Animal Rescue Stories

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

The Strangest Noise I've Ever Heard

The Strangest Noise I've Ever Heard

After graduating from college during the recession, I was bored and unemployed, so when my mom said she wanted to go to the shelter to look at dogs, I decided to join her. I of course fell in love with every puppy in the place, but little did I know that my mom had actually had a specific dog in mind that she wanted to meet. When I joined her in the courtyard of the shelter, I looked over to see this tiny brown Terrier/Chihuahua mix straining on the end of its leash to get to us. As soon as she got to me, she immediately peed all over the ground and my shoe. Right then I knew it was love. When I asked the shelter worker what her name was, I was baffled. It wasn't until I heard the dog's excited bark/scream that I realized her name, Ankylosaurus, was fitting, as she sounded how I would imagine a dinosaur would. Turns out she was one of a big litter who were all named after different dinosaurs. We left the shelter that day without her; I don't think we were prepared to bring home another dog with two rescue dogs already at home. However, I could not get this cute, weird-sounding dog out of my head, and dreamt about her all night. The next day I made a deal with my dad that she would be my dog and I would take all responsibility for her, as the thought of having 3 dogs was not appealing to him. That afternoon we went back to the shelter and brought one of our dogs with us so they could meet to make sure they would get along. We got there only to realize that someone else was interested in her, and I immediately started crying at the thought of not taking her home. I think this person saw my tears and took pity, ultimately deciding to take home a different dog! Needless to say, we took her home that same day and renamed her Zoe. Zoe and our other rescue dog (also a Terrier/Chihuahua mix) are now BFF, and Zoe's been a happy member of our family for 10 years now. PLEASE consider adopting a shelter animal!

Harper
DANVILLE, CA

Dog Walk Partners

Dog Walk Partners

I had just moved into my house with my year-old Lab rescue. Our morning walks were early and cold, as we moved in January. I began seeing this friendly black kitty who would walk side-by-side with me and my dog. I realized quickly that she was a community cat in the neighborhood, and her family had left her when they moved. Daphne has been an indoor kitty for 5 years now and my snuggle buddy. Can't imagine life without her.

Heather Kennedy
MIDDLETOWN, OH

Hound Dog Hero

Hound Dog Hero

I had lost my beloved spaniel to lymphoma 2 years earlier and started looking for another furry friend. I decided to adopt from a program that fosters dogs. I saw her picture online, and she had me at those ears and sad face. When I met her to see if we were a match, she bounded out of the backyard and into my arms and heart. We have gone through all the puppy growth, and she is now one of the most precious parts of my life. Oh, she and I adopted her sister a year later and they have been inseparable for the last 3 years! Please consider adoption. It may not be what you expect, but the love you give and receive is well worth it.

Diana Rankin
BETHANY, OK

From hell To heaven

From hell To heaven

One morning my friend Jackie told me she found a nearly dying Persian under a garbage container. The poor thing couldn't walk anymore; his hair was tangled, dirty, and full of dry strings. She drove him to the vet and found out he was very old, and had a cardiac and kidney problem. My home belongs to my cats and my dogs. Jackie asked me to foster him for a while. We already had 7 cats and my husband was giving me the cold shoulder... still, we took the poor thing in and named him Dali because of his mustache. But Dali needed a lot of care, cleaning his eyes, brushing his fur, taking his treatment and following a special diet. And my husband was asking regularly, when will Dali will get his own family? Dali got better and my husband was seduced. Dali became the king of the house. My husband, first thing coming from work, was asking where his friend Dali was. Dali stayed with us almost four years. He crossed the bridge peacefully in our house early on August 28th last year. The vet told us he was easily 20, even older. He was such a trusty, loving cat, our little king. We miss him every day.

Martine Garzon
APPIETTO, France

Sebastian the Stray

Sebastian the Stray

My elderly mother asked me to buy her a bag of cat food (she didn’t have a cat!) and told me she was feeding an outside cat. (December in New Jersey is freezing!) I told her (lovingly) that she was nuts and that it was probably an opossum! Well, one morning as I was visiting and setting up her pills, I heard a loud meow outside her door. I opened it to see an emaciated Russian Blue cat yowling for his breakfast! Luckily, I had bought the cat food “just in case.” So I fed him and decided I would trap him and give him a forever home. I tried to trap him three times in a Have-A-Heart trap and failed miserably. Finally, on the fourth try, it worked! Six years later, he is a healthy, loving bundle of fur. He loves sitting in the window in a sunbeam with my other cats, Milo and Josie. All three are strictly indoor cats and love life together, along with my precious 13-year-old Shih Tzu!

Kara
CLOSTER, NJ

My Prince has come.

My Prince has come.

In February of this year, in horrible winter weather conditions, my husband lost his 4-year battle with cancer. When I drove home from the hospital, a cat moved into my garage. I was sure I couldn't keep him because I have a rescued Silky Terrier who is 12 and has the condition called protein-losing disease. She requires prescription dog food. So I called the animal control officer (no kill). He dropped off a crate and live trap after about a week. I had started feeding him to keep him around, and he began talking to me and kept getting friendlier. Finally he came out for petting. After another week the animal control officer sent his daughter to pick up the cat. By then, Prince was so friendly I thought I could just pick him up and put him into the car; he always came when I called him and was wanting to be petted. When she came, he didn't come out from hiding or make a sound all the while she was there, but came out immediately as she was backing out of the driveway. I just picked him up and put him into the house. He'd obviously never been in a house before because he hid for 2 days. I couldn't even find him at first. When he came out to eat and use the litter box he left no trace. The only I've heard him hiss was when Daiquiri thought she would try his food. She never tried again. He's never growled. I took him to the vet to get his shots and make an appointment for neutering; the vet said he had to be 4-5 years old. The neighbors told me they'd been leaving food out for him but couldn't pet him. Over the years I had only seen him once at a distance up our road; at that time he was carrying one leg. He loves my silky terrier, Daiquiri, but she's not as trusting of him. He's very gentle with her and I'm starting to see her coming around. They're both everywhere I am. He's still very afraid of other people. Prince never tries to go outside. He just seems to have chosen my home as his and has completely settled in. He comes when called, loves petting, playing with toys and getting brushed. In the night he checks on me from time to time while lying on a little bench nest to me. Once early in the morning he kept pestering me and wouldn't quit. I stood up and found I was very shaky. I checked my blood sugar and found it was low. He must have realized I was in trouble. He's a wonderful cat, and is even just starting to trust other people.

Ginny Strobl
KENNAN, WI

Happy Ending

Happy Ending

In December of 2017 my husband and I lost our cat Callie to an illness. She was just 8 years old. We were broken. We didn’t even celebrate Christmas that year. Since she was our only cat the house seemed very empty. So, we began looking for another cat. We found him at Arizona Animal Welfare League. We named him Cooper and he was the perfect salve for our hearts. He is the most loving and funny cat, and he still is, even at almost 9 years old. But then last November I saw a cute 4-month-old kitten at another shelter. We went and got him, named him Jax, and believe it or not Cooper welcomed the new kitty. Now they’re good friends that play and clean each other. And since Jax is so young, he’s always doing something silly to make us laugh. I will forever miss my Callie but, I can’t imagine my life without these two silly cats.

Cathy Cook
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ

Overlooked and room for two more

Overlooked and room for two more

I have a multiple-cat household (more than three), but decided after losing two senior cats within a month of each other that I did not need to bring in any more cats. My heart ached after the back-to-back loses, so I could not consider another cat. It was certainly quieter, and I was content. Almost a year and a half later, I was attending a town meeting with the town animal shelter being a main topic. The shelter was questioned about their adoption processes and rate. Then it was asked how long has the longest cat and dog residents been at the shelter. The dogs were adopted within 6 months, but the cats seemed to linger. The longest cat resident had been there 5 years. My heart sank. Then the shelter rep corrected herself and said that cat was just adopted but another was there for 4 years. My heart sank again. Every pet deserves a home. Then I asked, what color is the cat? Grey and white (my favorite). Was the cat a senior? No, been there since a kitten (heart sank deeper). Was there something wrong? No, just overlooked. Ok, I'll be in on Saturday to adopt the cat. On Saturday, I came with my carrier. While the shelter staff was trying to figure out which cat she was, my husband fell for a second cat, a white and grey tabby-mix cutie-pie. She had been overlooked in the shelter for two years. Both girls came home with us that day, over 9 1/2 years ago, and I am so glad I took the overlooked, plain-Jane girls. The 4 year old was renamed Chloe, and she's my girl. Snuggles with me at night, but very lazy (lies down to drink and eat), and loves to sleep on my bed. The 2 year old was renamed Leia. She loves to ambush and surprise the other cats. And she has the quietest, squeaky meow, almost silent. Both girls know that this is their home and we are family. One of the best decisions I made. They have filled my heart. From now on when I adopt from a shelter, I'll always go for the overlooked resident.

Karen Labazzetta
BLOOMINGDALE, NJ

Baby Bumblebee

Baby Bumblebee

In June of 2016, I heard a chirping sound outside beneath my bedroom window. I didn't think much of it at first; I assumed it was a bird, but after it was still going on a hour later I went outside to see why. Inside my window well, there was a tiny, mostly white kitten all alone. It was getting dark, so I emptied a box, put a towel and the kitten inside the box and headed to the nearest grocery store for kitten formula and a tiny bottle. I looked up "infant kittens" on my phone to see what to do. The kitten appeared to be about 2 weeks old, so it needed bottlefed every 3 hours and stimulation to potty. My two 2 year old male/female littermates took over potty duty like the kitten was their own while I continued to bottlefeed. Originally I believed the kitten was male; and it was mostly white with a reddish goatee, so I named it Albus James (After Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter) and called it Alby. A few days later, I realized that Alby was a female. I kept the nickname, but changed her name to Albreanna Jamesyn. (Dumbledore's full name was Albus Percival Wulfrich Brian Dumbledore) Now, 3 years later, she still goes by Alby sometimes, but she's usually called Bee. (Dumbledore is an ancient term for Bumblebee.) She is the sweetest, most loving cat ever. She still adores my 2 older (now 5 year old) cats, and will cuddle with them just like they did when she was a baby.

Melissa Lewis
ALIQUIPPA, PA

Sheena the  blind & deaf 22 year old  rescue poodle....

Sheena the blind & deaf 22 year old rescue poodle....

My husband & I take in small dogs from the local kennel sometimes, who would otherwise be euthanized. I got a call one day from them to come down, that they had a 3-pound poodle that they could not adopt out because of her age & special needs. Being blind & deaf, they were going to euthanize her. I could have her if I wanted her. So I went down immediately.... They said that animal control was called to a scene at an apartment where the owner was dead for over 2 weeks. There were 2 poodles there with the body. The family took the one dog & dumped this one at the local kennels. So we walked into where they keep the dogs. From a huge dog kennel with a tiny litter box, they pulled out this tiny 3 pound little black fuzzball of a dog. You could not see her face or eyes or toes... just a mass of dark, dirty matted fur. We took her home & bathed her; the dirt ran off her & she was white under it all! I am a professional groomer, so I got out the clippers & began cutting off the hair that was matted. I even managed to give her a fancy show pom-pom cut... just for fun, as I thought she should look & feel fancy. It was a huge difference to look at her. I put a little shirt on her, as she was cold & scared. I got a baby bassinet & a child's playpen for her to be near me in & safe. In a day she wanted out. She did the perimeter of the rooms & knew them in 1 day. She at that point ran the house. I still had her sleep in a baby bassinet next to me at night for her safety. I took her in as a hospice case. I didn't expect her to live a week or month.... she lived 4 years to be 22 years old. She died in my arms at home. She was a strong brave soul. Her blindness or her deafness never stopped her from doing things... she was amazing & her story should be known . I always said she was a tiny angel on Earth. It was a pleasure to be around her. I miss her as she passed away in 2018.

Jennifer Leder
LAKEWOOD, OH