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We had recently lost our three Golden Retrievers to old age, and I found Thatcher on Petfinders. He was currently living at the MSPCA in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard after being sent to 2 different shelters, and having been "returned" twice for being too "exuberant". At the time he was 14 months old. I told them if they had a 14 month old male Lab/German Shorthair that was caged, he probably just needed to RUN!! They said he had no training, except for housebroken. We went to see him, he was underweight, and had ENERGY. We fell in love with him and ferried him across the ocean to our home in Cape Cod, MA. He rode the whole way with a smile on his face, feeling the ocean breeze in his face. In one week, he was hand signal trained, I swear he understands human conversation. He is absolutely the BEST most obedient dog I have EVER had. A few months later we also adopted a female Jack Russell, and she is the "boss". They are best of friends. Only problem we ever had was the second day we had him, we put him out in our luxurious kennel with doghouse, lean to, and carpeted platform when we left for work....and he CRIED and cried until I finally left him inside. I think he was afraid we had come to get him, he was happy and then we were taking him back to that "awful" place. He looks at us with love in his face and never stops smiling. He now loves to go out in the kennel because he knows we always come back to him. Please please consider adopting an older shelter dog...they will give back love tenfold!!!

Sherri Andrews, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Sherri Andrews
East Falmouth, MA

Gators New Beginning

This past Sunday while I was walking my dog a black longhaired cat strolled up to us. He made it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with the dog, but would not leave me alone. I took him into the emergency vet and he was sent to the shelter for a holding period.

I made some phone calls and found Gator a foster home until he's ready for adoption! Why name the cat Gator? Good question, Gator was shot by a BB gun, the BB was embedded in his skin and caused little damage. It is also suggested that he may have fallen off of one of the balconies of the many apartment complexes surrounding the University of Florida (Mascott: Florida Gator). I am amazed at his ability to so quickly forgive people and in the few hours I've met him over the past week he is one of the friendliest cats I have ever met!

Gainesville, FL


I had to put my dog of 11 years down the week before my birthday and it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. My husband thought visiting the shelter dogs would be good "therapy" for me. We both fell in love with Miller - 7 weeks old & 10lbs of fluff. He got his name from the shelter because he was drunk when they got him (at 3 weeks old); he smelled like a brewery and they were concerned he wouldn't make it. Well, he made it, is now 4 years old, a healthy 80lbs and, as you can see, very handsome. He's a wonderful dog and I highly recommend adopting from your local shelter.

Lori S
St. Augustine, FL


The story starts with Angel an older, yellow lab. She was a cast off from a puppy mill, but everyone who saw her loved her. She spent way too long at Midland Animal Control and was often passed up for adoption. She was given the dreaded "48-hour notice", which is the time an animal has before being put down. The HS of Midland County volunteers couldn't stand the thought of her being destroyed-she was placed in foster care. Some had noticed she was getting bigger. Weeks later, Angel had puppies-lots. They were all black, a few died and many had birth defects because of Angel's age. Dexter was the runt, & the calmest of the three pups that were left when Sommer family went to look for a new family member, seeking a puppy to join their family of 4 young sons, one who has special needs. Dexter's disposition seemed perfect for the boys! It didn't take long to realize that Dexter had vision problems. A trip to vet revealed that Dexter had cataracts & retinal issues. Surgery could not repair the damage, Dexter was blind. After discussions with the boys, it was decided that Dexter was still the perfect dog despite his limitations. As he's grown, he's learned to maneuver in a house w/ lots of stairs, and like any dog, he stands at the door to greet visitors. He can fetch tennis balls scented & enjoys playing tug of war. Dexter can catch treats off of the end of his nose. Dexter loves walks, hugs & lounging with the boys. He adores the boys and they love him. He's a happy go lucky dog with some wonderful fans -- six of them. Amazingly, Dexter handles all of the spontaneity of a house full of boys without a problem.

Midland, MI

Our Shelter Angel

Meet Sasha. She is an American Bulldog mix. I found her on PetFinder. She had been in a shelter for 8 months after being found as a stray. Several people told me to expect many behavioral problems because of the lenghtly stay at the shelter. From the second she came home, she has been an exceptional dog. I had raised puppies before and was very happy to have an adult, socialized (to other dogs and people), housebroken, crate trained and less hyper dog. She is the perfect example of why people should consider a shelter dog. She has so much love to give and we can't imagine life without her. Here she is on the day we brought her home. As you can see, it didn't take her long to make herself to home.

Cobleskill, NY

Our Girl Gypsy

Gypsy came to us quite accidentally. We were not looking to add a dog to our house. My husbands cousin came by one day and said that she knew of an older boxer girl that needed a home. We decided to go meet her. When we saw her and heard her story we knew we couldn't leave without her, so she came home to occupy our couch and our hearts. She was 8 years old at the time and had been used as a puppy mill. Her previous owners had been jailed and she was living with a vet tech. Gypsy came right up to me when we met but her eyes were on my husband. From the moment she walked over to him and gently kissed him, he was hopelessly in love! She filled our hearts and home with quiet love. Sadly, we were only blessed with her for a little over two years. She crossed the bridge this past August due to cancer. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't mourn the loss of her sweet soul.

Mary Halberstadt
Racine, WI

My little gift from heaven

My son and I were visiting my parents and from outside we heard this desperate deep bellowing meow. We walked around the neighborhood and to our surprise; up in a tree we saw a skeleton thin,coco/tan kitten no more than 7 wks. old, hanging onto a pencil thin tree limb. I climbed the fence under the tree and as I struggled to reach her she jumped to me and clung to my hoodie. I cradled her shaking abused body as we walked back to get her some food and water. Extremely dehydrated she only wanted water and growled/choked as she drank it. After a few minutes she started to play with my son, chasing him around. As we started to leave she followed us attempting to jump in the car with us; it was obvious she wanted to stay with us. Reese is now a healthy 2 yr old that loves to play with her older brother Neko (also a rescued cat). She is extremely frightful and shy but also very affectionate. Our family wouldn't be the same without my baby girl.

dori h.
Indianapolis, IN

Meet Rupert & Jr

Rupert and Jr were rescued from a "cat lady" in town. I fell in love with Rupert (black & white) and my husband wanted Jr (female and looks like her father whom we call Bull Dog). There were so many kittens running around the lady's house but these were the only two with no tails. Both came to live with us when they were 6 weeks old. That was 3 years ago. They have since grown into beautiful adult cats.

Ann B
Lucedale, MS

My Baby Turbo

Turbo was rescued from his mother at age 4 weeks. He was given to me as a Birthday gift from my sister. He was VERY little and looked like a bat. He is now 22 lbs and the apple of his daddy's eye. He loves to be rocked in his daddy's lap. He also does not know he is a cat. We have called him Baby most of his life.

Ann B
Lucedale, MS

Meet Bosco

Miss Bosco is a Pixie Bob. She was rescued from a litter that was freezing and starving. She is now 7 years old and quite the queen of the household.

Ann B
Lucedale, MS
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