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Scrappy's Story- Underdog to Wonderful Pet

Summer of 2011, Vice President of Orlando Bully Rescue, Michael Cote, was in Port Orange, FL when he noticed a little brown Pit Bull in the middle of the road. A large semi truck was honking at the dog, so Michael grabbed his spare leash from his car called him to get him out of the road. The dog came trotting over and hopped right into my car. He was not shy at all; in the car he began licking Michael and plopped down in front of the AC. Upon further observation Michael noticed he was highly emaciated, covered in parasites and scars and later we found that he was eating trash to survive. He first made a report with local animal control and verified no one was looking for him. He had no collar and was not micro-chipped.

After ten days, the dog was welcomed into Orlando Bully Rescue of Orlando,Fl. Due to his big head and small body we decided to name him Scrappy (short for Scrappy Doo). A few months went by, of feeding him, treating Scrappy for heartworms and getting him healthy when we received an adoption inquiry from an amazing family living in Palm Beach, FL. After the meet and greet, paperwork variation and home visit, he was adopted. He was renamed Tank, obtained his Canine Good Citizen certification and now lives with 7 kids and his new sister, another OBR Alumni named Darla who had a similar story. This is what rescuing is all about to see a dog come from so low and watch as it rises above and exceeds everyone's expectations. His story is truly one of rags to riches. If you could ask him I bet he doesn't even remember the bad days, because he sure doesn't act like it.

Orlando Bully Rescue
orlando, FL

John Jacob, Jumpin 4 Joy!

Michigan Westie Rescue Troy, MI

John Jacob was in a pet store when he was purchased by a young lady who decided to give him to her boyfriend as a gift. Unfortunately the boyfriend wanted a Husky, not a Westie. Jake was sickly, suffering from kennel cough at purchase. When he was 13 weeks old, I received a call from his owner asking if she could surrender him. He was sick and he was “mean” to their 1 year old Husky. (He weighed 3# at the time!!) And the boyfriend didn’t want him. Of course, I dropped everything and rushed to meet her and make the transfer to Rescue.

Jake was so small, sick and ill. Every rib showed and he did nothing but lay in my lap. At just over 3#, he was extremely underweight. He improved over the next couple of weeks but then took a turn for the worse. The doctor treated him but kindly helped me to understand that he might not make it. We went home to watch him breathe all that night. He was improved in the morning but by afternoon he was worse and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. The doctors were very nice but not very hopeful. But our baby Jake was a fighter. After a couple of days, he turned a corner and he has never stopped.

At age 7, Jake has earned various titles including those for Rally, Obedience, Agility, Earthdog and Flyball. And he is working on Lure Coursing and Treibball. Jake is a good little foster brother when we bring in puppies and a great big brother to his older sister who is now 15 and failing. Jake is a wonderful little devil who finds fun in everything and just never, never, ever gives up!

Beth E. Widdows
Troy, MI

Ramsey: From Blind to Blessed

Ramsey was found in a milk crate shivering with only a note that read, “Ramsey, Toy Poodle, 4 years old, He Blind”. He weighed 3.5 pounds, he was so thin, his eyes were crusted closed and he smelled terrible. He seemed so grateful to be found, so I had to do something. I got a donation to do the heartworm test which was negative and the road to a new home began.

His first visit to the vet proved that he was not blind, but only needed special drops to keep his eyes lubricated. He gained some weight and got neutered. For the first month, he had seizures, which the vet said he’d probably had all his life and never been treated, just like his eyes.

We started him on seizure medication and he became a new dog. He quickly doubled his weight and became more playful. In the 4 months that I fostered him, he’d never barked. One day, he sat quietly waiting for crumbs then barked so hard, he came off all four feet. Everyone in the house was so excited and made such a fuss, that he started running circles around the house. He was finally a whole dog!

The search for the right permanent home was difficult. He was so small and tender that he couldn’t be with small children or other dogs. He was adopted by a nurse who lived alone and had just lost her toy poodle. When I handed Ramsey over to her, he started licking her face like he’d been waiting for her his whole life. Everyone cried. It was the happiest ending to one of the hardest foster journeys of my time with St. Martin Humane Society, Breaux Bridge, LA, USA. This is what rescue and fostering is all about!

Amanda Black
Breaux Bridge, LA

The Petro Posse

Ally, Diesel, Gabby, Jordy, Kyla, McKayla, and Sunny D. Seven kittens in all, four weeks old, found soaked in gasoline and brought into Cozy Cat Cottage in a cardboard box. The kittens had been trying to clean themselves. The staff at CCC knew that the their first task was to get out the Dawn dishwashing liquid and clean them free of the toxic fuel. As they had already ingested some quantity of gasoline, the damage had been done and only six survived.

As with most stories of rescue, the aim is healing and full recovery, but the next best thing is to know that the animal’s last knowledge of the human touch was one of tenderness. Sunny D. was given a couple of days of loving care but didn’t make it. The six surviving siblings grew as healthy as they were adorable and locally-famous to boot.

All found homes and though the media coverage must have, in part, been a contributing factor, it was not so in every case.

Gabby captured her people’s attention with the fire-flicks of orange markings throughout her coal black coat. Diesel, her brother, with a coat the color of pale flame, sealed the deal with his affectionate nature. Only later did their family hear of the duo’s high-octane origin.

They were adopted together and now live in a two-story house that is theirs, though they are happy to share it with people who are absolutely in love with them. They have not only a shot at life, but at a life of many bright days: full of the kind of warmth and fire contained only in the hearth and the hearts of their forever home.

Cozy Cat Cottage Adoption Center

Powell, Ohio

Mitch Lear
Powell, OH

The Story of Two

Animal Shelter Inc.

Sterling, MA, USA

Is it possible for two souls to connect, to truly reach one another, connecting at the deepest level without a single word spoken?

I wanted to spend my time helping homeless animals at the local shelter. I spent the majority of my time with the cats, knowing the puppies were more popular. I cannot say for sure what drew me in to the kennel on a cold January night, but there I was. Twenty pens in all, and I found myself peering into the very last one, on the left. He sat, trembling, beneath his littermates. His eyes, chocolate brown and full of fear, told a greater story than many people live in a lifetime. He was a shy dog.

I grew up shy. Quiet, timid, and often inaudible. There were days I felt invisible, fading into the world and wishing I had a story to tell.

When you give someone your all, you lose who you are. It took years for Lenny to become unrecognizable from who he was. The little puppy who wouldn’t leave an eight comfort zone and feared walking out the door of his own home. Training, socialization, goal-setting, confidence building. The poised, loyal, and genuineness of a true American sweetheart slowly began to show through. Before I knew it, Lenny had become an advocate for shelter dogs everywhere. Rehabilitated with love and devotion, he knew he had someone to count on, who held him to the esteem of a champion. Words can’t describe the amount of joy and hope he has brought me. One day, I looked into his deep, expressive eyes, and the truth was there. In the hours, days, years I had spent learning to believe in him, I had also learned to believe in myself.

Laura Lilly
Boxborough, MA

The Petro Posse

Ally, Diesel, Gabby, Jordy, Kyla, McKayla, and Sunny D. Seven kittens in all, four weeks old, found soaked in gasoline and brought into Cozy Cat Cottage in a cardboard box. The kittens had been trying to clean themselves. The staff at CCC knew that the their first task was to get out the Dawn dishwashing liquid and clean them free of the toxic fuel. As they had already ingested some quantity of gasoline, the damage had been done and only six survived.

As with most stories of rescue, the aim is healing and full recovery, but the next best thing is to know that the animal’s last knowledge of the human touch was one of tenderness. Sunny D. was given a couple of days of loving care but didn’t make it. The six surviving siblings grew as healthy as they were adorable and locally-famous to boot.

All found homes and though the media coverage must have, in part, been a contributing factor, it was not so in every case.

Gabby captured her people’s attention with the fire-flicks of orange markings throughout her coal black coat. Diesel, her brother, with a coat the color of pale flame, sealed the deal with his affectionate nature. Only later did their family hear of the duo’s high-octane origin.

They were adopted together and now live in a two-story house that is theirs, though they are happy to share it with people who are absolutely in love with them. They have not only a shot at life, but at a life of many bright days: full of the kind of warmth and fire contained only in the hearth and the hearts of their forever home.

Cozy Cat Cottage Adoption Center

Powell, Ohio

Sophia Kartsonis
Powell, OH

Ozzy's Tail

Today his name is Ozzy, but when he was first rescued his name was Colgan. His story begins in New York City in early 2012. Abandoned, locked in a crate, without food and water, laying in his own waste, Colgan was first rescued by Animal Control. Emaciated, covered with sores, this Cane Corso/Pit Mix was missing hair all over his body, but especially his tail which was completely bald.

Sadly, Colgan was scheduled to be euthanized. He was then saved for a second time by Cane Corso Rescue. He was transported to Southern New Jersey to recuperate in foster care, but Colgan was not about to go back to staying in a crate. On his first night Colgan tore up his face, but he made it through the metal bars of his crate. Knowing that he could not stay in foster care, Cane Corso Rescue reached out to the Voorhees Animal Orphanage (AO). The call came to the shelter’s director late one February night...could the shelter accept this dog? The answer was yes, and Colgan was saved for a third time. But how would this dog that could not be crated handle a kennel? Sleeping in shifts, volunteers from Cane Corso Rescue and the AO waited to see if Colgan would finally relax. Fortunately, he did.

Colgan’s emotional wounds began to heal, but his tail remained raw.

Colgan was adopted by the shelter’s president and his wife and joined their pack of four other dogs. Renamed Ozzy, he started training to be a therapy dog. He was a natural.

Today, Ozzy does pet assisted therapy with disabled adults and he represents the AO at schools as part of its humane education program. And his tail is completely healed and never stops wagging, but his tale is far from over.

Bruce Compton
Voorhees, NJ

'AND ALL THE VIRTUES OF MAN WITHOUT HIS VICES...'

There was no Good Samaritan for the mangled yet still beautiful long-haired German Shepherd that lay forgotten in a gutter of L.A.'s worst area.

Those who had stolen him had cut off the tattooed part of his ear and poured acid on his body where they thought the chip was, so he couldn't be identified.

No one helped him for days. Ford ended up in a kill shelter. If he held hope that there remained some good in humans he wasn’t disappointed, for his Good Samaritan - Westside GSD Rescue – found him.

He spent a long time in the hospital; the acid had left a big hole through which his muscles and tissue could be seen. Droves of people came to visit, bringing money they had collected from friends or at the office. Ford somehow understood: he would graciously sit and give them his paw but then would check back with his rescuers to make sure they didn’t feel forgotten.

When Westside asked for donations to pay for Ford's expensive medical care they found themselves in the middle of an international event: people from all over the world sent money. Stacks of letters were coming in: people felt compelled to write something to him, not just send a check - among them, an 80 year old lady, sent him $100 as a birthday gift to herself.

Along the years, Ford's sweetness and gentleness has been an agent of healing to humans and animals alike. He has stepped between fighting dogs, dispelling the conflict. When he lived in a National Park he protected campers and their dogs from snakes. The rangers would even call his mom to see if Ford could help in an emergency. Nowadays Ford flies in a private plane with his mom everywhere, always by her side.

Aurora Franz
Newcastle, WY

Sticks and Stones...

When Barbara went outside to check her mailbox on a cold February morning, the first thing she saw when she looked across the street was a wagging tail. She then noticed that the tail was attached to a little brown puppy sporting a huge smile, just so happy to see her. Living in the country, Barbara has seen her share of abandoned animals, but this one was different - it was dragging its hind end, trying to get to her.

Upon closer examination, Barbara found that the puppy had a severely damaged hind leg, yet the ordeal of being abandoned, cold and injured did not prevent the little dog from melting in Barbara’s arms and giving her kisses. Barbara fell in love immediately and took the little fur ball to her vet. After X-rays, the vet determined that surgery was necessary, something Barbara couldn’t possibly afford. She took the pup to the Cowley County Humane Society (CCHS) in Winfield, KS, to ask for their help. They accepted the puppy with open arms, determined her to be 2-3 months old, and named her Honey Nut.

Thanks to the X-rays, the shelter vet was able to determine that Honey Nut’s fractured bone needed pinning and amputation was not necessary. After recuperating for six weeks in a foster home and having the pins removed, it was time to find Honey Nut a home.

She qualified for a rescue transport to Colorado, where she was adopted into a wonderful home. Honey Nut became Kaylee and is enjoying life with her new family, starting each day full of enthusiasm and with a smile. A smile Barbara will never forget!

Alice Shaffer
Arkansas City, KS

Double Rescue

The little tan and white Chihuahua came with a pedigree and a fancy name, but that didn’t prevent her from being a “throw-away” dog when she failed to do what was expected of her - breed. Amy’s Baby Angel grew up in a household with two toddlers, who played rough with the tiny puppy. Somewhere along the line the little dog lost the tip of her nose in a fight with another dog. Angel started snapping at the children and other dogs; it was the only way she knew how to defend herself, so she had to go. She next went to live with a couple who wanted to breed her. Given her past, Angel did not let any dog close to her. She also had a mouth full of rotten teeth and was in constant pain. When she failed to breed, she was no longer welcome in her home. Lucky for her, Because of You Chihuahua Rescue in Edmond, OK, took her in and vowed to find her a home where she would be understood. They also had her spayed and took care of those painful teeth.

We met Angel at an adoption outreach when we were looking for a companion for our Chihuahua. Angel initially growled at my husband Tom, but he took her into his arms, and she looked like she had always belonged there. Our other Chihuahua didn’t find a companion that day, but Tom did - they rescued each other. Josephine, as the little dog was renamed, found a forever home and Tom found his best friend. Josephine still has her quirks, but she is at long last leading the life fit for the empress she is named after.

Alice Shaffer
Arkansas City, KS
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