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Animal Rescue Stories

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

My Mazda

My Mazda

While volunteering at a local shelter, there was this beautiful black cat named Mazda who had been in the cages on display for customers for 10 months. She and her mom and sister were found in a local Sunoco station April 12, 2010. My rescue boss was contacted and brought them home, giving them the names Mazda and Ford to the two baby girls and the mom was called Mazaretti. Mom and sister were adopted immediately leaving Mazda behind. Fast forward 10 months, while cleaning cages at this pet store, my heart went out to her. I knew if she wasn't adopted, she would go to back to the rescue house into a room with mean, unadoptable cats. I could not let that happen. My rescue boss let me bring her home to join my family of 3 other cats. On May 1, 2011 I brought her home. For two weeks she would not come out from under the couch until she was sure I was sleeping or out of the house, so she could use the litter box. Twice a day I put food and water under the couch for her. Then one night while I was on the phone, I see her cute little head come out from around the corner of the couch. The rest is history. She has become the sweetest, most lovable cat ever. I get to pick her up on occasion, because she is still a little skittish yet she rubs against me when I am on the computer. I thank God every day for tugging at my ear telling me to bring her home. She has been a great comfort to me when my 17-year-old tabby crossed the Rainbow Bridge July 20, 2020. She was one of the lucky ones never to see a shelter her entire life, as I got her from her mom at 6 weeks young. Mazda seemed to know my heartache and became more loving to me. In 2007 I adopted another cat that was unadoptable and afraid of the world. She was a torti and named Bashful. If she could have crawled through the walls at the pet store, she would have. She got to know what love and life was all about being with me till she lost her battle with diabetes on April 24, 2019. Reach out and take a chance on those you think are too afraid of life. Give them a chance, bring them home and watch them develop into something beautiful and lovable. You won't be sorry. My Mazda and male cat Remington and inseparable and follow me from room to room and sleep with me at night.

Beatrice Gobee
BUSHKILL, PA

Mia and Annie

Mia and Annie

I had lost my beloved Staffordshire mix Mia at only six years old and was beyond devastated. Mia's brother Duncan, a lab mix, was lonely without her and so was I. A month later my grandmother's sweet dog Polly came to live with us, but our family still felt too small. Thinking that I might foster, I went to the animal shelter - and the first dog I saw was Annie. Almost identical in looks to Mia, she has her own very distinctive personality. Now with me for over eleven years, she is spoiled rotten, stubborn as a mule, and the center of our household.

Melanie
BRADENTON, FL

Sweet Girl

Sweet Girl

My 6.5 year old girl, Lady, had cancer and passed away. I was absolutely beside myself with grief and it was affecting every aspect of my life. I began looking at puppies and dogs in shelters across the state. I had never adopted a puppy before, though I had puppies in the past. Finally, just before Labor Day, I ran across her photo in a nearby town's shelter. The puppy was a lab mix, 9 weeks old and ready for adoption. The shelter told me that her whole litter had been dropped off shortly after they were born, as they were not purebred! I was incensed and put my application in at once. I arranged a time to meet her and showed up at the shelter early. One of the volunteers put this sweet puppy in my arms and I spent about 15-20 minutes getting to know her. She was quiet. I talked to her and we looked at the pictures, leashes, etc. that were in the lobby. She snuggled in on my shoulder and didn't make a peep. People milled around doing their jobs and she was just more interested in snuggling. I made up my mind, this pup was going home with me. I paid the fee and took her outside. I had not purchased a leash for her but she was tiny. What a mistake. When I let her down to do her business, the quiet pup ran for the highway. Thankfully she was small and easy to catch. I put her on the blanket in the box in the car I had prepared for her and began the 45 minute drive home. She began barking and immediately decided to jump on my lap, put both paws on the steering wheel and 'drive'. I wrestled her the whole way home, praying all the way. As soon as we got home it was clear I had been duped. She was not a quiet pup, instead she howled like a hound dog. My neighbor hated her, but I was absolutely in love with the little trouble maker. She chewed holes in the carpeting and destroyed the couch before she lost her puppy teeth. She was and remains an adrenaline junkie! She would climb to the top of the couch and freefall backward! I ran miles trying to catch her! I even blocked access to the couch, but the rascal just jumped impossibly high and got there anyway! It was the scariest thing I have ever been through! Six years later she is still a noisy trouble maker, but she is the best thing that ever happened to me. I can never thank the volunteers at the shelter enough for what they did for her. She has no idea how much they loved her too. She also has no idea she is a four-legger. She tends to have 'arguments' and want the last word. She and my 85 year old mother get into some of the longest arguments you ever want to hear. Neither wants the other to have the last word! To say that she is an important member of my family would be much less credit than she deserves. She is the princess and she knows it! That said, she has never met a person or critter that she didn't try to make friends with. She is silly and makes me laugh all the time. She simply is the sweetest girl that ever lived and I am lucky to have her.

Susan N Warr
AU GRES, MI

Meet Ike the dog found with 2 dislocated hips, a broken leg and 3 fractures in his pelvis

Meet Ike the dog found with 2 dislocated hips, a broken leg and 3 fractures in his pelvis

Getting off one morning on 7/17/2020, I ran across a dog laying next to the road. Initially I thought it was just a broken leg, but it ended up being 2 dislocated hips, a broken hind leg and 3 fractures in his pelvis. He was taken by Animal control and put on a 7 day hold. They wanted to euthanize him, but I made the call to pull him. I raised enough money for both surgeries; the first an amputation and the second a hip surgery. He now resides with his foster mom until we find the perfect FUREVER home for him. He's made so much progress with her love and I'm looking forward to a great ending. The amount of support he's been getting is absolutely amazing.

Calvin Tucker
BIRMINGHAM, AL

Walter

Walter

I was living in Glendale, AZ, had a Ragdoll cat Emma, & wanted a dog too. I found Walter on Petfinder-he had been picked up as a stray, was neutered & had been at Halo Pet Rescue for 3 months! I went to see him & they put us in a room with 1 chair for me. He wasn’t interested in me at the time; he only wanted to check out every corner & leave his mark. I said, “I’ll take him.” His fee was waived because he’d been there so long but I gave them a donation anyway. He sat in my lap on the way home, his head in my neck. When we got home & I opened the door, Emma leaped over the couch & ran up to him. They are forever pals. He’s not dog-friendly but loves people & cats. We went to obedience school & learned some manners & he is my loyal friend, protector of the house & a sweetie. ❤️ Eve (black cat) appeared one day under my car with an injured eye. I checked in the neighborhood & no one claimed her, so we did. She is blind in that eye but gets along fine. That’s my trio of rescues. Emma had come from a home with too many pets & needed some space. She is now 13, Eve is about 6, & Water about 7. Love love love them!

Sue K. Peterson
SAINT PAUL, MN

My Shadow

My Shadow

Woof woof let me tell you my story. I was running scared in the upper pasture at Mountain Lakes, I had been roaming around in the general vicinity for quite some time; at least a couple weeks, maybe longer. There were some nice people in the park that put out food in different areas for me hoping I’d find it before other animals here in the mountains did; they were trying to keep me alive and hoping that I would come up to them to be rescued. I’ve had a rough time on my own and I had recently had puppies but I’m not going to tell you about that. I do know that everybody is hoping that maybe someone found the puppies along the way somewhere and that they are being loved on at this time. Some people would come up and spend time sitting and calling gently for me and offering food while catching glimpses of me running scared but with what I’d been through I was just too petrified to come up to any of them. One evening after everything in the resort had gone quiet I came across a kibble of food along a fence line where someone they call TJ had seen me go before, and then a few feet away I found another and then another, and then after following this trail of goodness I found a whole bowl of delicious food but after I finished it, I realized the way I had got to it was no longer a way out… I was in a cage and a bit scared but I did have my belly full. In the morning some nice people in a vehicle that said animal control took me somewhere where I slept for days and had plenty of food and freshwater. When thunder and lightning storms came over I wasn’t being drenched and I wasn’t running scared across the pasture back-and-forth like TJ had seen me one day and I think she was crying watching me from her golf cart. Things were different now; I was still a little apprehensive of what was going on around me but I wasn’t wondering how I was going to survive each day as they were taking great care of me and being gentle with me. After a few days this person named TJ showed up and they told her I was still a bit afraid. She came into my run and turned her back to me and sat on the floor of the kennel and just talked softly to me, just like she had when I was running scared. The rest of the pictures are of me officially meeting her for the first time.... It took a few times of me coming out of the doghouse a few feet and going back in but then I couldn’t hold out any longer, I had to see her up close. She held her hand out and let me come to her slowly. We looked into each other’s eyes and I think what came over us was what they call love. I couldn’t help but smile at her after that and then I went and gave her a kiss on the cheek…I heard her say, "you're a precious baby and you’re going to be OK," but she looked sad as she was leaving me. I wished she could of stayed as I was enjoying the loving she was giving me, but I guess she had to go. A few days ago someone put me on a leash again and took me outside which they’d been doing sometimes, but to my surprise when we went outside, there was TJ on the ground at my level to greet me....I kissed her hand and sat on her foot for a while and then I tucked myself under her arm and leaned into her and it felt as if we were one. Then she got two dogs out of her vehicle that came to greet me and we liked each other and guess what happened next.....SHE SAID, "you have to stay a few more days and they’ll take you to be spayed," whatever that means, "and then you’re going to come live your life with us if you’d like..." I think I flashed her the biggest smile I’ve ever made and she said, "don’t worry you’ll be coming HOME SOON." Today I got spayed and she called to check on me to make sure I was doing OK, and I heard she’ll be here tomorrow to take me to my FOREVER HOME to be with My FOREVER FAMILY !! Oh by the way, the animal shelter people called me Shadow for some reason and my new Mom said that fits perfectly, because when she first saw me I was running back and forth from the shadows under some trees to the shadows under some bushes....I was always trying to hide in the shadows, and coincidentally my new home is in a place called Mountain Shadows.... So that’s me SHADOW, TJ’s new baby girl and Boots' and Matties' new sister. ❤️  I look forward to meeting all the wonderful people that showed so much concern for my well being, thank you all so much! PS I’ve been with my new family a couple of weeks now and I know I have a forever home and family!

Terri Jordan
CLEVELAND, GA

The English Cat Woman - 23 rescues

The English Cat Woman - 23 rescues

Cats have always been in my life, as a toddler while others were pushing dolls, I had my cat Micky dressed in baby clothes pushing him around in a dolls pram - we both loved it. So there has always been a least two cats with me. About seventeen years ago I decided to move me, 2 pedigree cats and 1 rescue, my mum (almost 80, no longer with us) with her 1 pedigree and 1 rescue, to Spain. Within a week a Siamese stray arrived in the garden, sick and bleeding. So directly to the vet who said it would be more than 200 euros to save her life. "But she's not my cat" I said "she is now" replied the vet - words I will never forget ! Tia-Maria recovered from the operation and spent a long and happy life with me. And so it began! A few weeks later along came "Precious" barefoot and pregnant and hardly five months herself. It was love at first sight, we had the babies together as she learnt a very young motherhood. Precious is still with me today, a loving companion for more than 16 years, my oldest survivor. Shortly after 2 kittens abandoned at my gate, 1 for my mum and the other for a friend. That took us to, 5 to me, 3 to mum. So the story continues with often sick and seemingly abandoned cats arriving. Some I have only been able to medicate and give them good food and a lot of love to help them through the remainder or last stages of their lives. They have known they have been loved. Others, like my Kit, I have pulled out of rubbish bins as tiny kittens and brought home. Yet others as Lady Marmalade arrived here, fat and healthy, but refused to leave. She decided she was living here and that was that. After three weeks of her camping day and night on the doorstep she finally got her way and became one of the family. I have had a lot of help from my kind vet Jose because as a pensioner, with no other income, food, medication and vet bills are far from easy and are my greatest outlay. Sometimes it's been 6 at a time, like Mitzi with 5 tiny kittens who were about to be put in the trash. I live in a very Spanish village and so am known as "The English Cat Woman" but this notoriety has lead to cats and kits being pushed into my garden. Such as Bella, a tiny kitten with a burst eyeball. It took me weeks to tame her enough to catch her and get her to the vet for her poor eye to be removed that saved her life. Then recently Oliver my “Corona cat” who dragged himself in here during lockdown, just a bag of bones, on his last legs. It took over a month to daily nurse him back to health bathing his torn feet and cleaning up his poor matted and balding coat and healing with lots of talks and cuddles - but he made it. If they arrive feral and pregnant I do my best to catch them and bring them in my utility room so they can have their kittens. I can then tame the kittens to be loving pets and with the help of vet Jose we normally manage to find them homes. This also enables me to get the mummy sterilized. We've been up to 30 at one point but that was just not manageable and truly unaffordable. Luckily now I have managed to catch all females around I have a bit more control over the numbers. (Fingers crossed ). Currently there are 7 in the house with me, most of these have been special needs at some point, like Bella with the burst eye and Cleocatra who has such pale blue eyes she can't see outside in the Spanish sun etc etc The other 17 currently living happily together in the garden where they are very safe, have beds, shelter, food and water. As a vulnerable person I endured three and half months in lockdown alone, I think these cats truly saved my sanity. I am now six weeks into recovery from a total hip replacement operation (very difficult living alone)! My greatest worry has been who can help me look after the cats as initially I could hardly do anything for myself let alone the poor cats. My friends have been just fabulous helping, neither me or the cats would have come through this without them, we all owe them a great deal. I miss giving the garden ones that extra bit of love and attention as only now am I able to hobble about on a crutch to go and see them. I just want to recover to be able to once again give them that extra attention and a few hugs that they all deserve. It would be desirable to move to a smaller house, smaller garden as this house, grounds and the upkeep is too much for me, but what would happen to my outside furry babies??? - so here we are, just me and 24 rescued souls! Oh by the way - I do believe I just had a glimpse of number 24!! ❤️

Barbara mynette downing
Alicante, Spain

Little Toki finds a forever home

Little Toki finds a forever home

I was driving on a 4 lane road on June 23, 2020 when I saw a kitten in the middle of my lane. I slammed in my brakes, threw the car in park and put the kitten in my car. About an 8th of a mile down the road I saw another kitten in the left lane. Once again I slammed in my brakes and got this kitten. Took both kittens to the vet immediately. The little girl was fine but the little boy I named Toki has a badly broken femur. Vet recommended I put him down. He looked up at me with his big round eyes and out his tiny paw on my hand and I knew he was a fighter! Took him to my own vet who recommended pain meds and strict crate confinement. After 5 weeks his leg was healed. Not perfectly but well enough to where it doesn’t slow him down one bit. We adopted him and he’s now a spoiled 13 week old kitty. He’s my MIRACLE kitten!

Kimberly Heath
KNOXVILLE, TN

Dealership Doggo

Dealership Doggo

About 11 years ago, right before Christmas, my friend asked me to go to an adoption event at the Subaru dealership where her husband worked. They had three little dogs, and she wanted to get their picture taken with Santa. Her husband strictly forbade her to adopt another dog, and I was supposed to be there to make sure they came with three and went home with three. After her boys got their picture with Santa, we strolled over to "just look" at the adoptable dogs. Her husband was a little nervous. And since he worked at the car dealership, everyone knew who we were and knew she wasn't supposed to get another dog! Well, she didn't. But, this 3-year old, chihuahua mix caught my eye. She was wearing a pink and green striped sweater, and for all the barking and commotion was just sitting in her kennel, looking around like "what is all this nonsense?". I sent my mom a pic and said "What if I brought home this little girl at Christmas?". My mom said I was nuts. My friend said, "We should go before I get one of these pups and my husband leaves me". As we were walking out, one of the volunteers caught us and seemed surprised (with 3 dogs with us!) neither of us had adopted one. I said, and I'm still not even sure why, "well, there was one sweet girl, but I can't". He asked which one, and when I told him, he said, "Oh come on! At least hold her, you never know unless you hold them!". So back in we went. The second she was in my arms, I looked at my friend and we both burst into happy tears. I adopted her on the spot. I was in a state of shock, I didn't have a kennel or anything! The rescue group was awesome though, and they let me take everything they could - kennel, food, coupons for a vet visit, even her little sweater and blanket. We walked back over to take her picture with Santa, my present!, and my friend's husband looked at her, and said, "what did you do?!". We had to explain very fast, that no, this one was mine. And she was! I named her Maggie, and we had six awesome years together before she passed unexpectedly from a spider bite. Oh, and PS, my mom was actually thrilled with her, and didn't mind at all that she had "one more guest" that first Christmas.

Erin Richards
RIVERSIDE, CA

Tigger

Tigger

I rescued Baxter (formerly named Tigger) at Max's Pet Connection. They do wonderful work. They are outside in The Villages at a Pet Store every Saturday morning. Maxine doesn't have a shelter; all their dogs are fostered. Baxter is a wonderful dog; I really love him. He is a Yorkshire/Cairn terrier cross. He was 1 1/2 years old when I rescued him, and he is now five years old.

Priscilla McMurray
The Villages, United States Minor Outlying Islands