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Simon the Smiledon

Simon was about 1 year old when his family moved away and abandoned him in my neighborhood. He had an upper respiratory infection so bad that he was having trouble breathing when I took him in. He also had numerous parasitic infections and had not been neutered. After a whole lot of antibiotics and time at the vet's, he recovered and showed us what a magical cat he is! I have never seen a cat levitate the way he does; jumping straight up in the air, all four feet at the same time! We nicknamed him Smiledon because he has the giant ego of those giant cats. He is very comical and entertaining and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

Those previous owners threw away a treasure!

Shawna Plucinski
Barberton, OH

Sweet William

This is my Sweet William, his first day at home, at his very own gate. I was so lucky to find him at Friends of Animals - he'd been in a cage for six months. As I sat with him the next day, considering what to name him, I combined my tradition of English names with the sweet dianthus blooming next to us. So, because he is heartbreakingly sweet, he became Sweet William. All my dogs have taught me something important - one taught me humility, one unconditional love, one patience - and Sweet William taught me kindness. Save a dog, and he'll save you. Thanks, Willy.

Deborah Neikirk
Los Angeles, CA

"Sir Winston" The House Cat

This is our cat "Sir Winston". Now I say that because he came from the shelter. We wanted a cat that would be playful and not hide. We hoped that he or she would want to just be friends. Well after two trips to the shelter still no cat, "the third time is a charm" as they say! He was in his cage in the isolation room; he was new just a few days at the shelter.

My wife walked by the cage (a little too close) and out came this fury paw that latched on to her coat and as they say, "it was all over"! They let her hold him. Well I believe in my heart, he spoke to her and said, "that's right I'm the one you are looking for!". He turned on the motor, rested his head on her shoulder and worked those eyes. It was pitiful to say the least! He came home with us! He looked around for an hour, then I swear he said "nice digs!" and that, as they say, is "the rest of the story". This is now his home and we do what he wants. We don't know how or when, but it happened. Sir Winston is a great mouser. He plays with them and until they touch his food bowl, then all bets are off! It has been really bad on the rodent population. We have an internet business and he is, what you would call, the Boss and Mascot so he is the "big cheese" to everyone else. You know we love him and God has seen fit to give us a really great cat. PS. For God's sake don't tell him that (he gets a real fat head)!

Doris Canova
Jarrettsville, MD

Sophie

When the time came for a family pet, we went right to a local Pet Guard Shelter. We found Sophie, an abandoned 4 month old Collie/Chinook mix. We took her out to the parking lot where she promptly peed on my older son's lap. It was love at first sight. Fourteen years later, she is still the light of our family. Our sons have grown and have homes of their own but when they come to visit Sophie is like a puppy again. Eager to please, smarter than any dog we've ever known, loyal to the end and a source of love and companionship for us all, it was a match meant to be.

Lise Russell
Kent, OH

Destiny

I never go out to lunch. This 110-degree day I was meeting 2 friends when I heard what sounded like "Help." Under a truck was an 8-week old kitten waiting for someone to save her. Her paws were burned by the hot pavement, but she recognized the love in my heart as she came right to me and let me carry her to the car.

We named her Destiny because in saving her, she saved us and our older cat Charlie, who was grieving over the loss of his 16-year-old sweetheart last Christmas. We can't imagine life without her sweet playfulness to keep us smiling. Every day we're glad that Destiny saved us all.

Cassie Benson
Las Vegas, NV

RV Park kitten

While we were vacationing at an RV Park, we befriended a beautiful calico kitten. She quickly learned to come around for a bite of left over eggs and bacon in the mornings, and a plate of broiled fish in the evenings. She'd finish her evening meal, make her rounds of appreciation and purrs, and fall fast asleep in someone's lap. After five days, it was time to pack up and go home. Our new friend had come around for her breakfast, but we hadn't seen her since. We got on the road a little saddened that we didn't get to say a proper goodbye.

After we arrived home, we did little more than park the RV and prepare for the next day before we both went to bed. Early the next morning, while I was having coffee on the front porch, I heard the fainted mewing. I got up and walked across the yard, following the sound. As I approached the RV, the mewing became loader. After a thorough search, I found the source of the mewing coming from one of the storage compartments. Apparently our little RV Park friend was pretty sure it was time for breakfast, and she really didn't care if it was served at the RV Park or this new place ... she was going to keep up her mewing until breakfast was served.

After breakfast, I called the RV Park to let them know that we had accidently brought their kitty home with us. The Park owners said they weren't aware of any kitten, but they took my name and number in case someone called saying they had lost their kitten.

That was over two years ago, and we can't imagine life without our little Pounce, the Princess.

Sandie Lee
Cat Spring, TX

Champ's story

On June 3, 2008, a man and his dog walked into my office at the Police Department. The dog was a Fox Red Lab that was nine months old. He started off by asking me, "If I take my dog to the pound, will he be put down?" I told him to tell them that he didn't want him put down and if they didn't adopt him out to call him. I then asked him why he wanted to get rid of him. He told me that his 5-year-old daughter had cancer and he just couldn't afford to take care of him properly anymore. I decided to take him home. My six-year-old son and Champ are now best of friends.

Kristi
Smithfield, VA

Midget Survivor

My cat Pippy was old now; she spent most of her days in a patch of sun on the snow-covered back deck. One day, I heard faint meows at the front door and looked out the window to see the tiniest fuzz ball sitting hunched over on the icy street. She looked very cold, very hungry and awfully small. For days, I set out food and watched her cautiously approach and eat as fast as she could. One day she looked to be in extreme pain; I could see large sores on her tiny back. I bought a live trap and finally caught her. The vet said she had 4 abscesses (probably coyote attack)needing intensive care and might not survive due to her condition. Ten days later, I brought her home, released her and watched her run off for dear life. Next day she was back with her shaved back demanding her dinner!

Sadly, it was time for my lovely Pippy to "leave town" for kitty heaven. This was on a Thursday. Friday morning, guess who walked straight into my house? Little Midget Survivor. She decided she liked this place after all. Now, three years later, I am lucky to have a place to sit on the couch! Midge, still tiny, is learning faster and faster to trust me. She talks up a storm, loves her dog, Gladiola and we all sleep together. I am told "thank you" with at least three head butts before she eats her food while perched atop her kitty tree with a view of the world. What a brave little survivor. I am so glad she chose me.

Susanna Gascoine
Zephyr Cove, NV

A Dog's Healing Love...

I lost my beloved Rottweiler last July while I was recovering from a serious surgery in the hospital . I was completely and totally emotionally devastated and my recovery was affected by the loss of my Rottie who had been my constant companion. Due to my mental state, my family insisted that they take me to the shelter to look for a new dog companion where I found a blue eyed Queensland/Jack Russel who caught my eye, I adopted her and she has been my new little dog companion and has literally redeemed my life, both emotionally and physically!

Janet
Templeton, CA

Loving Loyal Trooper

I rescued Trooper after he was left in front of a large pet chain in a cardboard box matted and full of fleas. The vet thought he was caged his entire life, his health neglected, and was used as a stud dog. After 3 flea baths, neutering and having several teeth pulled he has become the darling of our household of three dogs and 5 cats. He is very protective and loyal and is definitely the leader of the pack.

Laurie Crane
Greenlawn, NY
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