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Brandy-girl's Rescue

I had never really thought about animal rescue or shelters before.

I'd see glimpses of rescued strays on TV or an ASPCA commercial. It just never registered. My life was one dimensional and broken in two parts. I was caring for my Mom who had Alzheimer's at home while trying to keep my 24/7 job as a tugboat dispatcher.

My one joy was my Golden Retriever Dickens. At 13, I worried about him.

Mom was slipping away and my boss was a nasty piece of work.

I was lost when suddenly Dickens died.

Days later, I passed a show on TV with two golden's sitting beside Governor Ed Rendell. His dogs were adopted from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue in Reinholds, Pennsylvania.

Some research and an application later, I was standing in a crowd with lots of excited Golden Retrievers. I was listed to meet a dog. She was waiting inside.

At 10, Brandy had seen a full life, relinquished to a vet after the owner wanted her put down. Her owner did not want to spend money on Brandy's ear infection. A small issue had turned into a life-threatening condition. That vet saved Brandy's life. In that minute, Brandy saved me.

The adoption manager found us sitting on the floor playing and frolicking as only a happy golden can. "I guess we're done here" she said. That got my attention until I saw her smile. She knew.

The best part was when I brought Brandy home. She was home. She knew.

When she met my Mom, they both smiled. They knew.

Ten months. That was all the time Brandy-girl had to love my Mom. A short stay filled with laughter and love. She taught me that Animal Rescue is also about rescuing people. I know.

Maurice Furlong
Broomall, PA

Family Blessing

I knew in my heart that I was ready to get another dog shortly after we lost our 14 year old pit bull. My husband and I have 4 children, so we now thought the best dog for our family

would be a small dog. I have a friend that adopted several Shih Tzu’s from the Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue, in Columbus, OH. I looked on their Website and found a cute little

3 year old black, brindle, and white shih tzu, named Violet. She, and several other dogs, came from an Amish puppy mill in Pennsylvania. I did a lot of research about dogs from puppy mills

and was a little nervous about how the dog would react with our family. Puppy Mill dogs are usually very shy because they have never been socialized or pet, live in small cages

all of their lives, and are used to breed litters of puppies; one after another, to make money for the breeder. We found out that Violet did have at least one litter of puppies, possibly more. This

would be a leap of faith; but after much prayer, we felt that Violet deserved a chance. We brought Violet into our home and at first she was somewhat shy. Within a week, she was sleeping in bed

with us, jumping up on our laps, playing with toys, and chasing the kids around the house. Violet may not have forgetten whatever she has been through the first 3 years of her life at the puppy

mill, but she certainly has put all of that aside and has blessed us with the sweetest, most affectionate and loyal pet anyone could have.

Pam Marflak
McKeesport, PA

Sometimes the rescue goes both ways.......

January 10th was the 5 year anniversary of when I adopted Mandy from Pinellas County Humane Society. They told me when I adopted her she was "special needs", but I had NO IDEA how much!!!!!

The first few months were trying times, but I knew I was probably her last chance at finding a forever home. She'd already been adopted out once, but was brought back after a month. In her short life (I'm guessing she was around 1-1/2 when I adopted her), she'd been in 2 shelters, of which 9 months was spent in PCHS, so I knew I couldn't take her back. Plus Jake (my other dog) and her became best friends and that was the whole reason for getting another dog.

I'm amazed when I look at her now and think of the scared, timid, submissive dog I brought home 5 years ago. I can't believe the obstacles she's overcome!!!!!!! Being so scared that I had to bring her inside on a leash and she would only stay in the going in every room of the house with confidence plus much more!!!

When most people see her they automatically judge her to be this vicious, ferocious Pitbull, but she's the exact opposite!!! All this dog wants is love. That's what the name Mandy means "deserving of love". Her tail wags nonstop if you just look at her!!!!!!

So I've taught her a lot over the years, but she's taught me just as much. She's taught me to have patience, understanding, and compassion. She's taught me to not judge on appearances, since they can be misleading. That what's on the outside isn't representative of what's on the inside. So I've made her a happy, more confident dog, but more importantly..........she's made me become a better person.

Sheri Ruegsegger
Clearwater, FL

The Incredible Scrugg's Rat-Dawg

He crawled through our back yard gate on Thanksgiving day and begged me to either put him out of his misery or rescue him! We guess you see where this conversation is going. He was starving, emaciated and frozen so I picked him up fed him, watered him and got him warm. Our two other much larger rescues were helping me take care of him as for some reason they knew he needed this help. He has been loved but for some unknown reason was left behind after a death, relocation or abandonment. He looked for them for a while but realized they were not coming back.

It is important to realize that animals in our own neighborhoods need rescuing, just as much as any elsewhere. Support neutering and spaying to keep the inbred animals and over-populations to a minimum for their sake and not necessarily ours.

Virgil/Connie Hayes
Safford, AZ

My little boy Rusty

I adopted my sweet little boy Rusty, almost 3 years ago. In the beginnning he was very mistrusting and withdrawn as he was in foster care for quite sometime. Since then I have had his teeth fixed, pulling-out 6 rotten ones and started him on meds for congestive heart failure. He now has a new lease on life. Now at 10 year old he is just like a puppy, he even gets on my bed before 6 am (everyday!!) to let me know it is time for breakfast. Anyone out there need a live alarm clock!!!!.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

My Love

When I lost my Persian, Spanky I knew I needed another kitty. My house would feel empty without a cat, so I went to the local shelter and found this little guy! Well, he's not so little anymore! This is Carter in our flower bed. He loves going outside with me in the springtime. I call him my Boo Boo kitty!

Jill Kimmle
Belleville, IL

Sergio and Rubia: 'lil Soul Mates

Both Sergio (left) and Rubia (right) were red-listed to be euthanized only months apart at seperate shelters in Los Angeles. We got Sergio first and just 3 months later got his counterpart, Rubia. They have been inseparable since the moment Rubia stepped first paw into our house. As we look into their soulful eyes, we can't imagine someone not wanting them. They make our happy home even happier. If you are looking for a pet, rescue one from a shelter!

Wendy and Andre
Los Angeles, CA

The Power of a Hug

After being surrendered by his owner, Skippy spent 8 long months in the shelter searching for his forever home. People came and went and he still remained in his kennel...waiting. I am a volunteer dog walker and began taking him to events, hoping he would find true happiness. And every time I returned him to his kennel, my heart broke a little more. I shed tears for this precious pup that nobody would adopt. I would walk by his kennel and he would greet me with such enthusiasm, never letting it get him down that he was unwanted. Then one day during a very special moment in time (captured here in this photo) it became very clear...I wanted him. We belonged together. He is my best friend and now a beloved member of our family. Your homeless days are over, my beautiful boy. Never underestimate the power of a hug.

Leslie Hinchee
Noblesville, IN

Bueller? Bueller?

In the early part of 2006 my husband and I decided to rescue a dog. Unfortunately, our Golden kid had to go to the Bridge and never got to meet his new friend. It was not meant to be, however, I received a call at 3:00 that afternoon that our rescue was available. I couldn't believe it. It was as if our pup was looking after us. I am not one who believes signs, but if there ever was one, that would be it.

When we heard about our Ferris, we were also told about Cameron. Ferris abused and Cameron a stray with a broken front leg. My gut told me to take Cam also, although my husband was not so sure two dogs would be a good idea. I did and there began a new chapter in our lives.

We changed Ferris’ original name to start with an F honor our previous boy. He came into our lives two weeks later, but we had to wait on Cameron as his leg was healing at the vet. About a week after the call, I jolted awake at 3 am, woke up my husband and yelled, "We have to take Cameron in too! Cameron is Ferris Bueller's best friend in the movie!" He grunted and rolled over. I smiled and knew I made the right decision.

Ferris is our cowardly lion, but has grown so much in the nearly five years we have had him. He barks, plays and loves Cameron, our allergy dog, who gets into everything; including our hearts. Both would not be the dogs they are today without one another.

Our home and hearts are full and we thank our first boy whom I believe sent us Ferris and Cameron and Heartland Golden Retriever Rescue, Knoxville, TN also.

Fremont, NH

Trudi's Story - Love and Healing

In June of 2010, a small Spitz mix named Trudi arrived at the UCSPCA. Trudi was very sick; barely able to pull herself up off her bed, and in so much pain she could hardly stand being touched.

On June 16, my coworker Linda spied Trudi in the last run in the shelter and made eye contact with her. We did not know it at the time, but this was the beginning of a bright future for Trudi. Linda signed on as a volunteer at the shelter to spend time with Trudi.

Trudi's diagnosis was elusive, but one area Veterinarian agreed to take on her care. Trudi stayed at the Medical Hospital for several days, with follow ups on a weekly basis. After many tests, the diagnosis was made -- autoimmune deficiency.

Linda and her husband Al did not turn their backs. Instead, they visited with Trudi every week at the shelter and showered her with love, kisses, and treats. We watched this little girl heal. She started jumping up to greet people and playing with toys. Her sores healed.

In August, Linda spoke with the shelter manager, staff members, and the veterinarian to learn more about Trudi's condition. Even though there is no cure for autoimmune disease, Linda decided Trudi needed a home and set the wheels in motion to formally adopt her.

Trudi went to her forever home in August. She discovered the pleasure of a soft couch, and the joy of a screened-in porch with a view of the squirrels. She delights in the pleasures of chasing moths at the park. A simple green stuffed turtle is her favorite toy; she spends stretches of time throwing it up in the air just to retrieve it and throw it again. Trudi is a princess in the making.

Sharon Holsapple
Saugerties, NY
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