Sometimes it takes just a single person to reveal how many good deeds the people around us have done. One person just like that is Megan Burris whose story about Walter the rescue dog went viral in a flash, and inspired others to share their own tales of rescuing dogs from shelters.
To brighten up your week and to bring a smile to your face, here are the very best responses to Megan asking others to share their own rescue dog stories. So scroll down, upvote your favorites, and write us a comment with your thoughts. When you’re done reading through this list and going ‘awww’ at pictures of adorable doggos, have a read through Bored Panda’s story about how an animal shelter helped a dog who couldn’t even move due to its extremely matted fur.
Megan shared the story of how she rescued Walter the dog
Walter was found with the word ‘free’ spray-painted on his fur
Megan asked for people to share their own stories of rescuing dogs
I found my girl Bella (estimated to be 13yo) abandoned in a secluded beach toilet block in the middle of winter. She was terrified. 10 days later she became part of the family. I had 18 amazing months with my sweet girl, before her cancer got the better of her. She was my first ever dog as an adult & she’ll always have a special place in my heart
Image credits: Taylah White
Uschi was dumped at a local kill shelter at 4 months old. She is 4 years old now and never leaves my side!
Image credits: Kim Holjes
My sweet disabled pup Peakin was thrown from a moving car into the swamp behind my house they didn’t slow down. Few months later i met someone who knew in detail what this sweet baby went through. The disgusting humans tried drowning her breaking her neck an she was even sexually abused before all that happened. They ended up in jail over something not sure what but i do know it’ll be years before they see the light of day again. I make sure to spoil this pup an make sure she lives her best life. She has trust issues with men and children an i dont blame her
Image credits: Stephanie Bunny Bailey
Megan’s post about how she and her loved one rescued Walter the dog received more than 10,000 likes on Facebook, got more than 700 comments (and counting). The story was also reshared on Facebook 264 times.
Beautiful boy. So happy there are people like you.
Our baby came malnourished and abandoned. When I picked her up to foster her she was diagnosed with rickets and was terrified of everything.
Today she is a happy healthy pupper who made me a foster failure. No way I was letting her go. She is perfection.
Image credits: Chelsea Linsley
Percy was dumped at a shelter because he was “too aggressive” I adopted him in May 2019, and since then he’s lost 25lbs (per vet recommendation) and has become my best friend and running partner for life. I just finished knitting him a hat and scarf for his first midwestern winter!
Image credits: Hannah Maile Carlson
Maya is my senior rescue.
She was abandoned to the streets of Las Vegas, digging through trash and fighting off other stray dogs. When she was caught, they called her owners (she was chipped) and they simply said ‘Keep her. We got a puppy.’
It took me 2 months to get her to show any sign of affection. Any time I’d try to pet her, she’d cower or scatter away.
Now, she’s a princess and she knows it
Image credits: Chyenne Teichman
Plenty of the comments were about people sharing their own stories of how they adopted a dog from a shelter. It just goes to show that a heartwarming story about a doggo finding its forever home will almost always get a huge response from the internet. What’s more, there are plenty of people on planet Earth who care about desperate and neglected animals! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
We love Walter’s story!!! Thank you for saving him and making him part of your family. We adopted our Xander from a shelter – he was found as a stray, infested with heart worms, and completely defeated in spirit. He’s still leery of some strangers and occasionally counter surfs but he has come SUCH a long way. We are endlessly proud of and thankful for our sweet boy
Image credits: Amber Dragg
She was found in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in Istanbul for being a stray. When she came to us she was basically afraid of everything. Noises, doorbell, our 2 very suspicious cats and most heartbreakingly, us. She cornered herself in the entrance and the street door and it took 3 days to convince her to come to the living room, another 3 months to come to the couch to sit with us and another 3 months to walk in the streets without freaking out every 5 minutes. now, now is a totally different story 🙂 she is the master of this house, cats are her most loyal subjects and we are her humble servants to give her belly rubs 24/7. she is playful, social, giving kisses to strangers, basically adorable^^. she is the best thing ever happened to us.we love you, dear Çamur
Image credits: Ahmet Turkoglu
My first “rescue” would be this little one. Her name is june. We were walking down the street and someone threw her out of a car window. She was VERY thin, had 3 open wounds on her and was super timid but sweet. We took her in immediately and took her to the vet! 4 months later that 11 pound dog is now 50 pounds, eats all the food she wants and is HAPPY again!
Image credits: Emily Bishop
According to Megan, Walter was found “dumped miles up a dirt road near the Canadian border,” with the word ‘free’ spray-painted on his body. It took three months of care and attention for Walter to finally calm down enough to sleep next to his new owners. Ever since then, he’s become happier with each passing day.
Timber (the husky) came to us from the pound, he was severely underweight, was an escape artist and we were constantly chasing him around the neighborhood because he would find ways out of our yard. He wasnt potty trained at all and I’m pretty sure he had been on the streets for a long time if not most of his life. He had absolutely zero manners. We have had him now for 7 years he had professional intervention (trainer) and he became a PTSD service dog and now he is a big brother to jenny my wheaten puppy!
Image credits: Melissa Blackard
Buddy was dumped at a local park and had been on his own for a good while. He was underweight and his nails were worn to nothing. Someone had pepper sprayed him. I picked this sweet boy up on this past Christmas Day. He is the smartest and most loving and loyal boy! Best Christmas gift I could ever ask for
Image credits: Kim Holjes
This silly, snuggly, loving girl was found in a trash bag in a ditch in a rural town with her litter mates and was taken to a local shelter. A rescue group took her in to foster her and I adopted her soon after.
Image credits: Kristen Judd
Wide Open Pets explains that rescuing a dog can be very rewarding. However, new owners can have some issues with their new pets because of the years of possible neglect. For example, rescue dogs can turn aggressive when in the presence of food, believing it might get taken away.
Got this sweet baby from a family on Craigslist saying he was free because he exhibited aggressive behavior. They said they felt like he should be put down which didn’t make sense considering he was 10 weeks old at the time. He tried to steal food from a baby sitting on the floor and his puppy teeth pierced her thin baby skin. Idiots, their loss was my gain tho
Image credits: Charlie Yamine
Aww, my boy was terrified when I adopted him (he was 4yrs old at the time).
He was afraid of toys. Afraid of me. Of sounds. Didn’t trust sleeping near me. Constantly paced around the house with anxiety, like one of us were going to harm him in some kind of way.
Surprisingly, he had great house manners. In the 3 years I have had him, he has not once urinated indoors. Doesn’t mess with things that he knows are not his.
He is a lot better now, but he is still a nervous dog. Still doesn’t trust my dad 100 percent, even after all this time (he bit and nipped my father several times).
He is still terrified of new places. If he has a bad experience, he won’t do that thing again for a long time. Right now, he refuses to walk around the neighborhood because of 4th of July fireworks. Will walk to my car and sit. He loves rides. But I cannot persuade him to walk beyond my car.
His name is Buddha.
Image credits: Cassandra Harris
Here is our darling boy, Party Steve – a stray beach dog from Thailand who had had an owner as a puppy but had been left behind when they left the island. He roamed the beaches for 2 years before we, on a whim, travelled to Thailand – he truly chose us and despite never having a proper home, he is the softest, most gentle dog. He loves a soft bed, a pillow and a cuddle and you can do all sorts to him without even a hint of aggression/agitation – pick him up, jump on the back of a moped with him, take food literally out his mouth… Nothing. He is happiest when sleeping or sat leaning against you. We adore him
Rescues reciprocate love ten fold, don’t they? Thank you for saving your boy xx
Image credits: Robyn Gentle
What’s more, these dogs are likely to have irrational fears that may have something to do with how they were treated by their previous owners. Training, lots of love and some positive reinforcement can all help the doggos deal with their phobias. Some rescue dogs are also a handful when it comes to teaching them not to go to the bathroom anywhere they want. They might also act destructively when anxious and or bored. That’s why we’re glad there are so many people like Megan out there who have the patience and willpower to aid dogs that are in clear need of a helping paw.
Found in the desert in a cage with no food or water. Was with a rescue for over a year because the one on the left would try to bite people.. fast forward two years and they are loving happy beautiful dogs
Image credits: Danica Allen
We got Selene from a facebook add and her previous owner wanted to rehome her or she was going to the pound. When we got her she was skinny and has no muscle at all. She peed if u moved to fast or tried to pet her and she was scared of everything. The only command she knew was “cage”. Her old owners sister told us they used to slam her head into the floor and beat her. She has scars on her face Her first few months were ruff trying to teach her things but today she listens to us perfectly and is so happy and loving and honestly a completely different dog. She loves unconditionally
Image credits: Hope Flowers
Found on the side of a dirt road after spending the night in the pouring rain
Image credits: Sandi Larson
This is Duke. We were told that his Mom showed up in Tennessee – heavily pregnant and gave birth soon after arriving. People left the puppies in the barn and Mom went back and forth (from the house to the barn) to care for them. Duke was terrified of everything and anything when we 1st met him. Within 5 minutes of us adopting him and getting him to our house, he did a “death roll” and broke out of his harness and lived out in the woods for over 24 hours. Duke was eventually caught in a have a heart trap and is now realizing that he likes sleeping in a bed, lounging on the couch and getting all sorts of love and attention are pretty cool things !
Image credits: Barbara Watts-Fontaine
When i lived in another town further south I used to take walks a lot and for 4 months I kept seeing this red colored dog running around. One night, I went to Wendy’s with my husband and my sister and this dog was outside the restaurant trying to eat from a dumpster. After about 20 minutes of trying to lure him into the car with chicken nuggets, he chose me to get close enough to pick him up and put him in my car. Well, we got him home and put posters up everywhere trying to find his owners. I was determined to find his family because the first couple of days he was spraying my house like a mad man. Well, no one claimed him so we reluctantly decided to keep him until we could find a home for him. 4 or 5 months later I get a call from his “mom” saying that I had Buddy. It was her dog while she lived in my town. They left him with friends because they were moving. Well, that sealed the deal for us to keep him and he’s been with us ever since. The funny thing about our relationship is that he’s the first dog to ever choose ME as his favorite and I try to never let him regret it
Image credits: Angela Wiese
My rescue pup. She (4 weeks old) was in a box thrown out of a truck. She was found with a sibling, elderly couple adopted him and were adopted by her
Image credits: Corrie Wall
Miss Mischa, abandoned after her owner who was an old lady passed away. Had never been walked outside, terrified of every little noise now 7 years later at the grand old of age of 13 is a happy beautiful old lady, full of love and happiness
Image credits: KA Mc
Our Oliver Twist was abandoned for three days without food or water in a house that renters had moved out of. The home was owned by the sister of a dear friend that knew I was looking for a dog. When we first got him he was so sweet but scared and clung to me. We’ve been able to watch him blossom into a loving cuddler that passionately celebrates his favorite pack activity each day: bedtime
Image credits: Cindi Goodeaux
Coca was rescued from Romania and found what she thought was her forever home, they dumped her back in the shelter less than a month after adopting her. In order to give her back to the charity who rescued her, they lied about her behaviour which made her unsuitable for adoption. They said she was out of control with guarding issues (she is very territorial but has made HUGE improvements with us so not out of control at all), apparently bad with children and dogs too which she’s the complete opposite. She came to us very nervous and very skinny, but now she’s super spoiled and has learned how to be a dog again!
Image credits: Chelsea Metcalfe
This little beauty was left, with her mom and a whole litter, in the dumpster. She was so young, I’m not sure she has any side effects. But she is such a lover, and a very good baby!!!
Image credits: Angie McKee
This is our rescue Sherman. We have had him just 2 months. His owner was picked up by ambulance, taken to the hospital where he then died and no one knew he was left in the back yard (or so that’s what they claim). He was left to fend for him for an anywhere between 2-3 weeks before someone called animal control about him. He was severely underweight, has skin mites and an injury above his tail that required surgery.
We adopted once he was healthy enough to be placed. He is so very sweet and just wants so give love all the time. No flaws just need affection. We still are working on his coat and adding weight but overall he is a champ!
Image credits: Cassy Burris
Gus got roped to the Animal Rescue and left, he still has abandonment issues but he’s a great dog …he’s about 8 , rescued him at 3-4
Image credits: Karen Glascock
My baby girl(she is the youngest of my fur children) found me 6 years ago.
It had been raining for weeks on end and one morning when I left for work, I saw a ball of fluff floating in my ditch(which due to all the rain was practically a pond at this point). I rush over and grabbed the fluffy to realize it was a puppy. She was only 6 weeks old. I called my boss and told her what had happened and I rushed her to the vet.
She was cold and wet and ended up getting some water in her lungs. A few days later she was released back to me. And I just stared at her in wonder. I brought her home intending just to foster her until I could find someone who had the time to take her on. My husband watched us bond over that next week and he told me to give her a name. I told him I couldn’t because then she would be ours and he repeated himself and told me to give her a name.
I said Chevelle. And he walked over and picked her up and said welcome to the family baby Chevelle.
All these years later. She’s still the baby and we love her so very much. And I panic every time I think about what would of happened to her had I not found her that morning. She’s our blessing
Image credits: Billie Jean Hedrick
Lola was left tied up outside of a rental when the tenant left… Lemon was abandoned in the woods… love these babes.
Image credits: Jessica Fournier
A friend came over and told me about this puppy that was being horribly abused. We immediately went to the house and took her. The owner said it was fine and when he came near she peed on me and was shaking. I was so angry. After a bath and a change of clothes we went to McDonalds for her first mcdouble. She still has a fear of men wearing hats but she is the biggest cuddle bug. She has saved me more than I ever saved her. My Harlequin
Image credits: Brianna Pinkstaff
This is Loki the second week after we adopted him. He is a lover but he has some issues. He is fearful of strangers and for a long time, anyone that came into the house would be at risk of getting bitten if we allowed him near them. Now, he mostly ignores people, unless he feels cornered. He no longer stared and growls at new people for hours. We are still working on his leash reactivity but it now comes down to how the other dog acts. We don’t know his past but he had been adopted out by three other families after his first home dumped him.
Image credits: Kendra Dinning
My guy has a very similar story, sadly; the only thing missing is the spray paint. Now he’s living his best life with me, but there will always be some mental/emotional scars there that will never fully heal
Image credits: Carla Federica Duran
This is tazz. We rescued him in Georiga in October 2014. The same day we went to the shelter was the same day he was brought in. Tazz was bred to be a bait dog for dog fighting. Being the runt of his litter, he was thrown into a cornfield at 1 month old and was left there for another month until he was finally found. When we brought him home he had fungus all over his body, roundworm & weighed only 2 lbs. He was so small he fit into the palm of my boyfriends hand with ease. Due to being in the rain for 4 weeks straight he is completely deaf, and due to him eating grass, among things I can’t even fathom, he has indigestion issues and multiple allergies. One of which is fleas. So he has to constantly be protected. (His eyes swelled shut one year from them which is how we found out) He is now 5 years old, 56lbs full of love. He’s a mamas boy at and daddy’s sidekick when protection is needed. He’s truly a miracle dog because with how young he was when thrown into the cornfield along with his weight & being taken from his mom so early he shouldn’t be here today
Image credits: Brianna Wilt
Someone dropped my little girl and her 2 siblings off in a box in front of an AT&T store in the middle of a cold Ohio winter day in the middle of Feb. They were so young they had to be bottle fed for quite a while. Then she made it to a rescue shelter. THEN I fell in love with this cute little face on the internet and drove over an hour to meet her. Fell in love and the rest is history. Was the person an idiot for dropping them off in the middle of winter, YES but if they hadn’t I would not have the most perfect little girl in the world. She is the reason I smile every day
Image credits: Cathy McCullough
I found this girl in the woods out where I keep my horses. It is common for people to dump dogs there sadly. She had one of the worse cases of worms I have ever experienced, was completely covered in ticks and was anemic due to that. 4 deworming treatments later and she finally started to put on weight. I have had her since may and she went from 21lbs to 40lbs. She is still terrified of everyone but me and my mom but is slowly getting better. She is so loving and such a goof ball that I have no idea how someone could just dump her and leave her to die!
Image credits: Samantha Breeden
We got Duke and Duchess at our Animal Rescue League. They were terrified of being in the house alone. They pottied in the house instead of telling us they needed to go outside. Now, they have chosen thier humans (Duke chose my husband, Duchess chose my daughter). Most times we can leave them in the living room when we go to bed at night.
Image credits: GarynDawn Cook
The family I got my baby girl from decided to keep the boy of the litter. A year later they posted on fb that they wanted a ferret and were going to see if someone on craigslist would take him in trade for one.
I had just heard from a mutual friend that the family were ignoring their children abusing the puppy “it’s just boys being boys” the kids (6, 8, 9) were playing catch by throwing the dog at each other, chasing and kicking him (“playing soccer”), one tried to drown him in the bathtub, the parents left him tied up in the yard where he almost strangled and displaced his jaw (not an actual break but he lost several teeth and is permanently off center from the line getting wrapped around his lower jaw while he struggled). They were leaving him in the crate 20+ hours a day and just leaving him in the mess to punish him for accidents. He was only allowed out of the crate when the kids wanted to play, and once a day taken outside and given food… their other dog was food aggressive and would attack if it caught him at the bowl.
So when I saw the fb post I told them that since I already had the sister, he was mine and they needed to bring him to me, then make their kids pay for a ferret if they thought it could survive. They brought him to me, and even agreed that the kids should have to pay for a new pet.
He weighed less than 2lb. If you moved a foot near him he would cower and wet himself. He would cry if you turned on the bath with him locked in the bathroom. He would cry and run away if you were loud or moved a hand too quickly near him. He would run away from the food dish if his sister or the cat came near while he was eating. His hip bones stuck out so far I could chew on them (I did, I don’t know why, it made sense at the time)
He has bladder control issues and gets UTI easily, doesn’t always make it outside to pee, still gets anxious around loud voices… but they’re 9 years old now and hes a love bug with a foot fetish and and an ear fetish (only mens ears, lucky for me) who is ready to be friends with everyone who offers bellyrubs. Hes even willing to be friends with children, if you can get them to sit quietly for a few minutes with an available lap. If they grab or chase or are loud he will flee, but always comes back to investigate once they’re quiet again.
Image credits: Shanon Darling
Luna! I found her in the middle of the road one night, collar nearly embedded, skinny, cold, and covered in scratches and scars. I brought her in, gave her a bath, some food, and a bed. Took her the next morning to be scanned for a microchip. Posted her in my local pages. Nothing. Here we are a year and a half later and she the best house cow!!! Just so loving and forgiving. Thank you for saving a life
Image credits: Hannah Thomason
I found my dachshund, Baxter, about 7 years ago as an abandoned puppy in a cornfield. He was skinny, flea infested, and nervous. It took him almost no time at all to adjust to being the most spoiled rotten pup there ever was
Louie (Border collie mix) I adopted about 6 months ago when a friend let me know he was in the shelter after being rescued from a hoarding situation where he was kept in a tiny cement slab enclosure with at least 6 or 7 other dogs. Often fighting for food and very malnourished. He has been a struggle for me because he was terrified and very aggressive towards people and other larger dogs when I rescued him. He still has quite a way to go but he’s gotten SO much better with a lil love and patience
Rescues are the best
Image credits: Kate Hinshaw
These are my 4 rescues! Rose, Rook, Ronin, and Rogue
Image credits: Sara Marie Johnson
This is my rescue Peanut. I used to work at a mental health clinic and one of our clients left a box of 10 puppies at our door. They were so newborn that they didn’t have their eyes open yet. My coworkers and I took all of them home. Some took 2 some took one. She will be 5 in December and is my bestfriend. She is beyond loved. Although it was sad how she & her siblings were dumped I understood that the client knew they would be going into good homes. I am also thankful that she never felt or knew abuse.
Image credits: Melissa Padilla
In a freezing rain in November of 2011, a neighbor placed a box with 8 puppies in a ditch behind our homes. I rehomed 6, my ex kept 1 girl, I kept 1 boy. I was having a hard time then. HE… RESCUED… ME. Half Pit, half Border Collie. All angel.
Image credits: Sean Hamilton
These are my two rescue dogs. Jeter, left, was with his sister Lexi in a trailer park. They enforced a strict weight limit for dogs of 20 pounds and they were each 23 and had to go and were dumped at the shelter. Witten’s story is much sadder. Witten was left in a crate to starve and die. When I got him from the shelter (after they had been feeding him and nursing him back to health) he was all ribs and bones. It took us the better part of two years to get him to go to the bathroom outside consistently and realize that going to the bathroom on himself was not okay. He’s terrified of flashlights and sudden movements and loud noises. Both dogs have made tremendous growth in both trust and anxiety levels. They’re the most grateful, snuggly, loving dogs now that they know they’re loved and spoiled and won’t be going anywhere
Image credits: Liz Heller
This is my baby girl Izzie. She was rescued at 6 months old by a friend of mine in Guatemala. She was so fearful in her first days around people that she would urinate and empty her anal glands as soon as someone came in the room. My friend, who works for a rescue organization in Guatemala, was unsure she would even be able to be rehabbed. But with much patience in Guatemala, she slowly came around and when I saw a picture on Facebook, I knew she was for me. Now she’s my little Velcro dog, and although she still struggles with some fear of in-your-face dogs, and has some leash-reactive tendencies, she’s a doll.
Image credits: Anna Clark
My Daisy Mae was dumped on the side of the road. This is her before and after
Image credits: Emily Sue Miller
Both rescues, one was abandoned at 2-3 weeks in a box and raised by foster parent until we got him at 12 weeks. The other was found covered w scabies in Mexico as a puppy. He was rescued by a local org, then transferred to a Los Angeles rescue where they continued to treat him. He spent 2 months in isolation while he healed. We got him at six months. Both are the best bois
Image credits: Ivy O'Brian
6 months ago she was 1 day away from being euthanized at a high-kill shelter. Now millie’s the happiest dog on the planet
Image credits: Maria Sermania
This girl has a similar story. After 10 years, she is still skittish but loves her house, her family, and her dog & cat brothers
Image credits: Michaela Darland Bigaouette
We started fostering mr Bo last year. He came to us skin and bones, terrified of anyone. We worked a lot on him and got his confidence up. Within 2 weeks my fiancé and I started seeing changes in his behaviour. He was starting to act like a normal dog!!!!! He is the sweetest and we couldn’t let him go. So now Bo has 2 brothers and a sister, and cat siblings and he couldn’t be happier
Image credits: Vanessa Vanhouche St-Laurent
Family lost their home and new rental didn’t allow pets so he spent a month in a garage
Image credits: Sandi Larson
Amazing rescue and what a great ending. Our rescue came to us 6 months ago. Has been in 4 different homes and lived on the street for awhile. He is adjusting and learning. He came into our home with barrier frustrations, not potty trained, no basic commands, dog reactive, and destructive anxiety. Have worked through everything but the destructive anxiety. One day I hope he will feel more secure. Baby steps and so proud of what he has adapted to so far.
Image credits: Sarah Wilson
I rescued this chonk 7 years ago. His family moved and couldn’t take him. They left him in a kennel 23 hours a day, just checking on him once. No access to food or water. He had never been to the vet, never been on more than one walk (he pulled his owner, he’s a husky, duh) so she never took him again. When I got him he was 68 pounds, covered in mange, aggressive towards children, and pretty much just a scared mess. After professional training and lots of love, he’s now the biggest snuggle monster who is great with kids and fits right into our little pack! He’s 105 lbs now. Maybe a little too chonk but I walk him every day and limit his diet but I think after 3 plus years of being starved he deserves it. Jack Jack!! Brother Remy in background for tax
Image credits: Sara Stewart
I’m sobbing. People are just animals. My boys first year of life was spent locked in a kitchen where he was attacked by another dog and the man they lived with beat both of them. He now has dog aggression because of this. He’s scared of all kinds of things. Lit cigarettes, hoses, you can make huge dramatic gestures, no play fighting. He’s reactive to strangers if not proper introduced. He’s come a really long way, but I just wish I could have gotten him sooner and given him the best life from the start
Image credits: Miranda Ritchie
This is our rescue Neko, he’s 8 years old! His prior home he was being bounced around from family to family while the owner went out and get high. He rarely saw the outside and we believe he was abused. He hates when we raise our voices and doesn’t like us rough housing.He didn’t trust men until my husband. Now he prefers my husband over me when we got him he was skinny and we had to remove 7 of his teeth due to a prior injury and had to stabilize the wire that was holding his jaw together! He how has two wires in his jaw and gets regular teeth cleanings! He’s our expensive baby but I wouldn’t change him for the world!
Image credits: Kelli Cooper
My first rescue was a 9 yr old golden whose owner put him in small outside pen beciase his new wife or girlfriend didn’t like him. He lived like that for a couple years. He was the sweetest best behaved most loving dog. My second rescue was a 5 yr old golden that a breeder sold to someone who then wanted her euthanized beciase she peed in the house. Luckily their neighbor worked at a local no kill shelter and she took her there. At the shelter they discovered she was pregnant with several dead puppies in her uterus and a rip roaring infection- hence the peeing. And she was also heartworm positive. They spayed her and gave her heartworm treatment and we adopted her and took her home. Keeping her quiet for the 6 weeks. She didn’t know what a toy was and was always somewhat reserved but also the best dog. Sweet and calm and blossomed into a happy dog. Our current rescue is a mix who had been a young persons dog as a puppy but she moved out of state and left her with family. Something tragic happened and family had to give her to a shelter who gave her to a rescue and that is how we got her. She has a bit of separation anxiety. After I adopted her her original owner contacted me on Facebook and thanked me for taking her in – she was very worried about what happened to her. We adore her and she is spoiled rotten now.
Image credits: Sharon Sandberg
My sweet baby Sadie, we don’t know her story but she was picked up as a stray, pregnant as well (we assume that’s why she was dumped). She had horrible separation anxiety in the begining but through a lot of time and patience she’s gotten over it. She stole my heart and has had a piece of my soul since the day we brought her home
Image credits: Emily Richardson
Leo was adopted before he got to us, but was brought back after three months because he was afraid of the children in the home, the shelter even told us that if things didn’t work we could bring him back. He was a head shy, timid little boy who was afraid of almost everything when we first got him. He now loves the head scritches, running in the yard, his Sadie lady, and smiling. He’s still afraid of children but he’s come such a long way since we first rescued him
Image credits: Emily Richardson
The left picture is from the day I adopted Swiffer from a kill shelter. He was incredibly malnourished, he had to be shaved nearly bald because he was matted and covered in fleas when they found him, and he was terrified of humans (especially men.) The right photo is now. It took a lot of patience, love, kindness, vet trips, and a high quality dog food to get him where is is now, but he’s so happy and well adjusted!
Image credits: Willow Bassett
Legend was left chained up in the garage when we bought our house. He’d been on a ten foot chain, with one end wrapped around his neck, in the corner of the garage for years. This is him the first time we brought him inside. We got to have him for seven years, until he got cancer. He was the happiest, sweetest dog, even when he was still on the chain in that filthy, reeking garage. We had trouble getting him loose because he was so happy and jumping all over us. He was housebroken within two days of being inside, despite being an unneutered male who’d not been inside a house since he was a puppy, and it still took some time for him to get used to being inside. He’d get nervous and pace, but he had three kids who all wanted him to sleep in their bed, and he was so happy to be in a family that loved him. I still miss him terribly.
Image credits: Erin Zito
My girl Marly was scheduled to be put down as a puppy when a friend rescued her, but kept her in an outdoor kennel as he had 4 dogs himself. I got her a few months after. She had never been inside, worn a collar, really been around people, any of it. She slept in the closet because she was so anxious for six months and didn’t show me any affection for over a year. Now, eleven years later, she’s the biggest Mama’s girl around! And even though it was extremely trying throughout the years, I have no regrets.
Image credits: Debra Armstrong
This is Belle, found as a stray. The rescue workers found her original owner and were told, “I don’t want her, she’s yours now!” HOW could anyone not want that sweet face???
Image credits: Amber Dragg
Tied to tree in the middle of a state park half his body weight ..
Image credits: Phil Weidemoyer
Miley was rescued from an abusive home where we believe she almost died. I just dont understand how people can be so cruel
Image credits: Sheri Reaves
This is ziggy! We believe he was born on the streets and animal welfare picked him and two liter mates up when they were about 4 months old. I work as a receptionist at a veterinarian clinic and was taking paperwork down to the humane society. I’d lost my own childhood dog about a year before and still checked the shelter at least once a month for him. When I dropped the paperwork off I told myself I would just take a quick look for my dog as I had done plenty of times before. This time was a little different because as I was going down an aisle I saw two puppies but one was being taken out to meet his new family. Ziggy was excited thinking he was going with his brother but they shut the door to his kennel and he started whining for his brother. It broke my heart. Me and my boyfriend had talked about getting a dog a few times but never made any decision. I sent him a picture of Ziggy and called him to ask what he thought about me bringing this dog home. As soon as I told him that Ziggy’s brother was leaving and he was going to be alone now my boyfriend said bring him home. I asked how much his adoption fee was and it was $35. Because I wasn’t expecting to adopt that day I only had $32 on me. When I expressed to them that I would like to come back Monday when they were open again the staff went around to each other and found $3. After I finished the adoption paperwork, they brought him out and he was a ball of energy. He was filthy but you could tell he didn’t mind. He was just happy to be out. Now almost a year later, I don’t know what I’d do without him
Image credits: Kamonikah Farrow
Gracie was found laying down, in the dark, in the middle of a busy road. Someone stopped and got our human society involved. She was brought to the clinic that I worked at. She weighed 16lbs. A fully grown border collie. You could see every single bone in her body. She didn’t have enough muscle strength to stand up. She had to be carried outside everyday to pee because she was unable to walk herself. It took 4 days of constant small meals for her to get enough energy to stand on her own. With major food aggression issues, dog aggression issues, fear of people and a long road to recovery, the humane society deemed her unadoptable and elected her for euthanasia. My boss, the owner of the clinic, said no. She said the clinic would oversee her recovery and find her a home from there. A week later, I brought her home. That was seven years ago. She is now a healthy, happy collie. She still does not like other dogs, but otherwise has settled into her life so well. She’s such a good dog.
Thank you for sharing Walter’s story. I am so glad he found you!!!
Image credits: Jenifer Way
This is my Penny girl, my Pee-pop, my baby dog. I don’t know her backstory but I know she was dumped. We believe she suffered neglect and was left alone on tie outs frequently. I think there was some physical abuse because they never trained her which would have frustrated people who neglect the dog and then assume it knows how to behave when given attention. She was intensely fearful and untrusting of men, particularly if they wore hats or had facial hair. The only man she never growled at and cowered from is my husband. She loved him instantly. We adopted her 4 years ago and she no longer cowers from raised hands (like when I was reaching to scratch her ears or something), she rarely growls and cowers from strange men after a lot of work at obedience school, she’s my best behaved dog who is incredibly tolerant of little kids who are still learning not to pull tails or sit on doggy’s back, and such a loving and loyal girl. Her and I have a special bond that I know I’ll never have with another dog and I cry if I even think about the future day when she’ll have to cross the rainbow bridge. She’s my baby and I thank the heavens every day for sending her to me because she has gotten me through a lot of rough times in the last 4 years. I wish she had never suffered at the hands of her previous owners but I’m so happy that they gave her up so that she could know love and happiness in my home. I just love this dog with my entire being.
Image credits: Emily Marie
This is Bird. She was wandering the streets when someone picked her up and brought her in. She was scared but once I got her home she quickly opened up and now she’s a service dog
Image credits: Candice Rose Virgil
This girl was an abandoned puppy off the street best dog I’ve ever had I’ve got her spoiled rotten now
Image credits: Amanda Brian
That first picture of Walter breaks my heart
My favorite rescue story (because all of the dogs in my life were rescued) is my childhood dog, Topaz, who my parents got before I was born.
A 9 year old German shepherd who’d been abused and just left tied outside to a tree for most of her life. She was owned by a “family friend” (Ive never met them, and I’m assuming the friendship didn’t last long).
She was fearful of coming indoors and was extremely scared of being near furniture, signaling that she was physically harmed for being near or on couches. She also flinched and got scared anytime my father raised his voice.
They didn’t have her for long before I came along and they were nervous to see if she liked me or not. The day they brought me home from the hospital she wouldn’t leave my side. Someone my parents didn’t particularly like came to visit me and she stayed between me and this man the entire time.
I could do absolutely anything to her. I even remember trying to ride her like a horse (I was maybe 4 and no, my parents didn’t let me ).
Topaz spent the rest of her life utterly welcome on the furniture, never violent with ANY of us (despite being abused most of her life), and was my absolute best friend.
Image credits: Bekkah Whitney
Juneau is the one with the red collar-we adopted him at 2 months old-he’s 2 now. We got him from a shelter here but he came from a kill shelter. Charlie we got from the humane society here-he just turned one! He needs about $15-20,000 worth of surgery (thank god for vet insurance) but if anyone else would gotten him they probably would of put him down! I am not a religious person but I believe we are were we are suppose to be for people/animals to be put in our lives for a reason!
Found with extension cord around his neck
Image credits: Sarah Caceres
This is Butch we got him almost a year ago and we don’t know his exact story but we figure he had to have been abused he was terrified of males more than females but wasn’t too fond of anyone in general he still to this day is scared shitless when you go to let him out of his crate(unfortunately something we have to do otherwise he gets into stuff when we leave otherwise we would find an alternative to crating) but slowly and surely he is getting used to people and his new surroundings and realizing not everyone is out to hurt him he will still be cautious around newcomers tho and may occasionally bark but once he realizes you’re not a threat he is one of friendliest dogs around (Butch is the white/black one) Luna the other one pictured was also a rescue she was found in a house with rest of a litter one had his tail chopped in half one was missing a foot or leg can’t remember and they all hd been walking around on broken glass and [stuff] for a few weeks so she was also cautious of males especially guys with hats and glasses or hoodies so we suspect she was also abused to some extent but they’re both growing and learning together and have become amazing playmates, they’re learning that we are their new home and that they will/are treated much much better here
Image credits: Shauna Vinci
My baby “Blu” 2 yrs old Chihuahua, it’s still a big adjustment b/c she thinks EVERY sound is scary. But she and I Have become BFF’s ….She let’s me know if anyone even “thinks” about getting close to me.
Image credits: Shirl Graziano
Your patience, understanding and love will bring out his best and its working! Thank God for you saving him!
I rescued a female years ago who has since passed. She was found hiding under a car at a large local dog park. She too was painted on her side ‘needs home’ with white paint. She was only 9 months old. She was rescued and when I read her story I had to have her. They named her after the park where she was found ‘Isabel’. She proved to be sweet, lovable and quite the alpha female who ruled our home and dog siblings. She lived almost 14 years.
Image credits: Andrea Radel Rodoni
I adopted Yoshi through a rescue I found on petfinder. I wanted a playmate for my other dog Dojo (not pictured here). My mom didn’t want another dog but I convinced her to at least look. She said… “JUST looking. We’re NOT getting another dog.”
We got to her foster mama’s and she was a mess. One leg was deformed, her fur red from obsessive nervous licking, she was a little dirty and matted. Terrified of men. Wouldn’t let the foster’s husband near her. No aggression, just fear.
Her foster said she was a puppy mill puppy in Missouri who was starved and abused. Rescued and sent to a kill shelter in Kentucky. They feel in love with her so they sent her to a no-kill shelter in Wisconsin and ended up with a foster mom through a rescue.
She was adopted 4 times and brought back. The people who left when we arrived applied to adopt her, but she was worried because they were obsessed with whether or not she was potty trained. One pee, she feared she’d be abandoned again.
My mom and I got half way down the driveway when she said without me even saying a word… “fine. Just don’t call till we’re a block away so we don’t look desperate.”
We’ve had her for 11 years, and she and Dojo are inseparable
Image credits: Andrea Mesich
Found roaming in a cemetery
Image credits: Sandi Larson
Sugar is a Puerto Rican rescue chihuahua. Hubs and I were toying with the idea of getting a dog. We went to the rescue ‘to see’ and Sugar was the only dog not cowering or going crazy.
I was sitting on the floor so I was level with her crate. I held up my hand, she licked it, I opened the crate door (the volunteer wasn’t looking), and she curled up in my lap.
We went back a week later with all our paperwork and, miraculously, she was still available. She is such a love bug. She adores Mami snugs and people. She’s not a huge fan of other dogs but she’s got facial scars from fights she was in back in Puerto Rico. She’s ready to throw down to protect Mami but would rather have all the snugs and some plays
Image credits: Jessica Enfante
We don’t know Ollie’s story. The shelter picked him up as a stray and no one ever looked for him. He’s scared of anything that could ever be used to hit him – sticks, brooms, etc. He cowers if you raise your voice or walk too quickly. But, he also knew how to shake and sit pretty to beg, so… best thought was that someone dumped him, but we’ll never know. It took a while, but he eventually figured out he’s safe and his home is wherever we are. This was his picture on the shelter’s site before we adopted him.
Image credits: Sarah St Myer
This is Nova, she was a rescue as well, I’m not sure of her story but she was afraid of sun light when we got her. She a beautiful mess now and we love her
Image credits: Denice McCully Keeton
This is my girl Bella
she was getting neglected when I found her at my daughter friends house so I ask if they would let me take her home with me. She smelled so bad her fur was so badly matted we had to shave her like a sheep she was underweight covered in scars
After good bath worm tablets she and lots of love she wouldn’t let use out of her site
Image credits: Jen Gurney
My big guy was found on the streets at 13 weeks, (he’s 4 now) he was micro chipped but not registered, he was found and put into the RSPCA, and we picked him up as soon as we met him, he is the most beautiful natured dog I’ve ever owned, he’s amazing with kids and the friendliest dog
Image credits: Indi Hill
Wow, that’s amazing. Glad you got him in your life, I’m sure he’s happy too.
We rescued this little girl off the side of I-95 and my buddy is her proud new papa!
Image credits: Chris Thor Kremler
This little girl was used as a breeder in a puppy farm. She has high anxiety and is quite aloof. She did get over these issues but she is 14 years old now and is displaying symptoms of dementia and is wary of us again. Nevertheless she has been loved and cared for
Image credits: Michelle Mercy
This is Lola, we rescued her in March from a local shelter. We don’t know anything about her past but do know she wasn’t treated well. It was a rough start but she has gained confidence and loves being with us now. When we first got her she hid under the bed and wouldn’t go on walks….now she lays on the couch and hiking is her favorite. She’s brought so much joy to us just in a few months (we were mourning our 14 year old Golden we had to let go shortly before we got her). She’s such an amazing dog and I’m so excited for our years together
Image credits: Tori Hoke
This is Penny. Surrendered to A.R.L. covered in fleas, skin black from flea bites. Half an ear torn off & A.R.L had to remove one eye.
Told older lady could not longer care for her. I’m assuming couldn’t afford surgery.
So just a week after her surgery she was so sad crouched in a corner. Then she got sick with Kennel Cough.
She’s had to wait another 10 days before I could adopt her.
She’s a mixture of 2 or 3 breeds.
Face of a Pomeranian or Poodle, top coat & disposition Shih Tzu, curly legs.
Half her head & face bald. Pitiful site, but just like my purebred Shih Tzu smart and loving.
Walked into my home met my dog & cat like she always belonged.
When her hair grows in & she’s groomed she’ll be a doll
Image credits: Beverly Brom
My boy twoe originally names “twoface” but he resposed to twoe! he was in was abused and was ran over by a car and the owners did nothing about it and didnt care about him as well as we would frequently just be left outside for days and would run around the neighborhood, he was eventually surrendered by the owners to the animal shelter and i remember when we first met him i knew he was the perfect one for our family hes brought us so much joy and protection he still is terrified of loud noises and runs away any time the broom is in the same room and he still walks with a little limp and now hes such a big suc we the first couple days we had time we gave him so much love and attention he just whines when he dosent get enough and hes so spolied, i love him so much and im so happy my family decided to resuce him hes changed our lives forever in a good way. picture of when we was recused
Image credits: Emily Malbeuf
This is Luna! I went to meet a friend who was volunteering at a local adoption event, just to speak to her. She was the last dog left from a mama dog and 2 litters (she was older so not a puppy anymore). I didn’t feel any connection to her, but I couldn’t leave her alone to go back to the shelter without her family, so I adopted her. She was so terrified she peed in my truck seat on the way home and I couldn’t even touch her for weeks because she ran from me. But now she’s my best friend, she runs to me if she’s scared, and she sleeps right next to me every night. I am so incredibly thankful for that one decision I made that day, Luna has been by my side through a lot this past year. I don’t think I rescued her, I think she’s rescued me.
Image credits: Mary Ellen Pair
This is Jojo! My partner and i went to the shelter on a whim that day, and in the very last kennel was this good boy. The volunteers informed us he had heart worms, and he contracted them by being kept on the back porch for long periods of time, and he was literally eating acorns and drinking dirty water. That’s where the heart worms came into play. They said because of this the police came with an official warrant, calling for him to be removed. He was scared and shaking from all the larger, louder dogs surrounding him. My partner and I fell in love instantly. They were closing so we couldn’t take him home that day but we were waiting at the doors the next day when they opened! He’s played a huge part in both of ours lives. First picture is the first time we saw him, picture in reply is him literally one week later. He’s come so far from being shaky, scared and skinny. He’s the best boy in our world. lots of pictures in the replies but it’s my little family.
Image credits: Matthew McElhaney
We got our 3 y/o (at the time) Chihuahua as a rescue. He was aggressive, peed and pooped freely EVERYWHERE, cried all night, wouldn’t sleep, scared of men, and was generally kind of a terror. He’s now housebroken, loves meeting new dogs, sleeps all night, tolerates meeting new men, and is the love of my life.
Image credits: Jenni Jacyna
Walker was picked up by an animal control officer out in a rural area. He was skinny and had really bad flea dermatitis, and kennel cough. He was super sweet though and loves to cuddle
Image credits: Candice Rose Virgil
this is my 6 year old rott mix, pharaoh. my dad got him from a co-worker, who apparently let his litter run wild in their backyard with little supervision or attention. he was 6 months old when my family got him. and although he loves my family fiercely, he’s afraid and anxious around strangers. because he wasn’t socialised with people for the first 6 months of his life, he doesn’t know how to properly convey when he’s upset or uncomfortable and will nip or bite instead of growling.
he is the sweetest boy once he’s comfortable around you but he’s just socially awkward lmao
Image credits: Taylor Nichel
Sammy (white boy) was brought in and told to be put down as he was “attacked by a dog”. My work was like “um no this is fixable” and fixed it. The people wouldn’t give any information as to how he was attacked so it’s suspected a dog ring. I fostered him and fell in love with him.
It took months for us to get him used to new people, especially men, and for his nightmares to stop.
The family discussed adopting him, that night (Sunday) we were asked to bring him in on the Monday so someone could adopt him. We told each other that if the adoption fell through we would take him. He ended up getting adopted, but she couldn’t keep him anymore so we took him back. He’s been ours ever since.
Kenny (brown) was seized from a puppy farm. He was severely underweight for his breed (4 months and 4kg for a Rottweiler x bull mastiff) we fostered him to gain weight during the trial.
Sammy fell in love with him so we had to keep him
Image credits: Brooke Marie Piwonski
So thankful he ended up so love! The first picture I ever saw of my soon to be foster that never left, Rylee. I didn’t know she was bringing 9 babies a long with her.
Image credits: Amy Breithaupt
People like you are angels rescues deserve the world. Our rescue princess’s story is nothing compared to this one, but I truly believe rescue dogs teach you true love
Image credits: Hannah Skaggs