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This is Skittles

I very nearly hit this little fella on a country road. And I'm sure the semi behind me didn't miss him by much either. When I saw how his ears were half way down and he didn't dart into the ditch as I went around him, I knew he was one sick little kitty. I went around the section to see if I could find him, and he was sitting exactly where he was when I'd gone by him. His little face was a bloody mess. I thought he might even be missing an eye. That would make two cats in my home with only one eye. But this one still had both. The vet said he had a fever of 104 and rising, and an upper respiratory infection besides the face injuries. Just look how good he looks two weeks after I took him in. He's one of the most lovable kittens I've ever had. I'm so glad I didn't just go on home after barely missing him on the road.

Watseka, IL

My Archie

In December of 2014 I lost my love Norfolk terrier Lincoln to heart disease. He was only 10 years old. My heart was absolutely broken. In January I was looking through Petfinder - just browsing - when I came across a picture of a dog who had been rescued by a shelter - he had been terribly abused and was infested with parasites and had infections all over his body. They put him on antibiotics and steroids and he was healing slowly. Because he had rubbed all of the hair off of his nose trying to get into a barn out of the rain he looked just like a comic book dog. They named him Archie. I kept going back to his picture and finally filled out an application. I got a response from the shelter, but unfortunately someone else had applied before me and was going to go to pick him up. I was upset but thought that this was how it was meant to be - Archie wasn't meant to be mine. Three days later I got an email from the shelter to let me know that the people had decided not to take him because he had so many problems that were healing slowly and if I was still interested I could go to the shelter. Now I knew this was meant to be - I believe my little Norfolk was telling me that Archie needed a home and the home that he had loved for the 10 years he was with me would be perfect for Archie. I went down to the shelter and brought him home that day. He still needed medication but the love he gave to everyone was unbelievable! This poor dog who had been so abused and neglected loved every person, every animal that he came in contact with. My other dogs fell in love with him immediately. It took me a little longer, but now he has filled the empty space in my heart. He was meant for me! Thank you my Archie ~

sharon spuganich
Ambridge, PA

The bravest kitty

Working and living in a small town full of stray cats, I used to walk around with a bag of cat food to feed all the strays. One night my boyfriend and I went out looking for cats to feed when we came across a bunch of adults cats and a little kitty eating from a dumpster in an alley. As we came closer the adults ran away, but this little kitty stayed there and was furiously devouring the food. When I got a little closer she backed off and I could notice something was wrong with her...she was pretty much dragging herself with her front legs!

A woman told us she had been attacked by a dog a week earlier and couldn't move her hind legs...she said the kitty was the only survivor of the entire litter, but would soon die as she was in very poor shape, couldn't move much and dogs were still around. At that moment I knew I needed to take her to a vet, but Gosh it was hard to get that kitty!!! Paralysed from the waist down, but she was fast and very aggressive! Luckily I didn't end up with many scratches and we finally took her home.

That first night she hid under the bed, but the next day after a visit to the vet, more food and a warm bath, she pretty much surrender, laid down and didn't move for 2 entire days...she was all bones, filthy, and had scabs all over her little body.

The vet said she had a dislocated vertebrate, but that she would indeed walk again. It took her a long time, months of medication, therapy and lots of determination to walk again, but 5 months later (and now living in a different country with my other two cats) she runs, jumps and plays all the time. She is a very happy and thankful kitty that purrs every time you touch her. We named her Alley Fossey in honour of the brave primatologist Dian Fossey. Out little Alley Fossey for sure is the bravest kitty we've seen.

Wendy Gomez
Bogota, Colombia

Luna, My Light in a Time of Darkness

I adopted my puppy on October 15th, 2014 and it was love at first sight. She brought an immense amount of joy in to my life and I gave her the name 'Luna', meaning of course 'the moon', or in my mind, 'light in a time of darkness'. Less than 2 weeks after I adopted her, my dad passed away in a tragic accident, leaving my family and I in shock. My Luna lived up to her name sooner and in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Luna kept me company during the long nights, gave me a reason to get up every morning and made all of my family laugh with her antics. Luna came with us to the graveyard during the cremation, playing under the oak trees as we wandered; suddenly, she grabbed something and came running directly towards me, stopping in front of me and dropping an acorn right in to my open palms. The gesture touched me and I kept the acorn, later finding out that the acorn symbolizes strength, which is exactly what I felt in that moment. Luna has yet to drop anything so surely in to my hands to this day, 'drop it' being one of the commands she has yet to master.

Life goes on and Luna continues to live up to her name. She comes to work with me at an acreage and has her own adventures on the farm while I train horses. She can go all day, but won't complain if we take a lazy day. We have recently started to foster dogs and she is a fantastic big sister to all the new rescues. I am currently planning a road trip to the Southern States to camp and hike with her for several months over the winter, I could not have asked for a better companion for this adventure! Luna loves to hike and is her most confident leaping across streams and jumping on to boulders. We can climb to the top of any peak and nothing captures and holds my gaze like she does.

Calgary, AB, Canada

Little Lily

My daughter called from her car, nearly in tears. "There's a little black dog running in the street and there's a lot of traffic! It's going to get hit! Mom, PLEASE!" I grabbed a leash and headed out to the area I knew was one in which a lot of dogs are used for not-so-good purposes. I pulled into the gas station and spotted the pup nosing around the Dumpster. It was a fenced waste collector, and she had run into the enclosure. I walked in and closed the door to the Dumpsters, closing us both inside. She was cowering in the corner, shaking; I approached slowly, speaking to her in a soft voice. Eventually I was able to slip the leash around her neck and I pulled her, slowly, outside. We sat on the grass, and I told her how pretty she was. A woman from the convenience store brought out a sandwich, which she swallowed nearly whole, grabbing some of the Styrofoam plate as well. At the house she ran to the back of my fenced yard and sat shivering. My daughter and I named her Lily because she was so sweet. She looked pregnant, so I made an appointment with my veterinarian and took her in for a checkup. The vet said she was probably around 10 months old, and said she'd already had puppies. She thought Lily had a "false pregnancy" from having male dogs around her! Poor little girl! She was spayed, given her shots and taken home. She shows signs of having been abused, but we will never know the extent. She sometimes falls to the ground in a panic if she smells or sees something that is scary to her. The fear can be a person she doesn't know, a dog, a room, two hands going toward her head for a hug. But most times she is a happy, loving girl that is approaching her fourth year. I love her so much and appreciate her every night as the temperature plunges and she burrows under the covers and sleeps at my feet!

Cathy Mong
Dayton, OH

Saving Nino

Nino and his owners lost their home and were living in a car. We were supposed to be his temporary home. Things never seemed to work out for him to go back. He's been with us for 8 years and we couldn't imagine life without him.

Beth Caesar
Clermont, FL

Dumped into the laps of a new forever family

Where we live cats and dogs are routinely dumped by people who can no longer afford to care for them. One Saturday I found Merle wandering the roads a block from the highway. A passing sheriff's deputy, a neighbor and I caught him and I took him home. It had been raining but his feet were clean. He felt and smelled freshly bathed. There was an indentation in his fur where a collar had fit snugly but not too tightly around his neck. We all said, "Someone loved this guy", and concluded that he was a "dump" - someone who could no longer afford to care for him but wanted someone to find him and take him in so they would not have to take him to a kill shelter. (The no-kill shelters are always full.)

I spent two days online, posting his photo and emailing every shelter and rescue I could find. Nobody recognized or claimed him. One lady, who lives an hour from us told me she and her husband lost their 14 year old dachshund in 2014. They had fallen instantly in love with the dog whose photo I'd posted.

By Monday I had slept 4 of the previous 48 hours trying to find the owners of the dog. We bonded with him within 24 hours but we could not keep him. Being totally exhausted I called my new friend to ask if she could take him and continue the search for his owners. She and her husband rushed to pick him up. They took him to the vet who determined there was no ID chip. He bonded with their other dog as well as their cat instantly. Before adopting a stray in Arizona, by law finders have to actively work to try to find the owners before they can declare the animal theirs. Nobody ever came forward to claim him. So, when the time was up, my friends put in an ID chip, had him neutered and officially adopted Merle, who is as in love with his new family as they are with him.

Pearce, AZ


We found Snow(name given by us due to his white coat), almost dead lying just outside our house and we were just preparing to bury him respectfully, when we saw him shake his leg a bit. His neck was badly bitten, with blood all around, with wounds so deep that even the bone inside could be seen, He was breathing off and on and would have died very soon. We rushed him to a vet, who gave him first aid and dressed his wound, although he was not sure whether he would finally survive because one of is vertebral bones were broken and one part of body paralysed.

So worse was his condition, that doctor advised to go for mercy killing since he would never be able to walk or even manage his daily routine jobs. We however could not make up our mind for mercy killing and relied on fate! We consulted some more doctors and kept faith in God. Twice we came across situations when we felt we are loosing him, since he stopped eating/drinking and suffered de-hydration, but we forcefully fed him water and minerals through drip and he responded well. Even though we were ready to feed him and help him all life, if his body remained partially paralysed, but after some months we could see that he is able to pull his body, get up for some time and finally he started to walk a bit too. He had some wounds still fresh, which were cleaned daily by us and the wounds did not throw out blood but also pale yellow mucous off and on.

And after 6 months of all the effort, we saw him transform into an almost a normal cat, with all wounds dried up and SNOW able to walk, run, eat and play as normal cats do. Even now his one of the bones is broken and he limps a little when he walks, but apart from that he is no different from any cat and is extremely loving.

All this has been a MAGICAL journey so far!

delhi, India

Dogs with disabilities

Reading the story about Bugsy just really hit home with me. My little girl was old and passed away. I was totally broken hearted and could not get over her loss. Then I found a rescue group that had 2 little girls that were bonded. One was blind and the other has severely deformed hind legs. They had been found on the street. Someone had dumped them on the road. The shelter that brought them in was going to euthanize both as they figured nobody would want 2 disabled dogs that were not so young. One was 6 and the other 8. But at the last minute the Coastal Poodle Rescue in Melbourne Florida got them. I adopted both. You could not ask for 2 more devoted and loving little dogs. The little one that was blind died 3 years after I took her in but the little girl with the deformed legs is still with me. She is so extremely loving and she does not seem to know that she has a disability. You should see her come running when I get home from work in the evening. Don't over look the older and/or disabled dogs. They have so very much to give. I just wish people were not so willing to discard them because they are not "perfect" My little Nina may have deformed legs and not able to do everything other dogs can do but to me she is my perfect angel.

Hildur Hendricks
Blackwood, NJ

Special Boys Get Second Chance

Seamus and his brother Liam were born with CH. Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a neurological disorder similar to MS in humans. It causes wobbles, shakiness and LOTS of falling over! The horrible person whose cat had these sweet babies thought of them as "broken" and decided they were worthless so he put them in a fabric cat carrier and was at the river about to throw them in!! Someone caught him just before he did the deed and took the kittens from him. Brought to a no-kill rescue, they were posted on Pet Finder and I came across their story and picture and fell in love! It took me a couple of weeks to get their fosters contact information and when I finally did, I was too late to get them both and only Seamus was still looking for a home. My husband and I drove 3 hours each way to get our new boy and haven't looked back since! Seamus is sweet, gentle and just a big love bug!! He is number 2 of our 3 CH kitties. A year after adopting him, the same rescue called me and said they had another, more severe CH boy that needed a home...... so off we went to get Seamus' new brother Kashmir!! The year before we got Seamus my husband and I were painting our local shelter as volunteers and they had a cat who was wobbly and kept escaping his cage! Turned out he had CH and the shelter had never heard of it. They offered him to us with the fees waived for the work we were doing there and Wheels joined our family! We absolutely ADORE our "special" boys and I totally recommend a special needs cat if you are thinking of adopting.

Tanya Chapman
Arnprior, ON, Canada
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