Animal Rescue Stories

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

Sweetie-Boy Not so Feral

Sweetie-Boy Not so Feral

The year was 2005. One day there was an all-black cat at my back door meowing. While he didn't look hungry, I fed him anyway. Meanwhile, I already had 3 cats of my own. As I was putting the food out for this all black cat, I hear another cat crying under my car. I look to see the cutest little orange and white cat so I fed him too. However, this little guy was not as brave as his friend. He wouldn't come out until I left the area. Come to find out, the all black cat was a neighbors cat who just wanted a free meal and the little orange and white cat was indeed a stray. So it happened I made sure I fed this little guy every day. I was in touch with Hull Animal Rescue and we made plans to have him trapped and neutered. I went to visit him while he was at the vet but he just hissed and spit at me, and clearly was not happy to be locked up. I asked if he could be socialized and they said no. They said he had been a stray for at least 1-2 years and was too wild to be socialized. They said they would release him back to my house and I could continue to feed him. Luckily for me, I had an enclosed back porch with heat and I had a cat door installed for this little guy I now called "Sweetie-Boy". Every morning I would open the back door to put his food and water out and he would purr when he saw me and the food coming. Little by little, he let me in the same space as him and soon he was brushing up against my legs as if to ask to be petted. Then you guessed it, I was able to pet him. Then I was able to sit with him. Then I was able to introduce my cats to him. Then he became a permanent part of our family and never returned to the outdoors. It took a little while but he turned into the most gentle little guy. We had many wonderful years together and he was happy at home with me and his furry friends. I lost Sweetie-Boy last year to cancer. He entered into my life in 2005 and left this world in 2018, but will remain forever in my heart.

Jean Ricciuti
BRAINTREE, MA

Shadow had a bad life before

Shadow had a bad life before

After my SpitFire passed away on October 17th 2014, just 2 weeks Short of her 18th Birthday (on Halloween), I was bound and determined to rescue another black kitty. So I went on the net looking for another black kitty. When I found Shadow (she was named Dora at the shelter), I Called Tri-County Shelter in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and they told me she was still there. The next day we drove an hour and a half to go rescue her. She was very scared and wouldn't come out of her cage to meet us; didn't matter, I was taking her home anyway. One of the ladies that work there, she told me the story of how Dora had been brought there not once, but twice. Her first people had her her whole life (4 Years). They brought her in in a box sealed with only 2 small holes; not much to breath thru. They had decided they were moving to California and didn't want to take her with them, so they dumped her off. Her next people had her 3 days and returned her because they wanted a mean cat to go after the dog they had, and when that didn't happen they brought her back, you see. I am a 3-time black kitty rescue mom so far, and not all at the same time. I had volunteered at my local shelter at a younger age, and have seen what black kitties go thru - being ignored, tortured, and used for cult purposes - so I vowed to always rescue the black ones first. So anyway, we brought her home and the first 3 days she was at our house she stayed under our clawed bath tub, so afraid to come out. She could still smell my last kitty (who is now in a box with my other babies; all have been cremated so far). I changed her name back to Shadow because Dora just didn't fit her. Well, she finally came out and has been my lucky #13! She is so happy and healthy, and of course indoor-only. She loves the golden retriever we got after her, so Shadow and Luuciee love and play all day and cuddle at night!

Nancy BrightEyes KeislingMiller
ISANTI, MN

Found at the side of the road

Found at the side of the road

She was found sitting at the side of the road - miles from anywhere, but not footsore or dirty, so obviously dumped. The people who found her contacted Labrador Rescue, who gave me her details. When I took her to be spayed, my vet said she had a false pregancy due to a benign tumour on one ovary. I believe she was a puppy-mill bitch and was dumped because she didn't fall pregnant. I named her Daisy. She is my precious love and very spoiled!

Jane Trathen
Johannesburg, South Africa

She belongs to you

She belongs to you

We lost our big, yellow lab a while back. When it was time to think about getting another family member, we went to the Humane Society. There was no other choice for us. Adopt! We were looking around and an employee was taking a dog to a family in a room to consider adopting. The dog stopped right in her tracks and sat down right next to my daughter. We were so touched and moved by this but the dog had to go see this other family. My daughter was misty eyed. So we went in another room and looked at some other dogs. Then the lady told us the other family didn't pick her so we could. The choice was made! She had been returned twice. Now she is OURS! Happy and healthy!

Gina White
BIRMINGHAM, AL

Young pup left to fend for himself

Young pup left to fend for himself

My dad found a little black dog running in and out the doors of a small grocery store in Brownsville TX. He asked around if he belonged to anyone; they all said no he’s been here over a week! One of the employees had been feeding him but didn’t want another dog, so dad took this little guy home with him. Dad calls, "you want a dog?" He said, "I found this skinny pup begging for food, he’s a friendly one but I did have coax him to get in the truck with me. Someone just abandoned him at the store parking lot." I live over 400 miles away and already had 3 dogs & a cat, all rescues, but my elderly dad has never brought home an abandoned dog so of course I said yes. Then I had to tell my husband we were getting another dog! I fibbed and said we were getting the dog for a friend of ours. Guess what, we kept him for ourselves and named him Chico. He loves my husband, loves to go for rides in our truck; can’t say the words “let’s go” around him, he is the first one at the door. He loves his furry brothers and loves chasing the cat. The cat sits next to him and they end up grooming each other. Thanks to Dad, we have another furry baby. ❤️

Bel
ALVIN, TX

My Jazzy cat

My Jazzy cat

Right before Thanksgiving 2017 I was looking at cats on my local humane society website. Ten yrs earlier I had adopted my cat Jade from there. Jade is now 13 and it got me thinking about getting a second cat. A picture of the most adorable calico cat named Maria caught my attention. I wanted to go see her in person, but no longer drive, so I needed a ride there. I put out the word on my church Facebook page; it was Thanksgiving weekend and most people were out of town, so finding a ride wasn't easy. I kept looking at Maria on the website, wishing I could adopt her and that the $100 adoption fee would be more affordable. It was beginning to look like I might not get to see her in person. So I said a little prayer that she'd find a forever home even if it wasn't with me. Then in the 11th hour, a friend from church said she could take me to the humane society!! When we walked in I saw Maria in her cage.... on the front of it was a huge neon pink sign that said her adoption fee was half price! Only $50!! In that moment I knew she was meant to be mine, because my two prayers had been answered!! I took her home that day and renamed her Jasmine! She is the sweetest cat and I am blessed to be her 'mom'!!

Lori Fiano
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA

Unexpected Rescue

Unexpected Rescue

I lost my boy, Kiyoshi, (around 17 years old) to kidney failure in mid November 2018. Not being ready to get another cat quite yet (and needing my grieving time since Kiyoshi had been my Dad's cat whom I inherited upon my Dad's death 10 years earlier), a friend from my hometown whom I hadn't seen in 30 years posted on Facebook that he was losing his home (and moving out of state) and, therefore, his cat would have nowhere to live. Not wanting his girl cat to go to a shelter (yikes, no!), I offered to take her. Many phone calls later and a long round trip car ride, and now this feisty 6 yr old girl with the tiny squeaky voice resides in my home (from outside cat to an inside one). She's a beauty!

Kimiko S
SAN CLEMENTE, CA

The best birthday present ever!!

The best birthday present ever!!

In October 2007 my niece stepped outside to feed some of the stray cats around her house. When she called for them a little black kitten streaked across the street to get his share. My niece picked him up and held the cup of food in front of him and he stuck his entire head down in it. She had no idea where he had come from but it wasn't the best of neighborhoods and cats, particularly black cats, didn't survive around there for very long. My niece called me immediately because she knew it would be love at first sight for me when I saw this precious baby. She was right! My birthday is October 27 so Mystery (the very fitting name my niece gave him) became my birthday present. When I took him to the vet to be checked out and neutered we discovered he was only 6 weeks old. Mystery was one of those special cats who loves people. He would come running when you called for him, wanted to sleep at your feet using your foot for a pillow or with his legs stretched out so that a paw was in contact with you. When he looked at you the adoration and love in his eyes was undeniable. He made me feel like I was the best thing since sliced bread. About two years ago he started suffering seizures. He was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor and we were told that treatment or surgery MIGHT extend his life for a few months. So we decided that instead of putting him through all of that for something that might or might not work we would just take him home, put him on medication to help control the seizures and love him for as long as we could. We finally had to let our baby go on January 28, 2019 and my senior cat Raven and myself grieve for him every day. I'll always be grateful for those two years we were given. I know I'll see you again someday but until then I will never, ever stop loving you.

Angela J.
MONROE, MI

Mushu's journey

Mushu's journey

After nearly 20-years we lost our beloved Squeaky. I wasn’t looking for a new kitty, but there he was. I saw Mushu’s face on a rescue Facebook page & knew I had to have him, but he was in Florida & I live near Houston. I posted a question, asking if someone could rescue him from the shelter until I could get him to me. A woman responded, she pulled Mushu & fostered him for 2 weeks until transport was arranged thru Pilots N Paws. Today Mushu is safely ensconced in our home with our black Lab, Maxie and our Irish Setter, Henry. Henry and Mushu are buddies! I’ve made so many new friends thru this journey & can’t thank all involved in saving Mushu enough - BTW Mushu is a real talker - he loves to chat . Mushu continues to bring us great joy with his playful nature and "purr"-sonality! He loves me to chase him outside, then lies down and waits for me to pick him up and carry him back to the house. Perhaps Mushu is trying to say thank you mom, I'm happy to be alive living life large in #Texas! (Maxie went over the Rainbow Bridge a year ago. :-( )

Colleen Stadnick
KATY, TX

Saving Kody

Saving Kody

Kody was taken to a shelter by his owner along with 7 other dogs and 1 cat, all surrendered for different reasons. Kody was said to be too big at 95 lbs. The owner tried to adopt a puppy after all the animals were surrendered. The staff was pretty incredulous at this callousness and the request was refused. Kody was 18 months old and friendly but he quickly began to not do well in the shelter. He started growling at anyone approaching him and did not want anyone touching him. I was called to see if the breed rescue I volunteered for, National Great Pyr Rescue, would take him since he was not adoptable out of the shelter. I spent hours every day for a week sitting in his kennel letting him get used to me. One shelter worker could still touch him and she would put a leash on him and let me walk him around the property. After a week, he was a little more comfortable with me and I took him home. The second Kody got into my car his whole demeanor changed. He became a different dog, puppy-like, playful, friendly, loving, and a huge cuddle bug, but only with me. My adult daughter lived with me then and he never let her touch him. He would scrabble to get away from her and growl if he felt cornered. The betrayal of being dumped at a shelter had a profound life-long effect on Kody. He became the most one-person dog I have ever met. This is very uncharacteristic of Great Pyrenees, who are usually quietly friendly to everyone and can become excellent therapy dogs because of their calm friendliness. Within six months, I realized Kody would not go anywhere else and I accepted the fact that he had adopted me. I have gotten Kody to the point he will allow vets and vet techs to handle him if I hold his head, but he will never be the dog he was before he was taken to the shelter. As a result, I do all of his grooming, which is a big job, and I take him with me whenever I travel. I can't leave him with a dog sitter and I will never put him in a kennel even for boarding. So I drive whenever I go on vacation and stay inside the U.S. Where I go, Kody goes. One of the things I love about fostering is watching a dog bloom into the dog they were always meant to be before abandonment, abuse or neglect beat them down. But some dogs never get back to that original point. The female Pyr I fostered and adopted reacted to her abandonment by refusing to eat in the shelter and was emaciated by the time she came to me, but she never lost her love of people and is clearly one of those dogs that takes a great deal of comfort in being close to people. Kody takes comfort only from me now. People have said how sweet this is, but it is a huge worry for me. I had to go to the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital for an illness. Fortunately, friends of mine who are excellent dog handlers and were familiar with Kody were able to go into my house and without touching him or looking at him, put a slip lead on him to take him outside, dragging a long leash attached to the slip lead. On the flip side, Kody had major surgery and the vet wanted him to stay at the animal hospital for three days afterward. The day after surgery, I had to take Kody home because he wouldn't eat, drink or take his meds and was snapping at the staff if they tried to give him his meds. Kody is six years old now, and I just pray that neither he nor I have to be hospitalized again in his lifetime and that I outlive him. It is pretty horrible to have to worry about such things. I want people to think first before taking an animal to the shelter. I realize that life happens and for some the only answer is to surrender their pets, but most of the time there are other choices that could be considered such as obedience training, behavioral training, putting up a fence, etc. My female Pyr was taken to the shelter because, "she won't stay where she belongs." All she needed was a fence. Animals can be emotionally damaged by being taken to a shelter, even a no-kill shelter with dedicated volunteers, so think first and don't always take the easy way out.

A rescuer
LOUISVILLE, KY