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My little survivor.

Hannie was a Katrina dog. He got lost during the hurricane and like so many others, ended up at an animal shelter in Austin, Tx. A family adopted him and took care of him for 7 years, but when the father got sick and had to have chemo, they had to give him away. I heard about Hannie through my friend's mom and she told me the family was going to surrender him to a shelter because no one wanted a seven year old dog.

I agreed to take him in for one weekend, to see if he'd get along with my roommate's sheltie, but I never gave him back. For three years, Hannie lived with me. He was the funniest little old man. A tiny furball of a Pomeranian with a lot of attitude. He barked at dogs ten times his size, chased after squirrels and snored as loud as a human when he fell asleep on his back.

The only thing that terrified Hannie were loud noises and thunderstorms. Fire alarms, microwave beeps, ovens, car alarms. He would shake non-stop and climb up on my lap, on my chest, and curl up as close to me as he could. It's not hard to imagine why he had a PTSD, with everything he must have gone through.

After a year of having him, I had to move back home. It was a long flight, but he was a trooper. He laid down half on his carrier, half on my lap and slept most of the way. And when we got here, he got even more spoiled with food and attention by the entire family.

Unfortunately, he became sick a year and half ago, even after surgery, he didn't make it. But I'm grateful for the time I had with him and for the company he gave to me during this transition in my life. Hannie was a wonderful dog and he'll always be my little old man.

Valeria
Austin, TX

Small Cat born into a Big Cat world

I had been volunteering at a tiger and big cat "rescue" in Indiana (a HORRIBLE place that was shut down a few years later) for a while. It was heart-breaking but I was hoping that MAYBE they just needed a few more volunteers to help it get 'back on its feet'. So for a summer, my husband and I went on weekends to help out.

The very last weekend that I volunteered at this "rescue" I overheard the 'owner' saying that they had multiple female cats all give birth to kittens and they were sick of them. They had decided to dump all the kittens off somewhere (I was praying it was a shelter). I couldn't stand the thought of over 40 kittens being dumped somewhere. So, I asked the 'owner' if I could see the kittens.

They all looked sickly and not well taken care of. Most were under 8 weeks closer to 5 or 6 weeks. I was about to give up when I found 4 TINY black kittens in a corner. They couldn't have been more than 3-4 weeks old. I asked if he was taking them away as well and he said yes he was done with the kittens.

As I looked over the four kittens the largest kitten meowed, indignantly, when I tried to pick her up and I fell instantly in love. The little girl had called out to me. I was sad that I couldn't save them all, but at least I saved my Gizmo. It took some work but I raised a healthy happy cat. She is now 9-years-old. I have also moved to a new state and work at a REAL tiger Sanctuary. I didn't give up my love for tigers just because of one bad situation, and Gizmo reminds me every day why I do what I do.

Real sanctuaries don't breed (even little cats). My Gizmo has the heart of a tiger (a lazy tiger but a tiger). It just goes to show you that good things can come from horrible situations with a little love and kindness.

Lisa B.
Eureka Springs, AR

Our Baby Wonton

I had just moved into a new apartment, while I studied in nursing school. One early morning on my way to my car with my then boyfriend, a severely skinny little siamese cat came and started rubbing against my leg. He was so friendly and so sweet! Against the advice of my boyfriend (since we already had one cat and a dog), I decided to start feeding him. I instantly adored him, and knew he had found us for a reason. I lived on the second floor, and managed to coax him up the stairs, and into eating in my apartment. He was hesitant, but I think he could tell I just wanted to love on him.

Fast forward four months, and my new baby Wonton and I moved across town into a house with my now fiance. He now enjoys the life of a spoiled housecat and a mama's boy. He loves air conditioning, soft kitty food, and morning snuggles. He has gained four healthy pounds and his purrs practically shake the house. He was recently diagnosed with FIV (which we were told he has probably had since before we had him), which was devastating. But we are determined to give him the best life possible, for as long as he'll be with us. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, and I feel pretty lucky that he chose us.

Lindsee
Sacramento, CA

"Over the Bridge Special"

I deliver packages during the winter, and one Friday, passed this soaking wet little puppy beside the river that one of my roads follows. I knew I could get fired if I picked it up, despite it being winter, and I just prayed that he'd be safe. After my packages were delivered and I was headed home, I couldn't rest without knowing that that pup had been picked up. My heart sank when I saw him in the same exact spot, dried but still shivering, 4 hours later. I scooped him up, and made the decision to keep him until Monday, when I'd drop him off at the pound.

I didn't even get home before that plan changed. I checked for microchips, called pounds and vets, let them know I found this little black-lab puppy, posted signs, even asked around at work. And one person said "Oh, that's very common for that river. People just throw puppies over the bridge and drive away". I was horrified.

2 years later, and he is the best dog I've ever had. I don't know who decided to throw a 6 week old pure-bred black lab puppy over a bridge into freezing water just before Christmas, but I want to thank you, because you threw away a GREAT dog, and gave me my best friend, partner, companion, and now Service Dog.

Tara
Columbus, OH

Rescued Abandoned Kittens

I recently found three abandoned kittens that were left for dead overnight under a utility construction truck in a cold wet box without food and kitten formula. I took in all three kittens with the help of family and they are growing stronger each day. These kittens not only captured my attention with their cries in unison for help, but they captured my heart in the process and changed my life for the better! Please share my story to bring awareness to helping abandoned pets and animals. We need more people in the world to help take in abandoned animals.

Thanks,

V4VLuLz

Anonymous
Ft. Myers, FL

Crazy Maysie

About three years ago, my coworker came to work and told me her mother had become ill and was forced to bring her three cats to the local shelter. Her mother was heart-broken and she feared her illness would escalate due to worrying about her pets. She was especially attached to a big, silly, striped tabby cat. Little did she know, she really had nothing to worry about.

Unbeknownst to my coworker, we had just lost our striped tabby, Imogene, to kidney failure. She was my husband's girl and she was rarely seen anywhere other than his lap. I showed him a picture of her but didn't think he was ready for a replacement so soon. However, he caved and my coworker said she would drive down to pick up the cat at the shelter the following weekend when she visited her mom. Unfortunately, she was unable to go and I told my husband we would just have to wait. The very next day, my husband drove to the shelter himself, a six-hour round trip, and picked up our new kitty, whom we named Maysie.

She is quite the character and loves attention and making a fool of herself. She is always front and center when we have company and is especially fond of people coming to work in the house. She's such a helper. And just like Imogene, my husband's lap has become her preferred cat bed. We frequently send pictures of her antics to my coworker's mom and it feels great knowing Maysie once again has a home.

Andrea Wheeler
Rockaway, NJ

Miss Rhonda

I had been without my beloved Chesapeake Bay Retriever for almost 4 years when I finally decided it was time to start looking for another dog. My friends and family could not believe I had waited so long! I always said I will find one or one will find me when the time is right...all I knew was I wanted a resuce, a female and I would name her Rhonda. One day, while looking at a Lab rescue site, I went to the very bottom of the page and there was this beautiful white Lab and her name was Rhonda! My heart skipped a beat! I drove the next day about 3 hours to meet her and went back to pick her up 4 days later after she was spayed. Her belly hung to the ground from numerous litters with no exercise in between..she had been kept in a metal crate for approximately 3-6 years (that's how old my vet surmised she was). She was the sweetest, most gentle, mellow dog you could ever meet. I had her for 10 years until she just word out and 2 years later, I still miss her more thatn words can express. Now I'm starting to look for another puppy dog to rescue, but there will never be another Rhonda!

Suzi
Albuquerque, NM

Love Bug

I first met Rollio at the end of March when he came into the shelter I was a volunteer at. He was very depressed.  After a couple of weeks I decided he needed to be petted.  I got a fabric string toy and wrapped it around the end of the stick. I began to stroke him with it. He began to roll into it and began purring.  After a few days I finally began to pet him with my hands. 

By mid May my semester was over and I was leaving the state.  I tried to convince my mom to let me adopt him, but she told me over and over again that she did not like cats.

Over the next few months I kept thinking about Rollio.  I would check online to see if anyone had adopted him, but he was still there.  By the end of September he was still there. I emailed the shelter that week asking about him and if it was possible to adopt him for my grandparents. When I heard back they said how he had been hissy and faced the wall most of the day and because this they were going to euthanize him.  I broke down crying.  My mom broke down and my dad and her agreed.  My mom figured the worst that would happen would be that we would get him home and he would be mean and we would have to put him down ourselves.

It did not take long for him to adjust.  He knew he was home. He loves us petting him.  It has been almost five years now and he has grown so much. He is obsessed with my dad and my mom even has grown to love him (and all the other cats we have since gotten).

Amanda
Marlton, NJ

Love Bug

I first met Rollio at the end of March when he came into the shelter I was a volunteer at. He was very depressed.  After a couple of weeks I decided he needed to be petted.  I got a fabric string toy and wrapped it around the end of the stick. I began to stroke him with it. He began to roll into it and began purring.  After a few days I finally began to pet him with my hands. 

By mid May my semester was over and I was the state.  I tried to convince my mom to let me adopt him, but she told me over and over again that she did not like cats.

Over the next few months I kept thinking about Rollio.  I would check online to see if anyone had adopted him, but he was still there.  By the end of September he was still there. I emailed the shelter that week asking about him and if it was possible to adopt him for my grandparents. When I heard back they said how he had been hissy and faced the wall most of the day and because this they were going to euthanize him.  I broke down crying.  My mom broke down and my dad and her agreed.  My mom figured the worst that would happen would be that we would get him home and he would be mean and we would have to put him down ourselves.

It did not take long for him to adjust.  He knew he was home. He loves us petting him.  It has been almost five years now and he has grown so much. He is obsessed with my dad and my mom even has grown to love him (and all the other cats we have since gotten).

Amanda
Marlton, NJ

Ferguson, my soul cat.

Ferguson, now 8 years old was at a small reacue that let cats roam around the small pet store area they had. I walked in, not really looking to adopt. A small grey tabby just followed me everywhere I went. I picked him up to give him love, he fell asleep in my arms and came home the next day.

I'am an over the road truck driver and Iraq Veteran with PTSD. Ferguson rides with me all over the country and looks after me when I have anxiety. He is the greatest friend a human could have.

He has a nose for mischief and is always there to make me laugh. He has been to 48 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. He is the most travelled cat around. He even got to write letters to a class of children talking about his travels on the road.

Of all the people that went in and out of that store, he chose me to be his companion. I'm blessed to have been picked.

Rob Goodall
Amherst, OH
Purple Paw Swirl Two Toned Hooded Sweatshirt
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