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Hark The Angel Harold Sang!

Feline companionship has been a consistent thread in the tapestry of my life. Through the years, many cats have stood by my side, though none quite so tall as the vagabond Harold.

In 1969, I was a young working wife. We had just moved into our first home and were temporarily catless. On a weekly visit to the in-laws, I spotted a scruffy interloper canvassing their yard. Tawny yellow, with a thick tangled mane, he resembled a lion stalking its prey.

After my father-in-law issued a threat to drive the little guy across town and dump him like he had their family cat, I decided this hobo was going home with me. It didn’t take long to notice Harold was unlike any other cat I’d ever known. Very territorial and not fond of other animals, he spent most of his waking hours keeping them out of our yard.

Harold preferred outdoors, coming in only to eat and occasionally sleep. My husband traveled, leaving me alone for days on end. Late one night I was awakened by Harold standing in the middle of my chest, howling at the top of his lungs. This was bad news. I was alone, and I knew Harold had been outside when I went to bed.

Jumping out of bed, I ran to the living room where the door stood ajar, the frame ripped from the wall, but the door chain still attached. It was obvious the break-in had been aborted. I flipped on the porch light and noticed several drops of blood leading off the porch. There was no doubt in my mind what had happened. I considered what could have happened. Thanks to Harold, I’ll never know. I believe angels come in many forms. Mine just happened to have four legs and a tail.

Sandra Ostrander
Eureka Springs, AR

Look beyond "special-needs" to find love in a four-legged friend

Blackie came into my life when I started volunteering in October, 2007, at a no-kill shelter in Louisiana. He was blind, with infected eyes, and a sad little dog. He wasn’t the prettiest dog and his temperament was questionable, but for me, none of that mattered. He needed my help. It was estimated that he was about 10 years old at the time. I cared for him… carrying him to the yards to walk around, so he wouldn’t have to go through the line-up of other dogs barking. He was very aloof and didn’t pay any mind to humans or other dogs. In November of 2007, I decided to take Blackie home. Over time and lots of patience, Blackie learned to trust humans and learned what it was like to be a dog. He was the light of my life and my best buddy. He followed me everywhere and laid on my lap in the evenings while I watched TV. In July, 2009, Blackie’s health started to deteriorate. The vet could not find the problem at the time, but ended up finding a large tumor in his abdomen. His kidneys and liver were already failing and he couldn’t hold anything down. After the diagnosis and grim prognosis, I took him home for his final weekend. We laid on the grass in the bright sunshine and I fed him ice cream from a spoon. He lifted his head just long enough to get his bite and laid back down. On August 24th, 2009, I stayed with Blackie while they gently put him to sleep. Before they gave the final injection, Blackie kissed my face as if to tell me it was ok, gently kissing my tears away. He changed my life and I will never forget him.

Ninna Lopez
Shreveport, LA

New Nodaway needs your help!

This precious soul is my beloved Arnold, who came to our forever home (currently comprised of eight ~ five canine, three feline ~ with the passing of our beloved Boyi to the ravages of cancer and chemo this past October) in the spring of 2008 from New Nodaway Humane Society's shelter in Maryville, Missouri - a irreplaceable, compassionate organization desperately clinging to their "no-kill" commitment, by the thinnest of financial threads...

For four unbelievable months, this beautiful boy languished in shelter until I received word of his plight.

Today - an incredibly gentle, unbelievably intuitive companion - he is the most loving of brothers to his seven siblings (rescues, all), and a constant reminder of the need to place thousands like him in the loving forever home that each deserves.

Like so many who've pledged to "no-kill" status, New Nodaway faces continual financial hardships that threaten their collective commitment to remain exclusively "no-kill".

Please help this marvelous shelter to continue their critical "NO-KILL" mission through your votes, your donations, and your adoptions!

Stephen Lee Phillips
Two Harbors, MN

The Greatest Dog

Casey was a great dog! In 1996, she was rescued by fireman from a burning building her Mom was never located. From the beginning, Casey was a very confident dog! She was loyal, loving, brave, and obedient. Casey was the leader of the pack and passed down her thoughts on how dogs and people should interact. Because of her, my other rescues do not get in the trash, do not chew up furniture, shoes and any other object that is available. My dogs have a toy chest were they can search and find their favorite toys. I haven't figured out how to make them put them back! Casey loved to hike and camp! We had many adventures in the mountains of California. She loved to travel! We discovered she had cancer of the spleen right before Thanksgiving. We were told she had 2 to 4 weeks to live. So, we decided to visit her favorite places one last time. We went camping at Pismo beach and she acted like a puppy running and fetching and just smelling the smells of the beach. Her last night on earth she gave a great gift by being full of energy and playing with the other dogs and fetching. It reminded me of her younger days! She passed quietly at home on December 8th. She will be sorely missed. This picture is of Casey at Tenya Lake. The lake is covered in ice but Casey went swimming anyway! What a dog!

Squaw Valley, CA

Crazy JJ

We were looking for a new playmate for our 2 hounds. We thought we wanted a female puggle. Then the rescue sent us a picture of JJ, a bassett/beagle (and we think cattle dog) mix who'd been found on the streets of KY and scheduled to be put down at a shelter there before the IL rescue took him in. He's a total character who loves watching videos of cats on youtube and is constantly finding something to pounce on. This is just one of his playful poses. We couldn't imagine a world without him.

Keeneyville, IL

The Girls

Lulu (on the right) was dropped off at an area shelter with part of her eye missing. Her Petfinder photo showed matted hair with a recently sewn shut eye. My husband and I doubted that anyone would adopt her so we went and picked her up. After a visit to the groomer and lots of love and food, she is the most beautiful and loving cat. In fact we love her so much that when another cat showed up at the same shelter with an almost identical story we had to adopt her too. Grace (grey and white) came home the day before Thanksgiving and as you can see she fit right in with Lulu and the boss lady, Abby. All three are rescues and have brought so much into our lives. I feel so lucky to have found them.

Sara Bostwick
Burlington, VT

Hylo's story

Born with a birth defect, Hylo was rescued from a shelter and found a forever home with me. His front legs did not straighten at birth, so he is high in the back and low in the front, hence the name HYLO. He is a very playful little guy and has no idea he is challenged. He loves to run and play with the other dogs. Likes to dance on his hind legs, and is the best "backer-upper" I have ever seen. He likes to hop backwards. He looks a lot like a bunny when he is running and playing, so we call him my "bunny dog". Hylo brings a lot of joy and laughter to our house.

La Verne, CA

Meet Our Darling Jenny

We lost our precious furry child "JD" in April of 2010. We were devastated and so very lonesome. In May I was searching one of the animal rescue websites and we found Jenny. We loved her the minute we met her. She has been in and out of shelters all of her short five years. She must have had a tough time, as it has taken her awhile to trust us and realize that she has found her forever home. She is feeling more comfortable every day and is keeping us entertained with all of her crazy antics. We owe her so much for making a difficult time bearable. She is an absolute doll and we love her very much.

Johnna Waller
Atlanta, GA

Garfield just needed to be loved...

This past Summer, I was leaving my house and a cat was standing on the sidewalk looking at me. I called to him and he came right over and let me pet him. He was covered in scabs - from head to tail. I knew that because of his loving nature, he must have been an indoor cat that someone booted. I fed him and kept my eye on him that day. The next day, I saw that my neighbor was also feeding him and calling him "Garfield." He explained to me that another neighbor had the cat for 6 years and from one day to the next, put the 6 year old indoor only kitty outside to fend for himself with no food and no water.

Poor Garfield was so loving and so sweet. I could not stand the sight of him being outside and being beat up by other kitties so I brought him inside until I could find him a home (I have 5 cats of my own and my alpha male was not happy to have another male in the house).

I had him neutered, tested for FIV/Leukemia and vaccinated. After being inside for a few weeks, his scabs healed, he gained some weight and he looked a lot healthier. He was the sweetest kitty. He just wanted to be loved.

I shared his information on several Facebook pages and an absolutely WONDERFUL family came forward to adopt little Garfield.

He is now a happy indoor kitty that is loved to the max by his new family. He even has a brother named Leo that he adores.

Sometimes, animals in need find us and we cannot ignore their plight.

Will you not adopt love today?

Rochester, NY

Meet Fancy

A co-worker of my daughter's found Fancy in her yard, where she had been dropped off one cold night. She was about 2 months old. The co-worker, brought Fancy to us the following evening, knowing most of our pets have been rescues. Fancy has been with us for over 10 years now and is a delight! She shares our house with a beautiful long haired Balinese, named Bubba, who loves her like they are litter mates. Our lives are richer because of her antics and unconditional love.

Sherry Menning
Sedalia, MO
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