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Three Southern Hemisphere Girls

"Foxy" the shepherd mix, came into my life one morning while on my walk after almost being run over by the car she was chasing on the main road... she followed me home and the rest is history. "Petisa" the terrier mix, curled up at our garage door entrance one morning two days before my husband was about to join me in San Diego, CA on our annual pilgrimage back home... needless to say, Foxy was not too happy about her sudden arrival so, fed by the pet sitter while we were gone, she hung out by our front door for a whole week until I arrived and she's been with us for almost two years now. "Lassie", the black collie mix was being fostered by another family whose two other female dogs just didn't accept her "herding" ways, so she joined our pack about four months ago and with patience and a lot of TLC she's been accepted as a member of the canine pack and more importantly, by "Tango" the kitty, who came all the way over here with us from San Diego. He rules!

The stray animal situation here is deplorable. The lack of education re: the advantages of spaying/neutering, cultural and archaic beliefs, lack of animal cruelty laws and shelters as we know them back home plus just plain cruelty and disregard for the lives and welfare of animals, make for a very difficult reality to live in. Our rescuing these three girls from this is our small contribution - to give them a life they never dreamed of and make a lifetime commitment to them and their welfare. But the very best part of this story is that they rescued ME and have made my life here much better by having them to care for!

CS
Punta del Este, Uruguay

Ben Rescued Me

I was going through a very difficult time in my life when I adopted a skinny black lab mix pup, I named this quiet little guy Ben. When he came to his new home I put him on the grass. He picked up each foot, slowly taking a step, he began to trot and then he ran and ran looking at me with sheer happiness. Ben made me smile and that day we rescued each other. Please consider adopting a black dog he just might save you too.

Robin Betian
Pecatonica, IL

Ferrets Rescued My Heart

I adopted my first ferret, Weasel, in mid-2008. I've always been an animal lover and I've learned by experience that ferrets make wonderful companion pets. Weasel was 6 months old when he came into my home (adopted from craigslist.com) and I've since then adopted two more ferrets, Snowball and Tigger, from the local ferret rescue.

I'm grateful to have these little fuzzies in my life. Like cats, each ferret has their own unique personality. They like to sleep and play a lot and will let me cuddle them. They have showed me unconditional love, especially Weasel, who I've had the longest. If in the mood, he'll fall asleep in my arms when I hold him (or squirm down for playtime). If I feel stressed or sad, spending time with the ferrets replaces negative with calm feelings.

I read once that pet owners have longer, happier lives, and I believe it. You don't feel as alone in the world with a companion pet. I think we should take care of these little angels in our lives. I feel sad thinking about pet store animals, sad and waiting for a home; but they aren't the only ones. There's lots of animals sitting lonely in shelters and rescues waiting for a forever home. Many of these animals have done nothing wrong to deserve isolation. They grow old, out of the "cute" stage or their human "family" outgrows them. Knowing this, I won't buy pets from pet stores if I can adopt elsewhere.

Thank you to all the pet owners and animal rescues who try their best "until they all have a home". My local ferret rescue's mission is "We're saving lives, as many as we can. Finding forever homes for our thieving friends." I love my ferrets :)

Jen A.
Corsicana, TX

Dumpster Kitty

After having been bagged and cast into a dumpster, "teenage mom" Sammy and her sweet kittens were rescued by a construction crew. Being less adorable than her offspring, we suspect, Sam was alone at the adoption center the day my husband and I went looking.

We were bereft at the sudden and premature death of our beloved calico-torti (once an abandoned kitten herself), and, at not quite a year, Sammy looked a lot like our dearly departed.

Her eyes were at half-mast. She was lonely and deeply depressed. We couldn't resist scooping her up, and taking her home where she vocalized at g-r-e- a- t length!

She made it abundantly clear that a lap cat she was not! She told us:

* NEVER to put her into a bag, to

* Please scratch her back every day,

* Always to save her a place at the foot of our bed, and

* Understand that she really didn't know the first thing about play.

Little by little, after finding "hiding" spots in the depths of an antique pump organ, a bookcase, floor-length curtains, and other places where her tail ALWAYS stuck out :o), Sammy's talk tamed into BIG, warm, throaty purrs, and she learned to bat at friendly fingers with the softest of paws.

But for the few times I've snatched her, hugged her, and felt and heard tummy growls. She never has shown a hint of mean spirit.

We are blessed by her excellent company, and indebted to the goodwill of the workmen who rescued her, the vet who spade and vaccinated her, the sweet young woman who fostered and named her, and the local shelter that held her until "Mom and Dad" could introduce her to a forever home.

There's a lot of loved packed into her 14 pounds!

Diane Bingham
Pottstown, PA

From Caged to Free!

We rescued Gabe from a local no kill animal shelter in our area one year ago this past January. He was two at the time. His story, like so many other homeless pets, is a sad one. He spent the first two years of his life in a cage and had chewed on the bars so much that his front bottom teeth are almost ground down to the gum line. He lives a life of luxury now!! He is my little Gabe-babe and he's taught me more about love than any human being ever could. I can't imagine my life without him in it. He makes me laugh and smile every day. He's my little bundle of energy and my cuddle-bug! Your mommas love you Gabe!

BSisson
Charleston, WV

Warehouse Cutie

Camile was born under a Chevy El Camino that was stored outside next to the warehouse at work. The warehouse manager was able to eventually get her to come into the facility after lots of chicken treats and coaching. Since I already have two cats, I did my best to find Milly a home. Nobody wanted the precious baby doll, so I brought her home. She loves to play with my other cats, watch TV (Olympics), and lay next to me while I'm on the computer. She is very special :)

David Blake
Virginia Beach, VA

Odin J. Karl

We had lost our dear Iris Marie, a boxer mix, just 7 months before meeting Odin. Although we still had two dogs, I missed my 'boxer' and all the fun that the breed brings. I inquired at Boxer Rebound, a local rescue organization, to see if they had any boxer mixes (mutts are my favorite). The next week we got a call that they had our dog! As you can see, he has the most adorable face. Odin is full of personality - a laugh a minute! My husband and I often wonder how anyone could have gotten rid of him. You can bet that Odin has found his forever home - Pets are not disposable.

Carmela Dato Galas
McHenry, IL

Zoe

Zoe is the third female australian shepherd that we have adopted from Norcal Aussie Rescue in northern California. She was surrendered by her owner to the Butte County animal shelter and came to the aussie Sanctuary in Grass Valley. She is very well-trained, calm, and a true "jewel." Zoe is friendly to all other dogs, cats and people but is also a good watchdog. She is three years old and I look forward to many happy years of companionship going together to aussie Meet Ups and to the stable where I board my horse.

Susan Schlueter
Sacramento, CA

A second chance at life

This is the story of Max a Valentine miracle. Me and my husband had just returned home from out Valentines Day dinner and when we pulled in the driveway a little puppy came running out from under my car. Our dogs in the backyard must have made him come over. Russ stopped the truck and i got out and called him over to me. He came and i scooped him up and took him inside. He was a little pup 6-12 weeks old lab/heeler mix. He was cold and shivering so i didnt put him down. My husband went to the neighbors to check and see if he was theirs. No luck. I set him down and gave him some food. That is when we realized he had an overly large stomach so we took the food away before he ate himself to death. His tummy was very sensitive and he didnt like to be picked up. My husband had to work so I was the babysitter for that night. I was up all night with Max because he had a fever and i was constantly giving him water and rubbing him down with a cool wash cloth. Once my husband got home Monday morning we called the police and animal control to see if they could come get him as unfortunetely we couldnt afford another dog :(. So they came and got Maxy after 9 and he is currently at the animal shelter. I really wish we could be the ones to adopt him but i know that he will find a good home and get the care he deserves. As for his stomach the vet thinks he ate a very large amount of food to fast and they are continuing to monitor it. Good luck Max!!

Ashey
Pocatello, ID

Zoey

I had finally just graduated from college, and my fiance and I went to NorthShore Animal League to try and find the puppy that we had been eagerly waiting for. We walked in and there was only one puppy left, but she was soo adorable. We asked to look at her and were sitting in the viewing area, Zoey came in and was handed to me. I immediately fell in love and then when she climbed into my bag there was no going back! Although she hasn't been the healthiest of dog's, we wouldn't change a thing. We fall more and more in love with her every day, our sassy little puppy.

Samantha
Suffern, NY
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