Pets who left their tough beginnings behind
Too many pets begin their life amid cruelty or danger. But many of them are saved and given good lives, thanks to caring and patient people.
Here's another in my occasional series of "happy endings" pet stories.
Buster was a kitten less than two weeks old when he and his two siblings were found and taken in by the SPCA.
A volunteer fosterer, Cathy, took Buster in. But she noticed that something wasn't right with this fluffy little black kitten. Vets discovered at desexing time that Buster had a grade 3 heart murmur – a condition that can indicate congenital heart disease.
Buster went back with his siblings for adoption but the heart condition left him deemed unadoptable. But Cathy, who knew him so well and knew that, otherwise, Buster would be put to sleep, offered to adopt him.
Cathy got Buster the treatment he needed – including thrice-daily meds. He needs careful looking after, but he's in the best place for that.
Bo was a beautiful Dalmatian. But his former home couldn't keep him contained, and he kept wandering, fathering many a puppy, and being picked up by the pound.
His rescuer was Kirstie. By the time she adopted him, Bo was neutered. "But it wasn't till we got him home that we realised the extent of his abuse," Kirstie says.
"He was scared of young men, of anyone holding anything like a pipe or gun, and he could escape from anything, pretty much jump everything."
But Bo's bad start in life was redeemed, and eventually all those fears left him. "He went on to have one very spoilt life," Kirstie says.
"After many years with us he left us in February this year and left a Dalmatian-shaped hole in our lives and in our hearts. RIP Bo."
Daphne is a tortoiseshell cat who was abandoned on the streets and eking out a life. When she came to Waikato SPCA, she was pregnant with her third litter.
Blog reader Kaye adopted Daphne, who by now of course is desexed and microchipped. Kaye called Daphne "an adorable chirruper" who has blossomed in her new home.
Well done Kaye - and also Dougal the dog, who's turned out to be a great companion for Daphne.
Finally, there's the story of Sophie, a sweet black dog who sat in a rural pound for weeks and weeks, unclaimed by whoever was her owner.
Sophie's future looked grim, but a few caring people were looking out for her.
North Auckland Dog Rescue managed to secure their last available foster place for Sophie ... and from then on, her future was secure. In fact, she lives a life most of us can only dream about!
She was adopted by a person who could provide this onetime "pound hound" an idyllic South Island setting, a weekend house to relax in, and a helicopter to travel in (alongside the family feline).
As the saying goes, it's not where you start, it's where you finish.
Join Four Legs Good on Facebook.
Follow the daily photos of #connorandphoebe on Instagram.