them.
Steve and Alayne do such a great job, and deserve to be congratulated! If you'd like to make a donation to their wonderful cause, or just find out more about what they do, and meet some of their beautiful animals, click here: http://www.rollingdogfarm.org/