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Squints the lucky kitten

On one of the first cold nights of the season, I drove over what I thought was a leaf in the middle of the road. As I passed, I thought to myself, ‘that leaf was almost shaped like a kitten…’ I listened to my gut and turned around. Sure enough, huddled in the cold, wet grass on the side of the road, was a tiny, shivering kitten. I scooped her up, looked around as best I could in the dark for her mom and littermates, but found no sign of them. I jumped back into my car with her and sped around the corner to my house where I could get a good look at her. She was in bad shape. She was thin, covered in fleas, and her eyes were completely crusted shut. She was obviously very young, about 4-5 weeks old. After a momentary discussion with my husband, we were on our way to the emergency vet. Once her eyes were cleaned, they still didn’t look good, and we were sent home with meds and a warning that they could get worse. Unfortunately, only a couple of days went by and we were back at the vet; her right eye had ruptured and had to be removed. The next day she came home, less one eye, but began showing improvements almost immediately. Over the next few days she ate a ton and began to regain her strength. Now two weeks have gone by, she has doubled in size, and we can hardly contain her! Her good eye is healing remarkably, and you would never know she was missing the other. I am so grateful we found her, and were able to help her. Every day I look into that beautiful, glimmering eye and wonder, who really saved who?

Jessica Carlisle
Troutman, NC

Gulliver the Survivor

A few months back, a little puppy was wandering the streets of Georgia, sick and starving. Animal control picked him up and brought him in. It was determined though that this young puppy had parvo and therefore a very small chance to live and was going to be put to sleep. A volunteer saw him though and decided to take a chance and try to save him. Even though Parvo is deadly, especially for puppies, the little puppy pushed though and survived. He was named Gulliver and was rescued with another puppy Maddie. Both Gulliver and Maddie were transported up north to a foster home in Ct, my home, through The Animal Center in newtown, ct. He was very skinny and had to be treated for fleas but he never stopped wagging his tail. Him and Maddie played and became healthy, strong puppies. Maddie was recently adopted which devastated Gulliver. Luckily my rescue puppy, a 3 legged Havanese, took a liking to him and the two of them bonded. Gulliver helps my puppy, Zoey gain leg strength making her faster and faster and Zoey has helped Gulliver learn to be a puppy. At this moment, Gulliver has his head on my lap and is looking up at me with Zoey snuggled up to his belly. This amazing dog in just a few months of life has gone from no hope, to endless possibilities. He is an amazing dog and will make his family very happy one day. Until then, he will continue to be loved and spoiled by his foster mommy.

Megan Penney
West Haven, CT

Not "Born to be Wild"

His name became Jonah but then he had always been Jonah to me. The first time I saw him he was sneaking into my backyard to pilfer some cat food. It was obvious that he was homeless and also obvious to me from that moment on that he was not meant to be a wild/feral cat. I gained his trust with some canned cat food, then a little more trust with pets and chin scratches. He was this muscular tom cat with the tiniest little meow and the most grateful purrs. He decided that he would adopt us and began coming frequently. One morning I went out looking for him and no Jonah, two days, no Jonah, the third day Jonah shows with half of his jaw melting off and reeking of infection. Off to the vet he goes, luckily he knew he needed to go and was quite cooperative getting into the cat carrier. He had developed a massive abscess--surgery was performed (along with neutering and vaccines), 2 week convalescence inside later he was a changed boy. Yes, still missing part of his jaw causing a very unique joker smile but the absolute sweetest boy ever. I knew all along he wasn't born to be wild and he had just proved it. Funny what an impact those that we "rescue" have on us, I'm thinking I was actually the rescued one.

Cheryl Lindquist
Lincoln City, OR

Blackie the Cat - The Rescuer

Blackie’s arrival into my life was nothing less than a sign from Heaven. He was definitely sent to me by Kit Kat, my magickal, most precious companion I’ve ever known, who passed away on May 9, 2011. When I took Kit Kat to the hospital on May 9th, I did not consider he wasn’t coming back home with me. As I cried myself to sleep that night, I remember dreaming about Kit Kat and being awakened with a surprise at my doorstep the next morning.

When I opened my door, I saw this cute young black and white cat on my doorstep, meowing carrying a conversation and asking for my attention. He did not want to come inside as he smelled Baby Luke inside. So I stepped outside and the cat stayed with me for a couple of hours playing and cuddling with me. As he lifted my heart, it was like he done his “job”, “clocked out”, and left.

One month later, Baby Luke passed away and again I felt myself clinging to my pillow, crying myself to sleep. Early the very next morning, I woke up hearing a familiar voice. As I opened my door, there he was, the black cat that visited me a month earlier. This time he came inside my home as there were no other cats around. This time he stayed for about four hours and once again, after completing his “job” of lifting my heart, he gave me a good-bye kiss and left.

The very next morning, the cat was back and this time he stayed. And he told me his name was Blackie.

Melanie Gonzalez
San Diego, CA

Baby Luke

To My Sweet Baby Luke,

You were only 6 months old when you were introduced to me and Kit Kat back in October 2010. I was looking for a playmate for Kit Kat but couldn't find one who was compatible. The cat foundation found me and asked me if I could adopt you as you were separated into your own room away from the other cats so you wouldn't infect them with the Leukemia. I immediately asked to meet you. You were so tiny compared to Kit Kat.

I loved how your playful innocence rubbed off on Kit Kat and myself bringing our inner child back out as we lost sight of it. With you in our home, you brought back the play, the laughter, the Light. And Kit Kat in return took you under his wing, watching over you every morning and night. You were such a blessing for Kit Kat as he had no one to play with during the day while I was at work. You kept him young and happy. You my sweet Luke, were all about play and sweetness.

I will never forget your "mah-ahh", your baby kisses, your tiny little paws caressing my face, and everything else about you. I can't believe your stay with me was so short, yet I know you had the best life with Kit Kat and me.

I know you are with Kit Kat now.

Melanie Gonzalez
San Diego, CA

The Lady and the Schnusky

Unless you’ve experienced that moment of destiny you truly cannot understand it. It is a feeling that rocks your core. A sense of complete peace and happiness because this being before you is now a part of your life. You wonder how you ever survived before this meeting.

I had that special once in a lucky lifetime moment in June of 2002. I didn’t want a dog, yet thanks to I find myself driving five hours one way to Cedar Bend Humane Society in Waterloo, IA (USA) to meet two year old two time reject, Chance, who was sitting on death row. We both knew instantly that he would never set another paw in a cage again. Too cool for anyone else with his over-sized ears, huge feet, and solid purple tongue. Schnauzer and Husky with a little bit of Chow? Unique. Just like me.

Don’t expect much, he’s rambunctious and hasn’t been outside all day, I’m told. He’d been returned twice in his short life due to excess energy. I already know I’m taking this dog home, but I play along and take him out to the yard. He runs but comes right back to me. Inside he stays right by my side paying no attention to the other people or dogs. He is gentle yet cautious with the cats. The shelter is amazed. Who is this dog? I just smile. My dog. Only place this dog is going is to my home in Wisconsin! The shelter goes above and beyond. They break their own rules to make this long distance – out of state adoption happen. The Lady and the Schnusky. A forever story.

The stars aligned. Fate intervened. Destiny was fulfilled. The Earth smiled. The Universe rejoiced.

Against all odds, love finds a way.

Michelle Carey
Whitewater, WI

How we saved Niko...

Niko is an eight-year-old yellow lab. He was rescued from the Michigan Humane Society when he was about a year old. Since then he has lived with his owner in Detroit, Michigan. He is her friend, confidant, and protector. On a hot night in August of 2012, Niko's home was broken into. He was shot in the face with a shotgun. His owner was injured as well. The owner's mother rushed Niko to the closest emergency vet (Affiliated Veterinary Emergency Services)... the technician told them that this was something she had never seen before and the quote for his surgery would be astronomical- more than $7k. The family explained that they could not afford this and would likely have to put him down. The vet tech contacted me, and together we started a social media campaign to raise money for this poor dog. On Sunday morning we posted the story and by Monday night, we had raised nearly $25k for Niko. This story brought hope to many people and showed the humanity that does still exist. Contributors came from all over the world. Together, we all saved Niko's life. For more information on Niko - search "Save Niko (Gunshot Victim)" on Facebook.

Last Day Dog Rescue

Livonia, MI 48151

West Bloomfield, MI

Shilo and Mason

Shilo and Mason were adopted from Willing Hearts Dalmatian Rescue in Royersford, PA, USA. Mason (the brown and white Dal) was born deaf at a Dalmatian Breeder. Most breeders put deaf Dalmatians to sleep but this breeder gives deaf Dalmatians to Willing Hearts to find them a forever home. They have both been wonderful dogs and their presence in our home has made it a better place.

Tod Stewart
Athens, GA

Bear-The Last Survivor

Lapeer County Animal Shelter

Lapeer, Michigan

United States

Bear arrived to the Lapeer Shelter as a victim of a neglect and abandonment case. He sat at the shelter for 5 weeks waiting for court to take place. After court, all 6 dogs involved in the case were to be euthanized as they were labeled not adoptable as these dogs were not socialized and all had behavior issues. Bear was a Lab mix around 5 years old that we felt had some potential, so I decided to take him home as a foster dog. Bear was an outdoor dog his whole life, so I wanted to rehabilitate him into making him an indoor dog, but after taking him to the vet he was diagnosed heartworm positive. Bear was treated for his heartworm which prolonged his training but he was worked with during his recuperation time. Bear was housetrained and learned the proper way to walk on a leash in less than a week. This was a dog that pancaked to the ground for everything! Bear also learned how to play with toys, play ball, and play with other dogs. After almost 5 months of fostering Bear and working with him, my neighbors fell in love with him and adopted him as their family dog. Bear is now living in a house with 3 children and another dog that he adores and is living the high life! Just recently he was also diagnosed as being heartworm negative! Bear was given the chance to live a life that he deserved to live and more than proved himself at being the best dog anyone could want! All it took was some time and patience and a lot of support! Bear had his own facebook page where fans were supporting him!

Wendy Yax
Metamora, MI

The TRUE No Brainer; Rescue Deserved and Acquired

We received this photo with a request to surrender. Initially the answer was not an overwhelming yes, but one foster stood up and begged to at least get him an MRI and understand his needs. She could not look at his seemingly (but not) Photoshop edited picture and not help. After meeting him and realizing he’d bounced through 5 homes in 6 months of life, there was no denying this sweet boy the medical care deserved. Funds for MRI were begged for and received. The MRI revealed he had minimal brain tissue that wasn’t already destroyed. He was living on brainstem and a slight amount of the rear portion of his brain. He is the most severe hydrocelphalus case ever seen by many neurologists. Despite his pain, blurred vision and loss of brain tissue he was still determined and showed his brain was learning to do things the remaining portion of tissue were not designed to do. He can bark without the entire front of his brain which contains the canine speech center. He can sit and learned his name; both functions he should not be able to do. We have named him Einstein because no matter his condition he is determined to find a way to live and learn. We have raised the funding for his shunt surgery, in just a little over a week. On October 24,2012 Einstein will have his surgery. Now we have a new mission; aftercare and giving back. Hundreds of donors helped Einstein. Now Einstein is working to care for other animals that are in similar need who normally would be refused because the cost and survival rates are enormous. He is not only a special boy but intends to be hero for his rescue and for other dogs with such need.

Kim Breaux
Destrehan, LA
Festival Pets Memory Foam Indoor Mat
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