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We live out in the woods...

...on a couple acres, not far from town, and we've a few buildings the cats have claimed as their outdoor homes. Let me explain.

People in town want to adopt adorable kittens, but don't seem to be able to deal with cats-so they "free" the cats to the woods, where we find them.

Nearest no-kill shelter 2 hrs away, always overbooked. They often have no medical history,and are often pregnant, wounded, hungry. We feed, spay/neuter, inoculate. Try to tame and foster them. What else to do?

Most find homes. Others, like "Helno",pictured here, trust too few people.

Local vet clinics know us by now, give discounts when they can. I'm no vet, but I have helped in a few kitten births, tended to wounds, diagnosed many problems, spent much on care of these fuzzfaces.

Some cats and kittens were thrown from cars. Some, as mentioned, were "freed" to the woods and arrive weak/starved. Some were runaway cats - who promptly got returned. Some were 'released' because they were pregnant.

I've told hubby, "No More Cats!" - though I'm as soft as he is. There, I admit it. The newest cat to show up at the house - an orange semi-friendly beast - has the name, "Nomer". He arrived neutered - so at least there's that much...we'll see what happens...

The point of this is that cats need care! If a person can't commit to caring for another living family member, s/he should buy a plush toy! Pets are more than fuzzy warm plushies - they are living, breathing, feeling beings that should know love, have medical needs cared for, and a warm place to sleep.

Anonymous
Hudson, FL

Oscar & Millie

Oscar the Shih Tzu/Westie cross (?) I rescued from an Alcoholic for the price of a bottle of Whiskey. He was handed over to me in a plastic shopping bag. I dread to think what may have happened to him had I not taken him. He and Millie have brought so much love and companionship in to my life. Getting each of them was among the best decisions I've ever made. I log on almost daily to click and to read the wonderful stories of animal rescues. Thankfully there are still compassionate people on this planet. Helps to restore one's faith in mankind.

Anne
Glin, Ireland

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night....

Scrawny, soaked, seething with fleas, eyes stuck shut and utterly starved so that her backbone, face and ribs stood out like the skeleton she was, this soggy little bundle in the middle of the road caught my daughter's attention when she was out riding around on her first date with the man who became her husband. "Stop the car!" she said...and plucked this kitten off the road and back into life. Daughter couldn't have a cat, but when I went to see that latest critter in the line of "lost" that always found my daughter, I picked up her tiny body and was immediately surrounded by the most monumental purr I'd ever heard, and from this little bit of a three-month old waif! I immediately took her to my vet, who didn't think she could live. I believed that any creature as pathetic as she was but still having the courage and gratitude to purr like that, was meant to be with me and would survive. Three years earlier, emaciated by ovarian cancer and chemo, I hadn't believed I could live either. She has. I have. She's been my very best buddy for eight years, in spite of having acquired asthma and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy within the first three years of her life. Her cardiologist can't believe that she's so healthy, and that the heart disease is virtually arrested. She's my Rowdy Lil', and I am so grateful to have her in my life. We saved each other.

L. Gray
Silverton, OR

My Soul Mate

I had begged my parents for years to get a dog. We had dogs when I was younger, but my parents were done with that because of travel. It was fall 1997, my mom & dad were vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina at their summer home, when a puppy appeared on their deck. Skinny, a bit barky & wet, due to the cold & rainy weather, she kept coming back every day throughout the week. It was as though someone had taken her out to the woods & dumped her. After getting attached, my parents took her to the town vet & it was all over from there.... They decided to let her in the house that night, name her & then bring her home to me in Florida. They brought me the BEST gift I could have ever imagined. I still go & take her & her little sister Trinity, who we adopted three years later, to the house in NC where she found us. She loves her deck there & I swear she remembers that's where she came from. And now, 13 years later, they both have & will always be my Heart & Soul.

Erin Shaughnessy
Pompano Beach, FL

My Little Annie

This is my little Annie. I rescued her from where I work along with her brother and mother. She was the first one to go into the trap, so home she went. Apparently she had an accident with someones engine when she was just weeks old. Her ears were cut off, her tail is shorter than it should be and her forehead has a permanent scare now that she is older where the fur will not grow. She is such a love, with faint white paintings throughout her silky black fur. She is my little miracle kitty. Her mother did a good job of caring for her after her mishap. She is now about 2 years old and doing great.

Deni
Charleston, SC

Muz

This adorable little dog's name is Muz. This is his first picture from the first week when we found him. Someone had left him next to the dumpster at our old trailer park's office building. He was skinney and hungary when my husband went down and got him. I brought home two chicken breasts from (subway at the time) work, and set them in front of him. He gobbled them down in seconds, looked up and howled! He ended up having parvo soon after, and had to be treated at the vet's for that, plus 3 types of worms, but (after lots of $$$) he survived. Today he is a very hyper 3 yr old dog that weighs in around 75lbs! We couldn't imagine our family without him or his two calico cat sisters.

Jennifer
Birmingham, AL

Bella Girl

We found Bella on Petfinder.com listed as a 6 month-old Lab/Boxer mix. Our dog of 15 years, Inkey, had recently passed, and Bella looked a lot like her. We went to the shelter, and I fell in love. We took her home that day, and I noticed that she felt warm. The vet determined that she had parvo, and they weren't sure she was going to make it. We took a chance and decided to go with treatment. A week later we got to bring my precious Bella home. It's been three months, and she is a happy, fun puppy that is roughly the size of a small horse. Instead of being a Lab/Boxer mix like the shelter originally thought, it turns out Bella is a Lab/Great Dane mix. I am thankful everyday that she is in my life.

Liz
Lancaster, OH

Small Grey Puff-Ball

...after weeks of passing by and ocassionally feeding a small grey 'puff ball' like dog(a weenie poo- 1/4 daschund and 3/4 toy poodle) I often wondered,"is this a stray or an outdoor determined dog?"

Then one afternoon as I was studying in my room I heard an some awful noise from down the street. I quickly investigated the situation and determined it was the 'puff ball' crying for help in a fight with a older much larger dog. Immediately I took off down the street running as fast as I could in my house shoes not caring that I was even still in my boxer shorts! Baron, as he would soon be named was being attacked by a neighbors dog that had gotten loose. My mind was in shock and didnt know what to do. The larger dog was attempting several times to bite poor little Baron like a monster! After breaking them up and shooing the larger dog away I found myself chasing Baron for several streets until he was tired. He was ok! However I wasnt sure if he substained any internal injuries or what he had as far as disease/condition. Shortly after I had an emergency appt with my local vet and after doing some testing we had some very heartbreaking news broken to us. Baron had a severe heartworm condition.and needed treatment FAST. Costly yet so so rewarding we decided to take on the procedure and hope for the best. Even though Baron has not finished his treatment we know that God or 'something' has brought him into our lives for a reason. Now Baron is living in the lap of luxury and although we cannot predcit his future quit yet, we have hope. Something Baron 'ONLY' had living as a stray in our neighborhood.

Casey H
San Antonio, TX

Pee-Roni

This cute little 9lb fella lived under the building I work in for an entire year before I was able to coax him out! I would feed and water him every day, but he would not let anyone get near him. He was scared and totally terrified of people, I'm sure he was badly abused before being tossed aside! It took a year to earn his trust, but now he has a forever home! He will always be a special needs dog, but he is totally loving and happy in his new home!!! Love my little Pee-Roni.....He's my sweet little chi-wiener dog!!!

Tracey Pitre
Emory, TX

Thank you animal rescuers!

I want you to know that I look forward to reading the stories on your site daily and that they rescue my spirit! With so much not to celebrate in the world, your stories show us that there are many compassionate people out there willing to share their hearts and homes with animals in need. These people are making a big difference and educating others through their kindness. From now on we will be choosing rescue pets for additions to our family.

Jana D
Surrey, BC, Canada
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