Special needs animals workshop

For workshop dates and registration information, click here.

Special needs is the term used to indicate an animal that requires care above and beyond that provided to the typical, standard pet animal. More broadly, special needs can be taken to mean any condition that makes it more difficult to find an adoptive family.

Topics covered in special needs pets class

In animals, special needs includes disabilities, health disorders, behavioral and emotional problems, as well as being elderly or coming from an abusive or traumatic background. This Above and Beyond: Facing the Challenges of Animals with Special Needs workshop explores the issues involved with the adoption of special needs animals, including:

  • The special challenges of working with special needs animals.
  • How special needs affect the animal’s quality of life and the best methods for maximizing their happiness and enjoyment of life.
  • Tools for helping limited admission shelters to make decisions on whether or not to admit special needs animals.  Results from Best Friends’ survey of U.S. shelters showing the reasons shelters decline accepting special needs animals with a discussion as to how these reasons may best be overcome.
  • The reasons why people do not want to adopt special needs animals and how to overcome them.  Methods to promote the adoption of special needs animals as well as methods to lessen the resistance of potential adopters to adopt a special needs animal.
  • Addressing the difficulties of deciding how to best utilize limited resources when special needs animals require more of those resources than “healthy” animals. 
  • Methods for raising funds for special needs animals who need expensive care.
  • The ways emotional factors weigh into decision making for special needs animals, and ways to work with them.
  • How special needs animals impact the quality of life of the adopters and how this can affect the human-animal bond and, ultimately, the success of the adoption.
  • Rethinking the fear of liability about adopting animals with a history of aggression: the legal perspective
  • Examples of real life special needs animals with extreme challenges for adoption, and how we overcame them.

Dogs and cats with special needs are adoptable

Best Friends believes that there is a loving home for every animal, and while special needs pose more challenges to finding that special home, many of these challenges can be overcome or lessened with the right information. Every pet animal, regardless of special needs, has some person out there who wants him or her — we just need to use the right tools to connect the pet with the person. No pet, regardless of the extra care needed, is unwanted.

If you have been looking for a resource for all of the unique challenges of helping special needs animals, this workshop is designed to fill that need. Feeling in your heart that these special animals deserve a chance is not always enough to help them, it also requires the right information and tools. Come join us in learning about caring for these wonderful animals and help save them all.

Register for pets with disabilities course

For more information, including class dates and registration forms, contact us at workshops@bestfriends.org or call 435-644-2001 ext. 4317. We look forward to seeing you here!