"Animal Rescue" weekly television series

Rescue Stories

Stories submitted by ANIMAL RESCUE viewers

Saving Swiffer

Poor Swiffer has had such a hard life. We rescued her from a dog pound in February of 2010. We think she is about 12 years old, but nobody knows for sure. I came upon Swiffer on Petfinder.com. She was skin and bones. Swiffer was a "lost dog" who was found on the side of the road. She was starving to death and blind. Her adoption page literally said "please don't let her die here in the pound". My heart was breaking for her, so we decided to adopt her right away. When we got to the pound we noticed that her eyes had a thick yellow film over them and no one had bothered to even wipe them for her. She smelled of smoke and had a terrible cough, and was unable to control her bladder. She had about 4 "accidents" before we even got her out the front door of the pound. The adoption fee is normally $100 or so, but they only charged me the $16 is cost to buy the dog license because they just assumed she wouldn't last long. She had obviously not been seen by a vet in quite some time. We took her immediately to our vet where we were told that she had an eye infection (yellow scum in her eyes), a respiratory infection, she is diabetic (which was untreated for a long time and caused her to go blind), and the lumps on her belly are most likely breast cancer (probably a result of her not being spayed). We got her antibiotics and insulin and began treatment immediately. She was so weak that she couldn't even chew dry dog food, so we bought her a bunch of "Grammy's Pot Pie" canned dog food and she was in hog heaven! Swiffer weighed 9 pounds when we rescued her and today she weighs a healthy 17 pounds!! We make sure she eats at least twice a day and give her insulin shots every 12 hours. The vet is amazed with her progress. Despite being blind, Swiffer is able to navigate her way around our house with very little problem. She is truly an amazing and wonderful dog! We love her so much!!! **An interesting tidbit about Swiffer--she has "false pregnancies" which is also a result of her not being spayed. She has "adopted" a yellow squeaky latex lion toy as her "baby" and carries it everywhere she goes. She even kept it in her mouth at the vet while she got an x-ray and ultrasound. It is absolutely adorable! We named her "Swiffer" because she gets into every corner of every room and "swiffs away" the dust bunnies...just like the Swiffer brand sweeper!!

-Megan R.
Canal Winchester, OH

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Sarge, a Story of Love and Survival

A bit about me and my dog: My dog is Sarge. Sarge is our rescue dog. He came into our lives 5 years ago at the age of 15. Sarge is now 20 years old. He was from a major puppy mill, blind, toothless, frail, atrophied legs, heart condition... poor ol' guy had it all. But, we took him in on Valentines day. What We Did On Valentines day, 5 years ago, we took in Sarge. At 15, and from a puppy mill, he had many medical hurdles. Toothless, blind, frail, heart issues, unable to be mobile in a stable way, we could not walk away. My husband and I had to rescue this dog so that when it was his time to leave the Earth, he knew that humans could be trusted. It took almost 3 years for him to fully trust us. He is much more frail now, but still has fight left in himself. He wants to live, and fights all of the uphill battles to stay with us. How We Did It: We have been able to help Sarge by EXCELLENT medical care given by Maple Hills Vet Hospital in Allentown, PA. www.maplehillsvet.com With the expert help of Dr. Abbey Banzhof and her father, Dr. Ken Banzhof, and 2 Vet nurses... Hillary and Bethany, they have given endless hours in ICU, working endlessly to save him, love him, help him, which has allowed us more time to spend with this wonderful pug. We have moved this year to Houston... the excellent care has continued with the devoted, loving help of Dr. Jeff Chalkley of Westbury Animal Hospital. www.westburyvets.com. Without the state of the art hospital and round the clock ICU, Sarge would not be able to overcome his downturns that happen from time to time. Medical care is needed for Pets as well as mankind. Lessons Learned: I have learned that the senior dogs often teach us many lessons about ourselves. They teach us that pets as well as people are often misused, abused, and toss by the wayside when no longer needed. The lesson, mankind can be trusted! There are many members of the human race that are kind, loving, and care about the well being of all living things on the Earth. There are those that never give up, but continue to fight the battle with those in need. We have learned that we each have the capacity within ourselves if we just look. Reaching out to this little pug has brought many levels of enrichment & perseverance.

-Faith M.
Houston, TX

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Koi Pond Rescue

Some people don't think of fish as pets, but to me any animal can be a pet. I've been a vegetarian since I was 10 because I respect all animals. I volunteer at a horse rescue in AZ called Wildhorse Ranch Rescue but I made a rescue of a more unusual kind recently. My friend Beau and I did night audit at neighboring hotels. One night, he called me up and told me that his hotel was getting rid of the giant Koi in their beautiful fish pond. The maintenance staff had been instructed to collect the fish and throw them in the dumpster as if they were trash. They would've been compacted alive! I couldn't let that happen. In a panic, I found a plastic bin and a garbage bag to line it with. I raced over to the other hotel and with a great amount of trouble, handpicked each of the 5 Koi out of the pond with my bare hands. I transported each one individually over to my hotel's decorative pond. I'm sure touching the fish and carrying them each in the trunk of my car isn't the best thing for their health, but it was a better alternative than what awaited them. By some absolute miracle, all 5 survived the journey! Experts I've spoken to since say that they didn't have much of a chance. However, I think this goes to prove that you should always try. To some people they're just silly fish but to me, they've become my friends. They even eat out of my hand. I named them: Paulie, Raymond, Mickey, Elliott and Sonny.

-Joy H.

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My Dog Midgee

My name is Michael M., and I watch your show every time it come on, I adopted a puppy off the streets.she was six months old and she was running the streets with some kids and they where not giving her any water or food this was in June and it was very hot. My Mother asked her if she was looking for a home and she came running over to her and started to give her love, then she Came over to me and did the same, Her Name is Midgee and she is a Black Lab/ Terrier Mix, She was sick and now she in good health, She comes in the at night with us and in the morning she wants to go outside, She knows about the leash when she goes out she wants it on now. I Love Her very Much and My mom Loves her too. She now is 11 months old, Loves to play Ball,Tug-of-War, and also love to play with the water hose, We was not looking for a dog yet but when she came to us for help what could I do but take her in and take care of her. I am sending you a picture of her if you want to show it on the T.V. show goe ahead. I have two groups about her on Yahoo.

-Michale M.
Sacramento, CA

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Roadside Rescue

One day me and my mom where driving in the county when we noticed a car pulled over on the side of the road, we slowed down to find out that is was one of my friends. She told us she had pulled over because she saw something moving on the side of the road. We all got out of the car to find 9 newborn puppies, someone had though them in a ditch filled with water. We picked them up and put them into my moms truck. I called my brother... he had a pit bull terrier that had just went thought false pregnancy and was looking for babies to take care of. We took the pups to her and it was love at first sight, I don't think there is anything to this day that can convince her that they are not hers. Sad to say one of the puppies died but if we saved eight of the 9 we were happy. All eight pups are doing well now and are about 10 weeks old, and where given to loving and caring homes.

-Keisha & Sally
Lafayette, IN

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Saving Luke

On Saturday 2-25-06 Luke, our Great Dane puppy was eating his dinner, barked when friends came over and began choking. It was worse than we thought. We tried to clear his airway with our fingers, did the Heimlich maneuver, shook him upside down, and I literally squeezed the crap out of him. He lost consciousness went limp and his gums were blue. I told my husband Dennis he was dying. I thought to myself I cannot loose another dog. (We had lost 2 dogs within the last year, one to cancer and one of old age.) He gasped for air when I tried to open his airway again. I could feel something down there but it was under tissue. My first instinct was to call 911. They would not help us at all. They said they do not work with animals. They said they did not have a number for a vet that could. We continued to work on him as I screamed for help, our neighbors came out. One told me a Vet lived down the street. I picked up the 20lb. Pup and ran. Unfortunately, he was not home. In the meantime my son (who seemed to be the only one with a level head) had called an emergency Vet number that I had put in the phone book a while back. He brought the cordless phone down the street to where we were all working on Luke. I took the phone from him and franticly told the person on the phone what was going on. She asked me to look at his gums if they were blue, which they were, to breath for him in his nose and get him to there office ASAP. We did rescue breathing for Luke the entire 10-15 minute ride to Gainesville. Luke was near death. I saw an Oakwood Police car in the QT gas station on Mundy mill road around 5:00pm while we were transporting him. The Officer was trying to unlock a car door for a patron. With blood on my clothing and in a panic, I jumped out of the car and asked him if he could drive me and my dying dog to the Vet in Gainesville. Luke needed to get there in a hurry, and my friend driving was very upset. The Officer said “No, I can’t help you”. He never stopped what he was doing, or even investigated to see what was going on. We drove off, and did what we had to do to get Luke there before he died. Luke was conscious when we got there but wheezing. X-rays showed the piece of food was trapped behind his voice box. The best treatment was a tracheotomy and surgical removal. The Vet said she had only performed this procedure one time before. We could trust her to do it, take him to a vet in Atlanta, or to the University of GA vet school in Athens. The vet suggested since he was stable enough he should go to UGA Vet School for treatment. She gave me 2 syringes and said if he stops breathing puncture his trachea and breath for him though the needle until we got there. She could tell I was scared and told me “You got him this far, you can do it. We never get dogs that are alive after a choking incident. It was a miracle what you have done already.“ We drove like crazy to Athens, about 45 minutes away. Luke coughed out a piece of food while in transport and began to breath better. They re x-rayed him and there was nothing else in there. The UGA Vet said he had cured himself. Luke is doing great now. Even if this is not the type of story you would use for your show, I am thank full every day that we saved his life.

-Maryann E.
Flowery Branch, GA

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Abandoned Bears

A Molly and Dolly are 14-year old black bears. They were originally purchased by a tourist attraction in North Hudson , NY as cubs (born in captivity) from a small zoological park in NY and eventually abandoned when the attraction closed. The tourist attraction was called Frontier Town, in North Hudson , NY . The park closed their doors in 1999. For the first three years, there was a maintenance man on salary to care for the facility, and he fed the bears through a chute into their enclosure. For the next three years, the maintenance man was no longer paid and no funds were provided for food, the bears were completely abandoned. They apparently had no de-worming or veterinary care since 1999. The maintenance man continued to (intermittently) bring the bears pizza, chocolate doughnuts, chocolate candy bars and 5-gallon buckets of potato chips and put it in through the chute, although their swimming pool (also serving as drinking water) and their enclosure were never cleaned. They continued to live with no veterinary care, clean water or enrichment, in the filthy enclosure for another three years. Local townsfolk discovered the bears and were also periodically stopping in and sliding honey-covered pancakes and sweets to the bears over the years. We couldn't believe they were still alive! The County foreclosed on the property for unpaid taxes, and realtors were contracted to auction the property off in October 2004. The property could not be shown or sold until the bears were gone, if they were not relocated they would be put down. The Federal and New York State governing agencies had no interest in rescuing them, telling the county to have them put down. The auctioneers took over, they made over 100 telephone calls to wildlife rehabilitators, trying to find a home for the bears. They wound up speaking with a Broward County Florida Sheriffs Office Lieutenant (and animal activist) the Lieutenant in turn contacted the American Sanctuary Association, who referred her to our facility at Peace River Refuge & Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary  in Florida. Meanwhile, the auctioneers were feeding the bears dog food and fresh fruit on a daily basis, increasing the odds that their bodies would be capable of withstanding the stress of relocation. Over the few weeks it took to make plans, they steadily gained weight. We planned the bear rescue for several weeks and were scheduled to fly to NY less than 36 hours after being directly hit by the third hurricane that season. What poor timing! Of course, our flight had been cancelled, but we managed to fly on standby and still arrived in time to meet the professional animal hauler at the closed attraction to help load the animals and prepare them for their trip. They arrived safely in Florida via professional air-conditioned truck on September 30, 2004. Now they share an almost one acre enclosure with male black bear named Yogi and have really done extremely well in their new enclosure. They enjoy fresh food, fresh water and above all superior nutritional and medical care.

-Brigitte I.
Peace River, FL

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Baby Squirrels

A couple of years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to raise and release two baby squirrels and one baby skunk. One night I came home late and let my dog outside, I stayed outside with her and I heard a noise unlike anyother. I followed the sound and to my surprise I found a baby squirrel so small that four could have fit in my palm. His eyes were not opened yet. I took him inside and began to build a home suited for him. Sally (my dog) was still outside I noticed she was still in the vicinity of the rescue. I went over and saw that she had found another baby squirrel. I grabbed her and took her inside with the other. I went back outside to look some more but to no avail. I looked up and saw a squirrel nest in the tree above. That night was very windy and I guessed they fell out because of it. The next day as it warmed outside I took a box with the baby's to the tree were they fell and left them in hopes that the mother would come and get them, but she didn't. So I raised them for two or so months and never had so much joy. I named them Chip and Dale. I would take them outside and build a fort made of tree branches to make them learn to climb, besides many other things. It was truly wonderful. I did release them in my back yard (four acres of woods) and believe that they still reside here. The baby skunk was given to me after someone heard I raised the squirrels. She also had her eyes closed when I got her. She was absolutely beautiful. So small and cuddlely, I wanted to keep her forever. I named her Chanel. As with the squirrels I started feeding through a bottle then progressed to food. With Chanel I took her outside were she would follow my every footstep and show her food on the ground. Her favorite food was baby toads, she loved them. I had so much fun with her, she would actually play with me by running up to me and patting her front paws on the carpet then turn and run. It was hilarious. When she got bigger after a few months she would run up to me pat her paws but then turn her body into a U and point her bum at me while she kept her eyes on me. She never sprayed me, not mom. I later let her go but now I wished I could have kept her, but I realize I did right. I've raised other baby's too, like rabbits, kittens and puppies. I love animals and belong to many clubs.

-Mark B.

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Saving Sheba

Sheba is of mixed heritage, chow and husky. She has always been a gentle, beautiful animal who came to live with me when she was 3 years old. I found her at the animal shelter in Jacksonville, Florida on Beach Blvd. She was to be destroyed because she was ill; she had heartworm, kennel cough, ear mites and was very fearful of people. Why, with all the dogs at the shelter that needed adoption she took my heart away I do not know but she did. A call was placed to the Director of the shelter; it was a Sunday, to ok the adoption. Since she was so sick, the shelter wanted to make sure that I understood all her medical problems and agrees that the shelter had informed me and that the $50.00 I gave them could not be returned. Home she came and off to the Vets for treatment. Who would ever know that 15 years later Sheba would still be my best friend. She is a little hard of hearing now, finds it difficult to see much more than shadows and has arthritis pretty bad. On a good day she is still able to go to the dog park and say hello to all her old friends.

-Ruth D.
Audubon, NJ

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My Dog Lucky

  I would like to tell you about my dog Lucky. Someone had let her out in the middle of my street and I came out to see, if she was alright. To me it looked like they just through her out the door, out left to die in the world. It is so cruel what people do to animals like that. She is only less than a year old. She is Beagle and German Shepard. I had rescued her, she was skinny then I had ever saw. I almost wanted to cry my eyes out. She was scared to go up and down stairs, afraid of people. I had to do everything I could to make her not scared of them anymore. So I asked my dad, if we could keep her and he said yes. I felt like the happiest kid on the earth. So now Lucky is living as happy as can be. I take her for walks almost eight times a day for an hour or two. I feed her three times a day. She even sleeps with me, because she knows no one is going to ever hurt her again. Lucky is the best thing that happened to me. And I think I'm the best thing that happened to her. I treat her nothing but respect and she does the same to me. We take her to the vet every month to be on the save side. And all her and I do is play together and sleep together. It is like having a twin but then again different that you. I love Lucky to death and I hope nothing ever is going to happen to her ever again.

-Cherish S.
Machesney Park, IL

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Rescued Horse

   I would like to share a story with you. We moved to the country last May. I had roots in this area and was "coming home". My plan was to start an animal sanctuary in this rural farming community. We have always had rescued animals, so why not do it on a larger scale? Anyway, I wanted an old horse to pet and play with as we have 15 acres and a big empty barn. We visited a local mule trader, who was a very kind man. He had a little mule he had rescued at a sale because the guy who owned him was laughing about the mean things he had done to the mule. Then, a month later, he also rescued a starving old mare. Two days after her rescue, we happened upon his farm. We bought the little mule and then he told us about the mare. We bought her for what he had paid sight unseen. When he delivered the horses, I took one look at that pitiful mare and went in a called the vet. He came immediately and said he didn't understand why she was still alive. She weighed less than 1/3 of what she should weigh. She had rain rot and fistulas from where a bad fitting harness had been on her, she was almost completely dehydrated. He floated her teeth partially as that was all she could stand. She ate and drank. A few days later she went down and we didn't think she'd get up again. We called the vet. He came immediately. He gave her IV fluids, more anit-biotics, more anti-inflammatory meds, more ointments and shampoos and very little hope. She had bonded immediately with the little mule and he was freaking out while she was down. Finally, we dragged her from the barn and put the mule in as he was really becoming a nuisance. He freaked and whinned and screamed. As the fluids and meds kicked in, she heard him and stood up. Seabucket has gained nearly all her weight back and after having been featured in the local newspaper, has become a local mascot. She used to stumble and had no light in her eyes. You she see the old girl now! She lost Worthless, the little mule the other day and man, can she run! She came by her name because my son was looking at her the day we bought her and said, "Mom, that horse is really bad" I told him, "Son, that's a wonderful horse, I'm going to enter her in the Kentucky Derby next year" He laughed and said, "Well, instead of Seabiskit, you'll have to call her Seabucket". So we did. You know, after what I saw a couple of days ago, she just might win that Kentucky Derby next year.

-Joyce G. Click here for a picture of Seabucket

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Helping Dolphins

    I am a new member of Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. I have been an animal rescue/rehab/rehome volunteer for over 20 years. When I first started volunteering for TMMSN, I was helping to observe Harley, the only spinner dolphin in captivity. I have since transferred to Noah, a rescued rough-toothed dolphin. The most moving experience for me, was when I was in the tank 2 hours. Noah was extremely ill, and the volunteers took turns in the tank providing occasional support when it seemed Noah might be struggling. There were several times when he would flounder and I would have to help lift him to the surface to breathe. His strong desire to live and his willingness to accept help tore at my heart. Seeing him now, still sick, but full of hope, makes it all worthwhile. He plays, interacts, and continues to get better. He even eats on his own! Our only fear is regression. Hopefully, one day soon, he will get a clean bill of health and be returned to the sea, to live out his new lease on life.

-Wendy A.

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Cat Safety

    I would like to share my story to help save other animals. I had traveled by auto with my cat to several states and was assured by my vet that crating her was unnecessary as it was, in his experience, unlikely that she would be seriously hurt in an accident. When our car rolled over three times and landed upside down, we crawled out and our cat did survive the accident; however, she was totally traumitized, streaked across the freeway and I have searched for her for six months. She did have a collar with ID that may or may not have stayed on. She is a one-person cat and unlikely to go to anyone. People have been so kind. They have helped me distribute 1500 flyers, publicized her disappearance in the newspaper, offered me a place to stay when I make the 400 mile trip to follow leads, but I have not been able to save her. I feel that it was my responsibility to assure her safety and I didn't. Please encourage everyone to crate their animals whenever they travel, even on short trips. It may seem "cruel" to crate them, but it is far less cruel than have an animal released from the vehicle. Although it has been six months since the accident, I believe I may have found our cat. I have seen her, saw the tag on her, she showed some interest in me, but would not come to me. I have set live traps, but the only trap she has gone into is an open-ended trap through which she was able to walk without setting off the trigger mechanism. We devised a puppy crate baited with tuna with a door that would close with twine that I could remotely operate from 30 feet away. No luck. If there is any other means of capture that you or your experts could think of, PLEASE let me know. I just want to save her.

-Angie P.
Rochester, MN

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Saving an Iguana

    My most unique pet would have to be Lizzy, my 4 1/2' long iguana. She was found in my front yard about two years ago. She was brown and dehydrated. Knowing a little about iguanas I decided to take her in. I fell in love with her instantly. She is quite a character. Her Favorite place to hang out is on her limb. Occasionally she will climb out of her cage to venture around our house. She usually ends up in a closet. She is very calm and loves attention. It is not a surprise to come home and find her and my pitbull terrier (Crash) lounging on the couch together. She brings joy to my life as well as the rest of my animals. I love them all dearly.

-Janet P.
Greensboro, NC Click here for a picture of Lizzy

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Accident-prone cat

    I adopted Booboo from a woman who ran an adoption agency from her home. She had seen an uncaring person hit him with their SUV. She took him to the vet, thinking they would have to euthanize him due to the extent of his injuries. Not so! He still shows sings of his accident, and even though he's got a crooked face, and is missing one of his top canines, I love him all the more. His tragic experience hasn't stopped him from being my baby and best friend. We call him Booboo because he's a bit accident prone.

-Emily C.
Dearborn, MI Click here for a picture of Booboo

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Volunteers to the Rescue

 This past weekend (Saturday, September 4, 2004), I was able to witness a spectacular display of complete selflessness from our local volunteers. Hershey, our family dog, had suffered a terrible fall off of a 75 foot high cliff alongside the Delaware River. He fell - hitting numerous rocks on his way down) and landed half on a rock and half in the water - on his back. My boyfriend (Tony) and I scrambled down a nearby slope to reach the water. Tony quickly jumped into the water and rushed over to Hershey, picked him up and moved him to a safer landing. Hershey was alive, but not moving. He had two gashed on his chest - both reaching down into his chest cavity. Tony stayed with Hershey, making sure that he stayed alert and did not fall back into the water. I climbed back to the trail and ran for help. On my way back to the car - I thankfully ran into two hikers that allowed me to use their cell phone to call for help. Unfortunately, 911 would not dispatch anyone. They, instead, told me to call the SPCA. Again, unfortunately, the SPCA was not open. Finally, we found the emergency number for PPL (we were hiking on their trails) and their employee make the necessary calls to get the rescue team to the accident site. Soon, there were numerous people at the site of the accident rushing to get Hershey to safety. The Vet also rushed to the scene of the accident to help save Hershey's life. This experience has made me realize that the act of volunteering often goes unrecognized. The folks that scrambled to our side and spent their afternoon working desperately to rescue Hershey did so without expecting anything in return. How many of us can say that we have or would do the same? There is no way for me to express the amount of gratitude and respect that I have for the individuals that volunteer their time for these rescue efforts. I know that you probably get a ton of emails with rescue stories -- but, hopefully you will find this story interesting enough and will be able to share it with your viewers. I’d personally like to thank the following groups and individuals for all that they did on Saturday – (I wish that I were able to name each person, but I was not able to meet everyone individually): Marv M. – Blue Valley Rescue Chief, Jackie M. – Blue Valley Rescue Volunteer, Tonya H. – Veterinary Technician and Blue Valley Rescue Squad, Dr. Gregory L. – from AVH Veterinary Group of Plainfield Township The Blue Valley Rescue Squad The Lower Mount Bethel-Sandt’s Eddy Fire Department The two individuals that allowed me to use their cell phone to call for help. Thank you!

-Nicole E.
Stroudsburg, PA Click here for a picture of Hershey

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Baby Bird Rescue

  Last July I was flyfishing with my West point classmates on the Bighorn River in Montana. Two of us were in a drift boat with our guide when we noticed a small bird struggling in the water about 50 yards from our boat. Our guide rowed to the bird, and I picked it up out of the water. The baby bird lay lifeless in my palm of my hand. Rather than throw it back in the water, I began to breathe into its mouth and give it gentle chest compressions. Shortly, the baby bird opened its eyes and began to respond. I kept it warm in my hands while our guide rowed to the river bank where we placed the baby bird in a robin's nest hoping that it would be adopted my a mother robin who was flying in and out of the nest.

-William F.
Philadelphia, PA

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Miracle Kitty

   Picture this if you will, after a nice visit with your Mother-in-law you begin to start the engine of your vechile and then hear an awful noise followed by a piercing MEOW. You run from your car and open the hood to your horror ther you find splattered blood and fur, thinking that the animal is dead you then tear pieces of the engine apart as you wipe away the tears from your exhusted face. You then find tiny eyes looking up at you dripping with blood on its face. ITS A KITTEN! I struggled to free this poor kitten in which I felt horriblly responsible for and freed her to the safty of my Mother-in-laws house where I began to call vets in the area to get help for her.I finally found one who would look at her. She was evaluated and found that there were many sevre breaks in her little bones. I WAS NOT GOING TO PUT HER DOWN! I am out of work due to an auto accident myself and could not afford the vet bills that I knew would be in the thousands. I then searched for help. Pleading with radio stations as well as talk shows for the help I so very much needed. Last resort I called a local paper the courier times who then decided to do a story on this kitten and my plight for help. Donations started pouring in and vets started callingwilling to help me with the cost of the surgeries that Mittens would need. Now Mittens has had her operations and is home with me recovering nicely. The little kitty I call Mircale Mittens with a milk mustashe.

-Stacey S.
Philadelphia, PA

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Freedom the Cat

    My name is Jill my cats name is Freedom, he is a tabby, he's 11years old. I adopted Freedom from the Ottawa Humane Society when he was 11weeks old. For a long time he had a trust issue mostly with men and even today he won't just let anyone pet him. He has to give the ok, by smelling your hand then putting his head near you then you can pet him. Freedom is very loving he's a good boy. Freedom's name has meaning for me and it suits him well. Thank you for reading about my Freedom. P.S. My roommate and I watch your show every Saturday morning it's great to see animals being cared for.

Ottawa, ON (see Freedom in our Pet Gallery)

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    Saving dogs and cats in South Korea

      I live in San Jose, California and I'm an avid viewer of your show "Animal Rescue," I would like to tell you about two heroes who saved the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats in South Korea.
      In South Korea millions of dogs and hundreds of thousand of cats are tortured and boiled alive for human consumption. Two Korean women named Kyenan (who lives in Oakland, California) and her sister Sunnan (who lives in Korea) established the Korean Animal Protection Society, which provides shelter , veterinary care, and food for abandoned dogs and cats, some of them were rescued from the Korean market ( where they are being butchered). When Kyenan came to America she launched several campaign to stop the illegal slaughter of dogs and cats in Korea ( Yes! it is illegal in South Korea but the dog and cat meat market is still flourishing because the Korean government fails to aggressively enforce the law that they have established). She even traveled to other countries to launch her campaign . Kyenan even informed the public about the situation of cats and dogs in South Korea in the radio station, which aired this summer.

      Sunnan and Kyenan worked hard to educate Koreans especially Korean children about the common myths about cats and dogs so that they will learn to respect these animals. In Korea cats and dogs are perceived as a pests, which spreads diseases and as a result they are being butchered and mistreated. Kyenan and Sunnan are two women who have true devotion and compassion for these animals. Please consider this story, they truly deserve to be acknowledged for their good deeds. But most of all I want the American people to know the deplorable condition the dogs and cats have to endure in South Korea so that they will be motivated to help the cause. Please let the public know how they can help these suffering animals. Visit the website of Korean Animal Protection Society (KAPS) at http://www.koreananimals.org/index.htm. Their story can inspire other people to help suffering animals all over the world.

      Because of these true heroes I have been working hard to help the cats and dogs of South Korea by collecting signatures for the petition forms, distributing donation slips for KAPS and distributing flyers.

Thank you so much.

-Arlene M.
San Jose, CA

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The Rescue of Katie

     I have a 4 year old Boston Terrier named Katie. She is my "baby". This morning I heard her scratching and making noises. At first I did not think much about it but I decided to check on her. I found her in my bedroom with a large sour cream container, that she had gotten out of the trash, stuck to her face. She was not breathing and was limp. I took the container off her face and began mouth-to mouth resuscitation. Thank God, she started breathing after what seemed like a very long time. I am a nurse and I have watched your show. I feel that my background and your show helped save her life.

Thank you.

-Judy B.

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Where There's Smoke...

     Toby is a full-blooded German Shepherd, he's three years old. Our vet says that he has a championship form.
      When he was just six months old or so, he saved us from having a kitchen fire. I use cast iron skillets to cook with and after I wash them I set them on our gas stove to dry. I was doing several things in the kitchen at the time I put them on the stove to dry, and forgot that the stove was on. I went upstairs with my husband and Toby came along. A short while later Toby started to whine and head for the stairs then come back to me, I thought that he had to go outside. He went on down the stairs when I told him to, and when he seen that I wasn't right behind him, he started to yip and whine again. As I came down the steps, instead of heading for the front door like he does when he has to go out, he headed for the kitchen. When I got downstairs and rounded the corner there he sat in front of our stove watching the cherry red skillet, and whining.
      To this day when he smells smoke of any kind he lets us know right away. He got a big hug and a very special treat that evening. He's the second Shepherd I've owned and is named after Tobias the first.


See Toby's picture in our pet gallery

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Tight Squeeze...

My fiancée and I have a wonderful pet ferret with more personality than most dogs. He is the only animal I have ever bonded with, and my fiancée was inconsolable when after two and a half days, she realized that he was lost for good. We live in a New York style apartment with three exterior windows that look out to the brick wall of the building directly next to us. The neighboring building is no more than two feet away. On the front of the street and at the back of the building, the entrance to the narrow alley is completely blocked off. We live on the second floor and there are no windows on the first story; the distance to the ground is about twenty-two feet. We keep our ferret in the laundry room where we vent our dryer through a broken pane in the window. After tearing our whole house apart we realized that there was nowhere he could have gone except out the window. The window is five feet off the floor. Somehow he had climbed up the dryer hose and fell 20+ feet to the bottom of the alley. He had no way to escape. I had no choice but to try and climb down the walls between the two buildings to the bottom and bring him back up. This was no easy task. My fiancée was hysterical and begging me not to risk my life, but we had no other options. I managed to find a tow strap (not even a proper rope) long enough to reach to the bottom, and I tied it to the steel center of the bricked in window. I began to climb. Reaching the bottom of the alley was not exceptionally difficult. I lowered myself gradually to the ground, where I rescued my quivering little friend, and sent him back to his mommy in the safety of a 5-gallon bucket. I still had to get back up the wall to the window 27 feet above my head, and with no room to bend my legs for assistance with the climb. I could only use my arms to pull myself up the wall. Needless to say I survived with only minor bruises and scrapes, my ferret is OK, and my fiancée thinks I'm a hero. It's amazing the things you can do if you love your pet enough!

Robert S.
Ocala, FL

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Our Dog Colleen

We adopted Colleen from a rescue, who adopted her from the local humane society. She was scheduled to be put down the day after she was adopted. That would have been a shame! Colleen is now 2 years old, our vet feels she is a cross between a Jack Russell terrier and an Akita. She is living a life of luxury in Dearborn Heights, MI, USA. She is very protective of the house and my daughters, (11 yrs and 12 yrs). She loves the attention she gets from all the kids that are going in and out of this house. We bought her a bed, but she prefers ours ;) Yes, we spoil her rotten. That's not too hard to do because she is so well behaved. In this picture my oldest daughter was getting ready for summer camp for a week. Colleen didn't want her to go, so she kept crawling into her lap while my daughter was trying to pack. It's so easy to entertain Colleen. She loves to chase a flashlight beam on the floor. When you flash it on the wall she will try to bite it. I have never seen a dog like her. Who ever owned her before us definitely lost a gem. Thank you for the opportunity to brag about our pet.

Laurie B.
Dearborn Heights, MI
See Colleen's picture in our pet gallery

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Hurricane Rescue

My dog, Linda, was rescued after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. We soon learned from her actions that she was also abused. After a month of constant petting and hugging Linda learned to trust my husband and me. She is a beautiful chow mix and the perfect watchdog. She also gets along with my iguana, Dina. Linda is now fourteen years old and a senior citizen. In the near future she will have to leave me but for ten years she has been a loving, wonderful companion.

Ruth M.

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Daysha to the Rescue

I love my cat Daysha for many reasons. About one month ago out dishwasher caught on fire and I was in my home office with the door just barely open. My husband was asleep on the couch and our dishwasher started to catch on fire. I was unable to smell or see anything because I was in the office and my husband is a very sound sleeper. Daysha charged the door continuously until it opened and jumped on my lap. She would not quit nudging me and pawing at me until I got up. When I walked out in the living room, there was smoke everywhere and I found the dishwasher on fire. She saved our lives. I am also a seizure patient and right before I am to have one, she will start licking my feet and laying on me until I have finished having one. My cat is my life companion and my "seeing eye dog" so to speak. These are just a few reasons why I love my pet.

Samantha R.
Cape Coral, FL

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Helping Dogs in Georgia

My name is Gloria R. My husband and I are originally from Chicago, Illinois. We moved down south to Macon, Georgia ten years ago, which had turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of our lives. The only good that had come out of it is all our beautiful dogs that we have acquired while living here. So, if you're ever thinking of moving down here, (especially if you're an avid animal lover, and on a fixed income like we are,) please think twice, because once you read my story, I'm sure you won't. Within the past six years, we've rescued most of the dogs we now have, because no one here, seems to give a damn about animals, not even their own. These dogs have been either, tossed out of moving cars; thrown into garbage cans; spray painted; beaten; neglected; or totally abandoned. We've called Animal Control, Human Resources, the police numerous times, and had even spoken to a Magistrate Judge, in order for this abuse to STOP! We had hoped that these perpetrators would be arrested, and guess what? They have done NOTHING! And the really sad part is, they probably never will. Where is the justice for all these poor innocent creatures that God had made? What have they done wrong, to deserve all this abuse? We were told that unless the person or persons involved were caught right in the act of committing the crime, or we were able to produce the full name and address of the suspected person or persons, there was nothing the authorities would be able to do. Nothing! And so this abuse continues, even now as I'm writing you this story, with these people getting away scot-free!

Gloria R.
Macon, GA

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Kitten Nearly Drowns

One Saturday I received a phone call from one of my neighbors. He knows I work at a local animal hospital. He had found a kitten, probably about 6 weeks old, drowning in his backyard swimming pool. He fished it out and set it on the ground by his garage, but wasn't sure what else to do for it. I went over and wrapped the kitten in a towel and brought it to the animal hospital I work at. Everyone had left for the day so I dried the kitten as best I could, warmed up some towels in the dryer, and kept it as warm as possible. For a while it just laid there with it's eyes closed, breathing hard, but not very deeply. I just talked to it like I would another person and pet it every once in a while. But mostly I just waited, changing the towels with warmer once every 15-20 min. or so. Finally, the little guy (I checked) was a little more alert and kept his eyes open more. He started looking at his surroundings, but mainly at me as I was still talking to him. He was still pretty skittish and stayed in the towels, but I got him to eat some canned kitten food (and boy was he hungry!). I had to leave him overnight, but figured he'd do all right. The next day, since he was still really infested with fleas, I gave him a flea bath. He didn't really like it since he was, understandably, deathly afraid of water. Anyway, to make a long story short, one of the other staff took the kitten home to his girlfriend. :-)


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Hello, I am sending you this email to advise you of a group of great people. The name of the group is E.A.R.L. (Exotic Animal Rescue League) They are based in MI. Their main thing has been the rescue of Birds, However they have rescued any thing from rabbits, cats or what ever needs help. They are non for profit and supported by just a few people. They have had up to 100 animals at one time and are very picky about the homes the rescues are placed in. The health and safety of the animals are Always the top interest, before placement. Paying out of their own pockets thousands of dollars for health care. My wife and myself have 3 birds from their rescues, and they are such a blessing to us. Thank you for your time. And thank you for your great show.

Bill & Gretchen C.
Ft. Worth, TX

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Found at the Pound

One day I was going to the pound to get a dog. They were all staring at me with those big bulging eyes! I had to choose between two dogs, a Labrador retriever and a cute puppy that was half Saint Bernard. I got the Lab because the other dog had a sister, and they couldn't be separated also because the lab looked lonely and scared. I took him home and now he is a strong,cute and huge ... He's a cuddly critter I call TJ!!!

Diane G.

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Deer Rescue

My grandpa saved this baby deer. He had a disease and the mother ditched him when he was really young. My grandpa found him laying in the woods. He hadn't eaten anything in awhile so my grandpa gave him chopped up apples and milk. He kept him for awhile until he could walk and do stuff on his own. When he let him go the deer stayed by his house so my grandpa kept on feeding him apples and corn. Now this deer keeps on coming back and grandpa thinks its the same deer. The deer grew up and is very big and strong. The deer lets my grandpa come near him like he was his father.

Jody S.

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Mitchell Centre

I saw your TV show and wanted to write to you about the great equine rescue centre that I've been involved with for the past year and a half. The Mitchell Centre for Equine Rescue and Education (www.themitchellcentre.ab.ca) is located in Vulcan, Alberta, Canada. It is run by Paul Mitchell and a bunch of volunteers. It is a nonprofit and completely charitable organization who are active in horse rescue. They rescue all sorts of horses, of all breeds and ages and even though their means are limited they are doing a wonderful job. Paul Mitchell was kind enough to help me out with my first horse, who was also a rescued animal. Paul took me under his wing and over 5 months of my being at the centre 5 days a week, he taught me a lot about the value of horses and the need for horse rescue. Not to mention the incredibly selfless help he gave to me with helping me to start training my 3 yr. old percheron x quarter horse gelding, Max. Max is a rescue himself as he comes from the NAERIC (www.naeric.org) program and was bought from an auction that could've easily sent him to the slaughterhouse. He had never been touched when I fell in love with him and had to buy him, but because I'd never had a horse before I didn't have a clue what to do with him, and that's when I met Paul and he volunteered his time and expertise to help me with Max. Paul Mitchell is a great horseman, and a great person doing an incredible job in a really bad situation. I find it incredible that he can do as much as he does because he also has multiple sclerosis. He keeps working hard and making a difference despite his physical problems. I don't know if you film anything in Canada but if you do, you may want to talk to Paul. They've saved several hundred horses and placed them in good homes over the last 3 years and Paul has done all of this through donations, volunteers, and money out of his own pocket. With as many as 65,000 (or more now that the prairie provinces in Canada are facing a serious drought) head of horses awaiting slaughter just in Canada alone each year, something needs to be done. Paul is fighting an uphill battle but he's making a huge difference in the lives of the animals he's rescued, and in the lives of the people that he helps along the way. Thanks for your time.

Sarah L.

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Second Chance

I was listening to the TV News Station in Phoenix, AZ. When a reporter opened her story with "A DOG WAS SHOT BY AN ARROW, stay tuned to hear the rest of the story." I stayed glued to the TV I heard the story about this dog being shot by an arrow and where the arrow was sticking out both sides. Outraged, I called the TV Station. They directed me to the caseworker. I explained my heartfelt interest in giving the dog a home. I did not care about the cost of medical bills. The caseworker took my information and said they would add my name to the adopter list. Later that day they called me back and asked if I was still interested. Of course, I was, and they said I could adopt him after he recovered from the surgery he had.. The media heard I was coming to visit him while he was recovering at the Arizona Humane Society. Every TV station, newspaper and radio station was there was waiting for me. The media asked what I was going to name my new dog. I told them, I wanted school kids to name him and learn that this is not what we do to any animals. Local schools were calling me. I held a 2-day contest to "NAME MY DOG”. Many names circulated that I liked. There is more to this story, but they named him "CHANCE”, for a 2nd Chance on life.

Jim B.
Scottsdale, AZ

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Tanner's start in life was sad, One no pet should endure.
He needed much... But a family to love, Would be his only cure.
A huge black Giant Schnauzer, He was hit and starved and caged.
Til finally RESCUE came along and Tanner's life was SAVED!!
He's now our family member, And his love is real and true.
If you contact any Rescue group, You'll find a friend that's right for you!

Elizabeth T.
Oakville, ON

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Choking on a Ball

I have a condition that causes seizures,my dog Randy tells me when one is coming. He alerts me quickly enough I can often prevent them with medications. What makes this so incredible is Randy wasn't trained for this. He was a rescue. Yesterday Randy accidentally lodged a fairly large ball in his throat, cutting off his air supply. I managed to carry this nearly 100 lb Shepherd mix to my car and get him to a nearby vet who saved his life. I can never repay him for all he does.

Kristina R.
Wautaga, TX

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Winston is a Chinese Shar-Pei we found beaten, freezing and starved dumped out in the country. He has been our constant source of laughter with his never ending energy - always bouncing around like Tigger, perching on the back of the couch watching for the car or the school bus or telling on another dog for being bad. His constant devotion has gotten us through a house fire, the loss of a child and many other hard times. Winston truly wears a halo.

Andrea D.
Blue Mound, IL

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Rescued Yorkie

Hi! (Woof !) My name is "Tia," I am a little Yorkshire Terrier and this is my story. I was owned by a man who was a gambler, and one day when he was short of money he stuck me in the "ante" and lost me to some other man who didn't even want me. While he was waiting hopelessly to get his money back for me he would stick me out on the balcony when he would go to work and often would even forget that I was there. Often he would kick me if I cried too much. Gee, I would sure go for a loop. Heck! I only weigh 5 pounds. It was cold and windy on that balcony and people would look up and talk to me. Even the police came and tried to rescue me but they said they could not do anything while there was nobody home and that they had no jurisdiction to enter the apartment by forcing the door. The police even suggested that someone just grab me when they get the chance. One day I was just let out in the street and a lady who was always looking up at me when I was left on the balcony, swept me up and took me home to a nice warm house and some good food. I wasn't sure if she was going to like me because I hardly had any hair left. I just had a few spots of hair and really looked so ridiculous I thought nobody would ever love me. I lived with the lady for one month. Her name was Pat. She took me to a vet and had me all fixed up with shots and vitamins and all. The vet said I was about 2 years old. Gosh I don't even have a birthday! Pat was becoming very sad and was finding it hard to leave me alone when she went to work cause I would cry for her all day long and the neighbours were giving her a hard time over it. Two ladies came to visit one day and one of the ladies was especially nice to me while Pat was crying and packing my things. Oh my...now what? Well, that nice lady took me home with her and never left me alone again. Her name is Audrey and she brushed me every night and gave me some kind of special tender love and care that made all my hair grow back. I must say I look pretty darn good now. I have been with her for 7 years now and I know I will never be alone again. I often wonder how much that man lost by loosing me in the "ante"? I know one thing though... "I won the jack-pot!".

( subitted for Tia by) Audrey F.

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Saving a Pomeranian

About 3 months ago I adopted a party pomeranian, which I had been wanting for a number of years, from a Pomeranian rescue. This little dog was rescued by a farmer who shot a number of cyotoes who had surrounded him and was just about to make this Pom thier meal. The farmer then brought (Baxter) to a kill organization, and they in return called the people at the Pom. rescue. in Franklin, Tn. I saw his picture on the web site and fell in love with him. I knew at first sight he was what I wanted. He is 3 years old and the sweetist dog you could ever want. When you pick him up he practically slips right through your hands because he goes limp. I do not know why he is that trusting knowing what he went through. I continue to wonder why such beautiful animals end up with no one to love them and why they end up where they do. I now have 6 dogs, 4 of which are Poms. and 3 are rescues.

Linell H.
Columbia, AL

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Montana Equine Rescue

Angels Among Us Equine Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. is a small non-profit organization located in Kalispell, Montana. In November 2001, we went to an auction "just to look", and rescued 4 horses and 2 mules that day. Two of the horses, a mare in her 30's and a stud in his late 20's, were so emaciated the canner buyers were not interested in them. We paid $25 each for "Thanksgiving" and "Laz" and brought them to our sanctuary with the intent to have the Vet come out and put them out of their misery. When we unloaded them at the sanctuary, however, they both acted like they were so full of life and they gave us a look as if to say "give us a chance". We decided to try, and we are glad we did. Lots of love and many many feedings of Equine Senior mush brought them back from death. (We have since received documentation a foal was weaned from "Givens" just 3 months prior to our rescuing her at the auction, and that "Laz" was a victim of a divorce. The husband thought the wife was feeding him, and the wife thought the husband was feeding him.) Since then, we have rescued over 80 equine in the state of Montana, and over 40 have been placed with loving adoptive homes. Most of these equine come from the auctions and others have come from owners who were afraid to sell them and then not know what happened to them. Once the equine comes into our program, it never leaves. We adopt them out, but we do not sign over ownership in order to protect that animal, and to be sure it never ends up at an auction or is abused. (Givens and Laz will live out the rest of the days at our sanctuary).

Chritina P.
Kalispell, MT

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The Loon

We were about 10 miles below Grave Creek, just downstream of Horseshoe Bend, between upper and lower Horseshoe camps. I saw something odd looking on the left bank. We rowed over to investigate. At first, all we could see was a black and white checkerboard. This object slowly resolved itself into a small goose-sized apparently dead bird. Its neck was stretched out with its head lying at an angle. With the morbid curiosity that defines human nature, we rowed closer for a better look. Suddenly, the bird made a small movement. "Is it nesting? Let's back off." It seemed an odd spot for a nest, on the sand, barely out of the water. However, before we could row off, the bird started feebly struggling. It was then obvious that it was entangled in fishing line. With a lump in my throat and pity in my heart, I jumped off the raft and grabbed the poor thing. It was soft as a cat. It tried to escape, but it was too weak, too tangled. I tried to pull the line off but I couldn't. It seemed to be entwined everywhere. I yelled for a knife, but it was too big. Its beak was wrapped over, under and through, round and round, up and down. Its red eyes stared in fear. It was awfully tangled and weak. Would we have to "finish it off"? Please no. How long had it been lying there, near death? We frantically got out a Swiss army knife with scissors. Dale got off the raft and started clipping the line while I held the bird. Being highly intelligent creatures, we worked on freeing the beak first. Luckily (for me) when it started biting my hand it was too weak to do any damage. At about this time, as we were totally absorbed in the biting bird, our dog Molly Brown (who was waiting patiently on the raft) started whining. We look up to see the raft about 10 feet from shore floating in the eddy. Panic sets in! Dale jumps for the raft. Cold! After all, it is late afternoon on an April day. The bird panics from the excitement, bites me on the cheek and voids itself down my right leg. Oh great! Now I can see the line wrapped over and over again on its right wing. There's a weight too. Please don't let there be a hook. We have no way to remove it. The raft is recovered & secured. Dale returns with scissors, clip, clip, clip, pull a strand off, clip, clip, and clip. Pull the line out of the mouth, over & under, piece by piece. "Any hooks in the mouth?" "No, thank God!" Terry's raft floats up, eddies out and waits silently. The beak is completely freed from the line. I hang on grimly. The line around the neck comes off easily. Now the wing, snip, snip, snip. "Please be OK bird, I've never seen your kind on the Rogue." What is a sea bird doing 50 miles inland? After considerable clipping, snipping and unwinding, the wing is free. No hooks. We gather the line and stow it away. I set the bird down near the water. It wobbles slowly to the edge and hops in. Once in the water, it swims off swiftly. I wash off. We see it a few more times as we float on. It was six to twelve inches under water, swimming upstream and fishing. "Get lucky, catch one and regain your strength." Maybe it will survive the night, maybe not. We will never know. I found out later the bird is a common loon; it can dive to 200 feet. Our reward? Mom nature was generous the next day. We saw eagles (bald and golden), geese with babies (stay away from them!), blue herons, dippers, a bear, turtles, etc. We had a safe run through Blossom Bar. Good enough for me. Hope the loon's still alive and fishing. It certainly deserves it.

Jane D.
Rogue River, OR

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Precious Persian

Precious is a Persian "chocolate faced" beauty who was abandoned at my former apartment at the age of 1 yr. She was originally a part of a "cat pack" that ran wild around the complex when I first moved in. With a pecking order, she was at the bottom, and would have to wait to eat last when they came into my apartment for visits. One day, the landlord called the local pound to take away all these cats roaming free in our vast, pine-tree clad grounds. Precious managed to hide and be the only one to scoot free. She was then adopted by the teenagers next door, who a year later got a dog.....and out in the cold Precious went again for a second time. She began hanging out in my patio. Daily, she'd come into my apartment and hang out, this time adopting me. As an in-door/outdoor cat, she managed to outlast all the other strays who'd come and go. I eventually married and took her with me to my new home (after she survived 7 years at my old apartment) figuring that any cat that could ive through 2 abandonments and a couple "hunts" from the city pound deserved a new home with me. Besides, I felt a strong moral obligation to her now: how could I possibly allow a 3rd abandonment? She recently had her 8th Birthday in our new home this September, 2003 and she is so happy to be indoors all the time again, and Home at long, long last. Well-earned.

Laurie K.
Bakersfield, CA
Click here to see a picture of Precious

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Cat on the Bridge

Years ago, I lived in the country where this story occurred. Driving home about midnight, on a very cold and snowy winter night, I came across a narrow one-car bridge over a stream in a wooded area. Unbelievably, a cat was sitting at the crest of the bridge, but thankfully to the side, staring into oncoming traffic, and very still. I realized as I carefully passed the cat, that something was wrong and he wouldn't last long where he was presently sitting. I quickly pulled over, off to the side, at the end of the bridge and ran back to the cat, while signaling for traffic coming both directions to wait. The cat just sat there, without reacting, as I made my way quickly up behind him. I realized he had been struck and was stunned. Carefully picking him up, I returned him to my car and put him in the passenger's seat. He was a full-grown, grey tabby male that appeared otherwise healthy. As I started driving, he just lounged there to my right, still stunned. I had nothing to put him in to contain him, but I knew he needed help. I drove about 5 minutes to my home, ran in the house and called a vet I knew, at his home, getting he and his wife out of bed. He told me to come over right away. They'd be ready and waiting. The vet was another 10 minutes away. I returned to my car as the cat was going into shock. I turned on the heat to high, and just drove as fast as I could, carefully breaking all speed limits, to get to the vet's home. By the time I laid the cat on the examination table, he was becoming incontinent. The vet told me that he would try, but was not sure the cat would make it, and to call him in the morning. I left, fairly certain the vet would put him down, and very sad at what appeared to be yet another heart-breaking attempt at a rescue. Instead, and to my surprise and delight, the vet called me in the morning to say the cat had stabilized and was showing signs of improvement, however, his back had been badly injured when he was struck by a car. The vet, however, had a little pet chihuahua with a broken back and he'd made him a little cart, so he was already knowledgeable regarding these types of injuries and also very willing to help the cat as well. I was being paid minimum wage at the time, but offered the vet all my future paychecks for as long as needed to cover his costs, as I still lived at home. He refused all payment, so I traded him my younger brother's skills for free when, a few days later, neighborhood kids accidentally broke the vet's car window while playing ice hockey on the street. My brother provided the glass and repaired the window within a few hours, and he too was very happy to help this cat. About 2 weeks later, the vet called me to say the cat was ready to come home. My parents, however, made it very clear they were unwilling to have us keep this cat. Having anticipated this, just after the rescue, I had taken the time to go back to the area where this cat was hit and knocked on doors of the few houses in the area. I found an elderly couple, on limited income, who'd been minimally feeding this cat, but did not know who owned it. They also could not afford to keep it, and told me to tell the vet to put the cat down. So, ignoring their instructions and knowing the cat would need a home with someone who not only had money but was also skilled enough to help with rehabilitation, and also knowing cats were a dime a dozen in this vicinity, I called everyone I knew and put the word out. Several days after my calls, I got the call back I'd hoped for. My best friend's mom knew a woman who was a nurse who took in animals with injuries, just such as this. She adopted this cat, took him to live with her on her farm, with other animals she was rehabilitating, and named him Sansome. She nursed him the rest of the way back to health, and he eventually regained full use of his injured back.


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Cleo the Ferret

Hi my name is Marie, my husband Don and I watch your program every week. We looked up your website--it is fantastic! Cleo is one of 7 ferrets; all are rescues. She is a 2-1/2 yr. old silver mitt who spent the first 6 months of her life in an aquarium in a pet store by herself. She was bought by a kind soul who was unable to tame her. We got her Jan. 1st, 2003. After 2 weeks of being with us, we introduced her to our 4-month-old baby ferret, for a few minutes. We did this everyday for a week and she decided she had to take care of him--they are now cage mates. There are many sad /happy rescue stories through out the United States and Canada. Thank you for taking time to read about our Cleo--she deserves it!

Marie F.
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Click here to see a picture of Cleo

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Saving A Sparrow

Early one spring as I was leaving my townhouse to go to work for a short day, I saw a baby sparrow on the lawn near my car and patio. There'd been a wild storm during the night, and I'd surmised he had been blown out of his mother's nest. He had most of his feathers and having been a bird breeder at one time I knew there were enough feathers there for his parents to have already begun flying lessons. It was a miracle none of the cats who roam around all night got him. I did not want them to get him while I was gone either, so I grabbed a plastic grocery bag from my car, and scooped him up and tossed him into my patio. It was enclosed and I was growing a lot of vegetables and flowers, so he had places to hide. When I came home I found him back there and left him, to see if one of his parents would come looking for him. I sat inside and watched. I eventually saw one of them on a low branch on the tree on my patio. He was trying to encourage the youngster to fly up. he made several attempts but has too weak. His parent left so I feared he would be abandoned. I went out and scooped him up, put him in a metal mesh basket inverted and put some baby plant pods inside so he could feel secure. I gave him water by dipping my finger in a glass of water and letting it drip into his open beak. He was so gentle and seemed quite tame. but I couldn't get him to eat. I knew I needed to help him get his strength back so he could rejoin his parents. I tried some dog food but he resisted. Finally I took a strawberry out of the refrigerator and squeezed juice into his very receptive beak, then I placed him outside on a table, in the basket. A short time later I saw the sparrow's mother on top of the wooden fence above him and he was going bonkers trying to get to her. I went out and I told him "you look strong and good to go now, so go on" I let him go and he flew off. A couple days later when my husband and I were getting ready to sit out on the front porch we saw a small sparrow sitting on our porch. Of course when we went out he flew off, but to a tree across the street as we sat on the porch we could hear him chirping loudly as if to thank us. We believed this as then he flew toward us, chirping gaily. He came back a couple times after that. I try to help animals in trouble when I can.

Milt & Linda S.
Oklahoma City, OK
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Ice Storm Rescue

As we were driving down Curtis Street in Laramie, Wyoming during a sleet/ice storm, I saw a white animal walking down the middle of the road. He looked almost invisible with his white ice covered fur walking in the white icy road in the storm. I knew if I didn't stop in the middle of traffic to rescue him he would have been struck by a motorist. Or freeze to death. I put him an the back seat and turned the heat up full blast. We drove to a place where we could park and read his tags. His name was sandy paws. His owners name and address were on it but it was an old address. I called the no kill shelter and took him there. But I didn't stop there--the next day I found his owners address and number in the phone book, called and told him where Sandy Paws was. He was surprised, as he didn't even know Sandy Paws had gotten out of his yard. The next day I called the animal shelter to see if he'd been picked up--It sometimes pays to be a busy body. They told me they'd received quite a few calls from family members after I contacted them. Sandy Paws was safely returned to his friends. The amazing thing was he had walked over 3 1/2 mile from home in that ice storm, and miraculously was not struck by a motorist. I love happy endings for animals.

Milt & Linda S.
Oklahoma City, OK
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Fighting Frostbite

It was a cold day December 9, 2003 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Temperatures had been below 30 degrees for a week or so. We have two dogs, Backie and Bear. They love each other and play all the time. Bear never leaves the yard, but we do try to keep Blackie chained up because she likes to run and visit all the neighbor dogs. When she does get loose, her and Bear run around the neighborhood and come back within a few hours. On this day, somehow she got off of her chain and her and Bear went off to do their usual run around the neighborhood. Several hours went by and my husband, Dan and I started to get worried because they were not back and it was 30 degree below zero outside. We went looking around for them and could not find th~m. We called Animal Control and they had not been picked up. The next day they stili were not back and we were really getting worried. We called Animal Control again. I went to see if they had picked them up. No luck. Dan and his friend went driving around knocking on all the neighbors doors trying to find them. Then that evening Dan put on some warm clothes and started walking around through dog trails which were miles long. Then I went looking for Dan because he had been outside for over an hour in the freezing cold and snow covered grounds. I was beginning to think that Dan had got lost as well out there. I was very worried so I went out driving around looking for him. Then a car drives up the road and slows down. I was ready to ask if they had seen my husband or dogs when there I saw in the car was my husband and the two dogs. Blackie was hurt. Her back paw was swollen like a water balloon and the paw was frozen stiff. Also the hair on the back of her legs was rubbed off. Dan told me with the help of Bear he had found her. As is was walking down one of the dog trails he was calling out the dogs names. Finally out of nowhere Bear comes running up to him. Dan told bear, " Show me where Blackie is, show me where Blackie is." Bear led Dan to Blackie who was curled up on the back porch of someone house miles away from our house. Blackie could not move she was so cold. We took her to the vet and the vet was pretty sure it was severely frostbitten. She put her on some medication for two weeks before her operation. Blackie went through quite a stressful ordeal. We are pretty sure that she had got caught in a snare trap and struggled for hours. Then she must have fallen asleep or passed out and that is how her paw got frostbitten. And that is the story. Blackie is doing well. Now and she runs faster than she did before.

Kathy R.

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See Blackie in our Pet Gallery

See Blackie after his surgery

Great Pyranees Rescue

It was a typically hot summer day here in Oklahoma, when we decided to go to the local flea market. being the big animal lover I am, I immediately saw a beautiful Great Pyranees walking around near where we parked. Some of the vendors told us he'd been abandoned three days before. People were kicking him, and throwing things at him. I gave him some water, and knew right away, he has sick, as it was so hot outside and he would not drink the water. The vendors told us the pound had been called but no one had come for him. Some time after we got home, I got the idea there had to be a Great Pyranees resucue agency here in Oklahoma City, so i called a few vets and located one in Stigler, OK. She called her contact in Oklahoma City, who found out the pound picked him up, so she went to the pound and claimed him. He needed medical care. I found out from them that his medical needs were taken care of and he was adopted by a family in Arkansas. Of all the animal rescuing I've done, I am most proud of this one because my actions contributed to saving his life.

Linda S.
Oklahoma City, OK
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The Will to Live

"She has a tremendous will to live." That's what Dr. Michael Randall of the Animal Health Center in Madison, Miss., said recently about our 8-year-old greyhound, Missy, a "rescued" racer who miraculously is alive today even though she was impaled for some 30 minutes on an 8-inch spike atop our wrought iron fence. We didn't see it happen, but here's our best guess: Missy loves to chase squirrels. She usually "trees" them, then jumps up with her front paws on the trunk of the tree. On the morning of April 14, I let her out the back door of the house. Our guess is that she chased a squirrel up a tree near the 4-foot high fence, jumped at the tree and either missed it or bounced off it and somehow landed on top of the fence. Judging by her wounds, Dr. Randall thinks she struggled to get off the fence and nearly made it over before the rod pierced her stomach, then slowly pushed through her body. About 10 minutes after I let her out, I heard Missy crying and moaning, so I went outside to see what was going on and was shocked to find her hanging on our fence, howling and crying. Her front paws were on the ground on the outside of the fence. Her back legs were sticking up in the air. The fence rod pierced her abdomen and exited her back right next to her tail. She was writhing and crying, scratching and whining, trying to get off that wicked spike! I ran inside and called the Animal Health Center and told them that Missy was dying and we needed help. Then I ran back outside, jumped over the fence and grabbed onto Missy's head and front legs and held her as tightly as I could to keep her from thrashing around. As I held her and she went into shock, I really didn't think she would make it. After 20 minutes (it seemed like an hour!), Dr. Randall and Jeff White, the manager of the Animal Health Center's hospital, arrived. Dr. Randall gave Missy a shot to sedate her. We used a hacksaw to cut the spear off the top of the fence spike, then lifted Missy off the fence. On the ride to the Animal Health Center, Missy's heart stopped. Dr. Randall revived her. After three hours of surgery, Dr. Randall told us that it looked like Missy would make it. Unbelievably, the spike damaged only her intestines (he removed 11 inches). It didn't hit any other organs or her spine! After a week, we brought Missy home. She's been back once to have her wounds resutured. They're still not healed and you never know what complications might arise, but as of today she's alive and recovering, thanks to the wonderful care she received from Michael Randall, Jeff White and all the other doctors and employees of the Animal Health Center -- plus her "tremendous will to live." As a footnote, we suggest that anybody with large dogs (or children who love to climb trees, jump on trampolines or even climb fences) should really think about what they're doing before building a fence like we had. Many subdivisions have covenants governing what type and size of fence you can build. We live on a golf course and our covenants call for wrought iron fences, 4-feet high. We looked at the options available and chose the kind that many others in our neighborhood have, spikes with decorative spears. Never in a million years did we envision something like that happening to Missy. After the incident, we had a solid bar affixed to the top of the fence. You can see the "new" fence behind Missy and me in the attached photo.

Rusty and Cindy H.
Madison, MS
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Trapped Horse

I have been a horse owner for 34 years. My paint mare, "Pumpkin," recently trapped herself and was rescued by our local Fire Dept. She managed to wedge herself into a tight spot between a quonset-shaped barn and a five-rail heavy pipe corrral fence. This space was so narrow, her feet dangled 12" off the ground. She was unable to back up and her stuggles got her deeper and more tightly trapped. Because Pumpkin was literally hanging by her belly, her breathing was impaired and she was slowly suffocating due to the pressure on her ribs. This was a very dangerous, life-threatening, situation and I knew it. This horse was going into shock. Although we live on a ranch outside a remote mining town, Bagdad does have a volunteer Fire Dept. It was because of their rapid response and the "jaws of life" that Pumpkin was saved. After cutting the 3 lower pipes, Pumpkin fell thru the widened space beneath her and was freed. The galvanized siding of the barn had cut her front leg in several places. After a trip to Dr Lytle in Wickenburg, and lots of stitches, we are expecting her full recovery. Had I had the presence of mind to have my video camera running, you would have had a great horse rescue for your show. Sorry. My concern was for the life of this sweet mare I have owned since her birth. Hindsight. But I though you would like the picture and the happy ending.

Marilyn W.
Bagdad, AZ
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