Friday, December 16, 2011

Council's Newest Member: Jean-Paul the Bear

Jean-Paul the bear is the lawyer for the Council of Disabled Animal Friends, settling disability claims and any legal issues the Council may enoucounter. He was injured a few weeks ago when coming out of court. A former client, mad that he didn't receive enough money from his case (which he still ended up winning though) took a shot at him. Nicking the spinal cord, he suffers partial paralysis and will need to wear the neck brace while his spine heals. Though the injuries are severe it looks like he may not suffer any permanent damage. The former client on the other hand will not be so lucky. I will advise this: No matter how mad you are, DON'T MESS WITH A LAWYER!

Jean-Paul's home is in the office of my spinal surgeon. The Turtle Walks


Friday, December 9, 2011

3 Legged Tortoise With a Wheel Prosthetic

Keep going strong, oh brother in arms!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Newest Member of the Council: Percival the Bear

Be sure and 'like' The Council of Disabled Animal Friends on facebook. Visit the facebook page here or like it below the post.

Percival the Bear is in charge of new memberships to the council. All potential members go through a screening process directed by Percival. This includes multiple interviews, aptitude and talent testing, as well as educational presentations training which will help further their success as a member of the council.

Percival is missing his right eye. Back in the wild he traveled the world, in search of other teddy bears with similar experiences, the love of a young child and loss as the child grew up. While on these travels he fell for a young disabled turtle. Unfortunately while pursuing said turtle the bear lost an eye in a fight with the turtle's current partner, a snapping turtle. Though he lost an eye and the fight, he ended up winning the heart of the turtle.

Both were rescued at a local thrift store and given a good home to someone close to me. They both have been through hardships and I hope that their stories remind you that the animals around you are experiencing the same struggles as you are, so treat them right.

Now both work for as members of the council. The story of the disabled turtle coming soon.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Daniel the Beagle - Survived a Gas Chamber

Daneil is a dog who survived the gas chambers. There is now a movement to ban gas chambers as a form of euthanasia. It's needlessly cruel to animals that have already had a rough life. You can read more about the movement at

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Newest Member of the Council: Donald the Whale

I haven't written on the blog in a while but I update The Council's facebook page regularly. So 'like' us on facebook to stay updated. 'Like' Button is below the post!

This is the newest member of the council, Donald.

Donald is the Vice-Chairman for the council. He has a broken tail, paralyzed due to spinal cord injury, most likely due to a fight in the ocean somewhere. He ended up getting picked up by the circus, where people came to gawk at his broken tail. He was picked up by my friend Philip, who gave him a good home. Now he speaks out for disabled animals everywhere, reminding people that animals are always in need of love no matter what condition they are in.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rosie: Reabsorbed front paw

Born with a miniature front paw that reabsorbed back into the leg, she is lively and upbeat as any dog would be. Her full name is Rosabelle Degli Angeli Neri but Rosie works just fine. She refuses to be left behind for anything and will fight with the determination that only a dog can. Hobbies include sitting on mom's lap and barking at anyone who comes to close to the fence.

Thanks to Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog for this story.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Winter the Dolphin - World's First Prosthetic Dolphin Tail

Winter the Dolphin had her tail caught in a crab trap back in 2006 off the coast of Florida. Rescuers got her to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in time to save her life, though she lost her tail.

Fearing for the safety of her spine as she tried to swim without it, the aquarium called upon the services of Kevin Carroll who has designed prosthetics for dogs, ostriches, and ducks. The work was much more complicated than initially thought. Because of the unique way that dolphin tails operates, with the entire tail moving in all directions, it was more than a year and a half to design a working tail.

Now winter is swimming happily. She swims differently than she used to but doesn't seem to care in the least. A lesson for us all.

This story thanks to Katie (love you girl) and to Send me more stories of other amazing animals.

The Council of Disabled Animal Friends is now on Facebook! Click 'like' below to get updates right to your facebook page.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bernice - Burn Victim

This is the journey of Bernice. She is an amazing cat who survived a fire, severe burns, and the regrowing of lots of skin. The video says it all. She's now walking around but her journey is not yet over. This is her story.

Bernice's Story from Brad Gehrt on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This website is a great resource for those looking for information to help their injured, disabled, etc. special needs pets. They specifically focus for a pet who:
* has a physical disability
* has a chronic or terminal illness
* is recovering from a serious injury
* is elderly and/or requires hospice care at home
* has emotional and/or behavioral problems

They have advice on proper vet care, choosing the right vet, and a whole lot more. Good source for resources for your disabled pet or for finding a disabled pet who needs a home.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Naki'o the Bionic Dog (All 4 Legs!)

Naki'o the Bionic Dog

I was sent this link by a close friend. Naki'o was the first dog to receive all four bionic legs.

This amazing animal has been through so much. Abandoned by a family after their home was foreclosed on, he and the rest of the litter barely survived the harsh Nebraska winter. Stepping into a frozen puddle in the basement he got all four paws stuck in the ice. Eventually rescued, he lost all four paws to frostbite.

Adopted by a caring veterinarian technician, he wiggled around on his belly because it hurt to much to use his healed stumps. His owner held a fundraiser to pay for prosthetic for his two back legs.

The orthopets felt great about the success of the first two legs they agreed to complete the other two legs free of charge. While shaky at first he now can walk, run, and chase the other dogs in his adopted family. The bionic leg mimic the movement in the muscles of a dog's leg. This is the first time that all four legs were replaced by bionic limbs.

Not only was he given a new chance at life, he was given his life back. He's his own dog again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program
The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program is amazing program based out of Fort Collins, CO. I lived in Colorado for a few years and I volunteered with them during my time there. They perform great services both for the birds and the surrounding community.

For those who don't know raptors, or birds of prey, are birds that hunt almost exclusively with their feet. This includes Owls, Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Osprey, and (depending who and when you ask) Turkey Vultures.

The motto of RMRP is "A Second Chance at Freedom." RMRP receives birds brought in from the humane society, national park service, or anyone who calls reporting an injured bird. Most of the time the highly trained staff will go out themselves and retrieve the injured animal and rush it back to the RMRP building. There medical staff, along with a small horde of trained volunteers, will treat the birds as well as humanly possible. The most common injuries I saw in my time there were car collisions and West Nile Virus; birds were also injured as chicks falling out of the nest, from electrocution (electric fences), from gunshots, to name off a few. The crews patch them up as best they can, give them fresh food, a warm place to sleep, and then wait. The lucky ones begin the healing process, the first step toward release.
A shorter life in the wild is better than a long life in captivity.

It is the mission of RMRP to release as many birds as possible back into the wild. There are numerous flight cages where the birds can gain back their strength and confidence again in preparation for release. Some birds, because of their injuries, are unable to return to the wild. Under National and State Guidlines raptors are only allowed to be kept in captivity if they have a positive quality of life, proven by their ability to "work" so many days a year. At RMRP this work takes the form of the Educational Ambasadors. These permanently disabled birds have some injury that kept them from being returned to the wild. In exchange for their free room and board these birds go to various events and functions, heavily supervised by those volunteers trained to work with them.

The educational ambassadors act as living breathing educational tools. While it is interesting to talk about birds, the environment, and habitat conservation, nothing brings home the point than a wild bird sitting on your fist. While the birds go through training and listen to a select set of commands, they are still very much wild animals, worthy of respect and caution. If nothing else the impressive talons, beaks, wings, and feathers makes them impossible to ignore. RMRP shows up at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, a variety of different local festivals and holiday celebrations, come to private events, classrooms, etc.

As a volunteer I had the opportunity to partake in the both training paths, medical and educational. The program is structured so that the more time you spend with the program the more responsibilities you take on. At the beginning level you are doing cage cleaning and food preparation (who knows how to clean a chicken, rabbit, and prairie dog? I DO!). Though you never get away from these basic tasks you eventually graduate to handling the educational birds, from smallest to largest, and performing ever more complex medical tasks. With the supervision of the amazing staff, volunteers help make care for all these birds possible.

Starting off as an extension of the Colorado State vet program, the RMRP has morphed into a full nonprofit of its own. The program continues to change and grow but their mission always remains the same. Not only do they help the injured birds themselves but they also help teach the public what they can do. Though I'm no longer living in Colorado I will always remember my time there with joy. I started there hoping to bring in a few volunteer hours. I ended up working every weekend at Ren fest and a few treatments during the week the summer I stayed there. And the more I did there the more I felt I could, and should, be giving more of myself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

8 Disabled Animals That Triumphed Over Adversity

1. Faith

Born with only two back legs and one deformed front leg, faith was rescued as a puppy by a young boy. She was taught how to hop on her back legs using Peanut Butter. On numerous different shows (Oprah, Montel Williams, Animal Attractions Television and Ripley’s Believe it or Not) and has gained a whole bunch of internet attention. I mean she's awesome. She hops! She has her own website, myspace, and two books: With A Little Faith
and Faith Alone.

2. Hoopa

Hoopa pushes himself forward with only his back legs. He has a jerry rigged harness made with training wheels. Adorable right? Photo Gallery

3. Chase

A cat that due to an accident early in life lost one leg and most of the skin on her face. She has a blog and works as a therapy cat for the group Paws For Friendship for people with disabilities. Proof that no matter what you look like life just keeps coming at you; it is what you do with that day that matters.

4. Rowan

Born blind, this German Spitz uses echolocation to navigate his world. Putting those ears to good work.


Born deaf and blind, Daisy was given up by both her initial family and her first foster family. Because of this bad experience she mistrusted people. After gaining her trust, the Faresh family allowed her to explore their apartment, using only her sense of smell and touch. She has a website and is the inspiration of a children's book.

6.Kelly Anne

Chased up a tree by some dogs and accidentally electrocuted, Kelly Anne had all four legs amputated by vets. Her main limitations are that she can't scratch or groom herself but she can scoot around using her four "flippers". She doesn't use a littler box but does use wee-wee pads. The staff is waiting for a family that is up to taking care of all her special needs, though they have all ready had several requests.

7. Coal

Coal lost his leg in a battle with cancer. His owner, Reg Walk, was given the prognosis that Coal would have to be put down because he remaining legs couldn't take the weight. His owner paid through the nose to help his friend, giving him a bionic leg which gave him his life back!

8.Oscar the "Bionic Cat"

After loosing his legs in a harvester, he became the first cat to receive prosthetic limbs. During surgery holes were drilled into the remaining bone in which special implants were attached. Prosthesis are able to be attached. This was the same procedure as with Coal above, adapted for a double amputee cat.

Frankie the Walk N' Roll Dog

I ran across the blog of this amazing animal and she has become one of the reasons I am so passionate about putting the word about disabled animals.

On Easter Sunday 2006 Frankie ruptured a disk in her spine while staying at a kennel during a family vacation. The little dachshund had fallen and her back legs were not moving. She was rushed to the vet as her loving owner Barbara Techel rushed back across the country. Frankie underwent surgery to remove the ruptured disk. Initially daunted and discouraged, Barb and Frankie pushed through the challenges of early home care together, Frankie pushing on with the stubborn determination of a dachshund.

The greatest improvement made to her life was when they ordered a custom made cart for her back legs. The company Eddie's Wheels is a wonderful company that makes assistive devices for animals. Their ironic slogan "We Test Our Products On Animals" says says something about the humor and ingenuity they bring to their craft. While initially resistant to the new system Frankie quickly built up the strength and ingenuity to use the wheels full time.

Her owner and friend Barb has come out of this experience changed and inspired. She began to write about Frankie for various animal related periodicals telling of her transformational experience. After attending a writing seminar in the following March she was inspired to write a children's book about Frankie: Frankie the Walk N' Roll Dog

The book and its sequel Frankie the Rock and Roll Therapy Dog tells her story so that Children everywhere can benefit from her experience.

Frankie is still wheeling around, showing people everywhere that though her mode of locomotion may have changed, her joy for life hasn't altered a bit. She visits classrooms and other venues to teach people of all ages what it is possible to achieve. She is even now available to visit classrooms over Skype! We could all learn a lesson from Frankie and remember that no matter what life has thrown our way there's always something exciting waiting for us around the bend.

An amazing site, devoted to the adoption of dogs and cats with disabilities. The site focuses on dogs and cats that can't use their back leg and those that are in need of wheelchairs. Their is a fund to provide wheelchairs for animals whose owners can't afford the cost, the Duke and Misty Memorial Fund.

Duke was the first to be adopted by this wonderful pair of individuals. A Shepard mix with a spinal cord injury, he showed these dog lovers that special needs animals can wheel their way into your hearts.

The website has resources for adopting disabled animals and links to various websites for support for people who have pets with special needs. The best part is their mantra, which they have scattered throughout the website:
Because their spirits aren't broken. - Disabled Animal Adoption and Assistance

This is one website devoted to adoption and care of disabled animals. Though mostly small pets, the site offers everything from cats and dogs, to gerbils, to horses. All have various degrees of injury and you should only think about adoption if you can accommodate all their needs.

Rupert - Completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other

Diamond - blind

Elvis - 3 legged

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Newest Member of the Council: Memorial Day Frog

The council has made the decision to open open its doors to members all around the US and the globe. I hope to expand this so that we have members all across the globe.

Memorial Day Frog

Memorial Day Frog actually belongs to my cousin. When I was I visiting up in Pennsylvania I asked him if there was anyone he thought would be good for the council. He immediately rushed off and grabbed this little guy.
Most frogs are born with webbing between their toes. This guy was sadly born without any webbing. This makes him a slower swimmer than the rest of the frogs though he can still probably beat a human by a nose.
Memorial Day Frog is holiday planner for the council and local representative for the northeast United States. Remember disabilities aren't limited injured to humans or to one area of the country, or even this country!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Council of Disabled Animal Friends

This blog is meant to bring attention to various disabilities as well as bringing awareness of some of the dangers posed to animals by humans. Though humans are fragile creatures and capable of being easily harmed, we are in ourselves a danger to the world around us. This will be a mix of cuddly animals and harsh realities.

I hereby call the first meeting of the Council of Disabled Animal Friends to order!
First, I would like to recognize our current members and their positions:

Marvin the Mouse - Chairman

Marvin is blind. He met an unfortunate accident when the buttons that were his eyes were chewed off by the cat of his previous owner. He is chairman of the council, since he has been stuffed animal in residence for the longest period of time. He makes sure that all bylaws of the the council are followed and the special needs of all its participants are met.

Ralph the Cold Bug - Head of Security

Ralph was born with no arms or legs. He belonged to a dear friend of mine until recently, given as a gift way back in high school. When word got out that I was in a car wreck she sent Ralph to me, figuring I could use the company of an old friend. And in that capacity he has excelled. Ralph is head of security for the council; since he's a cold bug he knows the ins and outs of disease and other potentially disruptive elements.

Eric the Sea Turtle - Public Relations

Eric has learning and behavioral disabilities (the tongue), though it's impolite to ask too many questions. He was the gift of an amazing friend out in Colorado. When browsing through a yard sale, she saw Eric and was reminded of me (I've had my association with turtles for a long time). She told the story of my accident and recovery to the women running the yard sale, who gave Eric to her for free. She held on to him until I move back to Colorado. Eric is in charge of public relations for the council. I mean come on, who wouldn't love this guy! As he is the biggest and squishiest of the council, he is the one most often hugged in times of emotion or crisis. He doesn't say a whole lot, but if you need him he's there for you.

Diego the Tortoise - Foreign Outreach
Ned the Green Turtle - Activities

Both of these shelled critters have Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), a disorder where people to switch between periods of lethargy and depression and periods of elevated mood and hyperactivity. Diego is currently in a more lethargic phase while Ned is currently in a hyperactive phase.

Diego was a birthday gift from my sister, adding to the already extensive collection of turtle/tortoise related stuff I already have. He is a puppet and hails from Spain. He is in charge of foreign outreach and exchange programs for the council, because disabilities are not limited to this country.

Ned was a find at a thrift store on my recent trip to Minnesota. He is the activities director for the council using excess energy planning fun and exciting events. He does require help from Diego and Marvin the mouse when he is in a depressed mood.

Sheila the Stingray - Aqua Therapist

Sheila has a spinal chord injury resulting from a careless driver of a motorboat. The injury is quite low on her spine, so she has use of her fins, gills, and all upper functions. Due to her injuries she can no longer use her tail or stinger, impeding her movement slightly and her ability to catch any prey. She came to me as a homecoming gift when I briefly returned to Colorado. Sheila is Aqua Therapist for those of the group who require physical therapy, using her extensive marine knowledge to benefit the council.

Dexter the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog - Mental Health Councilor

Dexter has nerve damage due to myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness. To assist in his ability to cling to different surfaces, he uses magnets attached to his feet. Dexter was given to me as a birthday gift after a high school trip to Costa Rica, where I got to see strawberry poison dart frogs in the wild.

Dexter is the mental health councilor for members of the council. Disabilities of any kind affect the demeanor and mental status of even the strongest individuals; Dexter provides support for every member of the group in dealing with life on a day to day basis.

Lilly the Sea Otter - Scribe

Lilly has obsessive compulsive disorder, expressed mainly by compulsive munching on kelp even when full. She was another homecoming present when I returned to Colorado for a few months. Lilly is the scribe for the council, taking fastidious notes of every meeting, event, etc. Though many times a disability can be seen as a hindrance, each individual's talents and specialties can be extremely useful if directed correctly.

There are currently other members in the process of joining and they will be added as time goes on.

If you wish to have a stuffed animal join the council simply send me a photo of the animal. I would request that it either belong to you or someone close to you. This is so that these animals are close by, to remind you of the world outside of what you see on a day to day basis. Our world is big but knowing what part we play is the first step in healing wounds of any kind.