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Found my buddy Higgins in a pet store in an outlet mall at one of the local humane society's adoption functions. I was going there to buy one of my current dogs a new collar and had no intentions of getting any more. I already had 2 rescues, but this little guy just stole my heart! He suffered from separation anxiety as his first owner abandoned him after having him over a year and there wasn't a good fit for him in several later adoptions. He lost teeth by trying to chew his way out of a cage because his new families didn't like that he scratched at the door continuously, thus messing up woodwork and paint/finish on the doors. His poor little pads on his front paws were torn up - he was just scared to be left alone. He simply needed to be given some time and lots of love and patience to adjust.

I am happy to say that Higgins has been with me for over two years now and has settled quite well. He is such a great companion and he is totally in love with himself (he looks at himself in the mirror daily). Probably one of the most rewarding rescues! By the way, he is quite handsome, but of course I am very partial!

Cindy Long
Leander, TX

Our 4 babies!!!!!

Our dog (Bear)of 12 years had to be suddenly put down due to cancer. I was heart broken. Several months later, my husband and I decided to get 2 rescue puppies (we wanted them to have a friend as our kids are now grown and wouldn't play with them like they did Bear). Charlie came first. I just held him and immediately knew he should come home. The next day was Cooper. My daughter picked him approximately 15 min. before he was to be euthanized. The SPCA said he was a beagle mix but he's a Foxhound and is about 75 lbs! 3 months later, I saw Lexi and sent my husband for a 3 hour drive to get her. 1 month later came Colby our baby girl. So, since February, our house has become a "kennel" and I love all of them. I am a rescue dog junkie. The picture is Cooper and Charlie right after we brought them home!!!!

K Forse
Fresno, CA


We caught Buddy in a humane trap a little over a year ago off our street. He was semi-feral, terrified, and covered in scars. We intended just to foster him, but as time went on, it became clear he was meant to stay. He fit in so seamlessly with the rest of our furkids. He passed away on Fri., Nov. 6. I've been devastated; we didn't have much time with him. But the pain is worth knowing and loving this special little guy. He got the chance to know love and comfort for the first time in his life, without ever having to worry again about finding his own food or a warm, dry place to sleep. He enriched our lives so much, and I will never, ever forget his sweet disposition, his crooked little arms, and the way he greeted me at the door every day. He came so far in one year, to the point where we were able to take him out on Halloween in costume, and he strutted his stuff like he'd never been a scared street dog. Buddy, we love you forever, and we are SO thankful for you.

Jennifer & Jason
Atlanta, GA

Love Conquers All

We had seen this gray cat around our house for months but could not get its confidence. One day I sat in the driveway 15 feet away and just waited. After about 20 minutes it got up and walked over, just like in the Horse Whisperer! We coaxed "her" into the house. "She" was emaciated, under 5 lbs we found out. We fed "her," loved "her," and discovered "she" knew all the things cats that have lived with people know, so we know "she" had been cherished before and somehow become homeless.

"Minnie" as we named "her" turned out to be an approximately a 10 year old neutered male, but the name stuck. "A boy named Minnie" is now family, loved to the maximum, and will be with us permanently. As of today he has gained 2 1/2 pounds and looks and acts like any alert, healthy cat should with a world class purr.

Who is luckier, us or Minnie? You decide.

Dave Woodward
Redwood City, CA

A little Kismet

I had just lost my youngest cat Psyche to cancer a month before her sixth birthday. Karma(my 17 year old) and I had had a rough few years losing his other brother Nimbus and sister Pixie to old age. My vet advised getting a new cat as Karma and I were both grieving. So off I went to the NHSPCA.

As I walked in this little charmer was sitting on the cat condo and watching me intently. I at first outright refused to think of her as she looked a lot like Psyche and I didn't want to confuse them in any way. I checked all the rooms and went into hers last. As I opened the door, a little nose nudged my hand a quick lick and I was lost. I still tried to convince us both that this wasn't going to work. She had other plans. Her name had been Chubbs. A name I changed quickly to Kismet as we were leaving as I still believe we were fated to be together. Within 24 hours she and Karma were friends and I didn't need to keep them separated. She is a lovebug, wanting lap cuddles, food cuddles and just plain attention. She is my baby and Karma is my boo.

It's a year later, they still get along well and I may lose Karma anytime now, but we are both the richer for having gotten Kismet to join us for Karma's last years.

Somersworth, NH

The best rash decision I ever made

About four years ago I adopted a shy, emaciated Labrador mix who had been abandoned and tied to the fence at the Perry County Humane Society in Pinckneyville, Illinois. The shelter had no room for her, so she was staying at the local pound and didn’t have much time. While I wasn’t looking for a dog (and had never been a pet-owner), something about her story caught my eye and I drove over two hours from St. Louis to pick her up the day before she was scheduled to be euthanized.

Today, Lola is the not only healthy, but also one of the happiest dog you’ll meet. She is my best bud and trusty side-kick, as she accompanies me to work on a daily basis. My colleagues stop by everyday for a visit with Lola and she has been dubbed the office mascot.

Lola inspired me to get healthy myself and take up running. She serves as motivation to drag myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning for our daily run. Lola often accompanies me at 5K community events, and last spring I completed my first half marathon, with Lola supporting me from the sidelines.

Her journey has truly inspired me and adopting her has changed my life for the better. I started volunteering as a dog walker at the Humane Society of Missouri last spring. While she wasn’t part of my plan, it’s hard to imagine life without Lola.

St. Louis, MO

How we became a family

After being together for a year my now husband and I decided it was time to get our first baby. We had always loved dogs so we decided that is where we would start. We started our search and it was definantly overwhelming. Small dogs, big dogs, couldn't decide. One day our friend came up to us and said she had a rescue dog. This dog was only a year old and had already had a really hard life. Her old owner beat her for no reason, hosed her down with water and barely fed her.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to take on this responsibilty though. I love animals but I knew that having a dog that only knew abuse and fear would be a handful. So I decided to meet her and see how it went. We met Red (she came with her name) on an overcast October day. She cowered, slunked around and would't have anything to do with my husband. You could see her ribs and her big brown eyes reflected nothing back but pain. She shook like a leaf 24 hours a day.

After meeting her I was nervous but I decided I couldn't let her down, she needed a good home and I had a good home. She has been with us for four years and she has done a complete u-turn. She no longer shakes or hides in the corner. She runs, plays, loves peoples and animals. When we got a cat she accepted him into our home also. She is just the sweetest dog you will ever meet. Sometimes when I see her so happy I remember the state she was in when we first met her and wonder how anyone could have hurt her so bad!

Sacramento, CA

We Didn't Give Up On Her

About eight years ago, during one of the worst blizzards of the winter, my mother stepped out onto our back porch and found a tiny little kitten shivering underneath the BBQ. Being animal lovers, our family took her inside. She was freezing to death and starving. We soon discovered that she must have been born a stray. She was completely feral. She would attack anyone who came near her and stayed away from everyone. Even our vet told us there was no hope of domesticating her, but we believed in her. It took many months of gentle persistence and kind coaxing, but little by little, Mooch started to become more comfortable around us. Today, she is still very much wild in spirit; she enjoys running around the forest behind our house and climbing trees and hunting field mice, but she is also the most affectionate, loving and well-behaved member of our family we could ever hope for. I'm so glad we never gave up on her. She's completed our family.

Tottenham, ON, Canada

Max found them!

This story isn't about a pet that I rescued or adopted personally, but he is a part of my family... Out at my parent's house, animals seem to come because they know something good will come out of wandering there. First there was Sparky the beagle who found a home there... Then, Max came into the picture a few years later. Max wandered into my parent's yard one morning as my mom was out to go to work. He was so big and black she thought he could have been a baby black bear! He had porcupine quills stuck in his muzzle and face. Through Oceana County Animal Friends, they ended up adopting this big, spoiled rotten baby. Max serves as an excellent watch dog, and gives everyone endless entertainment.

Hart, MI

Some rescues are more dramatic than others

While our other cats are shelter rescues, the little girl here, Chihiro, was like something from "Animal Cops." Several years ago, local police responded to a call about someone stomping a kitten in a grocery parking lot. The perpetrator escaped, but not before the police were able to recover the poor kitten.

The police sent her to the vets for emergency treatment; the worst problem was that the retina in her left eye had become detached, leaving her permanently blind on that side.

A friend of ours was the police dispatcher and also an animal lover (she trains guide-dog puppies at home) so she immediately agreed to foster the kitten. In a short while the cat came to us. She's loving, friendly, and fits in well with our other four cats and a pug. (She's napping in a warm spot not ten feet from me as I write this!)

Scott Fisher
Tualatin, OR
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