Often dogs coming to us are deaf, handicapped, diabetic or have other medical challenges. Sometimes, there is no surgery or medical treatment to repair a leg shattered by bullets, a back broken by being slammed in a door, birth deformities like an upside down nose, hearing loss, or the ravages of pannus robbing a dog’s eyesight during the day. But From the Heart Rescue does not give up on these dogs as others might; rather they enter the Special Needs Program.
A special needs pet is not any different than any other dog when it comes to being a dog. A wheelchair dog will still run and play, while a blind or deaf pet will learn to rely on other senses to navigate the home and interact with humans … most importantly, they love just as much as any “able-bodied” dog. They are first and foremost dogs. Most special needs dogs do not know they are special needs. The only difference is that special needs dogs have certain additional needs that require a little more attention or dedication. They are well worth the effort though!
This Program focuses on those dogs which might need that little bit of extra help in their new homes – from specialized notification and training collars, to wheelchairs, to leg braces, to special foods or continuing medications, such as insulin or heart medication.
Dakota me to us with untreated fractures of the front legs as a puppy causing deformity to both. Surgery was performed on one leg, but the other. Even with the surgery, the remaining leg could not bear his entire weight. A front end wheel was provided to insure he could run and play like any dog.
Hoss was only 4-years old when he came to us suffering with Pannus, an autoimmune condition which attacks the cornea and robs a dog of it's sight. Since UV light can aggravate the condition, he needed doggie sunglasses to allow him to go outside during the day. Once fitted, he was sure he was a rock star!
Little Lonnie was a young Pekingnese with injuries to both eyes requiring removal of both. With training and love, he learned to navigate his surroundings … but his new family can never rearrange the furniture!
Matlin came to From the Heart from "death row" at the local shelter. She had been rejected by others since she was really matted, covered in stickers and had an eye infection. While we could clean her up and treat the eye infection, she had foxtails lodged in her eardrums which caused her to go deaf.
Matlin was trained to an electronic notification collar and basic hand signals. Soon found a home who didn't care if she couldn't hear.
Munchkin was found in a dumpster when she was just 3 weeks old, blind and with a fractured spine. We were able to restore her vision and surgery helped with the paralysis, but she still didn't have complete use of her legs. Once she got her wheelchair, though, nothing stopped her! She knew no fear and loved charging around outside in her "chariot" exploring new things with two speeds -- fast and faster!
Now adopted, she loves hiking and going on adventures with her new family. She is not disabled, just differently abled!
Remington, a 10-month old Doberman, came to From the Heart after being shot three times -- one of the bullets shattered his front leg and ruptured his tendons. Remi spent months looking like a cross between an erector set and a satellite dish while he endured several surgeries to save his leg. While the leg was saved, it needed the support of a custom leg brace to allow him to run and play.
As for the person that shot him, he wasn't prosecuted...
Chia, a little two-pound chihuahua, was crushed in a door and the spinal injuries caused her to be a paraplegic. The problem was they don’t make wheelchairs small enough for her -- you can see how small she was!
Where there's a will, there's a way -- her custom wheels were actually made on a 3D printer! And she rolled off to a happy life with a new family!
Colby was born in a trash dump without a nose. While people stepped forward for his siblings, no one wanted him. Since he had no nose, he had to way to filter out dust, etc. and required special medication to keep his airways clear.
He soon found a family who looked past his deformity and we waive a fond farewell with the promise to supply his medications for life!
Little Scooter was found in the trash as a puppy. thrown away because he no forearms. Although he could walk on his elbows, continuing to do so would cause back problems.
Through the help of friends and fundraising with the El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team, Scooter got his wheels and went on to live a happy life with his new forever person.
Chrissy came to From the Heart after someone chopped off her back leg and burned her back with acid. She was a matted mess as well -- but under all those mats was a loving little dog.
Her wounds healed and soon she was fitted with a prosthetic leg. It was just the ticket to allow her to fully run and play with the other dogs in her new family!
We don't know how long Winter lived with unchecked/untreated fractures of back legs, but it was long enough to cause them to be deformed so she couldn't walk.
Once in her wheels, though, she found she could run and play and get into all sorts of mischief, making her the perfect addition to her new family!