There are plenty of people willing to take in a cute, adoptable puppy or kitten, but there are plenty of animals who have fallen through the cracks due to unlucky circumstances. Some of these pets have suffered abuse and abandonment. Others struggle with advanced age, failing health or difficulties in households with more than one pet. They are "special needs" animals who have hearts of gold. All they need is the right home in which to flourish. These are the stories of some who have found sanctuary in the homes of Furry Friends Rescue foster home volunteers, and how they have changed the lives of those who have come to know them. They all have new happy beginnings where they are loved and cherished for who they are: family members to the end.
To those angel volunteers who have opened their homes and hearts to these animals: a big hug and a heartfelt thank you! If you are interested to be a angel Sanctuary Home, please fill out our application: Dog Application | Cat Application
Furry Friends Rescue's first sanctuary dog, Rags, spent her long life as an ambassador and companion dog. This gentle Catahoula mix worked as a facility dog in the San Mateo Convalescent Hospital until she herself became too old to stand or manage stairs. She was taken into a foster home where she stayed until she reached the point where she required constant medical care. She then took up the position of facility dog at the All About Pets Veterinary Hospital until she passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 18.
Sundae, a Doberman mix, found life to be an almost constant struggle. The five-week-old was rescued off the street shortly after someone had tried to gouge her eyes out, and she received surgery just in time to save her sight. The family who had found her took her home, but found they couldn't keep her after she grew too large for the household. Instead, she returned to the All About Pets Veterinary Hospital. When she was six months old, Geoff and Kathy Louie took her into their home, where she blossomed, but was faced with many challenges. Life in a kennel made housebreaking an issue, but the family solved this problem by installing a patio dog door that she quickly learned to use. Sundae also suffered from severe epileptic seizures which sometimes caused her to become disoriented. She required regular doses of medicine twice a day. Kathy fought hard to keep the seizures under control, and her careful documentation led her to realize that Sundae's seizures occurred at certain phases of the month. For a while, they were able to counter the seizures with additional medication during those periods.
During her eight and a half month stay, Sundae was happy to be loved by a family who took the time to care for her. She not only had four children to play with; Buddy, their dog, played with her every day. Sadly, one of Sundae's seizures ultimately took her life. Afterward, Kathy's daughter mentioned to her friends and family that "Sundae has finally found a home: she had been adopted by the angels."
He may be smiling now, but in the beginning, this male shepherd had the cards stacked against him. After Stormy was rescued from the animal shelter, a veterinarian assessed his medical problems and a tendency to nip those who tried to pet his ears, and recommended he be put down. Dorothy Catelli, a foster "mom" experienced with shepherds, took him home instead. Under her care, Stormy transformed into a vivacious dog who loves being petted—ears and all.
This expressive face belongs to Cinnamon, who had been found discarded and covered in oil close to the Fremont Auto Mall. Her advanced age, warped hind leg, tumors and intolerance of other dogs made her a difficult animal to place for adoption, but she found a loving home with Lynn Ragghianti. Once she realized she had a permanent home, her personality changed drastically; she became much more energetic and demanding of attention. And very insistent at walk time. Cinnamon is great with kids, and is popular with all the neighborhood children. On her daily walks, she heads for the bus stop and waits for them to arrive so she can bask in their petting and praise. She considers herself the grand matriarch of the household and has a definite stubborn streak.
Nala, an 18-month-old female, posed a unique problem for her sanctuary parents, Cindy and Bob Young. Insecure and a determined "alpha dog," Nala would repeatedly attack the other dogs in the household until consultation with an experienced trainer and careful social management restored the peace. Nala is great with family.
Dice was adopted from Furry Friends Rescue in 2002. He was returned in 2007 due to an unfortunate and unforeseen situation with his family who loved him dearly. Dice is now a Furry Freinds Rescue Sanctuary Dog who will live out his life with his loving foster family. Any donations towards his care is always appreciated.
Darling Duke came to Furry Friend Rescue from the Oakland Shelter on Dec. 21, 2005. He was adopted in Jan. 2006, but was returned to FFR on 1/2010 due to young grand kids coming over for visits, and Duke was fearful of young kids. He also had a skin issue that required medication and care.
Duke was very friendly, sweet and loved his walks. Great with his dog buddy at home. He loved his toys and would pile them all up, then he would lay his head on his pile of toys. Just adorable! Unfortunately, while in foster care, Duke collapsed and was rushed to emergency. After tests by specialists, Duke had a herniated disc in his spine and a cancer tumor on his kidney. With TLC in his foster home, he was able to walk again. He was happy, spunky and very loved. He lived out his life in his sanctuary home till the end when his cancer spread. Duke quietly passed away to rainbow bridge with a home vet. We all miss him and will forever remember his sweet and loving personality.
Darling, sweet Docker came to us on May 5th, 2004 from the Tracy Shelter. Docker is perhaps one of the most remarkable & amazing dogs we have ever met. He is precious and loves everyone. Docker's spine however, never developed normally and as a result, he is has no control or feeling of when he goes potty or urinates. His foster family has to diaper him as you would an infant and Docker is fine with that. He is always happy and very loved at his sanctuary home. Docker continues to see our vets for various medical conditions and needs to insure he is comforable with his lower GI issues.
Maggie and her son, Calvin, were rescued from Hayward Shelter on August 20th, 2008. Both were badly neglected. Maggie was never groomed and extremely matted. But after her bath & make-over grooming, she is now beautiful. She is friendly with people she trusts, then gentle, adorable and a sweetheart. Leary of strangers. She did great at her two foster homes and was social, but months later, in a home, she became more fearful of strangers or new people who try to pet her head & learned to growl/nip to protect herself (insecure). She goes up to people for treats, but doesn't want to be petted unless she knows/trust the person. Good on leash and sits for treats. She needs a quiet adult home with routine and to bond to one adult person (kind leader/training experience) only. To protect Maggie, she is now a sanctuary dog with a FFR person whom she is bonded to. With person she bonds to, she is very cooperative, easy-going and well behaved.
Beautiful Persephone is well behaved in the home, good with people she knows and knows some basic commands. She grew up with her brother. But, now grown up, she is very fearful of strangers and new dogs at first, but will settle. She needs a quiet adult home with experience in handling her when meeting or seeing other dogs and new people and helping her learn it is positive. Since she is doing so well at her foster home, she is now a sanctuary dog so she won't have to go thru another change which is terrifying for her.
Lady was rescued on 6/30/13 from a Santa Clara shelter. She was horribly neglected and starved down to 39 lbs, then abandoned. She is a kind senior lady with grace, lovable and very friendly. She was very dirty & covered with feces. She now feels much better after a good bath. She has worn teeth and need dental. Lady also has bad skin infection all over her body and tail, arthritic hip (on pain meds & doing fine walking, but slow), and emaciated. Lady will get all her vet needs completed and live out her life with love & TLC at her angel sanctuary foster home. Need sponsorship help for all her vet care needs and continue care. Lady is a gentle sweetie.
Beautiful Austin (now)
Austin was severely neglected when we took him in from a city shelter when he was 9 years old. He suffered years of neglect, pain, no vet care, poor diet, and abuse before being dumped. Despite all his pain, he was sweet, friendly and charmed all our hearts. Poor Austin needed severe dental surgery (major infections & many extractions), had painful ear infections, hot spots/skin infections, skinny (starved) and weak/painful arthritic back legs joints. He also has low thyroid and iron, which requires daily medication and now he is fine.
Austin (before rescue)
With vet care, many tests, dental surgery, holistic healthy foods, supplements and lots of TLC, he has been healthy and very loved. He loves lounging on the sofa, enjoys easy walks and hanging out with his family (people & dogs). Thanks to his very dedicated and loving sanctuary foster home! Austin is cherished as a family member and enjoying his golden years.
Snowy was rescued from a Santa Clara County shelter. Snowy was severely neglected, matted to his skin and very sick. Once the vet shaved him down, they saw his infected large wound on his back with live maggots! The infection on his spine, most likely caused nerve damage to his urine and bowel controls. Snowy cannot feel his bathroom needs, so he has to wear a dog diaper.
Huge thanks to his great hero foster home, he is happy and very loved. Snowy is very sweet, gentle, and affectionate. He loves his daily walks/hikes and hanging out with his people and dog buddy.
Would you be willing to open your heart and your home as a sanctuary for special needs pets that otherwise might not find a home? Please contact Furry Friends rescue at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.