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Animal Rescue Stories

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

Poor Kitty

Poor Kitty

That was the heading on the Facebook post on my news feed. Someone was looking to re-home this Russian Blue because its owner had left the country and had planned on returning in a few weeks. She didn’t. After a year the neighbors, who were the caretakers, felt really terrible about this cat because he was so needy and would whine and rub against them every time they entered the house. Which was just once a week. To feed and water him and two other cats, and clean out the litter boxes. They finally convinced the owner to allow them to find a new home for him. She relented, and I snapped him up. That was 4 years ago. We renamed him Misha and he’s MY cat. He follows me around the house like a puppy and insists I brush him whenever I sit. He sleeps at the foot of my bed and is constantly talking to me about just something. He has settled in really well with our 3 dogs and other rescue cat. That is, our other cat barely tolerates him because she was here first. He has such a charming personality! It pains me to know that he went so long without human interaction. We’re making up for it!

Marf
HUNTSVILLE, TX

Abandoned

Abandoned

A family in Ohio left their pregnant dog in the back yard when they moved away. It was an unthinkable act. Neighbors kept watch, offering food and water. Eventually she would give birth to two males and a female. Four weeks later the neighbors saw that the mother was failing and knew the pups would, too. They gathered up the family and saw to it that they got care, but what next? The two males were fostered by loving families and the female still needed veterinary care. Fast forward four more weeks and my fiancee (now my husband) and I were looking for a puppy to love and share our home. We looked at lots of photos and we both fell in love with one 8 week old little boy. We went to the no-kill shelter to meet him and it was there that we learned his heart-breaking story. The foster family was wonderful! They said he learned fast and got along with their three kids and their cat. We were concerned that being taken from his mother at such a tender age that he might not have learned all the things she would teach. At that time we learned the female pup was still too small to adopt because the boys took most of the nutrition that mom and the neighbors had offered. She was still under the watchful eye of the veterinarian. The other male, we were told, was doing well. We fell in love with him instantly. He followed us with his eyes; at 8 weeks old he would sit on command and was nearly completely potty trained. There were only two problems: we had to wait one week so he could be neutered, and the kids had named him Mr. Bananas!! It was a very long week. When the time came, we made the joyful drive from PA to Ohio to get our furry little bundle. He had grown a little belly and looked even healthier! He had a little white spot just above his nose that I couldn't stop kissing. Half way my home we switched drivers so my fiancee could bond with him, as well. We renamed him Rocco. It seemed fitting since he is part Boxer and part Pit Bull. Rocco has four acres on which to romp and shares a queen size bed with another boxer mix who we would rescue a year later. They met at a no-kill shelter in NY State and bonded instantly. We're not sure who rescued who, but we're still in love with our pups. Rocco's muzzle has since turned gray and Jackson has started to age but at nine years we're all still inseparable. We never learned what happened to the others but pray that they found the joy that we have in these two.

Charlotte Mitchell
UNION CITY, PA

Kitty Sapphire

Kitty Sapphire

I looked high and low for a black kitten, and I was always a day late and a dollar short. Finally the shelter placed a notice in paper with photos of the residents, and how the shelter was full, and they had plenty of beautiful animals needing a home. There she was - the cutest, prettiest kitten with a smirk on her face. I scrambled to make the adoption and the shelter kept thanking me for taking a black kitten. I simply could not understand at the time, because she was the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen. Later come to learn about stupid superstitions people have for black cats. She is not a 'Halloween' cat or bad luck or evil. Kitty Sapphire is her name and she rules my home with an iron paw. I can't let anything slip past this one and I spend lots of time seeking treats and food and toys she will like, otherwise I am up the creek. Kitty Sapphire has taught me compassion, patience (bad litter box habits), and love, and I am blessed to care for such an amazing creature.

D.G. Sifuentes
MAMMOTH LAKES, CA

The Little Princess

The Little Princess

I was working a Saturday adoption of an animal shelter. My husband and I had transported a dog to the center. We were talking to people and giving the history of the various animals. The day had been cloudy and slightly windy, so I continued to check the cages to keep the animals comfortable. As I made a circuit I saw a cat, rather skinny, with large green eyes and the worst case of dry skin I had ever seen. I also saw she had been recently spayed. I went to the director and said that I was taking Princess, paid my fee for the cat, wrapped her up and brought her home. Fifteen years. I kept her name; she made me her own. Fifteen years. She taps me on the arm to ask for attention or to go out. Also, no more dry skin. She is one of three with Ranger the beautiful black cat and Stanley Katz, M.D., my ginger-peachy guy. Other species make humans better people.

Laurel Mancini
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

Milo My Wild Child

Milo My Wild Child

I trapped a feral kitten when he was about 6 weeks old and he lived in my bathroom so I could socialize him in a small space. I installed a small cat tree so he had something to play on, and when he was 3 months old I had him fixed and chipped and started looking for a forever home for him. A co-worker of a friend adopted him. Less than a year later, I received a call from Animal Care Services that they had picked him up in a TNR (trap-neuter-release) and since he was in good condition, they could just put him back in that neighborhood. I told them I would come and get him since that was not the neighborhood to which he had been adopted. He showed signs of abuse so I kept him even though I already had 4 cats. He is a trouble maker and will howl to go out in the middle of the night, but some of his other antics are just heartbreaking. He will jump up and run when I get out of my chair. He will also run if he is eating out of a bowl and I walk in the kitchen. We are working on all that. I can only assume that where he lived, they had other pets and he was not allowed to eat out of their bowls. He does bad things like jump on the kitchen counter or scratch the furniture when he wants out - Sticky Paws tape fixed that -but in order to reprogram him, I never react negatively to any of his behavior except with a quiet “no”. He looks right into my eyes and understands and slowly he is stopping most of it. He surprised me by being one of the most affectionate of all my cats and loves to be held close to my neck and have his jowls scratched and drool on my shoulder. He is still my wild child and wants to be outside as much as possible, but he is also a true love of a cat.

Carole
SAN ANTONIO, TX

My sweet Norton

My sweet Norton

My previous dog Matilda, the love of my life, had suddenly died in December of 2006, but I didn't feel ready to start looking for a new pooch until January of 2008. At that time, I started dipping my toe back in the rescue world and looking at Petfinder on-line. Then I received an email from my then-boyfriend (now husband) Brad. His friend LaSonia had found a little dog at an apt complex she was visiting and brought it home for safekeeping. She had been able to track down the poochie's owners, but they didn't want him back. Brad forwarded me the email thinking that I might know someone who would want a dog. That someone turned out to be me. We went and picked up Norton that next Saturday and brought him home. He turned out to be about 7 months old, with long hair, and a male. I had always said how I didn't want a puppy, and liked short-haired, dark-colored female dogs (like Matilda had been). Apparently, the universe had a different idea on the perfect dog for Brad & me. 12 years later, we still adore our long-haired, fawn-colored, male chihuahua Norton. He has had success as a pet therapy dog at an area nursing home and he brings joy to our lives every single day.

Carolyn Clark
RENTON, WA

Door Prize

Door Prize

One night I was standing outside the front door of an arts venue discussing the movie shorts we had just seen with my friends when something brushed my leg and meowed. I reached down to pet it and felt skin and bones. With a quick goodbye to my friends, I scooped it up and jumped in my car nearby. He rode on my shoulder all the way home and has been my constant companion and morning alarm clock ever since. He has shown signs of ill treatment as he hates to have his big bushy tail touched, but has gotten better about it over the years so I can get the burrs out that he picks up in my neighbor’s garden. He is also very resistant to being brushed, but at least now he no longer bites me for it since he knows he is my spoiled not-so-little boy.

Carole
SAN ANTONIO, TX

The Sun Rises and Sets Because of My Dawn

The Sun Rises and Sets Because of My Dawn

My husband and I spent months mourning the passing of Sammy, my sweet tabby boy who I met when he was hours old and stayed with me until he almost reached 19 years old. My heart was broken, but I was ready to love again. Dawn was the second cat of a pair of rescues I adopted. She tended to her frightened brother and helped him come out from under the bed. She charmed us right away, but took some time to completely let us in. Sadly, her brother passed away. When we added Winston to our family, she took him around our home and bonded with him immediately. She's been the queen bee from day one and the tender teacher to both of her brothers. The love she (and her new brother) brought to our lives is amazing.

Abby Frank
JAMAICA, NY

Happiest dog ever

Happiest dog ever

We got Molly at a local shelter. Best we can tell she is a Maltipoo. She was rescued from a hoarder - dirty, starving, covered in fleas, and heartworm positive. She weighed less than 3 pounds. We went through heartworm treatment with her and got her weight up to 8 pounds. She has never met anyone she didn't like and is the sweetest, happiest dog! I wanted a bigger dog, but my husband wanted her. So glad he won that argument. She is so easy to love. Wouldn't part with her for a million dollars.

PJ Tennies
SLIDELL, LA

2 year old doxie lost her owners

2 year old doxie lost her owners

We had adopted several doxies over the years and still had one older dapple at home, and decided not to adopt more as we are retired and wanted to travel some before adopting again. Then we saw a rescue with a young chocolate doxie who had lost his home. He lost 2 1/2 pounds in a week; wouldn’t eat; was skin and bones and was in distress. We saw his picture and immediately knew we had to try to adopt him. Luckily we were able to bring him home 3 weeks later; the rescue had been able get him eating; he gained his weight back. We named him Corky. He is very loving little guy; needy; wants to be on our laps at all times and doesn’t like being alone; maybe because he is afraid of losing another family. Loves his daily walks and of course, we share our bed with both our doxies. Corky is such a well mannèred boy. Whoever had him before us trained him well. We are very lucky. With the coronavirus, we have been self quarantining, so it’s been a great time to add another dog. Can’t imagine our home without him now, and who knows when it will be safe to travel again. Nothing better than a dog’s unconditional love!

Jody Thorsen
OMAHA, NE