For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • A dog born with a cleft lip and palate named Ruby has her own <a href="https://www.facebook.com/fortheloveofruby">Facebook page</a> and has drawn attention to a population of animals frequently looked over: those with special needs. In Salt Lake City, Utah, Jennifer Clayton (Ruby&rsquo;s adoptive mother) and co-founder Marjo Korb run the Utah Animal Advocacy Foundation, which specializes finding dogs with special needs forever homes. Pictured here is Ruby.
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • "UAAF believes that every animal deserves a home regardless of age or disability. We specialize in the rescue and rehabilitation of 'special needs' animals including orphaned newborns, senior animals, animals with behavioral issues, injured animals, and animals with ongoing health problems," the organization's website reads.
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • When Ruby was born, she required around-the-clock tube feeding and it wasn't immediately clear that she would survive. She received surgery when she was 4 months old and ate canned dog food the next day, Clayton said. Speech and language pathologists who work with children with similar cranial-facial issues use Ruby's photos in their therapy sessions. I hope she can become a certified therapy dog one day," Clayton said. Ruby is pictured just hours after her birth.
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • Not all dogs with special needs are as lucky as Ruby to have someone like Clayton come into their lives. "We live in a disposable society," she said. "And these dogs are often the first ones to be disposed of. But they are not disposable."
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • Though many of the adoptions the UAAF are to local families, the organization does facilitate out-of-state adoptions. “The process is really about finding a good fit for the dog and family,” Clayton said, much like with any dog adoption. “These animals can live with an average family.” But she said, the fact that they are “even interested in adopting a pet with special needs says a lot.”
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • Clayton said adopting an animal with special needs might teach children about compassion and perhaps even teach a lesson on how to treat not only animals with special needs, but people with them too. “We like to say animal does not have to be perfect to be the perfect animal for you,” Clayton said. Pictured here is Twink who is currently available for adoption.
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook
  • Pictured here is Chino, who has been blind since birth. Now 12, Clayton said Chino “gets around fine and plays with the other dogs. There’s nothing different about him.”
    For the Love of Ruby/Facebook