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Cocoa the Bulldog

One day I decided to visit our local shelter, Animal Welfare League, in Punta Gorda, FL. While "just looking" a shelter worker saw me and asked if I had a pet at home. I answered yes, an English Bulldog. The worker said they had just gotten in a Bulldog and asked if I would like to see her? I said "sure" (figured why not, I'm not going to adopt today.) When Cocoa was presented to me I fell in love immediately. When the worker told me that she was 13 years old, it just made me love her more. Cocoa was an owner turn-in and it broke my heart to think that someone could get rid of a pet that they had for so long. Needless to say, she came home with me that day. Cocoa, now 15, is still the love of my life.

Janet Van Sant
Punta Gorda, FL


Camouflage walked up to me in our back yard, and literally fell over, nearly dead from starvation. She weighed less than 2 pounds! I fed her a little tuna, and warm milk, and over the summer she became a permanent part of our household. Her name is now shortened to Cami, and she is a delight to us every day. She is about 12 pounds of sweetness, and loves her belly being rubbed.

Kathy Saylor
Crawfordville, FL

Best Friends

I'd like you to meet our dog, Harley Quinn (My husbands favorite comic book character), and our cat Simi (THE Simi it's a name from my favorite author).

Harley is a German Pincher. Someone must have paid a LOT of money for her. But we found her at the local shelter. What made me stop in front of her cage was the fact she was very thin, and very scared. She would not come up to the door. She just hung her head and sat in the middle of the pen. She would not react to our voices. She needed LOVE.

Every time you would reach to touch her she'd pull back thinking she was going to be struck. For the first year she would not even play. She had SEVERE separation issues too. All we could do was love her no matter what. A couple years in, she turned out the be the BEST dog anyone would want. She loves kids, she's clean, never has an accident, is a good guard dog. And she is the best cuddle buddy you know. She never even smells like dog, she smells like corn chips.

One of our older cats died (We really miss Kira), and I adopted Simi. She was most likely born in the shelter. She was scared of everything, she didn't know she could jump or climb like other cats. She'd spent her entire young life in that tiny cage. Harley stepped in and protected the new kitten. Simi slept on Harley & played with Harley. Now I have to take them to the vet each year TOGETHER. So Simi isn't too scared.


Who said dogs and cats don't mix?

Christine Hannigan
North Port, FL


Our main focus is arctic breed rescue. One day while pulling a pregnant Malamute from the shelter, I saw this tiny girl, alone in a big kennel run. Pipin is a 10+ yr. old miniture Dachshund. I thought I could find her a forever home, but after having all her teeth pulled at the vet a couple of days later, it was clear to us that ours would be her forever home. Here she is pictured with the only husky we allow her to get close to. She's the best little girl ever!

michelle breinholt
Coalville, UT

Bubba and Bella

My family and I had just put down our long time feline family member Freddy because he suffered from an incurable form of cancer. He was a huge part of our lives and we were all extremely devasted but also had a kitten that we adopted a few months before we found out about his illness named Henry to keep us busy, however he is very active and Freddy always hated to play with him because of his age and declining health so neither one of them were very happy with the situation. After a couple months since his passing we felt we were ready to find a playmate for Henry and we found a cat online at the local SPCA who looked exactly like Freddy. We just had to meet him and luckily he was the same age as Henry. We all fell in love at first sight with this huge cat with giant paws that looked like our old boy but there was a catch, in order to adopt him we had to take his sister home too. We slept on it and the next day Bubba(one of Freddy's old nicknames) and Bella were ours so now we have three playful, sweet, and very entertaining cats. I suggest to anyone to adopt from their local shelter and save a life... or two.

Roseville, CA

Little Miss Miracle

Muffit is 14 years old and had been turned in to my vet as a 3 month old stray when I found her. A year and a half ago she suddenly lost 2 lbs! My vet took an x-ray and said she had cancer and gave her 2 to 3 months to live! He said there was nothing to be done but to take her home and make her comfortable. Muffit is still alive, and well and pretty playful for her age. She seems to be just fine! Each night, we have a ritual. I get in bed with a good book, and she sits on my chest and gives me lots of kisses, then curls up next to me and falls asleep. .I have every hope that she will continue to live a long and happy life.

Pixie Fontechia
Cadiz, KY

Heart of a Giant

The sad 23 pound puppy we found was eight weeks old, the vet said. We just couldn't keep him since we had 3 other big dogs. An out-of-control Rottweiler approached us, snarling and snapping, as he dragged his owner along. The brave young puppy stood up from between my husband's legs, bristled, and stepped forward to meet the challenge. After the clinic staff got the other dog outside, I said to my husband, "he just offered his life for you. We're keeping him." No argument there. Now four years old, Kodiak has been the most gentle, fun-loving clown. I just don't know where his "baby" self found so much courage.

El Paso, TX

Sophie's Story

When I went to the Edmonton Humane Society to adopt a friendly lap cat, I hadn't counted on falling for the skinny little frightened one year old hiding in her litterbox. She let me take her out and hold her and under the dusty fur she was nothing but skin and bone. I just couldn't leave her there - according to her information she'd been there a month already. I decided that by letting me take her out and hold her, she'd made a choice to trust me - Sophie's choice. It took a long time to get know each other, but Sophie has taught me a great deal about love and patience. She's been my good companion for a dozen years now, and I've valued her company. Out of gratitude for what they've brought to our lives, I've volunteered for the EHS for several years now. Helping people find loving companions for their own families has been a good way to say thank you. Sophie still has a thing for relaxing in boxes, so I make sure she always has a selection!

Michelle D
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Hopelessly Devoted

Hero, our 14-year-old dog died on Sunday morning and on Monday evening, our town's animal control officer asked us to take a dog that she had seized because of neglect (the other dog in house had died of heat) as the local shelter was full. The dog needed a small surgery to repair her cut leg (trying to escape through a window) and was treated for a flea infestation. We had no plans to find another dog to fill Hero's place at our house and this dog was only going to spend the time it took to find her a new home, but she ended up staying here after we weren't able to find the right someone to take her. I decided I couldn't give her up.She gets along great with Jane our pug and Beattie our Australian cattle dog. She has separation anxiety issues, which we are working through, but is a sweet dog. I called her Ollie, short for Olivia, because when she came to our house, she was "hopelessly devoted" to me.

Huntington, VT

Free At Last

When I heard that Christian had been in the shelter for ten years (70 in dog years), I thought it was time for him to be free – he was 15. I visited the shelter and was taken to his cage – he crashed against the wire wall snarling. The keeper said he just did that to protect his long term home. Somewhat nervously we took Christian home. Christian was perfect for us seniors after only a day or two of adjusting to his new home. I didn’t even have to put him on a leash for walks. It was great seeing his joy racing and romping free in the fields and he turned out to be a lovable character and great fun. Seniors should seriously consider adopting a senior shelter dog.

Nick Percival
Ridgefield, CT
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