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Simon and J.D.

Three years ago on my birthday, my husband took me to a shelter "just to look." We met a beautiful little grey girl named Jessica, and went home to check with our landlord that it would be okay if she moved in, which it was. But when we went back later that day to pick her up, her littermate Finty (apparently it means graceful, and is NOT appropriate) pawed her aside, and started rubbing on our feet and drooling, he was purring so hard. We had to take such a lovable little boy home, and renamed him Simon, since he's not very graceful at all!

Coming home after a Christmas trip last year, we heard a meowing coming from underneath our house. After days of worry and seeing the tip of a tail or a little nose peeking out from the foundations of the house, we finally caught J.D. Then we discovered that he already been neutered, and was not feral at all. It turned out he had been abandoned due to a heart murmur! So we kept him. It only took a few days for his brother Simon (right) to become accustomed to him, and a week or two after J.D. moved in with us, I came home from work to find them cuddling and took the included photo.

Emily and Ra Bilodeau
North Hollywood, CA

Tiger in Cart

We found Tiger and his sister under a shed after their mother abandoned them. Tiger immediately took to the pet bottle and Mother's Milk but his little sister was just too weak and died the next day. Tiger was too lively to not eat and got stronger each day. We can't have any pets and started telling our friends about him and even sent pictures. We still had him when it was time for shots and neutering him and the vet said he looked like an expensive breed, Bengal, but I thought she was just telling me that so I'd keep him.

Not having grandchildren, Tiger became my "baby" and I really enjoyed him. He loved to play bite and run!! He'd hide and come from behind while you were sitting and bite your ankle and run and hide, or he'd bite your hand and run. Even though it hurt, you knew he was just trying to play. He could also be so cuddly in my lap and lay and watch TV or nap as long as I'd sit there. Some friends from another state came to visit and just fell in love with him and were so excited when I said I had been looking for adoptive parents for him. I loaded up all of his food, litter, and toys and sent him off to another home. Although I miss him still, I know he is with the right home. I recently sent this picture to them and they sent me current pictures of him now that he's one year old.

Frankie Jeter
Groves, TX

Our my daughter says.

A friend had found a female dog running around lose in a park near her home, she took her home and shortly there after realized the dog was pregnant. She being the wonderful person she is she kept the dog and the puppies until they were able to be adopted out. My Aunt gladly adopted a female puppy and had her for a couple of months. Then on Mar 1, 2003 my Dad was murdered and a month later my mom was arrested for her involvement of his death. I was completely inconsolable, scared and all alone. One day my Aunt was like "You need to take Sassy, you are alone and she loves you." I was spending alot of time with my Aunt and her family. I agreed, and took my new puppy home with me. Over the years Sassy has been with me through the loss of my parents, the birth of my beautiful daughter and now a divorce. She is my snuggle bunny and she loves my daughter! As you see in the picture she likes going for rides, but only in the barbie car with my daughter, and she is the sweetest "lap" dog. She makes us laugh everyday, and we make sure she knows she is loved. Adopt a rescue dog because you will be the one who is rescued in the end!!!!

Houston, TX

Gary the Girl Gecko

We rescued Gary from a horrific life where she was VERY near death caused by extreme starvation. This poor little girl was eating at most, once/ month. She didn't have what she needed to live a good, healthy life. She didn't have the humid hide box that is necessary for her to shed & she was put in a corner where no one ever paid any attn to her. She didn't have the choice we all have to go get food at the store, or beg for it on a corner or even get it out of a dumpster. She was completely helpless. It was the fighter in her to make it as long as she did. The best day of her life had to be the day we took her home with us. We knew she was in bad shape so we filled her tank with all the essentials, including wax worms to fatten her up fast. Gary got healthy fast & she found more love than she ever knew possible...and so did we! We never knew the love you could feel for a gecko until she blessed us! Gary ended up with an infection this summer that required us to hand feed her through a syringe daily & give her meds thru a needle. She kept fighting, but sadly on 8/22 she lost her fight & went home to be with our Lord. We have never felt such heartbreak from a loss before because we developed such an incredible bond with her. She completely depended on us to survive & knowing that made us love her even more. We never knew how much we could fall in love with her & each day we thank God that He brought us together! She will forever live in our hearts!

Laurene Harned
Menomonee Falls, WI

King of the House

We found Chris when he was a couple of hours old meowing his little heart out under a bush in our apartment complex. We brought him inside thinking maybe his mommy abandoned him and couldn't leave him out at night when the raccoon's and possums come out. We hand raised him on the bottle and took him to the vet with a couple of scares. It was hard because all that the vet could advise us that he may make it and he may not. Sometime you just don't know what can happen with kittens. We were already attached to him within the first day. He is now 1 year old and is the joy of our life. He is the King of Our House and gets along great with our dog and other adult cat. We could not imagine our life without him. He brings so much joy to our household. We think he is happy too because he purrs so loud anytime we give him loving and loves to crawl up in our arms while we are sleeping and cuddle.

Angela Hernandez
Dallas, TX

Michael: A Survivor, A Friend

A small sound came from a storm drain. A cat had been moving her litter when a tiny male dropped from her grasp and through the grates of the drain. He was cold and wet, but still living, when someone managed to pull him out and take him to the animal shelter, where I had developed a reputation for being a sucker for kittens.

I remember when I bumped into the carrier under my desk, apparently stuffed only with towels. Looking more closely, however, there was the tiniest bundle of white fur I had ever seen. Maybe 10-days-old, he would not survive without a surrogate mother, and we had no nursing cats that day. Could anyone care for him until he was ready for adoption? Everyone looked at me.

Still not daring to name him, I remember him lying in my palm as he grasped a bottle with his tiny paws … crawling under the covers, nuzzling up to me, searching in vain for something I could not offer … how excited I was when he finally drank water from a bowl … his first tentative steps … and when he discovered running.

It wasn't all fun and games. He lost part of his tail because of a blood clot. I also had to teach him to eliminate. Being a long-haired white kitten, that meant a lot of baths.

That was almost 17 years ago, and Michael has grown to be one of the best friends I've ever had. He always seems to know if I'm troubled and need some love.

Michael and I have been through a lot together. I don't claim to understand the special bond between us, but I'm so glad I brought him home that day.

Steve Jones
Chicago, IL

Jasper, aka Sparky

Jasper, formerly Sparky, is our 3rd rescue dog. I wanted to rescue another dog, because I hadn't been able to rescue the beautiful foster children I'd worked with. My husband was not in agreement and I knew in my heart he was right--3 dogs was too many!

After several months of going back and forth with my husband, my best friend told me that her experience of 3 versus 2 dogs was that it was no problem. Despite knowing better, I immediately drove to PetCo where the SPCA held their weekly event. One dog was on a leash and so cute I assumed he had to be someone's pet. Turns out he was on a leash because he went ballistic if he was put in an enclosure. He had been abandoned at a vets office in So. California and probably had cage-phobia. A kind person drove him all the way to No. California to be adopted. I was told he should be an only dog. I was looking for a female dog to get along with my two males--he was absolutely all wrong.

He has been with us 6 years now, and has brought more joy to the family than I could have imagined. Initially his main behaviors were to play-bite us quite hard, mark in the house, and pick fights with my other two dogs. The first vet we took him to put a "red dot" on his file to indicate a "red zone" dog. Now he is the most loving, trusting baby you ever could meet and has no problem at the vets office. I am so grateful to every person who helped to bring him to us. More importantly, so is my husband, as he is definitely Jasper's favorite person!

Davis, CA

Incredible dog running loose on the reservation

This is Maddie. She was found running loose on the Rincon Indian Reservation and was being held at the Escondido Animal Shelter. I had decided I wanted to rescue a pit bull, as they have such an unwarranted bad reputation, so we wrote down several off of the internet. We viewed all of these dogs, but also saw a very scared but still beautiful terrier that first looked like a pit bull, but who ended up being a stunning American Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She's been an incredible addition to our family. She's the most playful, loving dog who gets along well with both human and animal alike. She frolics through the ice plant, reveling in the way it feels on her body. She turbos around like the puppy she is and she cuddles, licks, and loves with abandon. She's not a pushover and will issue a low rumble if someone unknown approaches her car, but is respectful if we tell her we have it under control. We can't imagine our family without her now. She's the best dog ever!

Ramona, CA

Spunky healed our broken hearts

Our two dogs had passed away (both rescues), one at 14 and the other on Valentine's Day, barely a month short of his 16th Birthday, needless to say we were heartbroken. Only our cat Bella, (also a rescue), was still with us but even she was confused and kept looking for her older siblings. It took 3 years before we could think about a new family member but one day I began searching the various rescue sites for a small dog with lots of personality. The box holding the cremated remains of our Pepper with his name engraved on a metal plaque sits above my desk on a shelf in our home office. Each time I would revisit a profile of a little dog named "Spunky"(a 4 yr old 10 lb PomChi mix), the name tag would fall off the box and land on my PC keyboard! After the third time I felt certain that Pepper was trying to tell me something so we took the steps needed to adopt. That was over 2 yrs ago:) We often say his foster Mom named him perfectly because spunky he is, all personality and has the best house manners I have ever seen in a dog! Spunky is a champion retriever who can out catch the labs and goldens! One of his favorite pass times is to bask in the sun with his "big sister" Bella. He loves the car, our grandchildren, seniors, basically everyone but most especially his Mommy. He has quite a collection of toys and each has been given a name that he recognizes and can pick out of the toy box on command. Our Pepper surely sent him to us knowing that our hearts needed his special personality to heal.

Middletown, DE

Road Warrior

All of our critters are rescues but some rescues are more immediate than others. Blacktop was plucked from the road, across which he was dragging his poor little broken body on a very hot summer day. The emergency vet thought he managed to get himself caught up in a car engine. A year later he is a hale, healthy, affectionate character who still loves his stuffed toy and blue bags.

C. M. Snyder
San Antonio, TX
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