No dog up for adoption because she is disabled. This is the story of Andrea Torello, who had asked her parents for a pet, a request that her father Luke had thought he could fulfil in a short time. Instead, as reported by the Social Editor, her longing to adopt a dog “became an example of the ignorance and prejudice that people with disabilities alongwith their families are still having to endure”. The family responded to two advertisements published on the internet, receiving many rejections. The reason is that the girl “has a serious, type of disability, 100%, due to chronic infantile encephalopathy from birth, in essence mentally-retarded disability” that nevertheless, doesn’t prevent him from being self-sufficient and to express himself orally and through gestures.
The first ‘no’ to arrive came from a private citizen, owner of a puppy put up for adoption. The person who had posted the advert on the web had promised at first to send a pre-foster –questionnaire to fill in, but then, at the news of the disability, said that there had been difficulties. The situation repeated itself a few weeks later, with the volunteer of an association. “We have not given up, says Luca – and two weeks ago we found another puppy to be taken”. They then contacted the person who had posted the announcement online that had responded by sending the questionnaire to foster care. After a few days the exchange of documents, the second ‘no’ had arrived: “the dog is lively, and challenging – was the message written to the Torello familiy, who still longed to adopt a dog – it requires dedication and training. It would be an additional burden on a family that already has to deal with a disabled person “.
The story has a positive ending: Andrea finally managed to adopt her puppy, addressing a dogpound in Bologna that quickly found a dog for the girl. “However this story is disheartening – comments Lilia Casali of Animal Liberation, the association that together with Cruelty Free, manages the municipal dogpound in Bologna- not only making distinctions between people with no disabilities and disabled persons discriminatory, because what matters is that the animal is treated with respect and love, and dogs are known to be used in pet therapy bringing excellent results. ” Even the ?Rifugio del cane e gatto- The ‘cat and dog shelter’– a public facility for stray animals in Bologna – there are specialists who deal with this, and sustain that the benefits of this therapy are to be seen right from the very first sessions.
Translation provided by Marina Stronati