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Our Sweet Mesa del Sol

One early June morning in 2000, my boyfriend Don was sitting out in the desert open-space area called Mesa del Sol, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ten yards away, Don saw something move, and he thought it was a groundhog or a jackrabbit. As he walked over to it, he realized that it was a puppy---someone had dumped it out in the desert to die. When he got closer, the puppy ran, and while it was running, it peed out what was maybe the last water it had had to drink before they dumped it. Don caught it, gave it some water, and determined that it was a she. He calmed her down, brought her home, and put her in bed with me. I fell head over heels in love with her, as he already had, especially when I realized that God had put him there to save her from a terrible death by dehydration.

Mesa's a beautiful golden retriever mix, and we feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to love and care for her, and to have her care for us, ever since that very lucky June day ten years ago.

Merrie Ritter
Albuquerque, NM

In memory of our "Miss America" Jenny Rae

Jenny was our little Miss America. She was born homeless and contracted the e-coli virus from her mothers milk. A great vet offered to try to bring her to a healthy state footing half of the cost. Although she lost her facial hair around her muzzle she was a healthy, happy dog. We boosted her self esteem by calling her Miss America. We had Jenny for 14 wonderful years and it was the compassion of a dedicated vet who made that happen. A big "Thank You" to all of the wonderful vets and vet techs that care for our furry family members.

susan miller : )

Mabank, TX

Susan Miller
Mabank, TX

Meet Eddy

I got Eddy from Lifeline Cat Rescue 11 years ago, he was trapped in a trailer park in Boulder Creek, CA. When he lays down he always crosses his paws and he also likes to drink from the water faucet in the bath tub. He's the light of my life.

David Janssen
San Jose, CA

Meant To Be

I first saw Rocky as a stray when she showed up at the rock quarry I drive past. I fell in love with her then, but thought she belonged to the quarry. I eagerly looked for her every day on my way to work, and would be upset if I couldn't spot her after a bad storm or flooding or the winter's heavy snows. One day, I noticed she was pregnant, and took a picture of her to show a friend.

That picture made all the difference because after that sighting she wasn't seen again. Everyone who was familiar with her thought she had died. Then one day, a couple of months later and for no real reason, I was on Petfinders.com - and there she was. I had the picture of my own to prove it was the same dog, right down to the ticking pattern on her sides. We went to the Humane Society the same day, and the rest, as they say, is history...!

Amy Nichols
Scipio, IN

Silly Silly Pepper

We had two German Shorthairs to go hunting with but sadly one died in a tragic accident by getting kicked in the head by a horse. Heartbroken immediatly we started looking in Animal Shelters. We only wanted a hunting dog so it was hard to find. After weeks of looking we came upon a frightened puppy who was on her last day at the pound before they killed her. She didn't look like a German Shorthair but like a mix between a English Pointer and a German Shorthair so we assumed she could hunt. We filled out the papers and we brought her home. Not only could she not hunt, she wasn't potty trained, she couldn't sit, she couldn't do tricks, she couldn't do anything. We gave her a couple of weeks for hunting and we were thinking about taking her back except for her sad puppy dog face while she sat in bed and licked us. We couldn't take her back. We still have her today after two years and she is good for two things now. she's pretty good at rounding up the horses and bringing them up for us like a Sheep Dog, and she's good at licking us to death. But that doesn't matter because we still love her anyway.

Salt Lake City, UT

Elvis at last

For a couple of years, I had been wanting to get my Corgi, Presley, a dog for a companion. I spent six weeks looking a couple years ago, then my husband veto'd the idea. In October 2009, I started looking again. After searching petfinder.com for weeks and talking to a Corgi rescue owner and a few visits to the local shelters, I finally decided on a dog. I showed my husband the photo and he said no way. In December, I went back to petfinder.com and back to a dog I kept looking at, but thought it'd probably be too small. I showed my husband the photo and he said, "Now that's a dog!" We hopped right into the car and headed south about 30 minutes with our Corgi to visit this little pug mix, at a rescue shelter. To our surprise, he was tall and both dogs got along. Our kids and our dog love our new addition, Elvis. The cats and him are still not on good terms, but we're still a family. So happy for no-kill rescue centers and petfinder-with them we completed our little family.

oklahoma city, OK

Melt my heart

It was 15 degrees below zero and I was walking into our local grocery store when I heard a kitten meowing from under a row of shopping carts. I bent down and saw a tiny fur ball crouched in the corner. It took me 25 minutes to coax her to come out. It was the most adorable 5-week-old kitten with floppy ears. She just melted into my arms. When I took her to the vet they said she was in fine health except that her ears had frost bite. 3 weeks later the top half of each ear fell off, giving her the most unique owl like look. I'm happy to say that 5 years later she is my very happy, warm cat that reminds me everyday that with quiet strength and a little moxy we can overcome anything.

Katie MacKenzie
Jackson Hole, WY

Check out Shelby

I had a stray cat named Baby Girl that was such a sweet cat and she lived with us for about 7 years when she was killed by the garage door. My husband and I were so devistated but when I found her when leaving for work I screamed and and a neighbor heard me and offered me this persian cat who was 7 months old. I thought about it for 4 weeks and the hole in my heart was not getting smaller so I took her and named her Shelby and she has filled the void left by Baby Girl. She is a very funny looking girl with her furr shaved off and we laugh and laugh at this amazing cat.

Kimberly Wise
Indianapolis, IN

Lady the dog who rescued me

At 6 years old I was bitten by a dog and stayed away from them, so when my husband wanted to adopt a dog I was very unsure about what this meant. We adopted Lady almost 6 years ago as a puppy from a local vet. It was love at first sight. Any and all fears I had of dogs disappeared with the first kiss she gave me. Lady was our first baby and we spoil her with tons of love, play and daily walks. I knew Lady needed a four legged friend. It took me two years to convince my husband that a second dog would be a great addition to our family. So we adopted our golden from a local rescue group. She is another perfect addition to our family. She and Lady bonded immediately. Lady has the perfect snuggle partner and play buddy. And I have two wonderful dogs that love their daily walks with their rescue mommy.

Cincinnati, OH

Our Sampson The Great

My husband and I love animals, and have only ever adopted dogs that were rescues, saved from certain death. Our most recent adoption happened in February of 2010 with our new boy Sampson, found with 17 other dogs in a hoarding situation in which dogs were kenneled and abandoned, abused and neglected, standing in many inches of their own waste, Sadly, there was also a houseful of cats that were left to cannibalize each other. Sampson was fostered first yet remained quite fearful by the time we adopted him. With his two doggy sisters to show him the ropes, lots of patience and love, and constant encouragement to adapt to his new surroundings, he slowly learned to simply become a dog. He is intensely interested in lizards that run across our fence, he patiently sits for his snack, he gallops around us in joy when we return home from any outing without him. He loves his morning walks, belly rubs, and any indulgence we allow in human food. He still hates small enclosed places and will flatten down on the ground to avoid entering them, however his comfort level has exponentially grown with each passing day. We adore our boy and see him as such a gift, free entertainment, and an endless supply of love. Our girly dogs have learned to enjoy their new brother as well. With the lack of good permanent homes in our country and an oversupply of animals due to overbreeding, saving these animals that truly need a home and simply a chance to blossom is what all animal lovers should do. We are not buying a thing, but making a home for a living creature... our new family member :)

Barbara L.
Phoenix, AZ
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