20 Pet Rescue Stories That Will Absolutely Warm Your Cold, Dark Soul

If you’re here, reading this, then you know just how wonderful having a pet in your life can be. And if there’s one thing people love to talk about, it’s our pets. They are a constant source of warmth and humor. Our cats and dogs love us unconditionally and never say mean stuff to us.

People shared the stories of how their (do you hate this word?) furbabies came to be in their lives, and yes, you’ll probably want to run right out and adopt (another) one when you’re done. Don’t fight that urge!

1. “She’s come so far!”

I work as a vet at an animal shelter and we had this teeny tiny 14 year old dog picked up as a stray. Her owners were contacted and they said they didn’t want her anymore. She was an absolute mess and had a list of medical problems a mile long. She would never be “cleared” for adoption so I took her home and couldn’t have fallen more in love. She’s come so far! She even has her own instagram @martha_themutt


2. “Best birthday present, EVER!”

Newly pregnant, with major pregnancy cravings on the night before my birthday, I sent my husband out for Whataburger (it’s a Texas thing, y’all!) at 2 am. He came back with more than just delicious burgers. He found this little guy, cold & scared, following a road service crew, in danger of getting run over. I was adamant we find him a home since we already had a dog, lived in 900 sq feet & had a baby on the way, but he won me over in just a few days with his sweet nature & loving personality. Now, here we are, 3 years later, and I couldn’t imagine my life without our Zues. Best birthday present, EVER!


3. “She’s so sweet today.”

My husband and I were on our way to see a concert when we got a call from our friend that they could hear a kitten meowing from inside their car engine. We spend the next 3 hours trying to fish this cat out of the car and missed the concert, but we ended up taking a new fur baby home! Her paws and nose were covered in burns, but she’s so sweet today!


4. “She is the most perfect, lazy dog.”

I worked at an animal shelter, but couldn’t get any pets due to renting. We were in the process of buying a house when this angel muffin came in as a stray with another dog. I instantly fell in love with her, but knew I couldn’t have her because we were still 2 months out from moving into our new house. I called my parents and asked (begged) if they would keep her until we moved in. Thankfully they agreed. 9 months later and she is the most perfect, lazy dog. Meet Mildred Louise AKA Millie.


5. “We all fell in love.”

My family and I move to a new apartment that allowed dogs. So we talked about getting one and my husband lectured us for about two hours about how we should get a puppy and train him and it’ll be a lot of work etc. The next day I took the kids to the shelter honestly just to look. My stepson saw a hound mix and wanted to take him out and play with him. We all fell in love. His cage had a small note on top that said this cage is in memory of Kari. Which is my name spelled the same. We bought him. My husband was furious. Still is to this day. Rickey Bobby turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. He’s my love, my companion, and my best friend!!!


6. “So thankful we brought him home that day!”

When we went to the Humane Society three years ago, we had no intention of bringing another cat home with us. Gus caught our attention immediately and practically begged us to bring him with us. He’s been ours ever since and we can’t imagine a home without him! He went from a sick little kitten to a healthy and happy cat. So thankful we brought him home that day!


7. “I will always advocate for older shelter dogs because of her.”

Twelve years ago I went to the shelter with a friend because I was ready to adopt after successfully helping foster dogs. We were going to the puppy section when I decided to check out the nearest enclosure. Inside were a bunch of white poodles and something gray and shaggy in the back. I told my friend what’s that’s and at my voice the gray dog whipped her head up and ran straight to me knocking poodles out of the way. It was love at first sight and I was ready to take her but my friend said let’s go look at them all since she’s older, and I reluctantly did. I kept looking back at the older gray dog who was standing by the door looking at me the whole time. There were cute puppies and other dogs but I decided to take her. I named her Duchess and had her for 11 years until she passed away suddenly last year. She was the sweetest dog and a fierce protector whom I miss every day. I will always advocate for older shelter dogs because of her.


8. “I think Lucky guided us to him.”

After losing our beloved rescue pup of 16 years, we decided we needed another one to fill our hearts. We went back to the same Humane Society we’d gotten our other dog, Lucky, at. My dad remembered exactly which kennel he had been in and commented that that particular one was now empty. An employee heard him and said, “Oh no, there’s one in there, he just hides in the back.” Sure enough, when we bent down there was a little puppy pressed all the way in the back corner, nestled in a blanket and shaking. The employee had to reach in and pull him out. He put him in my arms and I didn’t put him down again until we got home. Rossi is a little special and I can’t imagine anyone spoiling him and loving him quite like our family does. I think Lucky guided us to him, knowing he’d fit right in with us!


9. “He has always been my furry soul mate!”

It was love at first sight! I constantly saw him in my search for a new dog online. When I finally got to meet him I told him I would be back (he was a stray and had one more day before being able to be adopted). When I came back the look in his eyes was excitement and knowing he was already loved. He has always been my furry soul mate!


10. “I can’t imagine a life without this boy.”

Julian was rescued out of an animal hoarding situation. We heard there were anywhere from 60-90 cats on the property he was taken from, and we adopted him when the humane society had JUST gotten legal custody of the animals from the hoard…almost 3 months after their rescue. Julian was a year and 2 months old and was one of the “most social” cats from the hoard, but for the first month and a half or so that we had him, you wouldn’t have even known we had an animal. He hid all the time. We couldn’t go near him or pet him. There were times at the very very beginning when I almost wanted to give up on him, but I couldn’t let myself. From the moment we had laid eyes on him, he was part of our little family. He finally started to warm up to us, we got his bad eye taken out (it had swelled to quite literally double the size of his good eye and he had never been able to see out of it), and he’s been the best boy ever since. There are still times now that it’s hard to believe this is the same boy we took home almost two years ago. He is so cuddly and vocal, and absolutely LOVES being pet and getting attention. I can’t imagine a life without this boy.


11. “They rescued me.”

A couple months after losing my first kitty I decided I needed a pick me up. Retail therapy wasn’t the obvious answer so after internet searching I bestowed upon this place in Chicago that offered Cat Yoga. The place was catcade. They’re a nonprofit organization that rescues kitties all over from Kentucky to the Virgin Islands. They never turn a cat down despite their attitude, age, or condition. It was there I found my lil angels who also happened to be brothers of an accidental cat pregnancy. I’d say I rescued them, but in reality they rescued me. I know that’s so cliché, but it’s true. They’ve helped me face my anxiety and mend my broken heart from my previous cat. They’re the best sons ever. If you ever find yourself in Chicago, and need something to do by the amazing Wrigleyville, home of the famous cubbies, stop by the catcade to hang with some rad cats!


12. “Today he is a happy, healthy, loving and playful boy.”

This Is my terrier mix Maximus. When my husband and I first rescued him at a year old, he had large red spots all over his body from severe food allergies which caused him to have very itchy skin. I made his meals (chicken thighs and brown rice ) for over a month to clean out his system and he made a full recovery! Today, he is a happy, healthy, playful and loving boy who we are grateful for daily! Plus, he loves wearing dog pajamas!


13. “I knew she was the one.”

We asked to see Bandit in the ~meet and greet~ area. There was a little couch, some toys, and some treats. I sat on the couch and they let her in, and she immediately jumped into my lap and laid down. As soon as that happened I knew she was the one.


14. “I immediately fell in love.”

My freshmen year of college was really rough and I was suffering through depression, so I wanted to get a pet to help comfort me. I went on PetFinder.com and I found this one orange and white fluffball that I immediately fell in love with, but it was January and I lived in a dorm that didn’t allow pets. Every week I checked to see until I moved to my new apartment, I checked to see if the cat was still there. That August, I was finally able to adopt my sweet 11-year old Chloe who was trying to find her own home for over a year. Now, Chloe is spending her golden years cuddling and enjoying all the attention that comes with being an only pet.


15. “She’s come a long way in her healing.”

I had a random Saturday off of work and decided to go to an adoption event at PetSmart to “just pet the dogs.” Well, we all know how that goes! The event was chaos- there were so many dogs and puppies from a local rescue who needed homes. Instead of barking or begging for attention, one dog was turned backwards in her crate and shaking because she was so scared. I knew instantly I had to hold her, and once I did, I knew I’d be bringing her home. Comet was rescued from the dog meat trade in South Korea and flown to the USA. She’s come a long way in her healing since then!


16. “He’s my handsome boy.”

I was at a beer fest and I overheard this woman say, “I’m just going to leave this dog on the street, I can’t take it anymore.” I had drank just enough beer to turn around and say, “I’ll take your dog!”
12 years later, he’s my handsome boy, named Brew-ser ?


17. “He is still our sweet baby!”

We were at the shelter looking for a dog and we were about to leave when we decided to meet one last dog, Tucker. Immediately he snuggled into me and greeted me with kisses. The employee who was helping us started to tear up and said that Tucker had been abused and was terrified of everyone. She had never seen him so comfortable with a human. 1 year later and he is still our sweet baby!


18. “I don’t know what I would do without her.”

My mom was working at an assisted living home, and one of the residents ended up getting transferred to another facility where she couldn’t bring her cat. After a week of the cat staying by herself if the apartment, my mom finally decided that we would take her. She came to me immediately and formed an immediate bond. We were unsure of her name so I renamed her Lily. Eventually we found out she was adopted and in the shelter her name was Littlegirl. The cat I had growing up that had past away years before was named Littleone. The similarities between them are uncanny. Lily is now my registered service cat and I don’t know what I would do without her.


19. “She is my best bud.”

When I rescued Katya she was underweight, had a double ear infection and mites in both ears, a tape worm and a few other health problems. Her previous owner said she was “too much work”.
These photos were taken 2 months apart. She is the sweetest, cuddliest, low maintenance kitty I’ve ever met. She is my best bud and I am so glad that I found her.


20. “The most perfect dog you could ever imagine.”

I did not want a dog at all. I was just getting my career started, fell in love, and secured great housing. Then my partner called saying she had a pitbull and her two week old puppies in the back of her car and that we were going to foster them for the next week while the shelter found their forever home. That night this sweet momma pup crawled into my lap and fell asleep in my arms. I knew we had to keep this extraordinarily loving dog. Fast forward a year and I have an amazing career, an amazing partner, secure housing (it’s San Francisco, so it’s a big deal) and the most perfect dog you could ever imagine. It’s possible to have it all and give a happy healthy home to pup in need.


h/t: BuzzFeed