32 Heartwarming Photos of Pets Looking Out for the Kiddos in Their Lives


Pets are an amazing source of love and friendship, but usually, they become even more than that — family. And for people living with special needs, an additional furry companion to lean on can make a huge difference.

We asked our readers on Facebook to share an animal special to them or their loved ones, and we received some touching responses.

Here are the incredible pets in your lives:

“Elisha calls ‘My Lydia’ his best friend.” — Amy Leonard Mize

Amy Leonard Mize

“My daughter’s cat stands guard and watches for seizures when she’s not feeling well.” — Carly McPherson

Carly McPherson

“Jake loves his Ellie.” — Nicole Denise

Nicole Denise

“She licks him more than he does her.” — Janessa Soria Lambert

Janessa Soria Lambert

“Rachel and her very tolerant pup, Jasmine.” — Aileen Hornbeck Schwarz

Aileen Hornbeck Schwarz

“Jack and Bubba.” — Juliana Lepoutre

Juliana Lepoutre

“He follows her around everywhere she goes.” — Melissa Abraham

Melissa Abraham

“Our son with our 135-pound Great Dane, Daffy.” — April Roga

April Roga

“My daughter, Evelyn, and her companion, Scarlet, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.” — Andrea Eaton Botan

Andrea Eaton Botan

“My daughter with special needs has a companion pet named Lucy. She’s learned a lot about animal safety and being gentle since getting a dog.” — Melanie Stephens

Melanie Stephens

“Our son, Gabriel, with our sweet kitty, Flynn.” — Amy Strickland Forde

Amy Strickland Forde

“Emmett hugging his best buddy, Cody.” — Arika Estep

Arika Estep

“Gracie has Fiona, the therapy beagle who helps with Gracie’s seizures.” — Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

She was his comfort, his calm, his best friend.” — Patricia Duke

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“My son with Yoanna the guide dog.” — Blythe Underys

Blythe Underys

“That’s Pete and Buttercup.” — Karen Chiara Dito

Karen Chiara Dito

“Jordan with our sweet and extremely patient labrador, Katie.” — Dolly Thomas

Dolly Thomas

“My son and his best friend, Asha.” — Kelly Finucane Lawrence

Kelly Finucane Lawrence

“We just adopted Gizmo because we noticed our special needs daughter loved animals!” — Jennifer Ban

Jennifer Ban

“Maya and Ivic, her autism assistance dog.” — Isabelle Reid MacNider

Isabelle Reid MacNider

“My little one has Wags, her special companion. We also have a special needs cat who tolerates our daughter’s attention beautifully, even letting her dress him up.” — Be-Ka Dexies

Be-Ka Dexies

Caleb and Thunder Lips.” — Elissa Newton

Elissa Newton

“They love each other.” — Anne-Marie Wurzel

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 5.46.34 PM

“My granddaughter, Coraline, loves her dog, Gypsy!” — Kim Hanson

Kim Hanson

Ryder and Zack Baldwin.” — Daria Price Baldwin

Darla Price Baldwin

“Our German Shepherd is so patient with him no matter what he does with her. They’re best pals.” — Jennifer Manifold

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.53.03 AM

“Blue with Chewbarka the morkie.” — Brandy Turner

Brandy Turner

“Leah has been my daughter’s best friend and ‘sissy’ since she was born. They’re inseparable. Our sweet rescue puppy.” — Trish Palko

Trish Palko “This is Zak and his best furfriend, Harvey. Zak and Harvey are only 1 month apart in age and are the best of friends. Harvey is so sweet and gentle with Zak, who is not so gentle with Harvey!” — Becky Brately

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.58.24 AM

“My son with autism has two special ones in his life.” — Sabrina McWilliam

Sabrina McWilliam

“My 8-year-old son, Owen, who has special needs, has a goldendoodle named Huxe. They just love each other!” — Robin Patrick

Robin Patrick

“Ethan… and his boxer trio.” — Yvonne Austin

Yvonne Austin

*Some responses have been shortened and edited.

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