Composed of a group of dedicated special needs pet parents it became more and more evident that there are still a lot of misconceptions about special needs pets which unfortunately results in the unnecessary euthanizing of pets all over the United States who are simply “unique” or “different” and equally deserving of a forever home of their own and a family to love them!
How did it all begin?
When we adopted Bifford in May of 2014 we took him to a local wellness clinic to have him checked over and have his vaccinations updated (mind you we had never adopted a “special” baby before so we wanted to ask questions and ensure we were doing right by Bifford!). He was being his usual flirtatious self– purring and cooing, wandering around the examination room with his tail high in the air, bee-bopping around checking out the new sights and smells when a veterinary technician popped her head in to check on us and stated with a sympathetic tone, “Euthanasia, Right?”
I was floored to say the least! Gathering my composure I kindly replied that no, she must have gotten exam rooms mixed up as we were simply here for a check up and some vaccines. The technician seemed confused by the response as she watched Bifford and his wavy movements throughout the room, “Clearly he was abused, or suffered some sort of head injury.”
I could feel the anger raising up into my face as it took everything in me to not lose my cool. I was able to hiss to her, “Are you insinuating that I abused my cat?” She attempted to reverse her statement while her face turned a dark shade of crimson. She closed the door only to return a short time later, “I spoke to our office manager who stated if finances were an issue we would be more than happy to euthanize him today, free of charge.”
To say that I saw complete and total red would be an absolute understatement. Here is a sweet, spunky, bubbly cat, purring and wandering around without a care in the world and this clinic was offering to euthanize him for free. After speaking a few choice words (and a few that I may regret a bit) I began to feel a wave of sadness fall over me,
“I wonder how many other cats are misunderstood and wrongly euthanized just because they are special?”
This became the jump-off point for this website and this movement as a whole. There are no “clear cut” statistics to highlight how many cats and dogs in the United States have a “special needs” (physical, behavioral, emotional, elderly etc) and are euthanized in shelters and clinics daily.
“About 2.4 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs– about one every 13 seconds– are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year” — The Humane Society of the United States
According to the A.S.P.C.A (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) states the following:
- Annually, approximately 1.5 million animals are euthanized in shelters (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats).
- According to the ASPCA’s National Re-homing Survey, animal problems are the most common reason that owners re-home their pet, accounting for 47% of re-homed dogs and 42% re-homed cats. Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors, grew larger than expected or health problems (such as special needs) that the owner could not handle any longer.
This was the major push behind the “Bifford for President” platform– to help educate the masses (ranging from your friends and family as well as bring education to shelters and clinics) and bring a voice and advocacy to special needs pets in that their “special abilities” are not a death sentence, they are not “more work” and they deserve love and attention just as any animal craves!
Are you a non-profit?
No. We are not a charity, we are not a non-profit/have 501 (c) 3 status nor are we soliciting for donations of any kind. We are simply an educational platform to help advocate and inform on special needs animals, their “special needs” and breaking the stereotype that special needs animals are a death sentence, high maintenance or require more than any other animal yearning for love and companionship.
What if we want to donate?
We strongly encourage donating– to your local animal shelters/rescues, foster based organizations and special needs specific rescues! Please view our “Ohio Rescues/Shelters” page for information on Ohio non-profit organizations who have and continue to help special needs animals and are always in need of supplies, monetary gifts (for veterinary bills and transportation costs) as well as volunteers and fosters! Check out their specific websites for additional details on how you can donate or volunteer!
How we can HELP the “Bifford For President” campaign/movement?
Helping out is easy! Simply tell your friends, family, veterinary professionals and animal advocates about our website! Knowledge is key in educating and advocating for special needs animals which in turn may save a special needs pet from being wrongly euthanized simply because they are different or misunderstood.
Have a special needs pet you would permit to be “showcased” on our website?
Special needs can range from physical, neurological or behavioral in cats and dogs alike that we are more than eager to have spotlighted on our website’s blog/testimonials page! If you have a special needs pet you are permitting for us to showcase please email: PresidentBifford@gmail.com and please follow the below listed criteria:
- 2-3 Photos of your pet (please ensure they are clear photos, no advertising or brands in the photo)
- A brief write up of your pet:
- Pet’s Name
- “Special Needs”
- How did you adopt/acquire your pet?
- What is the biggest challenge you and your pet faced due to their special needs? How did they/you overcome it/them?
- What is the myth/misconception you heard the most in regards to your special needs pet?
- A quality that makes your pet so special (Ex: They’re extremely affectionate, thankful, resilient etc.)
- A random fact about your pet’s special needs!
By e-mailing at the above listed e-mail address you are giving “Bifford for President” complete and total permission to post your pet’s photo and brief write-up for the public. Your summary may be subject to editing (spelling, grammar etc.) as well as additional editing that will protect you/your pet’s privacy, location or the organization/place in which you adopted/acquired your special needs pet.
If your write-up is missing any of the above criteria’s they will not qualify for submission.
We also reserve the right to disqualify any write-up’s that include derogatory language, sexually charged material, slander against a person/group/organization or any submissions that show poor etiquette and distaste. This is a safe and positive platform and we intend to keep it that way!