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Animal Rescue Stories

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

Hiss Majesty the Black Scallion

Hiss Majesty the Black Scallion

13 years ago, I brought my little Rascal home from the shelter. He spent 7 months there after his former owner died, overlooked because (I was told) “he is big, black and older,” the very things I liked about him. My friend knew I wanted a cat, and sent me a picture of one like hers who I would cat sit in my apartment when she was away. He didn’t appeal to me, but I scrolled down and saw Tucker, his original name. He wasn’t the friendliest at first, but I spent hours with him over a few weekends at the shelter, and I realized he felt lonely and abandoned after his owner died, and hopeless as he watched all the other cats come and go for months. I had recently relocated and I too was lonely, and I too fear abandonment. It was 7/7/07 when I filed the adoption application and 7/14/07 (Bastille Day) when I brought him home. I was told the shelter staff cried with joy when they learned Tucker was finally going home. They said he danced around happily, as he knew what was happening, having watched so many before him. The dance continued when he arrived home with me. I had everything prepared for him, and I soon got him a water fountain, as I observed his fascination with a waterfall wall at the shelter. I also got a leopard stroller for him, and we’d go for walks up and down the hill to parks at either end of the street where we lived to watch the fountain, the birds, the little brook, and sit under the shade of the beautiful trees. When I was at work, he had access to the terrace, where he could watch birds and the passing scene on the street below, sometimes on a little patch of artificial grass he could lie on. He was so happy every day when I returned from work, he’d rear up on his hind legs like a little black stallion! His nickname became “The Black Scallion.” I let him run back and forth after a ball down the long hall in my apartment building late at night. He became my loyal and incredibly loving and affectionate companion, my best friend and the love of my life. We had family cats before, but Rascal was the first cat who was only mine. Our bond grew so strong over our 12 years together. He brought unending joy to my life and helped me battle loneliness and depression and change. He taught me even more than I knew about love and caring and kindness and compassion. He helped me as I navigated a new town, a new job, a new life, then all over again when I lost my job 6 years later. We moved to my mother’s home in California, where we have large decks and a garden. He watched the water and the boats on the bay below, the birds, squirrels, foxes, deer, quail and raccoons. He sunned on the deck, often splayed out on his back. He romped in the garden. When I lost him at 17 1/2 a year ago, after a heartbreaking battle with CKD, my heart was shattered. I still cry for him every day. But I know he is always with me, and I am always with him. He was a blessing in my life, an angel sent to me. Our ashes will be commingled under a weeping willow tree on my brother’s property in upstate New York, where we can be together again for all eternity.

Evan Jane Kriss
SAUSALITO, CA

I Pick You

I Pick You

Six years ago my mother expressed she wanted a cat for her birthday. The Sunday before mom's birthday, my friend and I went out for lunch. Since there was a long wait for a table, we decided we would take a look in the nearby pet store which usually featured rescued cats. As we were going in we noticed a woman putting some crates with cats and kittens in her car. Not giving it a second thought we went on inside. Like a moth to a flame we were drawn to the lovely glass enclosed area where several kittens were playing. Immediately the one owl-like kitten came up to the glass and looked directly at me as if to say "I pick you!" It was love at first sight! Every time we came back to the area the kitten would come right up toward me. We inquired about the kitten, only to find that the lady who had just left was the person to talk to about adopting this insistent little bundle of joy. Within four days he was our kitty! Even though he was supposed to be mom's gift, the kitten named Sabastian bonded to me quickly after I nursed him back to health! To this day he comes running to me or calls out for me with many purrs and rubs, saying "I picked you!"

Sandy McGrady
TUXEDO PARK, NY

Backyard visitor

Backyard visitor

For several weeks a stray cat came to visit me. He always greeted me with a meow and wanted attention. I left food and water for him. Seemed like we'd look for each other every day. Made the decision that I wanted to bring him in as it was starting to get hotter. Finally able to bring him in. He got a bath to rid the fleas and a vet check. Purrfect bill of health. Decided to name him Slinky. He joins his other fur brothers and sisters.

Nancy P
KOKOMO, IN

Found wandering on a busy street!

Found wandering on a busy street!

I was looking through my NextDoor app and saw that a kind neighbor had picked up a beautiful golden colored dog that was wandering on a very busy street. She said that the dog was very sweet and friendly but that she was unable to keep her. She had no collar or tags, was dirty, and her coat was extremely matted. Since losing my two senior dogs within a month of each other, I was heartbroken. It had been several months since their loss so I after reading about her, I decided that I was ready to take in a rescue. I contacted the neighbor and she brought Coco over (we didn't know her name, so that is what I decided on). Coco was full of life and could not get enough love! She would jump up and lick my face constantly and followed me all over the house. I took her to the vet and was told that she had a chip. We contacted the owner and found out that he was an older man who had suffered a stroke and was sadly not going to be able to return home. Coco must have gotten out during his absence. His caregiver said that I could adopt her but asked that I keep in touch so that she could assure the owner that Coco was in good hands and living a happy live (which I regularly do). I am happy to know that she was so loved by him and that he wants to keep up with her. Coco is the sweetest, happiest and most loving dog! She will play fetch all day long if possible and loves to snuggle and be loved. I eventually adopted another rescue named Jack to keep her company when I work. I am very blessed and grateful to have these beautiful and bratty babies in my life.

D Nelson
GARLAND, TX

My Sam

My Sam

Sam was my daughter’s dog. A nasty little 5 year old was visiting my young granddaughter. The visiting child stomped on Sam and he bit her (Her own dog had bitten her several times, too.) My daughter was devastated this occurred and decided she could not have a dog who would bite, around children. No one wanted Sam. At the last minute, my husband and I said we would take him and give him another chance. Lhasa Apsos are noted for being feisty and protective of their owners. He was that and we always kept him at a distance from strangers. Most of our friends fell in love with Sam and said they wanted him. He was the most wonderful companion. He went everywhere with us. He gave us undying love, which was reciprocated by us. He lived to be 15, 14 years with us. He passed over the Rainbow Bridge several weeks ago and I’m still sad. He stole my heart.

Judith
ANACORTES, WA

Teener

Teener

My son was on way home from visiting his best friend who was dying of cancer. He saw two kittens that had been thrown out of a car. He caught one and brought it home. Went back and took over two hours to catch Teener. Named her after a character in his friend's book. Sadly, the first one passed that night. Teener is now 16. She was about 4 weeks old when we got her. She has lymphoma now but is getting treatment. Love her so much,

Laddie Dwyer
ORANGE PARK, FL

Dixon

Dixon

We got Dixon at the rescue shelter where his predecessor, Bear, came from. Bear, sadly, has since crossed the rainbow bridge. Dixon is a very energetic year plus several months; very smart, has adapted very well to my husband's and my lifestyle, and is such a comfort in these new strange times for our world. He's a furry, keeps-us-engaged-to-play-with-him angel... just what we needed!

Mary Scott
MEMPHIS, TN

Findus made me happy for 14 years

Findus made me happy for 14 years

It was 2006 or 07, and we had moved into our first house, when a grey cat started to show up in the garden. I put out some food and water and she showed up more often and then made a home in the garden. During the first year I bought some things for her to make staying outside more comfortable, a pillow bed and so on. I named her Findus after a cartoon cat. After a year or so I took her to the vet for vaccinations and microchipping. It turned out she had a chip. The vet contacted the people but they said they didn't want her back. They said she belonged to an old man in San Diego who died and her family took his cat back with his things to Los Angeles but some months ago she ran away. I didn't believe the story, thought they must have put her out. The vet put a new chip in and removed the old one. He glued the cut with some special glue. He said I had to keep her in for 3 days and could let her back out then. I did that and let her out the third night. I always left the back door open in those days because I stayed up all night. After a short while Findus came to my office like she was looking for help. the wound had come open. I took her to the emergency vet where they stitched the wound and told me to keep her inside for 3 weeks. I followed through. By the end of the time she had stopped complaining and seemed fine inside. So I decided to keep her inside from now on. That was the best decision I could make. Findus gave me so much joy over the years. I loved her very much. She had many health problems over the years. Her eyes went bad, she had ulcers and had to have some surgery to grind the outer layer of the eye down. The eye specialist later said she was going blind due to some degeneration of the retina. Over the past 4 years her eyesight became gradually worse, but she always managed to get around the house. These past 2 years she had more ulcers but since she was so old already, going on 20 years by our estimate, I didn't want her to go through more surgery. We managed to keep the eyes clean of infection with antibiotic though. In 2015 she became very ill, was rubbing her head and her face constantly. It was really bad. My then-vet had no idea what to do. I took her to a dermatologist because he said maybe allergies. Sure enough the dermatologist diagnosed food allergy without running a test. For years later I had her on a restrictive diet which turned out to be useless because she never was allergic. I took her to another eye specialist who diagnosed herpes. he said you can't test for herpes with certainty and it doesn't show. He told me to get some antiviral drug which cost hundreds of dollars. I did that and forced the pill down into her for months. All nonsense. By now Findus was wearing an e-collar for nearly a year. Oftentimes she was rubbing her face so hard through the collar that it was a pain to watch. Many a night I was close to putting her down because it just wouldn't get better. It was heartbreaking the way she rubbed and suffered, but somehow I didn't give up hope because she seemed determined to live on. We went to another general vet who tried a few things and then said "She looks like she might have a fungus infection in the nose". He offered some tests that we did and two weeks later or so he told me that the lab had not found a fungus but a rare bacterial infection. The lab also ran tests to check which antibiotic was effective against that. I had to give her a special antibiotic for 3 months but finally we had some hope. By the end of the year she was finally clear. I was afraid to take off the collar because whenever I did that for maintenance in the past she would start rubbing violently. It was a great relief having her free of that infection and living normal again. Later she had some bad constipation which required enema, and since then I constantly gave her pumpkin fiber. The constipation came back in various degrees so over the years I had to add constant laxative, sometimes petromalt which she didn't like at all, but we managed to keep her more or less regular. Arthritis was also diagnosed on her, she started limping around the house. Combined with her increasing blindness she walked only very slowly. Jumping wasn't possible anymore so I built her some steps so she could get to her favorite spot on an ottoman which was under my desk next to the computers. She also had advanced kidney problems, but not so bad that the kidneys were shutting down, just high blood values. At some point she had diarrhea which the vet said was likely inflammatory bowel disease. So now I had to balance her meds and add-ons between constipation and diarrhea. We still managed and she seemed to have a strong will to live. She became more and more frail though, but when I talked to the doctor about possibly putting her down because I didn't want her to suffer, he told me "Not today, it's not her time yet." Early this year she fainted. It was at night and she just lay there and was all limp, clearly alive but seemed very weak. I thought that's it she's expiring. I took her to the emergency hospital but on our way she suddenly recovered and started to move around on the car seats. That was a close brush with death because had she stayed like that for a while longer, the vet might have put her down. The same thing repeated next week or so. Again she came back on the way to the hospital. The next day I took her to the vet because I thought maybe the kidneys were done for. He ran a full bloodworks and it turned out she was now also diabetic. The doc put her on insulin. It took a few tries to get the right dose. She fainted again while the vet had her to figure out the dosage, but it was all good after a while. So since that time I gave her insulin twice a day and she was doing better. At least to a degree where I said she is not suffering and is still enjoying life. It was amazing for me how many close encounters with death she survived, and always she seemed strong with a will to not give up. Two weeks ago she started to deteriorate, more and more tired, became very slow, her poop condition went bad. These past 4 or 5 days she was going in and out of the toilet, trying to poop but nothing came. She did a little bit every day but not enough for what she ate. I increased the laxative but to not much avail. Also I think she lost her smell because I put catnip right under her nose which she used to love but no reaction whatsoever. Yesterday I took her to the vet. She was down to 8 1/2 pounds and the vet said he could feel no bowel obstruction. He said he could try giving her some fluids but that she was very close to death. He told me I want to consider putting her down. At first I asked about a vet that does home euthanasia but then I decided to have it done right there and then. The thought of having her at home knowing that in a day or two the vet would come to put her down and watching the time run out was just too much for me. The staff were very nice, they put a catheter into her, gave her a sedative and gave me time to save goodbye in private. Then the doctor came and gave her the lethal injection while I held her head and her paw. It was over in a second or two. I will get her ashes and put it in the garden next to the ashes of my other cat I lost in 2018. Findus knew her name and always gave a meow when I called her name. She always acknowledged my presence even when she was already blind. I loved her very much and I miss her terribly. I wish she was young and healthy again and lived with me. But I guess she finally used up all nine lives.

Rick
GARDENA, CA

Raeven the Magnificent

Raeven the Magnificent

At the shelter we found a pitiful black Lab mix in a very small cage. We asked to see her and when she was taken out of the cage, she wouldn’t stand up. In the yard, still would not stand. Of course we took her home. Even had to carry her to the car! She was afraid of riding in the car, the TV, a leash, water, and just about everything. She would walk around puddles to avoid water! A Lab, afraid of water! After about 6 months, she stepped into a creek and my husband and I rejoiced! After that he would take her on the boat and she would jump in the lake. We called her Raeven the Magnificent. She was the absolute smartest and most grateful dog we’ve ever had. We had her for 13 wonderful years.

Patti Rae
BELLA VISTA, AR

What's Two More?

What's Two More?

I have always been a cat lady. A few years ago a coworker mentioned that her dog had killed a momma cat who had just given birth and she and her mother were hand raising the babies. They were looking for homes for three kittens, a gray boy and girl and a black girl. I already had five senior cats, but a kitten would be such fun, so I told her I would take the black girl. A couple of weeks later she still needed a home for the gray girl so I told her I would take her as well. Best decision I ever made. The girls are now four years old and bring me joy every single day. I'm so glad they joined the family.

Barbara Kramer
LEESBURG, FL