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Sonja's Happily Ever After

In Nov 2007, police in Rapids City, SD were on their way to arrest a man on domestic abuse charges and found 35 Alaskan Malamutes, 11 of which were dead and the remaining 24 malnourished and neglected. Three of those dogs, all females, were taken in by the Illinois Alaskan Malamute Rescue (IAMRA), Mt Prospect, IL and so began a new and happier chapter for these sweet girls.

Sonja was said to be the most introverted of the group She was scared of loud noises and quick movements. She was withdrawn and very submissive. Sonja was placed in foster care with one of the directors of IAMRA and soon learned that human hands could be kind and she would never go hungry. She also had a foster brother who would not allow her to stay withdrawn and insisted she join him in play.

I was so excited when I was given permission to adopt this special girl. The road to building trust has been slow going but it's so rewarding. It took 4 months before I heard her sweet woo woos which were beautiful music to my ears. She is slowly learning not to fear the sound of the garage door opening or outside noises. She even hops into the car which was unthinkable at first. She is quick to race to the kitchen at the sound of the treat bag, pushing her way in front of the pack and telling me to hurry it up! Sonja has a special quality that touches the hearts of everyone she meets. She's a beautiful girl with a smile that just lights up my life! I love this special girl unconditionally and am glad that I am part of her happily ever after! Thank you IAMRA!

Pam Junkerman
Bettendorf, IA

Peanut's Rescue

I adopted Peanut from the local animal shelter almost 11 years ago. He was already fully grown and they estimated him to be about 1 year old. I expected to train him to be housebroken but he already was when I brought him home. Since then his personality has flourished and he still acts as young as he was the day I adopted him. He's very affectionate, loves the outdoors, people, and food!

Diamond Bar, CA

Wanting to be an indoor cat

I was working as a veterinary technician, when a long time client of ours brought in his neighbor's cat. The neighbors were constantly putting this sick cat outside in the middle of winter. He was in bad shape and obviously neede a new home. Our client was at his limit for pets and could not keep him, as he had many of his own. Everyone seemed to be at their limit for pets...except me. I was not a "cat person" but something about Marley just caught my attention. It turns out that I was the lucky one. I still count my blessings every day to have found this exceptional kitty. All in all, Marley had a severe upper respiratory infection which prevented him from smelling his food, so he was very skinny. He also tested positive for heartworms, and had a horrible case of ear mites. None of this however, changed his mellow, affectionate disposition. And just so you know, he has put back on his body weight...and then some.

Farmington Hills, MI

Big hearted Big Dog

My sister emailed me the link to which had a photo of Sasha as the " this week's 'HappyTail'" pet. We had a Saint Bernard as children and I was ready to adopt another. I immediately went to the website and was overjoyed to find she was available at the local animal shelter. I was out the door within 5 minutes. When I walked up to the pen she was in, it was love at first sight! She put her ear up to the pen door to be rubbed and gave me big sloppery kisses as only a Saint can. Needless to say she has been the star of our home since. She loves occasional treats of cheese, long walks to the lake up the road, long naps, and ignoring our 3 cats. We all feel truly blessed to open our home to this big dog with the big heart !

mk derr
castro valley, CA

Best Beagles

My husband got Jasper, the larger one, for me as a birthday gift when he found out his old owner had to give him up. He is completely precious and has the biggest eyes and sweetest disposition. Even though we had a rough start, I finally adjusted to his way of running the house. A few months after Jasper came to live with us, I found Indiana on the side of the road, covered in mud and ice, and so skinny he could barely walk. It was obvious he had been abused as he didn't bark at all for almost two months and cowered in a corner most of the time. He has definately come out of his shell and is now my little munchkin. They both love to cuddle and keep the back yard free of squirrels and rabbits. I never thought of myself as a beagle person, until I got the two best beagles since Snoopy.

Springfield, MO

My Biggest little girl

This is Sweetpea. We adopted her from my Grandson. She was first adopted by his girlfriend's sister from animal management. She decided she didn't want her and my grandson adopted her. We were visiting my daughter when we were first introduced to her. My boyfriend said if you ever want to get rid of her I want her. He had always wanted a lab and thought that was what she was. Looking at her she does look like a lab and has all of the energy that a lab is supposed to have. Anyhow a few days after he said that I got a phone call asking if we would take her because she was too much to handle. Of coarse I said yes because there was no way I would let her go back to the pound. She is so sweet and loving. My grandson and his girlfriends sister don't know what they gave up but I am so glad they did. I wouldn't take anything for her. She is so special. Since we adopted her we have rescued three more and we already had four. Bobby Joe's story has already been published and I willl tell the rest of the stories later. It takes a lot of patience and work but it is worth it. Please adopt and help the animals. They need us and they all deserve a chance.

Cynthia Revis
Greenfield, IN

Best Friends

When we lost our 11 year old Wheaten Terrier to cancer this summer our rescued poodle mix Murphy was so lonely and sad. We decided to rescue another dog to help all of us. Even though I was determined to find an older dog we all fell in love with Riley, a 4 month old Wheaten Terrier mix. The two of them play and cuddle and we are all grateful to the group that rescued her. They are best friends and keep the family laughing!

Wendy Levinson
Coconut Creek, FL

My Punkin Kitty

This little beauty was just a baby kitty when I saw her wandering around my neighbor's house one morning when I was leaving for work. Of course I called to her...I've never heard such a loud meow from such a small kitten! She ran right over and starting purring her head off! Well, that's all it took! She's now over a year old and fits right in with our other cat and 5 dogs. She came to us a short time after we had to put down our 10 year old dog, Jake. We like to think that Jake sent her to us to help with our grief over losing him. We can't imagine our family without her!

Kelly Vannoy
Indianapolis, IN

My dog makes me whole again.

We lost our dog earlier this year. No one wanted us to get another dog. My daughters told me it would free me up to travel without any worries. My husband was in agreement. I thought I would enjoy the freedom. I didn't. My heart was broken. I tried donating money to various rescues. That made me feel better but not good enough. Then I volunteered to be a foster. Better, but still wasn't good enough. I finally got the courage to tell my husband that I really needed a dog. I told him I needed the unconditional love that a dog gives. I told him I needed a buddy.

He agreed. We picked out a dog together and went to meet him. We drove 3 hours each way. He was in pretty rough shape. He was full of matted hair, needed a dental, and was full of fleas and flea eggs. We had to adopt him. I called my groomer and my vet and made appointments for the next day although I cut as much hair off as I could and gave him a bath to rid him of as many fleas as I could.

This little guy is the best dog I've ever had. He only has one tiny bad habit that we are working on. I can't remember feeling this good or this complete. Our new dog makes me feel whole again. He loves me, he needs me, and I need him. I can't imagine how anyone wouldn't want to adopt a rescue animal. If your life feels incomplete, think about adopting a rescue animal, especially if you're alone most of the time like am. A pet is a wonderful friend.

Sharon Hansen
Pontiac, IL

Butters and Leo

Early spring 2007 we started feeding 2 stray cats on our front porch. By the end of March, we had gained the trust of the brown one, Leo. He was easily integrated into our household of 4 other cats. The orange one, Butters, was very skittish and would run if we even looked at him. We humanely trapped him and installed him in a small dog kennel in the garage. He was so scared that he would lash out with his teeth if we tried to touch him. It took us 6 weeks of spoon feeding him before he would trust us. After he was neutered, we brought him inside where it was warm and shaved off most of his fur because of how matted he was.

Nowadays, you would never believe that this is the same cat who was so mean. He is the sweetest cat in the house and all the others can hardly resist him when he wants to cuddle. He and Leo are still the best of friends and they both can usually be found sleeping on the bed together with their paws around each other.

We are so lucky that he found us.

Clay Twp., MI
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