Animal Rescue Stories

Read heartfelt stories of rescue, and share your rescued animal stories with others.

Dog and her 11 puppies left abandoned in public restroom find their forever homes

Dog and her 11 puppies left abandoned in public restroom find their forever homes

In May 2021, a dog was found abandoned and tied to a suitcase that was full of her 11 puppies in a public restroom stall. They were brought to the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County for care.

The mother dog, Rosie (formerly named Oolong), was emaciated and her puppies had puppy strangles, a condition that creates swelling in the face and skin lesions.

The dogs spent over a month being fostered by the good Samaritan who found them. Rosie was nourished back to a healthy weight and after proper medical care, the puppies were cleared of their condition.

For the 11 puppies whose lives started out rough, they are now in their forever homes and have quickly become a part of their new families.

“We absolutely love our little guy. He is full of energy and absolutely adores everyone. He loves his big brother and spends lots of time instigating play and shenanigans,” says Jesse Henrickson, Kostya’s (formerly named Macchiato) adopter. “We are so happy he is a part of our family.”

“My wife and I are obsessed with her. She has been fitting in well in our home and with our other dog,” says Alec Mrochek, Lacey’s (formerly named Caramel) adopter. “We are very happy with her, and couldn't imagine life without her now.”

As for Rosie, she is enjoying her new home and her new canine brother.

“My husband and I fell in love with her when we first met her and adopted her that same day,” says Jackie Pascual, Rosie’s adopter.

You can find more information and see their adoption updates at:

Lindsey Heaney

Tango earned his name

Tango earned his name

I was looking for a little orange kitten. They showed me an orange and white cat they said was about 8 months old. I put my fingers in the cage to give him a scratch. Instead he dropped down and started playing with my fingers. He did this little dance, ergo: Tango. When I walked away to the end of the row of cages I heard a horrible yowl. I asked the attendant what the noise was.

"It's that cat you walked away from". I was stunned but she was right. I went back and this cat was full of antics. Trying to play with my fingers and talking. Lol. He was a sweetheart. Needless to say I adopted him.

Tango is now 16 years old and the alpha of my fur babies. When Bo (puppy) first joined the family he and Tango set across from each other. I watched from a doorway. Bo had never even seen a cat. Tango had definitely seen dogs. I just said "Be nice Tango, he's just a baby". Tango sat there for a minute just looking at Bo.

Bo weighed about 5 pounds and Tango weighed 16 pounds. After about a minute Tango leaned over and licked Bo on the nose. It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen. Bo is a little rambunctious for Tango but they get along quite well. Tango is a very patient kitty.

Mary C Walker

She saved me

She saved me

My little princess was found in a dumpster by a friend of my son. Neither the friend nor my son were able to keep her, so my son called me. We had just lost our Tasha a few months ago, and I was still raw from her passing, so I really didn't want another dog.

I asked what he was going to do with her if I didn't take her, and he told me he'd have to take her to the Humane Society. I then asked what kind of dog it was and he told me it was a chihuahua. I'm thinking "ugh, an ankle biter". That said, I told him to call his father, and if it was ok with him, then it was ok with me. He laughed and said he'd already talked to his dad and was told the same thing.

I got home and my son and the dog were there. I sat down on the stairs and this little ball of fur ran to me and sat in my lap and went to sleep. That was that. Roo was now a member of the family.

Our tiny little colorful ball of fur was in her furever home and I was in love, not only with her coloring, but with her personality. We took her to the vet and found out she had a heart murmur, which was probably why she was abandoned. We also think she was abused in her short 6 months (estimated) of life. We were determined to give her the best life for however long she had no matter what it took or how much it cost. She knew she was safe and she knew she was loved.

She gave us 13 wonderful years and I had to put her down about a month ago. She was my heart, my little princess, my nose licker and my lap dog. She rescued me and saved my sanity as I dealt with illness, empty nesting and moving. Along the way, she got a "sibling", but she was the boss and Tycho was fine with that. He misses his sister. We all do. She stole our heart from day one and there will be a void in my heart forever. We were blessed.

Allison St Pierre

Broken Baby

Broken Baby

We went to pick up a rescue dog that turned out to be misrepresented. Here we were faced with a seven pound chihuahua mix that evidently was hit by a car. The foster mom was impatient and unkind. We decided we would take him.

The vet said he was about 16 yrs. old and his whole body was broken. Blind, deaf, twisted back, smashed foot, broken jaw and no teeth! Vet says he has a strong heart. He is the love of our life. So sweet. We decided this little guy needs all the love we can give him for his remaining years.

Simba,Dexter and Fudge

Simba,Dexter and Fudge

We were walking past a pet shop in England and there was a meow so loud that we had to see what was happening to the cat who was being so loud. I saw this beautiful ginger and white kitten and I asked the shop owner why was it so upset.

We were told that its brothers and sisters had been sold and he was the last one left. I felt so sorry for him I decided to buy him. We never intended to look for another cat but thought he needed us.

We got him home and he settled in well. He is now 10 yrs old and he is such a loving gentle cat who loves a fuss.

We have another ginger cat Dexter who I rescued on Facebook after I heard some louts tied fireworks to him. We took him in from a rescue on Facebook. He also has turned into a lovely trusting cat after he was so aggressive at first that we couldnt stroke him. In time, it took 2 years, he trusted us.

He was terrible and vicious to other animals so I got a cage so he could learn to be less aggressive. He is now roughly 11 yrs old, as I never knew when he was born. We have had him 6 years, and he is now the most loving cat.

Fudge is another cat who is ginger and white and fluffy who is very shy and timid but very loving. He is 14 yrs old now. We had him from a kitten from a pet shop. Mostly I have taken in cats, but sometimes it happened from a shop to help get them a home as this was a rescue, as well.

All of the animals we have had now and before I have remembered them fondly for different reasons and different personalities and written down.

Marguerite White
Dagenham, United Kingdom

Campground cat

Campground cat

When we were camping in Tennessee, we saw a tortoiseshell cat about six months old near a truck. We went over and tried to befriend her; she was friendly but would not come near a person. We were leaving the next day and could not catch her.

About a month later, we decided to go back to the same camp. We called her what we’ve been calling her the first time we were there and out she came. She rubbed against our ankles, but when we went down to get her she would takeoff. We were due to leave in a couple of days and decided to try and catch her with thick work gloves and a cage. We manage to do so and put her in our camper.

She has turned into a beautiful kitty, still is skittish but now enjoys her head being stroked and sleeping in our bedroom. She now weighs a healthy 12 pounds.

Jean Wilson

My wonderful feline friends

My wonderful feline friends

I have had many, many cats share my life over the years; I don't think I can pick just one, so I'll say a little about a few of them.

First, Marmalade: When I was 8, coming home from school I carried a big ginger tabby with me. He didn't have a home, my mom said he wouldn't stay, but he never left. He was my first pet, my first cat. He was gentle & patient, and I still miss him. He let me dress him in doll clothes and give him a bath; he was just grateful for a family.

Then there was my tiny Pippin, a little girl who followed me everywhere, loved me & made me feel special.

Later, there was Pepe, a grey & tan tabby who would wrap his body around my head when I had to lay down because of a migraine. He purred, cuddled, and stayed with me until the headache was better. He was tall, thin, and didn't take anything from any other cat.

And Tipper--a tiny kitten who grew into a 20+ lb. cat. His fur was black with silver tips, but once he knew his name, all that grew out, so that he was solid black, nose to toes to tail tip. He was the 'official greeter' in our home for years, announcing/welcoming visitors but insisting upon a scratch & pet. He also had the loudest voice I've ever heard from a cat, never scratched anyone in his over 17 years in spite of having claws I called scimitars. He also showed me love and patience during a difficult period in life.

There have been so many others: Angel, Jojo, Hamlet, Missy, and my current babies, Mia, Smudge and Taco.

Mia is my rescue from Hawaii; she was abandoned upstairs from us, 15 years ago. She's a terrible nag, but I'd never change her! Smudge is what I refer to as 'Wide-Eyed Innocence.' She's sweet, cuddly, and mothers all the other members of her family--cats, dog & people. Taco is also a big solid-black cat, with the distinction of being a polydactyl with 7 claws & toes on each front paw. I love them all, miss those who are gone, and hope to see them all again someday. They were with me when I needed them most and made my life better every day they were with me.

Jana F

Angels with Whiskers

Angels with Whiskers

I am the proud mama to two female kitties, Tilly age 11 come next month, and Milly age 8 as of this month.

In early October of last year, 2020, I was feeling a sinus infection coming on, and went to take a shower, had a little bit of dizziness, but nothing I worried about, or so I thought.

I got into the shower washed and rinsed my hair, then heard a type of electronic music, and opened my eyes, realized I had passed out (for first time in my life). I was on the the floor of the shower stall. I looked up and noticed that one of the doors was 2/3rds of the way opened.

I sat up and saw Tilly just outside the bathroom door. (I live alone with my cats, so I don't bother closing bathroom doors.) Tilly had the oddest look on her face. I realized she was trying to figure out how to turn off the water, so I raised up and turned the water off. She took off, then Milly came right into the shower stall and began patting my face, as if to say "Mama you okay?"

For several days after that, I would find them both waiting outside the door, until I stepped out, then off they would go to continue doing what cats do all day, sleeping.

They're my little Angels with whiskers.

Sherry Edwards

Family evacuates from fire just in time for cat to give birth

Family evacuates from fire just in time for cat to give birth

On August 21, a family in Puyallup, Washington was forced to evacuate their home due to a nearby building fire with their pregnant foster cat. The family was fostering Moon, a pregnant cat from the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County who was due to give birth anytime.

“We woke up Saturday morning to a ‘Go Now’ evacuation order. We got the kids dressed and put Moon in her carrier,” said Rebecca Thompson, Moon’s foster parent. “We didn’t know when we could go back to the house. We decided to just find a room for the night.”

Thompson and her family settled into a room at the La Quinta hotel in Federal Way, Washington. Within the hour, Moon started to go into labor.

“We all joked that tonight would be the night she would have her babies. Sure enough, I noticed her having contractions within the hour and she was not going to give up her cozy bed. My 12-year-old son and I got some towels under her,” explains Thompson.

Within a few hours, Moon had given birth to five healthy babies and one stillborn. Moon and her babies are back in their foster home doing well. For the foster family, it's an experience they’ll never forget.

“This is the third year we have fostered through the shelter,” said Thompson. “This was an incredible experience for our family, and definitely one we will remember! We checked in with one cat, and checked out with six!”

Lindsey Heaney

Our beloved Steele

Our beloved Steele

We lost our lab three days before. It was quiet and lonely in our house. So we stopped by the ARL just to "look". There was this large black lab that had been there approx. a month that had been transferred to the ARL from a smaller county. He had been looked at and bypassed several times. He sat to the back of the kennel.

We asked to meet and greet him. In the small room he was disconnected walking in circles. We asked to take him out to see if he walks on a leash. We walked back and forth a few times. I stopped, cupped his face in my hands and asked him "do you need us as much as we need you".

My husband wasn't convinced he was ready so we left to think about it. The dog wouldn't go back into his kennel, dug his feet in as not to move so the associate coerced him with hotdogs. We headed to the University for an event and went to the campus book store where my husband approached me with a dog collar. It was decided, we would pick him up.

Upon our return to the ARL, the lab was in a room with a family with three young boys. "Steele" spotted us and ran to the window hysterically barking. We walked away from the window so the family can have their moment. An associate approached us and asked if we needed help. We told her we came back to pick up the large black lab but it was in a room with a family. The tag was still on the kennel door so she grabbed the tag and ran it to the front office. He had chosen us.

We trained and he and I became a certified therapy team. He passed 10 years later leaving another hole in our hearts.