Kalamazoo Animal Rescue

Happy Tails - Recent Stories

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2019-01-04     Mimi

Another heartwarming KAR rescue story

From Dusty, Mimi's foster mom:

A year ago in December I went to Animal Services and asked for them to give me a dog to foster who would probably never get adopted from there. They brought out Minnie, whose name I changed to Mimi.

Well.....Mimi had hook worms, was blind, and they said about ten yrs old. She was sad and depressed. After I took her home I enlisted the aid of a volunteer to walk her in my large back yard. Mimi enjoyed that and she got to know the yard...so I began taking her out myself because my helper only came once a week.

I can't walk well now but I sat and watched her and called out to her if she got too close to a tree or any obstruction. She would stop immediately and come back to me.

I decided to try to help her eyes and with help from a friend we drove to Williamston MI where a reknown animal ophthalmologist practices. He said she would be a good candidate for cataract surgery But it would cost about $3500. I then went on Facebook and raised close to $3000, the rescue would cover the rest. Also the vet said she was younger than 10, maybe six or seven.

We set the surgery for the end of August. The vet said he could not attach a lens in the right eye but Mimi could see with somewhat blurred vision. I guess he was able to get that much out of it. The left eye has a new lens and she now has perfect vision in that eye . So, with a rescue discount and credit for no lens in the one eye. Price came down to a bit over $2500

The next step was administration of five eye drops, four times a day, waiting five minutes between drops. My wonderful friend who has a boarding kennel and grooming facility graciously took this on and Mimi stayed with her during this process which took almost two months.

Then Mimi was put up for adoption. A friend and fellow longtime KAR volunteer introduced me to Donna, who used to work at the Humane Society and is very much an animal lover. The idea was that maybe Donna could help find a home for Mimi. She walked Mimi often, and took her to her home to see how she did with cats. That was very successful .

Mimi received several applications, but the handwriting was on the wall, Donna and her husband adopted Mimi and it's a perfect home for her. A fairy tale ending. She left Animal Services a dejected sad little girl who now is beautiful and so happy. She wakes up in the morning and runs a circle around the house, then waits at the door to get her leash attached then off they go for the first of many walks a day.

Update from Mimi's forever mom:

Mimi is totally housebroken, crate trained and loves to ride in the car.

When she arrived at Animal Services her weight was 14 pounds and now she is a furry, healthy and happy 22 pounds.

She is a smart girl.

She even stays in her crate in the morning without a sound until her feline siblings have their breakfast, then she has her 1st walk of the day and returns for breakfast.

She is truly a Diamond in the Ruff who now shines brilliantly.

I don’t know who is luckier Mimi or me.


2018-10-01     Stanley

Stanley's story is one of those especially heartwarming adoptions that will stay in his foster mom's memories forever. He came into the rescue as an owner relinquish with the breed listed as "probably a Leonberger mix", but that was not his first re-homing. Unfortunately, Stanley had been in several homes, some of them foster homes with different rescues.

Although he could be very sweet, Stanley would do best in a special home with no other pets and a family that would take the time to introduce him slowly to new people. Lucky for him, KAR was able to find that perfect home. As expected, Stanley's transition into his new home was a little rough at first, but they stuck by him, and he became their perfect fur-baby. They have provided some wonderful updates and pictures to the rescue over the past few months:

"Thank you for the opportunity and your support. He is such a sweet boy and deserves so much goodness. If only he weren't so small hahaha!"

"Hi there! Thought I'd check in and give you an update and a pic. Stanley is doing great with his "stranger danger" issues and we found out thru the DNA test that he's St. Bernard-Shepard mix. I don't really see it but it's pretty interesting. The Leo mix really made sense. We don't care. We couldn't love him more no matter what he is."

"He continues to give us so much happiness and love and also continues to show us new naughtiness. When he gets mad because we're gone, he gets in the downstairs bathroom garbage and strews it thru the house so we have to keep the door shut. He also has decided that the couch is way more comfortable than the floor. He is such a good boy and so, so sweet. Hope all is well with you!"

"He recently had his first 'neighbors over' bonfire and just hung around us all, greeted each person with his ferocious, hair up barking and then was like "oh yeah, I know you" and got all wiggly and "pet me, pet me". He just loves to be loved"

2018-04-05     Sasha

Sasha is another great save from animal services. This sweet girl has found her amazing forever home and this is what they have to say:

"She is fitting in wonderfully... she loves tug of war and belly rubs. She's the most affectionate dog I have ever had. I believe she intuitively knows what we expect and tries to meet our expectations.

She does 2 mile hikes with great ease. We leave her for 2 - 4 hours uncrated and come home to a calm dog and intact household. And above all she is loving and attentive. We love her!"

2018-02-13     Kip

Kip was pulled from Calhoun County Animal Center after KAR received a plea from them to save some animals. They were over capacity and lives were at risk.

Kip had been found as a stray just as the weather was getting colder late in 2017. He is an older dog, probably around 6, and that may be why he was often overlooked at CCAC. His foster mom soon realized he was the perfect dog in every way, and after just under a month in his foster home, he found his perfect forever home.

His new mom sends many updates and photos of Kip (now Kimber) enjoying his new life with his mom, dad, two golden retriever brothers and shepherd mix sister. Here is the latest update his foster mom received:

"Renee, I believe that someone fits right in to our family. He loves sleeping in the chair with me. He doesn't care if his brothers or sister are up there with him or on him. He loves playing in the snow with them. He even started giving me kisses when I come home from work at the back door. He is a love bug for sure. I hope this makes your heart warm for the day!! "

2017-12-20     Frankie

Have you ever thought about adopting a senior dog? Many people just love the excitement of a new puppy, watching the little babe grow and develop. For some adopters, however, an older pet is the perfect match for their home. When adopter Linda went looking for a new canine friend to add to her family following the loss of her cherished George, Frankie tugged at her heart. He was much like George and yet had his own distinctive personality.

Frankie had come into KAR as a senior gentleman of nine years and was fostered by longtime volunteer and animal-lover Dusty. Frankie had settled right in at his foster home, charming his foster mom with his shy but sweet personality and perfect doggy manners. This loving little guy was crate-trained and housebroken, needing little more than affection and reassurance to keep him feeling happy. And when Linda came along, well, the rest is history!

Frankie’s new mom reports that he he is doing fine and enjoys the companionship of his new sister Bailey, a four-year-old Chihuahua rescue pooch. The two fur babies both share a bed with mom and love to cuddle. Frankie is so looking forward to his first Christmas in his new home.

Because he is fortunate to find a loving home where he can bask in the attention and reassurance he needs, he has been renamed “Lucky.” Frankie/Lucky takes his job as a companion very seriously and fulfills his duties of giving and receiving love to the best of his ability every day. In fact, Linda reports that he is so happy to see her whenever she returns home that little Lucky wags his tail hard enough to wag it right off! Lucky and Bailey want to show off their Christmas finery in this holiday photo. Merry Christmas, Lucky, and we wish you a Happy New Year in your new home with your little sister and loving family!

2017-12-20     Tiana

Once there was a charming tabby kitten named Ginny Weasley, whose captivating eyes caught the heart of Kaili B. Kaili was mourning the loss of her beloved companion Mariah and looking for a new best friend. Kaili spotted Ginny’s picture on the KAR website and arranged to meet her at an adoption event. It was love at first sight for both of them and Kaili took the kitten (now named Tiana, from the Disney movie about the princess and the frog) home the next day.

They’ve been through a lot together in Tiana’s six years -- their first apartment, the adoption of a puppy sister named Chloe for Tiana, and some very rough times. As Kaili says: “Tiana has been my shining light through everything. I don’t know if I believe in soul mates in the traditional romantic sense, but I do believe that Tiana is my soul mate. She is my companion, my sidekick, my baby girl. We have developed our own language; basically she knows how to tell me what she wants, and I know how to understand her. She sleeps in bed with me every night; she’s always right by my side awake or asleep. I love her every bit as much today as I loved her as a kitten. I think despite our personal struggles, despite the fact that I couldn’t always give her the very, very best as I had envisioned a fairy tale in my head for her, she really does have a happy tail. And I have a happy tail because I have her.”

2017-10-18     Paige

Two KAR fosters, Shannan and Rebecca, pulled six dogs from Calhoun County Animal Shelter after the staff called Kalamazoo Animal Rescue with a desperate plea for help. They had to free up some space or they were going to have to euthanize. One of the dogs we pulled was Paige, a sweet young pit bull. Here is Paige’s story from Samantha, the wonderful woman who adopted our pretty Paige:

“If someone had told me six months ago that I would adopt a pit bull mix, I would have been surprised, as I grew up with a golden retriever and two golden doodles. But Paige has the sweetest heart and spending time with her has quickly become the best part of my day - coming home to her, walking her, and snuggling with her. Paigey’s favorite things to do include: eating, looking for (and yes, chasing) bunnies during our walks, playing with Malibu, my parents’ golden doodle, and eating PEANUT BUTTER. In the short month and a half that I have had her, we have frequented Arcadia Brewery, gone on too many walks to count, traveled up to the Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan, and started puppy class! Paige has absolutely stolen my heart, as well as the hearts of everyone close to me - she is always excited and eager to greet and snuggle with my boyfriend, my parents, and their two dogs, as well as my siblings and friends.”

As you can see, Samantha takes Paige on all kinds of exciting adventures - it’s wonderful seeing the two of them so bonded!

2017-10-17     Bella

And so it begins: Once there was a mama white Beagle/Shar Pei mix and her five newborn puppies, all turned in to the Van Buren County animal shelter by someone’s boyfriend. The owner of the mama came back to the shelter to pick her up but left the puppies when they were just 10 days old! Luckily there was a surrogate mom—a golden retriever—and she let the puppies nurse until they were five weeks old. After that a KAR foster, Shannan, rescued the puppies from the shelter. They were so tiny, only two to three pounds each, and they quickly became malnourished. Other KAR volunteers came by to help with IV fluids and Shannan did frequent bottle feedings.

Sadly, one puppy was lost, but the others survived. One spunky black puppy (previously named Peppermint) caught the eye of another KAR volunteer when some pictures were shared and she mentioned the cutie to her sister who lived in Northville, Michigan. The family was considering a puppy for their nine-year-old son. They had previously adopted a KAR dog who was still young and could use a playmate, since their senior dog wasn’t that into high energy play anymore. Once they met Bella the deal was sealed.

The adopting family (Kristen, Steve, Ryne) says “Bella has been a gift to our family! She is so sweet and loves her rescue brother, Scherzer, and sister, Hannah. Bella likes to greet us every day with a peppy attitude and a wiggly butt. She shows us love with her sweet kisses and loves treats!” Bella’s favorite thing to do these days is to go for a walk. She loves being the leader and won’t let anyone pass her. As her new family says “We are so thankful to have adopted such a sweet soul!

2017-10-17     Petey

In mid-July Tanya, an animal lover who had already adopted two kittens from KAR last fall, found herself faced with a dilemma. She and her family were about to leave on vacation when a friendly and needy cat came into their yard crying for attention. This handsome fellow needed medical attention for some sore spots but otherwise seemed to be friendly and healthy. Tanya was unable to take in another cat but was determined to find help for this deserving guy so she emailed me to see if KAR could do anything to help. A few calls and email messages later, the kitty came to the KAR office to join our Kitty Kamp residents in a safe place of his own.

Homelessness and the stress of being abandoned takes a toll on the animals who are suddenly left to fend for themselves and Lucky was no exception. Although he was friendly and charming most of the time, he had occasional bouts of crankiness that made his future adoptability uncertain. It’s not unusual for pets, especially adults, to suffer from depression, stress, or anxiety when they find themselves caged in a strange place, and they may not show their true potential as loving companions. As those of us who had been involved in Lucky’s rescue worried over his future, his new name ― “Lucky” ― became prophetic.

Our lovely guy caught the eye of KAR volunteer Kelly, who decided to adopt Lucky and rename him Petey. His new family reports that Petey is “a perfect gentleman,” getting along with their other animals and giving lots of love to his new human family. Petey’s new mom also notes that he’s very careful to remind his family when it’s mealtime and loves to sit in what is supposed to be a spinning toy (he prefers the acrobatics of chasing his tail). All of us at KAR are overjoyed that Petey/Lucky is safe and loved in his new forever home.

2017-09-19     Chester and Stinky

Here’s a truly happy story, from my friend Tracy D:

“Last November, our cat, whom we had rescued in the blizzard of 2011, developed a droopy mouth. We took him to the vet expecting some normal dental work; only to find out he had mouth cancer. Two days before Christmas we had to euthanize him. While others suggested adopting another kitty, we felt too devastated to accept anyone new that soon. But, in the short weeks that followed, the emptiness was too much to bear, so we needed to look into saving another life in the hopes of re-fulfilling our own.

Since the cat we had just lost had actually rescued us, we decided to do the same for a couple of new guys. We turned to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, and through them we have adopted two new babies, Stinky (poor guy named himself, having intestinal issues as a baby), and Chester. Although we are reminded every day of our old buddy, we are forever grateful for our two new guys. They have filled our lives with so much love and laughter, and in the process have helped soften the blow from our loss.

“I have nothing but great things to say about KAR! As a devout animal lover I’m glad that they try not to turn away or put down any animal. If I had the resources, I would save and house every feline that I could (several dogs as well!). So I am grateful that these folks are doing what I can’t. I’ll always recommend them and, when the sad day comes when we are once again in the need of new family members, KAR will be the first place we look!”