When I logged on Thursday morning and saw the news that Northern Ireland had euthanized Lennox, a pit bull, I started to cry. I tried to read the story, but couldn’t get past the title and the images. Facebook page follower, Leanne, shared “Be glad for Lennox now bcs he is at the bridge loving life and being who he is….He is free from his prison he was unjustly put in…RIP..go play” and I’ve been holding on to her statement ever since I read it.
I remember when our Riley passed away, I walked around wondering how anyone could be happy when I hurt so much. On Thursday, I walked around Downtown Seattle, revealing in a beautiful warm, sunny day, watching everyone move on, smiling at the number of pit bulls walking around with their owner (one was a sweet puppy), and I took a deep breath and thanked God that Lennox found his forever home.
What helps me more is being positive in the wake of a heart breaking event so I asked for positive dog rescue stories are received stories that made my heart break. I decided not to include the “before” pictures of some of the dogs, because they are very graphic, but the stories are unedited and will warm your heart.
Successful Dog Rescue Stories
Sarah Little and Tron Jordheim, StorageMart
On June 30, 2012, Columbia Second Chance, a no-kill animal rescue organization, and StorageMart, an international self-storage provider, teamed up to hold an Adopt-A-Pet / Doggie Wash Day at the StorageMart facility in Columbia, MO. Staff offered dog washes and nail trimming for donations of $10, with all proceeds going directly to Columbia Second Chance. The team washed over 65 dogs the day of the event and raised more than $680.
The day also served to raise awareness about animal rescue and pet adoption. Despite being in the midst of a record heat wave, the community came out to show their support, visiting with adoptive dogs and learning more about pet adoption. StorageMart also presented Second Chance with a donation of a storage unit full of pet supplies and food.
The self storage company is setting out to feed Missouri rescue dogs. How much food did they fit in a storage unit? In Episode 4 of “How Much Fits In A Storage Unit: Food For Fido”. StorageMart packs a storage unit full of food, treats, leashes, collars, toys and goodies and donates all the supplies to Columbia Second Chance. The episode will aired on July 3, 2012 on the StorageMart YouTube channel and can be seen HERE.
We had just learned in law school that especially violent crimes are referred to as “depraved heart” crimes and that Judges consider “depravity of heart” for sentencing. Captivated, I did all my required research around this topic; finding virtually every incarcerated violent offender was abused as a child and began harming animals while still a child-repeating what was familiar and seeking their only sense of power.
Then, I saw her. I called her Gravey- headed for the grave. She was a mere skeleton with skin raw-red from ravages of mange; no fur whatsoever. She was Shivering, so defeated that she dared not lift her head. Eyes glued shut and mostly blinded from green-gunk infection. So afraid of humans that she would not come get the food I tossed to her as I pulled off the road to help her.
I saw all that is wrong with this world; that everyone in this rural neighborhood could see Gravey with their eyes, but not with their heart. They disregarded her. It took several months to gain her trust with daily visits of food; finally getting close enough to lunge forward -wrapping her body into mine. She had agreed to be captured but trembled with fear all the way to the vet. The vet was incredulous this was actually a living dog, Fever 104. But Gravey recovered and went to live in a loving home with my family!
She became the mascot and lead story for the Healing Species Compassion Education program reaching school children across the nation on how to change the world, starting by “seeing” with their heart.
Gravey inspired Cheri to write the Healing Species curriculum. She never wanted anyone else to lose a piece of their heart by being unable to “see” with their heart, as well as eyes. She wanted to teach children to always keep their heart. Gravey helped Cheri teach the Healing Species lessons in South Carolina schools for a few years, but now Gravey is retired so she can run, play and enjoy the rest of her life.
As we were finishing up our first MASH clinic in a chronically poor community, I was approached by someone who told me about a dog that needed to be “picked up.” I found a dog so covered in mange that the skin had swollen around its eyes, making him unable to see. Children had been carrying bits of food to him as he lay on a trash pile. When I loaded the dog into a cage several small children held onto the bed of my pick-up truck; with tears flowing they asked where I was taking him; they knew he needed help but where they live, prior to our spay/neuter program, animal control consisted of collection and killing programs and they were afraid of the worst.
In order to quell their fears I lied and said he would go to the animal doctor; then I left with him in a cage in the back of my truck. Our spay neuter program’s relationship to those we touch lays the groundwork for tomorrow, and honesty must be the basis of those relationships…so he went for mange treatment and into foster care at my home. When he regained his fur he turned out to be a beautiful Golden Retriever. He got a home with an employee of a Tulsa-based ballet company. Shortly thereafter the small local newspaper in the community he came from ran an article with the attached photos so people could see that when they asked where he would go they got an honest answer.
Ruth Steinberger, founder of SpayFIRST! submitted this story. If you’re an animal advocate and you want to initiate an educational program or start, or assist a spay/neuter program in a sparsely populated area, Spay FIRST! offers you great information and how-tos. Visit our Web site SpayFirst.org or call us for help at: 405-482-4932.
Jane Kirkland, author, Take A Walk Books
In August 2009 we adopted a rescued Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever who had been pulled from a kill shelter in SC by Rescue Group in VA and put up on Petfinder where I discovered him. We named him Bodhisattva and we call him Bodhi or Bo. Bo was a special needs dog; he had been abused, shot (he has bullet fragments one leg and shotgun pellets in his chest), and was fearful and distrusting humans, in particular, young men.
After he was rescued, Bo escaped his foster home in Virginia and evaded rescuers for six weeks as they tracked and blogged about attempts to recapture him. Once I finally brought him home, Bo many months before he trusted us and wanted to be with us. He would cower in his crate or some hiding place in the house. He didn’t eat at first, and we practically had to drag him on his leash. But after months of distancing ourselves from him (to give him room to trust us), he began to trust us and ultimately enjoy us.
In December Bo started hitting me in the chest with his nose. I thought he was trying to snuggle or tell me he wanted something but I couldn’t tell what it was. I asked a trainer friend and suggested that Bo was trying to tell me that something was wrong with me. At my annual physical that month I mentioned to my Doctor what the trainer told me. Thanks to my doctor and my dog, long story short, on January 10, 2010, I had open heart surgery. The entire front of my heart was blocked and I had something called a “widow maker”. Bo saved my life. Today, Bo warns me about my blood pressure and blood sugar. He is now extensively trainer (CGC, Certified Therapy Dog) and is my medical alert service dog. Bo and I are never apart. I am a children’s book author (www.takeawalk.com) and he and his cat (Ms Beanz) now have their own book (www.boandmsbeanz.com). I had no idea when I saved Bo that he would save me in return.
We had lost our two beloved pets to old age in the same year and had decided to remain pet-free, but I missed that wagging tail when I came through the door. I saw the cutest dog on Petfinder.com and had a meeting near the shelter, so I stopped in and learned she was scheduled to be put down because her owners claimed her, but never paid her release fee. The shelter liked her sweet personality and even though she is older, they decided to give her a chance to be adopted. She found her forever home with us and we are so glad to have her in our lives.
I was at the Lake County Shelter in Northern California. I had responded to an urgent need to “pull” a German Shepherd mix that had two days left. Their old shelter was small and they only had so much space. I had driven three hours with my toy poodle shotgun to make sure the shepherd would be a good fit with him while we fostered her. Safety first! Once we got to the shelter we could tell she was not going to work with my poodle. The girls that work in the office said another rescue had agreed to take her if I couldn’t. Whew, I thought and headed for my car. As I was leaving they asked me to wait and hustled to bring a brindled overweight dog with dandruff out for me to see. She immediately rolled on her back right in front of me and our poodle. I asked her story and the girls said “Normally we scowl under our breath at the irresponsible people dumping their animals off. But this guy was different. He had moved and could not bring his dog and was heart broken dropping her off. He called every day to see if someone had adopted her. She’s being passed up because people think she’s a pit, but she’s not and has about a week left.” They were so sad for him and her. I said, “put her in the car”. Tina now a svelte 67 pounds and sleek, has been one of the best dogs we’ve ever owned. I really believe God used me to answer a man’s prayers that day!
Robyn Opie Parnell, Children’s Author
On the 5th of November 1998, my dog of eleven years died in my arms. I was devastated by the loss. I can’t have children, so my dog Tonto was my surrogate child. I doted on him. Three weeks later, I found myself at an animal welfare shelter in search of another dog to fill the huge hole in my life.
I walked along the row of cages, looking at the various dogs, each one standing at the front of its cage, barking, jumping, desperate to come home with me. And I desperately wanted them, each and every one. I wished I could take them all home, wished I could save them all. Then I reached a different cage of sorts.
There was no dog at the front, no barking, no jumping – nothing. I read the words added to the dog’s information on the door. I’ll never forget the words: “Please take me home. I’ve been here three months and I won’t be here much longer.” I knew what those words meant. I looked in the cage and saw a hairy shape curled up at the back in a bed of rags. I opened the cage door and the dog lifted his head. As I entered, he jumped up and ran to meet me. He was beautiful.
A mix of a dog, who had been there for three months but wouldn’t be there a day longer. One look at those big beautiful ears and I called my new child Spock, after my favorite fictional character from Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. I thank God for the wonderful people at the animal welfare shelter who allowed Spock to stay there for three months, until I could come and take him home, where I doted on him – and he doted on me.
Julianna Krishna, Self Development Author (download a free copy of a her book)
It was 25 years ago; I was 21 and flatted with 3 guys; one who brought his very intimidating German Shepard x-fire dog that he rescued from an abusive fireman. The dog’s name was Kahn, who I eventually became friends with; I took him for walks and fed him when Rick forgot. When we all moved out Kahn came looking for me and was found, by the City Pound, waiting at the door step of the place we use to live.
My Aunt and I were discussing Kahn one night, soon after he was caught, and she said she would love to take him off Ricks hands, I knew Rick didn’t have time for him so I rang him to ask if we could have Kahn and that’s when Rick told me he was in the pound and that he was not going to bail the dog out this time. I found Kahn the very day he was going to be put down.
He was a smart dog, he could tell a mean person from a mile off; saved my cousin from being attacked by a guy who followed her home from the beach (And scared off any creep who came round). He lived out the rest of his life pampered, spoiled, and much loved by my auntie who he protected, followed around and slept in her bed (he would not let her out of his sight). On fireworks day we had to lock him inside as he would try to put the crackers out with his mouth. We owe him our lives and he’s the luckiest dog I know; near death escape from the pound; my auntie just happened to mention wanting him – which I jumped on; and lived out his life much loved for 13 years. My auntie still keeps his ashes in her nicker drawer.
After reading each and every one of these stories, I was all weepy, because it felt good to be in a world where people like this live and to read these amazing stories. Please share these successful dog rescue stories with your dog lover friends.