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Keeping My Options Open

I had wanted a small, adult dog for quite sometime and I was adamant about wanting to adopt from a shelter. It took awhile for my local shelter to get in a small breed dog but when they did my boyfriend and I went as soon as we got out of class for the day. Upon arriving we found out that the dog we had went to adopt had already had pre adoption papers on her from a rescue. A little disappointed, my boyfriend talked me into visiting with the rest of the dogs at the shelter.

It was, thankfully, a slow week at the shelter with only two runs filled but there was a litter of 8 week old hound mix puppies and it was love at first sight for us. There was one puppy that was so playful and wanted all of the attention and we just knew he would be the perfect one. Although we were set on getting a small breed dog, I'm so grateful we kept our options open and ended up with a 54 lb bundle of chaos. Finn has brought so much love to our lives and we couldn't imagine not having him. It's funny how things end up working out!

Greenville, NC

The Weeds Surprise

Early June 2013, I was attempting to get my three cats inside for the night. I noticed they were very interested in something in the weeds so I had to investigate. I found this frightened cat to whom I said hello to and petted. I tried to pick her up but that disturbed her and at the time I thought she was in labor so I decided not to move her.

The following day, I found her on the front porch and took this picture of her. She seemed to know what a camera was for and started posing. I decided to give her some food but she was NOT interested in food. She wanted in the house which I did not let her in. There were no signs of kittens so she must have not have been in labor.

A couple more weeks passed and she continued to stay. She managed to get into the house once and I removed her right away. On the day she finally did manage to get in the house, she about tore the back screen door off therefore, I had to let her in.

Over the course of the year I have had her, I found she was declawed and spayed and was told her previous owners abandoned her when they were evicted from their home on the next street.

I previously called her Weeds but decided to call her Willow soon after. She will follow me to bed, sometimes be the first in bed and is very devoted. She seems like a happy cat and my other kitties accepted her. It amazes me someone took the trouble to declaw and spay her & then abandoned her. However, she seemed to know where to come to for a home.

Nelleus Reltots
Kentland, IN

The scared feral cat

My boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment together. We both loved cats. We noticed how many feral cats lived in these apartments. We started to set out food on our porch. At first it was one, two, four, and finally six cats and we realized we had a problem and had to stop. The neighbors would complain about the noise. The cats that were friendly we were able to find homes for.(we made sure that they were homeless cats before doing so) One day when walking to my car we heard a soft meow noise. We followed it and found a very skinny feral tuxedo cat. She was so scared, would not let us get within five feet of her. She would let out the weakest meow and follow it by a hiss. We felt so bad for her. It was like she was reaching out to us knowing we were cat friendly. Each evening we would go to the shed that she called home, after calling the kitty over time she recognized our voice, would pop out from this hole and greet us. Of course we brought food and built the bond that way. Eventually we were able to pet the cat and she began following us everywhere. We started receiving mice, worms, and other bugs at our doorstep. We named her Luna cause she would only come out at night. We started letting her inside but she would only come in for minutes at a time, she would rest her head for a moment but never fall asleep completely. One day after years of this relationship she never came to visit. We were concerned and went to investigate, we discovered her home had been boarded up and could here her inside meowing to us. After dark we went over there and with a hammer broke the board and set her free. We decided then after vandalizing that we taking her in for good. She meowed at the door for days until finally giving in. Now she brings us socks and towels as gifts. We're all happy.

West Jordan, UT

Our Chewie!

My little Chewie. 3 1/2 years ago my Golden Retriever, Loki, decided to bring me a present. Instead of a dead bird it was a very tiny kitten, her eyes weren't even open yet. At first I did not know what he had in his mouth, I thought it was maybe a possum or a raccoon baby, but when he finally dropped it in the mulch, I say it was a baby kitten. I picked her up, checked her out to make sure he hadn't hurt her. No puncture wounds, just dirty with a lot of fleas. I had to bottle feed her and help her go potty. Loki thought she was his baby and would alert us whenever she started to cry. To this day we do not know if he stole her or rescued her but she is part of the family now. We love our Chewie.

Kitty Kelleher
Tampa, FL

The Wanderer

After Thanksgiving of 2012 a stray cat started sleeping on our porch. We didn't bother her until we realized she had taken residence on the porch, so we set out some food and water for her. It turned out she was very friendly, and we were worried she might be pregnant. At first "Homeless Kitty" as we called her was just left to sleep outside, but as it got colder and she got plumper I began to fear she'd try and give birth outside. I convinced my parents to let me house the cat in my closet, who promptly curled up against my leg and fell asleep. In a few days, I let her out, where she liked to stay near me and get affection when she wasn't asleep.

We took her to a local shelter to look for a microchip after being unable to find an owner, and we could not find one. The lady helping us gave her a quick look over -- it turned out she was about 7, declawed, spayed, and certainly an indoor kitty thrown outside and abandoned by her previous owners.

Deoradhán, which means 'Wanderer' in Celtic, now lives with me in my room fulltime, where her favorite activities are sleeping on her back, sleeping against my computer fan, making me lift her into my loft bed to sleep there, and occasionally run around the house like a spazz. Deo's not perfect, but I wouldn't give up my noisy, short, round, funny little stray for the life of me.

Rowan Dunning
Sherwood, OR

The Puppy Who Waited

I had been searching the pound's website for weeks, looking for a dog who struck my heart. I knew that my husband thought we had enough dogs, but something inside me would not let up about getting a rescue. In a month's time, I had found 3 dogs who really interested me, but by the time I got to the pound, they had all been adopted. Then I saw her.

She was a chihuahua/rat terrier mix and she had a puppy with her. My husband and I already have 3 full blooded rat terriers, so I immediately knew I wanted her. There was one problem standing in my way though. We were leaving for a cruise in two days, and I knew that bringing a new dog into our home and then leaving her for a week was not an option.

Once back from our cruise, I immediately went to the website to find that her puppy had been adopted, but she had not. I couldn't believe that she had "waited" 9 days for me to adopt her. Without telling my family, I raced to the pound the next day, brought her home, and Riley has been one of the best dogs we have ever had. Loving and knowing that she was saved, she shows her appreciation every day with kisses and snuggles. I am so glad she "waited" for me.

Pearl River, LA

When Princess passed away I didn't think I would ever be the same.

My beautiful kitty Princess was my entire world. My family and I went to the animal shelter one day where there were hundreds of cats but one of them looked up at me with big gorgeous eyes, our eyes locked and I knew this little kitten had picked me to be her lucky human. More than 13 years later my perfect little girl became ill and even though she was getting better, she was never the same. I thought maybe if I fostered a small kitten, Princess would get some energy and spark back. She always had the most amazing personality and spirit but lately all she did was sleep and look down. The shelter found three baby kittens whom their poor mother was run over and I immediately took them in. My Princess began looking a little more like herself, she even developed a special bond with one of the kittens. Then on St. Patricks day my beautiful Princes passed away in my arms and surrounded by her family who absolutely loved her. I thought I would never ever be the same again. Princess had been with me through the best times and worst times. She never left my side and ALWAYS knew when I needed her the most. She had brought us so much joy and love,I didn't think I would ever recover. Then one day I was in my room crying, the kittens jumped unto my bed and laid down around me. One of the kittens, the one that Princess had the special relationship with, looked at me like Princess had the first day I met her. She put her small paw on my arm and fell asleep on me. I knew it was a sign from Princess like telling that everything was going to be all right and that it was okay to move one. I became a foster failure and adopted the three motherless kittens now named Thorin, Tiny, and Kira. I will forever miss a part of my heart which belonged to Princess but these kittens truly brought me back to life.

Ana Rusch
Miami, FL

Left in a Feral Colony

Rescue cats have been part of my life for the past 20 years. In my mind, there is no other type of cat (or dog). So when my granddaughter began asking for a pet, we immediately went to websites of the local shelters. From the moment we saw Tubby Detto's face, we knew he was our guy. Things happened and it was several weeks before we could actually make our move to adopt. When we returned to the website, he was gone. My heart dropped. But something said to call. He had been shown as being in foster care, so perhaps he was still available. We called, were given a phone number, and the rest is history.

Tubby had been living in foster care for seven years after being rescued from a feral colony. He had been abandoned in the colony at just three weeks old. His foster mom was involved with the Milton Project (trap, neuter and return) and found him amid the ferals. She took him home, bottle fed him and would keep Tubby for the next seven years while looking for a good home. (And yes, she IS an angel!) She had converted a storage building into a cathouse complete with doggy doors to get into the enclosed area of the backyard. There was TV for background sound and multiple cat-condos to lay on or play in.

A little shy at first, but we knew he was to be our cat. Tubby has been with us for two years now and will be 9 years old next week. We are so grateful to have him as part of our family even when he circles and pushes to gain control of the pillow and get a good snuggle position.

Savannah, GA

My Buddy

It all started at 4:45 am. I was seeing my husband off to work when i heard a little mew from the parking lot below me. There stood alittle black cat wanting to catch my attention. I went in and brought out a dish of food and water to which he enjoyed as long as i stood still. Soon another cat joined in on the food. He'd eat and drink the dish empty and come in to nap if it was cold or wet. He didn't care much our tuxie Po, so i nicknamed this guy Garfield. He seemed to fit the characteristics of my favorite cartoon cat. I, at the time, thought the 2 belonged to others in the complex. When we adopted our, then, 5 yr old tortie female Tiger i learned they had been abandoned by their owners when they moved out. We continued to care for them for about a year. Soon just Garfield had run of the complex. He had several of us caring for him and the maintenance guys loved him. One day, my husband came home to tell me he noticed Garfield had two open wounds on his back. We were able to get him into our apartment and to the vet. The wounds were from a cat bite, it turned out. They gave him a shot of antibiotics and a rabies shot and he became family. Two months after taking him in, we bought our first home together. He is a mommy's boy. Following me around the house and napping in my spot on the sofa. It's been about a year and half since he joined our family. Since then we have added our fourth, a 2 year old grey and white tabby girl named Fidget. While he and his shoulda been twin sister Fidget don't always see eye to eye, i wouldn't change how we came to add my buddy to the family.

Kim Phillips
spartanburg, SC


We lost our boy, Trooper, a few years ago. Our hearts were broken especially my husnand's. He rescued Trooper and they were best buds forever. We both decided that we would wait a about year before we think about getting another dog. Well, we found that we missed have a family dog. One night we were looking an Akita rescue site and saw a dog that looked similar to Trooper. We couldn't get him out of our minds. The problem was he was in Palm Springs and we were in Denver. My parents and in-laws live in the Phoenix area so when were visiting, we decided to make the trip to Palm Springs. My in-laws made the journey with us and we were so excited to visit the Akita rescue. When we got there, the dog that we wanted to see wanted nothing do do with us.

Just as we were ready to give up, we spotted another Akita being walked. She was beautiful, white with a dark masked face. We asked about her and they told us that she was rescued about an hour before she was to be euthanized and she was one of their favorite dogs. They used Tania to help socialize the rescues. When they brought her over to us, we knew we found our dog. She was giving us kisses and wanted us to play. It's been 2 years with Tania and she has kept us on our toes. So glad she picked us to be her parents.

Denver, CO
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