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Animal Rescue Stories

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

Scarlett's story

Scarlett's story

Her picture was on the board at the Animal Shelter Booth. A big black blob! She was going to be "put down" in 2 days. I had to see her. Her fur was so matted and filthy we didn't know what she was! She just looked at me under all the mess and somewhere under there I just knew there was another little girl that needed us. At that time we already had a saved little Pekenese, terrior and a deaf jack russell and my husband thought I was nuts! THREE haircuts and a shave later, we could finally see the little tiny Shi-poodle underneath! At first she was very hesitant to accept the other dogs or us and would hide under the bed. She has ONE toy that is hers alone and she won't share that one...a beat up Snoopy that we gave her when she first came home with us. Even after 2 years..that is still "her" toy! She now knows how to wrap us all in her little paw, loves to be cuddled like a baby and bounces around the house like a little kid. And of course my husband just loves her!! When you pick her up, she hangs on you like a little baby and makes little cooing noises. Whenever we leave the house she stands at your leg with her paws holding on, tail down and looks up with those little eyes so you have to pick her up one more time and cuddle before you leave! Her favorite place in the house is our bed! She sneaks in there whenever we leave the door open! The bed is crowded at night, with my husband, me and four little doggies! They are a wonderful part of our lives.

Janine
Seville, OH

My beautiful Australian Shepherd

My beautiful Australian Shepherd

I adopted Tripper from a rescue organization. He had been adopted previously but returned because the people who adopted him didn't understand Aussie behavior and he was troublesome. At first he wouldn't let anyone come near the house or me, and had to be introduced to a new person very slowly, usually with treats or tennis ball throwing. Once he accepts you, he never forgets. He is a very active pooch, so he keeps me in shape, too. He excels at frisbee, agility and fetch, and loves to chase after the snow shovel and catch snowballs. I can't imagine my life without my "wiggle butt", so named because Aussie's don't have tails, but still try to wag one, and their whole back end wiggles.

Debbi
Garden City, MI

Our family lifeguard

Our family lifeguard

Chudleigh, just a big gentle boy rescued from the side of the road on Christmas Eve 2003, saved his best friend, Quizno, also a rescue, from drowning in our pool. The boys love to play, wrestling like little boys do. This time Quizzy got thrown in the pool by the "rough housing". Chudleigh came in, demanded (remember Lassie) that we follow him out, only to find Quizno in the in-ground pool. My husband scooped Quizno out, while Chudleigh and I offered encouragement. Our boys, black and white, big and little, as different as yin and yang. Best Friends forever and the current loves of our lives.

Mary Cuda
Fort Oglethorpe, GA

Hattie's deaf, but she heard us!

Hattie's deaf, but she heard us!

Volunteering for the Forgotten Animal Shelter, I was shown a picture of a gangly, long legged, goat haired, white, Jack Russel dog. The dog was born totally deaf and was going to be put to sleep if someone didn't take her. The animal shelter was having a hard time finding anyone to take a deaf, 4 yr. old dog. Well I called the foster family and had them bring her over to meet the rest of the family. At that time we had a little black and white Shitz Tsu and a brown little mutt terrior that had also been "saved". The foster family brought a cage and Hattie was on a leash. I had them bring her into the back yard and let her loose. The people thought that wasn't a good idea, but boy when she got loose, she ran around and around, stump tail wagging like crazy, came back to me and rubbed her head on my legs, took off again with the other two dogs chasing her in play. The romped and finally came and all laid down in front of me. Hattie was home! She didn't know what the toys were, but she learned quickly! Now her favorite game is tug of war! The minute anyone comes over that is her friend, she runs to get her toy and shoves it into their lap to play. When I had chemo/radiation for cancer, she would curl up tight next to me whenever she could. She seemed to know I was too tired to play tug of war and would just cuddle for hours with me along with the other doggies. Hattie just eats up every bit of love you give her and gives it back ten-fold. Rescue doggies are just the best!!

Janine
Seville, OH

Brave Hearts

Brave Hearts

As a volunteer at Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge, I have witnessed and heard a lot of crazy stories about animals, but this one is one I'll always remember. One afternoon, in the middle of a tour, I was startled by the noises of a lion in distress. Singa (back), our African lioness, was making all sorts of ruckus from her enclosure. After a tiring sprint uphill to our lion cage, I found her companion Serandi(front), an African lion, convulsing on the ground. He was having a seizure. Singa kept 'talking' to us until we were able to get her away from him and ourselves into the cage. Despite her usual bad manners, she let us tend to him until he came out of the seizure. What a great cat!

Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge
Nicholasville, KY

Zoe - - - and family.

Zoe - - - and family.

Zoe was found on a cold rainy night in Oct. of 2004 by our daughter Amber. Amber was about to leave for class when she heard "something" crying. She got out of her Jeep and found a very wet, weak puppy. Amber brought the pup to us and we dried her and cared for her overnight. A trip to the vet's revealed that the pup was a 9 week old Australian Shepherd mix who was malnourished, had two infections, every parasite that I'd ever heard of, and a couple that I hadn't. The pup, now named Zoe, recovered after a few weeks and a lot of care. Zoe is a beautiful grey with black markings and a very soft patch of white on her chest. She has a playful, loving personality and has even tried her paw at herding! Zoe loves everyone, and we are sometimes teased that Zoe knows more people than we do! After Zoe was found, we would occasionally see an adult female who looked just like her. Since then, several other pups were found near where Zoe was found, and they appear to be Zoe's (half) siblings. We have one of those pups, ChaChing, and friends have adopted others. The dog we believe to be the mom though, was too shy and smart to ever be caught. Sadly, we haven't seen her now in about two years. Although I love all of our eight rescued pets equally, Zoe is my husband's favorite. If any other dog does something wrong it is naughty; if Zoe does it she has a reason! But even I have to admit, Zoe is a wonderful dog. We are so very lucky!

anonymous
Nedrow, NY

Who are you calling HANDICAPPED?

Who are you calling HANDICAPPED?

"Scooter" is a Abby mix. She came to me as a month old kitten that was stepped on. Her spine was injured. She could not use her hind legs and was in pain. We amputated them and she "took off"! (She tore her stitches 3 times having so much fun after the surgery!) She has caught 3 mice! Queen of the house! Teasing & bossing others around. She's been on the news & in the paper. I use her to teach people "you don't have to kill them because they are handicapped"! She has stolen hundreds of hearts & changed many minds! She is a certified companion animal so I take her with me many places. She is used to this & enjoys the attention. This is a great time to teach others. She is 7 years old. She no longer uses the cart but "SCOOTS" around at top speed. She keeps me, (I'm also disabled with a spinal injury) going. I made a mistake asking God for a "2 LEGGED companion that UNDERSTANDS BACK PAIN & is ALWAYS THERE"! That is EXACTLY WHAT I GOT! Beware how you pray! Be specific! But I love her w/ all my heart! She's receiving acupuncture. She falls asleep while being treated then she's a hyper monster for weeks! Acupuncture takes the pain away. IT WORKS (animals will not respond to placebos)! I hope she changes other owner's minds before crying "euthanize because they are suffering"! She is NOT SUFFERING. She is HAPPY & PLAYFUL!

Kay Williford
Portland, OR

Hope In The Inner City

Hope In The Inner City

Hope was a stray cat living in the inner city (North Philadelphia). For the first year of her life she was undernourished and abused. Coworkers would see her wandering around looking for food outside of the school we taught and see the students kick her and throw objects at her (I never saw her). One day another teacher brought this frighteningly thin filthy cat to my classroom. I took her to the vet... For years she would flinch when anyone went to pet her or just step over her and would run from people - even me. Now 8 years later, she is full, purrs, craves attention, and is happy. My husband and I love her.

Stephanie Somers-Baran
merchantville, NJ

George the brave little jack russell

George the brave little jack russell

One man's best friend put his paw up for national hero this year. George a 9-year-old Jack Russell made headlines around the world in April after he gave his life to save a group of children from two pitbulls in a little town in New Zealand. The pitbulls had rushed at five youngsters walking home from a shop. Plucky little George started barking and charged at the pitbulls, allowing the children to run away. The pitbulls fell upon the tiny terrier, savaging him until a passing motorist managed to separate the dogs. George was later put down because of his injuries, but he has posthumeously been given a PDSA (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals of the Poor) Gold Medal by the British High Commissioner. Sorry the picture isn't great, but it was such a sad but still nice story, I wanted to share it.

Marie
Auckland, New Zealand

She Waited for Me!!!

She Waited for Me!!!

Lucy was rescued by a West Memphis shelter in August 2002. One of my own sweet dogs was diagnosed with cancer in August 2002. Lucy languished at the shelter for 18 months with no one trying to adopt her. In February 2004, my dog died. I went on Petfinder.com to look at dogs. Lucy was still there waiting for her forever home. I adopted her. I truly believe she was waiting for me. She has fit into my home and with my other dog perfectly - as if she were meant to be here!! We love her.

Ellen Ziskind
Memphis, TN