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Furry friends find new homes after rescuer's death

Posted April 12, 2013
Updated April 13, 2013

— Almost all of the cats and dogs once belonging to a Wake Forest woman who died of cancer have been adopted.

Susan Lee, who called herself an independent animal rescuer, died earlier this year after a battle with cancer. In her final days, she put out a plea to family, friends and the public to adopt the furry friends she called "Susan's Sweethearts."

Through a website, 33 of the 34 have found new homes.

Bruiser makes new family feel safe

Mike And Doreen Smith stepped up to care for Bruiser, an energetic 80-pound dog with one blue eye and one brown eye. 

"He makes me feel safer at night knowing he's in the house with my chow chow and my chihuahua," Doreen Smith said. 

'It was love'

Ryan Wood heard about Susan's Sweethearts from a friend. 

"She said, 'There's this place called Susan's Sweethearts,' and she showed me some pictures and I saw Buddy," he recalled. Bruiser Susan's Sweethearts find new homes

Now Buddy is Wood's new best friend. " He was unlike any of the other dogs. It's hard to explain. It was love," Wood said.

One dog remains

There is still one adoption story yet to be told. Lilly, an affectionate black lab was one of Lee's favorites, and she remains without a home. That means the work is not complete for Karen Croom, who promised Lee she'd get all of the animals adopted.

"You're dealing with a friend that's passed, but you also know you have a chore in front of you," Croom said. 

Lilly, 10, likes children, men and women and is known as a cuddler, Croom said. 

Meet all Susan's Sweethearts.


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  • proud-bleeding-heart Apr 18, 2013

    Awwww. So sweet

  • momeeee Apr 15, 2013

    Thank you to all who adopted Susan's wonderful animals. I know that the owners have a special "piece of Susan" that will bestow blessings on the family who took them in!

  • chattycat Apr 15, 2013

    This is great news. Good luck to Lilly. I am sure she will find her person.