Strays ~ I have taken in strays most of my life & since Gene & I got married we care for them together (Gene grumbles about it sometimes but he does it anyway!)  We have taken in & helped many stray animals over the years but have only started photographing them in the 1980's.  Have helped more animals than what is listed on this page - so many I can't remember them all nor did we photograph them all.

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1981 - We were having lunch with some friends at Rosenor's Restaraunt in St. Francois County when upon leaving one of the friends saw a woman who had come out just ahead of us get in her car & took her puppy & set him out on the parking lot then drove away.  We managed to coax him up to us & brought him home. We didn't know of any animal shelters in the area so we eventually took him to the Animal Protection Association in St. Louis & hope they were able to find it a good home.

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Two stray puppies that wandered in back in the 1980's.  Thley left one morning & that evening only the black one came back.   I called for him & drove around looking for him but couldn't find him.   The black one we eventually took to a shelter.

mandy.jpg (4153 bytes)MEAN MANDY - One time we were coming home from town & a tiny kitten ran into the weeds by the second telephone pole on our road.  I knew it had to have been dumped because there were no other houses close by.  I got her home, gave her some food & the poor little thing was so starved that she gobbled her food so fast she became sick, threw-up, ate the vomit & began eating the food again!  We took her to the vet for a check-up & she only weighed half of what she should have weighed.  The vet even weighed her twice to make sure he wasn't making a mistake.The weather turned cold about that time & we couldn't leave her outside so we brought her in the house keeping her seperate from our cats so they wouldn't fight. We named her Mandy & tried to keep her but our cats, Candy & Brandy, would not accept her so we ended up taking her to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary in House Springs.  Gene would sometimes stop on his way home from work & visit her as it was a whole year later before she finally got adopted. Everyone at the Sanctuary nicknamed her "Mean Mandy" since when they tried putting her in Kitty City she beat up all the other cats so they had to keep her in a cage.  One time the director of the sanctuary picked her up to look at her with intentions of adopting her (she was part persion & very beautiful).  But when she scratched him on the nose Mandy did not get adopted that day!

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ANDY - In 1996 Gene found a small kitten by an abandoned car up the road  from our house (about the same area where I found Mandy.)  He was very cute & playful & liked to suck on my left earlobe as if he were nursing.  We named him Andy & tried to keep him but our cats would not accept him so ended up taking him to Open Door Animal Sanctuary where he was quickly adopted.  Later a puppy wandered in which we named Shadow & also took to the Sanctuary.

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In 1997 we had two stray dogs show up.  One was a gentle, older dog (pictured at left) which we took to the Humane Society of the Ozarks.   The other was a puppy which took up residence underneath our camper.  He ran away one night when there was a terrible thunderstorm.   Gene had left the garage door open so the puppy would have better shelter but the next morning the puppy was gone.  We saw it about a week later, though, at a neighbors house about a mile down the road. 

Another time two stray puppies showed up on our doorstep who were brother and sister.  When they first wandered in I thought Brother's hips were deformed but after we had them awhile and they began gaining weight I realized that it had only appeared that way because he had been so emaciated.  

We have taken in many, many puppies, kittens, cats, dogs & even a pot-bellied pig once!  Yes we even had a small stray pot-bellied pig wander into our yard.   Like all the strays he was very tired & hungry & it looked liked he had been abused as he had large scars all over his back & sides that looked like they had been cuts or lacerations at one time.  He also had a huge, gaping hole in his right rump where possibly a dog had bitten him.  We named him Porky.  He was accompanied by a kitten & it looked like they may have been traveling together.  We were able to find Porky a home & we took the kitten who we called Patches to the APA in St. Louis & truly hope she got adopted.

Pretty_Kitty.jpg (8358 bytes)PRETTY KITTY - December 13, 1998 - A stray cat wandered in a few days ago.    The first day I put food down for her she was so hungry she ate for 15 minutes without stopping.  She just couldn't hardly believe it when I gave her more food.   She is a calico, has a great disposition, is very calm, well-behaved, intelligent & very affectionate.  The jerk that neglected & abandoned her has no idea of what a great pet they missing out on. We latter named the stray Pretty Kitty & took her to the Farmington Animal Hospital for a thorough check-up.  We got her wormed, all of her shots, etc. & brought her back home.  We brought her in the house as by now the weather was getting very cold & she most likely would not have survived outside in singal digit temperatures.  We had to keep her seperated from our cats, though as they wanted to fight.  By December 31, the Humane Society of the Ozarks was able to take Pretty Kitty.  It is a "no-kill" shelter & she was later adopted.  I hope she got a very good home, she deserves a good home - they all do.     

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FRECKLES - August 1999 - A hungry, stray puppy wandered in.  She had unusual markings - light brown with white speckles.  We named her Freckles and as always we fed her, took her to the vet, etc. She was very happy & playful - she especially loved to splash all of the water out of her waterbowl!!   After about a week & a half the Humane Society of the Ozarks was able to take her & they will find her a home.        

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ANGEL - 25 August 2000:  a stray dog hobbled into our backyard.  She was barely able to walk - limping - couldn't put any weight at all on right hind leg.  She was probably hit by a car.   Even her good legs were kind of shaky from fatigue & weakness.   Her color is white but she was filthy dirty & spots of motor oil on her & full of burrs.  Also skinny & tired & severly flea infested.  This one we just had to keep.  We named her Angel & now she has her own web page.  To see before & after pictures of Angel & learn more about her click here.

Licorice1_9Aug2001.JPG (14955 bytes)LICORICE - 8 June 2001 - Another stray cat arrived. She was lurking around my bird feeder but appeared to tired to even catch a bird. Took her to the vet a few days after arrival. She is barely more than a kitten herself - guestimation of 14/18 months old & may be pregnant.  She has already had one litter of kittens - the doctor could tell by the size of her breasts/nipples. The pregnancy exam wasn't conclusive - only time will tell. There is a bone protrusion on her right front leg. The doctor said it might be a birth defect but more than likely she was hit by something & her broken leg healed improperly. She had ear mites & a bare spot with a scab in the middle of it on the right side of her face from some kind of injury & another bare spot below her left eye next to her nose. Plus last night I found two birdshot or buckshot pellets in her left hind leg. They've been there for awhile as there is no open wound - it's all healed over. And she is sooooo thin - 2 pounds underweight - not only can you count her ribs & every knot in ther spine but her little hip bones really stick out a lot. Doc would like to see her up to 9 pounds. If she's here long enough I'll have her up to 10 or 11 pounds like Candy & Brandy! They look like pudgey butterballs compared to Licorice! (Named her Licorice because of her solid black color & because she is soooooo sweet & affectionate.) Wish they would accept her so we could keep her. Would like to keep every stray that wanders in. Gene & I always say that if we ever win big on the lottery the first thing we will do is build a huge animal shelter.

22 July - Licorice gave birth to one kitten today.  23 July - Took Licorice to vet & doc says the new born kitten looks premature.  24 July - So far he (we think it's a he but not sure) is doing ok.   Licorice is a very good mommie.  We decided to name the kitten Gum Drop. We got a digital postal scale from Office Max & he weighed in at 3 ounces.  Probably weighed less than that when he was born 2 days ago.

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RUSSETT: Oct. 31, 2001 found tiny stray kitten frantically wandering around in the back yard crying. I think he had followed his mother here & she went off & left him.  He was soooooo thin & frightened.  We took him out to the veterinarian in Old Mines & they are caring for him till they find him a home.  They named him Russet because after he ate his tummy looked like a little round potato.  Sure would like to keep him - would like to keep them all - but we have all we can handle now.

IDiesel.JPG (6860 bytes)n December 2002 a stray male cat wandered in.  We named him Diesel as he sounded like a diesel truck when he purred. He was very sweet & gentle & I so much wanted to keep him but unfortunately he tested positive for feline leukemia & we couldn't take the risk of putting him in with our other cats.  We were told by several people to just euthanize him but he wasn't sick & we just couldn't do it.  We boarded him at our veterinarian's in hopes that we might eventually find him a home.  But it is hard enough to get healthy cats adopted much less a leukemia cat so the outlook seemed rather bleak.  Gene finally decided to drive up to Open Door Animal Sanctuary to see if maybe they could take him.  This was our last hope.  We had already checked with all the no-kill shelters that we knew about.  At Open Door they informed Gene that they didn't have any room for another cat - but- they said the St. Charles Humane Society was a no-kill shelter & they had a leukemia unit!  They called the St. Charles Humane Society & they said they had an opening for one cat in the leukemia unit if he could be brought in that day.  So Gene drove from Open Door in House Springs to our vet in Farmington, picked up Diesel & drove him all the way to St. Charles.  I can't begin to express how ecstatic we were that we found a place for Diesel!  We knew that they would take good care of him till the time of his demise.  But wait - this still isn't the end of the story.  A couple of months later the St. Charles Humane Society called us to inform us that Diesel had been adopted!  He would be the only cat in the household because of his leukemia but they said he would have three bunny rabbit playmates.  Now is this a happy ending or what?!  I think of him sometimes & wonder how he is doing & so much hope that the leukemia doesn't affect him & he lives a long & happy life.

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We took "Fluffy" in in 2003.  He was adopted by a friend of ours whose cat had died of feline leukemia a few months before.  Her little boy just adored Fluffy.  A  few months after acquiring Fluffy our friend let him outside & unfortunately he never returned.

OrphanedKittens2004.JPG (15317 bytes)August/September 2004 ~ A friend, Carrie Cabral, contacted us one night about a problem with some stray cats she was caring for.  The mother cat was hit by a car & was killed & one of the three kittens would not eat anything that it was offered. When Gene got there the kitten that refused to eat had died so he took the other two to our vet to take care of.  About a week later our vet called & asked if we would mind if she found them a home.  It turned out that some relatives of her receptionist wanted to adopt them. Of course we, along with Carrie, agreed that it would be just fine!  So the two surviving kittens now have a permanent home.



These two guineas wandered in in late December 2010.  We fed them (of course) & they hung around for a few months then disappeared.  We had named them Jesse & Belle after Missouri's famous outlaws.

We would dearly love to keep all the strays but that just isn't possible so we take care of them until a "no-kill" animal shelter has available space for them.  The only problem with this is that sometimes it can take up to a month before they can accept them.  The "no-kill" shelters then keep them until they are adopted.

Please support an animal shelter in your area.
I THANK YOU & the animals THANK YOU!!!!!!  

These are three "no-kill" shelters........

Other shelters are:

Animal Protection Association
1705 S. Hanley Rd.
St. Louis, Mo.

Humane Society of Missouri
St. Louis, Mo.


Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care! I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.

My body is aching, it's so racked with pain, and Dear God I pray as I run in the rain that someone will love me, and give me a home, a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard, sometimes with no water, and God, that was hard! So I chewed through my leash and I ran away to rummage in garbage and live as a stray.

But now, God, I'm tired, and hungry and cold, and I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old. They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones while I run in the streets just looking for bones!

I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can, for I have become just a "victim of Man!" I'm wormy, Dear God, and I'm ridden with fleas and all that I want is an owner to please!

If you find one for me, God, I'll try to be good and I won't chew their shoes, but I'll do as I should. I'll love them, protect them and try to obey when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!

I don't think I'll make it too long on my own, 'cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone. Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry, 'cause I'm so afraid, God, that I'm gonna die!

And I've got so much love and devotion to give, that I should be given a new chance to live. So Dear God, please, please answer my prayer and send me somebody who WILL really care.

That is, Dear God, if you're really there....

Author Unknown  - - - - - - Prayer/Poem contributed by:  Sgt. Gary Mitchell, Potosi PD, 28 August 2000           

A dog sits waiting in the cold autumn sun,
Too faithful to leave, too frightened to run.
He's been here for days now with nothing to do,
But sit by the road, waiting for you.
He can't understand why you left him that day,
He thought you and he were stopping to play.
He's sure you'll come back, and that's why he stays,
How long will he suffer, how many more days?
His legs have grown weak, his throat parched and dry,
He's sick now from hunger and falls with a sigh.
He lays down his head and closes his eyes,
I wish you could see how a waiting dog dies.

Author:  Kathy Flood
Contributed By:  SIQ, Washington Co., Mo.  3 Sept. 2000

A PRAYER FOR ANIMALS                               
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especialy for animals who are suffering, for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death.  We entreat for them all Thy mercy andpity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.  Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful. 
              Albert Schweitzer

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