Updated: Jun 24, 2021
We are always searching for amazing rescues that are making a difference for differently-abled dogs. I had the privilege of speaking with Nikki Revils, the Vice President and Director of Operations in Houston for Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue. Fuzzy Texan spreads knowledge about and finds wonderful homes for many dogs (and cats!) with special needs.
Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue is a Texas-based 501(c)(3) organization started by two individuals in College Station. This rescue has grown over the last three years to include operations in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston. Fuzzy Texan focuses on special needs animals by giving them the extra care they need to thrive and by finding them a family who will adore them regardless of being differently-abled.
Fuzzy Texan began with two women, Rachel Lujan and Nikki Revils, working to rescue and place cats in need. After the two officially formed the rescue group as a non-profit organization, they started focusing on neonates and differently-abled animals including cleft lip/palate, deaf, blind, deaf and blind, amputees/tripods, hydrocephalus, etc.
No rescue would be able to survive without the help of dedicated support working hard behind the scenes. The Fuzzy Texan Board established a cleft palate team to nurture the neonates who need constant around-the-clock care and require monitoring for any problems that could arise. They have an amazing crew of twelve volunteers, four in each location, who makes sure the rescue continues to run smoothly. The organization also has a strong working relationship with their veterinary partners who help provide the needed care for the Fuzzy animals. Fuzzy Texan accepts all types of special needs animals, regardless of breed, and they have a high success rate in placing these babies in forever homes.
Many people believe that cleft palate dogs must have corrective surgery in order to survive, and because of this misconception these pups are often euthanized. In reality, 95% of cleft palate dogs can have fully functional lives without surgery. All they require is an owner who understands their needs and who will be diligent in their care. The same can be said for deaf and blind dogs. When given the proper modifications, investment, and training, blind and deaf dogs are able to thrive and do everything a seeing and hearing dog can do (and, in fact, many do more!).
These special needs dogs are most often the result of poor breeding practices, and they find their way to this rescue in many ways. Fuzzy Texan has a discrete and confidential open-door policy with breeders in order to prevent unnecessary euthanasia. Additionally, shelters in the area will often contact the rescue when a special needs dog is surrendered, and word of mouth and social media also play a role. Finally, Fuzzy Texan is a member of a cleft palate group that provides notice about puppies in need. The best way to ensure that there are less dogs living with these genetic conditions is to advocate for both spay and neuter and for responsible breeding practices.
Rescues cannot continue to operate without both financial and human support. Fuzzy Texan is currently looking to expand their pool of fosters, particularly medical fosters. The rescue will train anyone interested in providing medical care; all they ask is a willingness to learn and provide what these dogs need. Fosters need to be at least 18 years old and Fuzzy Texan will find the right dog to fit into your life and home. All supplies are provided and support is plentiful. If you are interested in being part of an amazing rescue and experience the love these wonderful dogs can give, please reach out!.
Fuzzy Texan is also in need of financial donations as medical expenses for these dogs can be extensive. In-kind donations such as food, puppy pads, and basic dog necessities are always appreciated too, and these can be provided via their Amazon Wish List.
From March to December of 2020, Fuzzy Texan adopted out 110 dogs and 26 cats! This was a huge success for them and proved how much they have grown over the last three years. Fuzzy Texan is dedicated to helping differently-abled animals find their perfect homes; they even have a group to stay in touch with and support adopters.
The Unstoppables Project fully supports the work that Fuzzy Texan Rescue is doing in Texas. We love that they are spreading awareness about and finding homes for differently-abled dogs. If you want more information or if you are interested in adopting, volunteering, or financially supporting this organization, please
visit their website or social media accounts.