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Milo... we rescued him when he was 6 months old, abused, malnourished and matted to the skin

For our first dog, took me years to convince my wife. She fell in love with him almost right away. For our second dog, It took only a week of sending pictures of puppies to her before she also realized he needs a companion. We were started our search for a buddy for our 3 year old Cockapoo, Toby, when we noticed he was quite lonely by himself while we were at work during the day, watching him on the webcam. After scouring the ads on Craigslist, Petfinder, local animal shelters, Kijiji, etc, and placing several un-returned calls, and a few meet/greets that didn't really work out, we came across a posting for a 6 month old Maltese-Shih-tzu puppy. It appeared the owner didn't want to spend the time to love and care for him or bother training him. They wanted to hand him over in a parking lot at a mall, but we wanted to spend more time with him to make sure he was a good match for Toby. We took them to a local park so they could meet, and turns out they were a match so we took him home that day. They named him "Milo" which we liked a lot and kept the name. Milo was never brushed, never cared for, his fur was matted right down to his skin which looked like it was very painful. He was severely malnourished and was skin and bones. He still has anxiety issues that he will never likely be able to be trained out of, due to likely being beaten/abused before we got him, but we have managed to work around those, and he has gone through obedience school, and some of which has stuck, lol... but he is an amazing companion for Toby, and they play and run for hours. Milo is the little guy on the left, and Toby is on the right in the picture. Both are just amazing dogs and members of our family.

Anonymous
Surrey, BC, Canada

Autumn

We lost our beloved calico, Ginger, after she was with us 17 years. My husband, who claimed he didn't like cats, had, nevertheless, been fond of Ginger, who adored him. He agreed to get another small calico, so we went to our local no-kill shelter and chose a sweetie we named Amber. Unfortunately, Amber was unhappy with our other cat, Buddy. After a few months of dealing with her inappropriate choices of places to urinate, we decided she was not the cat for us.... we sadly returned her to the shelter.

It was several months before we became brave enough to try again. On the shelter's website I found a calico that seemed to suit. She was being fostered in a far-away home, so we went to see her. There were many, many cats there....the lady had actually converted an outbuilding into a home for her foster cats. When we saw the one I had thought might work for us, she turned out to be quite a large cat....and the spark just was not there. I looked over the other kitties, but none really claimed me. Meanwhile, my husband was sitting in the reception area and several cats kept rubbing against him and meowing. One of them was a sweet, small calico who seemed to have a cold. I asked about her and learned that she did not have a cold, but had a birth defect - a malformation of her sinuses. This caused her to sneeze a lot and have a snotty nose much of the time. Several treatments had been tried with no real success. She had been at the shelter since kittenhood, over four years.

Having raised six children, I was familiar enough with snotty noses.....we decided we could deal with this. We brought her home on a trial basis, and she has been with us ever since. We wipe her nose frequently, medicate her and clean up after her as necessary. Her favorite spot is on my husband's lap. She is a calm, sweet cat, and now patiently tolerates our latest additions, two active rescue kittens.

Anonymous
Edwardsburg, MI

From rescue dog to savior dog

My beloved German Shepherd Callie was just a month under 9 years old when she accidentally ate something with poison in it. Her death was horrendous and devastated me beyond words. I felt it would be a long time before I'd be ready for another dog, both because of the mourning process and out of loyalty to Callie.

After crying every day for 3 months, I started thinking I might need to get another dog to help me heal and to fill the huge void in my life and heart. I knew I wanted another German Shepherd, so I started looking online at shelter websites and German Shepherd rescue sites. I even went to meet a couple of dogs I thought might be "the one."

Then one day I saw a photo of a tan German Shepherd who was looking directly into the camera. Something about that face just grabbed my heart. She was in a shelter about an hour from where I live, so I called the staff there and learned she had been found wandering in a parking lot with no tags or chip. I made arrangements to go meet her the next day, and when I did, I couldn't walk away from her. I cried for the loss of Callie and for feeling like I was replacing her, but I brought this dog home, renamed her Lily, and can't imagine my life without her.

Lily saved me. She helped me heal. She bonded with me and loves me as much as I love her. And because she intuitively knows what I need, she helps me every day as my service dog. Rescue dog? No, savior dog is more like it.

Jane S
Clearwater, FL

How Rescuing a Cat Made Me Face My Fear

When I met my cat, I was afraid of cats. I got jumped by a Tomcat on a in my grandparents’ barn as a kid and had to go to the emergency room. I never got over it.

When I met my cat it was an October in the Midwest of the U.S. and it was getting cold. I walked out of my house to go to work and a black and white tom was sitting on the hood of the car. He was underweight, some of his hair was missing in patched and one of his eyes was swollen closed. He needed medical attention. I was afraid of him, but I love all animals and this one needed my help.

I called the no-kill shelter and they said they did not have room for him. It was up to me. I called in for work before using some tuna to lure him into a dog crate so I could transport him. The vet restrained him so they could treat his eye and give him dewormer. He was horrified. I almost cried for him.

He gained weight quickly. He lived for a while in the spare room because he was not fixed. After he got neutered I let him explore the rest of the house. We were not on speaking terms as we didn't trust each other. I pretended he wasn’t there usually and he seemed content to do the same. In December I got snowed into my house for three days. One day he sat next to me while I was watching a T.V. show. The next he let me stroke him on the head. Now he sleeps in bed with me and sits on my lap while I work from home. I sometimes think that leaving socialization on his terms is what helped him decide to trust me in the end.

When I moved to Costa Rica for work I moved with my two dogs and cat who I usually call Mr. Poofa. He flew first class with me. I am no longer afraid of cats.

Marie
Cartago, Costa Rica

my julius

Julius has actually two stories... we first found lil jewels outside a convenience store near our home in Jan 2014. He was cold and wet and very small. I was not sure if he would make it but i never could walk away from an animal in need. We brought him home and he quickly found his place. We have a rather large cat named Romeo and Julius took right to him. Julius is unlike most cats he gives kisses and has more of a dog like behavior. Long story short he found a home.

A few months after we found him we moved upstairs in our apt complex for more room. The first day of April we had the windows open and letting the warm air in. Mister Julius decided to jump out the window to go catting i suppose. He was gone regardless and i cried this baby had become my sleep buddy my best friend and i was distraught i called his name over and over to no avail.

Easter Sunday 2014 - my son calls me and ask how much i loved him. My response how much you need? A few moments later my phone goes off I was at work ......my message was from my son a picture of him holding my lil jewels. He had found him when he had came home and brought him inside.

AND I CRIED.....my baby was home again.

Julius has not left my side in fact as i type this he lays sleeping beside me. He is scheduled for neutering next week. He still gives lots of kisses and loves to be held even more so now. Also he doesn't go near the windows or door he had his adventure now he just stays with momma. Him and Romy are still great friends

Tammy Skeans
Johnson City, TN

The Life of Brian

It was Fathers Day 2012 when a fluffy little face full of mischief appeared on my Facebook news feed. We had been on the lookout for a new addition to the family having lost our precious boy to cancer. The ideal dog for us would be two or three years old, medium size, short haired. Knowing puppies were mored easily re homed we dismissed them, until we saw his face.

Just a baby pup, he had been found on a building site hurt and hungry but fortunately taken to a a No Kill refuge. His little leg was so badly broken, elsewhere he may have been put to sleep. The injury consistent with having been kicked Brian needed expensive, specialist surgery. Those who cared for him named him after the Monty Python movie The Life of Brian and the name stuck.

We were smitten, love at first sight and lucky enough to have our application to adopt him accepted. It had been a very long time since we had a puppy in the house and had forgotten the amount of work they were. Fortunately Brian is smart and took to training easily, always ready and eager to learn. 18 months and 50 kilo later It is impossible to measure the amount of joy he has brought with him. He has a permanent smile on his big boofy face, even those who are usually wary of large dogs cannot help but laugh when he is around.

Anonymous
Perth, Australia

Lost in the woods

Back in 2009 a friend of mine found a kitten in woods behind her house, well her pup found it actually. She had no idea where it had come from so she waited a while to see if it's mother would return however after about 4 hrs of waiting and hearing the baby cry she couldn't leave it out in the woods. With an eye dropper my friend tried all night to care for this tiny kitten whose eye's had not opened yet. The poor kitten just cried all night, not know what to do my friend bought her to work with her hoping to find someone to help.

Since i had been through this before, I went to tell her what to do. I ran to Walmart and got a bottle and baby formula for small animals. Showed her how to feed her and how to make her pee and poop since mother cats do this for their kittens. My friend was too nervous and asked me if I would take the kitten with me and raise her til she could be on her own and she would take her back. Since I already had 2 cats and a dog I agreed. About 2 wks after I took pictures to bring in to show how big the baby was getting (as seen in the photo)

When it came time for the kitten to be on her own my friend had decided she wasn't ready to take the kitten home. I knew I could easily find this cutie a forever home however she and I had formed a bond over the past 6-8 wks. She only left my side to play with my Pomeranian, Zack. I think she thought that was her big brother or something since they were the same color! I was her mommy and she hasn't left my side since!! Her name is Shelby and she will always be my baby.....I had to make a bed for her on my desk so she can sleep by me and not on my keyboard lol!

Anonymous
Milford, PA

Furry Little Shapes

It was two weeks before I was to move back home from my college town. I had graduated and stayed in town to work for the parks department. I was at work, in 98 degree heat and baking sun, when I saw the furry black shapes rolling around the doorway to the barn as I approached on a tractor. It took a minute to realize that the shapes were tiny kittens!

Looking around, I saw two sets of fearful eyes peeking out from a hole under a pile of beams, and another kitten in full view, looking (worryingly) a little dazed. I called my boss and we left some food and water and went to check on them later. There was no sign of mama when we got back, so I returned after work and was able to walk right up to the dazed kitty and pick it up.

The kitten was dehydrated and wouldn't eat or drink, even with help. It died the next morning and we buried it behind the cemetery. I made several visits to the other two over the next couple days until one night they came running TO me instead of away, so I planned my rescue.

I put some food in my hand and reached through the carrier. It only took a split second for one to latch onto the food AND my finger hard enough to draw blood, but with more coaxing I had them both in the carrier and it was off to get a tetanus booster for me, then to the vet, who bathed them and gave them IV fluids and told me they were four weeks old and otherwise healthy.

I quickly realized they were purring MACHINES, so I named them Zonda and Carrera after exotic sportscars. Nearly three years old now, they're still my babies! Carrera is a total mama's girl and is shy, but a deadly hunter, while Zonda is chatty and has the best bond with my boyfriend, who she likes to hang out with in the garage while he works on his various cars and bikes.

Liz
Everett, WA

The One That We Chose and the One That Chose Us

In the Fall of 2012, we had hit the wall that so many who try to rescue a pet find themselves hitting. Matchmaker types not feeling things were "perfect," not getting calls back until the dogs we were interested in were gone,or not getting called back at all. A friend had a great experience with a shelter, but they were on Long Island and we were outside of Philly. I looked at their available dogs, and the second I saw the little black/tanpoint puppy in one of the pictures, I knew he was mine. The angel of a rescue foster mama had multiple litters in her house after Hurricane Sandy, going back and forth multiple times a day with no power, taking care of herself, her family, and all the furbabies. We drove up the first day we could safely get there and met at an adoption event. We had a leash and collar, complete with tags for our little D'Arby, named after a baseball player in the Phillies minor leagues at the time. We stayed a little to socialize and stretch our legs, and they handed his sister to my husband. Their mama was wild in North Carolina, so we had no idea what breeds they were, but her 6 lbs of fawn colored wrinkles and extra skin melted into my husband's arms IMMEDIATELY. Not long after, we were buying another collar and leash and on our way home with two 8 week old additions to our family, tiny enough to both fit in a cat carrier with room to spare. Half an hour into the drive, I told my husband that we needed to name her so she was our dog instead of this extra dog in the backseat that I kept thinking we HAD to turn around and return. Once Inara had her name, she was ours then and forever. They play together, run together, sleep together, and like any siblings, fight together, and we can't imagine our lives without D'Arby, the puppy we chose, and Inara, the puppy who chose us.

~The Perkins Family

Jocelyn Perkins
Swedesburg, PA

The kitten under the SUV

My mother had passed away tragically the year before and I was in a very low place. My co-worker came into my office one morning saying she thought she heard meows from underneath her SUV. I thought she was imaging it. We went outside to prove my point that she was hearing birds not a kitten. We start looking all around her SUV and sure enough there is tiny brown tabby kitten underneath in the wheel axial. She must have rode underneath all the way from my co-workers home which was 5 miles away. She was very frightened.

I didn't know much about kittens having had only dogs previously. My co-worker went inside to find food to 'bribe' the kitten out. She comes out with crackers, to which I laughed. I was pretty sure tuna would be a better option. I had an extra tuna packet in my office. The kitten really liked that and we were finally able to grab her.

She was the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen, a brown tabby. I was trying to convince someone in the office to adopt her home, but everybody had a reason why they could not keep her. I had never had a cat and didn't think this was the time to start. I didn't know the first thing about cats, but something changed in me and by lunch I knew I was supposed to take her home.

We named her Piper. Having a kitten in the house was the best medicine to help me heal after the death of my mother. Piper brought so much laughter and joy I could never imagine life without her now. That was almost 4 years ago and everyday I thank God for bringing her into my life and saving me.

Nicole
Seguin, TX
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