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I adopted my Chihuahua Dachshund mix at a huge shelter event in North Seattle almost 2 yrs ago June. He was terrified and hiding in the corner of his kennel. I tried to walk him to see if we bonded but he wouldn't leave. I walked around and looked at all of the doggies from various shelters and rescues participating in the adoption event but I came back to the little guy that had been named "Chunky Monkey." Apparently he had been rescued from a home that had to have all of their animals removed and right then and there I knew he just needed some love and attention. I took him home that night and renamed him Peanut (I do not think a Ben & Jerry's ice cream is what I want to name my pooch!) He took ill that night and I had to rush him to the vet the following morning - I was so scared that this little guy had already survived so much and finally found his home and wasn't going to make it! He had kennel cough and parasites and a grass allergy and after a week he was a totally different animal! It has taken over a year but now he doesn't run, cower or pee when a man approaches him! He still barks at the wind but he has mellowed out so much and is such a little sweetheart! We recently moved to San Diego and now he runs on the beach and plays at Balboa Park with all the other dogs! I cannot imagine my life without my little Peanut!

Kerry O'Neil
San Diego, CA

Freddie the Kisser

Three years ago, when I was working as a volunteer in a Philadelphia shelter, I was helping a small animal rescue take dogs out to go to foster homes. While going in and out of the "small dog room" this little guy was in a top cage and desperate to get my attention. He kissed and kissed and kissed through the bars every time I passed his cage. After acknowledging him several times, I stopped and realized that something was very wrong with him ... he couldn't sit properly, and couldn't stand on one of his legs. When I inquired about his injury, I was told that they couldn't help him. Freddie left with me that night, and after an FHO surgery and fighting off severe infections, he is the ultimate love! He's a fierce kisser, and kisses everyone in site! After all, that's pretty much what saved his life in that shelter. After a year of water therapy, and amazing doctors, Freddie lives like a king with his rescue brother and shelter sister. He greets me every morning like a jumping bean at the side of the bed, excited to start another day of fun walks, rough play and of course, many kisses! I use him as my ambassador to show how amazing rescue dogs are, and how much potential they have ... even when the beginning is a rough start!

Kelly Wallace
Philadelphia, PA

Captain Jack, the pirate dog

About a month and a half after my divorce was finalized the kids and I decided we wanted a dog so we scheduled a visit at our local APA shelter. I told the kids that I was not prepared to adopt tonight, "let's just look and see how we feel." We were almost ready to leave when my son wandered into the "hospital" room without permission at the shelter and found Jack. He was about 5 months old and had been so severely beaten that he had to have an eye removed and his head was crushed in on that side. He had been found on an island in the Mississippi River near dead and brought to the shelter just a couple of weeks before we showed up. The vet and the shelter volunteers thought for sure that he'd be a lifer there with them, "who would ever want to adopt this dog after what he'd been through?" He still had his stitches and was in recovery only just barely eating and getting strong again.

My son insisted immediately upon seeing him that we had to have him. He said to me, "He's broken just like we are. We have to take him so we can make him better." Then I told him, "Sweetheart, we are not broken just a little bruised and beaten like this puppy and you're right we will love him and make him better." And so we did. Jack is three now and has just recently been joined by a little sister named Elizabeth who also came from the shelter.

Heather Shands
Granite City, IL

Mittens & BoneHead

We rescued BoneHead (Mr. Bones) from the local animal shelter, he came to use full of worms and parasites. After we finally got rid of them all he proceeded to grow into a big beautiful Tuxedo Grey with plenty of "catitude"! Mittens (Miss Mitt) came to us from a litter left at our local cat hospital, we fought ear mites for weeks! Now she is a very vocal and pretty little Grey Striped "love bug"! These two are the best of friends, often sharing afternoon naps and gooming sessions together! We love them so much and are so glad they became members of our family...our house just wouldn't be the same without them!!

Barbara Dunn
Wichita, KS

Unexpected Addition

We were definitely not looking for another addition to our family the day we went to the pet store. But when I walked by the cage with all the city shelter kitties waiting to be adopted, Darel reached his arm as far out of the cage as it would go, and petted my leg. I turned around and looked at him, and I was sold! Now I can't imagine our family without him.

Lindsay Goins
Elk Grove, CA

It is Sunny and Breezy

After our Annie went to the Rainbow Bridge, I figured it would be a while before I would share my life with a new angel. Sunny had other plans. She was part of a stray family across the street. She came right up to me, nuzzled my tennis shoe, and the day I went to claim her, ran so fast to meet me. And how could I leave her sweet calico sister sitting there ? So Breezy joined us too. Their purrs and fun ways make every day a joy for me. I can't do enough for these precious creatures.

I volunteer at a nearby shelter in Annie's memory but these two sisters are the best kind of daily reminder of how special animals are in our lives. I wish every homeless animal could find the kind of love we share.

Pharr, TX


Jojo was found in a pink cat carrier outside one of the Maryland Humane Societies and rescued and placed in an animal shelter in Pennsylvania. I found him in a room full of other unwanted kitties, sick, scared and huddled in a corner. He is now the light of my life and has blossomed into a beautiful, blue eyed bundle of fun and fur. My only wish is that I could have found homes for all of the others.

Jarrettsville, MD

Our precious Rebel

We had to put our 13 yr. old Lab down so we adopted Rebel from the local animal shelter. He was very sick. After $300 in vet bills & LOTS of love and attention he is doing great! (gained 5lbs. in 5 days!!) We love our Rebel very much!!

Lisa Stires
Newalla, OK

Loving Lucas

Lucas, an Irish ex-working sheepdog, was found blind, abandoned and so thin the vet couldn't believe he was still alive. His wonderful rescuer, Maura, cared for him for six weeks before he was strong enough to travel from Ireland to me. He is the kindest, most gentle and loving old gentleman. My cats adore him and snuggle into his fur to sleep while he washes their ears. Though now deaf as well as blind he loves his walks, adores his food and most of all enjoys being groomed and having his tummy tickled. I cannot imagine life without my beautiful, loving Lucas.

Jackie Short
Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Benji our Buddy

Benji was wondering the desolate roads of Kansas with few farmsteads for miles. My husband picked him up as he thought the dog was a neighbors dog. He wasn't so he brought him home and we named him Benji. We found out later, after about $3,000 damage over the years, that he was a puppy mill dog and we are deeply sadden about his start in life. Mad actually!!! He has been a keeper for ten years and we love him as he cuddles in bed, barks only when chasing a mouse on the farm, loves the lap, and is the most compliant dog we have ever rescued. He is frightened by high pitch noises, which causes the destructive behavior. That is the cause of the damage and even though it has been costly, it is not his fault but those all over the world that breed our pets in puppy mills. All ten of our current cats and five dogs are all rescued and spayed and neutered. They give us more pleasure than words can describe. Priceless!!

Pam Wesch
Oberlin, KS
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