Co-owner, REV Cycle Studio
When Eva was dropped off at BARCS at the age of 7 months, she was malnourished and needed tons of love. My friend Lisa decided to foster the pup—and, at the same time, there was this adorable cat who had become very attached to her in the shelter and “demanded” to come along. One day, Lisa posted a Facebook pic of Eva and Petunia curled up together in a ball on the couch—and, for me, that was it. Love at first sight! My husband and I immediately put in our application to adopt them both, and they’re the best thing that’s ever happened in our lives.
Spike was seized with over 100 other birds in an SPCA raid in 2000. My son initially named him Pickles, but after we got to know his personality, we realized that he is really more of a Spike. He doesn’t talk in words, but is very vocal. His specialty: imitating every ring tone on my wife Lani’s phone. Most disturbing: the smoke alarm. He loves to harass Nyima, a Tibetan mastiff, who is by far the gentler of the two and also a rescue. He was born in a Buddhist monastery, but was too small to sell.
When the stray cat we rescued started getting fat, we guessed it wasn’t just from my family’s home cooking. A few weeks later, she gave birth in a walk-in closet in my mom’s bedroom. The “surprise” kittens were an incredible amount of work, but my friends and I took care of them (with a little help from grown-ups) almost around the clock. After they were weaned, we gave the three kittens to good homes, but Jeju [seen above] stayed with us—and became fast friends with Peeps, our fluffy yellow rescue from a shelter. My Korean grandmother says if an animal wanders into our lives it’s the spirit of a deceased ancestor, and we should take care of it. It will give us good fortune.
Right now I’ve got more than 30 turtles living on my property, but definitely my favorite was my first—Testudo, named after the mascot of the University of Maryland. In the Outer Banks, I saw something drop from the mouth of a seagull and it was a baby box turtle! I probably should have named him Lucky! Turtles definitely are not the warm and fuzzy type of pet, more of a renegade pet. It’s like having a dinosaur. They are ancient and calm. And they all have a smile.
Getting Ripley was a leap of faith. The only thing I knew about him was his age, 7, and that the next stop after the auction was the dog food factory. Initially, the plan was to buy him, train him and resell him—mostly just to get him out of that terrible place. He was a challenge for sure, one of the most difficult horses I’ve ever ridden, completely feral, under-muscled with a strange build. But he’s also one of the most athletic. He’s a freak of nature. I’m so glad I stuck with it and decided to keep him.
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
I knew that Bane was the one for me the first time I saw him. He came running out of the Humane Society’s door shaking his whole body and peeing in every direction, then plopped down at my feet and rolled over for me to rub his chest. I named him Bane after the villain in the Batman movie; they have a similar hairdo, but his temperament is just the opposite. I’m glad I chose a rescue instead of just going to a breeder. Everyone deserves someone to love them. Dogs and people alike, we all just want to be cared for.
Read dog-lover Shannon Dunn’s “Rescue Me” essay.