September 29, 2016

Special Pets for Special People


Chance, a special needs cat adopted from the OHS, recently featured in the Ottawa Citizen.

Everyone at the OHS was so happy and grateful to read Alison Mah’s Ottawa Citizen article on the rewards of adopting special needs pets (‘I can’t imagine our lives without him’: Owner says benefits of special needs cat far outweigh costs, Sept. 26, 2016.) The article reminded me of what so many adopters tell me about their great experiences with special needs pets. It mirrored my own feelings, having adopted the very special Gracie in April of 2015.

It also reminded me of my blog on the subject from January 2014.

Special Pets for Special People

All the animals at the Ottawa Humane Society need our love and yours. But some need it a little more than others.

Close to 10 years ago, the OHS created a special needs adoptions program to help older animals and pets with manageable conditions get a second chance at finding a forever home. Conditions may include food allergies needing a special diet, thyroid conditions requiring regular, though inexpensive, medication, or heart murmurs that probably need nothing more than annual monitoring.

The older animals are healthy but beyond some people’s “best before” date. We think that they are great pets with years of health and love to give ahead of them. As we say about the older animals, “It takes a long time to get this sweet.” Moreover, the older animals tend to be quieter and more predictable than the bouncing balls of fur some people choose.

To give them a little extra help finding homes, we feature our special needs cuties on Facebook and our other communications, and adopt them for half of the usual adoption fee. With our in-house clinic, we can assure  potential adopters that the animals’ known health concerns are limited to the ones we’ve identified. Our health guarantee still applies, as does the free health insurance.

I know that many people want to adopt a young and completely healthy pet. Rescuing a pet with special needs isn’t for everyone. It is for special people with big hearts.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director