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My Special Valentine

I was looking for the love of my life on Valentine's Day, so I went over to the pound. I spent an hour or so looking at all the cats and wishing I could bring them all home. As I bent to one of the bottom cages, I felt a forceful tap on my head from one of the above cages. I looked up and saw a scraggily, skinny and beat up looking, six month old kitten. He looked right into my eyes and I fell instantly in love. He's been with me through some of the hardest times in my life now and is without a doubt, the number one man in my life.

Jessica Whitesell
Royal Palm Beach, FL

Her purring grabbed me

I was photographing cats to help find homes for the remaining 12 of more than 100 who had lived with a little old lady who couldn't say "No". Beegie was placed in my arms and purred her way into my heart.

Isabel Cutler
Hendersonville, NC

The Chadster

I adopted Chad nearly 8 years ago. He is a part of my life and I consider him family. He greets me everyday at the door. He has given me purpose and being that I'm limited at social networking, he has proven to be a best friend.

Jayme T
Manassas, VA

Our rescuer

While walking through the mall one Sunday afternoon I was compelled to walk into the county Animal Shelter weekend 'show' site. I had no intention of getting a dog that day, but Howie had other ideas! He claimed me as his owner! I simply couldn't leave without him.

He came along about a year and a half after the death of my oldest son. Howie brought joy back into our home and lives. He is a basset hound/yellow lab mix and the funniest, most intelligent dog I have ever had! We rescued him once and he has been rescuing us ever since.

Since we rescued him, between our home and my daughters, we have 5 rescue dogs now!

Katie Mundt
Archdale, NC

Wyatt

I was looking for a young shepherd to train as a retriever. I passed by Wyatt on several visits to the animal shelter. He was a big, sad yellow lab standing on his hind legs and clinging to the chain link of his kennel door. After a couple of weeks the attendant told me he had been there for a month and seventeen days. I gave up looking for my dream dog and said, "That's enough, Wyatt, you are going home with me." I introduced him to my collie, Happy, and off we went.

I soon learned how damaged Wyatt was. His previous owners had often left him alone much too long. When they came in to find their things destroyed they beat Wyatt. Eventually he ran away and got salmonella from eating bad fish. They managed to save him, and after 4 years and several hundred dollars they finally admitted that they just didn't have time or resources for him. They put him up for adoption. Finally they did the right thing.

I remembered the past year as I looked at pictures for this story: his weepy eyes and bowed rear legs from standing in his cage, the ones of garbage strewn from one end of the house to the other, endearing ones of him sleeping sweetly by Happy, and joyous days on the beach a few blocks from my home. Finally I selected the one you see of a balanced and happy "aloha" dog who no longer rips open dog food cans with his teeth, and who is not interested in using my remote for a chew toy. He is a wonderful dog, gentle and loving, and he does retrieve - most of the time.

Kathy Gordon
Seaside, OR

Gus and Missy....we all saved each other....

My friend got these two adorable kittens at 8 weeks old to catch mice at their house surrounded by a corn field. I would go over everyday just to see the kitties, and within a month she decided she didn't want them and was going to destroy them and I took them home. The love we give each other has been like none other in the whole world, and still going strong 12 years later...they are my only children... My kids with fur!!

Lisa Salerno
Westmont, IL

Tabby

My dad rescued Tabby in a snowstorm, in a Best Buy parking lot. She jumped on his shoulder and now she's ours! She is a very snuggly kitty! I enjoy snuggling with her black fur at night!

Ashley W.
Overland Park, KS

Rescued from the park

In January 2004 we found "Kittin" as we named her, alone, abandoned in the Botanical Gardens of Buenos Aires, and watched as for 3 days she remained camped beside her cardboard box, fending off the unwanted advances of other cats (the park is a reknown dumping ground for cats) but happily seeking the attention of humans (and food). After soul searching, we decided to take Kittin home, along with another younger cat also abandoned on the other side of the park. Kittin had recently had kittens, evidenced by her heavy milk laden teets but they were nowhere to be found. Juanita was young and still in need of mothers milk,so much so that within 10 minutes of being together in the safety of our apartment, Kittin and Juanita adopted each other as mother/daughter and they have stayed that way ever since - inseparable. Now, queens of our homes they travel with us and have become more than just part of the family. Kittin even has her own Facebook page under her full name, Kittin la Gorda Prau to be exact to boast of her travels and doings. Our only regret - that the possessive ownership Kittin demonstrates prohibits us from bringing home any more cats from the Gardens - there are so many that deserve a good home ! So if you're in Buenos Aires and feeling good about giving something to a needy animal, look no further than the Botanical Gardens between Avenida Las Heras and Avenida Santa Fe.

Gonzalo
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Best Friends

Roofus was a stray I saw at the local pound. I had been dog hunting for many months at that point. When I walked up to his cage, I noticed a sign on his door that read, "Please have patience with me. I am shy." When I looked at Roofus, he stuck his paw out under the door as if to say, "Please, take me home!" I asked the employee if I could just come back in the morning to come get him since I had to work the night shift that night. She replied, "Sure...if he's still here." I turned back, saw a couple walk in the door, and said, "Ok, I'll take him now!" That was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Although he is a bit antisocial with other dogs still, Roofus has come a long way. Roofus and I didn't know it, but we met our best friend(s) that fateful day in the pound.

Alicia
Tampa, FL

Just like brother and sister

Measha(L)was rescued from the local shelter by a nice lady who works for Poodle rescue when Chao(R-ShibaInu)was 3 years old. Since then she always has her favorite Big brother that teaching her everything! We're very happy to have both of them in our lives.

Kiyo Brooks
Everett, WA
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