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Best Twenty Dollars We Ever Spent

Four years ago my fiance and I decided to go to our county's Pet Expo. We did not go looking for a dog but Buster found us. We saw a booth that had dogs up for adoption for twenty dollars. We saw a terrier mix who they thought was around a year and a half old laying in a crate. We both instantly thought he was really cute so we went over to pet him. When he stood up we noticed he was missing his back right leg. We asked the shelter what had happened and they said he had been hit by a car and they had just amputated his leg three days prior. He still had stitches in his nub and you could tell he was in a bit of pain but he was still so friendly and already getting around so well. We decided right then and there to adopt him. We got him a few hours before the expo closed and it was the last day of the event. We were worried if we didn't get him no one else would and he would end up being euthanized. We took him to the vet the next day and our twenty dollar dog quickly became much more expensive.The vet was furious that the shelter gave him to us with no antibiotics or pain medication. He was severely dehydrated and was also almost fifteen pounds underweight. We got him antibiotics, fluids, and pain medication and in about two weeks he was pretty much recovered!

Buster is such an amazing and affectionate dog and we love and spoil him so much. We had no idea what to expect when we got a three legged dog but having him is no different than having a dog with four legs except for that sometimes he stands on his front two paws like he's doing a handstand to pee! We love him so much! Please give special needs dogs a chance!! They will love you just as much as any other dog!

Garden Grove, CA

MikeMike The Hoarding Survivor

When I was a little girl, all I ever wished for on birthday candles and shooting stars was to have a pet dog. But I couldn't have one because my dad was, and still is, allergic. I always wanted that unconditional love you get from pets and I think that's why, years later, I ended up working at my local animal shelter for three years.

I've seen a lot of sad stories there and I wanted to add a little more happiness, so I started fostering kittens and puppies. I had to beg my parents, as I was still living with them at the time, and they agreed. I think they agreed because these animals were small and the kittens were to young to go about the whole house.

Well, two years into my job my supervisor asked if I would like to foster an adult dog. He is a medium sized dog and around 3-5 years of age. I told her that I would get back to her as I had to ask my parents. They were a bit hesitant, but in the end they agreed. I was so over joyed!

The dogs were all Rat Terriers and they were all from a hoarding situation in Ohio. There were over 44 dogs!

I took in a dog called Mike. He had pee stains on his lower half, he had scabs all around and over his ears, no fur on the back of his ears, and he was underweight. He would not come out of his carrier so I would take the top off and get him out that way. He also needed to be umbilical cord trained and could not leave the property because he was so frightened of everything. I moved in with my grandparents because I knew I loved this dog and needed to adopt him.

And today, a year and a half later, he is a very happy dog! He is at a healthy weight, all his hair has grown back, he loves going to the off leash parks, and hardly leaves my side.

Barrie, ON, Canada


May of this year, while my husband was at the local bar, this little three week old calico kitten stopped by. Not once, but twice. First time, they were able to give her back to her mom. About an hour later, she came back. My husband watched her come from the building next door. She did not wobble, he said. She marched straight to him and sat on his foot. He picked her up and held her, waiting for mom. Mom never showed back up. So, home she came. I remember taking her from him and exclaiming, "This is a baby!" "I couldn't leave her," was his response. So after a run to Petsmart to get kitten formula and other supplies (of which we had no cat supplies, being only a two dog and one tortoise household), we settled into taking care of this little persistent furball. Hence her name: Persistence. Oh, how it suits her! It was not long before she turned our house and our lives upside down. Many days of night time feedings followed, and an emergency run to the vet just a few days after she came home when her left eye closed. She has an ulcer in that eye, from, we suspect, something poking it. We doctored it for a few weeks, and it is still cloudy (the vet did say it would take a long while to heal.) We think that is why her mom gave her up. It doesn't matter. She'll always be a part of this family. She's happy and healthy, and her eye certainly doesn't slow her down! She's the Queen of the house and rules over Scooter and Charlie, our two dogs. They just adore her. Charlie is her playmate and she loves chasing him around the house! But when she's done, it's to Scooter she runs to, who firmly tells Charlie that it is enough. Sparks, the tortoise, is not too sure of this furball who has invaded her house. We now cannot imagine life without our little Persistence. She brightens our lives.

Dawn Martinez
Bullhead City, AZ

Sami and Oliver

5/15/12 My husband watched a mother cat give birth to four babies under our bay window and then run off. Three were living and one was stillborn. We waited for her to come back all day and finally decided we had to take them because it was supposed to be very cold that night. I called a local rescue who told me they would take them if we could keep them alive for 3 weeks and we thought "ok, now what do we do?!!" We had never had a pet in 35 years of marriage, let alone newborn kittens. I got all kinds of advice from them and then they said, "you know, they probably won't make it". We decided to go for it anyway. On day two one kitten died. We felt terrible. Somehow, dropper feeding and then bottle feeding and trying to keep them as warm as possible, we managed to keep two of them alive. At three weeks, when the rescue said they would take them, we were so in love that we never called. When they were old enough to run around the house, our youngest son picked them up one day and dropped them on the couch and said "There! That's over with!" I guess they were going to be allowed on furniture! They are now over four years old and they are still our babies. Besides having my own children, this is hands down the best decision we ever made and we love them more than we thought possible. I was not a pet person before this, but having them has changed the way I look at all animals and I will never regret the decision we made that day. They are constant entertainment and constant comfort and now we don't know what we would do without them. And regardless of what we were told by the naysayers, they do not tie us down. They go camping with us! :)

Teresa Sage
Ortonville, MI

Tiny Kitten on the Road

My semi-retired husband has began to bike on his days off. In the middle of June, while biking on a rural blacktop, he saw a tiny kitten laying on its side with its tongue hanging out. His first thought when he biked past it was “Aww, a dead kitten”. Then the tail flopped. He went back and picked up the kitten who started meowing loudly. He had to bike home, so he put the kitten in his shirt pocket where she fell asleep. When he texts the picture of his pocket, I started frantically researching online what to do. We estimate she was only 24-48 hours old because she still had her umbilical cord. Dave put her on a heating pad and found some bottles and dry kitten formula from many years ago. We called a couple of animal rescue places but they were full. So with some advice from another woman who raises neonatal kittens and lots of internet research, we started the process of raising this kitten. We started with feeding her ¼ teaspoon of formula every two hours, kept her in a carrier on a heating pad and had to stimulate her to urinate. We felt like sleep deprived new parents. We were very lucky to have some retired friends that were able to keep her during the day to stay on the feeding schedule. We tried to be realistic about her chances of survival because we knew we could easily lose her. Almost nine weeks later, we have Orlanda, a healthy, high energy kitten to add to our household of three cats (who still aren’t too crazy about her). We had no plans to add another cat, but after all we went through, there wasn’t any way we could have given her to anyone else!

Diana & Dave Deutsch
Utica, IL

Beamer, My Angel from Heaven

I had lost my Mom just three weeks before losing my Shih Tzu, Barnabis, my soul mate. I was completely devastated from these major losses. My husband said "no more dogs"; he couldn't deal with all of this sudden pain either.

After five months, I had enough and told my husband, "We are getting another dog"! I searched rescue web sites for over a month and then this precious little girl spoke to me. I submitted an application and was one of many to be selected to meet her and be interviewed, so off to Columbus I went. On the way down I stopped at my Mom's grave & asked her to please let this baby be the one, my heart wouldn't heal as I kept searching. It was finally my turn to meet her. After meeting several families with children, she looked exhausted. She crawled into my lap and went to sleep. They told me her name was Bobbie, that was my Mom's nickname. I knew at that moment, that was my sign from heaven and she had to be mine, but would this rescue ever let me have her as they had to do a home visit & I lived 2.5 hours away.

I'm happy to say, yes, Cause for Paws let me be the lucky one to adopt her. She is now 14.5 years old, she's slowly losing her hearing and has a little arthritis, but she is still and forever will be, my angel. I can't imagine life without her. Please choose to adopt, they need you as much as you need them.

Linda Johns
Oak Harbor, OH

Still my every reason to live

Over the years we choose our new family members by saying we wanted the one that has been at the shelter the longest and always ended up with amazing animals. In 2006 my dad decided he wanted a purebred German Shepherd, being his favorite dog and he had one growing up. We went to a breeder 6 hours away and picked our puppy.

Charger over the years had choose me as his partner. We did everything together and he was one of my best supports as I was going through nursing school. He put up with me reading to him for hours, practicing my bandaging skills, sitting still while I recited the steps to inserting an IV and so much more. He never once had a problem with it.

Fast track to November of 2014. I had been through a very abusive relationship and had 3 suicide attempts. I was admitted to the hospital for 3 weeks and had to withdrawal from the semester. My only reason for living was Charger. After my discharge from the hospital it was a long road to recovery and getting back to school. Charger laid with me everyday, even when I cried and he came to every appointment with me in the city.

Charger began struggling and was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Within a few weeks he lost all function with his back legs and we bought him a new wheelchair. Even with so many health issues I couldn't find a more happy dog then him.

In the summer of 2015 I wrote my national exam for my nursing license. Within a couple days of receiving my letter that I passed, I laid with Charger while the vet helped him on his way to rainbow bridge. I have never felt any love like I have for him. I recently had a realistic picture of my boy tattooed on my back in remembrance for all he did and how he saved my life. I could never repay him for all he has done.

I love you with all my heart, always have and always will.

Weyburn, SK, Canada


My girl came into my life in September 2005, when we were living in Lebanon, MO.

It was LOVE at first sight for me. I have always had dogs & cats but SHIN SHIN was my first pig

But to know SHIN SHIN is to love her... At first she stayed in the house but as she grew larger she stayed outside in the barn in her her SHIN SHIN SHACK.

She loved roaming around the barn & the fields.

After 4 years we moved back home to the east coast & SHIN SHIN became a Jersey Girl.

We downsized & her new home was a big dog house underneath a lean to built by my husband.

She saw her first northeast snow storm & loved it!!!

For 11 years I rubbed lotion on her back and combed her bristles. I would ask her to give me a smile & show me her TEETHY's and she did!!!

Every morning SHIN SHIN would wait for me @ the bottom of the deck stairs. She knew I always had a special treat for her. She gave me so much love!!!!!

Well my SHIN SHIN crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 7/29/16.

Although my heart is broken I'm so grateful for the joy she brought to my life!!!!!


New Egypt, NJ

can you believe she was abandoned?

She was! Our little Typsy was found in a field all alone. Someone with no soul dropped her there and left. No signs of her mama- just her and a small blanket. My wife met her when she was picking up our buddy Hemmingway from his surgical procedure, when a lady brought in this cute little girl in to have a checkup and see why she has difficulty walking. The lady told my wife how Typs was found and asked if my wife wanted to have her but with our Hems in a bad way we didn't think it would be a good idea. A few days later we lost our Hems after 18 wonderful years together. While we mourned him, we received a call from our vet's office that the little kitty was back, and that she was about to be put to sleep as no one wanted to take her because she has difficulty walking. We picked her up 5 minutes later. While we were told she had difficulty walking - so untrue. She couldn't walk at all. Our 1st night together she had a seizure that lasted well over a minute. We made an appointment the next morning with a specialty vet who works only with cats. It was determined she has cerebellar hypoplasia and probably wouldnt ever walk. For her seizure we had an MRI and spinal tap,blood work to rule out storage disease, and were given some diazapam should she have another seizure. Fast forward to today where little Typsy is now walking. We work with her daily to develop muscle memory and her record before tipping over is 12 steps! Her seizures are controlled with phenobarbital and keppra where she has one every 30 days or so and are very short in duration. She goes everywhere with us, and has inspired so many people to adopt a shelter pet and not to be afraid of adopting a special needs animal. Our little girl wont have to worry about using up her remaining 7 lives, she is safe, sound, and so loved.

jay and victoria
Seattle, WA

Angel the Three-Legged Kitty

Angel came into our lives one afternoon when the man across the street rang the doorbell. I was shocked when I opened the door--the cat he was holding had a mangled leg hanging from her body. She had been stuck in his fence for a couple days. He brought her over because he thought she belonged to us. I called my husband and he agreed we had to help her. As I held her in my arms I talked to her calmly. Her eyes were unfocused and her leg smelled awful.

It turns out she was in shock and needed her leg amputated. We named her Angel and she came home a week later to become a part of our family. My son was born a year later and whenever he cried she hobbled over to calm him. Immediately, he stopped. They developed a special bond and I'd often find her lying next to him on the floor while he played.

One day I noticed Angel wasn't feeling good. She became angry when touched. At the vet it was assumed she needed a stool softener. Days later, she worsened and I took her to an emergency vet. After numerous tests it was determined Angel had cancer. We decided to leave her overnight and go from there.

Later that night I had the sudden urge to go visit her. Once we arrived we were taken to a room because the doctor wanted to speak to us. My heart sank. The vet explained that Angel had gotten worse and was suffering. It was up to me to decide. There, with my family and son who had become her best friend, I knew what I had to do. They gave us time to say our goodbyes and my 4-year-old son didn't understand why but he said bye anyway. Angel passed on to the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by family.

It's been a year since she's passed and we keep her photos around for my son. He still talks about his first best friend, Angel, and knows one day he will see her again.

Rialto, CA
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