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The 3 legged Gimpy!

Gimpy was found walking on the side of a very busy expressway when a Good Samaritan picked her up before she was hit by a car. This lady kept Gimpy for a few days and decided to take her into the vet as she had a limp rear leg. Dr. Collins was the vet that saw Gimpy and did some x-rays and found out that Gimpy had several pins in her leg but it was a hack job as Gimpy couldn’t even bend her leg correctly and when she sat down her leg went straight up in the air and obviously was causing her pain. The Good Samaritan decided to bring Gimpy (we named her Lady Belle at the shelter) into the shelter in case someone was missing her. A couple weeks went by with no one showing interest in Gimpy so a rescue decided to pull her but returned her the next day as they said Gimpy was mean and aggressive. One of the animal control officers, Diane, decided to take Gimpy home for a little while as it broke her heart for her to be sitting in a cage for so long. In the meantime, a rescue was contacted named Making Miracles who offered to take Gimpy to their vet for a consult on her leg. It was then recommended that the leg be amputated as there was much damage so off the leg came and Dr. Wilson who did the amputation did a phenomenal job and the rescue assisted with the payment of the surgery! November 7th will mark 1 year that Gimpy arrived to the Lapeer Shelter and to this day Diane still has Gimpy! Gimpy found her forever home and best friend in Diane and a true bond will never be broken!

Lapeer Shelter, Michigan

Wendy Yax
Metamora, MI

Our Miracle Dog Noel

Seven years ago we welcomed our new puppy Noel into our home. She was our second dog and was perfect! She was about 8 months old months when she was taken from our back yard in Temecula. We were devastated. We had signs, a reward and searched everywhere, but we never found her.

Six years later, my husband received a call from Laurie of “Save a Small Dog Rescue.” She said, “We have found your Yorkie”. My husband at first was confused because we had our other Yorkie at home. He said, “Well, I don’t think so because I saw her this morning”. Laurie said it was impossible because this dog was gone at least a week. She said someone found her and brought her to a shelter. Laurie rescued her before they were to end her life. Even though the shelter already scanned her, Laurie had decided to rescan her to check for a microchip. She discovered that the microchip had moved from where they are usually located. We had moved from Temecula to Orange County by then and fortunately we still had the same cell number. After talking with Laurie, my husband called me and said, “You are not going to believe this but someone found Noel !”. We could not believe after 6 years we found our sweet Noel! Our kids were so excited. The next day we went to pick up Noel and though she was 6 years older, it was like she never left. We are so grateful and blessed to have her back. We are thankful for the microchip AND Laurie for rescuing and rescanning Noel . “Save a Small Dog Rescue” gave us our sweet Noel back. We have shared her story everywhere and everyone says what a miracle story!...Our miracle dog Noel.

Nanci Zinngrabe
Santa Ana, CA

Paying It Forward--One Foster At A Time

I am a volunteer foster for the animals rescued by Sheryl’s Den, West Milford, NJ, USA as they wait to find their forever homes. Two years and 30 fosters later, Riley came into my life. She was rescued from a kill shelter just a few days before she was scheduled to be euthanized. She was an adorable puppy, but extremely fearful and untrusting of humans. She had no social skills and would cower in the corner or hide in her crate. Her spirit seemed broken. We would sit together for hours, although she wouldn’t make eye contact. The resilience of youth started to shine through. Slowly, she began to learn to trust and accept my affection. Needless to say, Riley has become my new forever friend. Her gentle, loving nature has made her a natural surrogate mother/big/little sister to the fosters who have come after her. She takes on this role with great enthusiasm, often watching over them as they sleep. She shares her toys and will readily let them steal one from her mouth if they so desire. She cuddles and comforts them when they are overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty and is eager to encourage them to play a game of tag or tug or war. Riley is doing her part, helping our fosters gain confidence, discover the joys life holds and accept the loving hand of a human. She is truly paying it forward.

Debbie Eliassen
West Milford, NJ

Roxie Rescued Me

We’ve probably all seen the car magnets that read "Who Rescued Who?". In my case, my dog rescued me.

My first dog, Tasha (a Wire Haired Fox Terrier), was 15 when she died a few days before Thanksgiving last year. This made the holidays very difficult for my family, especially me. I loved her like she was another human.

I became depressed. I didn’t smile like I did when she was with us and I wasn’t myself.

In July, my family began to look for another dog. The house felt empty without a dog running around. We searched online for dogs in shelters in our area; we knew that we wanted to adopt.

Enter: Roxie.

We had originally found a Smooth Fox Terrier puppy, but she was already set to go to another home, so the incredibly friendly and helpful people at the Sanctuary at Haafsville in Fogelsville, PA sent us a picture of Roxie: a 2 year old, Wire Terrier/Whippet mix, who came from another shelter in Ohio, where she was found as a stray. Her big brown eyes made us go take a look at her.

She sat in my lap and I pet her for over an hour; I fell in love.

My mom said she hadn’t seen me smile so wide since Tasha died.

Roxie came home with us that day.

Now, she doesn’t leave my side and greets me at the door when I come home. She’s made me laugh and kept me company. Even as I write this up, sitting on my bed, she has her paw on my leg.

In the end, Roxie gets a loving family ready to spoil her for the rest of her life and I get pulled out of depression. All because of Roxie...because she rescued me.

Alison L.
Macungie, PA

Mild Mannered Old Man - Perry

He arrived at the shelter through the hands of our humane officer. He was pulled from a home for abuse and neglect. They had several dogs but left Mr. Wiggles (now known as Perry) at the front of their property like trash tied to a log with no food, water or shelter.

He was 8 years old and hairless except for a few small strips of fur on his back, had a severe ear infection was infested with worms and tested positive for heartworm. He was one of the first heartbreaking cases the Tuscarawas County Humane Society had dealt with at their new shelter. He made the front page of the paper and the community chipped-in to pay for his heartworm treatment.

I worked at the shelter a few days a week and could not understand how anyone could treat an animal this way. He loved kids, cats, and dogs; walked well on a leash, never jumped and was house-trained. Perry became my next foster dog after he finished his last heartworm treatment and never left.

This mild mannered old man follows me everywhere, loves hiking and enjoys spending his summers swimming at the lake. After living with me for three years we still visit the vet frequently as he has food allergies, reoccurring ear infections and joint pain. But he can always be seen with a smile on his face.

He loves to come to work with me on days he does not sleep-in. I work at the local cat shelter and Perry is the best dog for the cats to be introduced too. He minds his own business and many cats have been adopted into homes with dogs thanks to him.

Tuscarawas County Humane Society, New Philadelphia, OH USA

Megan Kovalaske
Strasburg, OH

Hard Luck Harley

Harley is blind. At just a year old she was surrendered to Daviess County Animal Control in Owensboro, KY, USA. Her owner explained that little Harley couldn’t get along with the other dogs in the house. Harley’s limitations made her difficult to place; it’s hard to find a no-pet household looking to adopt a special-needs animal. No rescues would take her because she can be aggressive with dogs and cats. She compensates for her blindness with her heightened sense of hearing and smell, which can sometimes get her into trouble. On the other hand, she is very loving and affectionate with humans.

It would have been easy for this high-kill shelter and staff to give up on Harley too, but they didn’t. They did everything possible to give her the chance she deserved. When an opportunity arose to take her to a dog trainer in Indiana, they asked for donations to assist with covering the expenses. The little dog that had stolen my heart through the shelter Facebook page and Petfinder.com deserved her chance and I was able to collect $200 to help with training. I also asked to adopt her. After her training was completed, Harley came home to live with me the rest of my four-legged family.

Harley is bright, energetic and tenacious – everything a Jack Russell Terrier is known for. She is also the biggest love-bug; one great big heart wrapped in an 8.8 lb. furry package. She loves laps and long walks. We’ve had a few bumps in the road, but we’re making progress. Harley may not be perfect, but she’s perfect for me.

I am forever grateful to the Director, staff and volunteers at Daviess County for all the work they do to assist the animals in their care in finding their forever homes.

Terri Simpson
Liberty, KY

The Elderly Gentleman, Mr. Shivers

I was a stray.

I will speak on behalf of myself, and all animals that enter Lapeer County Animal Shelter (LCAS), in Lapeer MI, USA. There are thousands of strays each year in this county, most of our stories starts out the same:

We belonged somewhere. We ate scraps off the dinner table, slept in beds with children, and played ball in yards. Suddenly we were found in the streets hungry and confused. The lucky ones manage not to get injured or starve before being taken to LCAS.

Waiting in fear and confusion as to what the future holds for us is the hardest. But, we wait in our kennels with the hope our family, past or future, will find us. Sometimes for days we wait, sometimes for weeks. Many of us have a harder time to find homes due to our age, size, or breed, and because we have no medical history.

Thankfully there is a community that works day and night to find us homes using tools like Facebook and Petfinder. Total strangers come together online to redeem us strays from our pending demise. The motivation is that a life saved means a dog can go on wagging it's tail another day, or a cat will purr in gratefulness for many more years to come! Value and purpose is placed on every life that comes into the shelter.

I came into LCAS as an unwanted dog but I left there as cherished family member.

(Mr. Shivers, elderly deaf stray was extremely scared in the shelter whereas all he did was shake. .He was loved very much in his new home for what ended up to be his final 5 months of life.)

Lucy LaMay
Berlin, MI

Phoenix's New Beginning

His name wasn’t always Phoenix ..he was Tag #482 in Gaston, NC sitting on death row with only 24 hrs left to save his life. We watched his story unfold on facebook..

He used to have a home, his name used to be Reese. His previous owner decided she no longer wanted him so she had banned him from the comforts he had once known and left him chained outside alone with no shelter or bed to sleep on. Tossed out like trash. I can’t even imagine how lonely he felt. After 6 months of living at the end of a chain she decided Phoenix had to go. She turned him in to the local kill shelter with his “brother” Oreo and claimed they were strays. . Oreo was rescued pretty quickly but Phoenix was still waiting. His previous owner followed the postings on FB, posing as a volunteer offering information about his personality realizing her dog may not get a second chance. We really didn’t have room for one more but we couldn’t let him die. Phoenix had been neglected for so long he had hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and worst of all heartworm. He had to stay in NC for 5 weeks and be kept quiet after his heartworm treatment .

Happy News!

Phoenix waited for 4 months in NY for his new family to find him. The day he was adopted was a bittersweet moment. He now has a wonderful family that loves him so.So many like Phoenix are abandoned everyday to high kill shelters and they do not make it out alive. Rescue dogs are not bruised or broken they truly make wonderful companions . I am so happy for his new family and for Phoenix. He found his forever home and will never be homeless again.

Barbara Tempestilli
Hopewell Junction, NY

Solomon, our Senior

I love dogs and they have always been a part of my life. I had always had small to medium sized dogs until I got it into my head to take on a big dog. I did my research of the larger breeds; mastiffs, irish wolfhounds, and great danes. Of all of the breeds I looked at, the great dane described as the gentle giant, caught my attention. I have small grandchildren and this dog would have to be gentle and like kids. Also, we had a small dog and a cat in our home already. I contacted Great Dane Rescue of North Texas and saw pictures of dogs that needed a furever home. The organization matched us up with 2 dogs that met my criteria and my husband and I went to a local meet and greet to actually meet the 2 danes. We both chose Solomon, a big black great dane. The adoption was arranged and a few weeks later we took him home. We don't know a lot about his life before we got him but that is ok. He has fit into our family just as I had hoped. He loves people and is good with our other pets. We were told that he was a senior but I don't think he knows that. He has a lot of energy and he is the guardian of the doorbell. He spends most of his time on his giant bed in our den. He also is the world's largest lap dog.

The best part of my day is coming home to a very large black great dane running towards me. Not everybody can say that.

I sometimes wonder about where Solomon came from and why he came to rescue. Ultimately, it doesn't matter because we love him.

Terry Goodwyn
Denton, TX

From Rags to Riches

When she sashays into the veteran’s home where she volunteers, heads turn and smiles appear on faces. No wonder — with her perfectly coiffed blond curls, pink nails and sparkling brown eyes, Lana looks every bit the Hollywood diva she was named after.

This wasn’t always so. I first met her three years ago, after receiving an email from the Cowley County Humane Society in Winfield, KS, asking if I would foster a 12-year old miniature poodle who was not doing well in the shelter environment. In fact, she was pacing so badly, that her paws were bloody. I never wanted a poodle; my husband and I are Chihuahua people, but how could I say no to this old girl? When I saw her, my heart went out to her. Shelter staff told me that she had been confiscated from a puppy mill; they had shorn her matted fur and taken care of her, but she was still very skinny, had various ailments and rotten teeth. I took her into my arms, told her everything would be ok and that she was safe.

Lana fit well into our Chihuahua family, but it was clear that she had never had a real home. She was afraid of people, not house trained and didn’t even know what a dog bed was. Fostering Lana was a challenge, but little by little she became healthy, learned how to be a dog and trust people. Still, nobody wanted to adopt the old dog.

After six months of fostering, we took Lana to a groomer who specializes in poodles. She came back looking like a million bucks, and she knew it. There was no turning back. We promised Lana that from now on she would always be beautiful and have a forever home - ours!

Alice Shaffer
Arkansas City, KS
Paws Galore Welcome Home Box
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