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A Happy Ending for Willy

If a good disposition insured a good life, Willy would never have suffered so much as one bad day. The big, happy grey cat greeted everyone he met at the Humane Society Silicon Valley with headbutts, rolling over to solicit belly rubs.

A born charmer, it made the state he was in even more tragic: born with a congenital eye problem, his right eye was infected. Three of his canine teeth were badly cracked and he was FIV+.

Brought in to another shelter that didn’t have the resources to help the gregarious feline, HSSV’s Animal Community Center was able to provide him with the medical care he so badly needed.

After several surgeries and recuperation time, he was placed in the adoption area where he quickly won the hearts of volunteers, staff and visitors alike. It was no surprise that less than three weeks after he came to HSSV, Willie found a new family that could accommodate his medical issues.

Milbrae, CA

Our Stories

Our Stories: Top row, rescue pics - bottom row - current pics.

Left to right -

About 6 years ago, Punkin was abandoned in a snowstorm in an industrial park parking lot. She was only weeks old & found crawling out of a sewer hole, frozen & could barely walk, we weren`t sure she`d survive. As you see, she`s not only survived, she`s THRIVED! She`s a mommy`s girl & loves to cuddle & take lots of naps.

Last February Poppy was found on my husbands job site, about 3-4 weeks old, she was way too young to be away from her mother. Needless to say she made her way home in his pocket and has been a handful ever since. Full of play, we are reminded daily that she`s definitely ALL KITTEN! No rest for this lil girl.

Our most recent rescue - about a month ago - Peanut was found wondering the streets, matted from head to toe, so much that it impaired her movement. Not only matted, but she was full of stickers and spurs. She was covered in fleas, eyes infected so badly that she kept them closed. Exhausted from fending for herself way to long, she slept constantly. We found out that she had a terrible respiratory infection & that she wasn`t a kitten (surprising to us, she was sooo tiny!), instead was 4-5 years old. Now, after a few vet visits, medications & lots of TLC, her eyes are clear & we`ve found she`s not only well rested & feeling better but she`s loving getting spoiled with lots of belly rubs. A new trait to us this lil one is pretty talkative, she has plenty to say!

These 3 babies have come into our lives & brought us so much joy, we wouldn`t have it any other way, The Ryans 2014

Mr & Mrs. Steven Ryan
Baltimore, MD

My FIV Neko - My hero

Though I've had abandoned cats all my life never did I fight for one as hard as I did for Neko. Neko was a mere 4 weeks old when I got him. Sick and rejected by his mommy my husband and I were asked to take him. After battling with his illnesses and getting him on the mend I nearly lost him at 4 months. Do to an inverted bowel he lost 8 inches of his bowel and spent many months an bottle food. But he was my little angel. He helped me through my depression and my many health issues. He even found my when I had heat stroke and got me up. He saved my life when I had a heart attack by getting my phone so I could dial the hospital. He watched over me as I have sleep apnea and would wake me when I stopped breathing. So while he was my service animal in part, he was my friend in whole. We found he had FIV and with no immune system to speak of he was fighting a losing battle. He was often sick but even then he filled my life with a joy that only he could give. At a young age of 4 Neko passed away. He was having strokes and we couldn't let him suffer. He told us it was time. So we let him go. But I will never forget him and he has inspired me to reach out and help others more. I miss my Neko but he will always be in my heart.

E. B. S.
Oakes, ND

Batman is really my superhero!

Back in August 2008 I came home from Afghanistan, I was feeling very alone, so I decided to go to the animal shelter and see if I could find a dog that I liked. I was looking thru everything and not finding a dog that I liked, so I went to look at cats and found this little Chihuahua mix in with a cat. I asked to look at the puppy and when I pulled her out a little marking on her chest caught my attention. That little marking looks like the Batman symbol. So I told them I wanted the puppy, I was informed that the cat and dog were a pair and I would have to take both. I happily agreed and became the proud mom of two pets. As time went on the effects from war started to show and Batman was always by my side. It was almost a year before I finally would go get help and all this time my little puppy was by my side and was picking up on the chemical changes in my body that would cause me to blackout and she started letting me know by playfully attacking my feet. As time went on my psychiatrist was starting to understand how much she was helping me and sought out the resources to have her trained to be a service dog for my PTSD. It wasn't long before he found out how to get her certified and helps me thru the process and prescribed her to me that way the VA would help with here cost. Jump to know and she is fully certified and loves getting to go everywhere. It has been a rough thou because a lot of people don't understand how such a small dog can be a service dog.

Stephanie Stark
Springfield, MO


Not sure what made me to go to the animal shelter that day an hour before closing, but something was calling my name. I went into the cat room and browsed around and then went to the dog area. Nothing was jumping out at me. I headed back to the cat room when a friend was now working behind the counter. I told her I didn't feel a connection with anything I had seen. She then reached into the cage behind the counter and handed me a tripod kitten about 8 weeks old, the last of the litter, 6 people looked but no one wanted him. After a short visit in the bonding room, I was in love. I brought him home and named him ERNESTO which means determined in Spanish. A couple months later we discovered he was in alot of pain, not moving and would cry at the touch. An xray revealed his hip had come out of the socket and was deformed. We scheduled surgery ASAP and had the ball joint removed. He would learn to use his leg without it. So now he is not only a tripawd but has a gimpy back leg to boot. He has been the best kitten ever and amazes me everyday. The bond I feel with him is like no other. Something directed me to the shelter that day. I believe it was to rescue Ernie. Anyone else may not have invested the money to do the surgery. He lets nothing stand in his way (not even our 90# Lab) and makes me laugh at all the silly things he does. He is my little buddy and I am so thankful I found him.

Wendi Alonzo
Carbon Cliff, IL

Road side find

About seven summers ago. My husband called from his job with the city that someone brought a cat in that they found beside the road. They had wrapped in a sweater even when it was very warm. My husband asked me to pick it the orange and white kitten up and bring it home. He didn't think it was going to live and thought it should die in peace if that was going to happen. I brought him home and placed him in the basement where it was cool with a blanket to lay on and some food and water. This also prevent our other cats (all rescues) from bothering him. I petted him and told him. "there there" since there wasn't much I could do but make him comfortable for the night. The next morning I went down to the basement to check on him and the blanket was empty. I sat on a chair and called "kitty kitty". He crawled out from under a piece of furniture and jumped in my lap. My husband and I named him Trip and he is my husband buddy and earns his keep with the mice he catches and the cuddles.

Platteville, WI

Our Gift From God

On July 4th of this year, our 16 year old black Siamese Rocket went to kitty heaven, and it really hurt my hubby Ricky and me a great deal. The month before this happened, we started volunteering at a no-kill shelter called CATS Bridge to Rescue, and after Rocket passed, Ricky and I thought this would be a really good form of therapy for us. While I was volunteering, several of the cats became friendly with me, one of which was a sick little Russian Blue girl named Isabella.

Isabella was congested and had gunk in her eyes, so For over a week I took care of her and a few other sick kitties, and did further volunteering, all the while praying for God to show me which of these special little beings to adopt. All during this, she and three other cats would be following me, but Isabella however, would not only follow me, she'd literally jump into my arms whenever she would see me, and insist on cuddling with me! She was ALWAYS there to greet me, and get her daily cuddling in, all the while my heart was beginning to heal from the loss of Rocket. Slowly but surely in a months’ time, I could sense that God was directing me to this special little kitty, and after much prayer and discussion, Ricky and I finally adopted her.

When we got her home, she immediately acted like she owned the place, and spent nearly ALL night next to us! God truly used her to heal our hearts, and I am forever grateful for this. She has “daddy Ricky” wrapped around her little paw, and not only owns our apartment, but our hearts, and we wouldn’t want it any other way!! 

Wendy Saddler
Bensalem, PA

Who needs a man when you have a Kitten like mine!

I was never a stranger to animals with my mother a vet. We had 5 dog's 2 cat's and 4 horses.

It was my junior year of high school. I just broke up with my boyfriend because all he did was lie. I was heartbroken because I had never been lied to in a realtionship before. One of his lies was he'd buy me a kitten.

I always wanted to adopt a cat because I worked at a animal shelter before we moved. So my mom agreed that another kitten wouldn't exactly cause a huge problem in our household. I still remember how she 'wasn't getting me a cat because that asshole promised me one it was because I wanted one'

So she took me to several animal shelters and I found her in the last one. She was originally an outdoor cat and loved to get on high places and look out widows and chirp at squirls and birds. She was later declawed and started to adjust to our house. I ended up naming her Smokey do to her fur looking like dark smoke on a golden canvas.

Once out of her shell she became the most playful and ornery cat. In the darkness of night you have to be careful. My father made the mistake of entering a dark room and she wrapped her little declawed paws around his leg nearly giving him a heart attack. She constantly plays with our other adopted cat Sneakers. She tends to play with anything she finds. She even once ran around the house with a dollar bill in her mouth that no one knows where she got it from!

She's also very cuddly and loving. Every night she comes and sleeps with me and cuddles with me while I play video games. I can honestly say I am happy with just her and really dont need someone else.

But if I do find someone there's a requirment that he has to like cat's cause he he doesn't I bet you can guess who's going. And it isn't the cat ;)

Shawnee, OK

Heart Broken

I saw an ad on craigslist for "FREE KITTENS". I went to pick one out and when I got to the home it was deplorable. I took the last 2 kittens because I could not leave the other. When I got home I noticed they were covered in fleas and had worms protruding from their rectum. I got them cleaned up and dewormed and they were such lovers. They both would climb up to my neck and nuzzle in. I bought them the best food the coolest toys and softest blankets. Watched them grow and play and tumble. I would look forward to them greeting me at the door when I got home from work. When they were old enough I had them neutered and first set of shots were given. Fast forward 9 months. I notice my Inky wasn't acting himself. Wasn't playing. Took him to the vet and he tested positive for Feline Leukemia. He was very anemic and had lost so much weight. I had to put him to sleep. I knew that his brother would test positive as well. I cried for days. He wasn't even a year old yet. I knew I had to keep my other boy healthy as to not catch a secondary illness. Well he developed a cough. Took him in hoping for antibiotics for pneumonia. Took xrays and discovered a mass on his left lung. I decided to bring him home seeing how he wasn't in any pain and spoil him the last few days of his life. He had Grilled Salmon filets, Beef tenderloin, LOBSTER, and all the cat treats he would eat! I finally laid him to rest yesterday. A small fortune later and a severely broken heart I am writing to reach out to you. PLEASE, do not get ANY pet from craigslist. I have learned a valuable lesson. A painful lesson. SPCA or your local animal shelter is always in need of someone to adopt their animals. If you bring a pet into your life make sure you have the time and finances to care for it.

Upstate, NY

Who rescued who?

My fiance and I adopted a 9 week old beagle/terrier-basenji mix a little over a year ago. I'd been wanting a dog for so long, while my other half was a little nervous. That is, until he met her. He fell in love with her the moment he saw her. We watched her grow and learn so fast. She quickly became a part of the family and the center of attention.

Recently, he left us and broke up our little family. I felt so bad that our baby couldn't understand why her "dad" left and didn't come back. We were both so depressed. We stayed in bed for days, she didn't want to play. She just looked out the window all day. I thought we would be broken forever, but she brought me back up. She was there through all the good and bad and it wasn't fair for her to keep having to suffer. So we leaned on each other and got back on our feet/paws.

Now, we go everywhere together. We sleep cuddled up together. We go through everything in life together. She's always here for me and I am always here for her. My friends and family love her. She's my everything, and very spoiled, but so well behaved. I look forward to every new day waking up next to my dog, my daughter, my best friend, the love of my life.

Kokomo, IN
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