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Copper

This is my teenager, Copper. He's a terror and a lover. I rescued him last summer -- in June 2016. He was only about 6-months old. He came to my front steps one evening where I feed stray and feral kitties. He was ravenous for food. Poor baby. I started talking to him and found out that he was super friendly, slightly matted, and not neutered. That first night, I got Front Line flea treatment on him. He wanted a home so badly. He stayed right near the front of my house for a very long time, just crying. It about killed me, because my bedroom is right above where he was. Thank goodness, he came back the next night, and I took him in. My first thought was to get him to the shelter for adoption. I knew he would get adopted right away, after neutering, because he is so handsome and so friendly. However, I have a love for the orange kitties, as a few years ago I lost my one-and-only orange tiger kitty, Nike, to lymphoma at only 8-years old. So, instead of the shelter, I kept Copper, and he became a member of my family. He and my dog, Piper, play constantly. They are so much fun to watch. I still have a hard time believing that some cruel person turned my Copper out on the streets to try to survive.

Cheri
Albany, NY

Muffy & Jake

Here's Muffy (on the left) and Jake. I took them to my home when their owner, Tony, my friend and neighbor who is 99-years young, had to go into a nursing home. Tony rescued both kitties right off the street. They started out as feral kitties. They were trap, neutered, and returned by a rescuer to the street, because each of their left ears were tipped. They are total "love bugs" now. I'm SO glad that I was able to rescue them again and add them to my family of several street-rescued kitties and my one rescued dog.

Cheri Doolittle
Albany, NY

Senior Pom to the Rescue

My friend works for a shelter and we got to discussing pets. I was telling her that the recent loss of my cat of 17 years had left a huge hole in my heart and that I may never be ready for another cat. He was my "one". I'm a cat person but have always had a soft spot for Pomeranians. We discussed how poms so rarely come to the shelter, and eventually said our goodbyes. The very next day I got a text with a picture of a n 8 year old Pom who's elderly human had just passed away. He had been released by the family and now sat in my friend's shelter, terrified. I agonized over whether I needed another dog (I already had one rescue), over whether they'd get along and of how scared and confused he must be. I told myself that he was so precious, there was no way that he wouldn't be snatched up quickly. I told my friend that if he wasn't adopted by my birthday just a week and a half away, that he was coming home with me.

Maybe it was because the shelter had 2 litters of puppies available. Maybe it was the fact that he was classified as a "senior" and no one wanted to take the risk. But whatever it was, I call it fate because on my birthday, I packed up my family, including Lolo my rescue min-pin chihuahua and drove 2 hours to the shelter to meet him.

It's now been a month and Robicheaux has settled in nicely. He sleeps next to my head, follows me like a shadow and loves to chase and catch cat toys. We go for walks, watch t.v. and spend hours just hanging out. He's no longer lonely or afraid and knows that he's found his forever home. He and Lolo rule the roost and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Joyce Bonvillain
Billings, MT

Sam or Sammy?

He started life in the crawlspace of our office building. That building just seemed to attract strays, but there was an extra "something" about this little guy. He became special to us. A coworker named him Sam, took him home and began the process of finding Sam's forever home. After a month, the right place hadn't been found.

I was grieving after having to put my sweet Oliver to rest and had sworn no more cats. I still had my first rescue, Cotton, and was determined she would now be an "only child". I am convinced my coworker was just holding onto Sam and waiting me out until I was ready. And it worked; I took Sam home just two weeks after my loss. He was about a year old at the time.

Within just a couple of weeks he had taken over me and my home. He was constantly at my feet, followed me everything and refused to let Cotton anywhere near me. He wasn't content to sleep on my bed, he had to be wrapped around my shoulder with his head on my pillow. I learned the hard way that moving while Sam was asleep would bring out the fighter in him. His first year spent in the crawlspace battleground had provided excellent survival training. Everyone told me " get rid of that cat" when they saw my war wounds, but his otherwise sweet, loving disposition just wouldn't let me give up on him.

The fighter settled down eventually and the clinging vine emerged. There was no greater feeling than stretching back in my recliner for a nap and having Sammy immediately jump on for the ride, stretching out a paw to gently touch my face, then falling asleep on my chest.

After I'd had this beautiful boy for just over two years, the vet diagnosed him with both FIV and feline leukemia. I cried all the way on the 30 mile trip home. I'd had him and loved him for three years when the demons finally won.

And I'd do it all again for his love.

Debbie K
Malden, MO

My Puppy Cat

We rescued Allie Cat when she was about 6 months old and had been left behind when her owners moved. The new residents of the trailer did not want her and there was a very cold storm moving in. We already had six cats and the last thing we needed was another cat but there was something about her and I could not help but bring her home. My husband agreed and we brought her home to a 6 cat household and she took over without having to fire a shot. I guess since she had pretty much had to fend for herself, she had no fear of my pampered house cats.

I have had many fur babies in my 60 plus years, but Allie was the most unusual, endearing and charming feline I have ever been honored to have in my life. She retrieved better than any dog I ever owned, played volleyball, gave "cat scans" and never met a stranger, hence her nickname Puppy Cat. Sadly after 14 wonderful years we had to ease her over the rainbow bridge 3 weeks ago. She took a huge chunk of our hearts when she left and I am not sure if I will ever stop missing her. No more will I see her asking to be lifted up into the linen cabinet or watch her clamber in the laundry basket and snuggle into the warm clean clothes. No more will I see her perched upon the floor vents when the heat comes on. No more will I have her sit next to me when I eat lightly scratching my arm to get me to share, especially spaghetti. No more will she join me in bed and lean against my ankles or my back to take a bath and then sleep.

I hope our precious Allie knew how much we loved and cherished her. Luckily we have one last cat, Artie to help fill the void. A new kitten would help heal us but I don't think that is in the cards for us at this point.

Anonymous
Tucson, AZ

Chula

In 2009, we saw a photo on a rescue site of a white border collie who looked amazingly like the first dog we ever had. We learned that she was deaf, had been in several homes, and was due to be put down soon. We agreed to foster her. We soon found that she had multiple challenges in addition to being deaf. She had a history of aggression toward other animals, near-constant "fly-snapping" behavior, and severe anxiety, which manifested itself in pacing, repetitive pouncing, and yelping. Seven + years later, Chula is a beloved member of our family. Through the help of a gifted behavioral trainer and our vet, Chula has come a long way. She still requires much more care than the average dog, but she is happy and secure. Exercise has been the best therapy for her. She loves to go on hiking trips with us and to run alongside my husband as he rides his bike; he can hardly keep up with her! If you have the time and heart, consider adopting a special-needs dog. There are many languishing in shelters, waiting for a loving home.

Pam
Louisville, KY

Rescue dog Sheba

An amazing dog who has captured many hearts is enjoying a happy new life. German shepherd Sheba is settling into her new home after undergoing surgery to straighten her wonky front legs.Surrounded by love and cuddles from her new family, Toni and Paul Viner, she is well on the road to recovery. "We've only had her a short time, but it's like we've had her forever," said Paul. "She's very loving, very kind and very gentle. She's very appreciative of the life she has got and very forgiving for the life she has had."She just likes your company, a stroke and a little chat."

It is through the care, kindness and generosity of a whole group of people that the life of a dog, with no hope for a future, has been turned around.

The bow-legged German shepherd was brought to this country from Bulgaria earlier this year for life-changing treatment to straighten her legs after being spotted on the internet. Once in the UK, Sheba was cared for at Mutts in Distress. Sheba has had two operations, one on her right front leg in February and another on her left front leg in May. She is now nearing the end of six weeks of rest that is enabling her to heal.Toni and Paul's previous dog – Shane, a Belgian shepherd – died in March. Shane was only about ten months old when he was dumped in a ditch near Hatfield Broad Oak. The Uttlesford dog warden picked him up and he was placed in the care of Mutts for two years.In February, the day after Shane qualified as a Pets as Therapy dog, he was taken ill with a problem with the vertebrae in his neck. Tragically surgery could not save him."He was a beautiful dog, part of the family. Wherever we went, he went," said Paul.The couple were devastated. They had followed Sheba's story generally about her. "She's helped us with the healing process of Shane. She will never replace Shane and we will never compare her to Shane. We are helping each other in a big way."

Paul
OLD HARLOW, United Kingdom

I Almost Didn't Take Him

I bought a new boarding facility and decided to get a yellow tabby and a Siamese as barn cats. We also ended up with a grey and white tabby that I reluctantly let join my group. The Siamese quickly disappeared (probably “liberated” by a boarder), but Carmello (yellow tabby) and Pasqual did a great job keeping the barn rodent-free.

Later, I sold that facility and purchased a private ranch. Carmello and Pasqual moved into the house because there was no barn. They stayed there safely until the day someone left the door open. We lost Carmello to a dog pack, but Pasqual had miraculously stayed inside.

Over the 14 years I’ve had him, Pasqual has become my number one companion. He sleeps with me, sits at my feet when I’m on the computer, follows me as I do laundry, and even watches me from under the table when I’m cooking. If I’m watching TV, he likes to sprawl on the couch behind my head.

Last month, he suddenly went from his former 20+ pounds to just 7 pounds due to diabetes. The veterinarian was afraid he would not recover, but we wanted to give him every chance. Now he gets two insulin shots a day, and is finally starting to gain back some of his weight.

I know it’s not possible, but I really do wish he could live forever. He’s my “heart-cat.” It’s scary to realize I almost didn’t adopt him as a kitten.

Whendie Johnston
Stanfield, AZ

I'm the Rescue

I was diagnosed with Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder when I was 15 and after a string of doctors, random hospitalizations, bad medication mixes and heartbreaking suicide attempts I made the choice at 19 to learn how to handle it without medication. I know that it frightened my family badly and still occasionally does, but I wasn't prepared to back down.

When I got my first apartment, I did my best with alarms and reminders, but there were a lot of times that it was just too hard to keep moving forward. Then a neighbor brought me Chicken Little (the yellow tabby) and Dangermouse (the gray tuxedo.) They were tiny and helpless and still in the process of being weaned and their mother was dead, so I took them in and they changed my whole life.

They aren't registered or trained companion animals, but they take care of me as much as I take care of them. When I'm losing it to depression, they cuddle up to me and make sure I know that I have all their love and when I'm manic and can't sleep, they slow me down through sheer cat laziness. They make sure that I sleep with complaints and purring, remind me that we need to eat (or I should at least feed them) when I can't even remember that food exists. Most importantly, they keep me moving forward, not only because I have to work enough to give them food and shelter, but because everything is less overwhelming, less painful and less dragging when I know that they are at home waiting for me and that all they really want from me is my love (and a full food bowl.)

I've been laughed at for saying it this way, but they saved my life ten years ago and they save it every day now. I couldn't ask for better caregivers.

Marikalay
Fort Worth, TX

Pesto my Girleee Girl

Pesto and her brother Ruby were rescued in 1998. They were so young and small - literally they both sat on top of a paint can...holding on to each other, scared of their new environment. These two were inseparable. We moved several times in their younger years and they handled it like champs. Once settled into a new home, they chased each other around the house, talked to the birds and played for hours on end. Ruby passed in 2008 from cancer and Pesto was lost. She became very lonely. We adopted two boys (Caesar and Fenwick) to help her with being lonely, but she never took to them. You could say she tolerated them and ensured they kept their distance. She became my lap kitty as I drank my morning coffee and my snuggle girl at night. Yesterday we helped her over the rainbow bridge, as she Was turning 19. She is truly missed as my heart didn't want her to go. She is now with her brother Ruby running and playing again. So, this is my first coffee morning without my Little Pesto girleee girl. I loved you with all my heart. I miss you.

Colleen
Nokesville, VA
Glass Bird Bath Collection
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