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We adopted Rusty from the local shelter in 2001. A ragmop of a dog with tufts between his toes, he'd been on the streets, wary and thin. He chewed up our couch and acted out to test our commitment to him. He liked to be petted, but didn't like to cuddle. My husband suddenly became very ill, and was nearly bed-ridden for over a year. Rusty stayed in his lap, giving him a warm heartbeat and lots of love. We thought we saved Rusty, but Rusty saved my husband, nursing him back to complete health. He has found a 'forever home' in our hearts.

Diane Lybbert
Burleson, TX

Lucky to be alive!

Henry was just 8 weeks old and he weighed only 6 pounds when he was found on the side of the freeway. He was taken to the local fire department where he was wrapped in blankets and driven an hour away to get help. Henry was starving, dehydrated and stinky; his colon had prolapsed, laying outside of his body and exposed to debris near the freeway. The vet took an immediate liking to this adorable but disadvantaged puppy and she performed surgery and rehabilitated him, and later discovered that he was deaf. She taught him sign language and the rest is history. He was named "Henry Keller" and he has brought love, joy beyond belief and compassion to his forever family.

Mari Rodriguez
Santa Cruz, CA

My little Abbie

I adopted Abbie from the PetSmart across the street from my office. A co-worker found her trying to get under a fence to "visit" some men playing baseball in a field. She was scared and wanted to be with people. She took her home and then to PetSmart and paid for all her shots and had her spayed. Although I already had an older black cat, Miss Kittie, at home, she talked me into going to see her. I fell in love. Miss Kittie has since passed and now Abbie rules the house. She is very fiesty and makes her own rules. Every morning she wakes me up and waits at the top of the stairs for me to accompany her to the kitchen. She's a little pistol. She's the poster child for "No one ever owns a cat".

Atlanta, GA

A home for Maya

I lost my Staffordshire Terrier about 3 years ago and was heartbroken. Last August I moved into a new apartment and was ready for a new dog so I began looking at the rescues online. There were many puppies and dogs that I went to see but one in particular stood out. Her name is Maya. She looked scraggly and pathetic, when brought out to the play area all she would do was sit quietly next to me. She hardly had any fur and what she did have was dull. Her and her 7 other litter mates were dropped off at the Manatee Humane society by the owner of the Black Lab and Bloodhound, the owner of these two dogs hadn't had them fixed and didnt want puppies. Maya unfortunately came down with Parvo and had to be separated from her litter mates and all other dogs to prevent contamination. Then to top things off she got Demodectic Mange from the Parvo. She was almost 5 months old before she was able to be adopted, by then all the other puppies had found homes. Nobody wanted her because of how terrible she looked; I couldnt resist her. Now, 6 months later I have a beautiful dog who loves me, children, and pretty much everyone else. She loves to go to the dog park, beach and curl up in bed with me at night. While she still has a few health issues she will have forever I would never trade her. She knows what it is like to be homeless, and now she knows how it feels to be loved. I cant explain the love and happiness she gives me in return. Because of her fantastic disposition we will be continuing her training and eventually be a therapy dog.

Rhea Machado
Sarasota, FL

Chloe and Alex

This is Chloe and Alexander. They are Siamese brother and sister. Their original human mommy was very sick and worried about what would happen to them when she died. I had known her from work, we were not friends by any means, but she told me about her worries. I guess she knew I loved cats and felt I would understand her fears. She was right. I told her I would keep them safe for her in my house. She passed away content, knowing they'd be loved. And loved they are! I have 9 cats and no one could be more closer to me than Chloe and Alex. They are with me continually. The other 7 that I've raised, well most of them, are from kittens. They are close to me, also, but nothing like Chloe & Alexander. They are 13 years old and I've had them for about 5 years now. Chloe likes to be carried around on my hip like a small child. I can't even go to the bathroom by myself anymore. Try doing ANYTHING in the bathroom holding a little nutsy cat. Alexander, on the other hand, likes to lay next to me when I'm sitting on my bed. And if I ignore him, he hits me with his paw till I take notice and hold him and kiss his head(he seems to be fond of this and keeps coming back for more). Even my other guys are crazy about them. They're the protection squad. They all sleep together on my bed and keep Chloe and Alexander all huddled between them. We treasure the day they came into our lives.

grace carrin
e. stroudsburg, PA


I went to a pet adoption place with a friend to find her a pet & Paris and I found each other. I saw her backed up in a corner, went in and talked to her. She is a registered cocker and had been used as a puppy mill. She had lost 60% of her coat from stress, had fleas and heart worms, malnourished and dehydrated. Her cocker registration had her name as Paris which I did not find out until after I had already decided to adopt her and just to show how this was meant to be: I collect Eiffel Towers. She is such a wonderful friend and companion. She loves to lay in my arms like a baby and have her belly rubbed and every morning she rolls over for a belly rub before we get up and she loves to give doggie kisses. She now has a clean bill of health & has so much love to give and has brought me many hours of joy over the past 3 years and we look forward to many more years together!

Katy, TX

Cammy our Aussie

This is our girl Cammy. She came to us from a high kill shelter in West Virginia. She had many miles to travel to find her forever home in New Jersey. She came to us during a very difficult time in our lives after the recent and sudden loss of our beloved friend Jazzy. Cammy has been a wonderful addition to our lives.

Hamilton, NJ

Thank you Maggie.....

I have had many cats over the years, but Casey was a beautiful calico tabby, born on a cattle ranch, and one of the most unique and wonderful cats I have ever experienced. She developed an inoperable Fibrosarcoma at 11 and by 14 we had made the decision to put her down.

I was so distraught at the loss of her but my husband Ken and I both knew we wanted another cat. I went out looking the very next day. There are so many to rescue, we couldn't see a reason to wait. We also have a rescue cat Hannah and wanted to have a companion back for her as well.

After looking in all the stores that have rescue adoptions on the weekends here, I found Maggie way downtown. The moment our eyes met, I knew. I called my husband to come and see what he thought.

She came to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson at 8 months old and pregnant. After being spayed and recovery time, she had just come up for adoption that morning.

Had I not gone out searching, we would have missed getting her. She is a wonderful addition to our home. She is always giving us forehead bumps, and we're pretty sure that's her way of saying "thanks for letting me fill such big paws."




Diana & Ken Steinke
SaddleBrooke, AZ

Anya and the Kittens

In the winter of 1999-2000, my husband and I were serving as mentors in an "urban missionary" project. Anya was a little stray kitten who sometimes came to our window for food, but steadfastly refused to be captured... until one snowy March day, when she came to the window with a newborn kitten in her mouth. She led me to the back alley, where I found four more kittens in a wet cardboard box. I brought them inside and, with the help of neighborhood children, revived two kittens. All five kittens survived in perfect health.

The kittens -- Dion, Yorkie, Slowpoke, Trip, and Froggy -- were all adopted to great homes. We still exchange e-mails and Christmas cards with their human families ten years later.

Anya remained permanently with us because she suffered some health challenges from becoming pregnant as an abandoned six-month-old kitten. She needed a year of antibiotic treatment to cure a persistent case of mastitis, and she has osteoporosis and multiple allergies.

She isn't a very cuddly cat, which isn't surprising since her first human family abandoned her when she was just a kitten. But she enjoys sleeping on her fluffy old quilt, watching the wrens in their nest in the eaves of our house, and playing with the ribbons on my Bible while I'm studying. Her life is good, and she has been our beloved companion.

'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in…?" And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' (Matthew 25:37-40)

Kathleen and Jim P.
Wilmington, DE

Our "Lady"

Lady walked on to our property about 8 years ago as a skin and bones puppy. Her tail was almost as long as she was. I called to her and she came to me immediately..she was so sweet and gentle, a real "Lady" so that is what we named her.

The vet said she had been abused and starved and has a large barbed wire scar on one hip. He estimated her at about 8 months old. As you can see from the picture, she has "food issues" so we can't keep any dry food out like we had done for our other dog who only ate when she was hungry. Lady must be on medication for a thyroid problem as we could not get her to drop any weight with just adjusting her diet. She has lost about 6 lbs now and is much more active, although we don't know how she managed to get that belly up onto the picnic table to eat the food we had left for the birds!!!

Marilyn Urbanowicz
Cookeville, TN
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