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My neighbor saw a black Chihuahua running loose along our street for several days. He finally came to her and she enlisted my help because I already have a Chihuahua. Corky (a name we gave him because of his curly tail) wasn't neutered, collared, or microchipped. Our only option was to keep him safe while we tried to find his owner. Fruitless efforts over the next week brought us no closer to Corky's original owner, so we began advertising for a new home. Many callers were screened out. FInally we found Corky a wonderful new home with a ten-year-old girl who is crazy about him. I am blessed that I could help him and that he is now in a loving home with lots of people and other animals to play with.

Ardy Hoffmann
Phoenix, AZ


Emerson had been at the local animal shelter for more than two months. People kept bypassing his cage because there were signs saying he could jump a six-foot fence. I took one look at his forlorn face and fell in love. My husband and I took him outside to play with him. While I was sitting on the bench, he jumped in my lap and looked imploringly at my husband. We were sold. We took Emerson home and the rest is history. He is the best sixty-pound indoor lap dog ever!

Lindsey Harrigan
Rocklin, CA


Fifteen years ago, I went to a yard sale where the man was getting rid of everything, including his pets. Crystal walked over, jumped up on my shoulder, and that was it! She slept next to me that night, and that was the first good night's sleep I had had in six weeks. She rescued me! She purrs me to sleep every night, even though at sixteen, it is getting harder for her to jump up on the bed.

Marilyn Kowalis
Yuma, AZ


We found Precious dragging eight feet of chain, scarred, beaten, and starved. It took a while to get him healthy and fattened up, but it took no more than an instant to fall in love with him.

Our relationship became even more important when I became seriously disabled due to a horseback riding accident. Throughout the time I was forced to stay in bed and then through the painful physical therapy which allowed me to walk, Precious stayed right with me, even sleeping on the bed. In that way, whichever of us had a nightmare, we could comfort each other back to sleep. We worked on recovery together.

Although both of us will always carry scars, we made it through, together.

Rene Thompson
Covington, KY

Life with Milo

We remember it as if it were yesterday! A friend sent us a photograph of a scruffy, scraggly, skinny black kitten with ears too big for its small head. As a matter of fact, he kinda looked like a bat. My husband was allergic to cats and we knew we couldn't have one. Plus, we already had two rescued dogs, which took up a lot of room in our modestly sized apartment. I kept looking at the black kitten's photos. I kept throwing hints at my husband but the answer was always a firm, "NO!"

I kept checking on his progress through e-mails. My friend was worried that she wouldn't be able to find him a good home because some people have this unfounded superstition about black cats! How ridiculous!

At that point, I was determined to convince my husband that we should take in Mr. Scruffy. Even if it meant he'd have to go through an allergy regimen. I think eventually my husband grew tired of my reminders and pleadings and he finally gave in. He said, "FINE, you can have the darn cat, but I'm not changing any litter!" We picked up Mr. Scruffy. The moment my husband saw him, it was love at first sight. He went to the doctor, got a prescription for allergy pills, and that was that. Milo, as we renamed him, became an important member of our family. He grew into a wondrous, regal, appreciative, huge cat with a certain knowledge that we had done something grand for him, so he was going to pay it forward.

Milo is going on three years young. We can't imagine our lives without Milo! And my husband has been changing his litter for three years! Ha!

Lourdes Cabrera
New York, NY


He was trying to catch the birds on our porch, and was very thin with patches of missing fur. I made a safe place with food, water, and a bed on our porch until we gained his trust. We cannot imagine life without him. He is both handsome and smart; he rules the house. We call him Boonty.

Robin W.
Redondo Beach, CA

Bjorn the Wayward Husky

We found Bjorn in early spring of 1998. Rail thin, he was running loose on the busy streets of Seattle's University District. We followed him to a Safeway parking lot, where he was approaching and talking in his signature howl to shoppers -- we figured he was hoping for a handout. We finally caught him, brought him home, cleaned him up, and fattened him up (but not too much!). Despite "Found" ads posted in and around the neighborhood, no one came forward -- which was just as well because he belonged with us.

That was 11 years ago. In all the years since then he has been our family's number one ambassador -- he's kind to everyone he meets. And, as evidenced by the photo, he's quite comfortable with his golden-years couch potato status.

Seattle, WA


I have been rescuing animals since I was six years old. I have rescued well over fifty animals of all kinds. My permanent ones that I have adopted amount to nine cats, two huge dogs, a rabbit, and fish. I love all of them dearly and are all special in their own way. I have many stories that I could tell, but one in particular is pretty special. It is a story of a tiny kitten named China.

One afternoon, my mother happened to call me in a panic. A fellow teacher from her school had brought in a tiny two-week-old kitten that had been abandoned in a field. The kitten was cold and hungry. The kind lady took her in, but had no idea how to raise a two week old kitten, so my mother called me for help. I rushed over with a can of kitten milk and a bottle and we tried feeding her. She didn't want anything to do with the bottle. I had to resort to getting some milk in her before she became anemic by way of a syringe. She eventually learned to like bottles and even hold them herself!

Fast forward to many nights of waking up and feeding the "baby", who seemed so delicate and helpless. She was much like a little china doll, and this instantly became her name, China! Watching her grow and learn to walk and even to jump was amazing. China is now a strong and healthy kitten and even quite bossy when it comes to the other cats in the house. I love her dearly and she will be a beloved member of my family forever!

Sara A. Baez
City Not Listed, United Kingdom


I am a volunteer at a charity animal shelter in Spain, called "PAWS-PATAS". While working one evening, I heard very loud yelping coming from the lower area of the property. Upon investigation, I discovered a tiny puppy that had been thrown over the fence. As she was so young, I fostered the puppy for the shelter, and gave her the name "Mini-me" because she looked a lot like a miniature version of our other Jack Russell. Well, to make a long story short, Mini-me became part of the family, and we adopted her for ourselves. She's a great companion to us, and we are so happy that we kept her. I wish everyone would adopt a shelter dog.

Didi Arias
City Not Listed, Spain
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