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My husband and I decided shortly after moving in together that we could get a dog.

We walked around the shelter and even took a couple out to play but we really didn't connect to any of the dogs. My husband asked if I wanted to go and look at the female dogs even though I really wanted a male but I thought it couldn't hurt. As we walked into the female section of the shelter I saw a thin, sad looking, little girl with giant ears laying on the bed with her head down. I walked up to her cage and she didn't look up, didn't greet me or wag her tail, just laid there looking like she had given up. I got down on my knee and put my fingers in the cage and she looked up at me our eyes locked, she reached out and put her paw on my fingers. I turned around immediately to my husband and said, "this one". I took her home 3 days later and named her Shiloh.

She quickly came out of her shell and was the most active dog I have ever known. She was a German Shepard mix, I called her an American Shepard. She quickly passed training classes, breezed through agility classes, and when I would take her to the dog park to show her off she was amazing with 20+ tricks. If I were to leave her with out crating her she would jump our 6ft wall or tear apart the couch. She was a staple in my home and if you ever came over or went anywhere with us you would meet this active, sweet, smart, beautiful dog and fall in love too. I had children and she was my "nanny". Coming to me when they would attach themselves to her tail asking me to please get them off.

Friday, March 6 at the age of 16, I helped my best friend for almost all of my adult life cross the rainbow bridge. Shiloh was an amazing gift that I will never forget.

Britiany Koopman
Phoenix, AZ

The Fluff Monster

I was living in Washington, D.C. and missed having a fuzzy friend in my life. When I moved, I specifically looked for a place to rent that would allow a cat. The organization, Homeward Trails, sent me pictures of a few cats. The one I was originally to meet was a senior male cat. On the day of our introduction, he was adopted. Instead, I met the beauty who became my fluff monster, Penelope. We were told that she was 3 when we adopted her, but she was probably more like 4 or 5 years old. She'd lived on the streets, and was picked up pregnant and disheveled. All her kittens were adopted out, but no one wanted her because she was older. I saw her and knew that she was the one.

She was very timid at first, but soon grew into a snuggle machine. When I suddenly had to move away from D.C. to Arizona, I couldn't take her with me. A wonderful friend took her in, and I flew back to D.C. a few months later to get her and bring her home. I was going through a rough time, but she was always there to snuggle and comfort me. I met the man I eventually married shortly thereafter. He is allergic to cats, but I told him that Penny was there first, and they would have to work it out (they did, and he loves her just as much as I do). Having Penny in my life has saved me, and kept me sane. She is now 10 years old, and the sweetest, fuzziest creature you will ever meet. Every day I am thankful that she came to me, and that she trusted me enough to let me into her heart. Here's to my beautiful Penelope!

Tempe, AZ

Tyrion the Vending Machine Cat

I work as a lifeguard and over the summer i work between 3 different outdoor pools. One day when I got to work my boss informed me that there was a kitten stuck in a vending machine in the mens bathroom. Being the crazy cat lover that I am all I heard was that I was going to go home with a cat. When i tell this story most people think he was stuck in the front part of the vending machine but in actuality he was in the back bottom part which was close to a wall. I soon realized that I couldn't reach him due to the positioning of the vending machine but a pool go-er helped me to move the vending machine, I wrapped my arm in a towel and pulled him out. He ended up being incredibly friendly and instantly started purring after his rescue. I called my mom and told her that i was bringing (another) cat home (she was not happy) and he got to hang out with a group of lifeguards for a few hours before coming home with me ( though quite a few children at the pool wanted to take him home)

It has been a year now and Tyrion acts like he's been part of the family forever. Our eldest cat could fair less of him but middle cat and our dog are best friends with Tyrion who loves to play with toys, sleep in the sun and sit in your lap (or in the sink).

Detroit, MI


Twelve years ago my husband and I decided to adopt our first cat together. We headed down to the local shelter to adopt a rescue because our town has a 7-day policy on euthanizing animals. My husband pointed to this 5 months old cat sleeping in his litter box (who was on his sixth day)... and I didn't want him--I wanted a different cat. My husband convinced me however that this was the cat we needed. When the shelter tried to remove him from his litterbox he flipped out... hissing and biting. He did not want to go! Regardless, we packed him into a cardboard box and took him home. On the way, he chewed his way out of the box and into my hand. Blood was everywhere.

It took 2 years before we could walk into the same room with him with our shoes on without him flinching. It took another five before he would let us pet him without ducking out of the way. He was fearful of everything. He is now 12 years old and I refer to him as my Fuzzy Baby. (His real name is Imhotep). He now sleeps next to my face at night, allows me to pick him up and carry him around... spends his days trying to cuddle up to me while I work at my desk. He follows me room to room, and when I leave the house, he wanders around and cries out in search of me. He is unequivocally the most beloved pet I know I'll ever adopt. He doesn't let anyone else get within 2 feet of him...but that's fine. I adore him enough for everyone.

Cary Morton
El Paso, TX

Magic The Chosen Cat

I was working armed security on patrol one night in 2000. I was training a fellow security officer at a Section 8 complex, when we opened up the maintenance room where we keep our log books and stuff at. Out of nowhere, this little kitten comes running towards us. Now keep in mind just a few months earlier I was grieving over the death of my grandmother and the death of my mother a year earlier. Needless to say I was living a little reckless at this point. When I saw that kitten run towards us, my heart just melted and I held this kitten and practically cried my eyes out. I was NOT going to leave him. I got him some food at the nearby convenience store and then I eventually took him to the dispatch office where the dispatchers watched and played with him until one of them got off and agreed to watch him and I would pick him up after shift. The next morning after shift I went and got him, and just like Magic my life was transformed. I named him Magic because he uplifted me so quickly and he pretty much rescued me more than I did him. I am happy to say, he is 14 now, and living the good life. Been with me through thick and thin, but he is my Magic.

Norman, OK

Foster failure and that is ok

Hi My name is Sasha Carliann.

First of all, my place to hide is the kitchen, since I am still scared, I won't let mom clean the floor, the broom has me shaking my hair off, that being said, mom is a great housekeeper.

I was something my mom called a stray. Nice humans were watching me, I was super skinny. One nice human saw me get hurt by a “bad” human. I was finally caught and brought to live at a place called a “foster home”.

I was a scaredy cat. I gave birth to puppies, they all got adopted to their furever homes. I had to wait a bit longer. I was made a puppy forever; thank goodness for that!

The lady that I was living with got in contact with my mom. Mom volunteered to be my foster mom. Mom and my other furblings met, we got along great! I was still a scardey cat. I hide in the kitchen, still trying to get used to this house stuff and getting regular meals, and treats! Mom also has to leave the back door open, she hides and I run outside to go “potty”. I still can’t have anyone watch me.

I am in the process of putting on weight, mom had to give me a new food. We took my DNA and sent it off. My doctor in my new home town thinks I am a shar pei mix. My first foster mom thinks I am some sort of shepherd. Mom thinks I have some cattle dog going through me. We think I might be some relation to my sister who came from the same big city; we have the same ears and we are close to the same size.

Thank you nice humans for saving me.

Sasha Carliann
Alamogordo, NM

Our Buddy

We lost our beloved yellow lab mix Jasmine at the age of 15 1/2 in February of 2011. My husband said let's wait a while for another dog - a week later he said let's get another dog! I had seen some photos posted at the local post office of two dogs found on a back road in our town. Our town supervisor didn't have the heart to put them down and had them boarded at the local vets. One was a female lab-mix - and the other a male & mix of not sure what. I immediately called wanting the lab mix. However, she was already gone. The male was still there - so we thought why not; let's go and at least meet him.

So we the made the appointment. We walk in - they bring out "Lance." His tail was wagging and literally knocked my husband over - My husband said - "We'll take him." That was 4 years ago. We knew instantly that he was ours. We adopted him and renamed him Buddy! He is our Buddy. He lays at our feet, under the table, by the bed. And his tail has not stopped wagging!! Buddy is now about 5 1/2 years old and a major part of our family and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Stacie Arnhold
Hampton, NY

3 Abandoned Puppies

We live in Guam, where the Humane Society estimates there are around 40,000 stray dogs on a 30 mile long island. Every day, we see so many dogs that have met an untimely end, and many more that are afraid of people, and/or have had zero human interaction. All the dogs are sick and starving, many that you see are pregnant. One day, on his way to work, my husband found 3 abandoned puppies on the side of a deserted road. He didn't think twice. He loaded them up into the car, brought them to me, and we took them to the vet. They were not only severely bony, but were dying of hookworm infestation, anemia, and had ringworm. The vet said they were 9 weeks old. We took them home and nursed them back to health, and since we already have two dogs of our own, we rehomed them with military families who will take them with them when they leave this island. All of the puppies were so sweet, loving, and began to be playful as they felt better. All dogs deserve to know what love and a good home feels like, and we're glad we could help these 3.

Sarah Cameron
Mangilao, GU

A constant love

In the fall of 2008, my sister and I adopted a kitten for our birthdays. Her shelter name was Josie but we called her JoJo. Little did we know that soon after, our lives would take quite a few turns.

Within the next few years, our family experienced financial hardship and some very bad luck. We moved from house to house, getting evicted from each one, our parents split up, and our mother was in a car accident that injured her neck. We lost a lot during that time, personal possessions as well as pets, whether they died or we just couldn't care for them anymore.

But through it all, JoJo has stayed with us. She continues to provide laughter and love in our lives. Even though we live apart now, my family and I bond whenever we come together and play with her. She also seems to know when someone is upset, and comes over to let us hug her and feel better. We couldn't have gotten through those hard years without her, and I know she'll always be there for us.

Santa Rosa, CA

Wobbly Sox

Hi, I'm Sox, I will be 1 in August. I was found with my 3 mummies and 17 other litter mates by some lovely ladies who run a rescue centre and looked after with all my little friends and some more big cats. When we got to this house we were all so tiny despite being 3 weeks old (they said we looked about 2 or 3 days old) as our mummies couldn't look after all of us. Some of my brothers and sisters where adopted very quickly as they were all healthy, but there was a few of us who weren't so well. I have CerebellarHypoplasia, which means I can't control my body so well, it doesn't hurt and I don't really mind. Because of this I was nearly put down, but luckily because of the lady who looked after me, it didn't happen to any of us (we all have varying degrees of this or something like CH) but it did mean no one really took an interest in my or my friends as we needed more support. Then one day when I was about 10 weeks old, I got introduced to a lovely man & lady. She had a thing round her leg which helps her walk too as she is also wobbly (she has a condition called EDS). They gave me lots of cuddles & played with me & my friends, a few days later, they became my mummy and daddy and took me home to meet my big brother Pippin. I love it here and love playing with everyone who visits (I have to be careful playing with mummy as her EDS means every time I accidentally scratch her, it can cut her and leave marks) I think I cope pretty well with my CH, I do occasionally fall over in the litter tray & need to have a bath (I'm getting big now and learning how to get out of the bath easily hehe) but it is happening less and less now as I'm getting bigger. Thanks for reading- Sox xxx

Northampton, United Kingdom
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