Happy Tails - Complete List by Name
Adopted Faces of 2011
Over 500 cats and dogs found forever homes last year. Our video showcases some of the adorable faces of pets helped by Kalamazoo Animal Rescue.
Adopted Faces of 2012
Over 350 cats and more than 75 dogs have found forever homes this year. Our special year end video showcases some of the adorable faces of pets helped by Kalamazoo Animal rescue in 2012.
Adopted Faces of 2013
As the year draws to a close, more than 300 cats and over 80 dogs have found forever homes. Our special year end video showcases some of the adorable pets helped by Kalamazoo Animal Rescue in 2013.
Angel's Happy Ever After
Angel was adopted from KAR in April 2005 and will soon be 13 years old. Her mom sent KAR an update to let us know that Angel is doing very well in her forever home, is happy, spunky, can play fetch for hours, and has a good appetite. Her daily routine begins with waking her family before the 6:30 a.m. alarm every morning, playing for about an hour, eating breakfast, sleeping until dinnertime and eating again, and then playing until 10-11 p.m. when her family tells her it is finally time for bed.
Angel has a new friend, Moe, that she loves and adores. He is a ten-pound poodle that the family adopted last fall. Over the years she has grown more social and is open to meeting and liking other dogs. Angel has also decided that cuddling is not just for her and humans, but is good with other poodles as well. Angel's eyesight and hearing are not quite as sharp as they once were but that doesn't slow her down. According to her mom, "I just wish there was some way that I could show you how very happy she is and tell you how elated we are that you picked us to adopt her. Angel brings us so much joy!"
Aubrey and Payton
Aubrey and Payton are two kitty sisters who were born into KAR in August. The same family adopted the siblings and they sent us an update:
Aubrey is doing great and is getting along with our dogs, she is even playing with them. She is a crazy little kitty who loves to play and climb.
Miss Payton has definitely come out of her shell. It took her about two days of being timid but she is doing well now. Both girls have finally settled in.
August & Autumn Find a Home Together
In August 2009, Kalamazoo Animal Rescue was contacted regarding a litter of kittens that had been born in a window well somewhere near Texas Corners. Their mother was with them but they all needed to be rescued to survive.
One of our volunteers jumped to their aid and took the whole family in. They were spayed and neutered once they were healthy and all found loving homes. August and Autumn were adopted together to a family in Portage. The cats lived there happily for 18 months and then, unfortunately, the family's situation changed and August and Autumn found themselves homeless once more. Luckily they were able to come into KAR again and into one of our foster homes.
The pair proved to be inseparable, what we refer to as a bonded pair. Their foster mom knew that the only way they could be re-homed would be if they were adopted together. This was the challenge that KAR was up against. Many families who adopt from us only want one feline, or they are looking for a playmate for a cat they already have.
For seven long months August and Autumn waited patiently. They loved everyone except other cats! They were loving and sociable and very talkative. If they became separated for any length of time and could not find each other, they would yowl loudly until they were reunited. Although many applications to adopt one or the other came in, their foster mom knew that the best situation was for them to be adopted together. So she continued to wait for the right home to come along. It was nearing Christmas when a great application arrived from a man willing to adopt the pair. He had been taking care of a friend's cats and decided that he would like to have two of his own.
It has been almost a year now that August and Autumn are been in their forever home and they are loving every minute! Kalamazoo Animal Rescue will always try to take back previously adopted pets from our rescue as a priority; however, this is dependent on available foster space and whether the animal can pass our intake and temperament evaluation.
Austin was a down on his luck senior fella' that found himself homeless in August. Fortunately, his luck was about to change. A KAR volunteer brought him into the rescue and two months later, a couple from Madison Wisconsin found him online. The couple has a special love for older dogs and, in particular, the Schnauzer breed. Austin's new mom drove all the way to Kalamazoo to meet him and complete the adoption.
Austin was a great traveler on the trip to his new home. And, he gets along wonderfully with the rest of the pack, ten Schnauzer brothers and sisters. The couple has kept in touch and they tell us that Austin is doing well. "He has such a great appetite and can be quite the beggar around the dining table. He is always looking for a treat. For a 14-year old, he gallops around the backyard and will run with one or more of the other dogs. When it's time to settle down and watch TV, he likes to sit on my lap."
His new mom adds, "Austin sends you a hug and smooch. If you were here to look into his eyes, you would see that he is quite contented and is enjoying his new forever home."
By Karren Jensen
How does a beautiful and loving cat end up homeless? That is a question we ask ourselves often at Kalamazoo Animal Rescue and there are many routes to this sad condition. For a dark silver gray lady with expressive green eyes, the history of her past life is a mystery. When she was taken in by Kalamazoo County Animal Services, Silvia’s adorable and engaging personality emerged in a way that got the attention of all of the shelter workers. This special lady became a great favorite but adult cats, no matter how delightful, are often overlooked by potential adopters who only want to look at kittens. Silvia had been at Animal Services for a couple of months when KAR volunteer Gail came to pick up cats and give them a chance at finding a new home. As Gail surveyed the available felines, Silvia made eye contact, rather flirtatiously, in an effort to be noticed. Gail responded to those pleading and friendly eyes by bringing Silvia into the rescue.
Once in KAR, Silvia again became a great favorite of her caretakers. She always greeted the volunteers with a friendly purr and begged for petting from whoever was nearby. A sweet and beautiful cat like that couldn’t remain in our care for long and she didn’t. Silvia became one of the cats who went to Portage Animal Hospital (PAH) to be on display in their waiting room where many potential adopters could visit her. Within a few days of Silvia’s arrival at PAH, she caught adopter Kathy’s eye. Kathy renamed her “Baby” and reports that she is a cherished part of her family. Precious Baby is delighted to be in her new home and she loves to talk to her mom, reminding her that playing with the kitty is a very important priority. Baby’s other favorite activities include belly rubs, snuggling and having her luxuriant fur brushed to keep her in perfect condition.
Baby’s story shows how important it is to give adult animals a second chance. These loving pets will repay you over and over with unconditional love and sweet companionship. Our partners at Portage Animal Hospital have helped create happy endings for many homeless cats like Baby, letting adopters meet and fall in love with these wonderful furry friends. We at Kalamazoo Animal Rescue are thrilled to be able to make these connections so that deserving pets are able to bless a new family with the love they are so happy to give.
Bailey has adjusted beautifully to our home and we just really love her! She is so sweet! Our other cat, Tigger, accepted her right away. We adopted Tigger from KAR in April. The only challenge left is getting our Beagle, Scooter, to accept her too. That might take a while, but we're working on it. Our other dog, Koty, a golden retriever/yellow lab mix, going on 16 years old, is fine with her.
Bailey is just a terrific cat, and we are so glad we adopted her! Thank you so very much.
Four years ago Baylee, a spaniel mix, wound up at the local animal shelter. She was a real sweetheart that desperately needed a friend, so one of our dog foster volunteers brought her into KAR. Within a month, Baylee was adopted by a wonderful couple that gave her the perfect forever home.
"Baylee is doing very well. Just when we thought she might be getting some arthritis (at age 11 or 12 now), she discovered a little bunny in the yard and recovered instantly, racing around like crazy trying to catch it. Fortunately, the bunny must have been a little smarter than she was, and Baylee didn't really have a killer instinct.
We've included a picture taken about a month or so ago among the trillium on 'our' trail near Arcadia that we monitor for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.
Baylee is also a great traveler and we have taken her with us to Florida during the winter months. She loves digging in the sand to hunt for crabs. She has left so many holes on the beach, other people thought ALL the local dogs must be digging, but I had to 'fess up to Baylee's digging at least two or three dozen holes every time we took her for a walk. And she started every hole with what appeared to be a 'professionally choreographed' pounce at her target spot. We never saw any other dog doing this. She still drives my husband crazy with her determination to shadow his every move. She is definitely one of a kind!"
Beau, My Beloved
In the spring of 2001, I attended a KAR adoption event and met and fell in love with Oliver, a beautiful Himalayan-Siamese mix. He quickly became the love of my life. After bringing Oliver home and spending a few days with him, I realized that neither one of us cared for his name. He was so beautiful and so affectionate that wanted to name him for those qualities. So, Oliver became Beau. He spent the next eleven years as a faithful and loving companion who was at my side through college, graduate school, and my first real job. He was always a loyal friend and an amazing companion.
Last winter, Beau started to get ill, he lost weight, and appeared older and more sickly looking. On November 23, 2012 with the help of our vet and after another bout of illness, I made the decision that he be euthanized. I didn't want Beau to became any sicker or suffer any more than he had already. It may have been a bit too early, but I would rather lose him a month too soon than to have him stay around a week longer and suffer for my sake.
As I've spent time looking back on Beau's life with me, and the wonderful years we had together, I wanted to write and thank you for allowing him to become my cat. I appreciate all the work KAR has done and continues to do in matching animals to the right people, and in helping them as they need it. Without Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, I would never have known or loved him. As much as I miss and will continue to miss him, I am so amazingly grateful and happy that he was a part of my life and that I was allowed to be a part of his.
Thank you for bringing us together and for giving me eleven years with him. I will never forget Beau, or those wonderful years. I will always be glad that you were there, and brought me to this most amazing companion and friend!
Portage Animal Hospital received this lovely update from some adopters who found their sweet Bella while she was being showcased there.
Lady Bella Chardonnay ... is very happily & peacefully adjusted, it is like she has lived here 30 Years! She loves to sit on the window sills & watch the birds at the feeders & the squirrels chasing. She has a hand made basket with 2 layers of lambs wool to sleep in, which sometimes she does, but also she sleeps on various chairs as well as in bed with us.
Bella plays with toys & paper scraps, etc. She licks our faces (with a very rough tongue!)
She purrs & loves to be held & brushed & combed.
She has her litter changed every morning, & 2 x daily fresh water & food, plus treats.
She is comfortable wearing her temporary collar, & her tag with name, phone, chip ID etc is being engraved & will be ready in a couple days. Our previous cat, Mia, was born in August, so she wore a lovely necklace of faceted peridots & cubic zirconia, & this is being remade to fit for Bella, and it will have her ID tag attached. We love Bella very much & she is a wonderful joy in our home & family!
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!
What mysterious quality makes us fall in love? Is it a special look or a quality of personality? Whatever it is, Bently had that wonderful experience when he went from an unwanted stray to a cherished pet. Bently’s story begins when he was taken into KAR from Animal Services where he was one of numerous kittens taken in every week during the spring and summer. Little Bently was born in early May and was about three-and-half-months old at the time. He was a beautiful little orange and white kitten with a sunny and friendly personality to match his sunshine colored fur.
This cuddly and playful boy caught the eye of adopter Lisa and her husband, who were also considering another feline as well. Both kittens were adopted so that Bently soon had a new home and a new brother to play with. Bently’s classic tabby coat and funny little white “milk moustache” make a handsome contrast to his gray and white brother. Outgoing and friendly Bently also complements his shyer brother’s personality. Both kittens are doing well in their forever home and settled in quickly to the life every kitty deserves: loving and being loved. KAR is happy to report that Bently’s love story is continuing as he grows into a sweet and happy adult cat.
Bert, A Loving Tribute
My wife and I met "Herbert" the Beagle at the Kalamazoo Humane Society's Dog Walk in 2009. He was about 12 years old and was on an outing from Animal Services, where he had been left as a stray. He seemed to be a very sweet guy, but we knew at his age nobody was likely to adopt him. It was like looking at a dog we knew was soon going to die, and we didn't want to leave him to that fate.
Through our many years with KAR we had worked closely with Dusty and knew of her big heart and many animal-friendly connections. We told Dusty about this Beagle, knowing that he had a much better chance of finding a permanent home through her than if he was left at Animal Services. Dusty went to visit him and evaluate his adoptability. As a result she sprung him from the confines of the shelter and made him a KAR foster dog.
So naturally we went to see him and ended up adopting him near Labor Day. We always thought of Labor Day as his birthday.
Bert’s teeth were really bad and he had most of them pulled, but that never slowed his lust for food. And without the pain some of those teeth had been causing he perked up from a dog that just laid around to one who sometimes liked to chase balls, and always loved going for walks.
Bert had all the typical Beagle Quirks. He didn't like being left alone and he was very vocal about it. People knew when we were gone because they could hear him howling across the yard (fortunately our neighbors are family). He was also great at getting in the garbage and hiding cat cans in his bed¸ licked clean of every scrap of cat food.
We spent four happy years together running the streets and fields of our little town of Scotts. Eventually his walking slowed down and his Beagle Appetite went downhill too. He just got old and couldn't go on any further. Our time together was short but fun. We didn't want to leave him when we met and we still haven't. We had him cremated and still have him with us.
When I wrote Dusty to let her know Bert was gone, I mentioned we would eventually want to adopt another older dog. Probably in the spring. Probably another Beagle. Her response? She was fostering another Beagle that would likely still be there in the spring. When we saw her picture she looked so much like Bert that we couldn’t resist going to visit her. Long story short, Molly the Beagle found her forever home with us last October.
I wanted to give you an update on Bianca (formerly Callie/Kali), the cat I adopted back in April.
After a pretty rough transition from the rescue (thank you to Abbey for putting her hands at risk), Bianca has settled right in and is doing really great! She's so silly and curious, and likes to play with all her toys. She especially likes to play with her feather wand, which she'll drag across the apartment while screaming and then drop in front of me as a present. Very thoughtful.
She likes to act like she rules the place, but when I wake up in the morning or come back from work, she's so excited to see me and won't leave me alone. She's not a cuddler, but she tolerates it from me, and lets me know when she's had enough by gently raising her paw and pressing down on my hand. So ladylike!
She's hilarious and I think she likes me too. Plus, come on, look at that face! I'm so glad I drove through a snowstorm and sat in a hour-long traffic jam to adopt her. Thank you for not giving up on her and her attitude before I came along!
Billy and Petey
Billy went to his forever home in October 2013. He is doing well and lives with another senior doggy pal, Petey. Billy, a black Pomeranian, is deaf, but has no problem getting along with Petey and the people who share his home. He loves going for car rides and walks, but is just as comfortable inside, relaxing and cuddling on the couch.
Petey is a grey-and-black poodle that had been hit by a car prior to coming into KAR. He spent quite a bit of time recovering from some difficult medical issues, including hip surgery and a dental cleaning in 2013, and then later a bout of Lyme disease. But despite all those treatments it didn't get Petey down. He was adopted in February 2014 and is still active and enjoys playing with Billy.
Petey likes attention--a lot of doting and petting several times a day, if he can. But he doesn't keep the attention all to himself. After he gets a few minutes of TLC, he'll sometimes dance around, or even offer a kiss.
Cabby came into the rescue the summer of 2011 when she was found as a stray by a Good Samaritan. The person who found her contacted a friend who knew a volunteer with KAR. Our foster mom thought she was an adorable little dog that would be adopted quickly. And, this is just what happened.
The fortunate pup was adopted by a loving family in September. They keep in contact with Cabby's foster mom and this is how she is doing in her forever home:
"Cabby is doing GREAT! I just can't get over what a little love she is. So affectionate, so eager to please, so sweet. We left her for about 40 minutes while we went out, and although she whimpered a little at first, she seemed to settle in okay. When when we returned, she was calm and content, even when we let her out.
Thanks again -- I really feel like it was fate for Cabby to be with us."
At the beginning of September I (Danielle) visited the local shelter to see which dogs could be brought into the rescue. Along with many others, a little lady named Casey caught my eye. She sat quietly in her kennel, afraid but friendly and desperate to get out. The staff had given her a little blanket. Casey had been at Animal Services for over a month and they estimated she was around eight-years old. She had been found running in a field as a stray. As Casey sat up you could see a huge mass on her belly. I suspected a mammary tumor. Knowing her condition and age, I knew KAR was her only chance at survival. Shaking and nervous she was led from her kennel and after a short evaluation she came home with me.
Casey has thrived in her foster home. Initially she had to fight a nasty upper respiratory infection and internal parasites (worms), but she proved to us all there was a lot more life left in this little girl. Being an older pet, we weren't sure how she would handle the noise and commotion of a busy household but she has coped marvelously--living with cats, dogs and young children--we have yet to meet a person or pet she does not adore.
In mid-October, Casey underwent surgery to both spay her and remove the tumor masses. Unfortunately we will not cure her of the disease but she is much more comfortable! After being posted on the KAR website for half a day, this little girl was snapped up by a young couple who live in Chicago. They love adopting older dogs with special needs and she will join two other canine pals in early November.
My family will miss her desperately. She loves the kids almost as much as they love her, but we are excited for her new life with her new family. This little dog, riddled with cancer, advanced in years and forgotten now has a much deserved chance for a proper dogs life!
Champion (aka Crumb)
Little Crumb was adopted by the kind lady who found him and his brother in the story we posted on 11/14/13. The kind lady's mother adopted Crumb's brother, Caprice.
Just recently we received an update on Crumb, now called Champion: "This photo is of him standing up looking out the sliding glass door at his mom working outside in the yard. Look how strong his back legs are. I can't tell you enough what a good job you did with the physical therapy to strengthen his legs."
Charles and Florence
One characteristic that makes KAR stand out among rescue organizations is our commitment to the animals in our care. Sometimes it takes more than one effort to ensure that our special felines reach their “happily ever after” in a forever home where they will be cherished for the rest of their lives. An example of this is the story of Autumn and August, who are now known as Charles and Florence. This nearly identical brother and sister pair of grey tabbies with white chins were part of a litter of kittens dumped by the side of a road in the summer of 2011. All of the kittens were rescued by KAR, given vet care, and prepared for their new lives as loving companions. Autumn and August were adopted together and lived with their new home for 18 months. Sadly, the family’s housing changed and the cats couldn’t come along. KAR accepted these special kitties back, finding foster space with one of our long-time volunteers.
The wait for a new home ended when Autumn and August, now renamed Mr. and Miss Christmas in honor of the season of their second rescue, were once again adopted. When their new dad Neil’s cherished kitty passed away, he sought a pair of bonded cats to adopt. He felt that two cats could keep each other company so that they wouldn’t become lonely during times when he could not be home with them. Happily, the cats embraced their new home and a final set of new names, Charles and Florence. Charles is a playful boy who likes to roughhouse with his quieter sister. She puts him in his place when he gets too boisterous but they are still best friends. Florence favors decorating her living space, arranging her toys in various ways, including placing them in her dad’s shoes. Both kitties adjusted well to their loving home and KAR was thankful to play a key role in giving these special pets another change to love and be loved, as all pets should.
Charlie was adopted by a family with another dog, but unfortunately the dog was aggressive toward Charlie and he became afraid. Because he is such a cute boy and eager for attention, he had barely been listed as available before being adopted again by people who are very glad to have him in their home and peace is all around. He slept in the arms of his new mom on his very first night. He is loved unconditionally, as all dogs should be.
Charlotte and Rose
By Ariel Berry
Charlotte and Rose (previously Snowflake and Snowball) joined our family a couple of months ago. We have been wanting a cat for years, but due to living in apartments it never worked out. Over the summer we bought a house and finally started looking for a cat.
When we met Charlotte and Rose we fell in love even though they were shy at first. Although we were originally planning to get one cat, when we saw these two we knew we couldn’t separate them. Almost as soon as we got them home they overcame their shyness and now charm us every day with their big personalities. They love our fish and our turtle, and are even learning to get along with our dog.
Charlotte insists on grooming us (and Rose!) every day to make sure we look our best and she loves to play. Lately her favorite game is playing fetch with her toys in the bathtub. When we throw a toy in she jumps in and brings it back to us!
One of Rose’s favorite activities is looking at herself in the mirror. We think she knows how pretty she is! Rose also loves to sit in our laps. When she wants attention she makes a squeaky little meow that always wins us over.
They are both looking forward to their first holiday season and the many presents we have for them. Charlotte and Rose are fantastic cats and we are lucky to be their parents. We are grateful for their amazing foster family and the people at Kalamazoo Animal Rescue who helped us find each other.
Cheeky & Buttons
As you can see, the two have become ladies of leisure. Their personalities continue to emerge and Cheeky, now Josette, is reserved and prefers quiet. She loves soft things...this cat is too good for the floor. She usually prefers sleeping in a bed or on something cuddly. Buttons, now Nathalie, on the other hand is the life of the party. She wants to be where the action is and usually follows one of members of the household around. She likes to gaze longingly out of the windows and, I imagine, fantasize about the great outdoors. Cheeky would never set foot out of doors and would much prefer sleeping to staring aimlessly. The two are best buds and doing well. Take care.
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!”
Cloverlily has been with her forever family since July 2013. Her family just adores her and they purchased a "mobile mall pimper" to help their little lady get around town when they go for walks. Cloverlily can ride in the pink stroller, an ideal place for her to rest or nap while her owner and the other dogs, Maui and Zippy, get some exercise.
Hi, my name is Clyde! I came into Kalamazoo Animal Rescue in March 2004 when a fire forced my former owners and my other cat companions out of our home. My owners relinquished me to KAR so that they could better care for fewer felines once they found a new place to live.
I made a lot of new friends when I was in a KAR foster home. I’m really friendly and playful, so I get along well with everyone. I’m also a lap kitty and love to snuggle!
In May 2004, I was adopted by a great family and got a new furry-friend, Sammie, the family dog! The family sent in a recent update:
“We just LOVE him, as you can see from the picture he is a very, very, happy little man. He is very spoiled with all the love in the world. He gets treats and all the petting his little heart desires. And we LOVE his little motor … He purrs soooo loud and it’s sooo cute.
Clyde is so affectionate with our dog, Sammie. He gets excited when he comes up stairs and has to rub all over him. Sammie is also teaching our sweet kitty to beg for food and survey the refrigerator when it’s open. It’s really funny.
We are blessed to have Clyde in our lives and you can rest assured he DID find his forever home.”
Coconut and Mango
This story begins when a sneaky house cat outsmarted her family and escaped through a broken door and wandered home a few days later pregnant. Then, four months ago, four bundles of joy entered the world with names just as sweet as they were: Kiwi, Peaches, Mango, and Coconut. Their lives, however, were not easy as fruit pie, and they were brought flea-ridden and ragged to their foster mother, Jenny.
While Kiwi and Peaches quickly acclimated to their new environment, Mango and Coconut did not find life as succulent. They started eating less and less after only one week in their foster home and grew smaller and weaker. Jenny got concerned for the two shrinking kittens and brought them to the vet. The vet was just as worried about tiny Mango, and kept him overnight to hand feed him. Jenny took Mango home the next day and continued to bottle-feed the sickly kittens.
Meanwhile, a young lady named Amber saw Coconut’s petite face on the KAR website and knew that this was the cat for her, but was saddened to hear that her future friend was so sick. That didn't deter Amber, and she came to visit her kitten as often as possible, cuddling with him and Mango, quickly falling in love with both brothers.
With all the love and attention they were receiving from Jenny and Amber, the brothers slowly but surely began to get better, first eating more, and then gaining weight like their other siblings. Soon, the two were rolling around and playing like healthy, happy brothers.
As soon as they were well enough, Amber signed the papers to adopt both Mango and Coconut and took them home with her. Now, the two are sweet as can be. Their favorite place to be is on Amber's shoulders like little ripe fruits waiting to be picked.
Amber says, “Mango is not afraid of anything, and his brother follows his lead.” The two live happily, reveling in the sweetness of a loving home.
By Curly and Jim Timmons
Hi! My name is Curley. I lost my family one day and ended up in the local shelter. It was loud and scary. I was afraid of the other dogs and missed my family. I had a flea allergy and all my hair fell out. The shelter is a hard place for a Chihuahua without hair. The officers knew who my family was, but they could not or would not come get me. One day, a nice lady named Dusty Reeds came and took me to her home. She had many rescued dogs, but I was the smallest one. I remained afraid of everything, but Dusty was kind to me. She fed me well, treated my skin and gave me a sweater and my own crate.
One day a man and woman came to see me. The woman wanted a Chihuahua. But after they visited, they went away without me! I was sad. Dusty took me to have my bad teeth pulled and my teeth cleaned. Imagine my surprise when the man and woman were there with Dusty to pick me up at the vet! I cried when I saw we were driving away from Dusty, but the man and woman were kind. I was brought home to a pack of my own. There is Bogart, a Chihuahua/Terrier mix, and Sephronia, a Rat Terrier. They told me how they had been rescued also. I remained afraid. It was hard to adjust to a new home. I had forgotten how to live in a house! I was still the smallest one! I clung to the man and followed him everywhere. I did not feel safe without him, even in my crate. He kept me calm and petted me. Gradually I began to feel safe.
Before long, my hair started to grow back. The man would carry me in a pouch when it was too cold for me to walk. My pack did not know what to make of me, but they were kind. One weekend, we visited a house full of Pugs for a weekend retreat. The Pugs showed my stepbrother Bogart that I know how to play. Since that visit, we play together every day. Even Sephronia tries to play, although she is reluctant to share squeaky toys. I am still afraid of large dogs, but my confidence improves every day. I am now healthy, happy and well fed. I even have a shiny license!
I love my new home. I love Carolyn, the woman that wanted a Chihuahua. I love my stepbrother and stepsister. But my heart belongs to Jim, my daddy! He even helped me write this story!
One of the most amazing characteristics about the wonderful felines who come into KAR and are made available for adoption is their capacity to forgive. In spite of the bad things that often happen to good cats, they are willing to leave those bad things behind and love a human who offers them a home. Curtis is such a cat and his story is all too familiar. This beautiful Maine Coon mix lived in a home with two other feline companions. His personality is sweet and loving, his kitty manners are perfect, and he is absolutely beautiful. In spite of having all of the best kitty traits in one package, Curtis was dumped in a field and abandoned with his kitty housemates when their owner moved away and chose to discard these faithful friends. Cats are not wild animals and are not able to fend for themselves so such an act is extremely cruel. Fortunately, KAR was able to step in to save the cats before their story ended in tragedy.
Curtis was given a clean bill of health and entered foster care with longtime volunteer Dusty, who has a passion for rescuing extraordinary cats like Curtis. In just a short time, Curtis was adopted into a loving home where he is prince of the castle and the darling of his owner’s heart. This precious boy settled right into his new home and has blossomed into the dear affectionate companion he was meant to be. Curtis takes his job very seriously and promises to cherish his human friends forever. His new dad says, “Curtis is loving and is loved more than I imagined.” Won’t you consider giving a homeless animal like Curtis a second chance for happiness? Curtis will tell you it is a sure way to bring love and contentment into your home.
Cute Little Crumb
Little man Crumb was found by a kind lady along with his brother, Caprice off of Milham road. The kind person thought she had heard some mewing while on her lunch break and then again when leaving work at 5 p.m. So, she decided to search for the noise and found the kittens. They were both laying out in the open on the grass by the side of the parking lot and were only a day or two old, so very tiny. Caprice was the one mewing. Crumb, the runt, was thought at first to be dead. Luckily for the kittens, this kind lady immediately set about finding someone to take them and they came directly into KAR. We have many dedicated volunteers, but few who specialize in kittens so young. These tiny orphans were in safe hands with one of our experienced, veteran foster volunteers.
After warming and feeding the kittens, they were examined and the smallest little "Crumb" of a kitten was found to have three limb deformities. Since he was only two-days old, the vet said there was hope in building muscle, loosening the tendons and the limbs becoming usable. So ten times a day, at every feeding, his foster mom warmed and massaged the left front paw, then slightly stretched it, more and more each week. The two hind legs had been limp, unused and hanging out behind the kitten with the toes curled (see photo). Again, at every feeding, ten times a day, his foster mom perched this baby's hind legs on her finger and bounced him, requiring him to push off as best he could, trying to build some muscle strength. Crumb hated it at first but then started to enjoy the one-on-one attention he was getting. After several weeks, Crumb was actually able to hold his hind legs beneath him and his foster mom started to encourage Crumb to push himself towards his formula bottle. Crumb had to work for his food. Heat, massage, physical therapy, hard work and love has Crumb almost perfect. Now all this little boy needed was a loving forever home.
By Kim Bourner
It’s so important to make a plan for your pets in your will. Derby is an example of what can happen when pets are not included in the will to ensure their future care. Fortunately, Derby’s tale has a happy ending, but it was almost not so.
Derby ended up at the local animal shelter when her owner passed away and no relatives were able to take care of her. Fortunately for her, the folks at Animal Services knew Derby was special and stepped in to help save her. A call was made to the rescue, and she was brought in so that we could take the time to find her a fitting forever home.
Derby was adopted by a loving family where she has settled in nicely. She has parents who fenced in a yard for her, where she safely watches birds and squirrels. Derby also enjoys the long walks they take together. Her parents even installed a dog door for her to get into the fenced yard--which she has recently learned how to use. They found a jacket for her so she doesn’t get wet on walks. However, if she does get wet, she is toweled off and thinks it’s a great time for snuggling.
At a veterinarian visit after her adoption, the vet was impressed by her health and spunk for her age. She has had her teeth cleaned, which is not only an improvement for breath and shows off the pearly whites, but good for her heart and overall health.
Derby is now one well-loved dog who has found her forever home. Her new human sister stops by more often to visit, just to have time with the new family pooch. And although Derby’s human brother says she’s too small to be a real dog, even he is falling in love with her. Her family often ask themselves, “Who rescued who?” She is a blessing to her new family, and her new family is a blessing unto her.
Duke, a pitbull/terrier mix, came to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue from the local animal shelter. According to Susan C., a KAR volunteer, “He was the best foster.”
After spending some time with Susan, Duke found two wonderful adopters in Alice and Sandra. Alice says: “We adopted Duke last year from KAR, and he has been a wonderful addition to our family! The first few months after Duke (now called Panda) came home, he was very well-behaved but also reserved. It has been a joy to watch him come out of his shell as he has become more comfortable with us. Now he’s a big goof ball!
We had so much fun with Kalamazoo Dog Training Club’s obedience class that we signed up for Beginner Nosework. This was a really fun class where he learned how to find a specific odor that was hidden in various objects. Panda got the hang of it very quickly. We have continued to practice and hope to enter a competition one of these days. Recently we have taught him hide and seek – for now he only knows how to seek! He takes his job very seriously, marching around looking in all the closets and under the beds! It’s hard not to laugh and give away your position!
We couldn’t have asked for a better dog and we are so thankful to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, in particular his foster mom, Susan, for all their help and support.”
Duke, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix came from Kalamazoo County Animal Services as an owner surrender. Unfortunately, his family split up and neither side could keep him. While at animal services Duke lost weight, became dirty and had cage aggression, classic signs for dogs that under duress. Frequent visitors would turn away from Duke as he would greet them with a warning growl. Duke’s appearance and veiled attempts at being intimidating were no match for our veteran foster Rebecca P. Once she got Duke out of the cage, he was a different dog. He passed our rigorous temperament testing and was admitted into KAR.
Duke’s foster mom Kate F. reports, “Duke stole my heart immediately. All he wanted in life was to play fetch and to be loved. He had the best manners which included waiting for me to tell him it was okay to eat. If we were eating, he would walk out of the room and lie down! At night, as we relaxed in front of the TV, Duke would bring his ball to us and drop it. He would then walk a few steps away and wait for us to lob the ball to him. If we didn’t respond to the dropped ball, it was okay. He would patiently stare at us for up to ten minutes or more until we threw the ball to him! When it was bed time, he frequently tried to curl up into our chihuahua’s extra small bed! He was such a goof ball!”
Duke went to his forever home which has a new Mom, Dad and sister, Pepper. Duke now spends his days terrorizing toys, playing with his sister, running around the backyard and being loved on by his Mom and Dad.
His Mom recently shared, “Duke was a part of the family from day one, it seemed like he had always been there. Dad is his absolute FAVORITE person in the whole world, he wants to be right next to him all day long. We were thrilled at how well Duke and Pepper immediately got along, they quickly became best buds and partners in crime, Pepper now follows Duke’s lead on just about everything. Duke is a big lap dog; we are working on minding personal space (he has no boundaries!) but we also love the snuggles. Tennis balls are still his favorite, he also loves to protect his yard along the fence line with his sister, and for as good as he is at not begging at the dinner table he has a mischievous side and will take things off the counter when we are not at home (sneaky!). We can’t say enough about Duke, it’s hard to recall what life was like before he joined our family, and we are so honored that we get to provide him with a happy, forever home. Thanks to KAR and foster mom Kate for recognizing a great doggy when others didn’t and providing such awesome service during the adoption process.”
A wee five-month-old kitten came into KAR in September 2014 and his name was Little. His foster mom, Dusty, thought he was the friendliest, nicest and sweetest little kitty she had ever had. He liked being held and loved spending time in her lap. Dusty knew it wouldn't be long before Little found the purr-fect forever home.
The Gillettes have adopted three dogs from Dusty in the 19 years she has been a volunteer with KAR. When they lost their last KAR dog to old age, Fred decided he wanted a cat--a very friendly one who would sit on his lap. According to Dusty, "It was the perfect time because I had Little as a foster and thought these two would be great for each other."
The Gillettes proceeded to adopt Little in early October. He was renamed Earnest, from the Oscar Wilde play, The Importance of Being Earnest. The couple also has a little dog named Algernon from the same source.
As you can see from the photo, Earnest is a lap cat and Fred's dream of having a friendly cat has come true. The other part of this happy ever after is that Earnest and Algie get along beautifully and have become best pals.
By Caitlyn Bodine
While weighing the pros and cons of two final contenders in my search for a kitty companion, I asked for a sign to help me choose. Shortly thereafter, I arrived at the home of one of my piano students for her weekly lesson—a house filled with three little girls under the age of seven, and obviously complete with an assortment of Disney princess paraphernalia. I knew my student, Lauren, would be delighted to hear that I was going to get a cat, and even more delighted to find out one of the two kitties’ names was Elsa. When I mentioned the cat’s name, the girls and their mom looked at me surprised. “Wait, is she in Kalamazoo Animal Rescue?” Lauren’s mom, Kendra, asked. I responded that she was, now also intrigued. “Well, I’m sure there are lots of cats named Elsa,” she continued. I replied that there weren’t (and I knew because by that point, I’d memorized all the cats’ profiles).
Kendra told me the story of a very sweet and beautiful cat that had appeared on her mom’s porch in the fall while the home next door was under construction. Lauren’s grandma had fed her, loved on her, made a little bed for her in their garage, and let the girls pet and play with her every time they went over to grandma’s house to visit. Because Lauren’s grandparents had dogs, they weren’t able to bring the cat indoors, and when that early November snowstorm threatened, they realized this would probably be the first time this sweet cat would be exposed to the elements. The owners of the house under construction asked work colleagues if they could help this kitty and Tracey volunteered to foster her through KAR. Before kitty was taken to her foster home all the family collaborated to come up with her name—Elsa, the frozen kitty. She was warm and loved and cared for in her foster home, but still waited for her forever home. Lauren and her family checked the website regularly and had been discouraged to see the weeks go by without Elsa being adopted.
Could it be the same cat? Among all the rescued cats in Kalamazoo, surely it was not possible. But when Kendra scrolled through photos on her phone of the girls playing with the beautiful snowy kitty outside their grandma’s house, it was the same Elsa. “Get Elsa, Miss Caitlyn. Now we’ll get to know what happened to her!” Lauren squealed.
How could I not, with a sign as clear as that? And so my new roommate, Elsa, the Snow Queen, moved in a few months ago, and has been getting used to her home with me. She spends her days regally watching the birds from her window sill “throne,” and graciously hops down to greet all our visitors at the door, purring immediately when anyone stoops to stroke her. She follows me from room to room, supervising all my activities, brainstorming how to handle those pesky squirrels that seem to have no sense of propriety or decorum, and altogether living the life of luxury that she was meant to live all along!
Farley originally came into the rescue in October 2015, had a bath and a good grooming, and was adopted. Unfortunately, he was returned because a family member turned out to be allergic. But Farley was a joyous cuddle buddy, a lover of his fellow feline and hound rescue friends, and a delight to his foster parent. At an event, a family with a daughter fell in love with him and adopted him in January. He now has a loving home, including another dog and cats, and they are all glad to have him as ray of sunshine.
We wanted to touch base with you again after year one of having Pantera (now Fergus) in our lives. He brings great joy to us every day. He’s such a little play boy, he runs about the house, and plays with the odd toy spaceship that he bats off one of our living room side tables. We hope that everything is going well with you and we cannot thank you enough for uniting us with one truly special little cat!
Finnegan (was Rex)
Finnegan loves PBS's Nature on Wednesday evenings. He watches the entire hour and occasionally paws the TV screen or investigates behind the screen to find the rest of the animals. He brings us joy every
Thank you for being a Rescue angel!
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!
For each pet that KAR rescues, a safe and loving home is sought no matter how long it takes. George had been in the rescue for a while when he finally found the perfect fur-ever home. He is an energetic Chihuahua mix with a spirit for loving, playing and cuddling. In his case, the adoptive family also needed to have a fenced-in yard.
Although George can be shy at first and may hide in his crate, when kindness is shown his true spirit comes shining through. George was adopted this summer and has a wonderful new family. There are people who love him, a fellow Chihuahua to play with, and kitties to enjoy his company too. He has even discovered the family’s doggie toy box.
This Christmas, George is blessed to have a new fur-ever home and loving family. He knows where every meal comes from and is homeless no more. George’s Christmas is bright indeed!
Georgia, A Loving Tribute
In 1994 I bought my first house in Kalamazoo and it was my new friend, Sherry, who was a realtor and found it for me. We became great friends. With my perfect house, I decided that I needed the perfect dog. A WWMT reporter was doing a story on pets and found a little dog named Georgia at a vet's office. Georgia was there to be spayed as Kalamazoo Animal Rescue and her foster mom were doing what they always do...caring for animals.
I met Georgia at her foster home and she won my heart! We had a great deal to get through: potty training, learning commands and leash training. She learned quickly and became a fantastic pet. The only time I really had to scold her was when she ate the arm off my wing back chair. Oh, and there was another time when she ate an entire shelf of books including one titled, "When Good Dogs do Bad Things." This was the extent of her being "bad."
Georgia was with me through many life changing events including a half dozen moves. She was there when I married my husband, Ed more than ten years ago, where she also met and befriended his Doberman. She was a tremendous help when I battled breast cancer in 2005. It was as if she always understood the good times and the tough times.
As Georgia aged, she faced her own health issues but she always bounced back. I called her the miracle dog. In 2009 my friend Sherry, who I mentioned previously painted a watercolor of Georgia and surprised me with it. The image is Georgia enjoying Gull Lake right outside the windows here...she was on a boat with the wind blowing in her hair. She loved the lake.
Sadly, the week I was to leave Channel 3 and my 30 year career in May 2011, Georgia fell ill. She went to the vet and never came home. It was five days after I left WWMT that I had to make the decision that all pet lovers hope to avoid...I had to put my beloved companion to sleep. I miss her everyday.
I am so grateful for the wonderful portrait of Georgia in happier times. I am thankful that my dear friend, Sherry, knows how much this little dog meant to me. Georgia was one of the first Kalamazoo Animal Rescue adoptions. Sherry shares my love of animals and has had several pets herself, most recently a rescue dog, named Dutchess. I have not adopted another dog yet, but the time will come when it feels right to do so again, of that I am sure.
Sherry and I donated this watercolor print to KAR, hoping that those who see it will also see Georgia's joyful 17-1/2 years on earth, and how it was all made possible through Kalamazoo Animal Rescue.
Thank you so much for all you do to help our furry friends.
Gia is doing great! She and Collin have been getting along so well! She's so affectionate and purrs all the time. My chihuahuas are still a little leery of her but she is showing them that she's the boss!
Gizmo only has one eye, but that's all he needs to see the beach, the lake and his forever home, where he moved to in November 2013. His foster mom even thought about keeping this special boy, but he found the perfect family in the Grand Rapids area.
Gizmo, a young Shih Tzu mix, was known as Paddy when he came into KAR. When he's not on the water, Gizmo likes to lay on a lap, or lie on his back and have his tummy rubbed. He's a big help on laundry day too. Gizmo loves going on walks and being out on the boat—though he's not thrilled about wearing a life jacket.
Here are a few more pics of cute little Gizmo getting ready for fall in a fashionable hoody.
Happy Holidays! I am doing really well.
Little Gizmo was a stray--homeless and all alone in October 2012. What he needed most was a friend, and he found this from his loving KAR foster mom. Gizmo was in pretty good health for being approximately ten-years old and only having three teeth. KAR helped find a fantastic forever home to care for him in his golden years. His new mom sent us an update to let us know how the little guy is doing.
"Gizmo had his yearly well-dog vet visit and is doing great. He has gained a couple of pounds since his adoption, but not too much. He has started rolling on his shoulder so I can rub his belly. He greets everyone we meet on our walks with patience, and endures their praises and pets with stoicism.
In the past three months, he wags his tail when I get up in the morning. He rarely barks--only when I am engrossed in the TV or on the computer and he hasn't been able to get my attention using snorts or sneezes. Thank you again for putting us together. You gave me a precious gift."
Gizmo is pictured in his new home saying his bedtime prayers--thankful for the kind-hearted souls that rescue dogs, foster them in their homes, and give them hope for a loving future.
Hi! I'm Hana, and my name means "flower" in Japanese, because I'm so precious to my mom, Kiersten, whom I've lived with since last July, 2010. I was rescued from a trailer park earlier that year and found pregnant with kittens, even though I was still barely a kitten myself. As "Angel," I lived with my KAR foster family, and they helped me to deliver and raise healthy kittens. My mom saw me at the PetSmart on West Main and fell in love with me, even though I was hunkered down in the back of my cage. Mom always wanted a calico but wasn't sure she would find one when she started looking for a cat companion. It must have been meant to be!
I was still pretty skinny when she brought me home, but I gained weight and got lots of love from mom, her parents, her boyfriend, and her friends. I'm not the best at showing affection or cuddling, but I show mom that I love her by following her around and sleeping next to her on her bed. I love the perch mom bought me so I can put my cute kitty face in the windows and feel the breeze and listen to the birds outside. Mom is so happy to have me in her life, since she was so lonely living alone. We just moved and soon I will have an auntie and a cat friend to spend the day with while both of our moms are at work.
Thank you to KAR and all of their volunteers for taking in stray animals and giving us good homes! I will be two soon, and I plan on having a long and happy life with my mom. Thank you again, from both me and from mom!
From Kiersten and Hana
Holly was brought to Animal Services last fall, unwanted and pregnant. Soonafter, she bravely gave birth, but unfortunately all the kittens died. Holly spent almost two months at the shelter struggling to attract attention, lying on her back and purring when someone approached. But her time had run out and she was scheduled to be euthanized when a KAR volunteer was literally, touched by her and her story.
Holly was just an average brown tabby among so many other cats. Refusing to give up hope, Holly reached out her paw and touched the volunteer who was looking for a cat to foster. The volunteer couldn't resist Holly's desperate attempt to be noticed so she took Holly into the safety of her foster home. Holly was spayed and put up for adoption. A woman saw Holly's video on KAR's website and fell in love with her. Holly went to her furever home in early January and her new mom sent the following update:
"I wanted to drop you a line about Holly. She's wonderful! She's grown a little, and is very playful and loving. Holly sleeps with me every night and when I sit down at the end of the day, she's on my lap. Holly is starting to become affectionate with my Dad who is in his late 80s. Dad has been ill and I think she senses it, and is providing some joy in his life. I got a light for Dad so he can play with Holly and it seems to be helping the two of them develop a closer bond. Adopting Holly was a great thing and she's a joy to our lives."
Jack is a sweet and handsome young man -- a knockout combination. He came into the rescue in April when he was relinquished by his previous owner. His foster mom knew that Jack would be adopted quickly and he was. Today, he is living the good life with a new family and doggy pal. His mom recently sent this update to let us know how he was doing.
"Jack is doing great and has settled in with our family beautifully. In the photo he and Buster (left) just had a bath. The other photo shows where he sleeps every night -- with Ava. He has really taken a liking to her and is her protector. I just wanted to thank you for taking care of Jack during his time of transition. Bless you and hope you are doing well."
I thought you all might appreciate a picture of Josie with Santa. She is the perfect dog!
I wanted to let you know that Kayda is getting along fine since she was adopted in August. I think she likes her new life and I love her. We have been going to dog obedience school where she is doing very well. I have attached photos of her lounging on the deck and ripping up one of her toys. She loves to pull the stuffing out of her toys. LOL
Kingston (nka Thomas)
Kingston, renamed Thomas by my daughter, may be the sweetest cat ever - he doesn't stop purring! And he loves to be held. :-). My friend is now on a search for a kitty after meeting him - she and her kids LOVE him!! - Anna
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!! "
Little Leo, a senior Chihuahua, recently found a loving forever home after coming into the rescue as a stray. His adopter sent this update saying, "Leo is doing fantastic! He went to work with me three days last week and everyone loves him so much. He is doing fine in the snow. I think that he knows that I am his forever person. It has been a wonderful first week with him!"
KAR has seen over and over again, that there are people out there with huge hearts willing to give homes to mature pets and care for them in their twilight years.
Leon is doing well. He made himself right at home within a few hours. He loves to sleep with us at night...he loves to snuggle. Leon always has to be close to your face or neck when he lays with you. He's a real sweetheart and we're very happy with him. ~ Chris
Hope you are doing well! Here are some pictures of Little Miss! We took her on a camping trip up north this past weekend! She is the best dog!! Hope you enjoy!
Little Miss was adopted from KAR in August 2013. Read more about her here.
Logan & Lucy
Logan was a friendly, people-loving cat that came into KAR in April 2010. Lucy was a sweet little kitten that was rescued in May along with her three siblings. The two felines were in different foster homes but wound up together in the purr-fect forever home. Their family sent us an update on how the happy pair are doing.
"Logan and Lucy are a special gift within our home. Hopefully, it's easy to see in the photo that they are the best of friends. When we return home, we often see them in the front window waiting for us. Then, they sprint to the door to greet us. Logan rolls over for a belly scratch and Lucy hopes for a fresh drink from the faucet.
Logan's favorite time of day is around five o'clock when he tells us it's time for his dinner--a third can of wet food. Lucy continues to demonstrate her athletic prowess asking to play fetch by bringing the ball to us. She is neat and tidy, keeping her ball safe next to her food dish.
We cannot thank the rescue enough for saving our furry family members, Logan and Lucy!"
Layla was a sweet, young Lab mix that found herself at the local shelter prior to coming into KAR. She just celebrated four years in her forever home and her parents sent us an update to let us know how she is doing.
The first time I met Layla, I made a point of doing a variety of activities that I enjoyed doing with our previous dog, Boots who had recently passed on. I remember taking her for our first walk together and she turned and gave me a look that said, “Are you important? Because I like you already!”
Then, I had my wife, Marcy, meet her independently from me and after a few minutes Layla was on the sofa with her head on my wife’s lap. Layla scored points with both of us and we were sold on the idea of adopting her.
Layla settled in to her new life pretty quickly. The day we brought her home we told her to go bed and she bounded upstairs to spend her first night in her forever home. She settled into routines for eating, going outside to do her business, and other things pretty quickly. She is both smart and eager to please, which certainly contributes to her being a wonderful dog.
She is well known throughout the neighborhood. I have lost track of the number of kids, grownups and other dogs she has met. Layla is definitely a very social animal and when she goes to the kennel for a visit she get along with the other dogs wonderfully.
Like many dogs, Layla has some fun and endearing quirks. For example, she prefers toys that are blue. She has both a blue Kong and a red Kong, but it is the blue one that she favors. She has also developed the habit of lying down on her side when she meets people so that they will come over and rub her belly.
Layla is a wonderful companion. She is well behaved on walks and stops at intersections on her own. She is also a great cuddlier, both for taking naps and for just sitting on the sofa. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities. I have already mentioned walking but she also likes a rousing game of fetch and to just lay in the sun on a warm day and sunbathe.
My wife and I are so pleased to have her as a part of our lives and we are so grateful to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue for saving her.
Lucky came into the rescue earlier this year with his three sisters. His adoptive family keeps in contact with Lucky's foster mom, Heather, and this is how this fortunate feline is doing in his forever home:
"We adopted Lucky from KAR back in March of this year. It's only been a few months, and already I don't know what I would do without him." Within about 20 minutes of arriving at his new forever home, he had the whole place explored and was sprawled out on the couch like he owned the place! Sometimes he's a lap cat, sometimes he's a secret agent, and other times he's a light-speed traveling superhero! It all depends on how he feels that second.
"My boyfriend and I have never been happier. Lucky is truly part of our little family and he provides us with laughs, entertainment, and love. The only other thing I have to say is to Heather--thank you for taking such good care of our newest family member and you were totally right about him being so fearless!"
Luka and Zeb
I wanted to give you an update on how my beautiful little kitties are doing!
I adopted Zeb and Luka back in June when they were only two months old. Now they are about 7.5 months old and growing like crazy. I can't believe how big they are getting.
They love to play all the time, but even more they love snuggling. The majority of my days we spend cuddling together and if I'm not there, I return to them snuggling each other. There is so much love in my house. I always tear up when I look at them. They are my life!
I am so grateful I was able to adopt them. I love my babies with all of my heart!!!
By Erica Holbert
My husband, Jimmy, and I have always talked about getting a dog but wanted to wait until renovations on our home were nearing an end. We also knew we needed to make sure we found a puppy that would mix well with our two rescued cats, Salem and Bella, and our niece and nephew, who come over frequently.
Before her adoption, Luna and her foster mom, Susan, came to my home for a visit to be sure that she would be comfortable with my home, my cats, and me. I was already in love with her after meeting her at an adoption event but I must say I was quite nervous if she would be as enamored with me as I was with her. Midway through the home visit, after looking around the house and developing a quick mutual respect with my cats, she sat on the couch with Susan and me. Before I knew it she was lying on my lap and falling asleep. It was amazing to know that my gut feeling about our future together might be mutual. Susan even commented that she’d never seen Luna do that with anyone. She lay on me while Susan and I talked until it was time for the two of them to go home.
Click here to read the rest of Luna’s happy ever after.
Luna & Willow
A couple lost their beloved 17-year-old cat in January 2011. They desired feline companionship and set out to find two sisters from the same litter. Their search included a visit to the KAR website where they saw four sibling kittens they made arrangements to meet, on Valentine's Day. When foster mom, Heather, opened the front door, three kittens (one had been adopted) bounded over to greet them.
The visitors had brought a sparkly ball with them. The ball was gently tossed across the living room and all three kittens went after it, having a marvelous time. The couple were enamored with the kittens and expressed desire to adopt the two sisters. They were overjoyed to find out that the girls could go home with them that night. Fortunately, they had brought a cat carrier with them, just in case.
According to Luna and Willow's new mom, the girls have brought much joy and delight into their home. "And they play fetch! Both kitties, from the very first night with us, showed us that they not only KNEW how to play fetch, they would DEMAND that we throw the sparkly ball for them! It's now a ritual almost every morning, when I go downstairs for my breakfast, I have to spend some time playing fetch with the kitties."
In the photograph, "Luna is the whiter one on top, and Willow the one below. Don't let those sweet faces fool you, they're thinking of something naughty to do I'm sure!"
Mackenzie came into the rescue with three siblings on a stormy night in September 2008. The kittens had been dropped off in someone's front yard when they were about four-weeks old. They never would have survived the night had they not found refuge in a KAR foster home. This fortunate feline was adopted into a loving home in January 2009. They sent Mackenzie's foster mom an update this past summer.
"Thank you for allowing me to adopt Mackenzie. I love her so much." When she first came home she was slowly accepted by the other cats and my dog. Since then, Mackenzie and my male cat, Snitz, chase each other all over the house and I laugh and laugh. Every day brings something new and there is not a day that goes by that I'm not laughing at what the animals are doing and their silly antics.
"Thank you so much! Mackenzie has a sweet personality and she fits in perfect. What did I ever do without her?"
Max is doing great! He has gone through basic obedience training and did very well - a smart little guy! Max loves to ride in the car, go for walks, play, play, play and cuddle. Attached is a Christmas photo with one of his favorite chew sticks.
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.
Missy and Penny
KAR volunteers rescue animals and give them a chance at finding a loving home. Sometimes a pet is returned to the rescue when unforeseen circumstances prevail, such as when an adopter passes away. Missy and Penny are two dogs that found themselves in this predicament—homeless with an uncertain future. KAR stepped in to make sure both pets had another chance at forever homes, and here are their stories.
Missy is a loving Jack Russell Terrier who first entered the rescue in late 2014. She was adopted and spent a year in her fur-ever home before her adopter passed away. Missy’s foster mom took her back without hesitation. With the onset of spring, she found a new home and dad to love. The young man saw Missy online and fell in love with her sweet disposition. He, along with his father, built a fence to keep her safe. She can now explore the yard and play safely. Her dad adds, “We found a good walking route and some areas that we can explore together. This picture shows us having a good time on one of our adventures.”
Penny is a sweet, well-mannered gal that was originally adopted from KAR in 2008 but her adopter died in 2013. Between then and now, poor Penny ended up as a stray at the local animal shelter. Fortunately they were able to trace her microchip back to the rescue and her foster mom. After a few weeks in KAR, a retired lady looking for a mellow, senior dog saw Penny online.
Click here to read the rest of this happy ever after.
“Mouche” is a word for facial hair grown under the lower lip; you may also know it by the term “soul patch.” More importantly, Mouche is the name of a foster cat who found a forever home in December 2013. And yes, Mouche has a mouche--a spot of black fur directly under his lip, perfectly balanced by the black fur around his eyes.
Mouche was named Gizmo while in KAR. He came into the rescue when his original owner's allergies to cats became too much to handle. While he was in a foster home, he became fast friends with another rescued kitten, Clyde. Now that he's in his forever home, Mouche was just as quick to seek out other companions, like his new owner.
Mouche is a big eater and a fun-loving guy. He'll retrieve rubber bands that are fired across the room, and he enjoys one-on-one attention. According to his adopter, “He lets me carry him over my shoulder as I walk around the house, gently bouncing him and singing to him. He purrs mightily at this treatment. I’m so happy he came to live with me.
Here's my new Oliver (Icarus). He is a very sweet and loving kitten who loves cuddling and laying on my lap. I love him already :) I would like to thank you, so much, for all of your help. If it weren't for you, I never would've met this little guy, and I'm so thankful I did.
Oliver was adopted from KAR in October 2013 after he was seen at a PetSmart adoption event. See his first update here, just after getting to his new home.
His adopter sent us this recent update:
"It has been pretty close to a year since adopting Oliver (formerly Icarus). Yesterday was his first birthday! I bought him a special treat, and a catnip ball which he loved! He is such a perfect little kitty, very well behaved and such a lover. He is a wonderful cuddler, and has a ton of energy! I absolutely adore him. He has stolen my heart and cannot wait to have him as my companion for years and years to come."
KAR volunteers work to rescue cats and dogs from numerous difficult situations. A TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Release) cat is assessed for friendly or feral behavior. A friendly kitty will be prepared for adoption; a feral cat will be treated and released in a safe area. Which would it be for Oscar?
Oscar was a frightened mess. Our foster showed up at the vet carrying him in a live trap and wearing welding gloves. However, a few days later another volunteer found she could pet his back a bit – a good sign! Need for further medicating confirmed that Oscar was just frightened, not angry, so there was hope.
When Oscar was fostered in the office, he received attention twice daily. Volunteers found they could pet him, as he began to purr and ask for belly rubs. To help him along, his original volunteer took him home. At first he hid, but after a few days he stayed out and eventually wandered around the house – on his way to being ready for adoption.
His adoptive parents love him, he loves them, and they adopted Puma, also from the rescue, to be with Oscar. Oscar and Puma are thoroughly loved and treated like kings in their castle. Oscar is now a daddy’s boy; he follows his adoptive dad around the house and prefers to sleep with dad. But he also loves his mom and waits by the door for her to get home from work so that his whole family can be together.
Oscar and Maks
We submitted a poem about Oscar and Maks that ran in your October 2010 eNewsletter. I wanted to send the beginning and end of the story about how these two handsome boys came to be with us.
In 2008, we suddenly lost our wonderful cat Tazz to cancer. After about three months of an empty house, I went to the KAR website and the result was first Maks, our handsome grey cat, who was rescued on his last day at the animal shelter. Then we got Oscar Wilde, and oh boy, was he! As I wrote in my poem about this experience:
This amazing twosome, brought together by fate, are positive proof Animal Rescue is great...
For these little men, it was love at first glance, they are happy and safe and we have a "bromance!"
My husband and I really can't thank KAR enough for its great work and for bringing us together with such wonderful kittens when we really needed them.
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!
By Karren Jensen
When Parker was discovered as a very hungry stray and taken in from Animal Services by Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, her life changed dramatically. This petite tuxedo cat was very thin and starving both for food and for love. Miss Parker soon settled into her foster home, enjoying plenty of nutritious food and growing from thin to perfectly filled out and beautiful. Parker was friendly and affectionate, greeting her foster mom every morning and also getting along well with her feline housemates. Her favorite activity while in foster care was sitting on the kitty condo and watching the birds outside the window.
A bit of TLC was all it took to get beautiful and friendly Parker ready to look for her forever home, which happened at an adoption event where potential adopters can meet and fall in love with exceptional furry friends. That is where she met the future love of her life, adopter Terry Olson. Parker proved to be very curious, even for a cat, and was quickly renamed from Shamoo to Parker, short for Nosey Parker. Miss Parker proved her excessive curiosity at least five times in her new home, such as when she got into and fell through the drop ceiling. Terry enjoyed letting Parker adjust to his home and schedule while she settled into her special new life as Terry’s “boss”. She certainly had plenty to say when she was taken on a cross country trip to Orange, California and howled for the first 300 miles. At that point she settled into traveling and was quiet for the rest of the trip. Miss Parker has Terry wrapped around her paw but they are both very happy with this arrangement.
A few days of hiding when any scary noises were made and lots of love and patience marked Parker’s early experiences in her new home. The regular meals made this formerly starving kitty very happy but she was not shy about setting her breakfast time for 5:00 a.m., with some loud announcements that it was time to eat. She even snagged a chicken sandwich which was just too tasty to resist, but that misdemeanor was taken with good humor by her human family. Parker also enjoys a little ice cream in the evening but doesn’t overdo it so she can keep her lithe kitty figure. Terry says that Parker is truly a blessing and will have her home with him forever.
Peanut and his doggy pal, Augi, found themselves homeless in 2010 when their owner died. No one in the family was able to keep the boys so they contacted KAR for help. Both dogs were brought into a foster home and were adopted within a few weeks. Augi found his new home with a retired lady. Peanut found his forever home with a cocker spaniel-loving couple and they send Peanut's foster mom periodic updates about how their little guy is doing.
"Peanut is doing fantastic! He is the goofiest cocker I have ever had," says his mom, Dianne. "If he sits and stares at you that either means he has to go outside or it's time to eat. He owns the bed at night too. He not only gets into bed with us, he has to have his head on one of our pillows. If either my husband or I roll over, he gets up and lays back-to-back with one of us. And SNORE, it's like having a second husband in bed with you. LOL
Peanut's favorite pass times are sleeping and playing fetch. He loves to curl up on the sofa for a snooze. When he is awake he will climb onto the back of the couch (like a cat) and lay there to watch the people and cars go by. The other morning when my husband got home from work, Peanut met him at the door with the ball and dropped it, hoping for a game of fetch. He also likes playing and running around with our grandson. Each day around three o'clock, Peanut wants to go outside to meet Zach's school bus and greet him when he gets home. He is such a joy to have and we appreciate the great rescue work you do."
Pepper was a two-time visitor to our rescue; our volunteers were glad to see her and to help her find a forever home for good. Her first family took her home in 2005, just six months after she was born, and even then we could see she was sweet and welcoming, once she was comfortable. Pepper is a tabby with soft white, black and brown fur. She likes being the center of attention—if there's a lap to lay on, she'll be there! She loves having her tummy rubbed too.
Pepper was with her first family for eight years. Their circumstances changed and she came back to KAR in December 2013. She wasn't here for long, just three months before she found a new place to call home. It was a big adjustment for Pepper, after spending so long in the first home, but her new adopter confirms, "Things are going very well."
Petey the poodle has a new lease on life and a new set of wheels to help him get around! He is a senior dog that was adopted from KAR in February 2014. According to his loving adopters, he has been growing weaker due to his age (over 12 years old) and was becoming unstable on his legs that he would fall. So, they ordered a top of the line wheelchair from Eddie's Wheels. They hope the wheels give him more confidence and fun in life, and they can't wait to 'Mad Max' him for Halloween!
Check out past stories on Petey, including an update on him and his buddy Billy, and a special Animal Spotlight.
R.I.P. ~ Petey Rettig-Tobochnik, 2002 - December 18, 2015
Yesterday we had to euthanize our beloved Petey--a.k.a., Pete the Sweet, Peteypie, and Petes. He had a colorful life with much pain but also much love, and he cheated death several times. His early life is a mystery, but in 2013 he was found severely injured on the streets of Kalamazoo after having been hit by a car. Although he normally would have been euthanized, the Animal Control Officer was so impressed by his sweet nature even under extreme duress that she got the folks at Kalamazoo Animal Rescue involved. He was fostered by the wonderful Dusty Reeds, a true general in James Herriot's Army of Compassion,* who has fostered dozens of dogs and cats. And we adopted him in spring of 2014.
During his nearly two years with us, Petey weathered multiple ailments, two difficult surgeries, and a neuro condition that eventually immobilized him, all with incredible grace, humor, and sweetness. He loved his food--a lot--and two days before the end, could still use his outstanding foghorn bark to defend it against the predations of his opportunistic brother Billy (a.k.a., Chucklehead). But most of all Petey loved human contact, and he loved love. He was a great snuggler, a great soul, and an overall outstanding representative of the canine tribe. He will be missed.
~ Hillary Rettig and Jan Tobochnik
* "I had often thought when I encountered cruelty and neglect that there was a whole army of people who did these unspeakable things, a great, unheeding horde who never spared a thought for the feelings of the helpless creatures who depended on them. It was frightening in a way, but thank heavens there was another army ranged on the other side, an army who fought for the animals with everything they had – with their energy, their time, their money." ~ James Herriot
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.
Phineas, Ferb, and Perry
Kittens born in the wild to a feral mother will never make good pets, or so most people believe. The rescue story of brothers Phineas (left), Ferb (middle), and Perry (right photo) proves how wrong that can be. These three Maine Coon mix brothers were discovered by volunteer Sue M. in her yard when they were about eight-weeks old. Sue was determined to give these beautiful kittens a better life than they could expect as feral cats, so she live-trapped them and brought them to KAR to be fostered and acclimated to humans. Phineas and Ferb were assessed as being capable of socialization but Perry was initially classified as TNR (Trap/ Neuter/Release) and was given a tipped ear to show his semi-wild status. All three went to live with foster volunteer Dianna and her cat Greta, who became their foster sister.
Dianna was won over when she met the kittens and found herself in love with Perry, who fell asleep in her arms when she held him. Dianna vowed that Perry would become the loving pet she knew he could be and not an outdoor cat living wild. The first few weeks with these wild-born babies were an adventure as they showed their very unique personalities. Ferb was the friendliest of the kittens and was soon begging for attention. Dianna noticed that he had a special black spot on his white belly that marked just the right place for the belly rubs the little guy adored. Perry was the most independent of the three but was willing to accept human attention as long as it was on his terms. He is absolutely beautiful with his long black and white fur coat and plumy tail but definitely is his own kitty. His tipped ear shows the wild-at-heart personality that nearly won him a trip back to the outdoors.
Click here to read the rest of this purr-fectly wonderful happy tail.
I was a frightened, lumpy dog. Who would ever want me? I’d been thrown away. Then I see a truck alongside the road. It stopped. A door opened. I jumped in. The Animal Services Officer smiled when he saw that I am exceptional with cuddling. My second chance at life began!
The kind folks at Animal Services knew a lumpy doggie wouldn’t be adopted out easily. Fortunately for me, KAR has a great relationship with them. So the shelter contacted the rescue and I landed in the lap of a great foster mom who helped me to get some of my cancerous tumors removed. The ones that remain grow slow, and I still have lots of energy for a 13-year old. I’m not finished with this world yet.
Then, an incredible family came all the way from Chicago to visit me. They were taken with me, proceeded to adopt me, and I went home with them. Now I have the life every dog dreams of: a back yard to share with my canine brother and sister, coats in the winter to protect me from the snow, people at the park who like to scratch my butt, and snuggling each morning and evening with my mom.
People are my favorite! They have been so good to me these last couple of years. The only thing I don’t like is when mom goes to work. However, I am the last dog she touches before she leaves. I run out onto the balcony so she can pet me through the slats as she walks to the car. When she’s finally ready to leave for work, we give each other a head butt. Then, I start my job of monitoring the activities of my doggie brother and sister. Mom says my job is to keep them in line, and a dog’s job is never done. This doggie thanks KAR for believing in me!
Polly came into the rescue in May of 2015, and it took nearly a year before she was adopted into her forever and loving home. Polly was healthy, had a beautiful biography on the rescue’s website, and was still young. Perhaps the wait in a good foster home was meant to be, because she’s thoroughly cared for now in her forever home.
This Chihuahua is living the dream with her mom, Donna. They go on walks together, play hide-and-seek with her toys (and her mom’s slippers), and Polly has her very own bed with her very own blanket. She’s very patient, as she prefers to wait for invitations to sit on her mom’s lap and cuddle in bed. Polly is a wise lady who knows to stay off of the furniture unless invited, and she gladly wears her seat belt in the car.
Donna is wise too and provides Polly with obedience training. This will only help to nurture their relationship as they spend years together. Polly will be celebrating her third birthday this month knowing that she has a safe and secure future beside her mom. Check out our other patient foster pets if you would like to help a rescued cat or dog to celebrate their next birthday in the best possible place – your home.
Polly came to KAR about three and a half years ago and was adopted by a woman who later started having health issues and had to give Polly back as she was moving in with her daughter. Dusty, the foster volunteer who took Polly in when she was returned to KAR, knew it was difficult to give up such a sweet and loving dog but assured the owner that the rescue would find a good home for Polly – and oh how that came true! Polly had started having eye problems, although one could hardly notice them because she navigated around so well. Fortunately, Polly was adopted in September by a loving woman. Unfortunately, by this time Polly had lost her vision to cataracts. The adopter decided to pay a visit to Dr. Ramsey of the Animal Ophthalmology Center in Williamston. Dr. Ramsey had treated the adopter’s other dog, a German Shepherd named Sheba who passed away this summer.
Dr. Ramsey told the adopter that Polly is a good candidate for surgery to restore her vision, and so Polly is scheduled to have her surgery on December 6th! The adopter, Genis Bucher, says she thanks God for the ability to help this very special girl, Polly, who has won her heart.
Genis would like to remember her two beloved pets who passed this year, Sheba and Tiffany – her sweet girls whom she misses very much. Polly and Genis ask us to keep Polly in our prayers.
Rella and Peanut
These are some pictures of Rella and Peanut (a.k.a Reba) that I adopted from KAR last June. Rella is the mom cat and Peanut is one of her kittens. Peanut is all grown up now and looks just like her daddy and "Naughty" Rella has lived up to her name. She is such a stinker :-) They both make me smile everyday!
Rusty was a young dog with boundless energy and a heart full of love to share. With all of this canine goodwill and the best intentions, poor Rusty was just not appreciated. Instead of living up to his mission to be someone’s best buddy, he found himself in KAR foster care with Dusty when his family relinquished him. Rusty’s name was “Cutter” when he came into the rescue, but Dusty saw his potential to be a best friend to some lucky new family and renamed him “Buddy”.
Dusty took good care of Buddy while he waited for his forever home. When he was adopted, his new family named him “Rusty” and the young dog landed in doggy heaven. He has another dog to play with, cats to bark at (the cats don’t seem to mind), and best of all there are three lively kids to share his adventures. Showered with love and giving his whole heart in return, Rusty is one happy and fulfilled pup!
Dogs like Rusty wouldn’t get a second chance if not for dedicated foster parents like Dusty. Rusty’s new mom, shared a poem expressing the joy and sorrow shared by all pet foster parents.
Rusty is a lovely pale orange boy who became a KAR rescue kitty when his owner developed a severe and debilitating allergy and reluctantly surrendered this beloved feline to find a new home. The sweet and personable little guy was obviously loved when he came into the KAR office Kitty Kamp accompanied by a special blanket, toys, a food dish, and other items that are given to a cherished pet by a loving owner. Unfortunately, poor Rusty also had a food sensitivity that had to be addressed with a special diet and he suffered from some health issues until he was provided with the correct special food while he was in KAR care. Happily, Rusty’s gastrointestinal problems were addressed and he was able to recover his health and show off his “catitude”.
Once Rusty’s health was on the mend, he became a great favorite of all his KAR caregivers. He would happily greet each person who attended his needs. My Friday morning cat care time was brightened by Rusty’s cheerful chirps of greeting and enthusiastic appetite for his special food. Once feeding was taken care of, Rusty begged for attention and did his “pattycake” routine, kneading the arm or leg of the person stroking his soft fur. Such a perfectly sweet gentleman cat was sure to find a loving home and he soon did.
Click here to read the rest of Rusty's happy tail.
Rusty Chillin' In His New Home
Rusty came into KAR earlier this year. He was found alongside the road where sadly, a sibling had already been hit and killed by a car. The young fellow stayed in a foster home for several months until being adopted in March. The daughter of Rusty's new family sent us an update to let us know how he is doing in his forever home.
"Rusty is a spoiled little boy that is loved very much by my parents. He is my dad's best friend even though he wasn't thrilled with the fact that Rusty had a stub tail, possibly the result of an accident that happened at birth. But that doesn't matter any longer. Dad likes to play poker and Rusty likes to sit in his lap while he plays. My mom also loves it when Rusty sits with her in a chair while she knits.
Tiana, a cat that I adopted from KAR in October 2011, is quite fond of the little guy and just adores him! She isn't too thrilled when he 'steals' her toys but she's learning to share. Tiana and Rusty play all of the time and are usually in the same room together. At night, it's hard to get her to stay in bed because she's too interested in playing with Rusty.
Rusty is a special little guy. We are thrilled to have him in our home and love him very much. And, he seems very happy to be here. Thank you KAR for taking him in, placing him into a foster home, and keeping him safe. We admire you and all your volunteers for the help you provide to animals like Rusty!"
This last year was really rough. I think I was nice, but since I nearly lost my life and didn’t feel like myself, I’m not sure if maybe I might have been naughty.
Still, I guess I must have been nice, because I ended up at Animal Services and then with Dusty from Kalamazoo Animal Rescue. She took me to Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic, where they kept me for eight days until I began to recover from pneumonia and act like a dog again. Knowing that Dusty is a KAR volunteer and that the rescue has limited funds, the vet clinic provided their services at a great discount. Once I made it back to Dusty, she was amazed that I was so perky and playful. They tell me that I was so bad off at the shelter that I appeared to be seven or eight years old, but the vet discovered that I am only one or two.
While I was so sick, I wished for these things:
- A fur-ever home where I can stay and not have to hunt for shelter.
- A couple of regular meals each day, and maybe snacks sometimes.
- Another dog or two that I can play with and learn from.
- A human who likes to play with me and let me dance.
- A bed to sleep in. It doesn’t have to be a human bed, but a warm bed where I am safe and loved while I sleep.
- A window seat to nap in and watch the people walking by.
- Someone to take me to the vet if I feel bad again.
- Someone who will forgive me if I have an accident while learning the ropes.
- Someone to give me snuggles, hugs and kisses.
- A family to call my own.
For Christmas, maybe you could just bring mom Julia, sisters Annabelle and Sandie, Dusty, KAR, and that nice vet something so they know how much I appreciate them for saving my life. I have everything I could ever want!
Sarah was a stray that found her way into KAR last September. Her foster mom remembers her being so shy and afraid of the other two foster cats in her home, that she would hide behind the sofa. Fortunately for Sarah, an adopter came along who saw her good qualities and took a chance on this sweet little lady.
Her family has kept in touch and they recently let us know that Sarah is doing great! According to her new mom, "The first night, Sarah came out of her room and let us know she was queen bee. There was some hissing from Fox (our other cat) but neither made any aggressive moves towards the other. We only let Sarah out for a half hour at a time so they could begin to get acquainted. Over the next couple of days, she didn't have much interest in coming out. Then, we left the door open while we were at home and no fights ensued. They touched noses and that was a very happy moment.
Sarah has a good appetite and eats everything on her plate. She's been bird watching with Fox in the mornings, and she likes to play with his toys. They now chase each other around the apartment. It's adorable. We've decided to call her 'Rai' which is short for Sarai, the biblical version of Sarah. We had some other ideas (she looks like a Lynx when she stalks) but nothing fit. Since she was already a Sarah, it just made sense.
I can't thank you enough for what you do, and for giving us another fur baby. Rai is a sweet baby and a welcome addition to our home. You're an angel on Earth for what you do.
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!"
Sasha Gets a New Home for the Holidays
Sasha went to her forever home a few days before Christmas. Her dreams for a new mom and dad came true. And, the extra bonus was two doggy pals, Bansky and Pearl. Her family sent some updates about her first few days in their home.
Sasha, now called Sagan, explored her new home with enthusiasm and confidence, which we were really impressed with. We hoped she would be the right companion for Bansky, who is young and spirited. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for because these two are already boon companions! The world and our home is their playground. Pearl was a little slower to accept change, just as we thought she would. However, Sagan has been very respectful of her.
We have a set routine at dinner time. Our dogs eat at the same time, in the same room, and are respectful towards each other's space. It went great! Sagan seems to be a smart and adaptable dog. She has, after a bit of training, gotten used to the doggy door. As I write this, Bansky and Sagan are sharing a dog bed while they each enjoy their evening rawhide. Also during the evening, all five of us were very calm and cozy on the couch.
Here is a doggy family portrait with Sagan on the chair. So darn cute! It took both of us to get the shot, one armed with camera, the other with treats and a bit of good behavior from the dogs. We took Sagan and Banksy on a 2-1/2 mile walk and she is currently sawing logs on the couch. I truly understand how the heart gets wrapped up in these animals.
We're having lots of fun and I believe our boy, Sidney, is finally coming around to letting me know when he has to go out. Every once in awhile he still goofs, but his incredible sweetness and love makes up for that.
The first photo is of Sid sitting on the love seat and talking to me about the picture I was taking of him and the second one is of my mother loving on Sid. She's crazy about him and keeps on hinting about keeping him. He's such a smoothie with all his kisses, staring into our eyes, cocking his little head when you speak with him...we just love him!!!
Last fall Simba, an orange tabby, was abandoned at the front porch of one of our foster homes. He was about nine or ten months old at the time. Simba was playful, affectionate and handsome which helped him get adopted quickly. His family sent us an update on how this lucky little fella is doing.
"I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much we are enjoying Simba. He is extremely playful and also has some cuddly moments. I am so delighted that we chose him as a playmate for our other kitty. She still hisses at him occasionally, but I think she is really starting to enjoy the banter with him. The photo is the two of them hanging out together in the window."
Skye and our other dog, Zildjian, went on their first night time walk. She is even more wonderful, kind, awesome, sweet, brilliantly smart, sensitive, observant and just utterly amazing than we could have even hoped for! We are in love with her.
The dogs played and got along great, and rested together in between "get to know one another" bouts of romping.
Skye is a little shadow and it is so precious. She follows me everywhere, but at the same time is very interested in everyone else. She is a doll and we couldn't have found a better girl! Just know she is going to be SO LOVED! I think she already can feel it. Thank you for everything.
Sonny & Abby Find a Home Together
Sonny came into the rescue last April from Animal Services. Dusty, his foster mom, couldn't bear the thought of this sweet dog being put down because his time was nearly up. At the end of July, she also took in another homeless canine, Abby.
Meanwhile, Shelly returned to Kalamazoo in early 2011 after spending three years working abroad. She missed having dogs so she contacted Dusty whom she had been acquainted with in the past, and who had several wonderful canines available for adoption. Here is how two little dogs found a very special FURever home.
"I went for 'just a visit' one Saturday afternoon. I immediately fell in love with both Sonny and Abby. It was a hard decision; I had no intentions of coming home with two dogs but I am so happy that I did! Abby is absolutely precious and has been from the very beginning. I can't sit down anywhere without her wanting to be on my lap. I had a few issues with Sonny at first because I think he may have had a difficult time with his previous owners, but he is doing fine now. My only problem with Sonny is that as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning, he is licking my face while I want to hit 'snooze' and go back to sleep. I think it's a great testament to how a loving home with care and patience can bring out a dog's true personality.
Both dogs go to doggy day care every Monday, Wednesday and Friday where I’ve been told 'they are a hoot.' And they often come to the office with me where they get ridiculously spoiled by my coworkers. I want to give a special thank you to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue and to Dusty for helping me to find two new companions that I love to pieces."
Spunky is a friendly, older dog. He was adopted in May 2014 and his new family says he still loves to eat and investigate his surroundings. The old fella has a little trouble finding his way around the yard--at least until he sees a person. Then, he'll run right up and follow them back into the house. His family catches a glimpse of the “spunky” now and then, “He gets excited at food time and tries to do a sideways prance thing. All in all for a nearly 16-year old, one-eyed dog, he is doing awesome.”
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"
In November 2010, one of our cat foster volunteers was at work when she got a call about a litter of "semi-feral" kittens. The Good Samaritan that came across them didn't think that they were old enough to eat on their own. The three kittens were brought to our volunteer in a box--hissing and spitting because they were frightened. Over the weekend our cat foster mom had a chance to work with the kittens and discovered they were far from being semi-feral--they were in fact very playful and happy little kitties!
All three kittens were adopted. Recently, the mom of Stephan' sent us an update about how her adorable orange and white tabby is doing.
Stephan' is so named as "he became a lovable prince and charmer of a Frenchman, says Betty, his adopter. She adds, "Stephan' has grown into a cuddly, beautiful, and friendly big guy. Guests who enter our home are immediately greeted with 'hello-welcome to our home, and you may pet me if you like.'
Since I am now a widow, the joy of having Stephan' with me has filled my days with active playtime and gentleness. The magic of a loving pet has no measure. Thank you for your continuing care and fostering of animals. The good you do is beyond your knowledge because little is probably responded back to you. So, just know, this little/big guy is one of your huge success stories."
Remember Sully? We saved him and his friend Lucy from the sub-zero conditions we had this past winter. Sully, a Labrador retriever-hound mix, had been in more than five different homes before coming into KAR. His last family had to move and could not him keep any longer, though they kept him outside most of the time. Our volunteers got the call and sprang into action.
Though we were glad to have Sully with us, he tested positive on intake for heartworm disease, and was going to have to endure months of treatment before finding his forever home. Sully had an amazing foster family who showered him with the love and affection he deserved, and showed him what it was to really live a “dog's life.” Their own two dogs accepted him into their pack, and he was able to not only recover but also blossom into the most amazingly wonderful dog any family could wish for.
A family, who were neighbors of Sully’s foster family, saw his amazingly gentle and playful demeanor and how much he loved children. They had two small dogs they previously adopted from KAR and decided that Sully was going to be their next fur baby! He now lives in a gorgeous subdivision in Mattawan. He will never be homeless or in need again. Sully's been nicknamed “labra-hound” since he definitely has the pointing and retrieving characteristics of a Labrador, but his bark sounds more like a hound.
He is pictured above with ten-year-old Ethan--they're already great friends. Sully has it made! Without your donations and our wonderful foster families we could not have saved this worthy dog. Thank you!
Molly was a beloved pet whose owner passed away last fall. The grandson loved this little dog very much but it was not possible for his family to keep her so they turned to KAR for help. Fortunately for Molly, we don't stop at finding homes for animals who may be past their prime. Sweet Molly was a senior dog that found a new loving family earlier this year. They sent us an update to let us know how she is doing.
"Molly has happily settled in with us in Northern Michigan. She’s now part of a dog-loving family that includes my husband, me, our 23-year-old daughter and two toy poodles, Rocky and Rosie. Rosie is 13 and we've had her since she was a puppy. Rocky is seven and he's been with us about a year. He was the first rescue dog we adopted. Molly gets along fine with both dogs.
Molly is in good hands and is getting lots of love and attention. She is a dear, sweet, little, old girl. She hobbles around the house, takes lots of naps, and LOVES to get treats. She's a really good beggar at the dinner table. We take Molly for lots of short walks to get exercise which is good for her joints. On occassion, we bring her to work and when we travel to Grand Rapids to visit family or friends, all three pets come along. We have a lot of beaches nearby so she will have a good time waddling around on the sand this summer.
Molly turned 15 in June and, for however long she is around, we will take good care of her. Know that Molly is loved and cared for."
'Sydney...Now named...Shadow is doing GREAT! She has a wonderful, loving and fun personality! She is a perfect match for our family!' ~ Tamara
Sweet little Tessa's rescue journey began last summer at the local animal shelter, then onto a KAR foster home for a month, and finally to a new forever home and happy life in sunny Naples, Florida. In honor of Tessa's one year adoption anniversary, her mom sent an update to let us know how she is doing.
"Tessa is such a joy and I wanted to send a few pics of her and her life here in Naples. She has adapted to Florida life very well. She loves to chase the geckos on our screened-in lanai and is fascinated by the pelicans when we are out boating. She especially likes being outside and going for walks so we take her everywhere we can.
I joined the Naples Botanical Garden because they are dog friendly three mornings a week. We found a wonderful resort in the Florida Keys where dogs can be off leash. Tessa couldn't believe the good forture to be able to run free! She is very obedient and never wanders away.
Tessa has finished her Canine Good Citizen training and is almost ready to take the test to become a therapy dog. We want to start visiting nursing homes and rehab centers with her.
We adore Tessa and are so thankful to have her. Thank you for trusting us with her. We can't imagine our lives without her!"
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.”
Trigger is a fun-loving, five-year-old feline who loves hanging out, playing with other cats, and running all over the house having a good ol' time. He found his forever home in June 2014, and knew right away that it was the place for him. Trigger settled in quickly and took to his humans companions right away--licking his new dad's nose within hours of his arrival.
Trigger is a domestic long haired orange cat with a very friendly attitude, and a little bit of a "motor mouth" according to his adopter, "He's always purring." He also enjoys gazing out on the lake behind his home, watching the birds and the beautiful summer weather.
Check out KAR's tips on how to successfully introduce a resident cat to a new cat. In the first photo, Trigger is on the ground, playing with one of his housemates.
Vito came into the rescue last April after spending some time at Animal Services. His new family keeps in contact with Vito's foster mom, Kim, and this is how he is doing in his forever home:
"Vito is thriving and having so much fun! He has two kids and a baby sister (Boston Terrier) to play with. Not only that, but Vito has about two acres to “hunt” in, climb trees, dig holes, and chase squirrels to his heart's content. At the end of the day, he snuggles into bed with us and snores the night away.
We absolutely adore Vito and can’t imagine life without him. We were heartbroken when our 14-year-old Jack Russell passed away and fearful that another dog could not fill the void Earl had left, but Vito has filled that gap and then some. He is a tremendous blessing and we are so grateful to have adopted him!"
By Emily Pizza
Whitney, a little white Chihuahua puppy, was shocked when the only person he had known his whole life dropped him off in an unknown place filled with lots of loud dogs. Scared and lonely, this little pup found himself in the care of the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, where he waited for his forever home.
Little did he know, that an hour and a half away, his forever family was looking for him too. After the passing of their own beloved Chihuahua, Kiersten and her partner were searching Petfinder™ for their next companion. After months of no luck, the two turned to KAR, where they saw a photo of Whitney and “it was love at first sight.”
As soon as Whitney’s paws hit the ground in his new home, he pranced around in the grass with a grin on his face. Kiersten said that it seemed like it was the first time he had ever been running around in a yard. Although she was concerned with how he would adjust to their other dog, Oliver, the two bonded so quickly the worry was erased in seconds.
Now, Whitney responds to Poncho, and his nickname of short stack. When he wants attention from his owners, he snorts at them to pick him up, and he loves to snuggle up with his family. His yard is still one of his favorite places, and he spends most of it running around with his best friend, Oliver, and chasing all the birds that fly by.
The little Chihuahua did not start off on the best paw, but now he’s living the high life, making his parents smile every day, and he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.