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My life saver Fred

Sorry for the terrible quality, it's the best photo I have.

We were just going to the local market to buy some Christmas gifts, we stopped at the animal rescue centre nearby to make a donation. We had a walk around and I saw him, he was sat right in the back corner of his cage, sad, lonely and scared. He looked at me as I crouched down, someone who worked there opened the gate. He slowly made his way over to me and allowed me to stroke him, his eyes fixated on mine. About an hour later he was laid on my knees as we drove home.

I was that awkward teenager; serious introvert, few friends and major trust issues. They told us Fred hadn't had a great start to life either, I didn't want to know the details. He slowly became my best friend and I opened my heart out to him. I have bipolar disorder, he stood by me. My parents divorced, he stood by me. Losing friends after coming out as gay, he stood by me. That dog was my rock, he pulled me from the brink of suicide on many occasions

Fast forward to about a year ago, I had more confidence and had grown up a lot, more friends, a job, things were better. Someone left the gate open when I was at work, Fred had got out and got hit by a car. My boss drove me to the vets when I heard. I saw him, he was barely alive, he had massive internal bleeding but he still tried to get to me, I just held his head and kissed his nose. He just looked at me as the vet gave him the injection, I'll never forget his eyes.

I am slowly recovering but it still hurts. Don't pity me, pity anyone who mistreats or neglects animals. I urge anyone reading this who wants a dog; save a life and go to a rescue centre, you will not regret it.

I love you Fred, I'll see you at the rainbow bridge.

Will
Sheffield, United Kingdom

Scruffy

We found Scruffy at the Dumb Friends League in Denver on June 11, 2006. He had been turned in as a lost dog with cysts on his back near his tail where maggots had gotten in. The DFL had gotten rid of the cysts and maggots, and had cleaned him up when we met him. We took him home that day, and he was the sweetest, gentlest, and most loving soul for over 10 years. Even when he was so sick with congestive heart failure and other heart problems, he remained a wonderful boy who only wanted to love us. We helped him over the Rainbow Bridge on October 4, 2016 when he was about 14 years old. He will be in our hearts forever. I will always love you, my “Baby Dog”!

Lucy

Denver

Anonymous
DENVER, CO

Lover Boy - the most loving cat ever!

Lover Boy was from a litter of barn kittens at the stable where my daughter rode. Summer camp was going on and the children played with the kittens constantly. He grew up very friendly but was a skinny no-name mess with long fur full of burrs and constant diarrhea staining his fluffy tail. Then the owner was injured and the stable closed. The 4-H members rescued all the abandoned barn cats except the most feral, and LB was the first to run out to say hello and be nabbed. I took him to the Humane Society because we had too many cats already but I told them, “Call me if he doesn’t get adopted” -- well, imagine my surprise to get a call just 2 days later that he was sick and I had to come get him or they would have to put him down! So back he came and it was the best thing ever. After he figured out to not try to jump through window glass after birds, he was SO happy to be a well-fed, warm, indoor kitty! He loved being with people, always greeted us at the door, slept on my feet, and had to be nearby purring every waking minute. He loved to be brushed and would jump on the bed every morning and turn his back to me and wait for me to bush him. He also loved to race ahead of me to jump on any chair I was going to sit on so he would have to be petted. He helped me sew and fold the laundry and supervised the opening of all packages. If we went away for a few days he would be very anxious the first few nights we were back and would get up on my pillow and tap the top of my head with his claws asking to be petted every few hours. He was my husband's best buddy too. We lost him a year ago to kidney failure at about age 14 but he was a one-in-a-million cat who will live forever in my heart!

Anonymous
Ann Arbor, MI

Dusty

1 year ago today, I had to say good-bye to my dearest Dusty as he became an Angel and returned to Heaven. I will forever miss your golden eyes, your radar tail and your furry toes as you go "swimming" when I rubbed your belly. I will love you forever and always my little Dust man. All my Love, Mommy <3 <3

Anonymous
Wickliffe, OH

my husband found kitty kitty on our deck

my husband goes outside to smoke every morning, he can't smoke in the house because i can't be in the same room with a smoker, well that morning my husband came in and said that there is a kitten outside, so i took a small bowl with cat food out there with me, i started off by calling kitty kitty and he came running, i let him smell the food then i walked through the door first, he followed me, i gave him the food and from then on he was my kitten he goes to bed every night just like his sister's and brother, no problem with any of them, the other three are my husbands fur babies, but kitty kitty is mine

elizabeth denson
farmville, VA

Birthday presents

This year my granddaughter, Alex, turned 12. A few months back, we talked about what she wanted for presents. Most girls her age want the latest and greatest electronic gadget or an article of expensive clothing. Not Alex. Instead of asking for presents, she asked for donations to a local animal shelter. This is the same animal shelter where she and I had gone to adopt a cat a few years back. She also sold her hand made drawings of animals and bracelets to school friends, family members and other acquaintances to raise funds. On her birthday, we drove to the shelter where she presented the money. She received cuddles and kisses from the fur babies. Alex, you did a really good thing. We are proud of you.

Jill Clarke
Willow Springs, MO

Who Saved Who?

One Saturday morning I got out of bed and was watching the news. Now this is rather strange because for work I'm up at o dark 30 so I was sitting here wondering why I was awake and watching the news. The big news of the day was that the Montgomery County Animal Shelter was having a clear the shelter day which meant that all fees were waived. The newscaster kept saying to be prepared to take your forever friend home. It had been 8 years since I had a cat and thought that I would never have another. My beloved Symca (a Manx) had been with me 17 years before I had to let him go. I thought that I would never be able to love another guy again. This day it was like my heart was going to jump out of my chest and I knew that the time was right but I was not going to just take any cat home. I knew that if I were to have another cat, we would both have to connect. The people at the shelter kept showing me adult cats but none of them spoke to me. I asked to see the kittens, as I stood there, I noticed that a little black cat sat in his cage looking really sad, his eyes were running and he wouldn't interact with anyone. After everyone left, I walked over to the cage and said hey buddy, he lifted his head and meowed at me, he had chosen me and once again my heart was not my own. He was 3 months old then and now he is 1 year and 7 months. Here he is enjoying the eagle cam. I suffer from PTSD and he has saved me more than I have saved him.

Toni A Hudson
Silver Spring, MD

Pretty Charlotte

Rescuing Charlotte is not really how this story goes. When she came into our lives at 6 weeks of age as a foster kitten we had no idea how to help her. With only two back legs, a strong, stout tail, and a voracious appetite "Pretty," as she had been called originally by the shelter, needed a lot of help.

"Pretty" needed to be entertained and in motion continuously as she was grossly overweight by the time the shelter and our family received her. "Pretty" needed to exercise often and learn how to strengthen up her back legs, as well as get her rudder moving. She began by chasing string that we would dangle in front of her.

"Pretty" needed to find her kitten instincts of digging in the litter box. Without front paws this task was a hurdle. Litter training took several weeks but once we paired her up with our other kitten the two quickly mirrored each other. Initially, "Pretty" sat in the litter like a child playing in a sandbox. She did this for several days until one weekend she graduated to a litter trained 3 month old kitten.

Having been rescued in the Charlotte area my family felt it most appropriate to change this beautiful angel's name to "Charlotte" as she personified all great things the people in the region provide. Having an animal with no arms, who so greatly relies upon arms from birth is truly a miracle. Our foster kitten Charlotte highlights that each day, though it may be tough, none of us know how it will play out. There are no certainties but all attempts and efforts are worth it. The rescue of Charlotte could never have happened without the shelter and their staff, the vet and his amazing staff, and all who donated to helping bring Charlotte out of her previous situation.

Laura
Rock Hill, SC

Penni

Penni came into the shelter I volunteer at. She was severely emaciated weighing only 12 pounds and had a large wound on her side only to find out later the wound was due to her being lite on fire. She had many medical issues and we were advised she would not be able to be put up for adoption so they were going to look for a rescue for her. I told my husband about her and he said to let them know we would take her so we adopted her. We took her to our vet who told us she was extremely ill and blind and was not sure if she would survive. With the help of our fabulous vet 10 months later we have a healthy happy little girl. Even with all of the challenges Penni has had to endure she is such a love and loves her brother and 2 sisters. We are so grateful she came into our lives we have learned a lot from Penni and have come to realize that animals with special needs are great and we will open our home to more special needs dogs.

The Ryan Family
Phoenix, AZ

Destined for the river

I was working at a barn where someone had dropped off a very teeny and very pregnant cat. She was super sweet but disappeared almost as quickly as she had been dropped off, so we assumed she was somewhere giving birth and hiding her kittens. For a few weeks we would see her off and on, slinking around the barn but never giving up a clue to where the kittens were. One day we noticed no one had seen her in over a week and the barn manager "scoffed" and said it was "Just as well, because if he ever found those kittens, they were going straight into a burlap sack and into the river." I was disappointed to hear this and hoped for a better outcome.

A few days later, I was walking by the chicken coop when I heard these tiny meows coming from inside the wall. BINGO! The kittens! I spent over an hour trying to catch these tiny kittens that would tentatively poke their heads out only to duck back into the wall, but persistence paid off. Here were 2 teeny ~6 week old balls of fluff. Since I knew their potential fate, I whisked them away to my house where I told my husband "I dont know what I am going to do with them, but I couldnt let them die in the river."

Fast forward one year, we kept both kittens, Rhino and Daisy, brother and sister, partners in crime and my snuggle buddies. Rhino has a personality as big as his namesake and Daisy is sweet and gentle. I sometimes wonder if I had not been the one to find them that day, would they really have been tossed in the river? I'm just glad we will never know that answer.

Dessa
Pine, CO
Knitted Paws Cozy Slippers
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