Animal Rescue Stories

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

I'm Sonic and I like to go fast!

I'm Sonic and I like to go fast!

When my dog Sparky died this past Dec, I knew I wanted another dog right away but I wasn't sure I wanted to adopt another Senior. However, life and the pandemic had other plans. So many people wanted to adopt dogs while sheltering in place that it was very hard to find a younger dog to adopt. So I started looking at the lists of "Special Needs" dogs. And there was Sonic!

Sonic is cute as a button, a spry 11-year-old Doxie mix, and his only issue was needing dental work. I guess his previous family couldn't afford to fix his teeth. (They were so bad you could smell his mouth from 3 feet away.) So they brought him to the shelter as a euthanasia request. (!!) I used some money I got from my birthday to have his teeth cleaned and the rotten ones extracted and now he's as good as new.

We go for walks every day and are attending Family Dog training where he has more energy than all the other dogs put together! I still miss Sparky, but Sonic has so much personality and makes our lives fun with his antics.

I feel bad for his prior family that they won't get to enjoy his senior years. We need more funds to help people with their pets especially now when so many have fallen on hard times.

Marie Hughes
FREMONT, CA

Oliver

Oliver

When we found Oliver at the shelter, he just looked so sad. He was a 5 or 6 year old black lab pitt mix. My kids and I picked him out and he came home with us that day. He attached to me very quickly. My husband didn't get home until late that night and Oliver did not take kindly to some strange man coming into his new love's home. It took about 6 months until he trusted my husband completely. He would shake and hide if someone held a belt or a broom. He disliked most people and all animals, except baby ones! He kindly helped us watch some baby birds we found. When Oliver was comfortable, he was the best dog. He listened, he was goofy and he was sweet. It took us some time to figure out that he was fear aggressive, not just mean. It took him about 6 months to feel safe enough to wag his tail.
More than one person thought we should take him back to the shelter because he would snap at people, but we just couldn't do that to him. He loved us and we loved him. I found some great classes that were for Reactive dogs. They didn't cure him, but they helped us understand the way his mind worked and helped us to help him. He was finally able to be around my brother's dog without going after him. He never played with another dog. You could see that he wanted to, but was just too afraid. By the time he passed away at 12 years old, he loved 20 people (up from about 6 in the beginning). Being at the cabin with us was his favorite place. No other people or animals and he could relax and just be a dog. We learned so much from Oliver. How to love difficult people and how to see past behavior and realize that there are reasons why people act the way they do. And that you can see good in someone, even if no one else can.

Gretchen
FRANKLINTOWN, PA

Our sweet Dixie

Our sweet Dixie

It was a very cold night in January, when my husband was at work. He was dumping the trash and heard a faint tiny cry. He said at first it sounded like a newborn baby but in a distance. He lifted the dumpster lid only to find the smallest kitten. Of course he brought her home and gave her a bath she was filthy. The next day he took her to the vet. The vet almost gave up hope because she had worms, covered in fleas, and would not eat. The vet treated her worms (3x) that is how terrible the worms were. My husband bathed the sweet gray long haired kitten in dawn dish soap and picked the fleas off one by one. Apparently, she was so young she could not have a true flea treatment. My husband also bottle fed her every 2 hours. This all took place before we were married. He named her Dixie because when he saw her in the dumpster she was laying in a Dixie cup. Our beautiful girl turned 20 years old in January. She really only likes me and my husband, which is fine. She is extremely healthy for an old girl. She occasionally has accidents out side her litter box but it’s ok. I will forever take care of her and keep her comfortable. Dixie has been by my side through a miscarriage and a knee surgery.. through adopting our children through many surprise birthday parties and so many memories... she always knows when I need her... (which is mostly all the time). I am preparing my family (especially my husband) that Dixie will not be with us much longer but that we will need to treasure each day she has left.

Stephanie
GRANITEVILLE, SC

My surprise rescue

My surprise rescue

I went with my girlfriend to the feed store to buy food for her cats. In the back of the store was a large cage. In the cage was this gorgeous torte kitten. She was approximately four months old and I thought she was beautiful. I asked the store person if I could see her. The store person handed her to me and she wrapped her arms around my neck. She wouldn't let go and neither did I. I adopted her that day.

Kathy
MASON, MI

Not  the 10 year old girl I planned to get.

Not the 10 year old girl I planned to get.

I lost both of my Shelties suddenly in 2019 and said no more animals. After about 2 weeks the house was so empty. I decided to get a cat. I hadn't had a kitty for several years after my last cat died at age 19. He had been thrown away by a neighbor and ended up with me. I saw a 10 year old kitty on the Another Chance Cat Rescue in Sanford ME. They were having an open house so I went over to see what she was like. I had planned to go back the following Saturday to pick her up. The rescue called me to tell me she had medical issues and was not available for adoption. They told me they had an 6 +- year male Maine Coon cat. He had been abandoned with 2 other cats and 2 dogs. These horrible people had left them locked in a room of their apartment when they moved out. They were there without food or water until the landlord found them. He had been adopted by a woman and brought back, she said he wasn't friendly and hid for 3 days. I decided to take him home, I do have to say I wasn't sure, he would not respond to me when I talked to him. I brought him home and let him out of the carrier. He slinked out and went upstairs. I left him alone to explore, about 45 minutes later he jumped up in my lap. This is where he is most of the time. I finally figured out why he didn't respond to me, he is deaf. When I come home if he is asleep I have to go up to him and gently touch him. He is very vocal and extremely loving. He isn't the year old female I planned to get, but I wouldn't trade him for anything. They named him Dundee and I kept it.

Linda
ROCHESTER, NH

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty

When we moved into our townhouse there were a few feral cats around. One in particular came around often to our back door looking for food. After hearing a cat fight in the night we decided to try to trap the cat and have it neutered and given shots. It turned out to be a female and after her visit to the vet she was returned to our yard and her territory. We made a bed for her under the loveseat outdoors and she started to use it off and on. Well, after 13years, she still comes to us for food and often uses her bed. She won't let us any nearer than 3 feet . She has survived many cold cold winters, even this winter with 10 degrees below zero. She showed up today after being gone for over a week and we were thrilled. She is remarkable but we worry as she is getting older now and the cold is hard on her. She is free though, and healthy. We love her so much from afar.

sue marines
GLENVIEW, IL

Bad luck good luck

Bad luck good luck

I've spent years doing animal rescue on my own. We had tossed around the idea of another dog, but didn't act on the idea. We've had 3 pyrenees and voiced we might want another one. Needless to say we received a call saying there was a pyrenees in need of help.
So in the middle of planting peach trees we dropped our shovels and headed out to find this dog.
Her original owners had driven her out of her home and forced her across a busy highway and into the woods to fend for herself all before her first birthday.
There had been a couple in the area putting out calls and through the dog vine we were called with, " have we got a deal for you"!
Needless to say this dog had been on her own for quite awhile. Her coat had grease, dirt, debris, oil, mats and unknown health issues to surface.
We found her in the woods behind a gate and very willing to come out to us. She didn't show any signs of aggressive behavior toward us. In fact she laid her head on my lap as I talked her.
My husband and I looked at one another and said ok let's go home. The couple who had put out the call couldn't keep her due to renting their home and already had a dog.
Once we loaded her in the truck we headed home with a detour to our groomer. We called asking for help and she said bring her over to the shop now. Needless to say after a bath and a complete shave down, other problems showed up.
The fist issue were her back feet, deformed, knock knees and a bloody discharge. Our groomer first thought the dog had parvo but that wasn't the answer, as she ate and drank water.
At our first vet visit she received her shots and a minor going over with all is well. That wasn't the case at all. Our second visit to another vet for a spay, she had a bladder infection and was in the early stages of pregnancy. The vet handled all of these issues after the fact and we went on our way. Thinking we were out of the woods again, more health problems cropped up several weeks later. Now she had an eye, ear and continuing bladder infection. Meds, meds and more meds. The only problem she didn't have was heartworms. After several rounds of antibiotics for every issue, she was coming along, her coat started growing out.
All through the vets and meds again she was very docile and seem to know she was safe.
Now what were we going to do about a name and a home? The bad luck dog is now Lucy and due to her size and breed we decided she should stay with us. We didn't feel like turning her over to another owner was in her best interest.
Lucy is healthy, greets everyone who comes to the house. We are still working on getting her acquainted with our other dogs as all are herding in nature and all have their territory.
Lucy doesn't seem to mind her back feet and knee issues. She has speed chasing squirrels and her favorite toys are nursery containers to toss in the air, play soccer with, and wear on her head.
We do know there may be other health issues that may come to the forefront as this breed is very prone to cancer. We will love, protect and care for her like we do for all of our animals as long as she is with us. We feel lucky to have her loving nature in our lives.

Rebecca
BEN WHEELER, TX

RIP SPIKE

RIP SPIKE

In the Spring of 2007, an adult male black and white cat started hanging around my yard watching me gardening. If I spoke to him, he took off, but since I left food out for him, he always returned. After about two months of this, he decided to trust me and we never looked back. I named him Spike because he was a large alpha male willing to fight to make sure no other cats tried to move in and no, this behavior did not change even after I got him neutered. I already had a sweet male cat named Himmish who quickly acquiesced to Spike's leadership role by letting Spike sleep on the bed with me while he took a cat bed on the chair. After a couple months of happy coexistence, my sister called to say she had trapped three feral cats (one mother and two kittens) and asked if I would take the male kitten. I hesitated, wondering what Spike would think about another cat, let alone a male cat, in the house, but said I'd give it a try. Once the kitten, named Adam, arrived, it was as if he was what Spike had been waiting for. It was love at first sight. Spike groomed Adam and helped him destroy plants, blinds, furniture, etc., previously ignored. Since Spike had been on the streets, maybe it was his first chance at acting like a kitten. It was a happy home for many years and I have many wonderful memories of my beloved Spike. As is life, Spike grew older, went completely blind, and in time had to be euthanized. He was my soul cat and I miss him dearly. The vet approximated his age at 15 when he passed. Both Himmish and Adam are alive and happy at ages 18 and 11 respectively, but the loss of Spike has certainly left a hole in our hearts. The picture is of Spike and Adam.

NANCY
SACRAMENTO, CA

He choose us.

He choose us.

13 years ago moved into our new home; approximately 1 1/2 years later, a mixed breed beagle type showed up on our property. He had a bullet graze on his side. I fed him and gave him water. Wouldn't let us touch him but he stayed and I made him a bed outside. For the next 2 years he lived outside on the porch never letting us touch him. Finally got 3 kittens, and he saw them in the house. Slowly he started to let us touch him and finally become an inside couch potato. It's been eleven years now. He sleeps on a bed in our room and is my husband's best friend. Long journey .

Mary A n Hoesch
MURPHY, NC

Rascal's mom found her a home with us

Rascal's mom found her a home with us

Rascal was 6-8 weeks old when she arrived in August 2015 at our back door with her mom and a littermate. After years of rescuing community cats, I knew what to do. Out went the food and water for Mom and some kitten milk and gruel for the little ones. After about a week, I was able to catch Mom and have her spayed. Her kittens scattered when I caught her, but they were very glad to return when she came back outdoors to them. Eventually, after weeks of feeding them all, I was able to stroke the forehead of one kitten, our soon-to-be housemate.
As it got colder into the fall, I put out beds with warmers for them all, but Mom and one kitten stopped coming around. I looked for them in the neighborhood but they seem to have gone to ground. But Rascal kept coming so I kept feeding her and freshening her bedding. We got all the way to Thanksgiving but she still wouldn't let me do more than touch her forehead with two fingers.
One night in early Dec we had a cold snap and I couldn't sleep thinking about Rascal out there in the cold. So I went downstairs and warmed up some milk. I put the dish of milk just inside my back door, near the woodpile where Rascal was sheltering, and waited. She crept out, put her front paws up on the door sill to reach the warm milk, and I scooped her into the house. She startled but then happily settled down to drinking her milk in the warm room.
From that day to this, she's been our joy. I really regret not being able to rescue the other two, but Rascal seemed like she was choosing to stay with us when they chose another path. To this day, whenever Rascal gets scared (like by the house alarm she occasionally sets off!) stroking her forehead with two fingers calms her right down.

Sharon Ann Holt
TRENTON, NJ