What does it mean to adopt a special needs dog?

Special needs dogs are among the most challenging for rescues and shelters to place; many never find their fur-ever home and are left to whatever end fate deals them. At Hope Dog Rescue, every furry friend is precious to us but it is hard to deny that it is the "extra-special" ones like Harper, Matthieu and Sida that strike a chord in our hearts. Life on the streets has dealt them many harsh blows yet they have managed to press on with an admirable spirit. They may look or behave differently from their other four-legged friends; but it doesn't change anything inside of them.

The Diaper Club : Matthieu, Harper, SiDa (left to right)

SiDa and Harper sunbathing at Sentosa Cove on their monthly outings

Many people see physical deformities in a dog as a liability or shortcoming, but this just isn’t true. Nor is it true that a dog with a medical or mental problem is any "less" of a dog. They are not "incomplete" or "imperfect"; they are simply different. The real "problem" is that they require extra care and treatment for their conditions, be it medications, a special diet, training and more time for companionship, which may equate to more money spent.

Our fav charming old man, Matthieu

Harper loves being on her wheels; she loves her independence

For people who just want to adopt a pet and not a family member, this added expense may present an issue and deter them from choosing dogs with special needs. It is common to find special needs dogs overlooked for more “ideal” dogs. Though sad but true; their "specialness" puts them at a great disadvantage when it comes to being adopted.

Baby Harper

Matthieu is slowly learning to accept and use his new wheels 

At the heart of our mission is giving our street animals HOPE - a second chance at the life they deserve. When you adopt a special needs dog, you are doing something many others will not, and that makes you real special too. For those who can afford the time and expense (which may not be as exorbitant as imagined), why not try to look beyond the surface and into the hearts and souls of these special friends? You'll find that they can teach you a lot about determination, patience, resilience and love without judgment; something that is increasingly scarce in this society.

SiDa the Queen

Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you would like to meet Matthieu, SiDa or Harper.

All this royal dog wants is pat pat all day long

Written by: Wee Yen
Photography by: Dean & Felicia