Meet Chrissy, a Collie / Australian Shepherd mix we pulled from the shelter on her last day.  She was a young adult with no training, was unhousebroken, and had some aggressive tendencies.  Thankfully, the shelter that had her didn't do the currently popular but severely flawed "temperament testing"  that surely would have rendereded her unplaceable and ended her life without any opportunity to be rescued.  After some homeopathic veterinary care, a good grooming, fresh food and supplements,  and obedience training based on positive  reinforcement,  she was happy, healthy, and ready to be taken into her forever home.  She now plays on the beach every day with her own little girl and is a cherished member of her new family.  
This is Fair Ellen, an American Eskimo Dog.
She was pulled from the shelter where we 
discovered her with two newborn pups 
dying on the cold cement floor of her 
kennel.  No one at the shelter had noticed 
she was pregnant.  We couldn't save the 
puppies, and Ellen had a horrible bladder 
infection from refusing to urinate in the 
small kennel where she tried desperately
to keep her newborns clean and warm.  
With her puppies gone, she went into a 
severe depression and refused to eat.  
I held her in my arms and pleaded with 
her to take bits of baked chicken, which 
she refused.  Finally, I brought her a tiny 
kitten.  She nuzzled the baby for a few minutes, then came to me and licked my face.  She knew that I understood.  She didn't want to mother the kitten, but she then acceped my empathy, and took the food I had been offering.  Eventually she began to play.  Finally, after many weeks, she decided she was ready to be re-homed.  Ellen is pictured here with her new owner three months after re-homing.  She's now a happy girl in her forever home!      
Bengie and Timothy are two darling Maltese who
had spent their entire lives being loved and 
cherished,  until the day their owner died and
they ended up in a tiny cage in the the back 
room of an ill maintained shelter. Under the laws
 of probate, they had to spend thirty days there, 
after which their lives were left in the hands of 
the shelter manager.  He had the option of 
killing them, deeming them unplaceable to the 
public,  or allowing a rescue to take them.  
Thankfully,  he chose to send them here. They 
arrived in urine soaked fur,  and suffering from
bad ear and mouth infections.   Both of little 
Benjie's eyes were sealed  shut with  stinky, 
matted hair.  The vet who had neutered them  
that morning had made a note on the paperwork;
 "may have an eye problem".  Their surgical 
sites were  surrounded by smelly,  filthy fur.   It was immediately clear these two tiny ones were used to much better  care and treatment, and they responded immediately to a loving home environment,  a thorough grooming, much needed vet care, and  fresh, wholesome food.  Once they had recovered from their ordeal, a number of people inquired about taking one of them, but there was no question these two had to remain together.  They finally found their new home in Arizona with a wonderful couple who had another Maltese -- a dog who had been grieving for a lost friend.  They were once again little kings in their castle, just as every dog should always be. 

PLEASE -- If you haven't already done so, make provisions TODAY for the care of your dogs in the case of your death.  Don't just assume your family members will care for them.  Put them in your will, and make SURE the person you will them to both WANTS them, and is able to care for them as well as YOU do.
For nearly forty years, Chekia was an active Dog Rescue.  
Terry Thistlethwaite began rescuing and rehoming dogs unafilliated in Connecticut in the 1970's. 
Her first rescue was a tri color female Collie who had been abandoned on a Rhode Island beach. 
It took several hours of patient effort for Terry to convince the frightened Collie that she needed rescue, 
but eventually she complied. That beautiful Collie, who turned out to have heartworm, was successfully 
treated and placed with a wonderful family through the referral efforts of several local Collie breeders.
In the late 1980's, Terry joined with fellow Collie breeder Jean Roberts and members of the
 Collie clubs in Northern CA to found what was then known as Collie Rescue of Nor Cal.  
Then in the mid 1990's, she instituted the first  Collie rescue in the state of North Carolina,
personally finding homes for numbers of Collies left in shelters.  
Upon returning to California later in that decade, she joined with Heartbandits 
American Eskimo Dog rescue to establish Chekia Dog Rescue as their Southern CA chapter. 
 These are just a few of the stories which came from that legacy;
You're listening to 
"The Rose" 
written by 
Amanda McBroom

Little Jeremy Maltese was slated to be euthanized by the shelter because no rescue group wanted to take on the expense of a little dog who had been hit by a car and needed extensive surgery.  While it took a huge effort to raise, borrow, and glean enough from a small income to get the $2000 bill paid,  Jeremy got his surgery.  Here you can see his happy little face just two days home from the hospital and recovering nicely with his favorite toy by his side.     
Later, as the picture to the left testifies,  Jeremy came to befriend a real bunny and they became almost inseparable.  In fact, Jeremy was such a gregarious little guy that he made friends with just about every other creature he ever came in contact with.  He was undoubtedly one of the most precious, loving, and truly wonderful dogs I have ever had the privilege to know.  Though his rescue was costly, his recovery was priceless.

Gretchen came from the euthanasia room of a
high kill shelter with only minutes to spare.
She had been turned in by family members of
her deceased owner because they didn't want
the responsibility of an "older" dog.  She was ten years old at the time.  I soon discovered she was 
also pregnant.  As her unborn puppies grew, an old injury (she'd likely been hit by a vehicle) caused her uterus to break through  into her chest. With her uterus and intestines in  her chest cavity, and her liver sitting on top of her collapsed lung, the vet did not believe that he could save her.  ....   But he did.

Once again the cost of the surgery took many
months to pay off, but Gretchen's full recovery 
was priceless.

Thirteen years later, Gretchen remains here; happy, healthy, and unconcerned that no one wanted an "older dog" of

This precious little Maltese came  from a shelter
intent on doing their "job" of removing her 
reproductive organs despite the fact that doing so 
made it impossible to remove multiple tumors on her 
belly area for several life threatening months. 
There simply was not enough skin to stretch over a 
new surgical site until it had time to grow back after 
the unnecessary but "required" hysterectomy . 
Poor little Hannah had to endure two invasive 
surgeries within four months time, and you 
can see  the painful result in the photo.

She came here when another rescue could not be found which would take on her medical expenses.  Of course, she had to remain here for many months awaiting first surgery, and then full recovery, but ultimately she found an adoring home with a retired mom and daughter team.  Ten years later, she is still the light of their lives. 

Update - 2016
With shelters and rescue groups in every state
now bringing in what the CDC reports to be
over a million dogs a year from worldwide sources
 to supply their *businesses* 
and foster their pet over population myth,
Chekia is no longer involved with shelter rescue.
We do occasionally take in dogs or puppies
for placement from private individuals  
on a very small scale
as the need arises and as we are able.
I personally cherish the friendships and memories 
of the people and dogs (and occasional cats) 
we worked with as a rescue group over many years.
Thank you all.