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The Specials

The Specials: Adopting Special Needs and Specially-Abled Pets

The Specials is an award-winning blog series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pits and black cats. If not for the courage and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals might have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets.  If you are ready for adoption, please consider adopting or fostering a special needs dog or cat because second chances are amazing whether you are on the giving or receiving side.

The Specials: The One I Couldn't Save

The Specials: The One I Couldn’t Save

Winner Best Written Blog Post, BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards 2016

The Specials: Adopting a dog with spina bifida

Adopting A Dog With Spina Bifida 

The Specials: Adopting a Deaf Feral Cat

Adopting a Deaf Feral Cat 

The Specials: Adopting a Senior Deaf and Blind Dog

Adopting A Senior Deaf and Blind Dog 

The Specials: Adopting Deaf Puppies

Adopting Deaf Puppies 

The Specials: Saving Wonder Boy

Saving Wonder Boy and Other Abused Dogs 

The Specials: Adopting A One-Of-A-Kind Dog

Adopting A One Of A Kind Dog

The Specials: Lessons In Forgiveness

Lessons In Forgiveness From An Abused Dog

The Specials: Adopting a Double Merle

Adopting a Deaf and Blind Dog

The Specials: Adopting An Aggressive Cat

Adopting A Cat With Fear Aggression 

The Specials: A Rescue Dog and His Heart Girl

A Rescue Dog and His Heart Girl

Finalist, Dog Writers Association, Maxwell Medallion 2017

Dogs of Fairway House Best Friends Animal Society

The Dogs Of Fairway House

The Specials: Adopting An Aggressive Dog

Adopting An Aggressive Dog

Cats of Quincy House

The Cats of Quincy House

The Specials: Adopting Blind Dogs

Adopting Blind Dogs

The Specials: Adopting Special Needs Rabbits

Adopting Special Needs Bunnies 

The Specials: Adopting Injured Cats

Adopting Injured Cats

The Specials: Adopting A Backyard Breeder

Adopting A Backyard Breeder

The Specials: Adopting A Blind Therapy Dog

Adopting A Blind Therapy Dog

The Specials: Adopting a Cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Adopting a Cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia

The Specials: Adopting A Dog with Autoimmune Issues

Adopting A Dog With Autoimmune Issues 

The Specials: Adopting A Cat Whose Owner Has Passed Away

Adopting A Cat Whose Owner Has Passed Away

The Specials: Adopting An Abandoned Dog

Adopting An Abandoned Dog

The Specials: Adopting Senior Dogs

Adopting Senior Dogs 

The Specials: Adopting a Paralyzed Cat

Adopting a Paralyzed Cat

The Specials: Adopting a Puppy Mill Survivor

Adopting a Puppy Mill Survivor 

The Specials: Adopting An Abused Cat

Adopting An Abused Cat

The Specials: Adopting Deaf Dogs

Adopting Deaf Dogs



  1. 2 Punk Dogs
    December 31, 2015 / 2:08 am

    Love "The Specials!" I think all 7 of our guys qualify, even Doug the lizard, who was missing a toe when we got him – he climbs just fine without it. 🙂

  2. Anonymous
    February 29, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    Fab post here! I have always adopted 'Special Needs' cats…they each had a different problem so I have had to learn a lot each time.Siddhartha Henry survived Rhino Virus & Panleukopenia (altho' he almost died twice). He now had chronic IBS & some motor impairment & as the Vet told me: "If I could diagnose him with ADD, I would!" So I have my hands full with him…AAND he is a Seal Burmese & people think of himas a 'black cat' & are wary of him….which is fine. I love him as he is.Nylablue (b4 P SH) had Peridontel Disease & Chronic Cystitis & was 5 yrs old when I got adopted her. Took 1 1/2 yrs to clear Cystitis. then had rest of teeth removed & she was healthy for 3 yrs. And then she developed IBD & managed to live for 1 1/2 yrs. Once Diabetes developed I had her put to sleep. She was with me almost 9 yrs.Mingflower (B4 NB) had brain damage (from abuse) & was 'Autistic' & had to have a lot of attention & care. She was a good traveler tho' Healthy until she was 16 yrs old & then she developed Kidney Disease. With great Vet care she lived for 2 1/2 yrs & once she went into Renal Failure I had to PTS. She was suffering so much. Those are my past 2 cts; a total of 27 yrs with 'the girls', Siddhartha henry has been with me since Dec.9th, 2014 (5 mths) & is now 20 mths old. We are still growing up together. He is high maintenance & I aodre him to bits! Thanks for letting me share a bit about my felines. Sherri-Ellen & Purrince Siddhartha Henry

  3. Denise Gruzensky
    April 3, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    You already know how much I LOVE this series! In a Facebook group I follow "Blind Dogs" one of our members has an amazing story that fits right into your series. Her rescued Blind Dog has just became a therapy dog. This is a teaser from her post: "I am SO excited to share our big news with everyone in this group! Faith has to add a new word to her Blind Dog harness….she is now officially a Blind Therapy Dog!!! This is something that we have been working towards ever since she was adopted. Her foster mom noted something special in this girl and new she needed to do therapy work. When I put in my application to adopt from the rescue Faith came from, I originally wanted a dog to do dog agility or obedience with. Faith's foster emailed me and asked that instead of an agility dog, how about training a blind dog to do therapy work. We fell in love with Faith instantly, and training has not always been easy as she is a busy, busy girl but also the sweetest and most loving girl I have ever been around. We will now embark on a new journey spreading the love and joy of this blind girl and I could not be more proud….Faith you have changed my life forever and I am SO blessed to be your Mom." Dog mom's name is Kim Forsythe on Facebook. I asked her permission to share her story with you and she said definitely.

  4. Seville at Nerissa's Life
    May 12, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I don't think any of us special needs kitties but we're all super special, for sure. Least that's what the peep says. Of course, special needs kitties are EXTRA special, I believe, giving back the love they receive, tenfold. Purrs, Seville.

  5. Madi and Mom
    May 13, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    Oh my gosh…this is beautiful too!!My daughter and son in law adopted two shelter cats last Sept and November.Frisco a beautiful ginger boy. He was being foster for a few weeks by a local cat rescue. I'm told the rescue often goes by the shelter to check to see if they can find homes. Frisco was a lucky boy and my daughter and Sil were lucky to find him.He was ~6 months old. He turned 1 year on March 20. He was so loving and accepting they thought he might be a purrfect candidate for a little bro or sis. Same cat rescue group was holding another adoption of shelter cats. Mia age was guessed to e between 18 mos and 2 years. A beautiful tortie and so gentle. Her cage indicated that day was her last day of being foster and she would go back to the shelter. No telling what would happen next….but we have a good guess. They scooped her up quickly and pretty much the rest is history.Frisco was smitten from day one. Mia must have been a mother cat at some point. She treated Frisco like her baby bathed him and rarely leaves his side. Their relationship is now more on a peer basis. They don't know much about Mia but designated her birthday to me tomorrow. they are saying she is 2Love, Cecilia

  6. Brian
    June 26, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    I just had to stop by and say a big congratulations on the 2 wins at BlogPaws!

  7. Christina
    July 2, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    Congratulations on your double win on your BlogPaws Nose to Nose Awards! I love your site but I particularly love this post "The Specials" ..Rock on girl, rock on!

  8. Carrie Coronado
    August 19, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Hi. My name is Carrie. My husband Craig and I adopted three rescue dogs. We got Angel and her brother Nemo at the same time. They were both abused, neglected, and starved. They were kept in a closet. A lot of people wanted to separate them because Nemo was born with a birth defect. One of his front legs is really short. Well, when we heard about them we didn't hesitate for a second. We wanted both of them. They are both so amazing. Nemo can do anything. He is a sweet, funny, sometimes crazy little guy. Angel is always with me. She is such a sweetheart. We got them to the vet right away. We had them fixed, nails trimmed, ears cleaned, shots. We had to teach them to pee and poo outside because they were kept in a closet and never taken outside. That took some time but we did it. A year or so went by and we got the urge to rescue another baby. So, along comes Boo Boo. He is such a joy. We always say he is a German shepherd in a Chihuahua body..He acts like a little guard dog. Very protective and very funny. I love when he cuddles with me and lays his head on my shoulder. We have no Kids of our own, but these sweet, precious, incredible, perfect babies are our kids. We love them with all our hearts. Our world revolves around them. I left my job to stay at home with them. They have such anxiety when we have to leave. Now that I am home everyday they are so much happier. They're worth it all.