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About 6 yrs ago, I was forced to put my precious "Roxie girl" down due to kidney and liver failure..She was a rescue who made our family complete. After her death, I vowed that one day I would have another rottweiler. Years had passed and I was unsuccessful in my search. I wanted to rescue again. On July 2, 2014, a friend of mine showed me a picture of a young dog in a local "kill" shelter. I was immediately attached and I hadn't even met her yet! The following morning, I was at the shelter before they opened...I was there to get my dog! Our entire family fell madly in love with this beautiful girl! She never ceases to amaze us with her intelligence! In 2 days, she was completely housebroke, knew (and answered) to her name, and has learned "sit" and "heel". Our vet estimates her age at 4mos. We named her ECHO.

Echo is not my first rottweiler rescue, she's actually my 8th! I firmly believe that a rescue dog somehow knows that they have been given a 2nd "leash" on life and seem to make the best pet, companion, and family member. If given the chance, I will rescue again, and again, and again.

Fayette, UT

How Walter saved me

My Walter is a German Shepherd/Cattle Dog mix. My story is that I had spent the month of November, 2010 with my sister and our father as he passed from colon cancer. I came home to find that my employer wasn't really as happy to have me back as he said and I left his employment. Christmas came and went along with the New Year and I was on a roller coaster of emotions and wrong anti-depressant medication. In May, 2011, our sweet Beagle, Bobbie Sue, suffering from fluid on her heart, had a "stroke" and upon taking her to the emergency vet at Purdue Univ. were told that there was nothing that they could do. My daughter and I decided to do the best for her and she passed a short time later. As my medication wouldn't let me sleep, I, at 3:30 a.m., was on Petfinder and typed in German Shepherd. Our first dog as a married couple had been a Shepherd and my husband had always wanted another. After looking at a few pages I saw the sweetest black and white face. I felt in my heart he was mine. On Sunday morning my husband, daughter and myself drove 2 hrs. to Lafayette, IN, went in the puppy room and there he was. We brought him home that day and he became my constant companion. We went to obedience classes and were together always. In September we went back and whomever had adopted his brother had returned him. Love at first sight again and now Pauly is with us too. They knew each other immediately. But Walter, he's my baby. Because I cried so much when he first came to us, because I was grieving, to this day, if I cry, he is immediately by my side, licking my face, comforting me. He was my reason to get up in the morning. I had someone that needed me as much as I need them. Thank you Walter, for saving me.

Angela Morenz
wheatfield, IN

Love Makes It All Better

We met someone with a 200 pound English Mastiff that loved and slobbered all over my 13 year old in Petsmart one day, and afterwards, he had his heart set on getting a Mastiff, the bigger the better. I couldn't afford breeder prices. He kept checking Craigslist and the Humane Society for one. He found an ad that a rescue was seeking a home for a very special 3 1/2 month Mastiff mix puppy. I was suspicious, because there were no pictures, she was free - no adoption fees, and wasn't spayed, but the rescue offered to help get that done later. The foster mom responded to all my questions with "Just come meet her! She's so sweet!" It took my son a week to talk me into going to see the dog. The foster mom told us the puppy had been horribly abused, but she was very sweet and loving. She then brought in the most pathetic looking dog I had ever seen. Most of her fur had been burned off. Her tail and one of her toes had been cut off. Her ears were nothing but scabs. She had multiple healing cuts. You could see every one of her bones. She was too anemic to be spayed yet due to blood loss from the abuse and being infested with fleas and worms when she was found. Foster Mom put the pup in my son's lap. She immediately snuggled against his chest and put her head against his neck. I warned him that with her history, she would never be as big as he wanted. She probably wouldn't even be 100 pounds. He said "I know, but I like her."

Four years later, she weighs 90 pounds, and everyone tells us what a beautiful dog she is. She's still the sweetest, most loving dog I've ever met.

Jacksonville, FL

A tail with two halves

My partner and I wanted to make sure we picked the perfect dog for our life style. My partners favourite breeds were Labradors and Springer Spaniels, I was particularly fond of Cocker Spaniels as I had grown up with them. Working in a rescue centre I didn't want to take home just any dog as I had sadly witnessed many rescue dogs being returned when they hadn't been paired with the right owners. My partner was keen for a springer but as a compromise I insisted it had to be a small female as I felt a large springer might be too much to handle. I jokingly gushed how lovely it would be to find one with an all over chocolate face and we even chose a name 'lola'.

Fate must have been smiling down on us because two weeks later into our rescue centre arrived the daintiest, most beautiful female springer spaniel I had ever seen, with, unbelievably, an all over chocolate face! She had endured horrific abuse, was abandoned, barely much bigger than a bag of bones, leaking from recently given birth to pups and petrified of anything and everything. She would try to bolt if you went near her, was petrified of human contact, snarling and growling at anything she didn't like and she had a bone disease that meant she limped and needed constant medication. But deep down she was just one terrified little pup. We adopted her as soon as she was fit enough to leave the centre and spent months working on her rehabilitation. Deciding the name 'lola' didn't suit her, we called her 'Lottie' and she became my constant companion.

Two years later I had graduated working in a different field, I met at a clients house and noticed they had a black lab. Being such a dog lover I immediately enquired about the dog and they explained they were trying to re-home her but that no body wanted her because she was old. 'Oh really that's so sad' I said 'what's she called?'


And the rest as they say, is history!

Wales, United Kingdom

Princess Chisana

My fiance and I were on our lunch break, and we went to the nearby park for lunch. We were watching the river when we noticed this tiny cat laying several feet away in the grass. For a stray, she was extremely friendly and was purring and welcomed being pet. But I noticed that her lower jaw was bloody. She was injured, and I knew we couldn't leave her there.

My fiance agreed to take her to the vet, so he carried her to the vet in a box (about a mile away!). We were SO lucky that it was payday because the surgery to fix her up was $200 up front (people sometimes drop off injured strays and never return) and another $300 when we picked her up the next day.

The surgery consisted of wiring her lower jaw (the vet wasn't sure what caused the injury), shaving down two of her canines (the other two caused sores and had to be shaved down later), and removing a few front teeth that were knocked out of place. The vet estimated her to be 2-3 years old, and everyone there thought we were great people for bringing her in.

She is very healthy now and has been spoiled with love for the past six months, but she has separation anxiety, which makes me wonder if she was abandoned. Her jaw is slightly crooked (the vet couldn't make it perfect due to minor bone loss), so she also has trouble eating. It was very hard and frustrating for her to pick up and keep kibble in her mouth, so she now eats canned food with single kibbles for treats (spoiled!).

Still, she never stopped being a sweetheart. She loves cuddling with me and my fiance when we sleep, and she's very vocal, talking all the time. She also loves to play with everything (pens, paper scraps, etc) and chase flies.

Some people thought we were crazy for spending so much money on a random stray, but I wouldn't give her up for anything. I'm so glad that we found her.

Roseburg, OR

Maximus Decimus Meridius - The Gladiator

Meet my sweet baby boy Maximus Decimus Meridius, aka “Max”. I have been rescuing animals since I was young, as does my friend who happens to be a vet at the local animal shelter. She introduced me to my precious girl Lola. I often marvel at Lola’s spirit considering she and her littermates were left in a box in the middle of the hot desert. I thought Lola could use a friend so my vet friend phoned me to come down to the shelter to meet a cute frightened kitten.

As soon as I arrived at the shelter, I was taken into a special room where I found him cowering in the far corner of the cage. He came to me immediately, I scooped him up gingerly, careful of his stitches alongside of his body, and he snuggled under the nap of my neck, and soon his tiny shaking body, relaxed.

My vet friend proceeded to disclose what had happened to him: A postman heard weak cries coming from a dumpster where he found this tiny kitten in a pile of bloody newspapers, with an open wound. Witnesses told the postman that someone took the kitten out of a dog’s mouth, but thought he was dead because of his lifeless body, so they wrapped him in newspaper and tossed him in the dumpster. The postman rushed him to the animal shelter where my vet friend received him, and mended him back together.

That was 6 years ago, and I love him more than my heart can hold. I named him after the character from Gladiator, because of his unwavering strength. As large as he is now, (Maine Coon) he still snuggles at the nap of my neck, where I whisper to him, “my sweet baby boy Max”

Rebecca L Wooldridge
Las Vegas, NV

Bella - Beautiful cat, beautiful personality

It was right around my sixteenth birthday when this beautiful little cat showed up on my back porch. I went outside and sat down. She was timid, but slowly made her way to me. My mom found me sitting on the back porch petting her, and came out with bacon and told me not to tell my Dad, who hated cats. Over the following weeks my mom and I continued to pet, play with, and feed her. I named her Bella, which is Italian for beautiful. In July we went on vacation, and when we came back a week later, my dad told my mom to take her to the vet and make sure she was healthy and get her spayed, because she obviously wasn't going to leave.

Over the next few weeks we started buying her food and allowing her inside occasionally. She learned her name quickly and would come running any time we called for her. She warmed up to everyone in my family really quickly and became my dad's best friend, much to everyone's surprise. On the nights she decided to sleep indoors, she slept at the foot of my parents bed. We all loved her, and she loved anyone who'd pet her.

Two years later, tragedy struck. We took her to the vet because she'd started peeing inside the house, which she'd never done before. We found out two things. First, that she was much older than we thought, closer to ten or so. Secondly, She had kidney failure, and there wasn't much we could do. My mom and I tried everything we could keep her around longer, but when she became lethargic and lost her personality, we knew it was time to say good-bye. All our hearts were broken.

However, her story isn't entirely sad. Because if Bella had never chosen us, my family would have never gone on to adopt four more kitties (my parents have two, and I have two). Bella may be gone, but she will always hold a place in my heart.

Ashley Roxanne Mennillo
Morgantown, WV

I Saved My Mom

Meet Peanut,

I was living with a boyfriend at the time and we had an outside cant and quickly found out she was pregnant. One day she appeared without her pregnant belly, we searched high and low for the babies to no avail. One day I was coming home from work and walked in the gate, she jumped over the fence with his tiny little self in her mouth, she softly put him in my hands and I was in love. One day, I made the comment when he was being a playful kitten, "oh you're a member of the peanut gallery huh?" and the name stayed.

The relationship ended shortly after getting him. It was not a good ending, and I wound up in a heavy drug addiction. One day him and the other kitten I adopted looked at me and I changed situations quickly and getting sober because easier. I got sober, and began to be the mommy he needed me to be, and live up to the hope and faith he put in me. We recently made a cross country trip and I was a nervous nelly, he handled it in true Peanut fashion, bossy but easy going as long as you let him do his thing. He's a senior cat and I know my time with him is going to be coming to an end. I am thankful, his mom gifted him to me and knew Id love him, because even when I don't love myself I love him. People don't see his personality, he's picky, but I see the best and have learned to love in a way I never have. I've had pets before, but the devotion and loyalty this lover boy shows me is like nothing I've ever been blessed with before. He is so much like me, loves so completely but not very freely. He seems distant, but mostly he likes watching in peace, I understand I like watching too. He's a chatter, in that picture he's wondering where I put something.

Phoenix, AZ

Feral Cat Rescue (TNR=Trap,Neuter,Release)

Last year, I was living in a neighborhood with many feral cats. One day, one came to my porch mewing very loudly. It was the dead of winter. I had a house cat, so cat food was plentiful. I put a little food out for this poor guy. And so it began. After day one, I couldn't help but continue to put food out. And, obviously, more cats started coming.

There was one in particular who caught my attention. A calico, who couldn't have been older than 6 months. She was frail and very obviously pregnant. I couldn't stand to see her this way. She had her litter, making the feral cat population in my neighborhood upwards of 25. I hated to see all these animals continuously struggling and multiplying.

So, I found a place with a free TNR program to maintain feral populations. My goal was to get the kitten who just had kittens spayed. But I was petrified. I had just started getting her to trust me and I didn't want to scare her. But she was in heat. I had to act fast or she would have yet another litter and possibly not survive it.

So, I did it. I was shaking the whole way to the vet's office, but I had to remember, I was doing the right thing. When she came back, it maybe took 2 days for her to trust me again. It had been worth it. But there were more that needed my help. So, I continued with TNR until I had about 15 cats fixed. Meanwhile, others were still having kittens. So, I found those kittens homes when they were ready to be weened (with the help of two neighbors who also cared for the cats). I re-homed so many newborns as well as some ferals who were able to be tamed. What ever happened to that feral kitty; my first spay? Well she is now living with me and my other house cat safe and sound. She is as sweet as can be and you'd NEVER guess where she came from.

Jolene Hinsley
Lincoln, NE

Little Lost Soul

For a few weeks I noticed a small grey cat hanging about the neighbourhood. I put out some water and food, but it would run whenever I came near. One day I looked out the window and it was on the porch and looked back at me and cried. I took out food and spent 30 minutes talking softly and gradually approaching and eventually the cat let me pet her. From then on it was like all barriers were down...she rubbed against me and purred and rolled on the ground. And ate. I could feel her bones through her fur, yet her belly was HUGE! My partner grabbed a pet carrier at my direction, saying "She's not going to like that!" Much to her dismay I bundled her inside the carrier, put a towel over it to lessen her distress and we drove to see my vet.

He explained the options. I knew immediately I didn't want to consider euthanasia, although I understand the cat overpopulation problem. He also told me she was VERY pregnant.This was a Friday afternoon. I could schedule an emergency spay on Monday, but he didn't think she'd last that long. I decided to go with the option of having her tested for FIV and feline leukemia, and then decide. She ended up being negative, so I brought her home and made a "birthing box" and placed her in a quiet location. The very next afternoon the little gray cat that I named Lily had 4 kittens! I really believe she came to me looking for help, knowing her babies would be born soon. I plan to spay Lily and give her a permanent home once the kittens are weaned and adopted out to good homes. She thanks me daily with cuddles and purrs!

Centreville, NS, Canada
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