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Animal Rescue Stories

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

Psycho Dog Has Left the Room

Psycho Dog Has Left the Room

My neighbor rescued him. He kept sneaking into my yard to play with my much older dogs (and me). One day I looked out my kitchen window to see rescue aid at my neighbor's house. Went over there and they were taking my neighbor to the hospital but Pinto, aka Psycho dog, was not going to let that happen. He allowed me to pick him up and I told Don not to worry. I would take care of Pinto until he came home. He never came home. The daughter brought me an envelope with Pinto's history. He had been turned into a kill shelter in a city far away at 6 months of age. Spent the next 6 months mostly in a cage because he would bark and growl when anyone came near him, even when given tranquilizers. Was rescued by an agency near here days before being put down to sleep and then transferred to Don. The rescue, in spite of a signed contract, did not want him back. There were days when I would have driven him to the kill shelter gladly. Then I realized, he growls and barks when he is scared or when someone yells or threatens him in any way. So I started to only speak softly to him even when I would have preferred a loud scream, and praised him when he even tried to behave. He is very intelligent and I can tell when he is considering whether to go with plan A (destruction) or plan B (do what I am expected to do). I have learned a lot from him.

Annie
SILVER SPRINGS, FL

Unwanted kitties

Unwanted kitties

We lost our Willy to old age (he was almost 18 years old), and a month later went to a shelter of the state of Madrid (in Spain) to adopt a kitten. When we arrived, the shelter staff took a look at us (we must have I LOVE KITTIES written on our face) and showed us the older kitties, which according to them, nobody wants. My sister wanted an orange cat and I wanted a tuxedo, so after looking at all the available cats, we came home with Max and Henry, who at this time were 2 and 1 year old. What a great decision; I will never again adopt a small kitten! These two adapted really well and although it took some time for them to hop on our laps and to let us cuddle them, they are now, 4 years later, two purring and lovable family members, who give us so much love and good moments! Adopt an older kitty (or two!). You will never regret it.

ELISABETH ROTHFRITZ
MADRID, Spain

Spay Neuter Program for Rural Area

Spay Neuter Program for Rural Area

When I moved to my current home 18 years ago, I was almost immediately told of the feral cat problem. Because we are rural, 35 miles from a town, callous people would dump their unwanted cats here. The cats quickly became feral and reproduced, unchecked. I sought donations, wrote grants, and created a spay/neuter/vaccinate fund for the purpose of altering these cats. I was joined in my efforts by community volunteers, and our goal went beyond fixing to also re-homing the wild cats to a property where the owners agreed to provide adequate shelter and food for their working cats. After several years at almost zero population growth, we are now importing cats and kittens from our neighboring zip codes. The spay/neuter/vaccinate services, along with emergency vet care, are available free of charge to any community member who adopts. My mission is to stop the birth of unwanted cats, so that rescue will no longer be necessary.

Beth Winters
BRADLEY, CA

A Graduation Gift

A Graduation Gift

My son was in college and volunteered at a no kill cat shelter. There was one he was attached to, and vice versa. Every time he arrived at the shelter, the cat would start meowing and crying. On graduation day, he adopted the cat. His name is McDee, as he was found near a McDonald's, and he's now about 15 years old. He is a great cat and he's very good with my two grandsons. I really do believe they know when they've been saved.

Kathy Furlott
PORT WASHINGTON, WI

up a tree

up a tree

My neighbor called me saying, "I found a kitten up a tree in the yard; we have 3 and can't take another one." I said yes, I would love to have it; was it a boy or girl? It was a boy. He is a yellow tabby. We took him to the vet to be sure that Charlie (we named him after our neighbor's grand son) was ok. He is doing great with our other 2 cats, who also have a story; Rhett is a sliver and white Siamese, and Flash came from a friend who knew I was upset over losing our last cat. She called and asked if I would help her with a prayer request. I said ok, but I do not do foster care for kittens. She came bringing a pretty yellow tabby with long hair. He is so handsome! He was shot in the spring of 2019 by someone in our neighborhood; the vet had to take his left leg completely off. He is amazing how he gets around. No we never found the person who shot him, we can only pray it was an accident.

Gloria G Johnston
BEDFORD, VA

BAIT DOG

BAIT DOG

My husband is a local truck driver. He noticed a young pitbull on his route in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. She would show up in different areas in a 5 mile radius. He noticed her for about a month and tried to feed her. She was so scared that she wouldn't come near him. So he would throw the food to her. Just the action of moving his arm to throw the food terrified her and she would run and hide. This went on for another month until finally he gently tossed the food and she came to eat! My husband's route is in an industrial area that is really nasty, dirty, with lots of big trucks, and no place for a dog. He told the guy next to him, "If she lets me pick her up, you open the door to my truck because I'm taking her home." And sure enough, he got her in the truck! You could see EVERY bone in her spine, every rib, and she was covered in scars. We think she was used for a bait dog. It had to be rough living on the streets of an industrial neighborhood. The first year was difficult trying to domesticate her. All she really wants is to be loved! Two years later and she is the most spoiled rotten, wonderfully loved pitbull! She won't leave her daddy's side. She is truly dedicated to him for saving her. What a wonderful dog she has turned out to be. We are thankful for finding her! We hate to think of what would have happened to her if my husband hadn't picked her up. We love our Bailey-Boo!

B MYERS
WAKEMAN, OH

Mila and Lupi

Mila and Lupi

After losing my beloved boxer in 2015 to multiple cancers, only weeks off his 11th birthday, my shelter rescue Fifi and l were very lonely. 5 months later, a small pincher mix on a German rescue site caught my eye. Already 10 years old, with a crooked little upper jaw and skewed hind leg, nobody wanted her. I fell in love with that little face, and so Mila joined us all the way from Slovakia. 2 years later (2017), my large rescue Fifi passed away during the night at the age of 14 and again we were both heart-sore. Until our little tri-colour Lupi, from Italy via a Swiss rescue organisation joined us in July the same year. These 2 former street dogs bonded after 3 days, have been inseparable ever since, and are the joy of their mom every day. Please adopt a shelter or rescue organisation older pet. They are the most grateful animals! At almost 15 and almost 9 they are, despite health issues of Lupi (leishmaniasis, for which he gets treated), in brilliant shape and ready for new adventures every day!

Isa
Basel, Switzerland

Dixie Chick

Dixie Chick

Her name tells you round about the time I found her. I would take my Irish Setter to the dog park and saw outside the park fence this pup. Truckers would stop in the area she had a burrow in and I guess drop off food. No one took her. I told her if she was here the next time I came she was going home with me. I bought a cheese burger and headed to the park. She was friendly and jumped into my car. No chip so she was my rescue. She enjoyed life for many years. One day in winter, I noticed her panting. This seemed strange to me so I took her to the vet. Her lungs were full of cancer, like popcorn. No real options. Finally she struggled to breathe and I was with her as she passed. Wish she was still here.

Brenda Boutin
CINCINNATI, OH

Of course I would take both of them!

Of course I would take both of them!

I was running errands on a Saturday in May 2014 when I stopped at the PetSmart in Clovis, CA to buy cat food for the parking-lot kitty where I work. In front of the store was a rescue group with several adorable dogs in all shapes and sizes available for adoption. Having lost our two fur babies; Max, a cockapoo and Nikki, a buff cocker spaniel, in May 2011 and April 2013 respectively, one to cancer and the other to a heart condition, my husband was still not ready to consider having any more doggies just yet. I managed to get into the store without stopping to visit the dogs, but I couldn’t resist on my way out. There were so many there, I almost missed the crate in the back with the miniature poodle and a border terrier, both female. I inquired about them and learned that they had been turned in to a kill shelter because their family had to move to an apartment that didn’t allow pets. One of the shelter workers runs a rescue organization, and immediately took them both. They were not quite two years old and had been together since they were about eight weeks old. She didn’t want them to be adopted out separately. My husband had an appointment in Fresno, which borders Clovis, so I called him and very gently suggested he take a look at these two. The miniature poodle resembled our Max so much it was eerie. About an hour later, as I’m still running errands, I get a call from my husband who says I need to come back to PetSmart—we have two new family members! He said that when he picked them up to hold them, they each nestled into his neck and lathered him with kisses. Well, I couldn’t get back there fast enough! Fast forward almost six years to the present: Minnie (the poodle) and Daisy (the border terrier) have been with us through several vacations and a move from California to Idaho in 2018. I can’t imagine them having been adopted out separately. The rescue group, PAWS, Precious Animals Worth Saving, out of Fowler, CA, said they had several people who wanted to adopt Minnie, but not Daisy. I’m so glad they held out and didn’t let that happen. These two are practically joined at the hip—they sleep so they are touching each other, and Minnie loves grooming Daisy. I think Max and Nikki sent them to us to fill the void of a home with no pets. Oh, what happened to the parking lot kitty? Well, Mooch, as we called him, ended up going home with one of our employees when she retired. He lived out his days in the comfort of a loving home with a family who adored him.

Terry H
GLENNS FERRY, ID

A love letter from Tommy Bahama... the "devil cat"

A love letter from Tommy Bahama... the "devil cat"

For 12 years I was passed to 3 different parents on a small island in the Bahamas. When the last “Mom” moved in with her boyfriend and a d-o-g, I'd had enough. I decided I'd rather live under the old house and take my chances. I did this for 3 long years. I survived heat, cold, torrential rain- even hurricanes. And I'd get lonely and go out to the street looking for attention. Everyone on the island knew who I was. Many would pass by, some would even pet me, and I relied on the local 'cat ladies' to feed me. But I got bored living under that house. So I became the island cat from hell, or “devil cat” as some of the locals called me! Dogs provided a distraction. I could chase the big ones and bite them in the butt, or I could ride the smaller ones home. One day I decided to pick a fight with 2 Jack Russells and a Golden retriever. Silly dogs. I won. When I stopped at the church, covered in blood- that's when my life changed. I was taken to the vet- I only had a small bite on one leg- the blood was not mine! You both did not want an ORANGE cat, and for sure after the two mini rescue girl torti cats you'd had- you didn't want a 25 pound giant male cat... but yet you agreed to take me, at least until the stitches healed. I think at first you were a bit intimidated by me, and I don't blame you. After all- I was a big cat with a bad reputation and attitude! I pulled the screen door to your apartment open, flopped on the floor, and soon worked my way into your hearts. And the best part of MY life began. You and “dad” showed me love & spoiled me rotten. I got brushed every day. I got fresh fish treats in the afternoon, and I found a warm safe place to sleep at night- next to you, under your arms. When you moved away from the Bahamas, you brought me with you. My first boat ride, airplane ride- and then the beginning of car rides across the USA! How many of my Bahamian kitty buddies can say they've been thru 22 states? I loved the car rides!! Wasn't I the best behaved? I knew to use the litter box before we started driving, I knew to eat & drink at rest stops, and I knew when to jump into my carry bag to go into the hotels. During the drives, I loved sitting on your lap the entire time. And I got to come back to the island twice more as a tourist!! How cool was that? The condo in Washington state was nice, and I loved the rare sunny days on the back balcony- but the cool & rainy weather fired up my arthritis and hip dysplasia. You had accepted me even though I was old, but then you discovered I had diabetes, and had to give me expensive shots twice a day. Still- you were willing to do anything to try to make me well. You even slimmed me down to 17 pounds. I know that if I was still a Bahamian cat, I'd have probably not survived very long. When you took me to the desert (Palm Springs) I felt at home. Warm sunny days, dry air- I seemed almost healed. My favorite memories will always be sleeping on the sun lounge on the back deck, watching birds & lizards. You understood when I howled to be lifted up when I could no longer jump. You bought me a ramp to get up to the bed. You gave me medicines and kept trying to find a cure for me. And kept giving me fresh fish & treats and love. And knowing how my life was made so much better because of the 2 of you, I became the most loving, sweetest and smartest cat you'd ever meet. I would greet you at the door when you'd been away. I'd come out and meet your friends. I would follow you around to be next to you, touching you, and sleeping between you guys at night, as close to you both as I could get- I couldn't have been happier. You knew that tho- my purrs were so loud I'd wake you sometimes. And when things got harder for me you still loved me thru my pain & accidents. But finally you knew it was time. You both had done everything you could, and you cried a lot making the decision, but we all knew it was for the best. I went in peace, surrounded by love. I know I will always be in your heart, and you will stay forever in mine. Thank you for taking in an older stray. You made the last 6 years of my life the best ever, and I love you for it. (Love, Tommy * Hope Town, Abaco. *Vancouver, Washington,* Rancho Mirage, California*)

Amy Brubaker
VANCOUVER, WA