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Jake the Snake

When my family and I moved into our house six years ago, we noticed a skinny tabby cat sleeping on our porch. After about three weeks, we aksed neighbors who the cat belonged to. They announced that the cat was ours since the previous owners had left it behind. The cat was scrawny and very mournful. Because my husband was not crazy about bringing the cat in our house, I began sneaking him in when Jim was not at home. When Jim realized what I was doing, he said we should find a home for the cat. One week later, we were sleeping with our windows open. We heard a horrible cat fight. Before I knew it, Jim jumped from our bed and ran outside. Another tom cat was beating up on the tabby. Jim found the cat under a car down the street. He quietly brought the cat home and plunked him on our bed. He said, "Well that does it. He's our now." Jake the Snake, as he was later named, curled up between us and when I awoke the next morning, was hugging Jim around the neck. The cat has now become our baby and has been through bladder surgery and several illnesses. He is tough and sweet. He also bosses everyone else around. In fact, after we adopted our second lab, he put the dog in his place and continues to do so by yelling at him and swiping at him whenver Darby walks by. No one is really afraid of Jake. They all just pretend to be so that he feels important. We just love our Jake!

Monmouth, IL

Napoleon Dynamite-best rescue cat!

My husband and I had two labs and two rescued cats. However, our three children often bring animals home that are strays. One day, our oldest brought home a five week-old kitten that had been dumped at the elementary school down the street. He was skinny, infested with fleas, and starving. I did not think we could keep another animal, but really wanted to help. My kids named him Napoleon Dynamite, calling him Leon for short. I took him to the animal shelter, where I was told they could not accept any cats. Because he was so tiny, I couldn't abandon him to someone who might not care for him. I bathed him, picked fleas off by hand, fed him and held him for days. He was such a scrapper that he quickly gained weight while winning over the house, my husband and my heart. He is now over four years old and the lover of the house. He sleeps on my head at night, and waits for my son at the door. He especially loves my kids and their friends. I often say that he thinks he is a teenager, so often wants to spend time with his peers. Oh, and he especially likes our dryer, so I have to be diligent when checking for castaways before using it. I am so thankful that Leon was brought into our lives!

Monmouth, IL

Two more reasons why rescued animals are the best!

When my husband and I moved into our current house with our three children, we had one dog. However, the previous owners left behind a cat, Jake, who quickly adopted us and still rules the entire household. About four months after moving in, I was cooking in the kitchen. I heard the plaintive cries of a kitten outside. I ran outside and found the black and white cat running down the street. He literally jumped in my arms. I had been frying chicken, so the kitten eagerly began chomping on my fingers. I figured he was about four months old. He was skin and bones and the little pads on his feet were bleeding. I fed him and he immediately vomited the leathered remains of an old dead mouse he apparently had tried to eat to survive. He was starving! I fed him, gave him water, and then my daughter proceeded to hold him for three days straight. He hardly woke at all. At one point, I thought he had died, because I could not wake him. I took him to the vet and was told that he was fine, just exhausted from running from predators, most likely. He is now six and my sweet buddy. His name is Bo Bo Tuxedo and he wears his formal attire with grace and dignity!

The next spring, one of my kids found the calico in an ice storm. She was struggling to get in the church to avoid the ice and cold. She had been sprayed by a skunk and was clearly traumatized from being dumped. She has an enormous personality and has decided that she is devoted to my husband. She wakes him every morning with kisses. We just love our Cookie!

Monmouth, IL

Halloween with a Happy Ending

It was Halloween night in 1995, and a steady stream of ghouls was coming to our door. Then, one group came with a little beagle mix in their arms, asking, "Is this your dog?" The dog was trembling, and her eyes were huge, sad and scared. I said "No, but we'll take her in for the night." We were well aware of what can happen to lost pets on Halloween. So she came in and immediately became a loving lapdog. Our collie, also a rescue, had been kind of sad since we'd found her earlier in the year, and suddenly, when that little dog came along, the collie perked up as if to say, "Look! They got me a puppy!" Needless to say, we fell for the little thing, and our son named her "Pup." Not the most original, but it fit -- short and to the point. She has been guarding our yard and air space ever since. We've had her nearly 15 years, and she's a little cranky and in the throes of some "dog-heimer's," but her loyalty and love are still unequalled!

Patti Van Slyke
Topeka, KS


Our Mr. Buddy passed to natural causes almost a year ago. It was devastating to my son and husband. After giving birth to my daughter; I knew our family was missing someone. My son was down at our family farm and saw the puppies and we discussed our beloved Mr. Buddy passing and how Kevin felt he was ready to adopt a puppy.

We ended up rescuing a black lab mix of some sort that was to be dumped into the woods because the owner couldn't care for him. He is now half a year old and we are told he won't get to be over 25 lbs, perfect for the flat we are renting.

Denver Snugglesworth Chuck Norris Neuman is the perfect pup for our family, able to keep up with both kids..

Thank Goodness for the woman who held him for us so that we were able to have Denver. We are forever grateful for him and you!

sugar creek, MO

Sole Survivor

Somebody dumped a loving, pregnant cat in our neighborhood, and I found her up a tree with my dogs desperately trying to get at her. I took her to a neighbor's house, where she gave birth to seven kittens the next day. All but one died or had to be euthanized due to birth deformities. This is Bengal, the beautiful and healthy sole survivor, on the day she was born. She and her mother were adopted by my neighbors, who will spay them both and love them forever.

Susan K
Redding, CA

A Pit Bull Owns My Heart

I had a long-standing, burning desire to adopt a Pit Bull---one of the most amazing, and most often misunderstood, breeds out there. As I was looking through the photos of the dogs available for adoption thru Pit Stop Bully's Rescue (Tampa), I was stopped dead in my tracks by a photo of one dog in particular who immediately stole my heart. His personality jumped off the computer screen, and with one look into his beautiful brown eyes, I just knew he belonged with me. I'm happy to say that for 9 months now, Pancho has had the happy and loving home he so very much deserves, and we have a wonderful new additon to our family who brings an incredible amount of joy to our lives every day. Pancho is the bomb - he's best described as a hunk-of-burning-love-let's-get-this-party-started type of fella. Oh yeah, and he thinks he's a lap dog...a very heavy lap dog. He also has a cetain romantic fondness for female golden retrievers, which I think is adorable. As a cherished family pet who is given all the love attention, exercise, socialization, supervision etc. that helps any dog (regardless of breed) be the best that they can be, he sets a wonderful example for people who have unfortunately bought into the myth that Pit Bulls are dangerous dogs and aren't fit to be family pets. In fact, the exact opposit is true. And we need good, responsible owners to step up and adopt these dogs and help dispell the myths and restore their image to what it was before bad people took advantage of their loyalty and eagerness to please, and exploited these qualities in the most inhumane manner. My dog is a lover not a fighter...and I'm PROUD to say a Pit Bull owns my heart!

Kim Chambers
Fort Myers, FL

Max the German Shorthaired Pointer

I saw a picture of Max on the local shelter's web site. He was 10 and they really didn't have much other information on him posted. I had gone there before looking to save an older dog and they remembered me as "the old dog guy".

Turns out Max had been kept in a heated barn/shed the last 3 years of his life and then the owners surrendered him. He wasn't housebroken, he had heartworm (which the shelter treated him for after I fostered him) and as a bonus he has been hit by a car and has a pin in his leg. That causes him arthritis discomfort. He had been adopted once and returned because he couldn't be housebroken.

I couldn't let him die in the shelter so I brought him home. I figured at least he'd die in a home with some love. The first heartworm treatment almost killed him but he recovered and the second wasn't as bad. I crate trained him for a couple months and he's been running around loose in the house for the last 8 months or so with no problems.

He has the most docile, sweetest disposition of any dog I've had.

Russ Wood
Lansing, MI

Crimson - in loving memory

Crimson was a Milw Humane society rescue Feb 17, 2000. She didn't see very well but that didn't stop her from getting around the house and was such a sweet baby girl. Crimson got diabeties about 2.5 years ago and needed shots twice a day but never complained about having to have them. She would go up North with us every weekend and sit peacefully in her carrier for the ride up. Unfortunately Crimson had to cross the Rainbow Bridge on Friday 6/25/10. It can never be explained how much she was loved and is so completely missed

milw, WI

Emillia gets a home

I was coming out of a restaurant located at a very busy intersection in Des Plaines, IL when I heard the plaintiff cries of a young kitten. That was when I first spotted my crazy little girl Emillia. She was about 12 weeks old, frightened and hungry. Obviously she had been dumped by some uncaring individual and the poor thing was traumatized. I chased down this little gray tortie kitty and the moment I snatched her up into my arms she began to purr and I felt the love. We both knew this was the beginning of Emillia's new life with me. She was a spunky kitten who would open cabinet doors to get at the food, fetch toys and get into all kinds of mischief with my other cats. She has grown into a loving adult who loves to cuddle with me on the couch... and still gets into mischief. Her hobby is opening the bottom drawer of my breakfront and emptying all the linens onto the floor - sometimes every day!

Marlene K. Goodman
Wheeling, IL
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