One of my passions is rescuing strays and feral animals. When I lived in the Middle East, I had a large house, which served as a refuge to many homeless animals. I tamed those I could but none were turned away. I operated the local tuna kitchen for cats and the chicken take-away for dogs. The butcher knew me by name and every week gave me bones as treats for the dogs. I poured my love into these animals until one day I learned I had to go home. My father was dying.


Some of the RAK cats
Some of the RAK cats


by Amy L. Bovaird

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30), NIV.

“Really? You’re actually looking for a puppy?” I couldn’t believe my good fortune. The manager of the HSBC Bank would come to the house and choose a puppy for her daughter.

One more off the list.

Seven puppies, five dogs and twenty-one semi-tame and feral cats all needed homes in ten days. God knew my passion for my menagerie, and that I trusted Him to provide safe environments for all of them.  I had to leave the United Arab Emirates quickly because my father had terminal cancer.

“Miss Amy,” my gardener said in his accented English, “I will take many cat to the camp where I live. I give food and protect. No worry. The ones too wild to move, I feed here,” he promised. A man of his word, he would use the money I’d leave him with to carry out his undertaking.

I prayed continually, asking for discernment for prospective owners.

The day I gave away Dutch, a German Shepherd, and Dumi, a local mutt, to serve as guard dogs, I pleaded with God to keep them safe.

My best friend took Brownie, the chocolate Labrador.

I shipped my beloved Buddy home to the United States to live with me.

With two days to go, I still sought provision for Maha, the problem mama dog, which I could never tame enough to get spayed. Oh Lord, I know you care about Maha. Give her a patient, loving family, too. 

The next morning, a member of my church welcomed Maha into his fold at their date farm.

God sent good people to care for thirty-three of his beautiful creatures when I no longer could. Leaving the Middle East, I felt peace as to their well-being.

Application: Trust that God knows the weight of your burden and He calculates the solution accordingly.


If you’d like to read more devotionals like this, check out the debut of God Still Leads and Guides, a devotional book showcasing God’s guidance and compiled by Mark Littleton,. They are real stories to reassure people that we are not alone.

A Home for All My Animals
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16 thoughts on “A Home for All My Animals

  • January 6, 2015 at 12:25 am

    33? My husband would send me to the shelter. 😉

    God does provide. For everything that we entrust to His care.

    I think I need to read that last sentence again.

  • January 6, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Hi Amy!
    My husband and I are dog lovers. We are actively looking to get another dog right now. How beautiful of you to rescue strays. I fear I’d bond if I did that and not want to let go. #ultrablog

  • January 6, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Sounds ridiculous when you look at it in terms of numbers, doesn’t it?
    But they just kind of kept on coming to my wall and I had a no-discrimination policy!
    Then when I got Buddy, my housekeeper let his “friend” (the German Shepherd mix) because he was howling at my gate.
    Anyway, God cares about what I do, and these animals were on my heart!
    So, happy to say, they fared all right!

  • January 6, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Good for you! Hope you find exactly the right dog!
    Yeah, my house served as a “hospital” after some animals got spayed or neutered or got in fights. I truly had good neighbors or we lived far enough apart that they didn’t hear all the racket when the cats had spats in the middle of the night. Or as they dogs barked when someone rang the doorbell. I put up a sign saying “Please do not ring this doorbell!” at the gate!
    I acquired most of the dogs during my last year there, except for Maha. She was one of the ones my taxi driver brought whose mother had been killed. I raised that litter since puppyhood. I kept her because she was the difficult one.
    This devotional book has a wide variety of devotions. This one is probably one of the lighter ones!
    Thanks for reading and hope to see you back again!

  • January 6, 2015 at 3:32 am

    This is such a wonderful story! What a wonderful thing you did for the animals in your life you should be so proud! All of my dogs have come from rescues and I also have a passion for rescuing animals. I hope that God continues to guide animals into your path so that you may help them.

  • January 6, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Wow ! God bless your soul and what you’ve done for those animals! I hope your father is feeling better.

  • January 6, 2015 at 7:20 am

    How wonderful the way things worked out! We also have a home full of fur babies who are all rescues. Our oldest cat is from the local humane society; the five other cats were originally a litter of feral kittens who showed in our back yard 5 years ago; our 2 y.o. pup (Plott hound) was rescued from a kill shelter in Alabama, and transported to Maine to the local humane society; and our newest addition, a 8 m.o. black lab, was literally rescued from “death row” at a high kill shelter in SC, and transported to Maine.

  • January 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you! I wrote this devotional to show that God shares our passions with us. It might sound strange or kind of silly to some people to write about finding animals homes but it’s not because He does care about every creature, and even more than that, He cares about even the smallest care that we have. And He meets our needs. I love meeting other animal rescuers! Animal rescue is even a topic I have made available on my website. Now just waiting for civic groups to hire me to speak! ;D
    Thanks so much for your comment.

  • January 6, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Irene,
    Thank you! I had a few people who took time to feed and care for them alongside me.
    My father passed away one month later. So it was a blessing for me to be able to come home when I did.
    Come back and check out more of my posts!
    Thanks again for time to read my thoughts.

  • January 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    K. Lee,
    Yes, I saw your post about all the animals! Whoo=hoo!
    You are really a big blessing to them! So glad you could step in and provide for these animals. Because of people like you, rescue workers are so encouraged to keep on rescuing these animals. 🙂

  • January 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I’m so sorry about your father :(. Cancer is never easy–nor is losing a loved one. You are absolutely right, though, God cares about us and the creatures that he created. Our job is to be good stewards of all he has given us.

  • January 6, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    You are so right, Anita! Amen. =)
    Thank you also for your kind empathy about my father.

  • January 7, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I’m sorry about your father. I am a cancer survivor, myself, and one of the hardest parts of that was seeing the worry and fear on loved ones’ faces – particularly my daughter’s. We’re never really ready to lose a parent or a child. Fortunately, I was blessed with a little more time on this earth.

    It can be hard to find homes for dogs in the middle-east. They are not universally loved, there, by any means. Cats are a different matter. Feral cats seem to be the official beast of Turkey, and they seem to be welcomed everywhere. I’m glad you were able to put yours in good homes before you left. I’m sure that was a weight off your shoulders in that difficult time.

  • January 7, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Oh yes, it was a weight off my mind. It was a weight ON my mind those last ten days. I din’t save them only to throw them back to the streets. Life is so difficult for animals in the Middle East. You get it. But God placed caring people in their paths that gave me comfort and peace of mind so that when I left, I could focus on my dad. That’s true, we are never ready to say goodbye to a parent or child. Soo glad that you are a survivor, Holly, and look forward to knowing you better! Have you subscribed to #Amy’s Adventures yet? Many of my stories have an international theme to them because I was an ESL teacher fortunate to have traveled overseas. You seem to know a little about life overseas. I also write about the lighter side to facing vision loss.

  • January 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you, Amy. I’ll subscribe after this comment. My first job out of college was teaching ESL, but stateside, at Berlitz. I was also the school’s Method Instructor. But all my travels have been for fun, mostly with family. I’ve been fortunate enough to see many parts of the world. We’ve been to Istanbul twice, now, and I know the double standard for dog and cats, so those animals were lucky to have you. My SIL has also brought rescue dogs to the states from Iran.

    There’s a lighter side to facing vision loss? I’m annoyed by my current glasses (I think I have to throw in the towel and admit I now need to switch between “driving glasses” and “computer glasses,” and only know there’s that age-related far-sightedness now because I have to hold a book at arm’s length. And none of it’s really comfortable. Of all of us in the family, I’m best at navigating a pitch black room. But it’s hard to find the humor in it, some days, and mine’s still completely correctable. I do keep a close eye on eye health, too, because several relatives had macular degeneration. I suppose there’s a lighter side to anything, if we look for it – I laughed all through breast cancer. The alternative is adding a puffy red face and stuffy nose to an already horrible situation. Where’s the fun in that?

  • January 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    You were an ESL teacher stateside? I love meeting other ESL teachers! Berlitz must have been a great experience! And teaching all those methods!! I taught at the Defense Language Institute (English Language Center) at Lackland Air Force Base. DLI, for short. We taught international military. It was a wonderful job!
    Yes, that’s absolutely right. There IS a lighter side to facing our challenges. Humor definitely helps us to keep things in perspective. I don’t like puffy noses and stuffed up eyes! (The puffy nose is from running into the wall and the stuffed up eyes are from cold compresses compresses!). Have a great day!

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