7 Animal Rescue Stories That Will Melt Your Heart on National Pet Day

April 11, 2017Posted by Helaina Hovitz

In honor of National Pet Day, we’re bringing you some of our favorite stories about the people who have dedicated their lives to helping animals in need become beloved pets who bring joy to the lives of the humans they love.

Rescue Chocolate’ Donates All Profits to Save Dogs & Cats

As responsible pet owners know, dogs and chocolate are a dangerous mix.

But one chocolate company’s sole mission is to save dogs, which is why each Rescue Chocolate bar is not only named to raise awareness of pet overpopulation issues—like “Peanut Butter Pit Bull”, “Pick Me! Pepper”, and “The Fix”—and 100% of the profits go directly to animal rescue organizations.

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After meeting her soon-to-be dog Mocha through Sarah Brasky of Foster Dogs NYC (we wrote about her last year—check it out), Sarah Gross of Brooklyn, New York was inspired to find a way to help support animal rescue organizations like the one that brought them together.

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Rabbit Rescue Finds Fur-Ever Homes For Neglected Bunnies

Often mistaken as “low maintenance” pets, rabbits require the same level of care, exercise, and attention as dogs or cats do. Unfortunately, they are surrendered for the same reasons: they produce litters of babies that their owners can’t handle, they become “too expensive” to care for, their child has “lost interest,” or their owners are moving somewhere where a landlord won’t allow pets. As a result, they are often abandoned the into the wild, even though they can’t fend for themselves there.aarr4

That’s where, All About Rabbits Rescue, Inc. (AARR) comes in and places abandoned and neglected rabbits into loving homes, resulting in nearly 150 stray and sheltered bunnies adopted to date. Just like any other animal rescue, they work tirelessly around the clock to help give a second chance to little critters who depend on us for help.

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“Unadoptable” Senior Dogs Spend Happy Final Years In “Pet Retirement Home”

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, which may be true: but you can give them hope for a better life.For the past three decades, Sherry Lynn Polvinale and her husband have made it their mission to give older and impaired dogs a place to live out their golden years surrounded by cuddles, treats, and playtime.HJP-58-1024x682

“I decided to only rescue senior dogs and cats, and and love them to the end of their lifetime,” Polvinale said. On any given day, as many as 30 dogs and cats can be found in her Gaithersburg, Maryland “pet retirement home.” What started out as something of a personal mission while her husband was still alive turned into a full-fledged lifetime commitment when they officially founded the House With A Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary in 2006.

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Beach Patrol: Rescue Org Saves Over 1,000 Abandoned Dogs in Puerto Rico

Sato is a Puerto Rican slang term for a mixed breed, stray dog, a kind of canine that Chrissy Beckles believes are beautiful and smart, armed with an awe-inspiring resilience. But take a trip to what is morbidly known as “Dead Dog Beach” in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico (PR), and you’ll see thousands of dogs left uncared for and alone. In total, an estimated 300,000-500,000 satos are milling about PR at any given the time, an island roughly the size of Connecticut.


Ten years ago, Beckles and her husband were visiting the island and were horrified by the multitude of suffering and severe hunger that they saw. She spent the duration of her trip feeding them and trying to get them veterinary care. Beckles — who’s a champion amateur boxer — vowed to keep fighting for them once she returned to her home in New York.

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Rescue Dogs Bring Home Visits to Pet-Loving Seniors

This program that pairs therapy dogs with homebound elderly is too sweet for words….but we’re gonna try.

There’s no contesting the positive impact that petting, snuggling with, or looking forward to a visit from an adorable dog can have on the elderly.

Unfortunately, many of them aren’t able to keep or have a pet for a number of reasons: finances, mobility, and other practicalities.Cecilia-with-Malke-and-Coco-Christmas-2011-1-780x1024

While therapy dogs are sometimes brought into nursing homes or hospitals, seniors who are independent enough to stay at home but are isolated, lonely, or otherwise immobilized are often left out of the picture.

If it wasn’t for Lynette Whiteman, Founder and Director of Caregiver Canines, many of them still would be.

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Special Needs Dogs Help Women See Need for Adoption

In this world of convenience, some of us have grown impatient, and we tend to forget that some things are worth the extra effort. At least, that’s the way Yvonne Harper, author of the Blind Faith book series and a foster mom and adopted of special needs dogs, sees it.unnamed-5-copy

Back in 2009, there was far less awareness around the animal rescue movement, let alone for the adoption of special-needs dogs. Harper lived with two special needs dogs at the time, Twinkle and Kizmit, a white Pekingese whose eyes were sewn shut. Watching them overcome obstacle after obstacle changed her forever, and she wanted to pay that favor forward.

In the same way that Harper has been a champion for dogs who can’t see, Christina Lee has been an advocate for the adoption of dogs who are deaf, offering a ton of tips, guides, and resources on her website as well as listing deaf dogs available for adoption all over the United States at Deaf Dogs Rock.  Since 2011, she’s helped rescue over 2,000 of them from shelters across America.

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PETA “Superhero” Who Saved Thousands of Animals Wins Biggest Victory Yet

Jes Cochran has rescued 16,000 rats and 600 reptiles from inhumane conditions in a California breeding facility—the largest rescue in U.S. history—and was on the ground after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, saving pets from boarded-up buildings. She also helped remove 400 chinchillas from tiny steel cages in a fur farm rescue. Going above and beyond to care for animals is Cochran’s nature, said Emily Allen, associate director of PETA’s Community Animal Project, who has worked alongsideedith5

Cochran during the last 11 years. Allen describes her as a “small person hurling very heavy dog houses over fences” during the winter, dogs who so desperately need shelter from the cold. “She becomes superwoman,” Allen said, adding that whenever PETA gets a new fieldworker, she hopes Cochran is available to show them the ropes. Earlier this year, the fieldworker won her biggest victory to date, one that is of a personal nature; she got to take home a black Chow mix named Edith, who she had loyally been visiting for years in the yard where her previous owner left her chained up all day and year-round.

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