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Meet Squeek!

In 2008, heading to work, I passed a business center and saw a small rat terrier attempting to tear into a discarded food bag. I pulled into the lot and the dog took off! I followed in my car as she ran the perimeter of the parking lot! She dashed under a fence and was now literally on the burm of the freeway, where she lived. I contacted a rescue who said they would send someone right out. 3 days later, there she was again, trying to get food. I pulled in again as she ran back to her "nest" off the freeway, out of my reach on the other side of the fence. After leaving my tuna for her I went got a bag of food and for the next 7 weeks I fed her twice a day.

I got lucky one Sunday, and as she twisted to bite a flea, I grabbed her. She was thin, cut up and literally infested with fleas. She was chipped, but her owners didnt want her back after being lost for 4 months. She was also terrified. I took her home and 3 baths later, she ate and fell asleep in my arms. She was terrified of men hid when I left the house and my husband could never find her. There was no way I was letting this one go to the pound!

8 years later, and this little beauty rules our house! She chases planes, our Great Danes, plays daily with her Squirrel friend and every single night, she hops up on our bed and must be touching my husband and gives unconditional love. In the am, I tell her to go wake up Poppy, and she runs to wake my husband up with kisses. Her name was Baby, but changed to Squeek. At mealtime, she runs outside, runs back and forth, and she Squeeks! My husband says its because she is so happy and secure that this is her forever home. Everyone always says how lucky she is. I say we were the lucky ones!

Kelli Driscoll
Whittier, CA

The Saviour

Years ago, I was a fairly wild teenager of 16, out of school and away from home and trying to support myself. I had come from a dysfunctional place and found it hard to settle down.

One afternoon, my neighbours kids told me about a white kitty that had been spending time up inside the engine of the cars in our apartment's parking lot for several evenings. He had no tags or tattoos, and nobody seemed to know where he came from. He was a greasy ball of fur when we finally coaxed him out from under a car and was half starved. He was scared, but seemed to know I was going to help him. After spending some time at the vet cleaning him up, deworming and neutering him, I finally got to bring my lovely boy home. The vet thought he was about 4 years old. I fell in love immediately with this green eyed boy and named him Sammy. He was my first cat, something I had always wanted to have.

Sammy was a major factor in me finally setting down. We bonded immediately and I knew I had to have a stable home in order to look after him. He was my biggest motivator. Eventually I was able to complete high school, get a decent job and then finally go to college. He was my rock every step of the way. He was my saviour as much as I was his.

Eventually over the next few years I got a couple of other cats, and Sammy welcomed them all into the family. He was always loving and gentle and slept with me every night. I don't think I could have asked for a better pet.

He was my baby for the next twenty years, but by the age of 24 he began to fail. It broke my heart to see him dying. I finally got the courage to take him to the vet to end his pain. It was brutal. I was there while he slipped into unconsciousness and then death. I will never forget him.

Anonymous
Calgary, AB, Canada

Coming out of the Shadow

It all started with a new roommate and her cat Shadow. It wasnt long after they moved in that I realized Shadow was just a small ball of fear. There was no getting close to her let alone a pat or rub. Her owner assured me that was how she was and had been since she got her. Soon after I discovered her owner was using drugs and I asked her to leave.She asked if Shadow could stay until she got on her feet.I agreed,although I wondered how she would react being around the rest of my cats as she was never allowed outside of her room. It has been a rough ride for us all...Shadow scared and spending her time in my bathroom.Her first interaction with my pug was a game changer,she had never seen a dog in her life! He just sniffed her,she let him know dont come any closer,lol! One morning she wasnt in her usual spot in my bathroom and I started looking for her,my linen closet was open and there she was curled up on my towels.I reached in to pet her,expecting the usual snarl and paw swipe and to my amazement,she let me touch her! That was the beginning of her getting to know us and coming out of her shell of fear.She now roams the house freely and has been spotted playing with a few of my other cats.She even comes into my room looking for me,she hasnt got up on the bed to join us,but I have hope.I can only imagine what she has been through,but she is now in her furever home and I havent heard from her other owner,and thats a good thing!

Red
Canton, OH

Voodoo from Haiti

In Haiti on our last day of teaching art in a church compound we heard a dog screaming. Rushing around the corner we saw the janitor violently “sweeping” a puppy out with the trash across the pavement. A crowd of people were laughing and became even more entertained when we intervened. As I knelt by the puppy who was lying still with eyes open I saw that he was starving, had little hair and what I thought was mange and a jewelry chain which had grown into his neck. We then saw that his back leg was broken and “vet” was found who only gave him a painkiller and wanted $400, we gave him $40 and he left. I cut the chain off the pups neck and he breathed in a deep gasp of air. In the morning we found another vet who came and washed him, medicated him and taped up the broken leg. I went online and made contact with the International Humane Society who recommended we try to get him out of Haiti and helped us every step of the way. After a long ride to Port Au Prince we got him to a vet clinic where he stayed for 3 days. The little guy was so happy to see us when we came to pick him up! The hotel was kind enough to let him stay in our room and we spent a week getting the required paperwork together and signed and bonding with this sweet little, cuddly, indomitable spirit we named Voodoo. He sat quietly in his carrier through 2 flights back with us to Colorado. He now runs in the mountains with his best bud Lalu the boxer and when people say “he's so lucky” we say say “no, we're the lucky ones”.

Beth Evans
La Veta, CO

My Little Monster

I like to look at Petfinder sometimes, just for fun. One day, I was sitting in a boring college class, and I came across his little face. He was listed as a pekingese, but he's actually a Japanese Chin, and his name was Lawrence. He was scheduled to be euthanized due to mange. There was just something about his little face, the way he stared so earnestly into the camera from behind the cage door. I wasn't really in a position to bring home another dog, but I did it anyway. At the shelter, I came to find out that he had been dumped by people who "found him." The shelter staff believed that they had, in fact, been his actual family that didn't want to admit that they were dumping their dog. I quickly renamed him Ares, and proclaimed that he was a foster. But as time went on, I realized that Ares wasn't exactly the kind of dog that people wanted. He was weird, awkward, and he humped EVERYTHING. I also noticed that he was incredibly empathetic and very snuggly. He was particularly in love with my own pekingese mix, Thor. So much so that, after a few months of "fostering," I decided that Ares had already found his home. Ares was still a nuttball, still awkward, and completely apathetic to house rules. It was because of this that he eventually gained the name "Loki Meili." Loki for his nuttiness, and Meili because he is really very sweet, and Meili is a norse god with the nickname "the lovely one." I understand why they couldn't keep him. He's weird, and he doesn't listen to anything. He is, however, the sweetest dog I have ever met. I don't know what I would do without him. He and Thor are best friends, along with their new brother, a corgi named Ulysses. I love this boy, and, as nutty as he is, I wouldn't change a single thing about him.

Dani
Dallas, TX

My beautiful feral

First my cat Bella passed away in Oct 2014, then in early Dec 2014 my dog Cuddles passed away and I didn't know how I would cope, Bella had been with me for 19 years and Cuddles was with me for 14 years. My other cat Stalker was moping around alongside me. My dad attends a mosque locally, the mosque has a pack of feral cats that they feed and take care of, occasionally they would borrow my cat carrier to transport the cats to the vet when needed. One night in late Dec 2014 dad asked to borrow my carrier, I didn't think anything of it. When he got home he asked me to bring the carrier in, I suggested he leave it in the car for next time and he insisted I bring it in. So I go outside and get the carrier and I'm shocked by the sound it made when I picked it up.... it made a hissing noise, I look inside and lo and behold there's the tiniest kitten I've ever seen in there. I named her Maza which means snuggler even tho she was far from one at that time, she soon became one tho. My little protector, honestly she is not one for snuggles with anyone other than me, if anyone tries to go into my bedroom she'll hiss at them, if they try to pet her, she hisses at them and if anyone comes too close to me when I'm sick, you guessed it, she hisses and strikes at them.

Maza was estimated to be about 4 weeks old when I got her and now almost 18 months later I still miss Bella and Cuddles but she has shown me unconditional love and I love her unconditionally along with my other feral Stalker, I wouldn't give them up for the world.

Sal Dz
Fairfield, Australia

Geocaching Prize

My son and husband were out geocaching and they called me and said they'd found two little black kittens dumped beside the road near a geocache. What could I do? I told them to bring them home. At the time, we already had three cats so I was feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of two more. Still, I spent the time waiting for them to get home setting up an area to isolate them until we could get them to the vet and make sure they were healthy. I also called and made a vet appointment for the next morning.

The babies were, of course, adorable. My husband said they hadn't been there long, there was a box that still had kitten food in it. The kittens had gotten out of the box and were trying to catch butterflies in the thin strip between the road and a drop off to a fast moving river. They wouldn't have lasted long. The vet pronounced them healthy and one of our neighbors, a girl my son's age, fell in love with the female. My son fell in love with the male. I was still intending to adopt out both. We got a call the next morning from the neighbor girl saying her dad had agreed to let her keep the female. I asked my husband if we should let our son keep the male. My husband got a pitiful look on his face and I laughed and said, "Should we let you keep the male?"

Toby loves us all, but he's always really been my husband's cat. We occasionally compare notes with the neighbors and he's almost twice his sister's size although he doesn't have an ounce of fat on him.

Anonymous
Kent, WA

Free-ranging Dog Story

Parking lot of an apartment, near my residence, was a home to old female dog (Lali) with her two newborn- 3 week’s old pups (Pumpkin and Biti). When I found Lali she was extremely frail, undernourished, scared and wildly aggressive in the presence of humans near her marked area;However she appeared to be ebullient to me which made me started seeing her at least twice in a day and feed her.

Within weeks Lali started to follow me and often stop by my house for little attention along with Biti and Pumpkin. One morning when I went to feed my naughty trio I found Biti was missing. I searched for her in entire neighbourhood and found her lying at a nearby footpath with badly mutilated forelimb- which was inflamed and looked more than double its size and her entire flesh from her paw was sticking through the skin with numerous flies housing on it.

Being not sure of how to handle Biti I called my cousin who introduced me to Ms. Neeti Dave; she travels the road to rescue. She came and examined Biti, took her immediately with her.Following day she called me to inform that Biti’s injury is deep down and doctor suggests amputation of affected limb. It was heart-breaking news since Biti was less than 2 months old and I had no idea about what impact would this amputation have on her.Next day I again received a call from Niti. She said, she met one doctor who says we can take a chance and with help of antibiotics, proper care and thorough cleaning and dressing we can observe the recovery for next few days. Neeti was kind enough to keep Biti with her till she is completely fine. Some people dedicate their lives to lending hand to animals unable to help themselves, Niti was one of them.She has a heart for rescuing animals.Thanks to her brave efforts Biti was back to normal.

Hopefully more and more such heart warming stories should make the news.It takes one kind action to inspire many others.

Little Biti underwent a remarkable transformation.

Prital Desai
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

A Cry in the Dark

Coming home from an after dark grocery run, I heard a loud, sharp meow coming from a low, swampy area near the back of our apartment complex. Recognizing it as a kitten cry, I ran inside, dropped my groceries on the floor and grabbed a flashlight and a bag of cat treats. I followed the cries and It took a while, but I finally managed to extract a small, dirty, very hungry kitten from a large bush. And boy did he put up a fight! Then the question of what to do with him. We already had 3 adult cats, and were not looking to add another. I promised my boyfriend he'd just be staying a couple of days, and I'd find a rescue or home for him. During this time, he was kept in the bathroom for fear of making our other cats sick, but we still worked on socialization. He was so dirty, he didn't even fight the bath, which revealed he was not fully black, but had a gray undercoat. Even though he was obviously feral I still let the offices of the apartment buildings around us and animal control know we had found him, just in case. I went back out a few times to check for more kittens, but never found anymore. After a week of not being able to place him, my boyfriend asked if I wanted to keep him. I was shocked, but we talked it out and decided we couldn't let him go. A vet check-up determined he was 6-8 weeks old, 1.9 lbs,and best of all FIV and FLV negative. We've begun the process of integrating him with our adult cats, which has been instant acceptance by one, indifference by another, and dislike by the youngest. We supervise pretty closely and separate him when we're not home/asleep, but he should be big enough soon to have full run. We've named him Beerus, after a cat animated character. It seems like he's always been here.

Anonymous
Broward County, FL

The Boys

My husband said we’d never have another dog after we lost Chloe, our beloved 16 year-old Shih-Tzu. I have a heart for rescuing dogs, but I didn’t want to rush him. Sure enough, about nine months later he began to look at dogs on the internet, checking shelters for Shih-Tzu’s. Then a friend of my mother’s sent me a news video clip on Facebook featuring two Shih-Tzu brothers who needed to be adopted after their owner had passed away. (Our local news station does a “Pet of the Week” story to help get animals adopted.) They were three years-old and the shelter wanted them to be adopted together, since they’d never been apart. My husband was a student studying at home then, and I sent him the video clip to see if he might be interested. Within the hour he was at the shelter to meet the boys. Then he called to say I had to come meet them since he couldn’t take them home until I did. Since the shelter would be closed the next two days, I had to come right then because “we don’t want them to have to stay here two more days!!!” So I left work to meet the boys, who became Bailey and Hutch. We were surprised at how calm they were at first, since Chloe had been fairly energetic and playful. But then, one week later, my husband heard some noises downstairs and went out to look down into the living room . . . our two boys were running and chasing each other and rough housing all over the place, obviously having a great time. He video’d them for several minutes and we realized that they’d just been in shock at how their lives had changed and that’s why they had been so subdued. They’d figured out they were in a good place, and could enjoy themselves again. They are five now and we sure love them, and appreciate the joy they’ve brought into our lives.

Anonymous
Junction City, OR
Heart of Paws Baseball Tee
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