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Some times you just have to Take A Chance

Several months ago, local EMT’s were called to do a wellness check on an elderly man They entered his apartment and found he had passed away. On his lap was a cat. The cat refused to leave.

They took him to the vet and determined he was about 12 years old and his teeth were in very bad shape. All of his teeth needed to be removed. They also discovered he was FIV +. The woman who runs the local Humane Society said “I just know someone will give him a chance.”

So they decided his spirit was so great he deserved a chance. His teeth were removed and rather than be put in with the other shelter cats, he was placed in a foster home to recover. While the foster mom liked this cat very much, her other cats and dog did not. There was much tension and it only grew as he got stronger. It was clear, this cat needed to be an only cat.

I was struck by the words the woman kept using to describe him to me: Every other thought, she kept saying “I just know someone will take a chance on him”. “All he needs is a chance.”

We had a nice first meeting and I asked if he would like to come and take a chance on me. He just gave me this look that could melt an iceberg.

He came out of the carrier right away and just explored his new home. I stayed in the living room while he explored his new surroundings. After a few hours he climbed up on my lap, then my chest and insisted on love and hugs and kisses for the next hour or so. He was now home, my loving cat Chance.

Rita Murphy
Canton, MA

Stuart and Zero, A Second Chance To Be Ferrets and Family

The Greater Chicago Ferret Association in Lyons, IL (USA), received a call from a Mom claiming her daughter needed to find a new home for her ferrets. They were 75+ miles from the shelter, but I agreed to meet them and they relinquished the ferrets to me. I was told the ferrets didn’t get along and would be coming in separate cages, which I found odd; ferrets, especially younger ones are very social creatures. You could tell the daughter was crushed and would miss them terribly. My gut told me to test this “dislike” with supervised playtimes. It didn’t take long to figure out, Zero was 100% deaf. He was the aggressor in play, but when Stuart (who was ironically blind in one eye) would turn the tables, Zero would shriek at Stuart and run away. Ferrets are verbally quiet creatures that “dook” in play or frustration. Deaf ferrets can be more vocal because they can’t hear themselves! I decided to give caging them together a chance. Stuart slept in the hammy at the top of the cage and Zero slept in the bottom in the cubby hole. I caught Stuart sneaking into Zero’s space and Zero would shriek scaring Stuart back to his own hammy. This was not the behavior of ferrets that didn’t like each other, they just didn’t know how to be ferrets! I cautiously took them in the same carrier to the shelter and once there, they cuddled up in a hammy. Their story still brings tears to my eyes. It was very sad that an owner who loved her ferrets had to give them up, but through her unselfishness, these two ferrets, Stuart and Zero were given the opportunity of ferrety companionship and were successfully adopted out to live happily ever after TOGETHER.

Valerie Michalski
Pingree Grove, IL


Priscilla was an owner surrender who was turned into a high-kill shelter after her owner found out she was pregnant. She was in terrible condition, and infested with ticks due to spending most of her life outside. If that weren’t enough, she was used as target practice (BB’s from a BB gun were found inside of her). Despite all of this abuse and neglect, she never let it break her spirit. Priscilla still longed to be with humans. All she wanted was a few belly rubs to make her happy. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this story. Priscilla gave birth to 11 beautiful puppies and LDDR had her properly vetted and cleaned up. After a little TLC, Priscilla was adopted by a wonderful family who saw the potential in her. She came to them very thin and still needed continued medical treatment on her parasites. She was hardly the picture of health. But, today you probably wouldn’t recognize her! Priscilla (now known as Miss Prissy by her adoptive family) has been spayed, is healthy and has become an integral part of her adoptive family. She loves to cuddle and especially enjoys sleeping in their bed or lying next to them when they watch TV. They have a groomer come to their home who Miss Prissy absolutely loves. She also will have a trainer coming to the house soon to teach some basic obedience training. Most importantly, Miss Prissy takes care of the family’s 16 year old daughter who is severely cognitively impaired. She is extremely gentle with her. Their daughter hugs Miss Prissy all the time and she absolutely loves it!! They feel she is truly a miracle and are forever grateful for this wonderful dog!

Last Day Dog Rescue

P.O. Box 51935

Livonia, MI 48151-5935

Aileen Klebba
Romeo, MI

Wylie the 3-legged Ball Obsessed "Mini Lab"

Wylie came to Loup Garou from the Kern County shelter. He had been hit by a car and a vet there put a pin in his leg. After to being in his foster home for 2 months he still wasn’t putting his leg down at all. We took him to our vet who said his hip was out of alignment, the leg fracture healed improperly and he had a grade 4 luxating patella. It was his medical opinion that the leg be amputated, which wiould allow Wylie to have a more normal life. We immediately began fundraising for him on Facebook and also a bar graciously offered to have a special happy hour for Wylie. One of the happy hour attendees was a friend of Wylie’s foster mom. She said that her parents had recently lost their cat and they were thinking about now adopting a dog. She told them Wylie’s story and they fell in love with him after seeing photos. He reminded them of a dog they’d had many years ago but a miniature version (Wylie is basically a ball obsessed Labrador retriever in a 12 pound body) The week after Wylie’s surgery just happened to be Christmas so Tricia took Wylie for the holiday to her parents for a “visit” to see how they liked him. Well of course Wylie stayed. The latest report from them is that he’s happily running around chasing his tennis ball, his favorite thing in the whole world.

Loup Garou Animal Rescue is dedicated to the rescue and re-homing of black and dark colored companion animals from shelters where they are disproportionately euthanized for their color. We pull dogs and cats from local shelters, place them into foster homes and actively search out permanent adoptive homes for them.

Kay Hoskins
San Francisco, CA

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I first saw Oz, named after my favorite movie, housed alone next to a cage of adorable kittens. While everyone cooed over the babies, my attention went to this underdog. Oz didn't try hard for attention; he seemed to understand the appeal of kittens.

We'd been looking for a brother for our cat, "Bear", so I asked my husband

to come meet Oz. On our return visit I held him for the first time and knew instantly he was "the one"; he fit like a glove.

For months, Oz took a real shine to my husband and I found myself questioning whether he even liked me all that much - until I had surgery and would be out of commission for weeks. During this time Oz started to come around and by the end of my recovery his loyalties had shifted.

Oz was always close-by; computer time, watching tv and especially bedtime. He would dutifully join me for a tuck under the covers. His purrs, nibbles and loving gazes filled my heart; we were a team and spent many wonderful years enjoying each other's company.

In his 13th year, Oz didn't seem himself and after a trip to the veterinarian's we were given the bad news. Oz had developed diabetes and would need special care. Sadly and despite our best efforts over the next several months, Oz didn't respond well to treatment. His doctor felt he would now begin to suffer and his time had come. Our hearts broke in a million pieces. Ozzy was brought home for one last night with us. I stayed close-by him as he'd always stayed by me.

The following day Oz passed over The Rainbow Bridge at exactly High Noon, the time the sun is the highest and brightest in the sky.

Christine Brooks
Narragansett, RI

Would You Risk Your Life for a Friend?

We’ve all heard the expression “fighting like cats and dogs”, yet some cats and dogs form powerful bonds, like the one between my Malamute, Kodi, and a rescued kitten named Myshkin.

Baby Myshkin followed Kodi everywhere and loved to sleep with his huge, furry “mama”. Over the years, the love between Kodi and Myshkin delighted all who saw them – and plenty did, as Myshkin never missed our neighborhood jaunts, sitting proudly beside Kodi outside the local shops.

Kodi was always ready to fight off any dog who threatened “his” cat, but what was amazing was how this protectiveness turned around when Kodi became stricken with cancer. Myshkin knew his beloved friend was gravely ill and seldom left Kodi’s side. I thought he just wanted to stay close, but it turns out he was actually guarding Kodi.

One afternoon towards the end, Kodi, weak but not suffering, was resting on the lawn with Myshkin beside him. Suddenly, a huge dog appeared, heading our way. Normally, Myshkin would skedaddle at the sight of a strange dog, but this day, he held his ground. As the big dog approached, Myshkin stood up and moved directly into its path, puffing up and growling like something possessed. The dog tried to go around him to get a sniff at Kodi, but any way he turned, Myshkin blocked him with his own tiny body – left, right, then left again.

The poor cat was clearly terrified, yet there he was, risking his own life to protect the helpless friend who had been his guide and guardian for so many years. The stray dog soon gave up and departed, leaving me with a lump in my throat – and a sense of awe that remains to this day.


Susan Lane
Redding, CA

Justice's Journey

Justice, a Shar Pei/Pitt mix, was seized during a sting operation on a dog fighting ring where she was being used as a bait dog. She was in a sad state both medically and emotionally but still had a wagging tail when the great people of the ARNI Foundation went to the kill shelter she was being housed at. ARNI rescued 8 month old Justice from doggie death row and spent nearly a year nursing her back to health. I met Justice on one of my visits to ARNI and fell in love, however, my lease only allows for 2 dogs and we already had them. Justice was adopted by a family that, after several months with her, had to move and couldn't take her with them, so back to ARNI she went. In the mean time I had lost my beloved Shar Pei, Trooper, to cancer but wasn't sure I was ready to fill his space in our home...until I heard Justice was back at the shelter. It felt like fate to me that she was available for adoption again and I didn't hesitate. I brought Justice into our home and haven't looked back. I can see marked improvement in her everyday as she learns to trust and live in a fear-free environment. She has no problems with people or other animals and is the most loving and lovable baby. ARNI released their new calendar recently and Justice has a 2 page spread in the centerfold. I now jokingly refer to her as my "Pin Up Pup" and because so many people followed her progress while at ARNI, she has more facebook friends than I do! Ms. Justice has touched many lives here in Daytona Beach, FL and I am honored to provide her Fur-ever home.

Faith Middaugh
Daytona Beach, FL

The Journey of Silvertoes (aka Carson)

Silvertoes (aka Carson) is a Chihuahua that had lived 9 years in a cage in a puppy mill. He missed out on sunshine, warm laps and the feeling of grass between his toes, until he was rescued by Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee (SBRET). He was one of the most shut down dogs that SBRET had ever taken in. He could not make eye contact and his skin would literally crawl when someone would reach out to touch him.

In my foster home he was a challenge to say the least because he was so scared of humans and our hands. For the first several weeks I had to hand feed him to help him learn that good things came from hands. His bed was put in the middle of my living room to help him learn not to be afraid of the sights and sounds of a home. He had to learn that life with people was going to be ok.

Almost a year after being rescued I took Carson to one of many adoption events. He had been to adoption events but never showed well because of his fear of strangers. But this adoption event was different when Carolyn, a past adopter, stopped by. She had been following the months of progress that was posted on his webpage. She felt I had him to a point that she thought she would be able to take over and would love to have him join her four Chihuahua family. I had prayed that one day someone would take a chance with him. I knew he was ready and because of the resilience of Carson and the love and patience I had with him, he is doing very well in his new home. We did a good job little man!

Kathy Grunwell
Knoxville, TN

Nala's story

We'd just turned onto our street after returning from a trip on a hot Saturday in early June when suddenly, as if equipped with a feline-sensing radar, my wife looked to the right & cried out 'Look at the kitten!'.

I stopped and backed up a few feet. Karen got out and picked up a tiny black kitten who'd run under the car to escape the blazing heat. Since nobody knew whose she was, we decided to take care of her for 'a little while'.

We didn't have any kitten supplies, so we headed to the store. As we pulled into the parking lot , the kitten collapsed. The store's clinic had just closed, so we immediately drove to the emergency clinic. During the drive,she woke a few times, meowed loudly for a few seconds, then collapsed.

We soon found that this little one was anemic & dehydrated, and had ear mites, worms & fleas. This was a very sick, very lucky little kitten! The vet said she probably wouldn't have survived another hour.

Because of all her problems, we left her overnight while they gave her a transfusion, and while she was better on Sunday, they kept her a 2nd night for further observation & another transfusion.

When we got her home on Monday, we kept her in the office or the bathroom for her safety if we weren't around.

Unfortunately, little Nala's troubles were far from over. Since our initial rescue, she's been back at the emergency clinic twice for transfusions. She's been diagnosed with hemobartonella, a blood disorder, and she'll be tested again to confirm she doesn't have feline leukemia.

As of today, Nala is happy, healthy, & active.

Bruce Roepke
Wichita, KS

A boy and his dog. Finally!

My son and I wanted a dog. That would be difficult living in an apartment complex that doesn't allow pets unless one is elderly or disabled. I have depression. Fine, but I needed a doctor to approve a pet. My doctor refused. Then my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s and his doctor also said no and I gave up. I already knew if I could somehow get a dog, I would get it from Lapeer County Animal Shelter in Lapeer, Michigan USA.

I found another doctor for my son that would take care of Asperger’s and general health. I presented my request to him. He said no… unless he saw an article about the benefits of Asperger children having a pet. I sighed. That wasn't likely to happen. I took Zack to an unrelated appointment and was told great news- the nurse had seen such an article! They handed me a prescription for a dog!

The next week was a whirlwind. I visited the shelter and saw a Chihuahua mix. Oh no, anything but a Chihuahua! But he implored me with his eyes and wagged his tail frantically. “Take me with you!” he seemed to say. I looked him over critically and said, “Well, you’re a little scruffy one aren't you!” But I couldn't resist long. I took him for a walk and he just fit. That scruffy dog is now in my eyes the prettiest ever because he is a member of my family. Great personality, he plays more every day as he gets used to it here and realizes he is staying. He changed my mind, I saved his life and there is no doubt about it, I would do anything for my Scruffy (whom I now think is a Rat Terrier, not a Chihuahua)!

Jessica Helton
Lapeer, MI
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