11 special needs rescue pets in Charlotte that will rip your heart to shreds and then cuddle you back to life
Given that I’m not in the market for another pet adoption (I have three right now), I spend an inordinate amount of time perusing listings on Petfinder. Because I enjoy torturing myself, I like to filter the options for pets with special needs, which can range from simple medical conditions remedied with prescriptions to more complex behavioral or physical complications that call for special training or equipment.
Not everyone wants a dog or cat who is visually or hearing impaired, relies on a cart to move around or requires daily shots. But as the former owner of a special needs pet (RIP, Tilly the two-legged cat), I can tell you that the humans who get to live with these animals are lucky.
In the short time she lived with me, Tilly taught me more about love and patience and perseverance than most people I know and I will always be so happy she let us spend at least a little time with her.
If you think you’re up for a special needs pet adoption (or just want to torture yourself on the regular like I do), these sweet little faces are all looking for homes right now in the area.
Rescue: Greater Charlotte SPCA
What makes him special: Aside from his super cool name, Jasper Jaxx is special because he has a heart murmur. It’s easily controlled with blood pressure medication that he willingly takes with a piece of cheese.
Age: 1.5 years
Rescue: Greater Charlotte SPCA
What makes her special: June is a meningitis survivor, which makes her a little wobbly on her feet. She has a hard time catching her balance on stairs and slick surfaces but otherwise gets around ok.
Age: 3 years
Rescue: North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue
What makes her special: Daisy Mae is deaf but that doesn’t slow her down one bit. She even knows some sign language.
Age: 10 years
Rescue: Family Addition Dog Rescue of Charlotte
What makes her special: Winnie has back issues that make it hard for her to walk but she has been fitted with a cart that helps her roll around just fine.
Age: 10 years
Rescue: Zach’s Rescue
What makes her special: Genie Tales was born with deformed front paws but still gets around without trouble. Her rescuers say she walks like a kangaroo, which completely destroys me because that’s how Tilly used to get around too.
Rescue: Furbabies Animal Rescue
What makes him special: Marty is deaf but that doesn’t get in his way because he understands some hand commands. He loves riding along in cars and even on the lawn mower (which, conveniently, he can’t hear).
Rescue: Humane Society of Union County
What makes him special: Junior is a little old man and has some age-related complications including diabetes that requires a twice-daily insulin shot, cataracts in one eye and a little trouble hearing. But he loves dogs and cats, going for walks, sleeping on his pillow and, from the looks of it, handing out sage advice.
Rescue: Humane Society of York County
What makes him special: Yogi is my soul mate. He has some medical complications due to his weight but has been working hard to get in shape and has already dropped from 148 pounds to under 100 pounds. Still, he’s on monthly meds for a thyroid issue that in no way negates the hypnotic powers of his adorable round face.
Age: 2-3 years
Rescue: Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue
What makes her special: Due to a collapsed section of her spine (T6-T7), Snuggles can’t use her back legs or urinate without help. Right now, her foster mom manually expresses her bladder and she’s waiting to be fit for a cart to help her roll around. I love her.
Age: 1 year
Rescue: Halfway There Rescue
What makes her special: Mary Jane was hit by a car resulting in a broken back and significant nerve damage. Thankfully, she’s learned to walk again but has not regained control of her bowels or bladder, a problem that is easily remedied with the cute diapers she wears around the house.
Age: 5 years
Rescue: Chapman’s Dachshund Rescue
What makes her special: Hidi is cart-bound but that doesn’t slow her down one bit. This little sausage on wheels loves to play and zooms around with other dogs without a problem.
You can see more special needs pets at Petfinder. Just filter your selections by zip code and “Special Needs.”
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