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Abby had two "owners" in her first year of life. The first said she was too destructive and gave her up. The second tied her up outside in the Las Vegas summer heat. We got a call from a rescuer asking if we could take in another dog. We jumped at the chance to add her to our family of two other Cairn Terriers. She now has parents and sisters instead of "owners." She is unbelievably smart and loving. Those other people missed out on a great companion.

Keith and Chris Kobielsky
Henderson, NV

Stormy-Girl: I truly miss her.

Back in 2001, a friend of mine asked if I could adopt her 6-year old cat Stormy-Girl. My friend had adopted her as kitten (half Russian Blue and Scottish Fold) About a year after she got Stormy-Girl she got a small dog that bullied Stormy-Girl. So Stormy-Girl was relegated to a tiny room in the basement where she lived alone for 6-years. So sad.

When I learned of Stormy-Girls's sad situation I agreed to adopt her. She was so frightened of her new home with my Son and I and woud bite, cower and run. My Vet said to give her lots of extra love and attention and she'd come around. The best advice I could have ever received. After about 2-weeks Stormy-Girl stopped biting and started "kissing" and had the loudest purr. She'd not only kiss us but anyone who came to visit. She was so playful and her happiness was quite evident. After all, she went from a damp, cold basement room to a 3-level Townhome. She had full freedom to every level with lots of windows to peer out and loved it!!! We also had just recently adopted a male Russian Blue mix breed cat, Smokey about 2-weeks prior to bringing Stormy-Girl into our home...so she now had a Brother to keep her company.

I've had cats my entire life and loved them all dearly, but Stormy-Girl was my "special" little girl. She gave us 7-1/2 more years of love and kisses. She became ill with renal failure and traveled to the "Rainbow Bridge" on January 7, 2008. I look forward to seeing her again one day. We love and miss you Stormy-Girl.

Lina Campbell
Roselle, IL

From Argentina to New York

I found Tita (a.k.a Tosti) and Moma as little kittens in a small park in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1995.

Buenos AIres is a city full of stray cats whose fate tends to be quite horrible. I had been taking care or a small stray colony around the corner of my house. However, when I saw little Moma (the gray one) looking at me with her huge, expressive eyes, I knew that she really wanted to come home with me. I started asking around if there were other kittens living with her. A group of old ladies who went to the park everyday told me that there was another cat, very shy, that had also been dumped in the park. After looking aroud, I found little Tosti hidden among debris, who was obviously Moma's sister.

I decided that separating them would be cruel and brought both of them home. They have been with me since then!

I immigrated to New York City in 1998 and brought them with me shortly after. They have been the most fabulous blessing in my life!!

Moma has cancer. I am nurturing her gently until she lets me know that she wants to go.

I wanted to publish this story honoring my sweet, smart and unconditionally loving Moma, who will not be with me for much longer.

Fortunately, Tosti is still going strong and just a sweet and mischievous as usual.

My dearest Tosti and Moma, I love you both so deeply!!

New York, NY

My Girls

I rescued Chelsea, my Sheltie, at age 3. She was petrified of people and hid under my bed. All she needed was lots of love and now she never leaves my side. That was 7 years ago. Three years ago I got Chloe, my Chihuahua, from a breeder. She had never been outside. Grass, rain, and snow were all new to her. Now my squirrels don't have a chance. She thinks she rules the back yard. I take Chelsea and Chloe to a local Nursing Home once a week. The residents love it and so do my girls - especially on popcorn day !!!! Rescue or adopt - it's the only way to go.

Gayle McCray
Michigan City, IN

April Showers Bring May Flowers

This little cutie pie was rescued from an abusive situation and came to the Umatilla, Florida, Humane Society shelter in April 2009. I was a volunteer there at the time. Upon arrival, April was a terrified little puppy who was barking, growling and snapping at everyone. After a couple days of gentleness and patience from everyone at the shelter, April settled down, her fear dissipated, and she became a sweet girl. She even began to snuggle up with the Humane Society gentleman who rescued her. They allowed me to spend some time with April, and we bonded. After her isolation time with treatment for a cough was completed, they allowed me to adopt her in May. I call her Abby. She is my best bud, and she has a forever home. She is now a happy girl, and we watch movies together cuddled up in the recliner - she loves popcorn! She also loves to go for rides in the car. I love her dearly. She is my "child with paws." The folks at the Umatilla Humane Society shelter are wonderful folks!

Bonnie Clyne
Leesburg, FL

Charlie, "Just another black dog..."

My husband and I found each other a year and a half ago, sharing many interests and passions, including our deepest passion--our love for animals.

I knew that there were plenty of unwanted dogs at the shelters, and I told my husband that we should go to the shelter and let one find us.

We headed out to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, MN, and walking through the shelter's cages, we were greeted by a barrage of excited and anxious dogs barking in every cage, every cage but one. Surrounded by several dogs who were barking and growling territorially at each other was "Richard", a little black lab mix curled up in the back of his cage. I leaned down to his level and called out his name. His breathing was labored and his movement was slow, but gentle and willing. He wagged his tail and licked our fingers, staring at us with his dull yet gentle, hopeful eyes. It was just moments before I knew he was our dog, and my husband quickly agreed.

It was evident that "Richard", now named Charlie, had lived a rough life full of neglect and abuse. He came to the shelter with kennel cough, worms, scarred legs and shattered teeth from being kicked or chewing his way out of a concrete cage.

He stole our hearts, and is now nothing like that sickly, brownish, tired dog we saw before. He loves to go to training, give "hugs", sleep on his three beds, and go on long walks. He is the happiest, most well-behaved dog most people have met, despite his experiences. His companions are our rescued rabbit and blind foster dog, never to know suffering again for as long as he lives. He is not "just another black dog."

Jill Damron
Woodbury, MN


When my fiance and I found Clementine and her sister by the side of the road, it appeared that they had been deserted there by someone. They were both tick infested and had mange. Because she was much smaller and her condition much worse, Clementine's sister, Lady Bird, despite our (and our vet's) best efforts, did not make it. Because of her compromised immune system Clementine then contracted Parvo. After being at the vet for nine days, she was able to come home. She was weak and almost unable to walk at times. Due to the Parvo, she lost several pounds and as a result of the mange treatment, she had lost most of the hair. Now, almost two months after finding her, she has almost no signs of her illness and she is developing as a happy, healthy puppy. We found Clementine on my mom's birthday and because my fiance and I already have three dogs and live in town, my parents are keeping Clementine. Best birthday present ever! Here is a before and after picture of Clementine to show what progress she has made. It's amazing what a fighter she is!

Pittsburg, KS

Our Katrina Babies

In 2005 when Katrina hit, we were so devastatingly shocked at what was happening to not only the people of New Orleans, but to the animals also. We decided we wanted to help out by becoming fosters. At first we were only supposed to foster Gumbo (the Collie on the left) but when my dad saw Buddy (the Golden on the right) smashing himself against the cage, he pointed him out and said that we couldn't possibly leave him. We ended up adopting them later. Buddy and Gumbo have been best brother ever since up until Gumbo passed away in May of this year. We all miss him very much, but we a grateful for the 5 wonderful years we spent with them both.

Taylor Adams
St. Charles, MO

His wait was over

Although I already had two cats, I felt our home had room for one more. I went to my local Red Door Animal Shelter and they had several cats they thought would get along well with my existing two. They brought me into a room that had mainly older cats, but there, sitting amongst the seniors, was a beautiful two year old boy who had been at the shelter for almost a year. They had placed him in the room with the older cats because of his laid back personality. We took one look at each other and I new he was the one for me. Oliver is the most loving boy and although I don't know why he wasn't adopted sooner, I felt that maybe he was just waiting for me.

Stefani L.
Chicago, IL

Stella & Awol

Awol (Yorkie) came to us 3 years ago with chemical burn from laying in his own urine, parasites, worms, etc. He doesn't bark, likely because of prior abuse, but he has become the sweetest, most loyal lapdog you've ever seen. We rescued Stella this year as a playmate for Awol and they quickly became the best of friends! As you can see in the picture they are inseperable and we now know just how fulfilling rescue animals can be! Please consider adoption over breeder puppies!!

Lyndsay Biby
Mustang, OK
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