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We had lost our two labs in back to back years, leaving Missy our eight year old dachshund all alone. I began looking on for a companion for Missy. It would not be easy because Missy was our alpha, but I just knew she would be happy with a new brother or sister. I found Dudley and started the adoption process. His history was that he had been given up by an owner no longer able to care for him. Dudley was six years old when he came to us and about ten pounds at the time. He was so sweet and did not mind that Missy was the alpha. He did have some health issues, had to have some teeth pulled and later required surgery for a herniated disc. He also takes daily drops that have helped to clear up pigmentation in his eyes. He has been a part of our family for over three years. He now weighs about fourteen pounds. He is such a sweet boy. I can not imagine our home without him. I urge anyone looking for that special pet to consider adoption!

Atlanta, GA

Boo Bear, Miracle Kitty

Taboo, as he was originally named, was found in a cardboard box in the pouring rain outside a Best Buy store in Ithaca, NY in April 2009. His squeaks and mews saved him, but not his two litter mates who shared the box. Tompkins County SPCA nursed him back to health, and he was put up for adoption. My husband found him at our vet's office, which is an "annex" for adoptees. He ran home and told me "I adopted a kitten, he's black, and so cute." I thought, "Oh great, another cat" (we had 7 at the time).

So, this little ball of black fur joined our family, He weighed not three pounds when we got him, but he became the personality of the menagerie. We started calling him Boo the Barbarian because even though he was the smallest, he could take care of himself around the adult cats. He eventually insinuated himself into my heart and now he is my baby. His mew never became a meow, but he makes his needs known. Boo is now a year and four months old, leggy and still kittenish, and he's our boy.

Lansing, NY

Meet the Kids!

We wanted ONE kitten to play with our other cat, Slick. Our local shelter had 2 left from a litter. How cute the others must have been! We could not leave one sibling behind, thus we now have both. Spencer and Katherine (named after the movie stars). They are attached to each other but will take time out to snuggle and play with our 10 year old Great Dane. Quite a site! Thanks to all the great shelters out there doing a great job.

Jim Watson
Owls Head, ME

How could anyone abandon this sweet girl?

Mookie, a beautiful Pit Bull-Boxer mix, was abandoned at the university where I work. No one else in our office could take her (we're all animal lovers), so I decided to give her a home. Mook seemed calm and gentle, and I was attracted to her quiet sweetness and her beauty. I took her to the vet, who pronounced her sound, though a little road-weary, and said that she was about seven months old. When we got home, she was calm for about 10 minutes -- and then, when she realized that I already loved her and that she was really home, she went totally ballistic. She was a complete lunatic, running around the house at top speed and landing on my bed at about 90 miles an hour. This puppy phase lasted quite a while -- but now, five years (and a lot of Cesar Millan DVDs) later, she is generally a very good girl. She explores the yard and sleeps in "her" chair, enjoys hanging out with her Cockapoo "brother," Tucker (another rescue), and comes to me three or four times a day for a head rub, a tummy pat, a butt scratch or two and a hug. She sleeps under the covers on my bed, sometimes waking me up by licking my cheek with her sandpapery tongue. I think she was ill-treated by the morons who dumped her, and she's still afraid of cardboard boxes, baby gates, balloons, and anything she hasn't seen before. But her fears ease a little more every day she's with me. She's funny, smart, and a wonderful, loving companion, and she has gradually become the very good dog that was always living inside that crazy girl I brought home. She's my beautiful puppy girl, and I couldn't possibly love her more.

Terry Rayburn Mitchell
Spokane, WA

From a "critter" to Beau the Beautiful

I first saw Beau, f/k/a Critter, on a pet finder site, near the end of 2009. They said the Catahoula pup was found at about 6 weeks almost starved to death and they didn't think he would make it through the first night, but he did. Because of flooding to the area where the shelter was in Alabama, we were not able to meet him and then things became hectic and time got away. Then in March I emailed the director to see if he was still available and he was! The tiny, emaciated wide-eyed puppy in the blurry photo I first saw had grown into a 45 pound beautiful beast of 8 months old. Beau turned one year old in July 2010 and is now close to 60 pounds and is a magnificant beast! He is smart and very obedient, and very loving to every dog and person he meets, and seems especially taken with babies and small children. I plan for him to be a reading dog with children.

Suzanne Ens
Pensacola, FL

Beautiful Francesca

My Francesca was a hurricane Katrina rescue. She is now almost five years old. She was found as just a little baby all alone under a shed crying. She was coaxed out to the smell of cooking hot dogs. I had to take her in immediately. She was such a tiny little furball with matted hair, but her vet said she was going to be just fine. She was in good health and has always been a loving playful cat. She is still a furball with hair like a Persian, but I will never know her true breed. I think she sometimes thinks she is a dog because she loves to chew on things and play fetch with water bottle lids. She even has a bark like noise that she makes when she wants my attention. She has been great fun to have around and I am very thankful to have her in my home.

King of Prussia, PA

Two different personalities = more fun!

The pet store near my new apartment advertised that it helped the Homeless Cat Rescue organization and one day I went in and I fell for a 4 month old gray/white kit called Bianca. She had been born feral, runt of litter and very skittish; so much so they didn’t want to adopt her out alone. I had been nervous about getting two, but eventually gave in and Bianca and Roxy, a 5 month old grey tabby who’d watched out for Bianca, came home with me. It took almost 3 weeks before Bianca came out of hiding and trusted me, during which time Roxy and I bonded. Bianca is still tiny (2/3s Roxy’s size) and sometimes nervous, but she is my talkative little cuddle monster now. Roxy doesn’t talk unless she is REALLY excited and she is addicted to chasing laser dots. She's a smart one too: she’ll bump me, then the table where the pointer is and that’s her ‘Mom, I want to play now’ message. Bianca prefers chasing balls up and down the hall, and they both like a good cuddle-up. They seem, like me, to enjoy science-fiction because when the TV shows Stargate: Atlantis or Supernatural come on they actually stop, sit and watch. Only those shows though.

I still stop by the store to help out with the new rescue cats, and the folks there ask after them, by name, and want to see pictures. I love that they are adopting out rescue cats and not selling kitty-mill cats.

I am also happy I gave in and got them both; they have quite different personalities – which is what a family is all about - and they have really made my life complete.

Toronto, ON, Canada

Chico's Story

Chico is a Greenwing Macaw that was recently rescued from the New Orleans area. A man had Chico in a small cage made for a cockatiel- Chico is almost 3 feet long! Chico couldn't even turn around in his cage to groom his feathers, let alone get any exercise. When Chico was loud his owner would spray him full force with a garden hose, knocking him off his perch. A non-bird person witnessed this and knew this wasn't right & decided to help Chico. Word was spread to find him a home and I agreed to give Chico his forever home. He climbed out of his carrier and onto my arm upon arriving at my house and said 'Uh Huh', and we've been bonding ever since. He is truly the sweetest Macaw I have ever seen. Now Chico gets plenty of exercise, fresh food and veggies and LOTS of love and I get lots of birdie kisses and cuddles. I've taken in many unwanted birds and Chico is very special.

Holly F.
Rosharon, TX


This past February, we lost our beloved 8 year old Golden Retriever to kidney failure. We were devastated and heartbroken. Our home seemed empty, lacking the wonderful energy that only a dog can bring. I found myself lurking on wondering if somewhere, just somewhere, there was a dog out there looking for me! Then my friend who volunteers at a rescue organization contacted me to tell me about Cheyenne, a golden mix who was being rescued from a high kill shelter in Tennessee. She fostered her and a week later we met her and brought her home.

The amazing part of this whole experience has been the adjustment process. There is something very special about adopting a rescue dog -- something that I never knew, having always purchased purebred puppies from reputable breeders. My family and Cheyenne have gone through the process of learning to love and trust each other. When I look at pictures of Cheyenne when we first adopted her in April, and pictures of her now, I see two very different dogs. She no longer looks stressed, or on guard, but looks totally relaxed. The worry is gone. Cheyenne has found her forever home, with people who love her and respect her. When we first adopted Cheyenne, and I looked into her eyes, I saw beautiful brown eyes. Now, when I look into Cheyenne's eyes, not only do I see those beautiful brown eyes, but she allows me to see into her soul! She trusts me enough to do so, and that has been the greatest gift. We are so very grateful to my friend and the rescue organization for leading us to a beautiful creature who has mended our broken hearts, and has allowed us to mend hers. We are ALL very blessed.

Valley Cottage, NY

Our kitty Feline

Our kitty Felly (aka Feline) joined us at the age of 2 months. Her belly was almost furrless and filled with fleas. She was quite skinny. We adopted her from a "flat cat breeder". One month later when back to the vet, the latte barely recognised her so beautifully she has changed. She's now 13, taught us the true meaning of unconditional love and fills our lives with love, joy and great events although she remained a "pirate kitty".

Sonja Bonfils
Colombes, France
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