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Animal Rescue Stories

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

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 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

My Sadie Girl

My Sadie Girl

I live in the country and a lot of dogs get dropped here. We have rescued several and found homes for them or a rescue to help us. Sadie stole my heart ❤️! She was skin and bones and her paws were bleeding, I guess from the hot pavement. I got out of my car and she jumped in. My husband was out of town. I brought her home and just couldn’t let her go. That was 10 years ago!

Laurie Fisher
CHARLOTTE, TN

My Peppy

My Peppy

One day my parents where going to church. All of the sudden I hear my father call my name; there was this little white kitten, he must've been about 8 weeks old. I went around asking if he belonged to any one, but no one claimed him, so we kept him. I love this little man with all my heart, and thank God every day for him.

Graceann Esposto
UPPER DARBY, PA

Poor Kitty

Poor Kitty

That was the heading on the Facebook post on my news feed. Someone was looking to re-home this Russian Blue because its owner had left the country and had planned on returning in a few weeks. She didn’t. After a year the neighbors, who were the caretakers, felt really terrible about this cat because he was so needy and would whine and rub against them every time they entered the house. Which was just once a week. To feed and water him and two other cats, and clean out the litter boxes. They finally convinced the owner to allow them to find a new home for him. She relented, and I snapped him up. That was 4 years ago. We renamed him Misha and he’s MY cat. He follows me around the house like a puppy and insists I brush him whenever I sit. He sleeps at the foot of my bed and is constantly talking to me about just something. He has settled in really well with our 3 dogs and other rescue cat. That is, our other cat barely tolerates him because she was here first. He has such a charming personality! It pains me to know that he went so long without human interaction. We’re making up for it!

Marf
HUNTSVILLE, TX

Abandoned

Abandoned

A family in Ohio left their pregnant dog in the back yard when they moved away. It was an unthinkable act. Neighbors kept watch, offering food and water. Eventually she would give birth to two males and a female. Four weeks later the neighbors saw that the mother was failing and knew the pups would, too. They gathered up the family and saw to it that they got care, but what next? The two males were fostered by loving families and the female still needed veterinary care. Fast forward four more weeks and my fiancee (now my husband) and I were looking for a puppy to love and share our home. We looked at lots of photos and we both fell in love with one 8 week old little boy. We went to the no-kill shelter to meet him and it was there that we learned his heart-breaking story. The foster family was wonderful! They said he learned fast and got along with their three kids and their cat. We were concerned that being taken from his mother at such a tender age that he might not have learned all the things she would teach. At that time we learned the female pup was still too small to adopt because the boys took most of the nutrition that mom and the neighbors had offered. She was still under the watchful eye of the veterinarian. The other male, we were told, was doing well. We fell in love with him instantly. He followed us with his eyes; at 8 weeks old he would sit on command and was nearly completely potty trained. There were only two problems: we had to wait one week so he could be neutered, and the kids had named him Mr. Bananas!! It was a very long week. When the time came, we made the joyful drive from PA to Ohio to get our furry little bundle. He had grown a little belly and looked even healthier! He had a little white spot just above his nose that I couldn't stop kissing. Half way my home we switched drivers so my fiancee could bond with him, as well. We renamed him Rocco. It seemed fitting since he is part Boxer and part Pit Bull. Rocco has four acres on which to romp and shares a queen size bed with another boxer mix who we would rescue a year later. They met at a no-kill shelter in NY State and bonded instantly. We're not sure who rescued who, but we're still in love with our pups. Rocco's muzzle has since turned gray and Jackson has started to age but at nine years we're all still inseparable. We never learned what happened to the others but pray that they found the joy that we have in these two.

Charlotte Mitchell
UNION CITY, PA

Kitty Sapphire

Kitty Sapphire

I looked high and low for a black kitten, and I was always a day late and a dollar short. Finally the shelter placed a notice in paper with photos of the residents, and how the shelter was full, and they had plenty of beautiful animals needing a home. There she was - the cutest, prettiest kitten with a smirk on her face. I scrambled to make the adoption and the shelter kept thanking me for taking a black kitten. I simply could not understand at the time, because she was the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen. Later come to learn about stupid superstitions people have for black cats. She is not a 'Halloween' cat or bad luck or evil. Kitty Sapphire is her name and she rules my home with an iron paw. I can't let anything slip past this one and I spend lots of time seeking treats and food and toys she will like, otherwise I am up the creek. Kitty Sapphire has taught me compassion, patience (bad litter box habits), and love, and I am blessed to care for such an amazing creature.

D.G. Sifuentes
MAMMOTH LAKES, CA