special-needs-adoption

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This was meant to be a quick warm up, but it turned into a comic that I’ve wanted to draw for a while. This is something that is extremely important to me, and I appreciate it if you read it.

A while ago, I heard a story that broke my heart. A family went a cat shelter to adopt. The daughter fell in love with a 3-legged cat. The father straight up said “absolutely not”. Because he was missing a leg. That cat was that close to having a family that loved him, but the missing leg held him back. Why?!

Many people have the initial instinct of “nope” when they see an imperfect animal. I get it, but less-adoptable does NOT mean less loveable. 9 out of 10 people will choose a kitten over an adult cat. And those 10% that would get an adult cat often overlook “different” animals.

All I want people to do is be open to the idea of having a “different” pet in their lives. Choose the pet that you fall in love with, but at least give all of them a fair shot at winning your heart.

Don’t dismiss them, they deserve a loving home just as much as any other cat. They still purr, they still love a warm lap, they still play, they still love you. Trust me, next time you are in the market for a new kitty, just go over to that one cat that’s missing an eye and see what he’s all about!

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Do you know about Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

If you’ve ever had the absolute pleasure of meeting a cat with CH, you’ll know how quirky and charming they typically are!

Teddy, the CEO of The Tiny Tabby, has CH. He is the happiest, sweetest and most loving cat I have ever encountered. He is very lucky that someone with knowledge of his condition rescued him. Knowledge really can save lives!

Want to see how a typical CH cat walks?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJQG6V1MOVY

Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia are special needs cats, and you should learn all about them before adopting.
If you adopt ANY animal, you never know what challenges you will face taking care of them. With mild to moderate CH cats, small changes to your home will accommodate a CH cat. CH cats typically do not require tons of extra work, you just need to make sure they can get around your home.
Personally, I carpeted my staircase and got a a litter box that was easy to get into. CH cats should never ever ever ever be de-clawed. Cats rely on their claws to catch themselves from falling, and are actually a part of their paws (they are not like human fingernails). While all cats should have this natural part of their body, CH cats need them more than the average cat.

Learn more about CH cats here.

Adopt a Marmalade plush, 50% of the sale goes to cat related charities <3

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Ralphee, Bobbles and Olive are Wobbly Kittens

No, really.  They all have Feline Cerebellar Hypoplasia, or wobbly kitten syndrome,  a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition that results in walking and balance problems.

And it’s alright that you laughed.  They’re not in pain, the condition is non-fatal, and they live full, long and happy lives.  They just wobble, adorably.

A kitten is born with “CH” when her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, is underdeveloped at birth.

Consequently, an underdeveloped cerebellum can result in underdeveloped or complicated mobility. CH cats are known for their “drunken sailor” walk, which is why they’re known endearingly as “wobbly cats.”

You can read more here: lifewithchcats.com

Looking to adopt a CH kitty? 

There’s a wobbly kitten out there, somewhere, just waiting to love you to distraction!

Here are a few great places to start your search:

Petfinder

One of the premier online adoption resources is Petfinder.com, where thousands of shelters around the country post profiles of hundreds of thousands of adoptable pets. If you’re looking to adopt a cat with special needs, such as cerebellar hypoplasia, here’s one way to narrow your search:

Visit Petfinder.com’s homepage and choose the type of pet you’re interested in along with your zip code:

Once you press Search, you’ll be taken to a page with all of the adoptable pets in your area. This is the page where you can narrow your search. As you look down the left rail, you’ll see your options:

  • Age: Baby, Young, Adult, Senior
  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • Other Considerations: Declawed, Housetrained, Special Needs
  • My Household Has: Cats, Dogs, Young Children
  • Show Me Pets Named

After you click each refined characteristic, the page will automatically reload with those specific pets. It’s important to keep in mind that clicking “Special Needs” will return results with any animal in your area with special needs. That could include kitties with FIV, who are blind, have special household needs and more. However, this refined search does make finding a CH kitty a bit easier!

Adoptable CH Cats List

If that seems like a bit too much work, check out the Adoptable CH Cats List on this site. It’s an aggregated list that I try to update monthly. What’s great about this list is that you can search by availability, gender, location and more. I hope to soon add age category, too.

The Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cats and Kittens Group


info source: lifewithchcats.com


images:

1 - 4) Ralphee the kitten (and her buddy, Max the dog)  here &here

5)  Bobbles  here

6)  Olive    here

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“We were told by his owner that surrendered him that he is a pure bred Teddy Roosevelt Terrier… AKA a Rat Terrier with short little legs. Teddy will need a person that is comfortable with giving him his insulin shot, 2 times a day, which he doesn’t mind AT ALL. He will also need to be on a pretty strict diet and will need exercise daily to keep him healthy and happy. Diabetes won’t slow him down or lessen his quality of life as long as it’s kept in check. Teddy is a sweet, affectionate dog, he LOVES A GOOD NECK RUB OR BACK SCRATCH. He will back right up to you and ask for a good scratch. He travels well in the car and does well on the leash.”

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It’s time to start planning for the holidays already!

Our hope is to collect some really good tasty treats, toys and squishy beds for homeless cats in shelters this holiday season! From now until December, we will be collecting items to mail to non-profit shelters so that homeless kitties can have the best holiday ever! Having comforting items while in a shelter can make a huge difference in the life of a homeless animal. A shelter’s main priority is keeping the cats healthy, so a shelter cat getting something special is really rare!

We have an Amazon Wishlist if you would like to pick out an item for a shelter kitty! We will also donate money to the shelters we mail gift boxes to! And we will throw in some of our handmade cat toys and plushes!

The number of places we will donate to will depend on how many gifts we can gather. The locations are also TBD, but you can always recommend places by contacting us admin@thetinytabby.com <3

Looking for gifts for your human companions? Our store donates half of each purchase to cat shelters and rescue groups. Thank you for your support, and remember to support your local shelters!!

GOLIATH

maine coon & russian blue mix * gray / blue * long hair * senior * male * medium * special needs (FIV+) * Passion 4 Paws * Dayville, CT

ABOUT GOLIATH

HIGHLY ADOPTABLE!!! Meet Goliath, a fun loving young senior who has his heart set on a forever home that will play with him and spoil him rotten!

Goliath came to us from one of our Waterbury locations. We were trapping kittens in a very rough neighborhood and his owner asked us if we could take Goliath too because she could no longer afford his care. Goliath is approximately 9-10 years old, as of June 2015. He is a healthy FIV+ and has many good years ahead of him now that we’ve provided the veterinary care he needed. Goliath had terrible teeth and 5 had to be removed, but now Goliath is feeling great and his kitten energy is back. Because he’s missing some teeth Goliath does need to eat canned food. It’s his favorite thing in the whole world anyways, so he doesn’t mind.

Goliath LOVES people. He tolerates other cats but is not too fond of dogs. What he really wants is a home all to himself. If you’re looking for a constant, loving companion, then Goliath is your cat.

He is neutered, vaccinated, and positive for feline aids (FIV).

something something french girls

Bert is a dignified gentleman who likes to lounge on comfy beds. But Bert, who is about 6 years old, also has a fun, playful side. His current favorite pastimes include chasing crinkle balls and killing toy mice. And Bert goes crazy over catnip chile peppers! He appreciates gentle head scratches and when he gets a back scratch, he makes a cute little chirping sound. Bert also excels in taking naps. Please note that Bert has tested positive for FIV. FIV is NOT a highly contagious disease but it is transmitted through deep bite wounds from cat to cat. Please note that Bert is currently in a foster home. Please call the shelter to arrange for a visit.
If you are interested in meeting Bert or any of the cats at The Ellen M. Gifford Cat Shelter, visit our website ( www.giffordcatshelter.org). While you’re there, you can fill out an online adoption application for Bert and learn more about our shelter. You can also call us at 617-787-8872. We are the oldest cageless no-kill cat shelter in the country, and we’re located right here in Brighton!

cradle.org
Seeking a Forever Family for Baby C
Baby C is a sweet, four-week old Caucasian boy. He loves to be cuddled and bottle feeds well.

It was a post very much like this one that led us to finding Ava. The Cradle is an amazing agency in Evanston, IL and while I’m certain Baby C is getting the best care possible while he’s in The Cradle nursery, I would sure like to see him find his family. 

If you’re interested and have any questions about working with The Cradle or their special needs adoption program, please say the word. This is exactly the kind of situation that brought Ava into our lives. 

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Hey everyone!
Our custom fabric is probably coming at the end of this week, so this after that we will be focusing on fulfilling our Indiegogo perks! But, please continue to suggestion places we can donate by emailing us at admin@thetinytabby.com

So, this is our first shelter donation!
Today we sent $250 to the Wood County Humane Society in Bowling Green, Ohio. This shelter is a non-profit, no-kill shelter that currently has several “special” kitties. We were told that our donation would help out with some of the special needs cats’ food and medications. They do not recieve any funding from the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States, and rely solely on donations! If you’d like to support them, their donation page is here and they also have an Amazon Wishist if you want to send the kitties some toys or catnip!

We hope that our donations helps! Remember that many shelters rely on donations from people like you and I. If you don’t have the cash to donate, remember that shelters also can use your old washable linens, blankets, and towels. You can also volunteer at your local shelter or help foster! There are many ways you can help! We wish Wood county Humane Society the best, and many all your kitties find a wonderful home!

You can read about where we have donated here

Katherine Heigl and her husband adopted two children. They adopted Nancy Leigh Mi-Eun who was 9 months old and special needs from South Korea. They later adopted Adalaide Marie Hope domestically as an infant. “I’ve always known I wanted to adopt and I fell in love with a man who was happy to have a family that included it … I’ve never felt that there were any rules that applied to how you have a family.”

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“She has a fun personality and is full of life. She is an amazing girl with people, but she is a little stinker with other animals. She has a high prey drive and loves to play “destroy the toy”. She lost one eye, and eventually will go blind in the other. She currently needs daily medication for her remaining eye. She is a fun energetic girl who just needs the right people to make her dreams come true.“

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This is George. He is 6 years old and is fully blind. He was found tied to an empty 50 gallon tank where he survived through many harsh winters. A pound rescued him but was going to put him down because they could not support a special needs dog. Then, an adoption center called “Club Pet” saved him. They took him to many conventions to try to get him adopted but nobody wanted a blind beagle. This christmas, my parents saved him and he now has a warm home with a loving family. He bumps into many things but is learning his way around quickly. Also, he holds on to people for security. Welcome home George we love you!

adoptivefamilies.com
Beyond Appearances: Choosing Same Race Adoption
A mother who adopted from Russia because she wanted a child of the same race shares her experience raising a child with prenatal alcohol exposure.

There is literally so much wrong with this piece I can’t even begin to process. 

It’s racist. It’s ableist. It’s horrifying on like, ten different levels. The way the author even talks about adoption is… weird? 

I’m legitimately surprised that this family was even approved to adopt. What agency went “sure, they seem stable and able to handle whatever issues present with their children who are being adopted from an orphanage in another country” should be put out of business. 

We had to take classes on cultural sensitivity (because even if we had the same skin color as our child, it doesn’t mean we have the same culture. For example, Ava and Jay have the same skin color, but he’s Afro-Cuban and she’s Mexican and Jamacian. Very different cultures) and read a TON of material on “there is no normal, there is only however your child ends up being” and the like. It was drilled into us all through the adoption process that children are unknowns and you don’t get to just pick out “the best one” and stop there. 

I don’t even know why I’m posting this here. Maybe just so some of you will also read it and back me up here? This is bananas right? I’m glad she’s not gone so far as “re-homing” her son but this is a really gross way to talk about your kids, right? Am I just being overly sensitive?

     “The best thing I did in my life was adopt a child. We wanted to adopt from China because they kill their little girls, but we already had two children, so they made us go into what they called a ‘special needs’ program: spinal bifida, cleft palette, or something else. But at the time, China was re-evaluating its special needs program, and the adoption agency told us that it could take 10 years for the bureaucracy to decide what constituted “special needs”. So we changed to a Korean program, and we adopted a little girl who was born with one foot turned sideways. It could have required surgery, but she just grew out of it. So we ended up with her, and that was the right thing. She is…something else.”
     “You seem so happy talking about her.”
     “She’s just a really good kid. She and I laugh about stuff all the time. We’re happy. She actually had the opportunity this year to track her birth mother, and she decided that she wasn’t going to do so. She didn’t want to disrupt her mother’s life.
     “It’s just the two of us now—the boys are older. She’s graduating from high school this year and going away to college. I don’t know what I’m going to do after that.”

Mount Hood, OR