Animal Rescue Stories

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

One Becomes Seven

One Becomes Seven

Back in 2003 I saw this very scrawny cat come across the street into my neighbor's yard. I knew she needed help, so I fed her and continued to do so. I intended to adopt her even though I already had three indoor cats. A couple of days later, I realized she had 6 kittens, so I fed them all. Three of the kittens were friendly while the others were timid. I had no clue what to do. After three months, I could hold them all. The local shelter helped me get them fixed and found a farm for four of them while I kept Sammy Jo, her son Tiger, and her daughter Tabitha Jean. They were all sweet cats, especially Sammy Jo who purred all the time. She got hyperthyroidism and finally kidney failure, and I lost her eight weeks ago. At least we had 16 wonderful years together. I know she loved me for helping her and her family. I miss her very much.

Kathy D.
SPRINGFIELD, IL

Hang On Tightly!

Hang On Tightly!

I was a maintenance worker at a mental health system and received a call from one of the facilities about a kitten that was trapped in a large pipe. Being an animal lover, I rushed over and found this little fellow in a four inch pipe that was buried and had a small stranded string for pulling cable to a nearby generator that was soon to be installed. The kitten was crying out loudly, and I was wondering how to get him out. The lady that called was with me. We knelt down beside the buried pipe, and could see with my flashlight that it went down about four feet in the ground and turned. The kitten was at the bottom, and I began pulling gently on the string in the pipe, talking to the kitten, and praying out loud. I could feel a bit of weight on the string as I pulled on it, and knew that he was holding on as I was pulling. Somehow the small kitten miraculously held on to the string as I slowly and carefully pulled him all the way to the top of the pipe and got him out. He was wet, dirty, and cold, but we cleaned him up, wrapped him in towel, and got some milk replacement formula for him. I adopted him and named him Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, after the first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest, because he held on all the way to the top and helped with his own rescue as much as we did! He is now about eight years old and a big healthy boy that my wife and I have spoiled rotten.

Kevin Kaminer
GILBERT, SC

Miss Mabel's Boyfriend

Miss Mabel's Boyfriend

There was a colony a feral cats being well taken care of by a neighbor at the end of the street. One day a beautiful black and white tuxedo boy came strolling through the yard. When he saw my inside girl Miss Mabel, he stopped dead in his tracks and fell in love. He never left the yard after that, sitting at the door looking in at her. It took two years for me to be able to touch him, and another year after that for him to feel safe enough to come inside. Now Boyfriend, as he is aptly named, has the perfect life. He comes and goes as he pleases, and is still madly in love with his Miss Mabel.

Fern
SPOTSYLVANIA, VA

Sweet Seventeen

Sweet Seventeen

This is my Sweet Potato. In December 2002 on a five-degree day, I went out to my yard and saw some movement under my big pine tree. When I checked it out, I saw a tiny orange kitten happily playing with a pine cone. I went inside and got one of my pet carriers. I got behind the little guy and grabbed him. He put up quite a fight, but I was able to stuff him into the box. I took him to my vet and learned he was in great health. I told my vet, "well, he just joined my family." The vet asked what name to put down, and after a brief pause I said, "Why, this is my little Sweet Potato." We calculated his age and I set his birthday at July seventh. Today my Sweet Potato turned sweet seventeen. He fits in nicely with his brothers: a seventeen pound cat and a 120 pound puppy. I love my sweet eclectic furry family.

raoul diblasi
SCRANTON, PA

Bandit of Four Winds

Bandit of Four Winds

Bandit was rescued at the age of 1 ½ years thanks to the kindness of John Joseph Carey and Blanche Carey, my parents, who deserve a tribute for welcoming any cat or dog into their home. My childhood was filled with pets and laughter. Bandit’s early life was spent chained in a backyard with a low fence being teased by children going to and from school. One day he got loose and ran through the house, out the front door, and to the sidewalk, where he bit a child. My parents owned his sister, Bubbles, and upon hearing he was scheduled to be put down, took him in. At first, he spent his time laying in a corner near the front door and my dad’s chair. It was about a year before he learned how to play. His true character can be revealed as follows: The Kitten – Shortly after he came to us, a litter of kittens just learning to walk were taken out of their box and put on the living room floor where they were milling around in a small group. Friends were over and eventually we lost track of a kitten. Bandit was laying in his corner and suddenly he jumped to his feet and trotted into the kitchen and we saw him heading right for a kitten. We held our breath as he scooped up the kitten in his huge mouth which he left partly open and holding his head right near the floor, slowing walked back to the living room and dropped the kitten off with the others. The kitten shook itself off and Bandit walked back to his corner to lay down. The Intruder – One evening Bandit did not return to the house after he was let out to the backyard to do his business at bedtime. My dad went in search of him and related that Bandit had backed a man up against the back fence. Bandit was standing with his head about an inch away from the man’s chest looking straight up into his face. The man was so happy to see my dad saying he had been there what felt like an hour. Bubbles – Bubbles, the house alpha, was Bandit’s reason for living. Bandit loved Bubbles’ puppies, licking them when they were tiny, letting them climb on him as they got older and playing with them once they got bigger. Bandit was close enough to the AKC standard that he did well at dog shows. Bubbles did not have the physical attributes to win, but she loved the showing off in the ring and so she would be entered for fun sometimes. When it was Bubbles’ turn to pace around the ring alone, Bandit would stand up, wag his long tail in a big circle and bark a big “Woof!” every few seconds, drawing the attention and applause of many around the ring. Again, thanks to my parents, this wonderful dog was able to live the remainder of his life with love and security.

Susanne
RIVERSIDE, CA

He was right around the corner- alone and skinny.

He was right around the corner- alone and skinny.

That's how my husband and I met our Kirk (on the left in the picture and named after Captain James T.!) as we were headed out to an appointment one cold December afternoon in New Mexico. We rounded the corner of our apartment and there he was, walking down the path! At first we thought he was growling at us, but he was just startled and immediately showed his sweet side when I reached out my hand to him. He was skinny and alone, but had a collar on. We spent a few minutes with him, but had to leave for the appointment. I couldn't stop thinking about him and neither could my husband. We rushed home, and there he was: waiting for us with a "goofy smile" on his face once he saw us. We cuddled him, opened our door, and he went right in and made himself at home on our couch. We sent out feelers to see if anyone was looking for him since he did have a collar on. No one was, that we could find. And maybe that's because of how high-energy and intelligent our boy was - he had bad separation anxiety, maybe due to previous treatment, and was destructive and escaped his crate several times. We were patient with him and he has mellowed with age into the loving, fun companion we knew he could be. We almost lost him in 2016 after a major case of IVDD that paralyzed his back legs and would have killed him without surgery, but he made it through and is going strong to this day. He is a great big brother to our newest addition, Scottie (on the right). And yes, we also have a Spock (a former stray kitten from the same complex). We are so glad we ran into Kirk that day. We gave him a chance after a seemingly rough start in life, and our patience has been rewarded tenfold. Please be patient and give the stray or shelter dog or cat you take in a chance to grow and warm to you and your household. It's the most rewarding experience to nurture growth and change in them.

Ashley G.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

Sweet Rudy

Sweet Rudy

As a tiny stray kitten, Rudy showed up for food on our doorstep. I couldn't get near him. One morning, he came to me covered in gasoline; it appeared that our evil cat-hating neighbor had saturated him. Who knows what was to come? I rushed him to our vet. After baths & vaccinations, I gave him to my daughter who loved him more than anything until her tragic death a year & 1/2:year ago. I promised her that I would give Rudy a good home. He's happy and the most loving, kissing kitty ever. What's funny is he was terrified of me when she had him. Now, he's happy and loves my husband & me so much. He and I both miss my daughter and rely on each other to get through this loss.

Marjorie Edwards
BAILEY, NC

My Best Friend

My Best Friend

When my last child left for college, the house suddenly seemed very empty and lonely. My daughter said that I needed to have another baby (LOL!) or get a dog! I was reluctant at first, but started perusing Pet Finder. When I saw Maggie my heart broke. She was only a year old and had spent her puppy-hood tied up on a front porch. Her previous owners were excited about a new puppy, but when the newness wore off, they lost interest. They complained that she wouldn't use the puppy door to go outside to use the bathroom, so she was no longer allowed in the house! Maggie is a miniature poodle/Maltese mix and had suffered miserably outside through the cold northern Indiana winter! I brought Maggie home in February 2006; one of the best decisions I've ever made. Maggie was very timid at first and would hide, but through gentle pets and soothing talks, she quickly came to love everyone. Now she runs to greet everyone who visits, tail wagging excitedly, and she loves walks outside to "do her business." When I get home from work, she greets me at the door and hangs with me the rest of the evening. I am no longer lonely; Maggie is my best friend.

Bonny
LOUISVILLE, KY

Bob's Tail Tale

Bob's Tail Tale

I went to feed a small colony of cats, and heard a faint meow coming from the bushes. I followed the meows, got into the bushes, and finally was able to pull out a dark grey tabby about 3 months old, whom I later named Bob. Even though he sounded like he was in distress, he looked ok. I drove home with him on my lap and he never tried to escape my hold. When we got home I noticed his tail was bent at the end (like a number 7) and there were some raw patches on it closer to his body. I applied some triple antibiotic after I inspected him for fleas and gave him a bath. When the vet checked him out, she said the tail needed to be amputated and that he was lucky gangrene had not set in. He was also tested, given his shots, and neutered while in surgery. I picked him up the next day and he was as calm and sweet as he'd always been. Since I already had 7 inside cats (down from 8 since I had just put down my 13-year-old Anni whose kidneys where shutting down), my husband was not a happy about bringing in another cat. I told him I'd only keep him until I found a home for him. We all know how difficult that is to do. One day I was watching T.V. with Bob on my lap and the doorbell rang. I went to answer it with him in my hands. A lady who had come by to drop off a check saw Bob in my hands and fell in love. She wanted a companion for her small dog who had recently become very sad at the loss of her mommy. I miss Bob and his antics terribly, but I console myself in knowing he is with a great lady who will take extra good care of him.

Cristina Miguel
MIAMI, FL

My little tri-pod

My little tri-pod

I already had two cats. But my 16 year old was in kidney failure, and while I wanted to stay in denial, I thought maybe I should start looking for a friend for my four-year old female. With half a heart I got onto a website, entered my VERY specific criteria (baby, small, male, black, special needs) and thought that if my criteria was met, it was meant to be. Around eight months later an email popped up with a picture of a four month old, small male black cat that had to have his right rear leg amputated from being hit by a car. I knew right then that the universe wanted me to adopt this little guy. I went that day to the shelter and told them I wanted to see "Stretch." They were so excited that he had a potential adopter. I picked him up; he put his little head right in my palm, closed his eyes, and started purring. I brought him home that day. I thought he needed a "tougher" name for all that he had been through, so I re-named him Thor. I lost my 16 year old two months later, so now I am back to two. He's a mommy's boy, loves to be held and is my shadow around the house. I've learned his cues when he has an itch on his right side and he needs me to scratch it for him. Only having three legs doesn't slow this little guy down at all! He runs up the stairs and climbs the cat trees like a wild banshee. Thor is a rambunctious one year old, and his older sister sometimes gets irritated with him, but it's all good.

Mary Ann Walter
BEREA, OH