These Beautiful Pet-Rescue Stories Inspire Animal Adoption
Every rescue animal has a harrowing story, and when a pet finds its forever home, it’s nothing short of inspiring.
These Beautiful Pet-Rescue Stories Inspire Animal Adoption
Every rescue animal has a harrowing story, and when a pet finds its forever home, it’s nothing short of inspiring.
Check out these pet-rescue stories about animals that have gone through some of the toughest times imaginable, but with a little human kindness, they have not only survived, but thrived!
Christin Schubert rescued Lamb Chop, a shy Maltese, in December 2014. When she adopted the small dog, she had just been rescued from a puppy mill. Lamb Chop suffered from mammary tumors, a cauliflower ear and had to have all her teeth removed — she was also afraid of people and other animals.
But after some necessary TLC, Lamp Chop blossomed, so much so that she won PEOPLE magazine’s 2020 World’s Cutest Rescue Dog Contest. You’ve come a long way, Lamb Chop. Congratulations!
Harley, a Syrian mountain dog, got a second lease on life when she was rescued by airmen stationed in the war-torn country. The starving stray was found by troops who heard her crying — she was the only living puppy of six. They nursed her back to health and refused to leave her behind.
She came to the U.S. courtesy of Paws of War, an agency that reunites soldiers with rescue dogs from the battlefield. Harley has finally cleared quarantine and will soon be reunited with her new owner, Amjad Kirrish, who is currently fighting wildfires in California.
Trimming the Fat
A 30-pound chonk named Zack captured hearts on social media and has found a family to call his own, according to the Michigan Humane Society. When placing a call for adopters, the organization required that his new owners help him lose weight.
Zack is about two times the size he’s supposed to be, and his new family has since committed to helping this “absolute unit of a cat” shed those unwanted pounds.
The Right Fit
An Ohio potbelly pig waited four years to find his forever home. That was when Wilby arrived at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ravenna. He was a shy, scared and overweight pig, but came out of his shell with plenty of love and care.
A family who lives close to the sanctuary saw his Facebook live story and fell in love with him. His new mom says, “I’ve taken so many pictures of him, he’s filled my photo album now. He fits into our family perfectly.”
Taking on a New Role
Eba, a tiny mix, was dumped outside of a Sacramento animal shelter. She was cold, wet, lethargic and bordering on hypothermia. After months of care, she was adopted by Dr. Deborah Giles, a killer whale researcher at the University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology.
Little Eba not only has a loving forever home, but she also has a very important job — she goes out on the open waters of the Pacific to help save killer whales by detecting their poop. Conservationist biologists can glean vital information about the health of a whale through its skat.
Comedian Ricky Gervais is known for his love of animals. He’s now officially a “foster fail.” He recently took to Instagram to announce that he and his partner, Jane, had “fallen in love” with their foster, Catkins, who was rescued from a hoarding situation.
Their new addition has brought happiness back into their home after the death of their cat, Ollie, who they lost in March 2020. They are now deciding on a name for their new family member.
For a Good Cause
People can be unbelievably cruel to pets. A senior mix, now known as Mildred, was found in a plastic bag by the side of a road in Kitchener, Ontario. The 12-year-old dog was in poor shape with vaginal prolapse, mammary tumors, bad teeth, arthritis and severely overgrown nails.
The community rallied around Mildred and raised approximately $15,000 for her care. She underwent several surgeries and recovered in foster care before being adopted into her forever home by a woman named Dorothy.
A Perfect Match
Goliad, a senior Pit Bull, has finally found his forever home after being in foster care for three years. Rescuers believe he spent so long without a family because he is deaf. According to Mandy Lewis, founder of Albert’s Dog Lounge, a rescue organization in Whitewater, Wisconsin, Golidad was a stray found under a freeway in Texas.
Less than 30 days of being with the organization “he had a wonderful application [from a family] we were very excited about. In fact, the adopter of Goliad is a trained teacher for hearing impaired students. So, she was specifically looking for a deaf dog.”
A Loving Fan
A sweet St. Louis Pit Bull has finally found a family after spending 3.5 years in foster care. Bowie was born in 2014 and adopted as a puppy. When he was a young adult, he was returned to Gateway Pet Guardians and waited 1,250 long days for his adopted family.
In August 2020, the rescue decided to put his story on social media, and he immediately received 40 applications before being adopted permanently. One of his online “fans” paid for his adoption, four free sessions of private training and a professional photo shoot. Now, that’s a fan we’d like to have!
Animal Rescue With a Side of Humor
A cat dubbed the “World’s Worst” by North Carolina’s Mitchell County Animal Rescue has found her forever home. Perdita gained viral fame when the rescue posted on Facebook saying, “We thought she was sick, [but it] turns out she’s just a jerk.” It added that she pretty much hates everything across the board including “the color pink, kittens (yuk they are so chipper), dogs, children, the Dixie Chicks, Disney movies, Christmas and last but NOT least … HUGS.”
The shelter received more than 175 applications. The rescue soon announced her adoption, saying her name was changed to Noel, “just in case the name Perdita is the cause of her anger.”
You Don’t See This Every Day
Chaz Sanders and her family had no intention of adopting a rooster, but when one showed up on their doorstep and wouldn’t leave, they didn’t have much of a choice. The rooster, now known as Ronnie, wasn’t owned by anyone in the area and camped out in their yard. They let the dogs out one morning, and when they came back in, so did he.
Sanders says, “He follows us around like a dog and loves attention. The first few days he kept his distance and wouldn’t let us touch him, but after he came in the house, he warmed up, no problem. He basically took over and now does whatever he wants.”
Obsessed With Kate Moss
A dog rescued by Fresno, California, firefighters has been adopted by pop icon Miley Cyrus. Daisy, a bulldog, showed up at the North Central Fire Protection District Station 58 in Fresno in April. She was emaciated and dehydrated, and covered in fleas. She stayed outside the station for a week and greeted the firefighters as they came and went. They realized they had to find her a new home, as she was a special needs dog with health issues and needed extra TLC.
She was sponsored by The Wagmor Hotel and Pet Spa in Los Angeles and spotted by Cyrus who declared herself “obsessed,” once she saw a photo of Daisy. She asked to keep Daisy for a weekend and soon decided she was never leaving, telling the agency, “This dog doesn’t leave my side. I don’t know how I would ever not have her.”
Cyrus nursed her back to health and has since renamed her Kate Moss.
A two-year-old donkey in Ireland has a loving home for the first time in his life. Limerick Animal Welfare rescued the donkey, now called Eli, in June 2020 after he was beaten up by several teens in the area.
His new owners, Catriona and Pat, who run the Hilltop Sanctuary, a safe space for abused animals, said that a group of women in the area came outside and surrounded the donkey until help arrived. Day by day, he has learned to trust humans again, and he’s even Mr. January in a calendar that Pat and Catriona sell to help raise money to allow them to take in more rescues.
Go Big or Go Home
A Gainesville, Florida, woman has 98 cows, 19 pigs, nine donkeys, three turkeys and a water buffalo. Erin Amerman has taken in unloved, abused and neglected farm animals since 2016 at her Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary in 2016. Critter Creek rescues animals destined for the slaughterhouse, and it’s goal is to get people to see farm animals in a different light. “I’m kind of a go big or go home person and I don’t ever go home,” says Amerman.
While the sanctuary is primarily dedicated to the care and rescue of these animals, it holds monthly tours to educate the public.
Intervening Is the Answer
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Prince George, British Columbia, was contacted by a concerned citizen after witnessing a four-year-old German Short-Haired Pointer being abused and force fed drugs and alcohol by her owner. The dog and her puppies were seized by the SPCA after the abuse was reported. A veterinarian confirmed the abuse in the mama dog after a check up revealed fractures and scarring, and a toxicity test was administered.
The dog family is now safe hands in foster care. Despite it all, the mama dog is still affectionate with humans, according to Rachel Cook, animal welfare officer, North Cariboo District Branch. “She wants to sit on your lap. She wants to hold hands with her paw. She’s just so sweet,” she says.
Rise to the Top
In early 2020, staffers at a car dealership began to notice a stray hanging around outside, but figured he would soon move along. He stayed put. Over time, he endeared himself to manager Emerson Mariano, who took him one night during a rainstorm. He was such a good boy around customers that Mariano decided to give him a home and a job at the dealership.
The dog, now known as Tucson Prime, has an ID card and Instagram page, which, of course, has gone viral. Customers who buy a car or get it serviced often return with toys and treats for Tucson, and morale among employees has also improved since he's been part of the dealership's family. He’s also about to be a big star — he's now the spokesdog in Hyundai's national ad campaign.
Rats need love, too! When a trio of rats were dumped in the trash in a soaking wet cage, a Wigan family jumped to the rescue. The three females were found in an alley in Greater Manchester, England.
The family brought them in the house, cleaned them up and called the RSPCA who took them in their care. Inspector Rachel Henderson said the rats were named by the daughter of the family after her favorite Disney characters — Mickey, Simba and Tayo.
Third Time’s the Charm
A dog named Hope, who was shot in the chest at point blank range, is now thriving in her new home in New York. The SPCA in Lancaster, South Carolina, found the wounded dog in May 2020.
She was in shock and had lost a lot of blood — they weren’t sure if she was going to make it, but she pulled through. After being transported to Take Me Home Pet Rescue, she was adopted three times before finding the right fit in her forever family.
Something in Common
When the Boyers family went to the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Michigan with their son Bentley, they had intended to adopt chickens, but they came across a very special puppy instead. The puppy has a cleft lip, as does Bentley, and they formed an instant bond because of it.
When Brandon has bone-grafting surgery in the near future, he will have his new best friend by his side. “To see him have something in common with a puppy means a lot because he can grow up and understand that he and his puppy both have something that they can share,” Bentley’s mother, Ashley Boyers, said.
All Dressed Up and...
A puppy broke hearts across the internet when Colombian animal charity Fundación Rescátame posted a picture of him dressed in a tuxedo for adopters who never came. The dog, Vincente, was “ready for a home, all bathed, they cancelled the adoption.”
People around the world let out a collective sigh and offered to take the dog in. He soon found a forever home in the area — the rescue posted a video of his new family, who “received him with lots of love.”
An Inseparable Pair
Two stray cats, who were found freezing on a rural county road in West Union, Ohio, were brought into the Humane Society of Adams County in February 2020. It was there that they were discovered to have Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), similar to HIV in humans but not transferable to humans. Cats with FIV are often overlooked when it comes to finding forever homes.
Dove and TipToe remained in care for months before they went viral on social media, and offers to adopt them came pouring in from all around the world. When a family came in to see Dove, he wasn’t receptive until TipToe was brought into the room, and his demeanor completely changed. The family, realizing they were a bonded pair, decided to take them both. They have reported they are inseparable and happy in their new, loving home.
A New Take on Life
A sickly, senior feline found the right home at the right time and is thriving, according to the pet’s new owner, who posted his story to Reddit. He wrote, “This little guy walked up to me two months ago while I was in my front yard. He was infested with fleas, had rotting teeth (the smell from his mouth was unbearable), he was never neutered, starving, was skin and bones, sneezing constantly and could barely breathe. The next day, we visited the vet, thinking he may have to be put down.”
However, that’s not what happened. It cost considerable money to save the cat, but he’s thriving. The Redditor said, “He still has a long way to go but, man, am I glad he came up to me ... I’m even more determined to make sure he lives out his senior years as uneventful and peaceful as possible.”
Reunited at Last
Sgt. Erin Guthrie, 28, of Hillsboro, Oregon, was stationed in Kosovo on a peacekeeping mission when she met a wounded, abandoned and hungry dog she came to know as Meeka. When she left the region, she never stopped thinking about him and reached out to Paws of War.
It took four months to save the pup and bring him to Hillsboro, with countless people joining in the effort, including international troops as well as civilians. Guthrie and Meeka are together and couldn’t be happier.
The Golden Years
After his dog died, Steve Greig was inconsolable. He decided to heal his pain by adopting senior and special needs dogs that nobody wanted. He began his adoption journey by taking in a 12-year-old Chihuahua and has since adopted several senior dogs, a pig, a chicken and a turkey, among other animals.
Despite caring for animals of all kinds, he is passionate about senior pups saying, “They’re just wiser animals. You kind of know what you want out of life once you become a certain age. These dogs know who they are, and it’s easy to develop a relationship with a person or pet who knows who they are.”
A sea otter named Joey captured the collective imagination of the internet. In July, he was found off the coast of Kyuquot on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, alone and crying, with his mother dead nearby. He was taken to the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Center and was deemed unreleasable, as he was too young to gain the skills to survive on his own that he would have gotten from his mother.
He has since become a YouTube sensation due to his livestream and now has devoted fans from all over the world. When he is older, he will have a home at the Vancouver Aquarium with its permanent otter population.
A Big Heart
An albino pink belly turtle named Hope, who was born with her heart exposed outside of her shell, has more than 318,000 followers on Instagram. It can be seen beating through a small hole as she swims around her tank. Luckily, she found a home with Michael Aquilina, who is determined that she leads the healthiest life possible.
Since 2018, he has kept followers up-to-date on her progress as she matures into an adult turtle. He says, “My mission is to save animals and give them all the love that I’ve got to give. I am also here to educate people about animals as well as help spread hope to everyone who could use some.”
K-9 in Training
A dog that was abandoned in White River Township, Indiana, due to COVID has a new home and a new job. Roadie was found tied to a tree with a heartbreaking note that read: “I was a spoiled girl, my dad gave me my own couch to lie on and my own memory foam bed. My dad lost his job and soon his home from COVID. Please pray for him and give him hope that I will find a good home!”
Fire Chief Jeremy Pell was moved by the dog’s story and happened to be looking for a new Search and Rescue K-9 for his department. Roadie fit the bill. She has since been renamed Rosie and is in training for her new role in SAR. Pell said, “We want a dog in between that can work the range of emotions, and she’s a well-balanced dog. She’s friendly. She’s happy; she’s a joy for everyone to be around, and she’s going to have a job making someone’s life better.”
Dogs Are Foodies, Too
You wouldn’t know it by looking at him today, but Instagram influencer Popeye the Foodie had a rough start at life. He was a dirty stray found wandering the streets of L.A. when his owner, Ivy Diep, took him in. Ivy discovered his “foodie” status by accident. She would take him on her “Instagram dates” with friends where they would take pictures of their food, and she realized Popeye really enjoyed the experience.
Once she started taking pictures of Popeye with all kinds of delicacies in front of him, his popularity took off. Today, he has almost 415,000 followers on Instagram, a line of merch, and is considered one of the cutest celebrities on the internet.
An Extrovert in the Making
Eleven years ago, Shinjiro Ono saw Maru, a Shiba Inu puppy, in a pet store, but was concerned because he was being ignored, likely because he had a round body. When he was the last dog left, Ono decided to take him home because he didn’t know what would happen to Maru if he didn’t. They became inseparable, and Maru is now an international sensation, with more than 2.5 million Instagram followers.
Ono sells Maru merch online with all the proceeds going to dogs in need. Most importantly, Maru’s impact on Ono’s life has been immeasurable. “I was not an outgoing person. I was a typical shy Japanese person. Not talkative at all. But after I started living with Maru-san, people started talking to me and having conversations. We meet new people. Maru opens my door to the rest of the world.”
What’s on Your Bucket List?
A terminally ill Pit Bull has found a forever foster who has created a bucket list of adventures to experience with the time she has left. Suzy, four, was found on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, and was immediately diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
She was placed with foster mom, Jen Lynch, who volunteers with Friends of City Dogs, a rescue in the area. So far, Suzy has been on a motorcycle and boat ride. She’s been swimming and has even had her very own lemonade stand. Susy has even gotten married, in a full ceremony to another City Dog named Frankie.
Saving the Dennis Quaids of the World
Actor Dennis Quaid adopted his namesake — a cat also known as Dennis Quaid — after hearing a news report about the Virginia rescue in need of a home. He contacted the Lynchburg Humane Society who didn’t believe it was actually him at first, but once they met the actor over Zoom, they knew the feline Quaid was going to a good home.
"It was really off the wall, but we couldn't resist," the hu
Love at First Sight
An abandoned dog was found trapped in a car for several days in McKinleyville, California, after his owner passed away. The mix named Banks was said to be about 15, according to the Humboldt County Humane Society, who found the relatives of the deceased.
The dog was decided to be put up for adoption to spend his last years in a loving home. The shelter quickly found Meredith Maier, the co-owner of a local eatery, Six Rivers Brewery. According to her it was, “love at first sight.”
In the Nick of Time
A three-year-old Italian Mastiff, dumped on Fall River, Rhode Island, beach back was found and brought to the Forever Paws Animal Shelter, where it was discovered he didn’t have long to live. Pacha suffered years of neglect and congestive heart failure, which shortened his life, but that didn’t mean he should spend his last years alone.
The community rallied around Pacha — people have dropped off toys and meals and have given $6,000 toward his medical expenses. After receiving applications from around the country, he also found his forever home. The Allen family renamed him Giovanni Cannoli and are determined to give him comfort and love with whatever time he has left.
Spreading Your Wings
Even birds have been abandoned in the cruelest ways. In February 2020, Xenia, Ohio, residents found this cockatiel locked in a cage in a dumpster. They brought her into their apartment complex and gave her food and water before taking her to Francis Kennels, who took her to the Sugarcreek Bird Farm.
After a little time at the Bird Farm getting healthy, the organization found her a forever home.
The Circle of Life
A Lexington, Kentucky, dog had a happy ending to her story that is straight out of a Disney fairytale. Bella came to the shelter with mange, swollen eyes and scars all over her body, which reflected years of abuse.
She’s since healed and has found her forever family. Rescue organization Paws 4 the Cause said her new owner works for Disney and has plans to take her on the road with the cast of “The Lion King!”
Lost and Found
A Bangor, Maine, kitten found trapped behind a cinderblock wall has been adopted. Miss Kitty was rescued by the East Millinocket fire department. It took nearly two hours to work the kitten free and when all was said and done, a neighbor who had helped with the rescue knew someone in the neighborhood who wanted to provide her with a home.
He also adopted one of her siblings and donated money to Waiting Whiskers Animal Rescue, who was hosting their adoption.
On the Road to Recovery
A female Husky named Willow was found near death by the side of the road in Montgomery County, Texas. She was suffering from sarcoptic mange, malnutrition and exposure to the weather, when the right people — dog fosterers Steven and Shana Loftin — found her. With their love and patience, she is expected to fully recover.
While they already have six dogs of their own, they are not sure if she will stay with them or be adopted. For now, she’s on the road to recovery.
Throwing Out a Life Line
A dog discovered drowning in Lake Houston, Texas, has found a new family. The Champ family spotted the dog treading water and got to it just in time. They believed he was thrown off a boat, as he was far from land, and named the dog Freddy.
They fostered him until he found a new home with the Hall family, who saw the video and knew right away that Freddy should be with them. Freddy is happy, healthy and settling in fine.