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Animal Rescue Stories

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

Meant To Be

Meant To Be

I had been looking for a rescue after we had to send our Baylee to the Rainbow Bridge. I was having coffee with a friend, and she asked me how the search was going. I said it had been unsuccessful. A woman at the table next to us overheard our conversation and told me about a wonderful rescue a couple of hours away. When I got home, I immediately checked their website, and their “Rescue of the Day” was a black Lab/ pit mix named Reacher. When I read his story, it broke my heart, and I knew I had to have him.

He had been chained out in the cold for two years, was covered with scars from being beaten, and had been starved almost to death. (The vet who cared for him when he was taken from his owner named him Reacher after the Jack Reacher character in Lee Child’s books, a true survivor.) I filled out the adoption form and we went to get him. The shelter told me he was a “terrified shell of a dog” when he arrived there, but he sat close to me all the way home, and gave me lots of kisses.

Our car was full of dog hair because he was so frightened and she’d like crazy, but he adjusted quickly to our home and all the love and attention we lavished on him. As I take my dogs to the mountain every day to let them run, I had to teach Reacher off leash behavior. It took a few weeks because he LOVED the freedom that he had never experienced, but he learned to come back, just not WHEN. Sometimes he would be MIA for an hour or so but always seemed to know where we were, and he showed up when we got close to the car…often with a huge bone in his mouth. It was his trophy!

He had collapsed cartilage from being chained and suffered grand mal seizures once a month, probably from being hit in the head, but he was the most loving, happy boy after his horrible beginning in life. He loved everyone, and we adored him.

Sadly, we only had seven years with him as he had liver cancer and we had to let him go. But we were so thankful for the years we had and the life we were able to give him. He was truly meant to be ours, as had I not gone to coffee with my friend, and the woman at the table next to us told me about that shelter, I would not have found him.

Kaye Hunt

Injured Owl

Injured Owl

Years ago when my youngest son was about 7, we were driving down a country road one evening. We saw something on the shoulder of the road, so I pulled over. It was a small owl that was dazed and unable to fly.

I took off my sweatshirt and wrapped it around the little fella, and my son held it in his lap while we drove home. I put it in the garage and made some phone calls to find a rescue center or something similar. Found a guy from a raptor organization that said he would come take a look the next day.

When he showed up, the owl was flying around the garage. He figured the owl probably got hit by a passing box truck or something similar and was just dazed. We managed to recapture it using a towel and cardboard box and released it near the road were we found it. Turned out to be a Saw-Whet Owl.

Mark Curtis

We built a cat sanctuary for neighborhood feral cats

We built a cat sanctuary for neighborhood feral cats

Around 18 yrs ago, we became aware of many cats living on a property directly across the street from a stop sign on our street. There were no signs of basic needs (food, water, shelter), so we approached the homeowner and she agreed to let us get everyone spayed/neutered and then returned there.

We spent two years on the property caring for everyone. My husband built them a shelter and a neighbor let us plug in the heater when it was cold for $50/month because homeowner would not. The shelter is actually a good sized building which allowed everyone to go in and sleep/be safe/be warm: Jazmine, Baby, George, Callie, Starshine, Sidney, Midnight, Precious, Shadow and Itsy Bitsy Boo.

Going on 16 years ago, three dogs on the loose went to the property and attacked Baby. Eight days and $8000 later, she moved into our home and Cat Haven was built (well..that took some time).

They pretty much started out feral and scared. We only have one remaining in Cat Haven: Precious. She is friendly, sits on our laps, and loves attention. There are three sections to Cat Haven. One has a large building 8x12' with a heater, fan, shelves for beds, blankies, litter boxes, and toys. There is the smaller building which was relocated from the hoarder property they were rescued from. It has a heater, fan, shelves, etc. Both have windows, too.

Cat Haven in the snow looks like the movie The Shining with the snow piling on top of the metal product that is the roof.

You can get from one section to the next via gate or behind a shed. There are planks for them to run on in all three sections and they can look at the neighbors on three sides via the fences.

When we built Cat Haven in a hurry due to what happened to Baby, we never realized that we couldn't move until everyone had left for the Rainbow Bridge. That's okay.

We took in three "visitors/friends" that lived their lives outside as feral cats but then the owner had to move and could not take them with her. One has since returned to the owner and two remain with us: Artie who is 15 and has heart issues and Tortie who is 20 and has a growth of some kind on her face.

We are outside with them daily at least four times per day; we have benches out there to sit on and lounge chair. I read to them. They have electricity, music, lights, and tons of love.

We have loved having them be a part of our family, which has included, throughout the years, 20+ other rescue cats inside.

Jeff and Irene Anderson

Who rescued who

Who rescued who

I was sitting at home too ill to work, COVID had ravaged my body. I now had long haulers. My once active days were now resting and pacing. My time now was mostly flipping through Facebook.

So many dog rescue sites would pop up. One rescue, Flirting with Fido, showed a beautiful malamute. Being experienced with this breed, I sent a message. All I knew was this beauty was from the Saskatchewan reserves and that he was abused. Without giving it thought, I adopted him. I gave him a new name, Nova.

Nova became my new side kick. He never leaves my side. He does the happy dance every time I fed him. He’s an amazing fly catcher. I’m sure he survived on flies and garbage in his first years of life. He’s a big goof ball who makes me laugh.

He’s my daily companion. We get out for many daily walks, the dog park or drives. My impulsive decision was the best one ever. While I may have rescued him, he has surely rescued me.
Campbell River, Canada

My Rescue Laika

My Rescue Laika

I, as a teenager, felt sorry for the Russian dog Laika that died in space back in the 50s. She was only 4-years-old. I went to our local pound looking to adopt and found a 4-month-old plain brown puppy that no one wanted. Her previous owners had dumped her there because she scratched their child. She was a puppy who had spent a month in the pound and was scheduled for euthanasia the next day. I adopted her and named her Laika in memory of the Russian dog I cried over.

Laika was a funny dog, loved to play keep away with her toys and was my sweet companion. She would whimper if either my husband or I went somewhere and greet us with a happy wagging tail and wet kisses with her tongue when we returned. When she was 4, she developed kidney problems and I had to make the hard decision to have her humanly put to sleep. The vet couldn't save her, so she died at 4-years-old, like the Russian dog Laika did in space.

I was glad I was able to give her four years of being loved and wanted, and I still miss her every day.

Anne Stanley

I saved little man

I saved little man

Little Man used to live next door, always chained out. He weighs 8 pounds. They got evicted, and I worried about Little Man (not his given name). After months of worry, I found him tied in a pen with baling twine and near death. I took him because they left him. I was told I would have to give him back so I took and had him neutered vetted and chipped. He is now a healthy happy little dog. And he is and always will be mine.

Karen Clark

Porch Dog

Porch Dog

Your porch was my home. You’d always give me a little food and a head scratch and I truly loved you for that. I never asked for much. Im a happy loyal girl. Then you stopped coming home…

I waited for days, weeks, maybe longer. Since we live in the country, I caught a few rabbits to get by. When I got desperate, I knocked over the trash can to eat, even though you’d be mad and hit me. I’m sorry.

I waited at the end of the driveway hoping to see your truck. I laid down because I was tied and couldn’t get up. I was too weak. I waited too long. I would have waited forever.

People don’t drive by often, but a lady came around the corner and stopped. She thought I had died, but I’m strong. She rubbed my head and I was able to open my eyes. She looked scared, but she wrapped me up in a warm towel and put me in her car. We went straight to the doctor. They gave me medicine, food and water and something called a bath. I’ve never really been clean, but all the bugs were gone and I felt pretty good.

That lady took me to a new porch after and scratched my head. I missed that. She made a few calls and found out you were in jail and not coming home for 10 years. That’s a long time for me to live off rabbits and trash all alone. You didn’t make any plans for me… but the lady (I call her Mom now) said she had a plan. She opened up the door on her porch and said, “come inside, girl”

I was so scared at first, I didn’t even know what inside was… but it’s always a nice temperature, dry and clean. Mom has beds everywhere for me and this cool thing called a couch.

Over time, I’ve really learned what comfortable is. She feeds me and my brothers warm food every day! Don’t worry, I didn’t get fat. We go on lots of walks and have a big yard to run in. I don’t have any bugs, I don’t have to worry, and I get so much love. We cuddle every night in blankets and she tells me she loves me.

I’ve been here a long time. I’m 16-years-old now. Mom gives me good back rubs, I stretch, and she even makes me a special diet and gives me supplements. I still feel great and happy.

A few years ago we heard youre out of jail now and asking the neighbors about me. One still had moms phone number and called. She started to cry, she was just shocked, but I licked the tears off her face. She smiled and scratched my head. She told the neighbor to give you a message, “tell him he doesn’t deserve her. I wouldn’t give her up for anything in the world”

Turns out, Mom is loyal just like me.

I just want to say thank you for the head scratches when I was young but Im never coming back. I don’t want to be a porch dog and Im happy. Plus, mom needs me and I need her. I hope you have an inside, a couch, blankets and love like I do… even if mom says she hopes you have to eat trash on the porch.




I opened the back door one day and in walked a large tabby like he belonged there. He had no collar but was very tame and well-behaved and looked healthy. His front paws were declawed, he had been neutered, and he had the initials JM tattooed in an ear.

We combed the neighborhood, putting notices on poles and in all the vet offices. Nobody claimed him, so we figured they moved and either left him behind or he ran away from his new home.

Our vet said he was middle-aged and was indeed very healthy. By the time we decided his "parents" weren't coming to get him, we were attached to him. We had started calling him "Homestead" because that was basically what he did. The name stuck.

He refused to use a litter box and always did his business outside, and he never got on the kitchen counters or dining table, reasons why I had never wanted a cat.

The only thing was he and our Cocker Spaniel, Levi, did not get along - that is until one day they apparently didn't hear me come home and I caught them curled up together in the middle of my bed. I yelled "you fakers" and they both about jumped out of their skins. They didn't fight at all after that.

We had Homestead a little over eight years and it broke our hearts when he passed away, but it was Levi who mourned him the most. We ended up taking him to the local shelter to let him pick out a kitten of his own.

Pat Lanier



I walked out our back door, and there on the cement pad to the door to the storage room lay a black and white kitten on its side. I thought for sure he was dead. I walked over and he didn't have the strength to lift his head. He did look up at me, though.

I picked him up. He was about 4 - 6 weeks old, and he laid across my hand like a limp noodle. I carried him into the house and told the wife to get me a can of cat food and a teaspoon. I had to force his mouth open the first two times. The third time he opened his mouth like a baby bird, so I laid him upright in the dish of cat food. He ate about 1/4 of the can, which is a lot for a kitten his size. He was only about 6" long at the most.

He is with me almost all the time now when I'm in the house. He is now 5 years old.

William Rifenbury

God sends you to the right place at the right time

God sends you to the right place at the right time

Fourteen years ago, my then almost 11-year-old son and my husband decided to go get pine needles for the yard while I was working. I am a nurse, so it was my late night to work, and we never used pine needles so it had to be a blessing that they went. Someone had put a male pup in a small cat cage at this particular establishment where they were getting the needles. He was scared, flea-infested, and stunk so badly. My son called me to see if he could bring the pup home and of course I said yes.

Once I got home he received a flea bath and was given the name Bailey. He turned out to be a handsome black lab with the kindest most gentle spirit about him. He lived to be 14 years young and was truly our best friend and companion. He slept with my son and then took to my bed until he got big and wanted his “ own bed”.

He passed last year in September and we have his ashes. I still miss him so much and I can still feel him here with me.

Wanda Gossett