I (Mel) was born in North Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up out in the country in northwestern Missouri. We didn't have a "working farm" but we did have 30 acres of land, and anywhere from 1-4 horses at any given time. We had a host of animals living with us, and I'm sure that it was here that I first learned about the bond that we humans have with animals, if we let ourselves.
My husband (Jeff) was born in here in Pittsburgh. He grew up in the suburbs with a dog, and then a cat, and spent several summers working for a veterinarian.
Argos: Our handsome greyhound boy was adopted from Steel City Greyhounds, here in Pittsburgh. They are an awesome greyhound adoption group, and if you're in the Pittsburgh area and would like to adopt one of these beautiful hounds, check them out. They got him from one of the racetracks in West Virginia. We know that he ran 50+ races in his lifetime, and won 16 of them. We would love him even if he'd never won a single race, though! I don't know much about his life at the track. We do suspect that his trainer was a woman, and that she was kind to him. The picture of him on his racing statistics page shows a person holding him in place, and it looks like a woman's hands. And he likes women a lot... prefers them, really. (With the exception of Jeff, who he LOVES.)
Maera: Maera is our newest addition to the household. She is a very young greyhound girl, and is very energetic and playful. She is also an adoptee from Steel City Greyhounds. She never raced - her statistics page is blank. I suspect that she was more focused on playing with the other dogs and trying to get the humans to pay attention to her to run... her motivation is a little different than a typical successful racer! We got her over the summer of 2011, and she has become a dear member of our household in a very short time.
We adopted all of our cats from the Western Pennsylvania Animal Rescue League, which is an open-door shelter that is very close to our house. They have a huge population of cats, and have space at many of the local Petcos, so it is very easy to adopt from them. They frequently have adoption "sales" allowing you to get a kitty companion for only a nominal fee - and of course you have the satisfaction of knowing that you have saved a life. They also have an affordable in-house clinic that you can take your cats (and dogs too, I think) for their vaccinations and other routine medical care.
Charlotte: We don't know much about where Charlotte came from before she wound up at the shelter, only that she had been brought in by someone who "had too many cats." The cynical side of me thinks that someone figured out that she had congestive heart failure, and didn't want to deal with the expense, the care, yet didn't have the heart to have her put to sleep.
Annie: She was found wandering around the Northside, an area of Pittsburgh. It appeared that she had been out on her own for quite some time. She had (and still has) some scar tissue on one eye, and I question how well she can see out of it. Once at the Animal Rescue League, she had a tough time getting adopted. Looking at the notes that they had on her, she was at the shelter for a year, fostered out because the cage was freaking her out, and then brought back to the shelter again. Poor little overlooked black cat. Ah well, she's in a good home now, and gets lots of love and affection.
Romeo: Romeo was surrendered by his former owners because he had stopped using the litter box. Which was... daunting, until you found out that his household had just had a newborn baby added, and that he was probably upset and unsure of his standing. He's a bit of a grump, and though he doesn't usually draw blood, he does growl at us and take swings at us if we try to give him too much attention or heaven forbid, pick him up. He has a long way to go before he grows to trust us, but we're willing to be patient with him and let him come around in his own time. RIP Romeo. 2/2003-6/2011. A little over a year after we first brought Romeo home, he died of heart complications while being treated for a urinary blockage at the emergency vet. We miss him terribly.
Bit: Bit goes last, because we really haven't the faintest clue of why she was at the shelter, or where she came from. I can't understand why she was there at all - she was such a ridiculously adorable little kitten (I know, I know, ALL kittens are adorable, but she was over the top cute.) My guess is she can't even remember a life before us, since she was still a baby when we got her. She is our fluffy princess, and behaves accordingly.