Genetic defects not necessarily death sentences

After so much talk about genetics and its impact on animals, even the ones we purport to love, it seemed a depressing outcome for the cats and dogs affected.

In point of fact, it is, due to the shallowness of humans. But it doesn’t have to be – all these affected animals need area chance.

Take, for example, Lola The Walking Cat Up For Adoption

Her story was first reported here and here. (There’s also vids of Lola doing her thang.)

While I wish Lola well, and am certain the shelter that took care of her will ensure her new parents are genuine, there’s always a feel-good factor about adopting disabled animals that sometimes colour or cloud the people expressing a willingness to adopt un-normal animals. Witness the poll results here.

But then, on the other hand, there’s a danger of misguided intentions, or worse ulterior motives.

Faith (pictured left), a two legged mixed breed dog that was born without her two front legs, learned to walk and even run using her two hind legs. This two legged dog reached a degree of celebrity when television personality Oprah Winfry featured the dog on her afternoon talk show. What makes the story of Faith so special is the degree of courage and zest for life that Faith shows. As a dog Faith is undoubtedly a canine oddity, but as a symbol of hope, endurance and success, Faith inspires us to do better. On some level we think: if a dog can rise above life’s obstacles, why can’t we?

The problem with using dogs as tokens of hope is that dogs, like children, should never be placed in a situation where they are made to parent. When we cling onto dogs to make ourselves feel good about our own humanity, we inevitably become less humane. This lack of humanity becomes apparent when we start to parade sick dogs in front of the masses so that they can be awarded for the very attributes that cause them grief. Selfishness often appears disguised as genuine love, and when people keep dogs alive only because it supports their own narcissism we run the risk of celebrating canine suffering, when in truth we should be delivering peace.

– source: The world’s ugliest dogs

Still, the main thing is genetic defects are not necessarily death sentences. It is up to us to ensure that. (Ref: Caring for Disabled Cats , Living With a Deaf Cat , Brain Damage – A plausible vaccination after-effect )


3 responses to “Genetic defects not necessarily death sentences

  1. Is Lola from here (waiting for adoption)? i can’t go to the web page. i think not from here right?

  2. Sorry, definitely not from here. i just read the 2 articles; she is so sweet and beautiful.

  3. Hi Mary,
    Lola’s in Colorado, USA. The maxfund shelter, where she’s at, doesn’t post up her direct link anymore so I couldn’t get the full details for her. Apparently, she was found and surrenderred to the shelter, which is a no-kill org. They’ve been looking after her, and when it was evident Lola is so adaptable, they judged her ready for adoption. The first step for anyone wanting to adopt her is to write a short essay, with a word limit, about why they think they should be given the honour of providing for Lola. As of somtime in Oct, her potential adopters have been shortlisted. Will post updates if I can find out more.