Share Your Rescue Story

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on February 22, 2012

Today’s daily action for National Justice for Animals Week is: share your rescue story.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is delighted to have Teagan as the mascot of our 2012 National Justice for Animals Week. If you haven’t already, watch our video of Teagan’s rescue story and then share with us an animal you would like to honor or remember in the comments below or on ALDF’s Facebook page. On Facebook, show your support by “liking” your favorite rescue stories.


10 thoughts on “Share Your Rescue Story

  1. Ana C. Oritz says:

    What a sweetheart of a dog!! I am always appalled by stories such as these. How can a HUMAN BEING capable of such good and wonderful things do something so monstrous, evil and cruel?? If you don’t want the animal, then sell it, give it up for adoption, donate it to a rescue or program that uses animals for therapy. Teagan’s suffering was horrific and unnecessary. Thank God someone found her and rescued her. I pray for those that aren’t as fortunate and I pray that one day this world will not tolerate animal cruelty and will punish such COWARDLY acts with hefty jail/prison sentences and/or fines.

  2. Jennifer Graham says:

    Teagan is beautiful, and so is the human who rescued her and gave her a loving, safe home. Animal abuse makes me so sad and angry and we need to be more pro-active. I have a Border Collie mix who was rescued and he is a delight – so smart,so loving, and completely devoted to our family, including our other pets (an aging Golden Retriever and two cats). Please give Teagan a tummy rub and a hug for me.

  3. Thank you for sharing the story of Tegan with us, he is wonderful! I would like to honor my cat Cassidy, who was a victim of being shot and left for dead in the spring of 2009. Here is Cassidy’s story.
    One busy morning, a client rushed into the veterinary hospital where I worked with an injured cat. He had seen the cat in the neighborhood for weeks and had tried unsuccessfully to befriend it. Following a trail of blood he found the injured and scared cat under his house. He carefully rescued and rushed him into the hospital. We assumed the cat was feral. He was very thin, dirty, flea ridden and had a badly broken leg. Because he was in such terrible physical shape the decision was made to euthanize him. Shortly after I gave him a tranquilizer in preparation for euthanasia, I sat by his cage talking to him. Although I hardly knew him, it was important to me that he not leave this world unloved. Then he purred and licked my hand, hardly the actions of a feral cat. This cat needed a second chance. I began to think that perhaps there was something more we could do to help him and that if he were euthanized, it would be the end of the story – that he would die a nameless stray cat, a victim of animal cruelty. I asked the doctors if they could reconsider, this was not a feral cat, but a loving and sweet cat and one that deserved a second chance. We tested him for FeLV/FIV and radiographed his leg. He had been shot several times. When stable, the cat now known as Cassidy, had his leg amputated. The surgery was uneventful but afterwards Cassidy began to have seizures. Following the seizures, he was unable to hold his head up and had severe neurological issues. Round the clock monitoring was needed to make sure he got his medications, ate well and was kept clean. Slowly he began to have more control of his head and limbs and could eat without assistance, but he was still unable to walk. But Cassidy remained cheerful and sweet throughout his ordeal, purring loudly. I decided to take him home to do physical therapy. In the weeks of rehabilitation at home, we fell even more in love with each other and I decided to adopt him. He quickly learned to walk along the perimeter of the room so he could lean on something in order to balance better. With tears in my eyes, I watched as he was finally able to walk unassisted. I have watched him grow from a seriously injured homeless cat into a joyful and healthy member of our family. I knew that he was not going to give up and neither was I.

    Cassidy is now thriving in my home. He can be often be found snoozing happily with our human and cat family who clearly adore him! I am so glad I decided to speak up for him and everyday I have with him is a gift.

  4. Pennie Urban says:

    I have had dogs all of my life. As a child I started in 4-H with our family poodle and as I grew into an adult and got married I started showing Newfoundlands. I became a foster mother for 3 very wonderful dogs that had been shown, won their Canadian championships and then locked in these tiny cages without food or water. But that is not the story that I have lived for the last 20 years of my life.

    I started adopting dogs from shelters when my kids were little. It started with a Bassett Hound. My husband and I divorced and I couldn’t take the dog away from my husband because he loved him so.
    4 years later I remarried and adopted Brodee (Shepherd/Akita) and a year after that I brought home Breanna from the same shelter. She turned out to be a VERY expensive shelter dog as she was diagnosed with Addisons disease. Did we give up? NO. Unfortunately Brodee contracted Blasto when he was 8 and by the time he was properly diagnosed it was too late. We had him put down on Dec. 23. My family was devasted and poor Breanna didn’t understand. I didn’t sleep at all that night so on Christmas Eve I ended up driving to a very bad pert of Chgo to their kill shelter and brought home Nora. She helped ease the pain of losing our beloved Brodee and so it began. Breanna ended up living to the ripe old age of 11. She was put down on Dec.16th. On the 17th. I went to a shelter and immediately fell in love with a little dog that had just been brought in. She was a real mess. They said it would be a 7 day wait to pick her up but they would not be open on Christmas Eve and I begged and pleaded that they let me bring her home for Christmas. They did knowing my reputation with the shelters. As it turned out she had been shot with a shotgun at some point and they had to do surgery to take out as many bb’s as they could find. But it is a tradition now. When one dies,we know that there are so many more that need our help. We also found a chocolate lab puppy running in the woods. All skin and bones and brought her home so our house is full of puppy love.

  5. John Russo says:

    We live in a place where people lack intelligence, compassion and common sense when it comes to pet care. Some people leave their dogs out all year and others let them wander the streets not caring that if coyotes don’t get them some careless driver will run over the dog.
    One day I opened the garage door and was greeted by two young beautiful male Irish Wolfhounds. They were playful, loving and looking for a meal and a drink. We fed them and kept them overnight. Our neighbor agreed to keep them at his home.We searched for a possible owner and placed ads in papers and Craig’s list.
    After three weeks our neighbors decided it was time to ship them to the local shelter which meant a certain death unless we intervened. I reached out to friends for help. One very good friend, tami, a dog lover, helped me by locating various organizations. I was on the phone and computer every spare minute I had with TV stations, newspapers and non kill organizations.
    A woman who worked with the shelter was extremely helpful. We had only one day left before one of the dogs was to be euthanize for a minor skin condition. A woman from a no kill organization finally got back to me and said after seeing the dogs photo, knowing they would be fixed and met her size requirements for large dogs agreed to take them. the woman from the shelter arranged for transportation to bring both dogs to the shelter.
    It felt like a scene from a movie getting a reprieve from the gas chamber with only minutes to spare. We saved the lives of two wonderful dogs but everyday dozens are not so fortunate. they are locked in a cage waiting for someone to take them home and love them. Finally one day they are led out only to be placed in a chamber, no new home, no love, where life slips away.

  6. Kim Malanga says:

    I rescued my favorite dog I renamed Guinness One of my patients kept telling me about a chocolate lab that had been forgotten by his family. He had been the best friend to a man until he got married and had children It was then that he was left outside and was never allowed back in. He lived his life looking at his home from the backyard-without any shelter-and no company. It took me about 6 months before I finally said yes, as I already had 3 dogs- 2 rescues and my Jack Russell and felt another dog would put me over the edge. Finally one day she came in and told me that he did not even pick his head up any more. I said to have they guy bring him to me and I would take him. He bounded into my office and it was love at first sight! He weighed in at about 130 lbs-and all of it was love! The first night I let the dogs out into the backyard to so their business- the big choc dog looked at me, put his big head down and obediently went out and immediately climbed under a bush and put his head down- I ran outside and grabbed him- assured him we only go out to go to the bathroom and dragged him back inside. It took him almost a year to go out without me standing at the door assuring him. I sat the next morning with a list of names- and the one he chose was Guinness- so that became my handsome friends name! I am a lab person and could not imagine a dog like this being starved for attention! He became the love of our life. I could only take him to certain groomers as I would have to carefully explain that he could not have his pads touched- we think it was due to the burning and freezing they had sustained in the 4 yrs that he was abandoned outside. Everyone who met him, fell instantly in love- even in his final days at the animal hospital. He suffered a stroke and spent 3 days in the hosp- I would go morning and night around work- and they would tell me about his huge heart-one that he shared with people, who had not been very kind to him. He died surrounded by frineds with me hugging him- hoping that he knew how much he had been loved in the 3 yrs he was mine.As I sit here writing this I have tears running down my face- remembering his giant head in my lap and his kind eyes looking at me. RIP Guinness- you were loved more than you know!

  7. Susan Phelps says:

    We rescued Zac, a pit bull/boxer mix, on January 3, 2011, from the City of Hartford Animal Shelter, located in Bloomfield CT, on our way home from a Virginia vacation. Zac was number 378. It was his last day, and he was scheduled to be euthanized. You see, Zac was not listed out to the public. Zac was emaciated and only weighed 24 lbs, and he was only about a year old. He had sores on his butt, elbows, and scars on his head. Zac was dog selective and men selective, and was scared of everything. I wondered to myself, what did I get myself into? But when I looked into those big dark sad eyes of his, I knew I had to help him. He needed us, he needed to know, that someone loved him, and that no one else will ever hurt him again! We started out slow with his training. Our trainer told us to keep his world small, so we did lots of walking in the garage, and before too long, he knew all his basic commands, and was starting to gain some weight. Zac did not like my husband at all, but my husband was determined that he was going to make this dog like him, no matter how long it took! So one day, while Zac was in his crate, my husband sat in front of the crate, with his back turned away from him, and just sat there for almost the whole day, and every now and then, he would turn around, and give Zac a treat. Of course, Zac wanted the treat, but he still did not want anything to do with my husband, and would growl at him. My husband did not give up! The next day, he did the same thing. Still, Zac was growling at him! The third day, my husband did the same thing again, but this time, there was no growling. I guess Zac figured out that my husband was not going to hurt him. So my husband decided that he was going to let him out of the crate and walk with him. They are the best of friends now! I think that was the start of Zac’s second chance at life! He started to gain trust in us, and was willing to learn anything that we threw at him! Zac was fearful of so many things, so we just started slowly introduce him to things, such as flashlights, gloves, balls, pretty much everything. He did however, loved to go for car rides! That was his favorite thing to do! We would bring him everywhere in the car with us, just to get him out, and show him that the world is not a bad place! I remember one day, we took a ride with Zac, we had to go to PetSmart, so we decided it was time for him to go with us into the store. I remember saying to him, no growling, no barking, and no eating anyone! I was a little nervous, but it was time for him to experience something new in his life. He was so good! He didn’t eat anyone!! Actually, a huge Mastiff came running around the corner, and got right into Zac’s face, and all I keep telling him, leave it, leave it! I was so proud of him. He just stood there, looking at me! The owner of the Mastiff, just looked at Zac, and said to me how well behaved he was! Zac now goes to Camp Bow Wow, where he has learned how to have fun, and play with dogs his own size. Zac now weighs 51 lbs, and he is not the most perfect dog, but we still love him! Zac still has many fears, and likes most men now, and gets along with other dogs and cats now. He is my “baby boy”! He gives me hugs and lots of wet kisses! I love the way he greets me, with his tail wagging and his wiggling butt! I love the way his lip gets hung up on his tooth! He loves his car rides, and his head is always out the window, whether it is cold, hot, rainy or snowing out! Zac loves all the other 14 dogs and 4 cats that live with us. His best friend, is an 8 lb chihuahua, named Marshall~Max, also adopted from City of Hartford Animal Shelter. He loves to curl up and take nice long naps, in my husband’s chair. He loves his walks, and belly rubs! He loves to come up to me and put his forehead on my forehead, and then, touch his nose to my nose! He’s my protector, and my best friend! I love my baby boy Zac! It’s just amazing what a little love can do for the soul!

  8. If I could keep more pets I would. I have 3 rescues: Lucky the now 8yrs old Pit/Rhodesian mix, Angel the now 4 yrs.old American Bulldog/Lab mix and Ramon the now 5 yrs.old short hair black cat. I also feed a little family of s/n feral cats in my community. Lucky was about 4 months old when I saw him running across a very busy street in the rain. We named him Lucky because 3 times he ran across the street and didn’t get hurt. Then finally in my car, wet and hungry but safe he fell asleep. I spent a week looking for his owner. I didn’t know then that people bread dog to fight and dispose of them which ever way they please. It was obvious he was abused. Still today he is terrified of men. He spent a year having nervous breakdowns… After a week at home I actually tried to take him to the shelter since I could see he was going to be big and I didn’t want the responsibility. When I got to the shelter I was informed he would be put down immediately because he was a pit-bull mix. I couldn’t leave such precious creature there! So I came home and made 2 little girls very happy when they saw the puppy return home. We are the lucky ones that this pup crossed our path! Then Angel was abandoned in the backyard and the family moved away. I had been asking the owner to let me have her, to no avail. To make a long story short. She lived alone 10 weeks. Then the batteries in the collar died and she got out. The shelter picked her up and 11 days later I adopted her. She was distrustful but really wanted attention.She has come a long way and become a sweet girl. And then there’s Ramon who came to us from a local adoption event. We really needed a kitty! We probably need another kitty to keep him company.

  9. Heidi Linke says:

    If I could rescue more animals I definitely would but for now it’s three cats and a dog (plus my daughter’s two beagles live with us). I definitely have a houseful. Benjamin and Dex are long-haired “tuxedo” cats and are brothers. I wasn’t looking to adopt another cat but went to the local humane society because I was mourning the loss of Blue, my daughter’s cat, who’d died from feline leukemia. When I held Benjamin he put his paw on my cheek and just left it there while I rubbed his belly. Needless to say he and his brother came home w/ me a few weeks later. Gray-C (who was going to be named Gracie because we thought he was a she) was dropped at a relative’s house one summer and she couldn’t take him in because she already had 3 cats. So we added him to our brood. My dog is a pit/lab mix, which I was hesitant about adopting because of the misconceptions of pit bulls. She is the biggest BABY you’d ever meet. She loves the cats and the two beagles. Her name is Loki. Granted, she’s not the perfect dog, (she lives up to her name), but she is an angel and, because of her, the next dog I adopt WILL be a pit mix!

  10. Dan Simeone says:

    My wife Jan and I through the Kerry Blue Terrier Rescue Assoc. rescued our beloved Sullivan in 2006. He had been horribly mistreated and lived in squalor in a Puppy Mill in eastern U.S. We picked him up in Calgary Canada and brought him to our home and large yard in Montana to run and jump and play. We later rescued another ‘MO’ to be his palymate.
    His first time out… the sun was shining and he kept looking up trying to touch the light. It was heartbreaking to think of what he must have gone through. We loved his gentle sole and although there were times when his instinct to run away would occur (if someone mistakenly opened the front door when he was there), he never went too far and we always brought him home where he was loved by Janie and I. One time stands out …it was one Saturday morning and he ended up at a car dealership located further up a side street. We were just about to go out to get him when a member of the dealership called (from the # on his ID tag) and told us he was there sitting with the group having their coffee, donuts and smoke before work….That picture is one which comes to my mind whenever I remember this extrodinary animal. Sadly, we lost Sully to cancer too soon in 2009…and my wife and I have a hole in our hearts that can never be filled….but we continue to rescue and today our “Minnie Mouse” a mini schnauzer is our love…
    Rescue is so important and it is our duty to make sure all animals are protected from the evils of some men .. with punishment that sends the strongest message deploring these acts of cruelty with harsh punishments. In memory of “Our Sullivan” we abhor violence to any animal….and preach the beauty of Rescue to any who would listen.

Be a Partner in Protection!

Donate monthly to help animals.

or make a one-time gift »

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.


Join Us

Follow ALDF on these networks:

Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.