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How I met my "Shadow"

A friend of mine came to me one day...knowing my love of animals, and told me of a dog whose owner had passed away. I agreed to go meet the dog a week later. We pulled up to a house and picked up a woman that could unlock the house where the dog was. So we rode over there and went inside. It was so very cold in there and I saw no dog, but I could hear her whimpers. We walked into a kitchen area where the woman opened a door and out flew this little black ball of energy! She was so excited to see people! I crouched down and she came to me immediately, trembling and kissing and whimpering. She leaned into my legs and I knew without a second thought that this dog was coming home with me. I wouldn't dare leave her to be locked away in the dark by herself with no food, water, or heat for who knows how long. I quickly took her out of the house and once in the light I saw several large scarred areas on her right side, then noticed her right ear was missing nearly half of it. When I asked what happened I didn't get the truth, beings there were 2 different stories. She sat in my lap for the hour it took to get home and ever since she has been my Shadow, rightfully named ;)

Once home I made an appt with my vet, got her shots/examined, and found out that she had obviously been seriously burnt. Whatever happened to her has not effected her trust and spirit in the least. She now has a sister dog and I have my "kids". Wouldn't give them up for the world!!

Earlville, IL

Our Survivor from Kentucky

Hunter spent the first two years of his life in a backyard in Kentucky chained to a shed. He lived on a garbage pile (which served as both his food source and bed) and was never let into the house. His previous owner was planning to move, and decided to leave Hunter behind, still chained to that shed. Luckily, a neighbor's call rescued him, and he somehow made his way to Chicago. We were able to adopt him through ARFhouse Chicago, a wonderful no-kill animal rescue organization. The minute we saw him, we fell in love!

Hunter is an absolute joy! His past has not broken his spirit, and he is one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving dogs I have ever met. He is constantly bouncing on his hind legs to give and receive kisses, he loves to snuggle on the couch with us and watch movies, has a blast playing in the snow, and lives for belly rubs. He also LOVES country music! Hunter sometimes whines and barks when we leave for work, or when it's bedtime. We turn on his radio (set to his favorite country station) and he instantly calms down. Not a peep!

We feel absolutely blessed to have him in our lives. I think he realizes how good he has it now, and takes full advantage of every minute with us.... and we take full advantage of every minute with him!

Sarah Earley
Chicago, IL

A Second Chance

My two American Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terriers, aka Pit Bulls, are both survivors of unfortunate circumstances.

Charlie, the dog with the gray spot on his face, is a year and a half old. The vet guesses that Annie, the grey dog, is around 3 years old.

Charlie was actually found as a young puppy, sitting in someone's yard in Louisiana after hurricane Gustav hit. He was turned into a local animal shelter, where he was treated for pneumonia. The shelter was so overwhelmed with dogs from the hurricane, that Country Kennel Bully Rescue agreed to drive down and meet the shelter volunteers and take some of the dogs back to their facility. I was looking to adopt a dog shortly thereafter, and made a visit to Country Kennel, where I met and adopted my goofy-eared Charlie.

About a year later, a little gray pit bull found herself at the humane society in Gary, Indiana, and was about to meet an untimely death. She was one of the many dogs on the euthanasia list. Fortunately, the humane society sent out emails to bully breed rescues to see if they would take in any pit bulls, and Country Kennel brought her to their facility. I was looking for a companion for Charlie, so I went back to Country Kennel... and that is when I found Annie. I chose the name Annie for her because she was "little orphan Annie", until I picked her up.

Charlie and Annie have been the sweetest, most loving, playful dogs anyone could ask for. They thrive on the company of people and are most eager to greet everyone with big smiles and lots of kisses. Despite the unfortunate bad rap Pit Bulls get, these two are true ambassadors of the breed!

Jennifer Coleman
Fort Wayne, IN

Mom Left Us

We are brothers. Our mom left us in the back seat of our owner's car that was being restored in their driveway when we were a week old. We think she didn't believe we would survive, or maybe she knew we would be found. I'm Hissy, and I have no voice. My brother, Pounce, was limp and close to death. "Dad" heard Pounce's weak cry and after he took Pounce in the house, he looked around in the car one more time and saw me. I couldn't cry or meow. "Mom" and "Dad" took us in, fed us with an eyedropper and now look at us! We love our family and are closer than ever to each other. If my brother Pounce didn't cry, we would never have been found in time. "Mom and Dad" shower us with love and care and we have been family for 12 years and look forward to many, many more!

Diane Summerfield
Elk Grove Village, IL


After having had only one dog for a year and a half, we decided our family wasn't complete without a second dog. We found Luna (on left, with her spotted sister Kristi) through Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue. She had wandered into a local city police station as a stray. She's probably around 8-9 years old, has arthritis and is deaf, so she was very lucky to wander into a safe place. She is the sweetest, most gentle dog and melted right into our family. People ask us how the new dog is doing, and we say, "What new dog? It feels like she's always been here." Adopting a dog is the best way to go. The reward you get back far exceeds the effort you put in. We can't say enough good things about Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue and we know there are many more great rescue organizations out there too.

Jane and Bill Bietz
Branford, CT

Charlie & Sami

I adopted Charlie and Samantha 16yrs ago this February after my first cat, Buffy, 17yrs old, went on to Rainbow Bridge. My sister and her young son insisted on taking me to the SPCA. I said I would go to look around but would only adopt a cat if she looked just like my Buffy. I also wanted two cats so they could keep each other company and have someone to play with while I was at work. When we arrived at the SPCA, Charlie and Sami were the only two kittens left, brother and sister, and Sami was the spitting image of Buffy. Needless to say, they both came home with me and are to this day, happy and healthy.

Elizabeth Smith
Cheektowaga, NY

Do cats really have 9 lives?

This is a story of a kitten that really wanted a change of scenery. So much so that she climbed into an SUV and took a ride in the vehicles engine. When the vehicle finely stopped arriving at work (1 hour 15 min later) the cries for help started. The call came in to my department "There's a kitten stuck in car engine" and I flew out of my seat. Well she was not stuck, or hurt in anyway...but really stubborn (and scared). Animal control was called and to my dismay we could not catch her...she was too smart for all of us. Two days later she was discovered in the garage of another employee. I received a call that she was found and if I knew who might want her. I said I would take her and the rest is history. She spent the next few days getting used to being touched and held as she was feral. We took her to our Vet and received a clean bill of health. It did not take her long to get us wrapped around her little paw. That was 7 months ago and Candie has grown into a beautiful little girl...such a sweet addition to our family.

Julie Tremble
Midland, VA

For the Love of Kitties

Sweetie Pie, my little gray tabby girl, was rescued by my friend, Susie, aka, the cat whisperer, from the streets of Santa Ana, CA. She is my $1000. baby who was about a year old, needed all shots and spaying. Vets don't give shelter discounts on this type of rescue...but she is worth every penny! She was frightened from being on the streets and shunned any attempts at affection. I neede a lap cat like Bambi, my first adopted shelter cat who I had put to sleep due to kidney failure and Sweetie Pie couldn't be that. So, I found Love Bug, my little orange tabby boy. He was adopted 2 weeks at the age of 12 weeks from a litter of 11 that had been left on the vet's doorstep. He is my little cuddly lap kitten. After 3 weeks of hissing and swatting the air at the new adoptee, the 2 have become bonded together like "velcro twins." They are the loves of my life!

Long Beach, CA

I was a junk yard kitty

This is "PK". She had been abandoned and was living at the wrecking yard where my husband had started a new job. It was one of our worst winters, snow all over with freezing temperatures. He finally coaxed this little girl in with promises of food. She quickly became the shop cat with all these burly guys wanting to pet her as she maintained her post next to his computer on the counter. Time passed and my husband got a new job. We were concerned about PK and what would happen to her. We tried bringing her home but she DOES NOT like other cats and we have 5...that just wasn't going to work. Enter our good friends, George and Betsy! We had PK at our house for a long holiday weekend. They came over to dinner, met PK and decided they wanted to give her a forever home!! She is being spoiled rotten and we are so grateful to our friends for giving her such a wonderful, loving home!

Edmonds, WA


Baby Possum was brought to me by my cat, William. One evening last summer I was watering the front yard when William came whizzing past. I knew he was up to something to I went to investigate. I didn't see anything, so went back to my watering. When finished, I called William to come back in the house and he would not come. So I went back outside to see what he was doing. He was trying to get Baby Possum to play. I chased William into the house, got a box, poked holes in it and placed Baby Possum inside with some water and canned cat food. I made him a little nest inside the box and placed the box in a safe place outside. Next morning, Baby was curled up in the nest I had made. Unfortunately, keeping a possum as a pet doesn't work well, so I took him to our no-kill shelter where they took care of him until he was old enough to be on his own and released him. I hope Baby Possum is having a good time running free in the wild and remembers the people who saved him from the jaws of William the Kat!

Linda Morgan
Canyon Country, CA
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