multi pet thinkstock A Look Back: The Most Heartwarming Bay Area Pet Stories Of 2011

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

As the winter days start to bring a chill, cuddle up with your furry best friend to share these heartwarming stories of 2011.

Stacy Cortez and her puppy Lady

Stacy Cortez is a first-time home buyer from California with a new pit mix puppy named Lady. After a lengthy search, she finally found the ideal home only to learn that her insurer of choice would not cover her house.  Because of Lady’s breed, Farm Bureau would not insure Stacy’s new home. Disappointed, Stacy and her family were forced to walk away from their dream home because of her insurers’ rather rash decision based on breed discrimination. Eventually, Stacy found a new insurer and was able to keep her entire family, including Lady, together.

According to, if you are looking for home or renter’s insurance, consider the following national companies that do not discriminate based on breed:

  • State Farm
  • Farmers Insurance Group
  • United Services Automobile (USAA) Association
  • Chubb Group
102514770 A Look Back: The Most Heartwarming Bay Area Pet Stories Of 2011

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Chris Hondros

American Airlines reunited pets with soldiers in Afghanistan

Rio, Beethoven, Gus and Lucy are stray dogs that were “adopted” by U.S. service members deployed to Afghanistan. These dogs were companions that helped ease the stresses of war and being so far from home. Until November of 2011, troops returning to the U.S. have had to leave such pets behind when they returned home.

American Airlines, the American Dog Rescue and Cathy Kangas, CEO of PRAI Beauty worked with Nowzad Dogs on Operation American Reunite to reunite 14 dogs with the service members who cared for them during their tours in Afghanistan. American Airlines Cargo in coordination with a United States freight operation transported the dogs from Kabul to John F. Kennedy International Airport. American also flew veterans from all corners of the country to JFK to reunite with their furry companions.

The Nowzad organization, founded by former Royal Marine, Paul “Pen” Farthing, has reunited around 250 dogs with their soldier companions.

“I’ve been home for 2 months and I’ve been waiting for him ever since,” Petty Officer Zachary Henning told CBS regarding his Nowzad dog, Gus. “He helped me survive out there and now I’m going to give him a home and allow him to survive now.”

Although this story has no direct connection to the Bay Area, it was worth reviewing, for it warmed our hearts from across the country.

Thinking of taking a trip with your pet? Make sure you read these pet travel safety tips before you do.

Stolen puppy reunited with owner 

An 8-week-old puppy that had been stolen from the San Francisco SPCA Adoption Center in the Mission was returned to his owner after a very near mishap in November.

A man, woman and child were caught on surveillance video allegedly stealing a light-brown and white, mixed breed puppy from the San Francisco SPCA Adoption Center in the Mission. The puppy was just hours away from being taken home by his new owner, Ed Garcia.

The alleged thieves reportedly renamed the puppy Bodhi and tried to sell him outside of a local Safeway grocery store. A woman bought the puppy but returned it to the shelter after her mother alerted her that she recognized the puppy from a local news report.

Jennifer Azevedo is a writer living in San Francisco. Her work can be found at


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