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Her petfinder ad said, "I was unwanted." I knew right then that I wanted this little dog, and she needed me. After being tied to a tree in someone's unfenced yard, she was turned in to a high-kill rural animal shelter. She was very shy at first, so I named her for the Celtic Warrior Queen, Maeve, to give her confidence. It worked because now she is brave and likes to make new friends. During a trip to the Outer Banks, I discovered that Maevie loves the beach!

Pittsboro, NC

Our Winnie

My kids wanted a dog for so long, but since we were moving around with the Army a lot, I kept telling them "once we settle down, we'll get one". So my husband retired and I had to stick to my promise. I made it clear that we will adopt one from a shelter. I was looking for a while on petfinder, when I read about Winnie a Lab/Spaniel mix, I somehow knew she was one we were to rescue. We went to the shelter to meet her and, oh what a sight. She was so scared and shaking, skinny and had a big sore on her back. I told her I am here to be her "mommy" she looked at me and wagged her little tail. So we took her home. At home she would not leave my side and was always around my feet. We took her to the vet and within weeks she learned to trust us and became a happy, healthy puppy, she was 12 weeks at the time. It's been over a year now and we couldn't image life without her now, she is truly a joy for our family.

S. Goodman
Cameron, NC

My dog Lulu

About 4 years ago while at my nina's babyshower one of the many cousins walked into the party with a Corona box. Inside the Corona box was a one year old Chihuahua who was so skinny and sick looking. We later found out that the puppy had been thrown out of the car in the middle of an intersection with 4 other puppys. Fortunetly, they were all saved. I spent the rest of the party caring for the puppy. I asked my parents if I could have her and take her home but they both said no. Thats when my anut told my parents that they where not going to be able to take care of the dog because the where going somewhere the next day. So that night I took the puppy home where my grandma named her Lulu. Lulu now is a member of the family and always will be. She enjoys being outside and eating. She also went from being 3.5 pounds to 6 pounds.


My Cat Mona Lisa

She is called "Mona Lisa". Is that her real name? I don't know and niether does the Pet Refuge, but she loves the name now.

Mona was brought to me on Dec.1st, 2008. The shelter had decided that there was no hope that anyone would adopt her, her time had come. She was extremely shy and showed signs of being vicious when anyone even got near her. My niece Judy, who also works there patrtime, asked if she could take her to me. I am an old man and homebound. Judy thought Mona may just be good for me, and I may just be good for her.

When she came she was always in hiding. She would only eat, drink, or use the litter box after the house was quiet and she was sure I was asleep.

Next she came out of hiding but still not friendly. One day she jumped on the arm of a chair my CNA was sitting in and she let him stroke her..Now the fear was almost all gone and wanting for love set in. (Note: It's my opinion she has been terribly mistreated before the shelter). After a few more months she quit hiding when guests came to see me.

Now she is the QUEEN of the household. Sometimes I get discouraged as to my health problems; she gives me the will to keep going. What would ever become of her?? I worry.

I think that now she has inherited the middle name of "Love". She can't get enough of it. True to cat fashion she is a noctornal animal. She sleeps most of the day and wants love all night. When I'm asleep she uses her nose to root under my hand to wake me to love her.....Oh! how I hate that, yea...

Charles Miller
North Kingstown, RI

Stewie (aka Turkeyhead, aka Bananapants, aka Critterpants, etc)

This picture was taken when Stewie was about 2-3 months old - he is now 4 years old. You will not find a more spoiled cat on the planet!! Everyone who meets him falls in love and I practically have to keep a lock and chain on him to keep friends and relatives from stealing him!! Not exactly a rescue; my son bought him from a pet store while away at college. Needless to say, when his landlady found out, my husband and I had to make the 10 hour round trip to pick him up and bring him home with us.

The pet store should be put out of business. My son was told that Stewie was 8 weeks old when he adopted him and he had him for 4 weeks before we went to get him. When we got him home, I brought him to the vet where he weighed in at 1 pound! She said there was no way he was, at that point, 3 months old; she estimated him at only about 6-7 weeks old...which meant that the pet store had sold my son a 2-3 week old, sickly kitten. Food supplements, major deworming, lots of love and 4 years later we have a 15 pound sweetheart!

If he had to be adopted at that age, I am so glad we got him. Many college students adopt these pets (buy them from pet stores) only to turn them loose when they get tired of them or go home for the summer or graduate.

My son, who is now a college graduate and has since moved back home, tells us that when he finally gets a place of his own, Stewie will be going with him. My husband and my answer: over my dead body!!!!

Kim Robertson
Wantage, NJ

Rachel the "No-Kill" Shelter Kitty

After making several trips to the Pet Refuge "No-Kill" Shelter, where I occasionally volunteer, and seeing this beautiful kitten in one of the cages meowing like she was being tortured (when she wasn't) I decided to hold her. I didnot want another cat as I had just put a 20 plus year old cat to sleep after 2 1/2 years of giving her fluids 2 x's a day for kidney fluid.

I then decided to take this kitty "Rachel" home to see if she would get along with my Miniature Schnauzer, Teddie.

So off we went. And, unfortunately, she was HORRIBLE. Rachel would run behind me and draw blood from the back of my legs with her scratches and poor Teddie was petrified of her.

I am happy to say that after giving her much love and receiving my share of bites and scratches, she is the sweetest cat ever and sleeps next to Teddie.

She is quite different - she can catch a fly in mid air and is always getting into mischeif. It just goes to show you how an animal responds to love and caring.

Judy Clark
North Kingstown, RI

Saving Benjamin, My earth angel

After moving to Arizona from NY and losing our beloved Lab rescue who passed away before moving, we were finally ready to open our hearts to another dog. We initially rescued Molly our lab mix. Purchased by a teenager from a BYB, his parents told him he couldn't keep her and was going to bring her to the pound, where she would surely be euthanized because of her various health problems. A year after adopting Molly, who was and still is quite a handful, I learned that a local rescue organization pulled a beautiful long-haired Rottweiler (yes there is such a thing) from the euthanasia list from a local high-kill shelter. Ben was to be euthanized because he was deemed too "shy" to be adoptable. I fell in love and took him home to the surprise of my husband. Less than 24 hours Ben won over my husband and he was the perfect fit into our little family. He was in really poor health, the people who previously had him starved him nearly to death, he was 36lbs underweight and a bag of bones, he had Giardia which took months of treatment, and it was obvious he was tied up his entire 2 years of life because his pads were so soft and he would just turn in circles in the backyard when we'd go to out to play. Our trainer said that was most likely his only form of exercise. It was also clear he had never seen a toy in his life. I'm proud to say a year later, I couldn't imagine my life without him. He has brought so much joy to my home, he is my earth angel.

Cave Creek, AZ

A Troubled Past

Beau Bear found his way to the Delaware Valley Bichon Rescue, having been severely abused and abandoned. He was a mess, cringed at the sound of a male voice, furtive and frightened. We adopted BB 8 years ago and he's been lighting up our lives ever since.

Bob and Regina Button
Jersey City, NJ

Ernest the Polyductal Kitty

Trio the black and white cat lay at the shelter with a broken pelvis. Even though he couldn't move much he reached up his paws to me and hugged me when I petted his belly. His paws were polyductal..he had double digits on both paws like many of Ernest Hemingway's cats so I said I would foster him and renamed him Ernest. He was to have cage rest for at least a month and no one at the shelter thought he would do that well . Five months later he scrurries around with my other kitties, loves and plays with my dog and sits on my chest and reaches up and pats my face with his wonderful double digit paws. PS. I'll be a "failed foster" once again and will be adopting him !

Sheila Curtin
Havertown, PA

Guiness Garfield

We found Guiness as a 6-week old skinny orange tabby high on a shelf in the garden department of a large retail chain. His mom had hidden him because her other kittens were being taken by other caring shoppers. I followed his little "meow" right up a ladder and scooped him out of a box of landscape piping! That was two years ago and he still loves to perch high on anything in the house.

T.J. MacDonald
Marietta, GA
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