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Sanctuary...

For some reason my house seems to attract homeless animals. One year, two pregnant feral cats decided to have kittens in my window wells. They were heavily infested with fleas so I brought them inside and cleaned them up, got them fixed, and adopted them out. Leo (center) and Ginger (mother) are still with me and are inseparable. Leo loves people more than any cat I have ever known and is always the first to introduce himself to any strangers in the house. Miss Kitty (left) was adopted to an old man, who she loves to snuggle with all day long. Rocky (right) was adopted by my young nephew, who he lets carry him around without a care in the world.

Gaymon Wright
Hilliard, OH

The Girls

It was a sad day when we had to put our first cat down due to illness. I swore I'd never have a pet again, it just hurt too much. About a month later my husband and I looked at each other and thought...it's time, we need a friend! A month after meeting our gray tabby Triscuit at the SPCA we decided she needed a calico friend, who we named Crouton. Unfortunately a little over a year later their best friend - my husband -passed away, but I have The Girlz to keep me company and remind me of the fun we all had together and my wacky husband, who came up with their names. I don't know what I'd do without them!

Teresa Reed
Collegeville, PA

Flossy

I knew I had found "my" dog when Flossy was brought to the room where I was anxiously waiting. She was a blur of scruffy fur who leaped into my arms, but quickly quietened down for first a tummy rub and then a walk. 18 months on Flossy has blossomed into the most loving and lovable creature, and is now fit and full of enthusiasm for life. How she came to be a stray in Wales, found her way to the Dogs Trust Newbury in England, I'll never know, and her first 6 or so years of life will always be a mystery. But truly I believe we were meant to find each other, and I am grateful everyday to be with her.

Lily Richards
London, United Kingdom

Rescued animals make the BEST pets

We found Jill through Pets.com 5 years ago when we were looking for a companion for our other rescued dog Marmaduke (also found through Pets.com). At the time she was skittish and had what looked like a cigarette burn on her belly. She has since bloomed into the dominant queen of the house and has the remarkable talent of mimicking words. People are amazed when they hear her say with no prompting "I love you". She learned it all on her own from me saying it so often to her. I swear rescued animals KNOW that they are loved and return that love ten fold. Thank you Pets.com!

Geri DiTella
Philadelphia, PA

Moses

Moses was at the shelter where I walked dogs once a week. People would come and go and never pay any attention to this cute little beagle. I tried my best used car sales attempt to get people to adopt him, but to no avail. 6 months was approaching this 5 yr olds life at the shelter and I felt his days were numbered, so I convinced my husband to save this dogs life. He's home with us now, very nervous from 6 months in prison, but he loves my other rescue dogs.

Karen
Cincinnati, OH

Rocket's new family

We found Rocket through Paw-Prints and Sunburst Foundation. Poor little boy had been running loose, afraid of everyone. Then he got hit by a car and fractured his hip - he was caught. After treatment for the hip and heart-worms we took Rocket into our home. At the beginning we would have to go outside and surround him and actually carry him back into the house. It has taken several years, but Rocket has finally found a home that loves him no matter his fears, which remain with strangers. But we even got a follow-up as a happy ending in Paw Prints. And with us - he simply cannot get enough loving now and sure lets us know when he wants to come in. From fear to safety & love and a forever home - what a blessing.

Jo Ellen Elixson
Wilmington, NC

We live out in the woods...

...on a couple acres, not far from town, and we've a few buildings the cats have claimed as their outdoor homes. Let me explain.

People in town want to adopt adorable kittens, but don't seem to be able to deal with cats-so they "free" the cats to the woods, where we find them.

Nearest no-kill shelter 2 hrs away, always overbooked. They often have no medical history,and are often pregnant, wounded, hungry. We feed, spay/neuter, inoculate. Try to tame and foster them. What else to do?

Most find homes. Others, like "Helno",pictured here, trust too few people.

Local vet clinics know us by now, give discounts when they can. I'm no vet, but I have helped in a few kitten births, tended to wounds, diagnosed many problems, spent much on care of these fuzzfaces.

Some cats and kittens were thrown from cars. Some, as mentioned, were "freed" to the woods and arrive weak/starved. Some were runaway cats - who promptly got returned. Some were 'released' because they were pregnant.

I've told hubby, "No More Cats!" - though I'm as soft as he is. There, I admit it. The newest cat to show up at the house - an orange semi-friendly beast - has the name, "Nomer". He arrived neutered - so at least there's that much...we'll see what happens...

The point of this is that cats need care! If a person can't commit to caring for another living family member, s/he should buy a plush toy! Pets are more than fuzzy warm plushies - they are living, breathing, feeling beings that should know love, have medical needs cared for, and a warm place to sleep.

Anonymous
Hudson, FL

Oscar & Millie

Oscar the Shih Tzu/Westie cross (?) I rescued from an Alcoholic for the price of a bottle of Whiskey. He was handed over to me in a plastic shopping bag. I dread to think what may have happened to him had I not taken him. He and Millie have brought so much love and companionship in to my life. Getting each of them was among the best decisions I've ever made. I log on almost daily to click and to read the wonderful stories of animal rescues. Thankfully there are still compassionate people on this planet. Helps to restore one's faith in mankind.

Anne
Glin, Ireland

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night....

Scrawny, soaked, seething with fleas, eyes stuck shut and utterly starved so that her backbone, face and ribs stood out like the skeleton she was, this soggy little bundle in the middle of the road caught my daughter's attention when she was out riding around on her first date with the man who became her husband. "Stop the car!" she said...and plucked this kitten off the road and back into life. Daughter couldn't have a cat, but when I went to see that latest critter in the line of "lost" that always found my daughter, I picked up her tiny body and was immediately surrounded by the most monumental purr I'd ever heard, and from this little bit of a three-month old waif! I immediately took her to my vet, who didn't think she could live. I believed that any creature as pathetic as she was but still having the courage and gratitude to purr like that, was meant to be with me and would survive. Three years earlier, emaciated by ovarian cancer and chemo, I hadn't believed I could live either. She has. I have. She's been my very best buddy for eight years, in spite of having acquired asthma and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy within the first three years of her life. Her cardiologist can't believe that she's so healthy, and that the heart disease is virtually arrested. She's my Rowdy Lil', and I am so grateful to have her in my life. We saved each other.

L. Gray
Silverton, OR

My Soul Mate

I had begged my parents for years to get a dog. We had dogs when I was younger, but my parents were done with that because of travel. It was fall 1997, my mom & dad were vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina at their summer home, when a puppy appeared on their deck. Skinny, a bit barky & wet, due to the cold & rainy weather, she kept coming back every day throughout the week. It was as though someone had taken her out to the woods & dumped her. After getting attached, my parents took her to the town vet & it was all over from there.... They decided to let her in the house that night, name her & then bring her home to me in Florida. They brought me the BEST gift I could have ever imagined. I still go & take her & her little sister Trinity, who we adopted three years later, to the house in NC where she found us. She loves her deck there & I swear she remembers that's where she came from. And now, 13 years later, they both have & will always be my Heart & Soul.

Erin Shaughnessy
Pompano Beach, FL
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