Animal Rescue Stories

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

Camp Fire survivor

Camp Fire survivor

At 8:30 am Nov 8, 2018, my son's girlfriend knocked on our Chico door to let us know that their entire family had to evacuate because the Camp Fire was destroying the town of Paradise, CA. They had 3 large parrots that they wanted to take with them, but they hoped we could take her 2 cats, one adult and one 8 weeks old. I was concerned because one of my two dogs was not particularly cat-friendly, but in these trying times, we took them in. It took two months for the girlfriend and her family to find a home in the area (ironically two doors down), but by then Pippin had bonded to our home, our dogs, and to us. Our son's girlfriend decided it was better to leave him with us. We love him, even when he's being a plant-destroying feline! :) We have very few houseplants left. Yes, I have checked that the ones left are not poisonous.

Donna Knorton
CHICO, CA

Lacy, Maverick, Hershey, Violet, Smiley, Gus and Penny: Our Rescues!

Lacy, Maverick, Hershey, Violet, Smiley, Gus and Penny: Our Rescues!

Over the years we have adopted 7 dogs, all from different places with different profiles. Lacy wandered by our house often. She was a collie her owner didn’t want. We loved her. Maverick, a border collie, just showed up one day and stayed. Smartest dog we ever had. Hershey was from a local shelter. No one adopted him so we did, but sadly we could not save him from himself. He was dangerously protective. Violet was abandoned at a vet clinic on Long Island and no one wanted her. She was old. We fostered and adopted her. A sweetheart . Smiley was from Tennessee and at 9 years her family gave her up. We loved this gentle soul. Now it’s Gus and Penny both from Louisiana, both abandoned black labs. Both 7 years when we got them. 2 dogs at a time will always be our number and seniors our go to. Wish we could save them all! Black dogs are most a risk for euthanization so that’s who we choose. Spay and neuter programs are essential. Maybe someday shelters won’t be needed!

Juliet Brown
SALEM, NY

Love at first sight!

Love at first sight!

In the summer of 2013, I began feeding a small local colony of ferals (all TNR's). I instantly fell in love with them, and developed a special bond with a big black fluffy cat who I named Midnight. It was love at first sight! He became my friend, and would head-butt me and want my attention all the time. I told my best friend, Melody, about him; she also happens to head up the rescue I volunteer for, and she decided to take him to her house to tame him. I wanted so much to adopt him but unforeseen circumstances prevented that, so Melody kept him with her and I would go visit him on a regular basis and started to bond with him. When Melody thought he was ready to be adopted I cried so much knowing that I would never see him again, but in my heart I knew it was the best thing for a family to be lucky enough to have this sweet little boy in their home. I told my husband how sad I was and he could see how much hurt I was feeling; he agreed that it was time to bring my Midnight home so that our other little kitty, Henry, would have a brother. So in September, 2015, Midnight came to live with us. I changed his name to Fred, and this sweet little boy has been so happy since. You would never know he was born into the world of ferals - he ended up a complete lap cat! He is almost 8 years old and my boys are best friends!

JoJo
CHAGRIN FALLS, OH

My Princess adopted me

My Princess adopted me

I had just bought a house and was moving in when this beautiful long-haired multi-colored beauty came out of nowhere, meowing away and very vocal. She stuck to me like glue. I have never been a cat lover as I am extremely allergic to them, but something about this girl tugged at my heart. Every day I would be greeted by her, either at my front door, or getting in and out of my car. Turned out she had been tossed out by the neighbor two doors down from me, and was just looking for someone to love and care for her. She was very popular in the neighborhood and everybody knew her. I ended up taking pity on her and taking her in, as she was very persistent (LOL). I have a 10-year-old yorkie-cross who was not happy with the new addition, but he got over it and now they play like brother and sister, and have each other as companions. Princess lives a good life now and is very spoiled. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Leah
Edmonton, Canada

Wounded

Wounded

In April of 2018, a new kitty showed up at my front feeding station for neighborhood cats: a tabby-striped manx. We named him Snefru for an Egyptian pharaoh. One day in August, we noticed what looked like blood seeping from his side and kept an eye on him. The wound was getting much larger, so we decided to trap him and get him some medical care. It took two weeks and some ingenuity to get him; by that time the wound was about 2” around and he acted so, so feral. We got him to the vet, where they cleaned the wound, treated it, and gave him antibiotics. They also neutered him, gave him shots etc. Today he is the biggest lap cat ever and a sweetheart. He also has autoimmune gingivitis and asthma, but we love him, problems and all. His age was estimated to be around 4. We still have our feeding stations and cameras to keep an eye on all of the kitties.

Krisann Ellis
Gillette, WY

We all were lost until we found one another...

We all were lost until we found one another...

Anna (on the left in the photo) and Elsa were littermates, rescued from a feral colony when they were about a year old. A wonderful veterinary practice fostered them for roughly six additional months before I adopted them last June. I was told that Anna might never come out of her shell, that she always hid behind her much larger sister Elsa whenever anyone approached them. Socialization has progressed very slowly, but there has been a major turn-around. Tiny Anna lets me pick her up before feedings, and sometimes she even purrs to me. Elsa is more than twice Anna's size, but she has turned out to be the timid one. If I can coax Anna to play (which is usually very easy), then Elsa will either sit off to the side or will reluctantly join in. I was heartbroken when we found one another, since I'd just lost my sweet feline companion of 14+ years, but it has been a delight to introduce youthful energy into the household once more. Elsa reminds me of another black feral cat (Shadow) who entered my life 20 years ago, and I hope that she will eventually become trusting enough to curl around my head for sleep the way Shadow did after we'd been together for a long time.

George Stradtman
ELKINS PARK, PA

"There you are!  I've been looking for you!"

"There you are! I've been looking for you!"

When my husband and I were talking about getting a companion dog for our aging dog, Katie, we went back and forth not knowing if she could go from being an "only dog" to having a sibling. My cousin called about a 15 week old puppy that had lived his entire life in a cage and was being "fattened up" to be used as a bait dog. There was no question that we were being called to rescue this little guy! The night we got him he jumped into my arms from hers as if saying "There you are! I've been looking for you!" Our girl had no trouble showing her sibling how to move right into our hearts. Jakob became my protector, my comfort, and my joy, much like our girl was for my husband. My husband joked that if we would have been human twins, it would be like we were of one heart and mind. We lost our girl, and Jakob was right there with her as she took her last breath. We lost my husband unexpectedly in September 2017, and after 18 years of marriage my entire world fell apart. I didn't know how I could go on without him. Jakob and his feline siblings have been by my side offering support, comfort, and unconditional love - they are the reason I have gotten up every morning and keep moving. Jakob is 8 years old now. His eyesight is getting cloudy, he's a little more gray around his face....but he's still got the heart of that 15 week old puppy that jumped into my arms. This photo has always touched my heart because I was able to capture it about 14 hours after he adopted us. He had never been able to sit and look outside in his short 15 weeks of life as he only knew a cage, and was in awe of all that he was seeing as he sat and looked out our door. He still loves to sit and watch the neighbors and the world alongside his feline siblings. My life is so very blessed to have been adopted by our Jakob, and because St. Francis of Assisi protected him until he was able to jump into my arms and find his "fur-ever" home.

Janice Martin
FORT WAYNE, IN

From death row to furever home

From death row to furever home

We had been in NJ for almost a year. I was on Facebook after my daughter went to school, and came across this gorgeous gray pit/weimaraner. She had a sad look on her face, one that broke my heart. I had seen many fur babies before, but there was something special about this one. The worst part was she only had 3 days before the ACC in Manhattan would euthanize her. I went in the house balling my eyes out. My husband asked what was wrong; I told him the story, and he said to fill out the application. I did. They called a few hours later and asked when we wanted to pick her up. I couldn't believe no one else was interested in her. It was the best Memorial Day I have ever had. She only weighed 48 lbs. She had a rough 2 years: multiple homes, a litter of puppies, days on the streets of NY. Needless to say, it took some time for her to adjust and trust that this was her furever home. Fast forward 4 years later: she is the most loving, loyal, beautiful and well-adjusted baby we could have asked for. She had a lump on her neck a few months ago. It turned out to be cancer. We had it removed; thank God the vet got it all. We LOVE our Luna so much.

Sherry
Reading, PA

He walked right in my house

He walked right in my house

We lived on a court, and one house was a rental. I watched these 2 little girls playing with their puppy as I came and went. After noticing no movement at the house, I called the rental company and was informed the renters paid until the end of September. I told them they left a puppy behind. I was informed nothing could be done regarding the dog until the end of the month. This was Sept. 16th, 2004. I had a 5-year-old female already, so I put some of her food into a Tupperware bowl and took it to the hungry puppy. All he did was bark at me, pee in excitement, and start eating the food. It broke my heart, but I walked home. When I brought food the next day, this cute pure black furball jumped all over me and proceeded to walk to our house. He wouldn't listen to me as (I knew my hubby was happy with just one dog) I repeatedly called him to his yard. He walked into our house like he owned the place. Within 30 minutes he tried jumping on the kitchen counter. I said "Trouble, no!". He actually looked at me like that was his name, so that was his name. He was afraid of my hubby and son in law, highly malnourished and starving per my veterinarian, but otherwise healthy. With love, patience and time, he ruled the roost and my heart. I called him my black heart. After 14 1/2 years, on December 30, 2018, he crossed the rainbow bridge. We still miss him, but we have a puppy, estimated at 2 1/2 years old, that was dropped off near us in the country. I'm all for shelter rescues and local pound adoptions, but my last few dogs were abandoned. We opened our hearts and home to these fur babies, and I'm thankful they found us.

Raina Phillips
AUGUSTA, GA

JRTs Forever!

JRTs Forever!

After reluctantly inheriting a Jack Russell Terrier named Moose from a relative who had passed, we came to absolutely adore his unique personality. We shared our home with him for 5 years, and were devastated when we lost him to cancer. We knew immediately that we couldn’t stand to be without the enormous presence that a 15lb dog can somehow manage to accomplish. Enter Finnegan! Shortly after we lost Moose I found Finnegan on Petfinder. He was a year old, and had been surrendered to a rescue in California. While JRTs are not for everybody, they have been a perfect fit for us. Finnegan manages to have an even bigger personality than our beloved Moose. He never fails to entertain us with his crazy antics , one of which is intently watching TV and recognizing animals who he thinks are just behind that “window,” in the backyard. Finnegan is going to be 10 soon with no signs of slowing down.

Polly
LAS VEGAS, NV