A girl is petting the dog in summer

Handipet Rescue: Taking Care of Disabled Pets

Until recently, there were not many organizations helping ill animals. Now, there is one changing the paradigm for disabled cats and dogs so they can live a better life. Handipet Rescue is a Czech project which aims to help sick and disabled animals wherever they come from. Such help includes specialized medical examinations, providing medication and post-surgical care, physiotherapy, shelter, and facilitating adoption among other care services. Denisa Falešníková, from Handipet Rescue, kindly agreed to talk with us about the work of Handipet Rescue and how you can get involved.

More than Just a Shelter

Handipet Rescue is more than a local shelter. There are currently 30 animals at Handipet Rescue who receive specialized care and shelter by the Handipet Rescue team and other medical professionals which usually includes ophthalmologists, orthopedics, and cardiologists. “We do everything that is possible for the animals under our care because we believe that every life matters”, says Denisa Falešníková, “we do not stop just because some cases are complicated, and euthanasia is the last option when everything else fails.” In the following examples Denisa explains in more detail the work done at Handipet Rescue.

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Annie and Bob

Annie: A couple years ago, Handipet Rescue took in a paralyzed French bulldog called Annie. Aside from malnutrition, Annie suffered from muscular atrophy since her previous owners kept her in a crate all the time. “Due to being paralyzed, Annie needed to be emptied manually several times a day and wear a diaper”, says Denisa. The hope was that at some point Annie would resume walking but after multiple rounds of hydrotherapy and other types of physiotherapy, it did not happen. Unfortunately, some months later, her legs started to give Annie trouble, so a decision was made to amputate them. The amputation helped immensely, mainly “because more often than not the ‘dead’ limbs are just a hindrance” explains Denisa. Annie now uses her custom wheel chair around her “forever home”.

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Bob: Every year, many unwanted kittens are born because many cat owners in Czech Republic do not neuter their cats. Therefore, if those cats then suffer from any diseases or infections, they pass them on to their kittens. This was the case of Bob. The Handipet Rescue team received Bob who was found in the street with a damaged eye. “The damage to the eye was so significant that the only option was to take the eye out. Special ointment needed to be applied for weeks after the operation. We were glad Bob’s other eye went unscathed, so he can still see the world around him” says Denisa. Now, Bob the one-eyed cat is living happily ever after with his cat buddy also in his “forever home”.

For Those Considering to Adopt

Adopting a pet is a life-long commitment. Those considering to adopt need to understand that pets are living beings and one has to be prepared to attend to their needs. Further, one must consider the pet’s personality and one’s lifestyle. For example, explains Denisa, “an active young dog who likes to go on long walks and has a lot of energy is not quite suitable for an elderly couple that is not able to take the dog for long walks every day”. It is therefore important to consider not only your personality and the personality of the pet you are thinking of adopting but also your lifestyle and how would the pet adjust to your routine.

Adopting a cat or dog, however, does not have to be an overwhelming thought. Especially, adopting a disabled or ill animal is not something one should be afraid of, says Denisa: at “Handipet Rescue we check everyone who is interested in adopting a cat or dog and we try to do everything possible to find the right match, so everyone is happy… A lot of handicapped animals seem to be in worse shape than they really are, and we will try to help you as much as we can”. Adopting a disabled pet is not difficult since advances in mobility aids such as dog wheelchairs, medication, and different forms of physiotherapy allow pets live a high-quality lifestyle. Overall, the experience can be really rewarding: you will save a life, you will have new energy in your home, and you will get a new best friend.

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How to Get Involved

Handipet Rescue always welcomes volunteers from Prague to help them with sending packages, making buttons for their charity shop Pet Heroes Shop, among other tasks. If you are interested, send an email to michaela@petheroes.cz.

Similarly, Hadipet Rescue is currently looking for people, from Prague and its surroundings, with a car who are interested in fostering cats and dogs. For more details please contact Jana at jana@petheroes.cz.

To further support Handipet Rescue you can make a donation via Darujme.cz.

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