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Home for the Holidays

Stories of pets who found their forever homes

  • Oreo, submitted by Nancy in Laredo, Texas.

  • Roscoe, submitted by April in Oceanside, Calif.

  • Snowflake, submitted by Twila in Nashville, Tenn.

  • Dottie, submitted by Vicki in Calabasas, Calif.

  • Bugsy, submitted by Diane in Lincoln Park, NJ.

  • Sage, submitted by Susan in Tega Cay, S.C.

  • Izzy, submitted by Rita in Howell, Mich.

  • Frodo,submitted by Ellen in Largo, Fla.

  • Willow, submitted by Amanda in Akron, Ohio.

Millions of dogs and cats will spend this holiday season waiting for his or her forever home, but these pets have a different story to tell. Whether they were adopted from animal shelters or found abandoned, the following dogs, cats, and rabbit are lucky. Each of these pets was adopted by a loving family who knew what we know, too—that shelter animals make great pets, many ending up at the shelter through no fault of their own.

The following stories were submitted by our Pet of the Week enewsletter readers. Scroll through the pets' photos (at left), and read how they got to their new homes. Then sign our pledge to adopt your next pet from an animal shelter.


Oreo now enjoys going on long walks in the country. She was once homeless—she was a street dog in Mexico, but now lives in a loving home in Texas.

"Oreo is a beautiful mutt, pure in her grace in beauty, and who has the biggest, kindest heart!," said Nancy in Laredo, Texas. Learn more about street dogs around the world, and how you can help them» 


Roscoe and April met when she volunteered at an animal shelter and was on a search for a cat. He had an ear infection and needed a foster home for 10 days while he was on antibiotics.

"By the end of our 10 days, he was my little buddy, and there was no way I could take him back to the shelter," said April of Oceanside, Calif.


Snowflake was adopted from a local humane society when she was about a year old.

"She has come so far," said Twila in Nashville, Tenn. "She acts like she is the luckiest cat in the world!"


Dottie was adopted from an animal shelter. She was scheduled to be euthanized; she was seven years old with cancer and an infection.

"My veterinarian fixed her up as best he could and said she had six weeks to live," said Vicki in Calabasas, Calif. It's now three years later, and she is doing great.

"She has real spunk and loves to go everywhere with me!"


Bugsy, a rescued dog in Lincoln Park, NJ, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in February. The veterinarian gave him six months to live, but he beat the odds. Earlier this month, his veterinarian said his heart sounded like it was getting stronger.

"Every day it's a blessing when he wakes up and wants to go for his walks," said Diane.


"Sage was discarded like garbage onto the side of the road with a gangrenous leg wrapped in Popsicle sticks," said Susan in Tega Cay, SC. A kind stranger took her to an animal shelter, where a veterinarian saved Sage's life.

"Although she lost her leg, she never lost her spirit, love, or ability to run with the big dogs," said Susan. "She has brightened so many peoples' lives and continues to fundraise for a new building for the shelter that saved her life."


Izzy was adopted from an animal shelter when she was seven months old. She was scheduled to be euthanized.

"I am so lucky she rescued her," said Rita in Howell, Mich.


Frodo was rescued from an abandoned building; he had no food or water.

He was a skeleton when he was taken to DARE (Dachshund Adoption, Rescue and Education, a dachshund rescue group in Florida), said Ellen in Largo, Fla. She adopted him, and he's been with her ever since.


Willow, named for her will to live, was a very sick cat when she was found in a cardboard box.

"Willow was walked up to someone's home, and they called the organization I volunteer with," said Amanda in Akron, Ohio. "She had worms, fleas, [was] hungry and very little. She had to be bottle-fed. I was going to place her up for adoption but I fell in love and knew that she had my heart. She has blended in nicely with my other cats."

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