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Max our big boy

When our beloved Rotti Mix Bess died of cancer I was devastated and crying all the time. After 2 weeks we went to the local shelter to look for a new dog hoping it will make me feel better. Max was 8 month old and barking all the time in his kennel. When I told my husband that I did not want him because of the barking he suggested that we take him to the Get-Aquainted-Room. Well - Max sat down next to my husband and leaned against his knee. We realized that he had only barked so much because he was so lonely and starving for affection. Max is now 8 years old and a wonderful friend and companion to us and our little rescued Miniatur Pincher and our rescued cat. Rescued animals make wonderful pets! Please adopt!

Elfi Gilford
Petaluma, CA

Boogie Oogie Oogie

I had many pets growing up cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and fish. However, this time I was very aware that the cat I was going to adopt was no longer my parent's responsibility. I knew that the cat's health and well-being was in my hands. I wasn't sure if I wanted that responsibility being single and living on my own for the 1st time but, I knew I would love her/him more than enough to make up for my downfalls.

I decided to go to a few animal shelters but, I could feel that this one in particular had the cat for me! I went into this huge cage that held all the cats together with areas to play and sleep. I walked around inside the cage to look at the kitty's they had. There was this white cat with black markings and blue/green eyes and another calico type that reminded me of one of my cats growing up! I left the shelter that day and decided to sleep on it.

I woke up the next morning & drove straight to the shelter. Prior to entering I told myself I was going to allow a cat to choose me. Once again, I entered the cat cage and sat in a chair, within minutes a cat the shelter called "Honey" was in my lap, with a white coat, black markings and Blue/green eyes. I picked her up and went to the front desk to check out. I decided (which is another story) to call her Boogie.

That wonderful day was 13 years ago and she is still the love of my life. I am so happy I made that decision to bring her home and would not want to know what the past 13 years would have been like without her.

Mary Z.
Huntington Beach, CA

Found in a paddock

Cassie came to us one summer day 4 years ago. The local census collector who lived next door to our daughter saw a pair of ears sticking up out of long grass as she drove along the road looking for a particular property. She stopped, and picked up the little puppy and checked for more. There was only one. She took it home and went next door to show our daughter who phoned me immediately and said "Come round Mum, I have a puppy for you".

What a sad little creature I found. She'd been used as dog fighting bait and was bitten all over, starving, frightened and with a sore leg (bitten through the kneecap with infection set in). We took her to the vet who wasn't sure she could be saved, but after 3 months on antibiotics and an expensive operation to fix her leg, she was. Now we can't imagine life without Cassie. She is gentle and funny, well-behaved and intelligent, great with kids, and makes me laugh everyday. She came into our lives at a time when I was feeling sad and a bit lost (just like her!) and I will be forever grateful.

Hamilton, New Zealand

You can't have just one!

About a year after adopting our first shelter pet, my boyfriend and I were eager to find a playmate for our wonderful dog. I had no intention to adopt a puppy. I had neither the time nor the patience. Or so I thought. After seeing an ad for a local shelter housing over 80 puppies, I had to investigate. I walked into the shelter and knelt down near the puppy room. Stella walked over to me and gave me the most imploring look I've ever seen. I scooped her into my arms and that's where she's stayed ever since.

Rebecca Sekuterski
Buffalo, NY

The Under Dog

This is the story of how a 2 year old, silly looking, blind, Akita mix, with a bad attitude, and no manners found a new forever home...mine.

AJ's owner was a well-meaning single mother of a 4 yr old son and a 6 month old daughter... to say she didn't have time for a puppy was quite an understatement. AJ was 2, he was not house-trained, unsocalized and so he spent 23 hours per day in his crate. One summer afternoon he escaped, and was MIA for 4 days. When he found his way home, AJ was bleeding and terrified. The vet determined he had fallen victim to a very cruel abuser. His emotional scares mirrored his physical ones, and he was no longer able to live in a home with small children. To save him from the pound, AJ came to live with me. He was a fast learner. AJ mastered "We don't potty in the house", "don't chew on the furniture" and "the cat is not a chew toy" within a week. When he looked at me, I swear I could see the appreciation in his eyes... or perhaps that was cataracts...After a brief consult with a specialist, we confirmed that AJ's vision was diminishing quickly as a result of fast progressing hereditary cataracts. If it weren't for bad luck, my little dingo would have no luck at all. It's not always been an smooth road, but after one big eye surgery, doggie PTSD therapy... and lots of love, my 8 year old senior citizen is living the good life.

Dogs love with "wreckless abandon", a rescue dog manages to redefine the term.

Atlanta, GA

Itzy Bitzy Snyder

I wasn't even looking for a dog. I heard about a puppy that was headed to the pound and thought my father in law might be interested as his dog had recently passed away. At that time Bitzy weighed 3 lbs, was 5 weeks old, and was covered in fleas. She had dirt caked in her ears and was trembling when I picked her up. My father in law passed on the opportunity so Itzy Bitzy came to live with me and my husband. She quickly came out of her shell and won her hearts. As the result of her love of attention and people, I took her to be trained as a therapy dog. We now volunteer for Hospice of Chattanooga, and needless to say, everyone loves her. Bitzy is not our dog, she is our child. She has us well trained and we respond to her every bark. Bitzy is the love of my life and I am grateful for the day she found me.

Jeannie Snyder
Chattanooga, TN


Megan is a two-year old English Shepherd that I adopted from Madison Mutts. She was surrendered by a farmer who could no longer afford her upkeep. She came to us as shy and skittish and miserable. She is now a happy, loveable dog who likes to jump in bed with us and cuddle. She loves to learn and will start obedience classes at the end of this month.

Sheryl Jones
Madison, WI

Getting "Lucky"

My mom and I were leaving one morning and heard meowing in the woods by my lot, so we "meowed" back. Out ran a skinny gray waif with hair missing from his rear end and tail. He was meowing and intertwining all around us, even jumped into my car! Not knowing a thing about cats, and never being a cat lover, I took him back to the edge of the woods and said I'd figure out what to do when we come back if he's still around. We came back and there was no cat. Somewhat relieved, we started going back into my apartment and just as we were about to step foot in the door, this little guy came running back as if to say "wait for meee". I took him in to feed while I called around to see what to do. I wasn't "supposed" to have pets in the apartment, vets wouldnt take him, the only no-kill shelter I could find was full, so I decided on the ARL to surrender him and pray they found him a home. I ended up making Mom surrender him while I sat in the car and cried. I cried the rest of the day, that night and the next morning at work. Knowing I felt guilty, my husband called the ARL and they told him they dont normally allow adopting after a surrender but that if he was healthy, I could come back for him. That was a Saturday, the following Tuesday, Mom and I went to get him and he's been with me almost 3 years. I named him Lucky for obvious reasons and is the love of my life and so handsome now. I got him a brother last year and Im now a die hard cat lover!

Pittsburgh, PA


I found my Goober on Petfinder.com, he was rescued from a terrible, filthy, high-kill shelter by a local MinPin rescue organization. From the very first time I saw his bright, inquisitive eyes and quirky little smile, I fell in love with that face. He has fear-related aggression issues, as well as having seizures about once or twice a week. I can't even imagine this poor little guy being abandoned on the street, then cowering in a shelter all by himself with no one to love him and hold him when he's terrified!

His favorite time is Snuggie time. My mother bought me a Snuggie (the blanket... with sleeves!) as a joke for Christmas last year. Joke's on her, we both love to snuggle up under the Snuggie and enjoy a little TV or read a book.

He's grown into a great companion for my elderly Boston Terrier, they romp and play around the house and in the yard. My older dog seems to have a lot more spring in his step now that he has a canine buddy to play with!

With firm and consistent training we're working to overcome the behavior problems, and with excellent vet care we're managing the seizures. Even though he's "special needs", I wouldn't trade him for the world. When he sits in my lap and rests his chin on my chest and looks at me with those sweet brown eyes, my heart knows I found true love.

Minneapolis, MN

Checkers the Chicken

Checkers was part of a group of eggs hatched in an elementary school. Unfortunately when it did not hatch with the others it was thrown in the trashcan where it remained overnight. Somehow overlooked by the maintenance crew that evening, the teacher heard peeping coming from the trashcan as she entered the classroom. She immediately realized her mistake and put the egg back in the incubator to hatch. Sadly, the egg jiggled and peeped but could not hatch on it's own. Two well meaning teachers cracked the egg themselves and tried pulling the chick out of her shell but but pieces of the egg shell remained stuck to her body and she could not move. To remedy this problem, the teachers decided by give the chick a bath in the classroom sink, where she immediately lost most of the feathers going down her back and matted her remaining head and tail feathers. She laid in the incubator with very little movement for the next 24 hours and thought by many to be dead. When the representative from the farm came to pick up the hatched chicks, he took one look at the new chick and said it would likely die and instructed the teacher to put it in the 'sick-chick' box to be euthanized. The teachers were so upset that the chick was to be killed after her struggle to survive that they came in to get me to see if I could help. I just couldn't bare to see the chick put to death so we told the man she had already passed and I slipped her out of the classroom through the same trashcan she was once left in to die. Now a month old, Checkers has lots of feathers, and spends her days pecking around my garden.

Elaine Apsche
New Britain, PA
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