Cody - rainbow bridgeI was truly blessed to have the pleasure of this little guy in my life. We adopted him from your facility on October 31, 2002. His name given at the shelter was “Twix”, and his mama was surrendered pregnant, so he was born there.

Cody was a very sweet boy, and he was always very excited to greet us. Actually, the neighborhood knew when we came home, no matter what time it was! He grew up with his buddy “Mr. Floyd”, a black lab mix that we had rescued from another facility. Sadly, when Mr. Floyd passed away on October 15, 2015, Cody felt he could not live without him and stopped eating. Any medical issues he had were exacerbated and he passed away exactly 2 weeks later. They had a very happy life together and they are back together again running Free Forever!

Thank you for the opportunity to meet “Twix”, our Cody. He will remain in our hearts forever!
-Glenn & Tina


Pepper - rainbow bridgeIt is with a heavy heart that we let you know Pepper (aka Wicked) has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. She was adopted in February 2002. She was an amazing part of our family for 13 1/2yrs. Thank you for giving us such a blessing.




Gabriel - rainbow bridgeGabriel crossed the Rainbow Bridge on August 13, 2015. He was diagnosed with cancer in his lower jaw. To save him from disfigurement and pain we had to let him go. He was the best cat – gentle, loving, playful and sweet. I loved how he would hold his arms up for you to pick him up and wrap them around your neck for a big hug. He will forever be missed by my family. We love you – Gabriel!!!


Wes - rainbow bridgeWe adopted Deezy (also known as Wes) not all that long ago from you guys. This morning, after trouble with seizures and kidney failure, he crossed the rainbow bridge. In the short time we had him he brought us all so much joy! He was a remarkable dog and our only regret is not having met him sooner! We feel blessed that we were able to show him love and a family for the last months of his life.





Patches- rainbow bridgeToday was Patches’s last day with us after giving us 15 years of love.  She passed peacefully on June 9, 2015.  Thanks for the adoption of Patches.  She gave us all of her love.





Bismark 2 - rainbow brideBack in April 2001, my family and I adopted a dog, Bismark, from The Humane Society of Harford County. He was the best thing to ever happen to my family, even alerted and chased away robbers once. But he was put to sleep in March 2012 because of kidney failure that was killing him. He was always energetic and loving. He was a little spoiled but we had a big family that all loved him. I still miss him all the time. Thank you so much for housing and taking care of Bismark until we got there, you will never know just how much he saved my life.


2001-April 24, 2015
Licorice - Rainbow BridgeMy beloved cat, Licorice, who filled my life with love and happiness. You were such a handsome, gentle boy who loved to cuddle and give affection. I will miss you looking up at me with those big green eyes meowing for your treats! My heart aches over your loss and I miss you dearly my sweet boy. Always in my heart…forever on my mind. Until I see you again at the Rainbow Bridge…I love you always.


Jake aka Dinky

April 11, 2001 – February 13, 2015
Jake - rainbow bridgeOn Friday I lost my beloved cat of 14 years, Jake. I found Jake on the street in Harford County when he was a kitten. I was reluctant to bring him home at first because I had never had a cat before. Needless to say, bringing him home was the best decision I ever made! He immediately changed my life for the good. Jake was the funniest and spunkiest little guy ever! He was always on the move looking to get into mischief or boss the dog around. He enjoyed life and always made me laugh! Jake blessed my life with love and happiness and I will miss him dearly. I still can’t believe he is gone. The sadness from his loss breaks my heart and my house feels so lonely without him. My life will never be the same without you my sweet boy. Until we meet again…I love you always.


Sunrise: 9/13/2000
Sunset: 7/24/2014
View a video tribute for Nicky

I adopted Nicky from HSHC on January 4, 2004. It was one of the best days of my life. I can remember every detail of that day. It was a Sunday and skies were overcast, but it was exceptionally warm. Temperatures were in the 70s. People were wearing shorts and t-shirts!

Nicky was the best friend that I have ever had in life. He was everything to me. The ten and a half years that I shared with him were the best times of my life. With his passing, I know that a chapter in my own life has closed and can never be reopened, except through memories. I am very fortunate to have over a decade worth of memories of Nicky. I have literally thousands of photos of him, along with many other mementos of our time together. He has his own Memory Book bursting with pictures and items associated with his life.

I think of Nicky every day. Some days, the sadness is overwhelming. I loved him so very much and miss him terribly and would give anything to have just one more day with him. As I write this, it has been nearly six months since his death and I still cannot believe that he is really gone. He had many health issues during his life and took various medications every day, multiple times per day. I always thought that he would “win” against any
disease or ailment. But in July of 2014, he went into liver failure and passed away at the VCA Newark Emergency Hospital during the early morning hours of July 24th. I was with him as he passed away.

Nicky, my dear little friend, I love you. Your feline sister, Hannah, misses you greatly and sends her love as well. We’ll see you at the Bridge, pal.



Angel - rainbow bridge In September 2014 I had to say goodbye to my sweet girl, Angel (previously named Baby), adopted from the Humane Society of Harford County in 2004.  She fought hard, coming back from detached retinas in both eyes from high blood pressure and kidney disease, but finally, a tumor proved to be too much. I’ve enclosed a picture of Angel, asleep atop an old chest that became her favorite spot.  I miss her sweet face every day, but I will be forever grateful that The Humane Society allowed me the privilege of being her guardian and friend.  Please know that she was loved.



I just wanted to write and say with a heavy heart our dog Becky passed away yesterday. We adopted her from you in 1999. She was 6 months old at the time. We never changed her name that you gave her. She was the most loyal, fun-loving companion and she is greatly missed. When our heart heals I hope to adopt from you again and hope I can find a dog half as awesome as she was.
-The LeMaster Family




We wanted to share that our dear Brodie unexpectedly passed away just a few days ago. We adopted Brodie (then “Charlie”) from the Humane Society of Harford County 9 years ago when he was just 3 months old. Words can’t describe the love between him and my family. We miss him dearly and thank you for bringing him into our lives. This picture is from the first day we brought him home, some years in between and a final pic that I took of him and I, just 10 minutes before he left us. Thanks again for 9 wonderful years.


Sabrina was adopted by my mom in Howard County 19.5 years ago. She was 9 when my mom passed, and the last thing I said to her was Sabrina will be fine…she will come home with me. That was 10.5 years ago. I lost her on Friday, October 31, 2014. One of my other cats is really sad and grieving hard. I’m trying to give her as much attention as possible. She stayed in Sabrina’s bed all day Friday and Saturday. We’re helping each other with our sadness. Sabrina is back with my mom now and I know she’s happy.

Claire Bear

I rescued Claire Bear back in March 2014 from my local humane society. It was St. Patrick’s Day and this was my 1st day volunteering at the shelter. I swore that I wasn’t going to adopt another cat, having 4 cats already, but as soon as I entered the room, Claire came to me and never left my side for the 3 hours I was there. I knew she was the one, so I took her home. Ever since she arrived at the shelter, she’d been taken care of by their volunteer coordinator, and I learned from her that Claire Bear was in pretty bad shape when she came in to HSHC. This was confirmed at the initial vet visit where she was diagnosed with kidney disease.

Claire was such a diva. For unknown reasons she never jumped, so I always carried her on my shoulders and she loved it. She acted like an old kitty (according to her paperwork she was 6, but I believe she was older than this) but had the mind of a kitten. She loved to play with only 1 toy that I had on my bed for her. She was a delight at feeding time as she was not picky like my other 4. She would eat the raw food I gave her and she would drink her raw goat milk. She was also a great comfort and great relaxation at night as she had a very loud, soothing purr. She truly gave me a lot of happiness in the short period of time I spent with her.

I knew she would not be a kitty who would live long considering her issues with her kidneys and recently with her lungs, but her passing totally caught me off guard. I miss her to death!!! My only comfort in this nightmare is that she is now pain free. I love you Claire Bear… FOREVER!!!


It was 3 years ago today that I brought Dolly home. I looked at both the kittens and the adult cats and really took my time deciding. The kittens were little goofballs – cute, but only interested in getting loose.  When I visited the Cat Room, Dolly was curled up on a shelf and didn’t seem at all interested in visitors after being there for 6 months. She even had her back to the room. I wanted to take my time and visit with each cat.  I was quite shy as a child and was intrigued by Dolly’s behavior. I went over to talk to her and she got up and let me pet her. Pretty soon she was purring loudly and leaning on me. I knew I had found the cat for me.

She made herself right at home and began bossing me around immediately, seeing that I needed it. What a wonderful girl.  Sassy, playful, silly and loving are just some of the words I used when talking about her. Of course, I talked about her every chance I got. I wish I could have taken a video of her licking her lips when I had food. When I didn’t understand her, she would use gestures like that or she would take me to what she wanted. She was very patient with me. It took her a year to sit in my lap, but once she did, I couldn’t sit without her right there with me.

Sadly, I lost her 2 weeks ago to kidney failure. Three years was not long enough with my baby, Dolly. I am assured that she was sufficiently spoiled, but I wish I could have done that for a little longer. Her previous family must have missed her very much, but thank goodness they brought her to the Humane Society and eventually to me. Thank you for taking care of her until I could get there.


“Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest…it’s about who came and never left your side.”
I adopted my beagle/foxhound mix from your shelter almost 11 years ago when he was an abandoned puppy with no fur and mange. Last night, he passed away after weeks of injury and sickness. It is an excruciating time for my family and I. This was our first dog ever and we loved him to pieces. I wrote a letter to Oliver on my personal blog. Take a look, if you don’t mind. I would love for people to hear my story and how I believe the shelter helped us find each other.


Benji - rainbow bridgeWe adopted Benji 10 years ago. He was turned in from a couple in Joppa that had just taken in their elderly parents and he kept getting under their feet causing them to fall. We are so grateful for them allowing us to have the last 10 years with him. Was a very loving companion, especially to my daughter. He was having some Kidney functions issues due to age and lost his battle on Saturday. When we are ready, we will be back to visit and bring home another forever friend. Love to all of you that help in this process.

Bam Bam

We adopted Bam 9 years ago. He was going to be given up and kinda fell into my lap. He fit right in with all the other furballs. He was the nicest male cat I ever had. I will miss him sorely. He passed three weeks ago at age 16. Love you Bud; I’ll see you again.




It’s with a sad and heavy heart I’m letting everyone know Max lost his battle today with cancer. He was becoming very sick so I made the decision to let him rest in peace. I miss him.  Even though I only had him 1.5 years, I promised him he would never know fear, hunger, cold, neglect or abuse again as long as he was my boy. Well now he lives in heaven and will never know anything but
happiness there either. He was a very quiet, sweet soul. Once I gained his trust he was definitely my boy. He liked to lay next to my head in bed with his paw on my head like he needed to know where I was. I can’t sleep in there tonight, it’s just too hard, with him not touching my head. Sleep with the angels sweet man…run free forever in God’s gardens. I love you Max!


I spotted Dottie during the summer of 2009 at one of the shelter’s yard sales. She had been surrendered by her owners who noted on her profile that since the kids were grown and pursuing other interests, they didn’t have time for Dottie. They said she was showing her resentment by urinating on the furniture. Dottie was 11 years old. They had had her for 8 years. I only had her for 3 more years, but they were a great 3 years!

Dottie was not very attractive. Her teeth were in deplorable condition so her breath was stinky and the last 3” of her tail formed a hook from some old injury. She had a scar on her face from another old injury and she wasn’t very active. But I fell in love with her. I recall the moment that I wanted to adopt her: amidst all the hub bub at the yard sale, Dot curled up under a bench outside of the shelter’s Pole Barn and fell asleep. She looked so peaceful and content, and I just knew I wanted her in my life.

Dottie’s transition into our home was a little rocky. She and our other dog, Ginger, didn’t quite get along at first. There were a few scuffles, which I guess were understandable, because she had been the only pet at her last home. She also had to learn to share the house with our cats. But overall, I think Dottie had a great retirement home. A friend summed it up perfectly: “Dottie had a wonderful retirement full of fun smells, a huge yard, and yummy things to eat and play with.” (Thanks, Laura.) And yes, we occasionally got a few laughs by dressing her in funny get-ups like her elf hat and her gnome costume.
A few weeks ago, I came home from work and found Dottie trembling in her bed and breathing very rapidly; obviously in some sort of distress. When I picked her up, she was like a very heavy weight in my arms. At the emergency room, and after tests and x-rays, the doctor explained that Dot likely had cancer. It was a very sudden, heart-wrenching decision, but my husband and I decided to end Dot’s suffering. We were with her when she left and in many ways, she is still with us. Her bed still sits in the living room by the fireplace. I haven’t moved it because occasionally, one of the cats will curl up in it. Life goes on without Dot.

My little Dot was funny, cute, stubborn, grumpy, happy, and best of all…RESCUED. I’m so glad the Humane Society didn’t give up on a little old stinky Beagle named Dottie who has a piece of my heart forever.
-Erin & John


We adopted Leo (Leonardo) last May 20th and he has filled our lives with great joy since the day we first met. Today, I write with great sadness as we had to put Leo to sleep. He started having seizures in June and we tried everything, finally after 2 MRIs the neurologist found a brain tumor. Leo’s quality of life had diminished and he was truly suffering. We know he is finally at peace but are truly heartbroken. He was the love of our life. If we weren’t doing something with him, we were talking about him. We wish we would have had more time with him but are so grateful for the time we did have. We know it was no coincidence that he waited patiently at the shelter for us for 7 months. He sat by my feet every day as I wrote my dissertation – he is even listed in my acknowledgements. He would always wait patiently for his dad to come home, greeting him at the door with a wagging tail and 2-legged dance before his daily belly rub. Our live are richer because he blessed us for 16 months with his sweet kisses.

Thank you all for what you do – you not only impact the animals you work with but so many people. Everyone that came into contact with Leo loved him. Charles Schulz said it best: “Happiness is a warm puppy”

With deep appreciation,
-Lindsay & Matt


I rescued Matilda from The Humane Society of Harford County when she was 5. I loved her from the moment I saw her. I took her out of her cage to hold her and she hugged me around my neck. I kissed her on her head and promised her she had found her home with me. I adopted her two days later.

Matilda was the kindest, most affectionate, wisest, sweetest cat I have ever known. When I was sad she came and sat with me, “petting” me with her paw to comfort me. She and I slept cuddled up together for most of the 7 years that we had together. She greeted me each day with a loud, cheerful meow, and had many other meows to indicate her mood or react to what I was saying. She was very smart.

Matilda was plagued with health problems her whole life; we spent a lot of time at the vet’s office. I never minded because she gave so much love to me- it was the least I could do to make sure she was being well cared for.

Matilda was diagnosed with kidney failure in August 2010. We began subcutaneous fluid treatments, done every other day, upon her diagnosis. She was so brave and took her treatments like the champion that she was. Her initial prognosis was that she might live until Thanksgiving, so I made Christmas our goal. I kept giving her fluids, moved her onto my bed where I fed and medicated her and where she could look out the window, and kept her close to her little cat stairs that led to her litter pan. She slept a lot but still maintained her spirit of cheer, joy, and love. Thanksgiving came and went- as did Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, my birthday, her 12th birthday, and Mother’s Day. My brave girl fought through numerous obstacles, always with a purr and a cuddle for her mommy. I held a birthday party for her, and the family came over and we had dinner, cake, sang to her– she had a wonderful day.

I used to sing to Matilda- she loved to hear me sing. Towards the end, when I saw her slow down, I began to read to her instead. She loved to lay next to me as I read books like The Velveteen Rabbit and The Giving Tree. She listened and even touched each page with her paw, purring loudly. I read books about gratitude and love, because for 7 years that’s all she ever gave me. Her love, her heart, her affection. I adored her every moment of her life with me.

I am unable to have children of my own for health reasons, so I know that I made quite the fuss over Matilda. I adopted a little sister for her 5 years ago, Mirabelle. Mirabelle suffered from serious asthma and used to have into severe attacks. I gave Mirabelle her inhalers many times a day. Matilda laid with Mirabelle and the two became quite close. When Matilda passed on, Mirabelle was as simply as lost as I was. We were devastated by this and bonded together to get through it. Mirabelle was such a sweet, loving girl. She passed away 10 days ago.

The decision to have Matilda euthanized was not made lightly; I felt as though I would die right there with her. Her time came, though, and when she began having difficulty breathing, I could not ask her to fight through one more thing. She laid on the table in the vet’s office, head down- she never did that. She acted as though she had had enough. I cried and pleaded for there to be another option, but I could not save her. In order to give her the final gift of mercy and love and to thank her for all that she did for me in this life, I made the decision. I sat with her and told her the story that I first saw on this site- the story of the Rainbow Bridge. I told her how much I love her and thanked her for her unfailing love and support through the many trials in my life and hers. She’s my best friend and I love her so dearly. I am honored that I got to be her mom. As she fell asleep I continued to hug and kiss her, encircling her in my arms. She passed away as I hugged her and I gave her a final kiss and held her paw for a moment. I thought of how many times she placed that paw on my hand as I slept or cried or watched TV. I thought of her constant companionship, her selfless love even as she suffered, and I acknowledged how much I learned from being her mom. I am a better person for having had Matilda for my daughter.

I wanted to let you know that the kitty who was rescued from your organization had a wonderful life and was loved beyond measure. Thank you for rescuing her, so that I could adopt her, and she could in turn save my life.


July 21, 1994 – August 30, 2011
“Our Little Man” and “A Great Little Guy”

Murdock was truly a great member of our family. When we adopted him from “Connolly Road,” he was very much welcomed by his feline sister, Sarah (who was rescued by John, as a newborn from a stray litter, and came to live with us on September 4, 1993). It really took only a couple of weeks for Murdock and Sarah to get acquainted. He was also welcomed by his canine sister, Meggie, who was also a street rescue and a member of our family since 1984. Meggie passed away the summer of 1995. Then on June 17, 1995, Murdock and Sarah welcomed their new canine sister, Brooke, into the family. Brooke (previously known as Sheba), was also adopted from “Connolly Road.” Brooke passed away on June 27, 2009. Then on November 25, 2009, Murdock and Sarah welcomed a new canine sister, Nova, who was also a rescue, taken from abusive surroundings. And then very recently, Murdock and Nova lost their sister, Sarah, who passed away on April 6, 2011.
Including Murdock’s siblings in this writing is to convey how wonderful it can be for all adopted animals to go into families with existing pets. You see, with love and attention, they really can have long and happy lives, coexisting as if they were humans. They really can and do love each other, as you can see in our photos. And without realizing it, they give so much to their people as well. We are the better for knowing and loving them.

I remember the first time I met Murdock at “Connolly Road.” He was about 6 months old. Being an all-black cat, he was having a difficult time being adopted. I found him to be a beautiful cat and so full of personality. He was in a cage, extending his paw out to me constantly. I also recall learning from the shelter volunteer that they needed to take time-outs, putting Murdock in the cage off and on in order for the other cats to have their “peaceful” meal times, etc. I knew immediately, under all of these conditions, he needed to be in our loving home. The following day John accompanied me to see Murdock, and the decision was made effective immediately. And we have never regretted that decision.
Murdock was never a cat that could be picked up and held for long. We knew that immediately. We tried, over the years, to see if we could make him feel more at ease, letting him down after a few seconds or so. But that habit never really disappeared. He did, however, get up in our laps. He seemed to enjoy it even more when the weather was cool, and especially in front of a fire. But this was on his terms; and that was completely okay with us. In fact, there was a time when he would not sleep with us. But that did change not long after he began to live with us. He seemed to enjoy it more when the weather was cool. And we did have the wonderful experiences of Murdock curling up next to us whenever we took naps!

For many years, I (and John when he did the feeding), worked on the “eating” habits of Murdock. He was one that wanted to eat his siblings’ meals in addition to his own. For the most part, over the years, he found some security in knowing he would be fed everyday, twice a day. He would have a “relapse” now and then. But all-in-all, he progressed well. I used to say to him, “How long will it be before you realize you will be getting two square meals a day? We love you, and you’re here to stay.”
For a cat who had to be removed “from the crowd” (while living at “Connolly Road”), in order for the others to get their chances to eat, Murdock certainly came a long way living with his siblings in our home. He was truly a loving cat. He always wanted to please. And that’s a fact. If he threw up a hairball, he would show signs of being sorry. I used to tell him, it’s okay. I can’t say enough good things about him. I never found anything negative about him. He was pure fun and a loving pleasure to have in our family.

Our home has felt very empty since Murdock’s passing. But we have never regretted welcoming him into our family.
-John & Debbie