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Not a second to spare

My wife and young son visited to stray facility on the Army base where I am stationed to say "hi" to the animals. As they got close to the end of the dog pens, the shelter employee directed them to not go to the last pen because the dog in it was going to be euthanized later that day. This prompted my wife to go look at the doomed dog. In the pen was a skinny, nearly hairless brown pit bull with a severe eye infection. The reason fo her death sentence was because she is a pit bull. Our son instantly fell in love with the dog and began asking if he could have her but she was "unadoptable". Pit bulls are "vicious" dogs according to DOD and they cannot be adoped out of a shelter by anyone except a rescue and are regularly euthanized. The shelter worker wasn't interested in trying to get the dog placed with a rescue. Heartbroken over this poor dog's situation they left. After many phone calls and tears, we begged a shelter manager to go get the dog. Karma was rescued by the the shelter manager minutes before she was killed. The dog was being walked into the room to be euthanized . Karma was used in dog fighting and is blind in one eye because of it. Karma's scarsonly go skin deep; her soul is pure and heart golden. Karma loves my toddler son and plays very gently with him. She is not aggressive towards any other animal and has no prey drive. Her only interests are kisses and playing ball. Currently, she is being fostered unitl we can get her to Idaho to a service dog trainer. Once Karma has her credentials she will be donated to a veteran in need. Karma will provide the love and comfort to a Wounded Warrior that wasn't given to her in her earlier life. Her smile warms the heart of everyone who meets her while her goofy ball chasing antics bring a smile to their face. She is a gift in so many ways.

Lindsay Whitcomb
Fort Rucker, AL

My Mexican Street Puppy

My daughter and I were driving down the Baja California peninsula to go whale-watching and stopped in a little Mexican town for lunch. We got a bit lost and ended up in a pretty remote area.

As I was turning around in a dirt lot, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving and when I approached, it was a tiny brown puppy, no more than six weeks old, gnawing on an old apple core. She was so skinny and so infested with fleas and ticks, she just broke my heart. We're taking her with us, I told my daughter.

So we cleaned out the cooler, made her a bed with paper towels and drove back into town to buy supplies. We found a grocery store and bought flea shampoo and some food and went out into the alley behind the store to give her a bath at the spigot. She was so scared and so tiny but we all just fell in love.

We drove to the whale camp and spent several days camping and whale-watching with our new puppy, Ballena (Spanish for Whale). She came everywhere with us and was the perfect little traveler. Today, she is eight months old and my constant companion. She loves the ocean and car rides, which she came to love early in life and is happy and healthy.

A dog was not in my plan but she came to me and stole my heart and I cannot imagine my life without my little whale.

Michelle S
Phoenix, AZ

Sheer Force of Will

Will was dumped, and found roaming around in Georgia when he was picked up. He was near starvation, and wasn't expected to make it. This is how he got his name--he survived by sheer force of Will! When I adopted him from his foster family, he weighed 28 pounds. I could see and feel all of his bones, and his fur was coming out in huge clumps. His teeth had not grown in correctly so he resembled a parrotfish! His manners were terrible. It took six very challenging months to feed him up, let his fur grow back and teach him how to trust me and just be a beloved house pet. After that? He was a 50 pound lap dog who never met a stranger. I had him 11 and a half years before he passed peacefully earlier this week. Whoever it was who dumped Will missed out on a silly, hard-headed and sweet, sweet animal. Please consider rescuing your new best friend, even if he looks weird or is missing some teeth or takes extra time to train. Will was worth it!

Anonymous
Patchogue, NY

Dexter and Jess

I rescued both dexter the ginger boy and Jess the tiny little black and white sweet girl at the ages of six months they weren't related but as you can see loved each other dearly. Shortly after getting them I realises dexter had problems getting up and down stairs and following an X-ray it was found his lower spine was fused from birth meaning he was sore on moving a bit like arthritis they thought , he started on steroids which made his life bearable . At around this time he started having diarrhoea which was of unknown cause this was with him until the last six months of his life. Despite all theses problems he had an amazing life with me and Jess being truly loved .That was until the summer of 2012 when they both got diarrhoea and vomiting they spent a few days at the vets and it was discovered they both had feline corona virus . Six months later at the age of 14 Jess had a cardiac arrest I front of me I tried to resuscitate her but was unable to , they think the virus went to her heart and killed her . Both dexter and I were heart broken and missed her so bad at times he looked so depressed , he survived a further six months when I noticed he wasn't breathing great and took him to the vets , they discovered his lungs were full of fluid and he couldn't breath I had to have him put to sleep to stop his suffering they were fairly sure the corona virus had turned into fip so it got them both within six months of each other . As much as I miss them and was heart broken I know they both had 14 wonderful years with me and gave me so much joy and love I would do it again in a heart beat . I have three other cats now and a new generation but I shall never forget them and I'm so grateful they chose me to be there mum.

Sue Bryant
Tiverton, United Kingdom

Samwise and Severus the BOGO deal

My 16 yr old cat Teddie was very sick had to be put to sleep Aug 10, 2013. Her sister Tigger passed away July 2012. I'd adopted them when they were 2 months old, they were so precious to me, especially Tigger.

The next Saturday I went to a pet event with family. I wasn't looking for another cat, but I had stopped at a booth to admire an easy going, friendly beautiful soft long haired orange tabby who allowed me to pick it up and cuddle. I really liked him but felt it was too soon to adopt. But, all weekend I dithered finally calling to see if the orange tabby was still available for adoption which he was, I told them I was still thinking about adopting the cat and would call back to let them know my decision.

I didn't know then I was waiting for a sign. It came two days later, in the form of losing five charms from a necklace I'd been given as a remembrance for Tigger and Teddie. I found four in the driveway. The last one, Tigger's charm, I was despairing of finding when I thought of looking under my shirt and found it stuck over my heart. I decided then that it meant it was okay with Tigger and Teddie and I needed to adopt a new kitty and they are always with me in my heart.

So Samwise came home the next week, accompanied by another little fella (Severus) who claimed me while I was there! I had lamented I didn't bring enough cash for both, when BOGO deal was offered!

Having only female cats before, I took time finding male names that fit, then I took Severus and Samwise to get neutered. Surprise, Samwise is a female! (I admit I hadn't noticed, what with all the long hair!)

Sam a loving sweet Maine Coon cat who chirps and trills, and Sev is a rambunctious loving big baby boy who purrs like a chattering diesel engine. They stole into my heart and healed it with their love.

Anonymous
McCordsville, IN

My soul mate

It was 2003.Cold February in Belgrade, Serbia.Situation in animals rescue was so bad.Thousands of stray animals in the street, thousands killed every year by authorities.I just got involved in rescue organization. Already had 5 cats and older dog that i grew up with.My mom called me on that Friday afternoon to tell me about small dog she cared for at the airport.Told her to get her to place where my organization had few cages for neutered dogs and we will see what to do on Monday.Instead she brought her home.The moment i saw her i fell in love. 4,5 terrier mix named Cica. She was scared of everything. Cleaning ladies at the airport beaten her with broomsticks but yet every day for 5 days she found her way to my moms office to be feed. We spent short 9 years doing everything together.She was my love,my savior, my soul.She was everything to me as i was to her.2 years ago lymphoma took her for good.Now her paw is tattooed at my shoulder and its a tribute to most special dog i ever meet.She is missed every day.My angel

Zoja Jovanovic
Belgrade, Serbia

The best friends

I always loved cats, so my husband decided we should adopt one for my birthday. We searched facebook adopt pages for two weeks and almost gave up, just when we saw pictures of tiny little furry kitten with sad eyes. He just asked me "Are you sure?", and I said "Yes!". We went to meet the kitten and her rescuers the same evening. Two girls found her at the gas station, but couldn't keep her.

After almost nine months, our girl became chubby and she was sleeping all the time. The old toys, so as the new ones, weren't interesting anymore. We talked about getting her a friend and about the same time my husband started feeding some kitten at his work place. He looked for kitten a few times after work hours, but couldn't find it. One day, after work, he called me and told me to meet him with a carrier

We stopped by the vet, checked her and took her home. After a few days of adjusting, our two babies started eating and playing and sleeping together. We found the best friend for our big girl! They surely enriched our lives. :)

Milena
Belgrade, Serbia

My Price

This is my cat Price. We're a house that stray cats love to come to, despite our eldest outside cat being rather cruel. One day, this mangled black cat shows up, his tongue sticking out. (He has no front teeth from a predicted previous abusive owner) At first, we always made sure that we left enough food out there so he could eat. He would always run when humans were around, but he'd never go far. After we realized he wasn't leaving, we tried to get him to trust us. At first he was hesitant, but eventually he just got use to us. When he realized our other outside cats trusted us, he would eventually let us pet him a little in exchange for food. It took months, but now he is absolutely in love with me. I can't go outside without him trying to wrap himself around my legs or sit in my lap. He is such a little loveball. As I mentioned, we predicted he had some trouble with abusive owners, and was abandoned nearby. I'm glad he was able to find my house, and a family that loves him and makes sure he's safe. I named him after my favorite short story involving a black cat that came out of nowhere, "The Price" by Neil Gaiman. :)

Breana
Lancaster, CA

Who rescued who?

A month before I turned 19, I moved out of my parent's house to live with a friend in New Hampshire, leaving behind my first cat because I couldn't take her with me. The pain of being separated from her was eased by my friend's family having several cats, but not having one to call my own was still hard. One day, my friend's dad came home with this little tiny black fluff-ball and handed him to me. He had been a stray that my friend's dad had found on his way home; clearly malnourished, and horribly flea-ridden. Much to the tiny ball of fluff's dismay, this meant immediate bath time in the sink, and a trip to the pet store and the vet the next morning. Immediately he bonded with me (and I with him), and I named him Kyouya (Kyo for short). As time went by and my friend and I went our separate ways, Kyo was the one constant in my life that I had to comfort me. I was in the midst of my battle with depression (several suicide attempts), and he always seemed to be able to tell when I needed that extra affection. He was with me through all my ups and downs, abusive relationships, and moving around...and he was always happiest curled up right on my chest, with his head next to mine. I never thought I would have a bond with a cat as strong as ours, but he literally follows me around the house, will paw at me to get my attention, and once I turn to see what he wants, he headbutts me straight in the mouth. He recently turned 5, and now has a brother, Mihawk, whom I rescued from animal hoarders. Last year he helped me through the loss of my first cat who I had left with my parents (she was 18); and with the recent passing of my grandfather, he once again has stepped up to the challenge of keeping my spirits high. I didn't rescue him, he rescued me...and I know he saved my life.

Teaque
Bowie, MD

Paws Of Hope

I have forty plus rescue stories now and picking just one of those touching stories is extremely hard. So I will just tell you about the organization that I started back in February 2014, called Paws Of Hope. Paws Of Hope has successfully had forty plus rescues from kittens and puppies to older dogs and cats. All successfully homed and each story speaks love, trust and true courage. I've always had this love for animals even as a young little girl. I'm so passionate about this and I will continue to push forward. I started with a simple facebook page to get the word out about animals being abused, neglected and homeless. That page now has over 500 supporters, I now have a blog, website and t-shirts. I raise awareness everyday and I always love attending events to help out other rescues like myself. I will be in the Pet Expo with my own personal booth for Paws Of Hope come May 2015, it is a big step for Paws Of Hope along with hiring an event planner to fully pull all my thoughts together for a 5k I'm organizing. I love what I do and I hope that the number of animals being mistreated will continue to decline as we continue to fight for the voiceless!

Heather M Russell
Charlotte, NC
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