Scottsdale Finalist #1 )
I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Smokey comforts me, and makes me smile. He distracts me from what is going on, and looks at me with his big brown eyes, which say that it will be ok. I didn’t learn to read until High School. He inspired me to write a book about how I rescued him, but really, he rescued me. Smokey inspires me to be a more confident person. Rescuing him was the best thing I ever did. In fact, we denote all the profits from his book, The Adventures of Smokey, to Foothills Animal Rescue, so other people can be aware of how a rescue animal can change your life.
Scottsdale Finalist #2 )
The sweet pups in the picture are Daisy (white) and Scrappy (brown). We began to notice the many differences in a senior dog and a much younger dog as Daisy was only 2 and we had a 15 year old Chihuahua when we adopted her, and decided to get her a friend to play with. Also, our son was getting older, and really wanted the responsibility of a dog himself. He stated he had always wanted a “wiener” dog, so we began to look for doxies! When we came across Scrappy’s picture on Petfinder, we loved his cute under bite and the fact that he seemed to love to wear hats (He no longer cares for a hat, but is known to wear a jaunty sweater as the weather cools)! When his bio also stated that he loved kids, we were sold. Ro Perez (Saving Orphan Souls Founder) was on vacation at the time, but reached out to her foster to see if she would do the meet and greet with us. Scrappy immediately got in our sons lap and curled up, we knew then that we could not leave the store without him! We gladly paid his adoption fee and purchased a new collar and leash for him. Scrappy wasn’t as friendly as Daisy, but the two became fast friends, and are now a bonded pair. The give kisses to each other all the time and Daisy even grooms Scrappy.
As far as the family goes, Scrappy had a lot of fear of men that we needed to work through, but my husband was patient, and continued to work with him until Scrappy got comfortable. Now I can truly say that Scrappy may even love my husband more than any of the other members of the household. We think there was some abuse by an adult male in his past, as he is still fearful of males he doesn’t know, but at home he is the sweetest most loving pup we could ever ask for. We have had him almost 2 years and we couldn’t imagine our lives without him.
Our little Dog Hero, Scrappy, brings us constant joy with his sweet little face and crazy hair. We now know our little family is complete. Scrappy is truly one of the sweetest, rascally, pups around. He has helped my son to become more responsible, my husband to be more patient, and helped me to find a love for rescue and being of service to animals. He truly has been a little rescue hero. Without Saving Orphan Souls, dogs like Scrappy, who are fearful or have dental issues or medical issues, would not get the chance that they deserve to find their forever homes. Rescue is such an amazing way for animals to get the care they need, and find the families that will provide them with the love and homes that they deserve.
Nominated Rescue Organization : Saving Orphan Souls Rescue
Scottsdale Finalist #3 )
Diabetes. Multiple Sclerosis. Crohn’s Disease. Common Variable Immunodeficiency. And a brain aneurism. A son recently diagnosed with autism. Was there any reason to keep going? Turns out, yes.
As part of my therapies over the years, my husband and I agreed to foster dogs; so much so that over the past 7 years, we have fostered 45 dogs for various animal rescues, both in New Jersey and Arizona. My newest dog, Chewie, was not a foster dog. Rather, he was a dog that pulled me up. He lifted me out of a depression so deep, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to breathe again. He’s a 5-year-old shih-tzu mix rescued from Foothills Animal Rescue in Scottsdale, AZ. A volunteer there told me about him and said he would be perfect for me. After all, I had lost 3 of my own dogs to old age within the last 6 months. One of which I had only had for 3 months, adopted at age 10. Chewie was a “puppy” to me at the age of 5.
Chewie has shown me that it is ok to cry, but to start the next day happy and ready to go. He has been my savior when the world felt like it was caving in. His non-stop tail wagging and affection have awoken my spirits; he is telling me there is a reason to live. Chewie is a reminder of all that is good in the world and all the world has to offer. Chewie is my miracle.
Scottsdale Finalist #4)
Jake is my lifesaver.
I know I rescued him from the euth list, but I didn’t know how many times he would save me. Jake was listed as animal aggressive because neighbors in a community known for many strays saw a white dog kill a cat. ‘White Boy’ was put in an isolation building and his cage card said animal aggressive. I was a volunteer at the shelter and also with a rescue. I sometimes went to the building to assess dogs there and I saw a dog quiet happily wagging his tail, so I asked to visit him. He was perfect. Great on a leash, goofy and playful, happy and trying to give kisses.
I continued to visit and asked for a new evaluation. He got moved to a medical kennel where at least the public could see him. He had a lot of medical issues including being HW+. We also needed to see how he really was with dogs. The officers did a trial run; he did great. Now we needed a foster. Who else could it be? He was off to the vet to get treated while I got my own pack ready for a new friend.
Around this time I got a very bad head injury which caused severe migraines, seizures, and other complications. I wasn’t sure I could take on another dog, but White Boy, who became Jake, was anything but a challenge. Of course once he was better EVERYONE wanted to adopt Jake. But something happened.
Staying home hurting all the time takes a lot of energy. Jake was the one comforting me during nauseating migraines. When I passed out in the shower, it Jake who alerted my boyfriend. One day, I must have collapsed and had a seizure. When I woke up in the hospital my boyfriend told me Jake barked like crazy, and ran up to some ladies who came across me and got help. We knew Jake wasn’t going anywhere.
The shelter and rescue were so wonderful about helping everything come together. They had some service dog prospects, but how could I look at any other dog but the dog who had already rescued me so many times, Jake Peralta (Brooklyn 99)? He saved me from drowning, he Lassied for help, he comforted me during my darkest times. He got official training and has been with me for almost 3 years now. Sometimes I think it’s too much for him and he should just get to be a normal playful dog, but he never lets me down, and never leaves my side. We have been through so much together and I really believe, out of anyone else who could have been looking at dogs that day, it was supposed to be me. Jake knew I would need him. He now lives happily with his 4 dog and 2 CAT siblings.
Scottsdale Finalist #5)
I rescued Sophie from Arizona Beagle Rescue in the summer of 2012. Sophie was about a year old and was turned into the pound for being “too much work” for the owner. I adopted Sophie, and loved taking her on adventures across town and in other states. Through our adventures, I always noticed Sophie wanted to cuddle with everyone and had the sweetest demeanor. We tested her to be a therapy dog in 2017 and she passed with flying colors! Sophie now works as a therapy dog at Skyharbor International Airport through their Navigator Buddies program, Gabriel’s Angels to work with at-risk youth, and Arizona State University. Sophie shares her love of life with everyone. She’s very gentle and patient with children of all ages. I’ll always be proud of Sophie for being the rescue that was “too much work” to a loved therapy dog, and an even better companion to our family.