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Sam, The Unexpected Birthday Gift

After I learned about horse slaughter, I began to support efforts to stop this inhumane act against horses. For my birthday I decided to save a horse from slaughter instead of getting gifts. I called Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue and told Jen what I wanted to do. I said, you have to promise me that you will not let me bring this horse home. Jen said, I promise. In October, I went to meet Sam, the horse that was saved from slaughter. The plan to find a good home was working until, Sam walked across a pasture and waited to say "Goodbye" after our visit. Goodbye never occurred and Sam came home with me. I am sure that the decision to keep Sam was not my decision because I am much more rational. Sam was bred and raised for competition in cutting events and he was only 3 years old when he was sent to the auction because he was not big enough, mature enough or fast enough. Sam came to Pure Thoughts as a very quiet, uncomplicated horse that did not know he had the right to ask for anything. Today, Sam is a kind, gentle horse with pride. He has taught me about trust, forgiveness and respect. I love the gift of life that was given to Sam by Pure Thoughts and I love the birthday gift that I gave to myself. Jen has never even apologized for not keeping her promise.

Gayle Hair
Longwood, FL

The Wanderer

When the big black-and-white tuxedo cat first found his way into our yard about a year ago, I assumed he was just passing through on his way home to one of the neighbors' houses. But he began regularly returning to our yard, and it soon become clear that our yard was part of his route on his quest for food. So I started putting food out for him whenever I saw him, and he became a fixture--an increasingly friendly one at that. I later learned from our next-door neighbor that Felix, as I started calling him, had been wandering the neighborhood for years. He had been someone's pet at one point in his life since he was neutered, but that's all we knew of his background. I posted flyers in case he had gotten lost but had no takers. So we brought him in for a checkup and his shots (our vet estimates his age at 11 or 12), set up a nice insulated house for him on our front porch (our kitty hobo quite prefers being outdoors except on super-cold nights), and informally adopted him. It's been a year now since he wandered into our yard and our lives, and he's slowly being acclimated into our household, which includes our previously adopted--and VERY territorial-- male cat and our female lab/terrier mix. After years of living a hard-luck life, Felix can count on regular meals, a comfy and cozy bed, and loads of affection and attention.

D. E. Gelfand
Melrose, NY

I Love Lucy

I was given a young Blue Healer in 1998 that had been found wandering in a neighborhood. It was truly love at first sight. Lucy and I have been through a lot in the 11 plus years we have been together. She has been there for me during some difficult times. Truly my Best Friend.

In 2005 she was hit by a car; however, she came out of that with only a bloody nose and the loss of a tooth.

Today she is 12 years old and brings my wife and I much happiness. She never fails to put a smile on our faces. She is funny, beautiful, and sweet as she can be. However, she is still very wary of strangers. Our time with her has been priceless. We look forward to sharing our lives with her for many years to come.

I highly recommend a "rescue" dog.

San Angelo, TX


While doing a paper route on a Saturday morning in March 2009, I happened to find a cat under a vehicle at an apartment complex. I bought some food and coaxed it out, then it went home with me. She was skinny, dirty and hurt. After coming to live with me, my husband, our dog, and three other cats, Mazzy is fat, happy and the biggest snuggle bug.

Lynette Wegner
Casper, WY

Blackie equals LOVE!

I am a foster mom for a local non-profit rescue group. One nasty, rainy night, we got a phone call about Blackie, a medium haired black cat. He had been found, very thin, soaking wet, and it appeared that he may have been hit by a car. He was rushed to the emergency vet clinic where they determined that if he had been hit by a car, it had not been recently. He, then came to my house to be fostered.

An old badly healed jaw injury makes it impossible to close his mouth completely. He was also found to have some permanent neurological damage from an unknown cause. This damage causes him to loose his balance and fall over at very inopportune times and to be unable to groom himself properly. Because of his injuries, being on the streets alone, he could not find food that he could eat, therefore resulting in being severely underweight.

At first, I was very concerned for him and often wondered if it would be more humane to have him euthanized. He seemed to be suffering so much. However, after only a few days, he began to improve, and only a few weeks later, after receiving lots ot TLC, he made a miraculous turn around.

He still has the same problems, but given the proper nutrition and care, he is strong enough to hold his own and then some! He is doing wonderfully. He is one of the most loving and affectionate cats that I have ever met. He has now been adopted by a wonderful woman, who understands how amazing Blackie is.

When I first met Blackie, I could not look at him without crying, but now, when I look at him, all I can do is smile. He is why I foster!

Teresa Sparks
Muncie, IN

Man of the Hour

This is Alias. We rescued him at 2 days old from a pile of rubble near a house that was being remodeled. He went through his paces in our program, bottle feeding, growing, vet visits etc and was eventually placed in a wonderful home. That home's life changed and Alias needed a new home so of course, he came back to us. To my husband's chagrin, I brought him home to stay with us till we could find him a new home. You see, Frank isn't a huge fan of cats - specifically - their hair. However, Alias decided my husband was his home and didn't care what Frank thought about it.

Now, myy husband stops breathing during the night if he doesn't have a machine on his face. Needless to say, he often forgets to put that machine on. Alias has made it his job to wake Frank up if he stops breathing!! Alias was right. He has found a home. We both feel blessed to have Alias in our life! (and yes, that is a refrigerator Alias is peeking out of!!)

Debbie Romano
Pittsburgh, PA

Mr. Handsome

Rather than mailing in the payment for my dog's license, I went to the shelter and then looked around. There in the cat section was this extraordinarily-colored cat - I had never quiet seen anything like him. They had put his name as "Handsome". I asked if I could see him and was told he'd just been moved from the feral ward, where strays are evaluated for tameness. He was super skinny and clung to me. How could I say no? His fur glistened in the sun and he was a combination of caramel and chocolate stripes. I believe he is actually a Toyger, as I live near the originator of that breed, and have corresponded with her about him. I named him Mello, after the Caramello candy bar. He had some health issues to get through, but is now healthy and is Mr. Personality. When I come home from work, and my car pulls into the cul-de-sac, he is waiting. He runs over and gets in the car and rides in my lap into the garage. In some ways he is more like a dog than a cat!

La Verne, CA

My Best Friend

One cold, blizzardy night in February, I went to take the trash outside. I was sixteen years old and my mom and I lived in an apartment building at that time, an old-fashioned building with steam radiators in the halls. On my way out, I saw something sticking out the bottom of one of the radiators - a little black furry object with what looked like a tail attached. I went inside to get my mom, she came to look at it and said "it's a cat; pull it out". "No way," I said - I was scared that he'd be hurt or something, with his head stuck between the bars of the radiator... but he wasn't stuck, or hurt, just a little scared and struggling to keep warm. When I pulled him out, he was so tiny I could still hold his whole self in my two hands. He was very sleepy and he burrowed right into me. Fourteen years later, he's still my baby. My Zoro has been my best friend; he's seen me through every good time and every struggle and I am so grateful that on that blizzardy night in February, we were brought together.

Downers Grove, IL

Love again!

We were so heartbroken over losing our beloved Jitters. She was a 16 year old chihuahua.

We started looking on Petfinders and finally my daughter found the sweetest girl ever. We went to her foster home and fell in love with Gucci right away.

Gucci has brought happiness and so much love back into our lives!

She is a 6 year old chihuahua, so beautiful and is so perfect for us. She loves to walk and play and go on rides. She is the perfect match for us.

Thank you Petfinders and the chihuahua rescue.

Pat and Henry Kennedy
Oak Harbor, WA

Peggy Sue the Miracle Dog

All my life, I always wanted a dog. My grandpa finally called in on WTKM and told everyone who was listening that we were looking for a small dog. A lady then called our number and told us that she had a dog and would give her to us for free. We set up a date and time for her to come out to our house. When she got here, I fell in love with her the moment I saw her getting out of the car. The woman told us she was a Yorkie-Poodle and her name was Peggy Sue. She didn't really know Peggy's age but as of today, Peggy has a hard time of seeing because she has cataracts and she also has a hard time of hearing. We believe she is at least in her teens maybe 20's. A few months or so later after we got her, we started noticing bumps on her stomach. We took her to the vet and they said she had tumors. We then decided to put her through surgery hoping she would make it with how old she was. After her surgery, she came out of the room and all of the nurses called her the Miracle Dog because of her recovery. A few months ago, she started to throw up and lately has been coughing up a storm. We had also started noticing the bumps on her stomach again but were spread all over. Today, Peggy's cataracts are worse and we have to whistle because that is the only thing she hears. She is still coughing up a storm and has had 2 seizures so far but seems to still be a playful puppy when we come home.

Richfield, WI
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