Success Stories

Thanks everyone, Charlie is now in his forever home!

This is Charlie a 5 year old long-hair Seal Point Siamese. He was brought to the rescue because his senior owner sadly could no longer care for him or her dog. Charlie was well loved and cared for and it shows in his personality. He is superloving and social. His front paws are declawed so Charlie has to be an inside only pet. Thanks to all for helping SSNAAPE, Charlie is now in his forever home.

Yayyyy, Lilly and Lolly, two lovely senior cats that have been together for 12 years were adopted TOGETHER! This is quite a success story given their age and our desire to keep them together. Too much time was passing and there was talk of considering offering them for adoption separately, but a hero stepped up and took them both. Now they are in their forever home.

Back story: Their guardian is having a baby and gave that as the reason she is giving up her fur babies after 12 years. This is unfortunate for these two lovely ladies, but we will do our best to try to find them a foreve

r loving home.  At this time Lilly and Lolly are confused and scared.  This happens too often. What we do know is that both cats are good with other cats and dogs, they are up to date with shots, they sleep together and at one time lived in a peaceful, quiet home.  We are hoping someone will step up to the plate and take them in so they can finish out their senior years with love and good care.

Please consider taking these too lovely girls, and share with others who you might think would be interested; post on Facebook and other websites.  What we don’t want is for them to spend the rest of their lives in a shelter!

SSNAAPE will assist with a wellness checkup and any other current issues, if needed.  Additionally, SSNAAPE will also take them to their new home, if requested.

Another SSNAAPE success story! Oliver is now living in his new forever home. SSNAAPE posted Oliver’s photo and story on this website and social media as well as networked to make this happen. Thanks to a loving and generous family Oliver is now in his forever home.

Lucky, lucky, lucky cats! Both Bailey, 14 years old, and Buddy, 13 years old,  lost their beloved elderly guardians through death, that meant they were now homeless. Roberta, one of our SSNAAPE friends adopted both cats, and now reports they adjusted very well, sleeping with her after only a day or two.  She says they play, and chase each other around the house with no fear of the dog.  Roberta says: “Who would have guessed two old cats could be so entertaining!”  (Bailey is the beige cat, Buddy is the black cat.)

Stanley, an outside dog, was even more alone after his owner died.  Stanley was left on the property while the adult children, who planned on moving into the home, were unsure of what to do with him. Sadly, the family did not want him.  In the meantime, the neighbors took turns walking Stanley, and bringing him treats, while looking for a forever home for him.  SSNAAPE put out a plea to their network of friends, and JoAnn stepped forward to take Stanley even though she already has four big dogs. JoAnn reports, it only took two days to housebreak this senior dog.  She says:  “Stanley is happy and so are we!”

Our human Mommy died, and we were adopted together! Thanks everyone.Poms

Greta & Georgie, Two 5 yr old bonded Pom sisters whose owner passed away. The dogs are bonded purebred Pomeranians with papers, house trained, and up to date on shots, and spayed.

Lulu with Certificate

Lulu with Certificate

Lulu was rescued from a busy Fallbrook street several times before our volunteer asked the owners to relinquish her. She waited patiently in her foster home until the absolutely best persons came along. She now resides in Hillcrest right next to Balboa Park. (Oh goodie, lots of walks!) She thinks they are great; they think she is great! What more can a dog ask for?

Brownie was just a puppy when he was found abandoned in a grocery store parking lot by a Senior couple. They tried to find the owners and when that failed they tried to keep him at their home. After an initial visit to the vet, he was diagnosed with Entropion, a condition where the eyelids turn inward and rub into the eye. Not only was the surgery too expensive for the couple, Brownie was too active for them. They asked for our help to get Brownie the surgery and then find him a home.

First, we made sure that Brownie was neutered and that his eye problem was corrected. Then, we contacted our rescue group friends to help find Brownie a good home. Being the smart, handsome boy he is, it was not long before that special someone took this lucky boy home.

Like Blanche DuBois, Brownie counted on the kindness of strangers.


The three-legged wonder! No problem with this fellow getting around. He is full of energy and tricks! Doc was dumped in a shelter because of his injured leg. A kind lady pulled him out and cared for him until she found his forever home. His new guardians thinks he is a pip, but love him just the same. He delights the neighborhood children, showing them a disability need not slow you down.


On Facebook, when typing words like dog, cat, rescue, etc. you are instantly connected to all the wonderful people networking homeless pets. While checking in on my page, there she was in a short video showing her in the shelter, circling her bedding too distraught to lay down. An old, smelly dog who had been neglected and then dumped at the age of 13. My scenario for her is that her elderly owner died and in the last few years could not care for her properly. I think she was loved, just not properly cared for.

My love of senior dogs prompted my immediate response to take her. Passing through the homes of two good Samaritans, her journey to me took two days. When she finally arrived, she plopped herself on a dog bed and did not move for three days. I was sure she was dying. The vet came and we discovered her heart rate was way below normal and her teeth and gums were infected. She was starving to death and no one thought to offer her soft food! This was the start of my “Cooking for Canine” days. She was happy to eat chicken and rice and within a few days, she was up. Once her heart rate elevated, her rotten teeth were extracted and Sheila was on the road to recovery.

What a character! Sheila was puppy like in her actions. Although her time with me was short, I will never forget her – she was a silly gal who put a smile on my face.

SparkySparky volunteering in Park oval

Sparky gets around in a wheelchair because two 23 year old guys used him for target practice, and shot 3 bullets in him, but doctors could only remove two. The two guys were caught, but, due to a legal technicality, all charges were dropped.

Most rescue organizations support one another, and help spread the word of animals in need. Jenny Armour of Open Arms Rescue did just that, and reached out regarding Sparky. When SSNAAPE heard about Sparky needing special care we notified Vera Lauren, one of our volunteers who takes in, what some consider, unadoptable furry companions. However, Sparky was chosen to appear on National TV in the hopes of finding his forever home. Vera, and her husband, Walt Niestemski, watched the program, and fell in love with Sparky. The great news, they were all united, and soon Sparky was welcomed in the family. Since, Walt built Sparky a wheelchair, and put ramps throughout their home that many of the siblings share. Sparky now has 9 siblings, 5 are canine and 4 are cats.

Sparky became a little celebrity, and was featured in the summer issue of Dogster Magazine, again on national TV last Thanksgiving 2015, and written up in the Fallbrook Village News.

The name of the inspiring, funny, and informative show is: The All Star Dog Rescue Celebration.

Kangaroo Jack (KJ) was their last rescue. KJ is a senior, but sadly this is his first home. He had been living in cages or on the streets. KJ was born deformed, and walks on his elbows or his back legs. When he uses all 4 limbs he walks sideways like a crab. He is full of love, and very sweet.) Treat yourself to this video Vera, and Walt made of their Tinker Bell who was paralyzed from the waist down, and the technical term is Spinal Walker puppy. While watching you might tear up, but we promise you will also smile, and laugh. Here is the link:

The show is filled with big name celebrities, but the real stars are the animals, and the incredible humans that love them. Even if you aren’t a big animal lover, you will enjoy the heartwarming stories. You will also be treated to entertainment by my guardian angel, and sister friend, singer, Andra Day. BTW, this is not a depressing show, it is very uplifting, informative, entertaining, heartwarming, and FUNNY—laugh out loud funny.

 Why Vera & Walt have decided to get more involved with special needs:

Special needs animals are usually the first euthanized, and rarely adopted. Since Sparky has become so popular we decided to turn this energy around, and benefit other  handicapped animals. Our goal is to enlighten folks on the viability of these furry companions and to showcase how rewarding the experience is for everyone.

Sparky, and his siblings volunteer and are available to visit special needs children, military, the elderly, and so on.

If you are interested in learning more or following Sparky here is his contact information:

Sparky’s Twitter account:  Sparky@sparkyallstars

Sparky’s Email:

Sparky’s Instagram: Sparkyallstars

Sparky’s Facebook: Sparky Lauren—This page is devoted to special needs furry companions.

Home 760.451.6196


You can’t change the world by helping one animal, but you can change the world for that animal.”  Ghandi


graham on fancy bed

Happy beginning for Graham Cracker, and Bennie!

Graham is at least 13 years old. He was found wandering the streets in Idyllwild, and a nice couple brought him to Living Free in Mountain Center, hoping they would be able to locate his family. Even after advertising, posting flyers, and the help of ARF, no one stepped up. Graham was likely abandoned. When he first arrived at the sanctuary his eyesight wasn’t so good, but his hearing was; however, all that changed. Graham is nearly blind and deaf now, but his new family, Walt Niestemski & Vera Lauren don’t care. They think of him as their cuddly Teddy bear, and even added to his name affectionately calling him Graham Cracker. By the way, nothing stopped Graham Cracker from quickly figuring out where the treat cupboard is.



 Bennie watching TV



After 12 years Bennie found his forever home!

Bennie turned 15 years old on 2/20/2016, and was rescued in 2004 from San Gabriel Valley Humane Society. He was one of the oldest dogs at the sanctuary, and sadly, he lived there the longest. Bennie spent 13 years in a kennel, in cages, with affection coming only from strangers, and the ever-changing staff, and volunteers. His temperament is very friendly with everyone; yet no one took him home, and Bennie endured 13 years of saying goodbye to all his buddies when they were adopted, and this darling dog was left alone.

(Photo is of Bennie in the foreground, and his new brother, Sangye watching TV, one of their favorite things to do. Bennie had never seen a TV before!)

Here is what his new family has to say:

Walt and Vera opened their hearts and decided to be generous to themselves and adopt the roomies, Bennie & Graham Cracker, together. An unexpected plus, their new siblings have embraced the boys, especially Sparky, who follows Bennie just about everywhere. That is saying a lot because Sparky was shot three times, and left paralyzed from the waist down; yet that does not deter him from being Bennie’s shadow.

Bennie is a marvelously loving, and a gentle companion, and makes us feel special. He has also given us some laughs. For example, when we first turned on the TV Bennie was mesmerized. He sat down, and his head was moving back, and forth, and he became quite excited. When we turned off the TV, Bennie sniffed the set, and was very puzzled. Since then, whenever we turn the TV on Bennie will come running, and take his seat front, and center. His only complaint is we don’t watch TV a lot. Lol. Another discovery for our Bennie is the refrigerator. Each time we open the refrigerator door, Bennie is there to “help” choose something.

Walt and I take in, what some consider, unadoptable furry companions. Our desire is for those considering an addition to their family, to please consider a special needs companion. Too often they are over looked, and usually the first to be euthanized, which is so sad, and unnecessary in the majority of cases. Our little Sparky does not let it stop him from playing or bossing his siblings around even though one of three bullets remains lodged in his spine. Another of our babies, Kangaroo Jack, was born deformed and homeless–this is his first home in his 7-9 years of life. From day one, KJ fully engages with all the others, and especially loves to cuddle. Yes, there are issues, like having to express Sparky or put some ramps throughout the house, but I pray that would not be a deciding factor on passing over these incredibly loving beings. Seniors are also passed over for various reasons, but again, their “condition” is primarily age related, and not a deal breaker. Please do yourself a favor, and consider opening your hearts, and homes to these bundles of love.

We are indebted to the many volunteers who year after year, tirelessly work on behalf of animals. Special kudos to Living-Free Sanctuary for caring for these boys, especially Bennie, for over a decade. LFS could easily have euthanized the pair; instead, all involved led with higher consciousness, respect, devotion, and love. A huge hug to Wietse and Mary Haak, whose love for Bennie and Graham is enormous, and they would have adopted the pair if their circumstances had not made it  impossible. Mary & Wietse are responsible for reaching out to SSNAAPE of Fallbrook, an outstanding rescue organization that focuses on special needs pets, and helping senior citizens care for their beloved companions, they in turn contacted us. We are forever grateful to each of you.


Happy Ending

Happy Ending

Yayyyy, a happy ending. This sweet boy has been reunited with his family.  He was turned into San Diego Animal Control, which is where they found him.  ALWAYS BE SURE ANIMAL CONTROL IS INFORMED OF A LOST OR FOUND DOG; IT IS WHERE MANY PEOPLE BEGIN TO LOOK!  In Fallbrook always check the Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary because lost dogs are frequently first taken to them.  They were aware of the status of this boy.


Monty has been placed

Monty has been placed in a forever home, after his family of 5-7 years had to surrender him because of their move.

Urgent, 72 hours left to save Rosy

We received an Urgent  message to save Rosy, and we did! After some quick thinking, and action, Rosy is now in her new forever home.


Holly, sweet little Holly, got just what she deserved–her Forever home! What a blessing to all.



A retired fireman came to the rescue and adopted Marshall. The Fireman contacted a couple who adopted one of the long term shelter dogs about a year ago – a buddy fireman of his. Marshall and Dottie hit it off from the get go.  Both dogs are white and black with dots.  Dottie is tall and regal, – little Marshall found his best friend!

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