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My pal Sparky

I found Sparky (actually I think he found me) at a no-kill shelter on Long Island, NY almost 13 years ago. I had had to say goodbye to my previous friend sometime before and went to the shelter just to look around. There were many other dogs barking and yelping for attention but this good looking Border Collie/Husky mix was just sitting patiently in his cage. I stopped and 'asked' him how he was doing. He looked up and came over to the cage door. I put the back of my hand out so he could sniff it to check me out. Apparently I met muster because he stuck his face through the cage and licked my hand and I knew he was going home with me. He was a confidant, a companion and great listener and my pal since then. I had to say goodbye to him a week ago (12/12/10) and it's tough dealing. But I have many pictures of him and many great memories of my buddy. I'm not ready to go looking yet, it will be awhile, but I know when I do I'll look for another shelter dog.

Woody Kaplan
Randolph, VT


We are the proud owners of two shelter rescues... Our 3 year old Lab Mix Kida is the Big Sister and Mama Dog to 8 month old Zeus. Kida first came to us from a life of abuse and abandonment... she was afraid of men in particular. Now she never leaves my side when I am bedridden, sleeping at the bottom end of my hospital bed, growling when anyone she doesn't know gets close. Zeus was abandoned, but we got him almost immediately, so he has a zest for living that charms us all. He will compete with Kida and jump up on the bed the minute she takes a latrine break. These rescued doggies have rescued me from loneliness and despair. I wish I could save them all.

John W. Cassell
Albuquerque, NM

Captin Jack

Seven months ago working as a nurse at a farm house, I noticed one of the farm cats up on the porch, I opened the door and she ran off, there laid a very sick, wounded 4 week old kitten. I swooped him up and took him to the vet where they had little hope of his survival. He had been attacked by another animal and had several puncture wounds to his head and body and a scull fracture. His back leg was deformed and he couldn't walk well. The vet kept him all day and when I went to get him my options were, take him to a ER possibly costing thousands of dollars, euthanasia or being that I was a nurse they would give me his needed medications and supplies and I would be his nurse. So started our journey to save Jack. It was the most intense labor of love I've ever gone through. It was 24/7 care for days, no sleep no leaving the house. But he was a fighter so I wanted to give him all the support I could. It was about a 2 month struggle to keep him alive, the right side of his face died, he lost his eye most of his ear and all of the skin. My kids dubbed him Captain Jack the pirate because of his missing eye, bad leg and black chin that looks like a beard. Amazingly he made it and as far as his opinion go's there's nothing wrong with him, he's the happiest most rambunctious kitten Ive ever known(and naughtiest). We love Jack and I'm humbled by the strength of all these creatures we are blessed to have in our lives. Jack is a living miracle and we are glad to be his forever family...

aimee maples
dodgeville, WI

My Jenny

Jenny was found running loose somewhere in our town. She was caught and turned over to the River King Newfoundland Club which is 2 hours away. Since we had 3 other newfies, they called and asked if we were interested. We were ! Jenny was returning to Urbana.

The night Jenny came to live with us in the country, she slipped out of her collar and was gone. As we frantically searched the countryside, we called the club and they sent some local members to help search. Club members even drove the 2 hours to help !

After about 4 hours, we decided to resume the search in the morning.

We went home and there was Jenny, laying in the grass. She was at the house maybe 5 minutes before she bolted. We caught a glimpse of her about a mile away earlier in the evening. But she knew where her new home was. We still can't believe it.

Jenny must have been terribly abused in the past, but 2 years later, she is coming out of her shell. She is my shadow. She loves to cuddle in bed in the mornings. She no longer is afraid. She love to run and play on our 5 acres. She is the sweetest baby girl. Her newfie brothers and sisters love her too and watch out for her. We are truly blessed that she came to live with us !

Brad Olson
Urbana, IL

A Forever Home for Christmas

When our oldest cat died we knew we would have to find another "lap cat." We search through 3 cat shelters before deciding on Bovie at Colony Cats in Columbus, OH. He climbed right up onto my huband's lap and kneaded himself into a snuggly ball. He had been in a managed trap/neuter/release colony but was rescued when he was injured. During his recovery they realized what a sweetheart he was and that he should be adopted, not sent back outside. He seems to appreciate every bit of attention he gets and we love having him snuggle on laps and on our bed. He got his Christmas present in November-his forever family.

L. Lascheid
Westerville, OH

Sweet muse

This autumn, a calico started hanging out in the lot behind my house. I visit the feral cats that live there, but could tell right away that this calico was an abandoned house cat. I fed her and she started sleeping under my neighbour's porch. I searched for her owner for 2 weeks without any luck. She was very starved for affection and it was starting to get cold, but we couldn't take her in since we already have 2 rambunctious feline sisters. My mother had recently lost her beloved calico of 21 years, and I suggested she take this one in. She did, and none of us have looked back since. She is the sweetest girl, who sleeps on my mother's pillow. We christened her Calliope, after the Greek muse, and hope that she inspires many kitties in search of a home.

Rebecca Bain
Montreal, QC, Canada


I was up late one night studying. Around midnight I heard the loud cries of what sounded like a very tiny kitten. I went outside and checked around and found nothing. After a few minutes the cries started up again and this time they sounded even louder and more desperate. I got my flash-light and headed back outside. I followed the cries and ended up about 1 ½ blocks from my house. There was Midnight aka Nipsy stuffed down into a cinderblock wall. He was so young he was still nursing, so he had to be bottle fed. We changed his name to Nipsy because he loves to nip everyone and everything he sees. He sleeps on the bed with me every night right next to his best buddy our Pit Maddie.

April McDannell
Victorville, CA

Our rescued kitten, Patches

Not knowing there was a tiny stray kitten under the hood of the car, hubby turned the key, quickly shutting off the engine when he heard noises. A race to the local vets with the injured kitten. Patches lost her tail in the ordeal. Sadly, her leg could not be saved after several weeks in a cast but nothing stops this little girl who can move as fast as a rabbit around the house. She rules the house now with her bossy ways and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Sidney, OH

Xena's Welcome Home Hug

This is picture of Bob and Xena's nightly hug ritual. Xena is a German Shepherd mix rescued by Bob and Marianne Calabrese from Friends of Strays in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was very timid and seemed particularly wary of men. It took several months, but Xena has come out of her shell. She has established a nightly ritual with her new man, Bob. Every evening when Bob comes home from work, Xena follows him to the laundry room where he drops off his gym bag she then continues to the bedroom and (somewhat) patiently waits while he puts away wallet, watch & keys. She knows the highlight of her day has almost arrived. When Bob sits on the bed, she approaches, stands on her hind legs and with her front paws on Bob’s chest she leans on him and stays there while he hugs her. She doesn’t move until she has been hugged for about one and a half to two minutes. It's like she's thanking Bob for giving her faith in mankind again.

Lisa Reinbolt
St. Petersburg, FL

Meet Othello

Othello had been abandoned in an apartment after his owners moved out suddenly and left him there without food or water. As soon as I saw him and he jumped into my lap I knew I couldn't leave him and he came home with me. Now Othello is living the good life and loves to get into any kind of mischief he can. We joke that he is an evil genius becuase he can turn off the TV and the alarm clock. Here he is perched on top of the kitchen cabinets (where conicidently the cat treats are stored)!

Kansas City, MO
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