Animal Rescue Stories

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

Resilience of cats!

Resilience of cats!

Lily is our 14 year old insulin-dependent cat. We adopted her as a rescue along with her brother when they were 12 weeks old. We moved with her cross country three times.

At our current home, she escaped one night and everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. We didn’t even know for a few hours that she had gotten out - not until the other cats growled and hissed at something outside, and I looked outside and saw Lily. My heart just sank.

A few times we saw her and tried to catch her, but she was intent on her adventure. We waited up all night thinking she’d come back quickly but she didn’t. What followed was six excruciating days of exhaustive search, day and night, in a large community with four lakes and lots of woods.

On the sixth day, we despaired and thought there was no way she could have survived weather and diabetes. That afternoon, we got a call from neighbor close to half a mile away who said she thought our cat was lying outside her door but very sick. Words cannot describe the feeling of seeing her again, since a loss of a cat with no closure is a very difficult thing to live with.

We rushed her to an emergency hospital and found she was in renal failure with a 50% chance of survival. Twelve hours later, the vet gave her a 10% chance. But then he reversed course and said “I don’t want to give up on a cat who did not give up. Let me try a more aggressive treatment that I usually wouldn’t do but it’s her only chance. If she doesn’t respond, then take her home overnight and I will come to your house and put her down, because she tried so hard to get home.”

We went back next morning fully expecting to bring her home to die, BUT she had responded to the treatment! That evening, we brought her home, but she wouldn’t eat or drink. What followed were more days at her vet getting IV fluids to improve her kidneys, but then she worsened. Our vet said “don’t give up. She hasn’t given up.”

We started giving her fluids at home. Over a month, her kidneys have improved to almost normal values. She is eating, drinking, and playing, looking more and more like the Lily she was before she escaped. It’s been a roller coaster, but it is still inexplicable to me that this tough tiny warrior has made such a miraculous recovery, and tells me that we never give up on our cats as long as they tell us they still want to fight.

We will be forever grateful that our Lily has finally made it home.


Buddy, the blind Pitbull

Buddy, the blind Pitbull

I have been involved in rescue for 15 years. I volunteer at the local shelters and work very hard to find homes for cats and dogs needing homes. I got a call three years ago from one of the shelters. They had just gotten Buddy as an owner surrender. It was obvious that he had been beaten and abused. They fractured his skull and blinded him. He was terrified of all the noise and smells at the shelter.

I had never had a blind dog, or a pit bull before. I agreed to foster him until a home could be found for him. But, after a week, I realized that Buddy was already home.

So, we learned together. I made an enclosure for him, to keep him safe. As he learned his way around, I gradually took down the barriers. Buddy had no problem finding his way around the house and yard. He could track and chase squirrels by sound. The other dogs finally accepted him into the pack.

He was the sweetest dog I ever had. Even after all the suffering he endured, he just loved people, and attention. He changed everything I thought I knew about pit bulls. He loved our daily walks in the woods next to our house.

He got really sick a year ago, and we rushed him to the hospital. He was bleeding internally, and there was no saving him. When we got his ashes back, I scattered some of them over the trails we loved to walk together. I still miss him every day.

Jeffrey Pettigrew

Surprise visitor

Surprise visitor

I have several cats, six Savannahs and one Bengal. I came down one morning and there was this matted, long furry tri-coloured cat with a very sore eye sitting amongst them. I had been feeding this feline for a couple of years, as were other neighbours, leaving food and water outside. I couldn’t get near enough to bring it indoors. I thought at the time it was female but managing to catch it in a basket, I took it to the vet to check for a microchip.

There wasn’t one, so yes, I then took ownership of Tux, finding out it was a male and entire. As the vet was doing all the necessary medical stuff, they found he had been shot. A few hundred pounds later, I brought him home, kept him in while his wounds healed, and he has never left.

He sleeps on my bed, he sits next to me, he follows me when I take my dog for a walk, he lets me groom him, but he will not sit on my lap, which is fine. He may one day. But this is his forever home and is loved and cherished as are all my furry companions.

Susan Casserley
Sutton on Sea, United Kingdom

My sweet girl chihuahua GINGER

My sweet girl chihuahua GINGER

This sweet girl won my heart at the pound in Florida in 2010. We were looking for a puppy to be a companion for my husband's boy chihuahua, but when I held this sweet girl, fleas and all, she looked into my eyes and I knew she was it. Well paperwork said she didn't like men and I was told after paying the fee I could pick her up from the vet after she was fixed. She had been turned in by her family. They knew her birthrate was May 24, 2008 that was about it.

To make a long story short, it took about a year before she trusted my husband, but he won her heart, too. We also figured that she was probably turned in because shortly after getting her, she had a seizure but got her to vet. We had been caring for her since, until March 18, 2023, when we had to say good bye.

Levada Blankenship

Adoption of Milo x

Adoption of Milo x

We adopted Milo The Cocapoo four years ago from Cheshire Dogs Home. We didn't know much about his history but fell in love.
He loves playing ball, going for walks, and going tatas in the car.

He has become my shadow. He does try it on sometimes but we don't know what he has been through. He is 7 now and a happy chappie. We lost our 1st dog Nettle nine years ago. It was completely devastating after 17 years of unconditional love.

Mary Flynn
Birmingham, United Kingdom

The ghost dog full of love

The ghost dog full of love

Rescue - that has never been a choice with me. It is who I am. Been involved since I was little. One day, I saw a post about a dog needing a new foster with a group I foster with (Angels Among Us). She needed a calm home. Well, I had two laidback dogs and no kids, so volunteer I did!

When I picked her up, she peed all over the foster’s husband as he carried her out. She didn’t walk, she army crawled on a leash and tried to hide. In my house, she hid in corners, under blankets, under pillows. At adoption events, she would go to the bathroom while walking there and hide the whole time. She was a ghost dog.

Yes, I worked with her and she would get better slowly. Tiny bits. People wanted her that pitied her. Nope. No one was going to adopt her out of pity. After a year and a half, I got a good app. Loved the people and, well, I cried. I’ve been fostering a long time and I don’t cry about dogs when they find a home. With her, I did. And, yes, I couldn’t let her go and yes, I did help that wonderful couple find another dog.

It took Muppet eight months to wag her tail, 22 months to want to cuddle and three years to bark. Here we are 11 years later and I adore her crazy self. She is a hoot and so opinionated and lots of sass. Give an animal time and love and they will eventually blossom. Don’t ever give up.

Leigh Hodes

Who rescued who?

Who rescued who?

Delilah was a beautiful long-haired orange cat that was rescued by my son. Soon after the rescue, my son and his wife had their first child. Delilah was a very vocal cat and had a tendency to to share her meows at the wrong time, so after a few months, Delilah‘s new home was with me. I was hesitant at first, but then soon came to realize that I needed her more than she needed me.

I have battled with my mental illness and addiction for many years and was walking a very rocky edge the day that Delilah came to live with me. I was so blessed to have her in my life. She was my best friend, my confidant, my soulmate. My son may have rescued her, but she definitely rescued me. Unfortunately, Delilah‘s been gone for about a year now and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and the way she loved me. I’m not looking for another cat because I realize she can never be replaced. But if one comes into my life that needs me, I will be there because she taught me that you never know when you may need rescued.

Angela Allen

Frozen Sweet Girl

Frozen Sweet Girl

We had always feed the outside feral cats in addition to our own litter of six cats. One freezing day outside my home office, there sat a grey and peach tortie. I called my wife and she came in with a blanket to try and catch her. She figured she would run, but she didn’t. She was frozen and near death. We brought her in and my wife named her “she ain’t staying”.

We gave her warm water in syringes and kept her in the warmest room in the house. She was too sick to eat. We took her to a local clinic, and they said she had a really bad upper respiratory infection and probably wouldn’t make it. They suggested we put her down. We asked them check her more thoroughly. My wife was in tears and I was very upset, crying, too, as we had her for a few days and she had gotten a little better.

I gathered the courage to say no! I said let us make a donation for the medicine and try to save her ourselves. If she didn’t make it, we at least tried. We gave her the medicine and it took several weeks, but she started to show gradual improvement. Soon she was well enough to put up for adoption. One shelter we called said they would keep her for one week, but if she didn’t get adopted they’d have to put her down. I again said no!

Finally, we got PetSmart to agree to put her up for adoption. I asked them when do I come get her at night and they said oh, she stays in the cage with them. I said no way is she going in a cage after all she’s been through. Finally I convinced my wife that “she ain’t staying” was going to stay with us and our crew. Her new name is Maserati.

All our cats are named after expensive sports cars. We call her Mazzie! She has been with us for eight years now and hopefully many more!

Alan Ligameri

Worth the drive

Worth the drive

Our hearts were broken when we lost our 10 year old Scottie to Cushings disease. Even though we had a beagle, Roxy, and a rescue Catahoula, we still felt there was a hole in our little family.

One afternoon, my husband came across a picture on Facebook of a 3 year old Catahoula dog named George that was facing his last days in a kill shelter in Baton Rouge, LA. We live in Tulsa, OK. He could not get that dog out of his mind, so he called the shelter and asked if they could hold George until Saturday when we could drive down to adopt him. They were more than willing to work with us!

Well, Saturday came and with it, a big snowstorm. We decided I would stay home with our two dogs in case power went off and they needed to be kept warm. A simple 4-5 hour drive turned into 12 hours of icy roads following snow plows. My husband kept in touch with the shelter and they waited for him till 10:00 on a Saturday night so my husband could bring George home. They had to stop at a hotel overnight, but finally made it home late Sunday evening. My husband and George were best buddies for over 10 years. We had to let George go last Monday.

Yes it’s terribly hard to lose these wonderful creatures, but the best thing we can do to honor their memory is to love another rescue and make it’s life a good one. They enrich our lives so much.

Cathy Kempton

Dodger from Baltimore

Dodger from Baltimore

We live in NJ, but my daughter was a vet tech in Baltimore, MD. She worked for a vet who did emergency appointments for the city shelter (BARCS). Overnight animal control found this emaciated shepherd mix pup that had been hit by a car. His back end was badly broken, covered in road rash and scabs, super skinny and in tremendous pain. He made it through the first night in shock and pain and was being treated the next day. Although he was in terrible pain from his hips and leg being broken, he never snapped at anyone or stop wagging his tail.

Desperate to save him and not send him back to the kill shelter where he would most likely be put down, my daughter called me and asked if we could foster him. We carried him in and out of the house so he could do his business outside for weeks. He needed quiet and rest, and our Labrador Comet sensed that and would just lie quietly next to the crate everyday. Dodger went from about 20 pounds up to 60 pounds and was getting stronger every day.

He was fiercely loyal to his friends and family and such a great dog! I believe he would have died defending us if he had to. Needless to say, we fostered him for 13 years until he was ready to go Christmas Eve 2021. He had an awful start to life but with us he lived like a king and gave us so much joy! Miss him every day!