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5 Feel-Good Rescue Stories

Cover Art by Zachary Sea

The Sea family was on the hunt for a rescue cat to add to their existing family of three. After some serendipitous events, Fitz found his forever home, with a few surprises in tow.

"My husband and I got married in our apartment while living cross-country from our family. We’d agreed that we wanted to adopt another cat, a tuxedo and that he should be named Fitzgerald.  My husband found one, and he had a long-haired brother, who the foster was trying to adopt-out as a bonded pair.  I told him absolutely not- I love cats, but I also know it’s a slippery slope! We already had my cat and I drew the line at having more cats than people in the house.  He went to see them anyway.

I told him absolutely not

The foster mom was surprised he only wanted the tuxedo cat because everyone who was interested only wanted the long haired brother.  After finding out they were likely born on or around the day we were married, and of course, after seeing them together - he brought them both home."



“We rescued her around Christmas of 2011. Our three-legged boxer had passed away at the beginning of December, and while heartbroken, we wanted to give back -so we had made a donation to pay for “Gingerbread the Puppy’s” surgery.

not yet ready to adopt a second dog.

She was found with rubber bands around her tail from someone trying to dock it. It was badly infected and they needed to operate. We were the first people to make the donation and had been asked to be put on the list to adopt her, even though we were not yet ready to adopt a second dog. We had our other ten-year-old boxer at the time, who was heartbroken from losing her companion.

A couple days after, I had received a voicemail from Denkai Animal Sanctuary of Colorado, saying that Gingerbread was ready to be picked up!? I was unsure what they meant because we hadn’t confirmed we would adopt. Then my husband had called me and said “My mom just called and said that a Denver couple who just lost their three-legged boxer adopted Gingerbread the puppy.” I just sort of giggled and said, “Well….” Soon he understood, and we picked her up on that Thursday to take her home with us. 

She was definitely made for our family.

She is now our only puppy and loves our boys so much. She was a crazy puppy! She used to make noises like a bat and literally run up the couch and across the wall for the first six months of her life. She’s calmed down, and is just the best dog ever. She was definitely made for our family. And if you could include a link to our foundation, that would be amazing."

Sandra works for the American Transplant Foundation to provide educational, financial, and emotional support to living donors, transplant recipients and their families.


“This one is particularly special to me, as it is my own rescue story! Reby came to us an absolute wreck. With a long history of aggression, his owner was at a loss. She had set his euthanasia date, and when I met him, it was his final day. He was quiet yet bug-eyed and at ease sitting in her arms. When she shared his story and his history of attacking family members, I boldly insisted she not commit to her decision, but to instead- bring him to my house.

Having a pack of three already, I knew this was an undertaking but just could not let this seemingly quiet pup go over the rainbow bridge, and at such a young age.

It quite literally broke my heart.

It took months for Reby to adapt. For the first 2 weeks, he stood by the door waiting for his past owner’s return. It quite literally broke my heart. We spent time alone, with each dog, with the pack, with visitors, with vets and so on… until he was able to relax and find his place in the pack.

He is the silliest, most loving dog I have ever owned. Though better suited for a single-animal household, he brings us so much joy. He knows he is loved, strongly bonded with me and his brothers. The Vet loves him and compliments the progress we have made, every time they see him! If it wasn’t for the help of some skilled friends, I worry I too, would not have been able to train and soothe Reby after a lifetime of neglect and fear.

Reby (now A.K.A Pigs) celebrated his birthday this March. And though we aren’t sure how old he is exactly; we hope he lives 100 more years under this roof.”


 "This now married couple found their best friend before they were engaged. Through upholding folk-lore, they made rescue a cornerstone of their marriage…

“I told my would-be husband I needed at cat, and he agreed by replying that the “Vikings didn’t consider a house a home without one!” And so, it was settled.

right away she was vocal and gave us little headbutts!

Moxie was found off Craigslist. The people giving her away were moving and didn’t want to keep her. They told us she wasn’t very cuddly and enjoyed her alone time. However, right away she was vocal and gave us little headbutts! We've had her for 6 years now, and they couldn't have been more wrong.

Moxie has given us both love and a sense of home, just as the Vikings promised.

She is my loyal bathroom door guard, my head warmer and alarm clock. She’s my shadow. When I come home, she’s at the door meowing for affection and treats. 

 I've struggled with anxiety, panic, and depression for a long time. Last year was the worst. I was getting migraines that lasted for days and would leave me lying in bed with pain. She was always careful and cuddly, helping me through those long days. She's super vocal, but when I have a migraine, she doesn’t give me the song of her people, she communicates through grabbing your hand with her paw. Turns out my migraines were caused by severe sleep apnea. I now wear a mask to bed. At first Moxie was skeptical, but soon she acclimated with me to the new change and still gives me head cuddles. 

 The vet gave us a year— tops.

Moxie was diagnosed with cancer. We had a tumor removed, but by then it had already spread. The vet gave us a year— tops. We're now sitting at two! She is spoiled every day and we get to enjoy her for a little bit longer, letting her live her best life."


"Rosemary Ham: A Chihuahua’s Rescue Story" -By April Nowicki

It was a cold night in Denver. The temperature would drop below freezing in an hour, maybe two hours. A small, skinny dog was running back and forth, hiding in the shadows of a back alley near Denver University.

Some jerk didn’t want him, didn’t need him, and let him out of the car in this alley, right behind her house, and drove off.

Andi first saw him much earlier in the day. What was he doing? How did he end up here? Why did he keep running back and forth, back and forth? Someone dumped him, she reasoned. Some jerk didn’t want him, didn’t need him, and let him out of the car in this alley, right behind her house, and drove off.

He was trotting fast down the alley, then back. He noticed Andi, he saw her; his big pointy ears and Chihuahua bug eyes on high alert. He gave her a hard side eye, then ran in the other direction.

That little guy is going to freeze to death tonight, she thought. We have to catch him.

Andi and her husband, Mark, had been pet lovers and owners for many years. Waffles the cat was one of their first rescue animals, but he had escaped and disappeared a few years earlier. On this night, they had two dogs and a cat – already a full house and no room or budget for a fourth animal.

Here he came running back. Andi hid behind the fence and watched him. She peeked out slowly, so as not to scare him, and called to the little dog. Come here, bud! Come! He watched her warily. He was so skinny, his ribs were sticking out.

She kept calling him. Mark brought out some rosemary ham lunch meat and they tossed pieces of it to him. He snarfed up the scraps of meat. It was getting dark. An hour went by and he still wouldn’t come closer than four, five feet away from them. Andi put a cat bed out on their porch, put another piece of ham in it, then went inside to regroup with her husband.  

They managed to lure him all the way into the house

More minutes passed, and when Andi peeked out the door, the little dog was curled up in the cat bed. She cracked the door open and tossed another scrap of ham to the dog. They managed to lure him all the way into the house, through the living room and into the bathroom, where he would remain for the night, quarantined from the other pets.

He was fearful and wouldn’t let anyone near him without growling, snapping at any kind hands trying to comfort him. He had a terrible under bite, one tooth was always sticking out. His ears were huge compared to his tiny self, both of them cut and bleeding like he had been in a fight. Most of his fur was gone, his gray skin, ashy. Two brown spots above his eyes made him look kind of like a Miniature Pinscher. 

Andi logged on to Facebook. “Does anyone know anything about Chihuahuas? We can’t keep this guy but he’s so mean, I’m afraid if I take him to a shelter, they’ll put him down.” I saw the post the next morning. I yelled to my sister, who was my roommate at the time, Can we get a Chihuahua?! NO! She yelled back.

But she’s not the boss of me. I put a cat carrier in my car and drove to Denver. I followed Andi and Mark into their bathroom, and the little dog cowered in a corner. He was terrified. He hasn’t gone to the bathroom at all, Andi said. He probably has to poop, he’s eaten a lot of food since last night. I had brought a cat carrier with me, and when I set it down on the floor, the little dog ran right into it.

Keep me updated, Andi said. We agreed to try to find an owner, and if not, find someone to adopt him. I already had a dog and a cat, and my sister did say we couldn’t keep him. I drove home and brought the carrier onto my back patio and opened the door. I sat on the step to watch him. He came out cautiously at first, but then marched over to the fence, took a sniff, and peed on it.

Then he turned around and trotted right up to me. He put both his front paws on my knee and stretched. Hello, he seemed to be saying. Hello!

And that was the day we got a Chihuahua.


Do you have a notable Rescue Story?

 Write us to have yours featured in the next post!, Subject: Feel Good Rescue

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