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
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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