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Amazing, beautiful spirit!

My husband found Charlie when he was about 6 months old, in a field near our home, starving and riddled with fleas and ticks. A few weeks later, we learned that because of a congenital defect, Charlie needed a serious, open-chest surgery, the after-effects of which would necessitate that he eat only liquified food for the rest of his life, but which was the only way to save his life. Through it all, Charlie was always happy (just look at that smile!), playful, and full of joy and boundless energy. His immune system was doubtlessly weakened by his condition, but nothing ever stopped him.

A few years later, Charlie contracted Valley Fever. He was nearly completely incapacitated for 7 months. Once again, though, our Charlie fought, and recovered (although he had to be on medication to control the antibodies - which remained in his system - for the rest of his life). Still, as soon as he was physically able, Charlie smiled, wagged, and got down to playing again!

After Charlie's initial surgery, when he was six months old, we were told not to expect him to live to be six years old.

Last September, when Charlie was nearly 8 years old, he, our other beautiful angel dog, Lucky, and I went out into that same field to play. Charlie jumped into the river to fetch a stick, and when he came back up on shore, he laid down. This was highly unusual, so I ran to his side. My little angel died in my arms.

We will never stop missing Charlie, but the joy, love, and laughter he brought us, together with a supreme lesson in how to carry on through hardship, will never leave us. Our love for him is forever.

Celia Anderson
Riverside, CA

Chloe - Has Her Own Facebook Page

Who would ever think Chloe would have her own Facebook page? But she does. Five years ago, at the age of two, she was found tied outside the kennel area of the veterinary office where I took my other dog, Wally. She was scrawny and wormy but the most loveable dog you would ever want to know. She was an habitual runaway and afraid of everything. She needed a home where she could receive unconditional love and she found it in my home. Early in her adjustment, she tried to run away, but she knew what a good thing she had going. She has not tried to run since.

Chloe has not done anything particularly heroic. As a matter of fact, she has eaten through the wall a couple of times during thunderstorms. However, she is somewhat of a celebrity in my town, having been featured on the local tv news for being one of the first dogs in the area to have her DNA tested (she does not look it but she is part Pointer, German Shepherd and Shiba Inu). Here pedigree is 100% LOVE.

Ann Rueve
Cincinnati, OH

Smokey's Story

Smokey is a male cat who was trapped after a feral colony caretaker saw him for the first time.

He had been in a fire, and his face, paws, whiskers and ears were scorched. He was dehydrated, infested with fleas, exhausted, (his pads were still bleeding a bit), and he even smelled bad from the burned tissue.

We at The Peter Zippi Memorial Fund for Animals agreed to take him in and house him until he recovered.

We don't know what happened - if he were a victim of cruelty or had been caught up in the Christmas arson fire in a church near where he emerged. He may have "laid low" and hidden, as cats will do for a while after being so hurt, waiting to either die or get better.

Smokey was unneutered at the time of his rescue, but very calm and gentle when he was examined, given fluids and medications.

Smokey is big guy, around 10 pounds and a fluffy solid pewter color (with kind of silvery fur underneath and on his feet). The vet estimated that he was about 2 years old.

Smokey recovered from his wounds, and shortly after we listed him on Petfinder, we were contacted by a woman who had recently lost her big smokey-grey cat.

It was love at first sight for both of them.

It's been almost a year, and Smokey's mom lets us know on a regular basis how happy they both are.

Gail
Hermosa Beach, CA

Wee little Calli

We found our 2nd cat Calli when she was meowing as loud as she could crawling up our front door.

It was late November and very cold out side. She was only a few weeks old and oh so tiny.

The moment I plucked her off my door she went right to my shoulder and purred her little heart out.

It was love at first purr.

She is still with us 3 years later happy with her older sister we rescued a year before. She is our Crazy Calli and we all love her madly.

amy buco
newnan, GA

Maggie Moo Saves Granny's House

I rescued Maggie from a puppy mill.

Once I went out of town, my Granny kept her for me. One evening, after she was done reading her Bible, Granny left the room. Maggie started barking wildly. When Granny ran back into the living room, she saw that her reading lamp was smoking. Maggie helped save my Granny's house from burning down!

*~*

Maggie was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.

*~*

Miranda
Tuttle, OK

Elmo: A Therapy Dog

In 1999 I received a call from my vet asking if I would be interested in rescuing a black lab. The dog had been wandering around and efforts to find his owner had not been successful. I went to meet the pup and fell in love with the skinny dirty dog. He was christened Elmo by my son Austin and has been a joy for our family ever since.

Elmo is a therapy dog with Hand In Paw in Birmingham Alabama. He has been a huge part in helping to develop a program at The Bell Center for Early Intervention. At The Bell Center he has worked with toddlers with developmental delays for the past five years. He has been the motivation for children to take their first steps and to say words when they do not often talk to humans. He moves through an obstacle course with each child pretending to jump on a trampoline, going through a tunnel and chasing balls throw by the children. As Elmo has gotten older, his favorite activities are playing with puzzles, shape sorters, and reading books, where his patient gaze helps to keep the children focused on the activity. He also works at Birmingham Speech and Hearing with a speech and language pathologist to encourage children with autism spectrum disorder to initiate speech and improve social skills. Even after experiencing major surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed in 2007 he has not lost his love for his work with the children. Rescuing Elmo has been a blessing to not only us but also to the hundreds of families that he has shared his love with.

*~*

Elmo was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.

*~*

Melinda C. Davis
Birmingham, AL

Maggie the minature horse who gives kisses

Maggie is a four-year-old miniature therapy horse who has been visiting nursing facilities since she was eight months old. I never taught her how to kiss people, but she does and it makes the senior citizens and handicapped individuals she meets smile and giggle with delight. She has sparked memories in Alzheimer's patients and has been named the mascot for the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, walking every year with a bucket to raise money for them. She is a very special little horse at 33" tall with a six foot heart of gold.

*~*

Maggie was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.

*~*

Nancy
Danvers, MA

Copper: A Rescue Dog and K-9 of the Year

In 2005, Copper was found abandoned and was surrendered to Evergreen Golden Retriever Rescue. During his veterinary workup, Copper was diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, a condition which gave him a raspy bark, but otherwise he was a healthy golden retriever.

King County Sheriff Deputy Miller was an approved adopter who wanted a dog to train for the Sheriff's K-9 unit. He met Copper and was instantly in love, claiming he would adopt Copper even if he wasn't able to complete the narcotic detection program. Despite his laryngeal paralysis (which becomes more agitated as he gets excited), Copper excelled in his training and became a full-time member of the Sheriff's K-9 corps. He is an outstanding narcotics detection dog and has completed over 1200 "sniffs" of buildings, vehicles, packages, bags and other items. Copper is credited with over 250 narcotics arrests and the seizure of over $2.5 million in cash and property related to narcotics trafficking. In 2006, Copper was named K-9 of the Year for King County. In 2007, Copper and his handler, Deputy Miller, won the Golden Rescue And Community Excellence Award in the area of Law Enforcement.

While most dogs work to please their specific handlers, Deputy Miller says Copper doesn't work just for him, but gets excited to perform for the detectives and deputies who request his assistance. Retirement is coming for Copper and Deputy Miller and when it arrives, it will be a sad day for the Sheriff's Office as well as other city and federal agencies who have come to rely on their expertise. Not only is Copper an excellent detection canine, he also brings a smile on the face of anyone he comes in contact with.

*~*

Copper was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.

*~*

Detective Kristi Bridgman
Maple Valley, WA

Slipper Tracks Down Noname

Slipper wandered up to our door, a starved, under a year old Black and Tan Coon Hound. We took him in, and he wound up saving our ancient Lhaso Apso's life.

Noname, the Lhaso, was blind and deaf. He managed to get out of the fenced yard and wandered off. We live in deep country. We searched and searched and couldn't find him. Then my husband took Slipper out. He found Noname, wedged between the branches of a fallen tree by the creek, too far away for us to hear him if he barked. Slipper is our hero, and Noname's hero as well.

*~*

Slipper was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.

*~*

Nancy Grigsby
Franklin, KY

Incredible Kitty Rue

It hadn't been too long since I adopted Rue from the Richmond SPCA that she showed me what an incredible kitty she is. Around 4:30 a.m., I felt Rue walking on me and causing a fuss. I had left my stove on and my apartment was full of gas! Rue saved my life and I am forever grateful to her.

*~*

Rue was featured as an ANIMAL HERO on The Animal Rescue Site in February 2009.

*~*

Kelly Markey
Richmond, VA
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