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Little Old Doug

Who knows what this adorable little lost dachshund's name really was, but at the Chester County SPCA shelter in West Chester, PA, where I dogwalk, they called him Doug. On his cage there was note saying not to walk him, as he was a senior and might have orthopedic issues. He was curled up in a ball amidst the barking chaos, looking pretty sad, with a big tumor on his mouth. I decided he needed to perk up if he was going to be adopted, so I picked him up and took him outside in the May sunshine. When I sat him down in the grass he looked a little dazed. As I petted and talked to him, all of a sudden, he came to life. Good thing he had a leash on-he started motoring!

The next time I came back he was lively, but I worried about that tumor. By week 3 I decided to adopt him. At the vet's we took care of the tumor- a harmless epulis- and found out he was about 13. He sure doesn't act it. He is quite an explorer, which is probably how he got lost. I feel sorry for his former owners, whether they cared or not they are missing out on the sweetest treasure, full of affection. He fit right in with my other 2 dogs, both seniors themselves, and we are inseparable! In fact, he's sleeping right to me as I write this. I call him a "dacoon" because he is very clever at getting into trashcans, but he is so lovable and funny that I can't stay mad at him for long. He's enjoying his life with us and I'm enjoying him. My goal is to make sure the rest of his life is loving, happy and comfortable.

Leslie Celia
West Chester, PA

Winnie Penny

Winnie was rescued from an abusive home by a social worker - a member of my husband's extended family - in a nearby county. The county automatically puts down all abused confiscated animals as a matter of policy unless they have homes lined up, so of course we weren't going to turn her away when she was offered to us. We started out by "fostering" Winnie, although we knew pretty much from the start that she was going to remain a part of our family. In the past 8 months, she's grown from a 4.5 lb. flea-ridden, nervous puppy into a 14 lb. bundle of energy! She's the belle of the ball everywhere she goes, from the pet store to doggy daycare. She's never met a person or animal that she didn't like, and loves to play with her feline siblings (her canine sister hasn't quite come around yet!). She's mischievous and has a bit of a destructive streak (see photo!), but more than makes up for it with cuddles and kisses. Although we weren't quite sure about bringing another animal into the house when she first came to stay with us, we now can't imagine life without her!

Jamie S.
Kent County, MI

The New (Old) Guy

It took a few weeks after saying good-bye to my 18 year old Tortoiseshell Mitzi, but I knew that I wanted to save a life. So I went to PAWS, my local shelter, and fell in love at first sight with Fang (on the left). He is 9 years old, and has only one canine, hence the name. He likes to pat my face with his paw, and has a sweet breathy meow. It took a couple of weeks for my calico Tequila to accept him, but now they are fast friends. They share not only the bed, but my heart as well. Please consider adopting an older animal; they have so much love to give.

Wanda Harrison
Murfreesboro, TN

Nadine! Honey is that YOU? Why yes...yes it is!

Shown here napping with her new daddy, Nadine (pit bull puppy at 5 weeks old) was abandoned and then found in a neighbor's yard with cuts and scratches on her head. A "Burke County Friends For Animals" Foster parent handed her to me over our fence to foster when she was 5 weeks old. She was very thin and THEN in an already weakened state, she came down with Parvo. This precious baby almost lost her life but we could not give up on this precious fur baby. Now she is a thriving and playful hot mess and loves her siblings...our 3 other rescue doggies. Of course, we adopted could we resist?

Burke County Friends For Animals

Morganton, NC 28655

Shelia Carlisle
Morganton, NC

Saint Francis

On a frigid February day, Thomas was making one of his routine trips to the dump when he found a young Shelty mix that had been abandoned in a box, dehydrated and starved to the point of being comatose. Thank goodness Thomas brought the malnourished puppy to Community Animal Rescue and Adoption, Inc. (CARA) in Jackson, Mississippi. Named for the patron saint of animals, Francis was given round-the-clock attention by the dedicated caregivers at CARA—especially Lynn. By bottle feeding him throughout the day and night, administering vital medication, and constantly giving Francis her loving touch, Lynn brought the innocent puppy back from the brink. Within a week, Francis gained three pounds, opened his eyes and occasionally barked. Even the veterinarian who was treating Francis was stunned by such rapid improvement in the early days following his rescue.

CARA shared Francis’ story on Facebook in order to enlighten the community on the realities of animal cruelty. The issue of making the abuse of dogs and cats a felony in Mississippi is once again raging in the state capitol in Jackson. By putting a face on animal abuse, Francis is helping more and more passionate citizens join in this important debate in Mississippi.

As a volunteer at CARA, I have grown to love many of the cats and dogs I have had the pleasure to meet. Francis is certainly one of those—his courage and loving spirit move me to work harder each day to bring light into the lives of those who ask so little and deserve so much.

Laura Lillard
Jackson, MS

Double Your Fun!

Here is Piper, our Smooth Fox Terrier and Scooter (aka Scoots) getting ready to take their walk. We adopted Piper in 2008 when she was 10 mos. old; she came from Kentucky to a shelter in northern NJ, and in January 2011 we went back to the shelter for Scooter, who is 5 yrs. old and was given up by his previous owner for reasons unknown. They play together, walk together and hopefully someday will cuddle together. Please make adoption your option; there is no better way!

Alice Seidel
Shohola, PA

Silly Philly

We had rescued an older Golden Retriever, Buddy, and decided we wanted to rescue an Australian Shepard. We checked the rescue groups in our area and found When we saw Phillip's picture, we knew he was the dog for us. He is a miniature Aussie with a ton of love. He has made Buddy feel young again. We have had Philly now for 1 1/2 years. He loves to run around in the backyard and go for long walks and even tries to herd Buddy back into the house. Phillip always makes you smile no matter how down you feel.

Kathy Wachstein
Marietta, GA

Annie's Gift

Seven months after moving our four cats to our new country home, our gorgeous long-haired tortie "wild child" Annabella didn't return home one night. We found her dead by the side of the winding road below our property the next morning. Though she weighed only five pounds, Annie reigned Alpha over her litter mate Oliver and her adopted feline brothers Gypsy and Harry. We were all inconsolable and lost when she died. Ten months later I found a young white cat by the same bend in the road where we'd found Annie that horrible morning. He'd been sitting there for three days; in the darkness I'd thought he was an opossum. When I realized it was a cat I stopped with food and a carrier, but I didn't need the carrier- I just picked that smelly, skinny creature up in my arms and he purred on my lap in the car. My husband was home sick with a cold. When I introduced them, the cat immediately curled up on Maz's chest, laid his head back on hubbie's shoulder, put his paw on his cheek and started purring like mad. That sealed the deal. We named him Roamin' Catlett after Catlett Mountain Road where Annabella died and where she sent our new friend to ease our hearts. Oliver was the first to bond with Roamin, and taught him to watch over me while I sleep. Roamin has been my constant companion for six years, even waiting outside the shower and coming in to join me the instant I turn the water off. My husband sings "Colleen had a little cat, his fur was white as snow..." (you know the rest). Though we still miss our Bella, we started to heal the moment Roamin joined our family.

Colleen Bauer
Front Royal, VA

Sisters Live and Love

Having “outside” kitties is common place on our 10 acre property since Suzie, a feral Maltese, adopted me. I earned her friendship by feeding her and providing a warm sleeping box. Years later and several litters, one of her offspring, Nilla produced three kittens near winter but wouldn’t feed them. I discovered two under one side of the porch and later found 1 more on the other side. The air was chilled and the one died the next day even after trying to save it. The two gray and yellow babies left, got warmth, bottle fed and care every 2 hours for about 4 weeks! Feedings stretched to 3-4 hours and FINALLY weaned. My hubby and I really didn’t want more inside kitties. But watching these two, Bear and Liddle, grow and survive hit a soft spot in “our” hearts. Bear had a big head, I thought she was a he and Liddle was tiny and small. We found an adoptee for “both“, since they did everything together, even using the kitty litter! At the last moment, we found we couldn’t let them go. “Bearry”, (I had to make her name a bit more feminine), a girl, is now smaller than Liddle, who is more energetic and bigger than Bearry. At 5 months, they still do lots together, even sometimes get in the litter box together! We laugh so much at their antics and get so much love from them. They follow me, their “Grandma”, everywhere, even to the bathroom. When I take a bath and close the door, they’re right there outside the door when I get out. (I’m not ready to fish them out of the tub yet.) - Stray Rescue of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA, my area vote for best shelter!

Shirley Crowell
Collinsville, IL


Kesha came into our life in May 1998. Her bio read: THROW YOUR FACECLOTH AWAY. Kesha was a beautiful brindle Boxer/Collie mix. At 6 years old, she had already been in three homes. My mind was made up. Ours would be her last. When we asked why she had been returned to the shelter again, the staff said she had bitten one of the owners when he had threatened his wife with a baseball bat. A dog willing to protect you. GREAT!! I was sold. When the door to Kesha's kennel opened, she headed straight towards me to "wash my face".

The introduction with our other dog, Brandy, went pretty well at the shelter. It was another story when we got home. A dominant male/a dominant female combination was not a good mix. We were new owners not knowing the correct way to blend this new "family". Whenever you raised your voice, Kesha came charging in a frenzy. I cannot imagine what her previous life was like. Our vet felt she had an edge and didn't trust her. Many people felt we shouldn't keep her. How could we give up on her too? I decided to find a good trainer to work with Kesha and I.

With training and time, Kesha became a different dog. People couldn't believe it. Even the naysayers had to take a second look. When we were excited about "company" coming, so was she. Kesha was very protective of our property when she was in the yard. She would not let anyone "cross the line" until we said OK. All our rescues have a story, but Kesha just needed someone to give her a chance. Through it all she was always a "great kisser". Kesha passed suddenly 6 years later. I miss her still.

Beverly A. Brewer
Northfield, NH
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