Here's a great article that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it interesting! –Kim
Lucky Dogs, Cool Cats, Happy Owners Can Come of SheltersBy Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY
|Sam Casadevall holds beagles Sandy, left, and Rudy.|
His family adopted Rudy from a shelter, but he
chose the name after the inspiring football movie.
Walter spent five years in different pet shelters before the aging black Lab with the gray muzzle was adopted at age 13.
Oscar was dropped off at a shelter when his owners got the call to report to Iraq and could no longer care for their dog.
Sad tales? Not in the end. These hard-luck stories with happy endings were submitted by readers of USA TODAY's online pet community, Paw Print Post, about pets they adopted from rescue groups or shelters.
Each story is different, but in every case these pets have become an important part of their adopted family. Patrick Davitt of Rochester, Minn., rescued two dogs that had been abused. "Today?" he says. "They are spectacular dogs and my constant companions. I don't know what I'd do without these guys."
6 to 8 Million Animals
Shaggy, a terrier-golden mix, was in the SPCA in Syracuse, N.Y., and about to be put down because he has seizures. Marilyn and Stephen Strock heard about him and took him home. "Seizures are no big deal to me since I'm a former neurosurgical ICU nurse," says Marilyn Strock.
Charlie was thrown out of a car on a highway, was hit by another car and broke his back. He ended up with the Scottish Terrier Club of Greater New York Rescue. That's how Ken and Nancy Handshaw heard about him. They were looking for a companion for their own Scottie. They didn't care that Charlie required a special walker, or that he lacked bladder control. "We drove 600 miles to meet him and spent the afternoon playing with Charlie," says Nancy Handshaw. "Charlie has been with us now for over five years and has been a very important part of our lives."
Recession Hits Shelters Hard
Petfinder.com, says the recession has been a double whammy for pets. Owners who lose their jobs and face foreclosure can't afford to keep them – and they can't afford to donate money to shelters.
Petfinder has a data base of 350,000 animals in more than 13,000 shelters. More than 80% of their pet shelters report taking pets whose owners could not afford to keep them because they lost their home or job.
Saul sympathizes with the owners. "Losing your home and having your family in jeopardy has got to be the most demoralizing thing ever," she says. But she adds: "If you ever needed your pet, someone who's not going to judge you and who is always going to be happy to see you, it's now."
Shaggy's owners know they have a gem.
"He has brought so much joy to us," says Marilyn Strock. "In fact, he owns the house and we pay the mortgage – is what my husband likes to say."
Copyright © 2009 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.