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Dean... the little survivor

This little ball of fluff was found off of Dean Rd. one night back in October of 2008. My husband had spotted the kitten (we figured he was about 6 weeks old at the time) dart across traffic while he was driving home. He pulled over and managed to grab him before the kitten ran into a storm drain. After finally capturing the frightened guy, he brought him home... and it was there that we noticed that his lower lip had been ripped away from his jaw and was just dangling there. (You can see in the picture that the red part by his mouth was the exposed lower jaw) Along with that, he was also severely emaciated. The next day we brought him into our vet and scheduled him to have surgery to repair the lip. His surgery went well, and it became a full time job taking care of "Dean" with his round-the-clock feedings and antibiotic treatments... but it was worth all those sleepless nights. He's now two years old and is one of the happiest (and luckiest) cats I know.

Janie Q.
Orlando, FL

Giving and Taking Chances

We grieved nearly 5 years after putting our orange cat Oscar down at age 17 due to kidney failure. It was hard to open up again even though we loved animals and, up until then, always had pets.

It was a few days after Christmas when I saw an ad for a cat found injured outside a church. The shelter named him Church. I was so drawn to him so we made arrangements to meet Church.

Church was young and very rambunctious. One look at my husband's face told me he wasn't going for it. So I said perhaps we should consider an older cat.

The lady said she'd be right back and returned with a big orange bobtailed cat and said, "Look what I found out back."

This cat was dropped off in their night slot a few days before. They had not yet named him. He was so friendly and mellow. We spent some time with him then off we drove home. I felt sad we didn't rescue Church. The lady said perhaps Church was supposed to lead us to this kitty instead.

On the way home I thought about names. He's orange and has a bobbed, question mark shaped tail. The "chance" card from Monopoly came to mind. It was also "by chance" we found him having initially gone to see another cat. We gave him a second chance and took a chance on him.

His name is "Chance" and he's so special. He showed us how to open up and love again.

Nine months ago Chance was diagnosed diabetic. Being we hadn't had him long and now faced a serious health issue, our vet said "He's very lucky", my response was ... "So are we."

I'm glad we gave and took a chance on "Chance".

Mountain View, CA

Never pick up hitch hikers

Coming home from breakfast with my niece and nephew in the car, we saw a large German Shepherd sitting on the side of a busy road in a less then good neighborhood. It looked as if she was waiting for a ride. As I passed her, my 3 year old nephew said "we should go get it". I turn the car around, opened the tail gate tossed her a piece of coffee cake and she was in. Her face was bruised and cut; she had a problem with her foot, a bad knee and ear infection. My plan was to find her owner and return her to her home. But that would never be, no one claimed her and our existing German Shepherd seemed to enjoy having her around, so we made the decision that she was home, with us. The next month would bring being spayed, a toe amputation, bone infection and a month in the hospital. But today she is a happy, healthy, fun loving 4.5 year old. She loves everyone she meets and has a special place in her heart for my nephew.

Orlando, FL

Lucky Cassie

We recently adopted Cassie from a local rescue organization. What a lovely dog she is!!! Apparently she was rescued from Ohio shortly before being euthanized. She had terrible flea infestation, worms, malnutrition and looked so forlorn when we met her. Her foster provider did a fabulous job bringing her back to life and we were fortunate to bring home a loving and happy dog. She is quickly growing her fur back, gaining weight and thriving in our household of two rescue cats and a dog named CJ. We love this little dog and she fits in just perfectly here, as if she was meant to be here in the first place. Someone must have loved her once because she is so obedient and calm. We are glad that she found us and came to spend her life here!

Apple Valley, MN

JJ..the brother to Jazz and Drummer.....

JJ is an awesome Cocker Spaniel!! We got him from the shelter about a year and a half ago....JJ is suppose to be 5 so they say....I think they're mistaken about his age. He acts like a pup which I know he isn't that young, but I think five is stretching it. JJ loves to play ball, he will chase it and bring it back, and walk around with it in his mouth...his favorite toy is a fox without stuffing. He sleeps with it, he cleans it, he shakes it, he takes it outside but ALWAYS brings it back in. JJ is really lots of fun. We have always had several dogs, my husband was a Veterinarian so it seemed only natural. The white on JJ's chin is natural white, it isn't grey from being old, lol.

Oklahoma city, OK

Jolie was waiting at the gate

I had recently lost my beloved Tally-ho, a magnificent, sweet, wonderful male Dalmatian who succumbed to valley fever, and I was still in deep mourning. Several newsroom colleagues began commenting that they saw "(my) next dog," a female, judging by reported signs of nursing.

I demurred -- too soon after losing my precious boy. The comments became persistent. Finally, I said to the Universe: "If this truly is my dog, and if you truly want me to have this dog, show that fact to me in such a way that I cannot possibly misunderstand."

Thirty-six hours later, as I drove up the drive to the wrought-iron gate at my building, a little black-and-white face peered out intently to me from between the bars. A small, skin-and-bone female Dal, she sat waiting patiently. I was done for.

That was in 2004. Today, Jolie is not in particularly health, but I see to it that she gets the best care I can provide. Her past abuse and traumas, whatever they were, have taken their toll. But now she is fully filled out, safe, loved and happy. And so am I.

Ailim Wolfe Keyes
Tucson, AZ

Baby Macy

My husband was an animal control officer and I kept telling him to keep an eye out at the local shelter for a small dog. He came home one day and said there was a pregnant terrier at the shelter, 2 wks later he said the puppies were born, there were three, and born on October 31. I went to see them and picked Macy out right away. Turned out she is part rat terrier and really not sure what else, all black except white on her chest. I went to the shelter one time a week and bonded with her. I couldn't wait to get her! We got her at 8 wks and 15 oz. She was so tiney and I would wrap her in a baby blanket and rock her sleep everyday. She will be 4 yrs old this Halloween and weighs about 10.5 lbs. She is our child and the light of our life! I don't know what we would do without her.

Danville, VA

KIT KAT's rescue

This is a story about my my very first cat I have ever taken cared of. I have never "owned" a cat even though I had been around them my whole life. I have always been highly allergic to them thus keeping my play times and visits with cats very short.

One day, Kit Kat arrived at my door step, alone, hungry, crying for help and he was only just about 2 months old. Out of ALL the other doors he could have picked, he picked ME! One who is allergic.He & other stray adult cats started visiting my door step & I decided to buy cat food for them. Kit Kat however wanted more than just food. He wanted to be taken cared of, loved, nurtured but I could tell he was traumatized and scared of people. I could not find any female cat in the area so I knew something had happened to his mother.

A couple months later, in November 2009, we were having our California rainstorms. I was able to "catch" him and although very afraid of human contact, he looked up to me with his big round eyes, crying, and clinging on to me. I did not have any cat things (litter, toys, etc). That rainy, stormy night, I gave him a lecture to not "mess" up my home and to only pick ONE spot to do his business as I promised to get everything he will need the next morning.

Kit Kat was tested positive for Leukeima. He is now about a year and two months old and not showing any signs of the illness. He is happy, smart, & healthy as can be. Still scared of humans but has fully come to trust me & we are one happy small family.

Shamaness Tantrika
Pasadena, CA

You Are My Soul Mommy!

I adopted Baccardi on April 17, 2008 and as soon as we saw each other we knew that we were meant for each other. He had been saved from the Garland Animal Shelter when a worker called a woman to get him. She had never cared for a poodle before as she specialized in miniature schnauzers but the shelter worker wanted this particular person to save her. So she did. She found out that even though he'd been picked up as a stray he was quite spoiled and had been given scrambled eggs for breakfast which is what a pet psychic told her he was wanting her to fix for him. She told him that she would not do it and he could have dog food. He finally gave in and ate the dog food that she always kept out for the dogs. And when he did eat did he ever eat. He ate so much that his tummy was round and he then went into the living room and fell over on his side from being so full. This is the tale she told me. Later after having him for 3 months she came in and found he'd taught himself a beg pretty as she called it. After he'd gotten to a healthy weight (as he was quite emaciated at the shelter) she'd had him neutered and then put him up for adoption. After 8 months I emailed her then called her to see if I qualified, I did. After driving from Denton to Dallas to meet both her and him and him jumping up and we decided that he was my soul dog and I was his soul mommy. It's now been over 2 years and he is still giving me those wonderful poodle kisses everyday.

Dallas, TX

Drummer....he is the brother to Jazz...

This is Drummer. My son is a drummer for a jazz band, so we have Jazz and Drummer, lol. Drummer is awesome....he is so loyal, smart and just an all around great dog. We got him from the Shelter last year...they had named him Nick, which just didn't fit him...I could swear that every morning when I wake up, Drummer comes to me for lovin and I just know he is saying thank you for rescueing him...I say thank you to him for makeing me so happy. Drummer is Jack Russell and Poodle....they call these dogs Jackiepoo....

Oklahoma city, OK
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