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Sergio and Rubia: 'lil Soul Mates

Both Sergio (left) and Rubia (right) were red-listed to be euthanized only months apart at seperate shelters in Los Angeles. We got Sergio first and just 3 months later got his counterpart, Rubia. They have been inseparable since the moment Rubia stepped first paw into our house. As we look into their soulful eyes, we can't imagine someone not wanting them. They make our happy home even happier. If you are looking for a pet, rescue one from a shelter!

Wendy and Andre
Los Angeles, CA

The Power of a Hug

After being surrendered by his owner, Skippy spent 8 long months in the shelter searching for his forever home. People came and went and he still remained in his kennel...waiting. I am a volunteer dog walker and began taking him to events, hoping he would find true happiness. And every time I returned him to his kennel, my heart broke a little more. I shed tears for this precious pup that nobody would adopt. I would walk by his kennel and he would greet me with such enthusiasm, never letting it get him down that he was unwanted. Then one day during a very special moment in time (captured here in this photo) it became very clear...I wanted him. We belonged together. He is my best friend and now a beloved member of our family. Your homeless days are over, my beautiful boy. Never underestimate the power of a hug.

Leslie Hinchee
Noblesville, IN

Bueller? Bueller?

In the early part of 2006 my husband and I decided to rescue a dog. Unfortunately, our Golden kid had to go to the Bridge and never got to meet his new friend. It was not meant to be, however, I received a call at 3:00 that afternoon that our rescue was available. I couldn't believe it. It was as if our pup was looking after us. I am not one who believes signs, but if there ever was one, that would be it.

When we heard about our Ferris, we were also told about Cameron. Ferris abused and Cameron a stray with a broken front leg. My gut told me to take Cam also, although my husband was not so sure two dogs would be a good idea. I did and there began a new chapter in our lives.

We changed Ferris’ original name to start with an F honor our previous boy. He came into our lives two weeks later, but we had to wait on Cameron as his leg was healing at the vet. About a week after the call, I jolted awake at 3 am, woke up my husband and yelled, "We have to take Cameron in too! Cameron is Ferris Bueller's best friend in the movie!" He grunted and rolled over. I smiled and knew I made the right decision.

Ferris is our cowardly lion, but has grown so much in the nearly five years we have had him. He barks, plays and loves Cameron, our allergy dog, who gets into everything; including our hearts. Both would not be the dogs they are today without one another.

Our home and hearts are full and we thank our first boy whom I believe sent us Ferris and Cameron and Heartland Golden Retriever Rescue, Knoxville, TN also.

Fremont, NH

Trudi's Story - Love and Healing

In June of 2010, a small Spitz mix named Trudi arrived at the UCSPCA. Trudi was very sick; barely able to pull herself up off her bed, and in so much pain she could hardly stand being touched.

On June 16, my coworker Linda spied Trudi in the last run in the shelter and made eye contact with her. We did not know it at the time, but this was the beginning of a bright future for Trudi. Linda signed on as a volunteer at the shelter to spend time with Trudi.

Trudi's diagnosis was elusive, but one area Veterinarian agreed to take on her care. Trudi stayed at the Medical Hospital for several days, with follow ups on a weekly basis. After many tests, the diagnosis was made -- autoimmune deficiency.

Linda and her husband Al did not turn their backs. Instead, they visited with Trudi every week at the shelter and showered her with love, kisses, and treats. We watched this little girl heal. She started jumping up to greet people and playing with toys. Her sores healed.

In August, Linda spoke with the shelter manager, staff members, and the veterinarian to learn more about Trudi's condition. Even though there is no cure for autoimmune disease, Linda decided Trudi needed a home and set the wheels in motion to formally adopt her.

Trudi went to her forever home in August. She discovered the pleasure of a soft couch, and the joy of a screened-in porch with a view of the squirrels. She delights in the pleasures of chasing moths at the park. A simple green stuffed turtle is her favorite toy; she spends stretches of time throwing it up in the air just to retrieve it and throw it again. Trudi is a princess in the making.

Sharon Holsapple
Saugerties, NY

Hark The Angel Harold Sang!

Feline companionship has been a consistent thread in the tapestry of my life. Through the years, many cats have stood by my side, though none quite so tall as the vagabond Harold.

In 1969, I was a young working wife. We had just moved into our first home and were temporarily catless. On a weekly visit to the in-laws, I spotted a scruffy interloper canvassing their yard. Tawny yellow, with a thick tangled mane, he resembled a lion stalking its prey.

After my father-in-law issued a threat to drive the little guy across town and dump him like he had their family cat, I decided this hobo was going home with me. It didn’t take long to notice Harold was unlike any other cat I’d ever known. Very territorial and not fond of other animals, he spent most of his waking hours keeping them out of our yard.

Harold preferred outdoors, coming in only to eat and occasionally sleep. My husband traveled, leaving me alone for days on end. Late one night I was awakened by Harold standing in the middle of my chest, howling at the top of his lungs. This was bad news. I was alone, and I knew Harold had been outside when I went to bed.

Jumping out of bed, I ran to the living room where the door stood ajar, the frame ripped from the wall, but the door chain still attached. It was obvious the break-in had been aborted. I flipped on the porch light and noticed several drops of blood leading off the porch. There was no doubt in my mind what had happened. I considered what could have happened. Thanks to Harold, I’ll never know. I believe angels come in many forms. Mine just happened to have four legs and a tail.

Sandra Ostrander
Eureka Springs, AR

Look beyond "special-needs" to find love in a four-legged friend

Blackie came into my life when I started volunteering in October, 2007, at a no-kill shelter in Louisiana. He was blind, with infected eyes, and a sad little dog. He wasn’t the prettiest dog and his temperament was questionable, but for me, none of that mattered. He needed my help. It was estimated that he was about 10 years old at the time. I cared for him… carrying him to the yards to walk around, so he wouldn’t have to go through the line-up of other dogs barking. He was very aloof and didn’t pay any mind to humans or other dogs. In November of 2007, I decided to take Blackie home. Over time and lots of patience, Blackie learned to trust humans and learned what it was like to be a dog. He was the light of my life and my best buddy. He followed me everywhere and laid on my lap in the evenings while I watched TV. In July, 2009, Blackie’s health started to deteriorate. The vet could not find the problem at the time, but ended up finding a large tumor in his abdomen. His kidneys and liver were already failing and he couldn’t hold anything down. After the diagnosis and grim prognosis, I took him home for his final weekend. We laid on the grass in the bright sunshine and I fed him ice cream from a spoon. He lifted his head just long enough to get his bite and laid back down. On August 24th, 2009, I stayed with Blackie while they gently put him to sleep. Before they gave the final injection, Blackie kissed my face as if to tell me it was ok, gently kissing my tears away. He changed my life and I will never forget him.

Ninna Lopez
Shreveport, LA

New Nodaway needs your help!

This precious soul is my beloved Arnold, who came to our forever home (currently comprised of eight ~ five canine, three feline ~ with the passing of our beloved Boyi to the ravages of cancer and chemo this past October) in the spring of 2008 from New Nodaway Humane Society's shelter in Maryville, Missouri - a irreplaceable, compassionate organization desperately clinging to their "no-kill" commitment, by the thinnest of financial threads...

For four unbelievable months, this beautiful boy languished in shelter until I received word of his plight.

Today - an incredibly gentle, unbelievably intuitive companion - he is the most loving of brothers to his seven siblings (rescues, all), and a constant reminder of the need to place thousands like him in the loving forever home that each deserves.

Like so many who've pledged to "no-kill" status, New Nodaway faces continual financial hardships that threaten their collective commitment to remain exclusively "no-kill".

Please help this marvelous shelter to continue their critical "NO-KILL" mission through your votes, your donations, and your adoptions!

Stephen Lee Phillips
Two Harbors, MN

The Greatest Dog

Casey was a great dog! In 1996, she was rescued by fireman from a burning building her Mom was never located. From the beginning, Casey was a very confident dog! She was loyal, loving, brave, and obedient. Casey was the leader of the pack and passed down her thoughts on how dogs and people should interact. Because of her, my other rescues do not get in the trash, do not chew up furniture, shoes and any other object that is available. My dogs have a toy chest were they can search and find their favorite toys. I haven't figured out how to make them put them back! Casey loved to hike and camp! We had many adventures in the mountains of California. She loved to travel! We discovered she had cancer of the spleen right before Thanksgiving. We were told she had 2 to 4 weeks to live. So, we decided to visit her favorite places one last time. We went camping at Pismo beach and she acted like a puppy running and fetching and just smelling the smells of the beach. Her last night on earth she gave a great gift by being full of energy and playing with the other dogs and fetching. It reminded me of her younger days! She passed quietly at home on December 8th. She will be sorely missed. This picture is of Casey at Tenya Lake. The lake is covered in ice but Casey went swimming anyway! What a dog!

Squaw Valley, CA

Crazy JJ

We were looking for a new playmate for our 2 hounds. We thought we wanted a female puggle. Then the rescue sent us a picture of JJ, a bassett/beagle (and we think cattle dog) mix who'd been found on the streets of KY and scheduled to be put down at a shelter there before the IL rescue took him in. He's a total character who loves watching videos of cats on youtube and is constantly finding something to pounce on. This is just one of his playful poses. We couldn't imagine a world without him.

Keeneyville, IL

The Girls

Lulu (on the right) was dropped off at an area shelter with part of her eye missing. Her Petfinder photo showed matted hair with a recently sewn shut eye. My husband and I doubted that anyone would adopt her so we went and picked her up. After a visit to the groomer and lots of love and food, she is the most beautiful and loving cat. In fact we love her so much that when another cat showed up at the same shelter with an almost identical story we had to adopt her too. Grace (grey and white) came home the day before Thanksgiving and as you can see she fit right in with Lulu and the boss lady, Abby. All three are rescues and have brought so much into our lives. I feel so lucky to have found them.

Sara Bostwick
Burlington, VT
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