Animal Rescue Stories

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

Rocky The Hundred Dollar Dog

Rocky The Hundred Dollar Dog

A couple of weeks Willie-Woo fell very ill. I took him to the emergency vet and the next day had him put to sleep. With the house being so quiet, I went to Safe Animal Shelter. The day I went it was closed, but since it had rained for days and no one had seen the dogs they let me go in. I walked straight down and to the left.

There was Rocky and another dog in the outside portion of the inside outside run. When he saw me, he started running to me. I don't know how they both got thru the hole, but they did. The closer to me, he started nudging the other dog as if to say “she’s mine.”

I inquired about adopting him but was told someone else was interested in him, and if the other dog liked Rocky she would be adopting him. I cried all the way home.

A few days later, on Saturday, I was reading the newspaper and drinking coffee when my phone rang. It was the shelter saying I could have Rocky. I asked what time they opened and was there. While I was filling out the papers and writing my $100 check, they let him out of the run and he ran right to me.

I took him to the vet the next week and the vet said to me, You got him from the shelter, and I said yes. I saw him the last time I was there and made up my mind if he was there again I would take him home. Isn't it cool he’s in our practice.”

Rocky is 13 yrs old now, I’ve had him 12 yrs. He has several health problems but I’m a retired RN and he lives in a furever home and is an only child. I was blessed to find him. He blessed me. Thank you Lord. I love you Rocky.

ILA Pandegirot

Meant to be

Meant to be

When we lost our stray Aussie, Baylee, I was determined to get a rescue. I was having coffee with a friend, and she asked me about the search. I said so far, hadn’t found the right one. A gal at the table next to us overheard our conversation, said she was very involved in re-homing pets, and suggested that I try a shelter a couple of hours away.

As soon as I arrived home, I got on the internet to check out the shelter: their “Pet of the Day” was pictured and I loved him; when I read his story, I knew he was meant to be mine. He was chained outside for two years, beaten (he was covered with scars on his sweet face and around his neck from the chain), had a broken tooth from being hit so hard, and was starved and close to death when he was taken from his abuser and given to a Veterinarian. She saved his life, and named him Reacher, after the Jack Reacher character in Lee Child’s novels, because he was a survivor.

We immediately filled out the application and were on our way to get him within two days. He was never afraid of us, or any people, and became the most loving, sweet, funny, character just full of joy and the love of life. I took him to the mountain almost every day so he could experience running free, which he loved with every fiber of his being. He always acted like it was his first time!

Although he suffered from grand mal seizures about once a month, they never slowed him down. He was my soul mate, my shadow, my heart. Wherever I was, so was he. We lost him suddenly one night when he collapsed from a ruptured tumor on his liver. We were absolutely devastated, as he was only 9, but what a joyous 9years we had with him. No doubt in my mind that he was meant to be ours. (Reacher is the one in the picture with the white chest)

Kaye Hunt






She stole our hearts

She stole our hearts

We wanted a rescue dog in anticipation of my husband’s retirement. I was pretty far down the line in adopting a three year old who did have socialization issues, but was past the puppy stage. Ultimately, we decided this dog wouldn’t be right for us, nor would we be right for her. Instead I supported that dog with contributions to the rescue until she was successfully adopted.

The same rescue had this cute beagle-looking puppy. I immediately fell in love with her, but during the pandemic when dogs were in high demand, there was a line of people waiting to adopt her, but we got chosen. She wasn’t a beagle at all, but a full-fledged hunting dog; more dog than we were expecting, but more dog to love. We named her Penny Lane and she has stolen our hearts.

Roz Hewsenian

Our Beautiful Simmi

Our Beautiful Simmi

One day in early April, my neighbor and I were riding our recumbent trikes on one of our favorite ride routes. As we approached the top of a rise on an unpopulated road through woods and farm fields several miles from home, we spotted two long-haired orange/white cats in the grass alongside the road.

As we approached, we could tell by their demeanor that they were obviously lost and afraid. As my neighbor and I are experienced animal rescuers and trappers, we're very familiar with a scenario that occurs all too often...they had been dropped there by some uncaring, heartless, or ignorant person(s). We stopped and called my wife, who brought food and water, and we set up a feeding station a few feet back in the trees out of sight of the road.

Over the course of the next 7 weeks, we continued to feed in that spot, at the same time every day, in an attempt to set up a feeding pattern, and we also monitored their activities with a wildlife camera. We canvassed the only homes along the road, but no one knew anything about the cats. Unfortunately, we found one of the cats dead alongside the road a few days after we first spotted them, probably hit by a car. We called the remaining one Persimmon Kitty, because there are several wild persimmon trees growing along the edge of the woods there.

Finally, in late May, after almost 6 weeks, the remaining one started showing up at the feeding station on a regular basis, and she'd be waiting every day when we got there to put the food out...we knew it was time!

We set up one of our radio controlled drop traps at the feeding station in the woods and we were successful on the first try. Our little Persimmon Kitty was going to start a new life! She went to our local spay & neuter clinic the next day, where she tested negative for FIV and feline leukemia, then was spayed and got rabies and distemper shots. We named her Simmi, short for Persimmon. She has since been to the vet for a complete checkup and other than an ear infection, which is now cured, she was in good health.

Our beautiful little Simmi has turned out to be the sweetest, most loving little girl ever. She now has a furrever home with our other 17 rescues (18 counting the dog). Her favorite position is on her back with her front paws kneading the air overhead, and she loves to be on laps getting tummy rubs. She is a treasure!

David Burgess



I felt I was ready for another dog and seemed a shih tzu would fit our lifestyle best. It took me 1 1/2 years to find one in a shelter. Phoebe was rescued from a breeder at 4, she was a mama. She was terrified of the world and everything in it. Still, always phobic about some things. She had a nervous stomach, had diarrhea, weighed 9 lbs, and stunk to high heaven.

I researched what to do to help this poor baby. She gained 1 1/2 lbs. her first year here. It took 3 years to see her play. Eventually she had all but 4 teeth removed. She thrived and became our world. She traveled with us by car from one end of the country to the other several times, both ways. No flying for my phobic baby. lol She loved the beach!

She helped me survive 2 of the 3 deployments my (only) son went on. Every heartache, she was there. I got cancer in 2018. Every day she would smell my breath then the top of my head. She would NOT leave my side. After I got better, she gave me a little more room but still only wanted to be with me.

Last Christmas in Florida, she quit eating. We had to come home early to help her pass. She was 15 1/2, almost blind, and highly medicated for severe arthritis in her neck. It broke my heart but I promised I would not let her suffer.

I believe the Lord sent her to me to help me through the roughest of times. She can never be replaced and it will take time but I will have another rescued baby. I feel I owe it to her memory to help another eventually.

cindy bolton

You Came Home Today

You Came Home Today

You came home today

You came home today, but not in the way I wanted or remembered.

You passed from this life unto the next exactly 13 days ago, and today I went to the doctor’s office to pick up your ashes; what’s left of what I love to hold, to smell, to lay next to, and to be around.

For a time, I had thought I might bury your body at the base of a towering tree, or close to a hidden stream, maybe a serene lake. But to see you, to be in your proximity, would mean I would have to go and visit that place. And the truth is, I want you near me all the time, and so I chose to have your remains cremated.

And now, I hold in my hands the remnants of your magnificent form, your stunning grandeur reduced so it could rest inside a small container. I understand the gesture, indeed the importance, and I am grateful for it. And while the box is attractive enough, even pretty, it’s not you.

For one thing, the box is way too small to hold all that you are.

You lived life in the largest of ways, taking it by the reins, the horns, and sometimes, even the throat. In the game of living, there are players, and there are spectators. You, my perfect puppy was a first-string player, a competitor that went full out and had the dirty uniform to prove it.

It was commonplace for grass stains to mark your outline, and drool, leaves, bugs, dirt, and manure would often decorate the rest of you. I knew the kind of day you had simply by looking at the amount of life that clung to your fur.

It’s unreasonable to think small pieces of wood fashioned together would ever be large enough to hold your mighty heart, your passion, your zest, your excitement, your energy, or your zeal. It’s like trying to put a wave or a rainbow or a star into a sandwich bag. It just doesn’t fit.

And there is no way this box’s miniature stature can accommodate your devotion, your loyalty, or the unconditional love you gave to me every single day of your life. To put all that into one rectangle would require geometry at a much larger scale.

And, I have other issues with this box.

Its lines are too straight, and its edges are too perfectly smooth. The box has exact angels, even a polished, glossy finish. But that’s not you. You aren’t fancy or polished or refined. Those words describe a life observed, not lived, and you were all about living.

You lived fully and completely, never taking the easy way or even the highlighted route. Instead, you explored the topography of the land, the curve of the earth, the slope of the hill, the sudden dip, the powerful turn, the steep climb and the rapid descent.

It didn’t matter if you were with me doing chores at the sanctuary, in the front seat of the truck on the way to pick up supplies, daydreaming on the couch, or lounging in bed, you were always ready for an adventure or a joyous pursuit. How high, how far and how fast were all you needed to know, and it was off to the races for you and me.

But, here is the real reason this box is not you; it has a lid, a limiting factor, and you my beautiful girl have always been and will remain, unlimited.

You once ran under me as I was pressure washing the back patio. In an instant, I inadvertently sliced open a strip of skin on the top of your head with a piercing stream of water.

You and I both let out a loud scream. We then ran to the vet’s office where they doctored your wound and eased my mind. But, the next day, staples in place to close the swath, you were back attacking hoses, and stuffed animals like nothing ever happened.

You had no restrictions, and in no way, were you disabled. The fact you were deaf made you even more special and quickly revealed the great teacher you are. You taught me all the ways I could listen without relying on my ears. You showed me how I could hear you with my other senses, just like you heard me.

There is, however, one thing good about the box; it has your name on it, and I like that very much because I have always loved your name and what it means: Harmony; a pleasing combination or arrangement of different things.

That is what you are to me; a dazzling mixture of special delights. So many unique and one-of-a-kind qualities there is no way one little box could hold them all.

No, the box I picked up is not you.

It’s way too small to hold all that you are.

And besides, you were already home because you never left my heart.

I love you Harmony.

David Bartley

My 1st rescue...Peaches

My 1st rescue...Peaches

I had recently lost my Pebbles to cancer. She was the first to go from my original 3 dog pack. We were definitely not ready to find another dog for our family because of our heartbreak.

But looking out of my office window one day, I saw a neighbors pitbull outside & he looked so sad. It was like he was telling me to go rescue a dog and give him/her a beautiful life like Pebbles had.

So I decided to go to a nearby shelter not knowing what I was looking for. (it was my 1st time adopting & I didn’t tell my husband yet) When I walked in, I looked around.

I wanted to adopt all of them of course, but as I turned the corner, I saw her: a Jack Russell mix. She was the one. I felt an instant connection.

She was extremely skinny and very dirty. Her ribs were visible & she had the saddest eyes, but when she looked at me, they lid up a bit. I immediately adopted her & introduced her to the pack & surprised my husband.

She instantly become my dog & I was her person. She fit right in to our family. I gave her so much love &cuddles . She was amazing. My little shadow. We went for walks, had ice scream and lots of kisses.

Unfortunately, I only had her for 3.5 short years. She passed from an aggressive uterus cancer. Even though I had her for so little, she will be in my heart forever.

I know it was fate. We were meant to be together. And I thank that sad pitbull for making me adopt!!! Because of Peaches, I will continue to adopt & save lives. We will forever miss you Peaches!! But I know we will cuddle once again.


The Cat with Three Names

The Cat with Three Names

He was the neighborhood sweet talker. Followed everyone around for snacks and pets. I fell in love with his soft fur, quick to purr and tons of kisses. He started staying in a few nights. Our two other cats were not happy, but they seemed to tolerate each other. It seemed like he had a cold. Sneezing and boogers were a common ailment with him.

One day I walked by him and his head was bouncing around, like he was following a fast moving fly. But his eyes, I'll never forget, darted everywhere else. He couldn't focus, couldn't walk and kept vomiting. I rushed him to the local clinic.

"What's his name?" they asked. "John Doe" I replied. I hadn't convinced my husband we needed another cat just yet. They medicated and sedated him. By the next day he was worse. I took him to a larger clinic, and they immediately started fluids and treatment. "What's his name?" they asked. "Noodles" I tell them. He needed a name on his cage at the vet, John Doe just didn't feel right.

It was discussed that Noodles has a brain infection. He might need to stick around for a week or so. It was viral infection and they were reviewing treatments that would be beneficial. Being the fact that I'm unemployed, this is a difficult decision. We only have one income and we know how expensive it could be. My husband said to dust off the credit card and get him the care he needed.

During his stay we had conversations with the vet daily. Near the end of the week and a half of his stay, we were told that the treatments didn't seem to be helping and it was looking like it would be something that he would constantly have. We would have to make the decision to euthanize or deal with what may come. I've never turned down a challenge.

The vet advised us that it seemed like a clot traveled to his brain to cause the event he had suffered earlier, so now his brain function was compromised. He wouldn't walk straight, couldn't jump right, had a head tilt, his equilibrium was off and he still had major snot coming out of his nose. Add to the mix, two Great Danes that have mastered the art of drooling.

What says "Welcome to our home" like bloody snotty boogers and dog slobber? When he sneezes, he shakes his head. We grab the flashlight and clean up the mess. I've washed our bedding daily. It seems that I spend the day cleaning the walls of mucous.

It has been about 8 months, and although the snot has drastically reduced, he is still sneezy and wheezy. My husband binged "The Last Kingdom" during the winter months. So when it was time to take Noodles to the vet for his checkup they asked, "how is he feeling?" My husband interrupts, he has his new name now, it's "Uhtred" Uhtred the Bold, because he is a fighter.

Our Danes love Uhtred and they know he needs extra care. They protect and watch over him when he is in the backyard. Between slobber and snot we are the odd family in the neighborhood.


Dumped puppy

Dumped puppy

I was driving through Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona when a white truck in front of me (approximately 1/4 of a mile in front of me) pulled over and dumped a puppy out. This puppy chased the truck right down the center of the road as fast as he could run.

As I was following, this puppy just stopped and dropped his head down in defeat. I stopped my car and grabbed him and put him in my car. I had been thinking about adopting a dog and actually said “ the Universe will send me the right dog.”

Well the Universe literally dropped him in front of me. I did not want a puppy and I did not want a male dog, but he has turned out to be the best dog ever. I named him Gus.

This happened on 9/3/19 and it was determined that he was approximately 14 weeks old .

Theresa Blyth