Screening Room

MIPTV Picks ’09 – Special Needs Pets

When domestic animals are struck with debilitating illnesses, both physical and psychological, some families choose alternative means to deal with the maladies as opposed to putting their beloved pets down. Special Needs Pets shows a wide range of afflicted animals - from sexually dysfunctional parrots to mobility-challenged mutts - and the lengths their human benefactors will go to in order to keep them alive.
March 20, 2009


Over half of the households in the U.K. have pets, and all of those furry and fuzzy creatures doubtlessly hold a special place in their owners’ hearts. But when the animals are struck with debilitating illnesses, both physical and psychological, some families choose alternative means to deal with the maladies as opposed to putting their beloved pets down.
Special Needs Pets shows a wide range of afflicted animals – from sexually dysfunctional parrots to mobility-challenged mutts – and the lengths their human benefactors will go to in order to keep them alive. While the sight of a partially paralyzed rabbit scooting around in a custom-made wheelchair or a nappy-wearing hound could prompt a range of reactions, the viewer is ultimately struck by the caring and compassion of the families whose lives would be dramatically altered by the absence of their ailing animal friends.
Partners: Twenty Twenty (London) for Channel 4, distributed through Outright Distribution
Length: 1 x 60 minutes
Aired: November 20, 2008 (C4)
Rights available: All worldwide, excluding UK

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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