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Rocky - not just a dog, a MIRACLE!

It all started early one morning when I was in school as my dad was at the animal shelter. I got home from school just as my dad opened our front door, and a very BIG and FURRY thing came up to me. I got startled because I never saw such a big dog. My mom even pointed out that she though it was a bear! But it wasn't, it was Rocky! Since he was born, he was separated from his brothers. Early on in Rocky's life, he was used as a guard dog to guard an old building. He has come home with us containing ticks, fleas, and scratches and an ear infection. Till this day, he's getting better and has absolutely no fleas, scratches or ticks, but we're still working on that ear infection though. But I knew - my family knew, that despite losing a pet who was more than just a "pet" we could share new joy and love with the next best thing, Rocky, and we all love him so much. German Shepherds are always going to be used as guard dogs, but to us way beyond and before that - he's considered a family member more, whom we adore.

Hallandale, FL

Its always sunny in Philadelphia

It was a chilly day in January 2008 when my wife and I, decided to pass through one of the local shelters to look for a dog. Well my wife went begrudgingly due to my insistence on wanting a dog. The second we walked into the PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) in Center City Philadelphia we fell in love with Lady the Beagle. She was so timid when we approached to pet and play, but loosened up immediately and took a special liking to my wife (she went to sit on my wife's lap several times during playtime). We left the shelter and began to walk to the car to discuss how the adoption of a dog would change our lives. After about a block, we turned around and adopted Lady. We had no supplies, so off to the pet store we went. I'll never forget how we came about choosing a bed for her - because i had no idea how else to do it, I grabbed one off the shelf and had her sit in it. Not even thirty seconds later, she was lying snuggled against the side. What a feeling we had at that moment knowing that we were going to make a homeless dog comfortable. She quickly annointed our house as her furever home having free reign of all rooms with open doors, which weren't many, but after several weeks everyone was on schedule. I like to think of Lady as a Human's best friend, not just Man's - she brings a smile to everyone who passes us on our walks, It's nice coming home to my wife, but there's something about coming home to a howling beagle with a wagging tail! And my wife agrees!!!

Philadelphia, PA

Cat Mom to the Rescue

I had a stray cat that had been coming around for about a month that I was feeding. When I went out to feed him one evening, he was nowhere around. I went down to the end of my yard and called for him (which he took to the name Ears right away), thinking he might be in the pasture hunting mice. I could hear him answer me, but it sounded further away. As I kept calling him, he would answer, but wasn't getting any closer. I grabbed a flashlight and decided to check the woods along the creek down the road. I had no idea what to expect. I kept calling Ears and he was answering so I could go in the direction where he was. At one time when I called, he didn't answer so I said "You have to answer me or I can't find you", to which he then meowed. I finally found him with his front right paw stuck in a muskrat trap in the creek. When I figured out how to open the trap, I then scruffed him and put him down the front of my hoodsweater to keep him warm, since it was chilly and he was wet. I also took the trap so no other animals would get caught. Luckily, he didn't lose his paw. It must ache him occasionally because he holds it up when standing. Needless to say, we had him neutered and got his shots and he now lives in the house with my other 3 cats. It seems like he is so humbled because of the rescue , that he is very loveable and always vying for attention. This all happened on November 6, 2004. He will soon be 6 years old.

Robin Wallace
Manheim, PA

Artemis & Cinders

Meet Artemis (tiger) & Cinders (black)! We adopted Artemis 2 1/2 years ago, and we adopted Cinders exactly 3 weeks ago today! I am amazed at how fast they bonded. She came to us with hair missing, tail missing and ear infections, but she is turning into a beautiful, fun and very naughty kitty! I love watching them chase each other up and down the stairs and stalk each around corners. I especially love having both of them sleep with me! They make us giggle so much everyday!

Michelle Nelson
La Crosse, WI

A Family Affair

Three years ago a mottled gray and orange stray female cat showed up at our door looking for food. We called her Ashes for her coloring. Although sweet, Ashes was wary and wiley of being caught even with a trap. Months later she had three kittens under our shed. We took them in at five weeks old and named them Ferdinand, Columbus & Isabella. Shortly thereafter, Ashes had two kittens that she brought to us to feed when they were seven weeks old. We again took them in. At the time I mentioned to my husband that Ashes did not look well but she resisted any attempt to catch her. Aug. 8, '08 Ashes had four kittens in the woods across from our house. A month later she was pacing back and forth between our front windows and our shed. Over and over again she did this until we went to look under the shed. Sure enough, there were the kittens. Somehow knowing we would care for her babies, Ashes looked first at them, then at us, meowed once and walked into the woods never to be seen again. My husband and I are convinced Ashes knew she was dying and wanted us to take in her babies. Now we have her nine babies plus the daddy. All are fixed, vaccinated and indoors! Six are named in her honor: Smokey, Flame, Sooty, Torch, Embers & Cinders. Dad is named Chief. We feel bad we couldn't catch Ashes but, we are very grateful for her beautiful babies who bring us so much joy and love.

Liz Hoeflick
Cuddebackville, NY

Panther - my Prince

Panther is a 4 year old Oriental Shorthair mix and he joined his now "siblings" and I one day when I was on a walk, with one of them. I did NOT need or want 4 cats - I thought, BUT by the time I located his owner and the owner gave him to me I was grateful beyond words! Panther is the lovingest, sweetest, dearest baby boy in the WORLD! He is also our greatest protector and sits on his ladder by the hour keeping other kitties away from us.

Heidi Helene Christensen
Modesto, CA

Sparkles (later named Tanner) the lost Siamese kitten

One summer afternoon my nephew, Kyle, called to say that a kitten had been found on school property in a storage shed. There was no mamma cat around or other kittens. The coach said the kitten had to be taken out as he was closing the shed up, and the kitten would die. Kyle took the kitten, and called me. He wanted to take it out to a farm that he worked at part time. But the kitten was only a couple weeks old, and I knew it wouldn't survive. Kyle's family already had 2 cats, and he couldn't take it. So I brought the kitten home, fed it from a bottle and took it to the vet. It had an infection in it's eyes, and was undernourished. The vet said it looked like a pure bred Siamese. Several days later, my daughter-in-law (JoDee) and my grand-daughter (Kayla) came over to see the "baby". They fell in love with it. They took it home, and Kayla named it "Sparkles".They soon realized "it" was a boy, and she changed his name to "Tanner" after a school friend. Tanner thrived, and grew into a big, beautiful (and mischievous) cat. He has a loving and happy home! Tanner was a lucky kitten!

Peggy Overmeyer
Williamsville, IL

Isobel and Lexi

I found Isobel (sitting) at a local shelter three years ago, a feral kitten that took weeks of love and patience to tame. Her "blankie" is a cotton rug on the stair landing from which she has a view of the living room. It was there where she first allowed us to touch her...head, paws, tummy. She is now sweet, loving...and addicted to tummy rubs! but still very shy.

Shortly thereafter I fell in love with "sister" Lexi's sweet sad face on Petfinder and drove 600 miles to rescue her. "Sweet/sad" my foot! Talk about a con artist!

That first night we smuggled her into our hotel room and fixed up a cosy bed for her...where she lasted all of ten seconds before she clawed her way up the side of OUR bed and spent the night snuggled between us. By the time we got her home the next day the tiny emaciated, injured/patched-up kitten had established her position as alpha cat. She is now three and has matured into a bossy, busy, nosy little tyrant...always in trouble for something, but so funny and loving it's impossible to get mad at her.

Evergreen, CO

Black and White Cat That Bit me

The torrential downpour that ended an 8 year drought in Clermont County, OH bore many gifts. One was a 4 week old, drowned kitten on the walkway from the parking lot to my office. She was not happy. Someone had left a small piece of meat for her but it was bigger than her mouth and strength. I picked up the piece and broke it and the very hungry kitten mistakenly thought my finger was food. So, we visited the vet to discover that 3 weeks of watching was the humane way to know if she was rabid. She lived with me for 10 years, loved only me and was my 3-dog night. I miss you Pookie.


Cincinnati, OH

My Buddy Mikey!!

Mikey showed up at my door one cold January evening in 1997. I let him in, fed him, and then he curled up on the couch and slept next to me all evening. I could tell he was grateful and content.The next morning I let him outside when I left for work, wasn't sure how he'd behave with my other two cats. That evening he showed up again and I let him in, he got a little bossy with the other two cats, but soon learned he had a place with his newfound family and settled down. I never let him go again.He has been by my side ever since, literally, because he loves to snuggle. He even hugs me when I pick him up. I can't believe how much joy he brings me.

Crestwood, IL
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