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Big Ben in Mississauga Ontario

It was February 1, 2009 and the Pittsburgh Steelers were taking on the Arizona Cardinals in the 43rd Super Bowl in Tampa Bay Florida. All the way in Mississauga Ontario our home was decked out in Steelers gear and I was cheering on my team. Why? Not only am I from Pittsburgh this game had a lot riding on it. For 3 months I had been begging my husband for a dog and he wouldn't cave. But... one day he came home from work and said "ok I will make you a bet, if the Steelers win the Super Bowl, you can get a dog" I was so excited and happier than ever my Pittsburgh Steelers were in the Super Bowl.

All through the game we were both biting our nails as the score kept going back and forth. But in the end the Steelers won 27-23 securing their 6th Super Bowl!!!!!

So not only did the Steelers win so did I. I researched several animals and found the dog I wanted at a rescue in Selkirk Ontario. We named him Big Ben after the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

We love our new one year old beagle and he is the perfect addition to our family.

Katie Brewda
Mississauga, ON, Canada

My little Pepper

One sunday afternoon, on the way to the pub for a sunday session, I saw this little bundle of tortoise shell and white fur a third of the way across the main street of cairns. She'd just dodged 2 or 3 cars, but I managed to stop in the middle of the road while my friend jumped out and scooped her up before she got skittled. Dropped my mates at the pub and took her home. She was covered in fleas but still healthy.Vet said she was only 5 weeks old, had just lost my beloved boy cat, so I kept her. She's turned into quite a feisty little cat and is very much loved. She is exceptionally fussy about her food and insists she is Top Cat of the household. Not bad for a stray.

Brynnin
Cairns, Australia

Buttercup - A horses journey to recovery

Buttercup is one of the lucky ones. There are many stories like hers. A good citizen reported seeing her stealing dog food out of a garage and eating bird seed from a back yard.

When she arrived at Equine Outreach a non profit horse rescue in Bend, Oregon she was 700Lbs under weight and tick infested. Because of her weakness sometime during the night she went down causing radial nerve damage in her left front leg.

Volunteers got her to her feet and made a sling to support her weight. Area Vets came to her call giving her medical attention, acupuncture and support. With the love of the volunteers and their dedication to give her dignity she slowly has regained use of her leg. Within 6 weeks she's put on weight and is out of the sling. although not 100% she is well on her way to actually looking and moving the way a horse should. Someone had once loved her, and where that love turned we will never know. She will never be hungry again and will be loved by many at Equine Outreach. She's overcome abandonment, starvation, tick infestation, colic, choke and radial nerve damage. She's a fighter and we are so thankful to be a part of her life.

This is her recovery video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgzEB-QkRvU

Deborah Sprague
Bend, OR

Andrew the Hurricane

This is our crazy cat, Andrew. He was just a 6 week old feral kitten when Hurricane Andrew blew through Miami in August 1992. We were in one of the hardest hit spots in south Kendall and the house was almost completely destroyed. When I felt it was safe and finally went to leave that afternoon I heard a kitten calling to me; I couldn't believe any thing had survived this incredible, powerful storm outside. I ran to the mewing, looked under my neighbor's car and down plopped this beautiful little orange kitten, who walked right to me crying the whole time. I wrapped him in a towel and he slept for the next 24 hours. He and his sister (who ran from me or I would have taken her, too) had spent the whole night in the engine well of the car and he just wanted to be taken care of. We felt he had earned the name Andrew after his ordeal. 16+ years later and he's still alive and kicking, though he's an old man now and mostly just sleeps and eats. He is feisty and fiery, still loves to "talk" and is our best friend; we wouldn't change him for the world!

Cyndi Hernandez
Melbourne, FL

Little Miss Molly

Molly was found on a door step in the middle of March. She was half frozen and sick and only 10 weeks old. She was taken to the Humane Society and they put her on the news to be adopted. My friend called and I turned on the news as soon as I heard. We had been looking for a Torti for some time. As soon as I saw her I knew I had to have her. My husband went down the very next day and got her for me. She was full of ear mites and very sick, we nursed her back to health.

I had to put my older cat down months before and I just needed a kitty to help me get over loosing one of my friends.

We have another cat, Boomer. She likes her too. They Play and make me and my husband laugh. Molly is very cuddly. At night Molly hates to be cold so she sleeps with us between the covers and, puts me to sleep with her happy pur. She is one year old now and healthy. We love her as much as we love our other ones. she is a God send. Yes a little angel sent to us. What a joy.

Joanie

Joanie Counts
Girard, PA

Bennett the Puppy Mill Survivor

Meet Bennett, he is a double dapple dachshund. My rescue group, All Texas Dachshund Rescue, helped close down a puppy mill and I received three females to foster, one having a precious 2 week old baby. One look at this little spotted baby and my heart melted and I knew I couldn't part with him. Bennett was a litter of four and in a matter of a few days from an investigation trip to the raid of the mill his littermates died. I decided he had to have a special name, Bennett means: Blessed Little One. Bennett is deaf, a condition of poor breeding for color, but he is very smart. From the time he was able to find the dog door he began using it, we had to put booster blocks inside and out for him to get in and out. He was often misplaced in the house while napping and finally I got over being a paranoid mother and came to terms with his napping habits. He has learned several hand commands and has his own way of communicating his needs; if the dog door is closed and he wants out he whines and rolls over to ask out. He stays, comes, sits, knows the "no" command all in hand signals. He was five months old in this picture showing off his happy face on his pink nose, he is almost three now. He is such a sweet loving little dog no one would ever guess he had any type of handicap and we encourage people not feel sorry for him. He is happy and spoiled. One of his favorite games it to attack your feet while you walk when he wants attention.

Michele
Fort Worth, TX

Chase - Failing Fostering 101

I was just beginning fostering for All Texas Dachshund Rescue and I had a call from a fellow dachshund loving friend telling me about some people she heard of that were taking their dachshund to an animal control that puts down owner surrenders. I called them, determined I was going to drive the 80 miles to get him even before clearing it with the rescue group. Luckily they were on board and I went to go and get my very first foster dog. Chase was stuck in a 4 X 6 dirt fenced area with no shade and little shelter and almost never any attention. He was so excited to see people. He stunk to high heaven and welcomed the bath he got as soon as we got home. Upon his visit to the he was diagnosed with severe heartworm. He would not have made it much longer. His treatment was long but he was a champ. When he was well enough to be adopted he decided he was home and not going anywhere. He rejected any potential adopter and everytime he met someone new my eyes filled with tears. This was too stressful for both of us. Chase loves to be held like a baby, belly rubs and to be talked to. He does a happy dance and is nick named Elvis because of a lip curl smile he does. I failed fostering 101 - I adopted my very first foster.

Michele
Fort Worth, TX

Petfinder's found Our Maximus

We have 3 companions. Max is our baby. We found Kona (7) in the local paper, Elvira (5) was a rescue from a friend who had gotten into a bad accident and couldn't take care of her for awhile and we became her forever home. We found Max (2) on Petfinders.org at a shelter about an hour away. His sister had been adopted and he had been by himself for about 3 weeks. We picked him up and our family was complete.

These fur babies are the light of my world. They make me play and enjoy life on a daily basis. I know I've been working too hard when they come into the studio and start dropping balls at my feet and looking at me with those eyes.No matter what kind of day I'm having, they make me smile and bring joy to my joy. I can't imagine my life without them in it.

Dawn Cook
Biloxi, MS

Saving Sammie

I found Sammie on the side of the road when he was six-weeks old, covered in infected ant bites and starting to starve. He is now almost four years old and has brought us more joy then anyone could imagine!!

Reynetta DeVeau
Florence, TX

Whisper

Whisper was found as a baby after his mother disappeared and his littermates had starved to death. Because he wasn't expected to live through the night, nobody wanted to take him home and have their kids see him die. When he was brought to me, he was only skin and bones, badly dehydrated, had eye infections and upper respiratory infection. Because of hunger, he'd chewed his tongue til it was raw. I thought all I could do was make him a little more comfortable during his last hours. He slept that night on my chest. When he would wake, I'd give him his medicine or a saline injection or just squeeze drops of goat milk into his mouth. I"m happy to say that Whisper did make it thru the night and beyond. Because of his tongue, he never learned how to suck a bottle but we overcame that by learning that I could hold the bottle and squeeze while he caught the drops. A round-the-clock process, but it worked. Even so, it was a relief when, three weeks later, he took his first bite of solid food. Today he is strong and healthy. The only reminder of his ordeal is his low voice probably caused by damage to his vocal cords after hours of calling for his mother. He's recovering from castration and his second set of shots are due in two weeks. After that I plan to take him outside for awhile and introduce him to playing in the sunshine and green grass.

A. L. Shorb
Boise, ID
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