Mercedes Trujilo was driving down the road one cold January evening in Utah when something ran out in front of her vehicle. She slammed on the breaks and managed to not hit the dark figure and immediately got out of the car to see what had happened. She realized it wasn’t a figure that ran out—it was a young dog that was very cold and very scared, too. So, Mercedes grabbed some food from inside her car and was able to coax the dog to hop inside. She drove straight home in the hopes of looking at the dog’s collar to figure out who it belonged to—only to realize something quite sad.
The dog had an engraved tag attached to its collar that said the following:
“My name is Lilly, if you found me please keep me. My family can’t and I need love.”
Mercedes realized there was no one out there looking for Lilly, as they had simply dumped her on the streets rather than taking her to a shelter or trying to find a new home for her. Rather than take the dog to one of those shelters, she decided to take Lilly in instead. After taking her to a veterinarian, it was discovered that the dog had frostbit on her paws, indicating she had been outside alone for quite some time. She was very thin too, after possibly months of having to fend for herself.
Lilly has had her behavioral issues too, with terrible separation anxiety and a clear dislike for men. So, Mercedes got special permission to bring Lilly to college with her and attend classes together so she could be exposed to new experiences on her terms—and hopefully heal from whatever she had gone through in her earlier life. The good news is she HAS healed and she loves her life now—exploring the world with her new owner, Mercedes.
Laura Forma saw something incredible out of the rearview mirror of her car recently: it was a large pit bull crossing the street. In that moment, she had every reason not to pull over and help the stray dog: she was driving away from him and she was already taking care of eight dogs, including her own six dogs and two foster dogs. But, she could not just leave the dog there. So she made a u-turn and headed back to a nearby strip shopping center in her home town of Houston, Texas. She waited around for a little while and then she spotted the dog between some parked cars. Laura called for the dog and he came straight to her with his tail wagging. It was cold and rainy outside and the dog, who she named Thor, was so happy to see her. It was as though he was just waiting for someone to come and rescue him.
He jumped right into her car, to be exact. Thor the dog had a roped tied around his neck, but otherwise had no tags or identifying information—and he looked quite sad. Not only that, but the dog had scars on his face and seemed to have been through a lot in his life. Laura did not want to take him to a shelter, particularly because he is a pit bull, but also because animal shelters in Texas are overcrowded. So, Laura brought Thor home with her and he’s been a perfect dog while he has been in her home.
Thor is fitting in nicely, and it seems he did have a home at one time because he is potty trained and is incredibly affectionate, too. While Laura grew attached to him, she knew the best place for Thor was with a rescue group, so he is now with Three Little Pitties, a rescue group for pit bulls in Houston. He is currently in a foster home and preparing to someday be a pet in a permanent home!
For Emma McGowan and her husband Michael, there was just one baby in their home: their dog Molly. She had their undivided attention every moment of the day, but the pair recently found out they have a baby on the way and worried their Molly would no longer be the star of the show. So, they decided it was time to give Molly her own special room in their home. Michael and Emma love their dog, and they wanted to show her in the best possible way. So, they began trying to figure out a way to use an existing space in their home to create a room for her. It took some time, but they finally found a good option: the space underneath their staircase. So, they cut a hole in the wall and hoped for the best.
As luck would have it, there was a space under the stairs and it was just perfect for little Molly, a West Highland terrier. So, he enlisted the help of contractors to frame out the opening to the room and run electricity in order to properly light the space. Then, it was on to figuring out the best finishes for Molly’s little room under the stairs. They found the perfect flooring, wallpaper and even paint color. Soon, things were really taking off and looking great, thanks to dog themed wallpaper and plank flooring.
It wasn’t just about creating the space; they wanted it to feel like home for her. They added a lamp, small table, and included plenty of photos of Molly and her friends inside. There was plenty of room for comfort too, so the pair found large cushions and beds for Molly and even a little sofa, too. Then, they added a welcome mat and plenty of toys and called it a finished product. And Molly loves her special room—and she loves her new human sister as well!
For members of a community located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, a very scared collie mix dog was a common fixture. She had been sitting alone in a local park in the chilly winter temperatures for many days and would not let any humans come near. She just sat and seemed to be waiting for something—or someone. So many people tried to help her, but she was just too scared. So, they contacted a woman named Janine Guido who owns a local rescue group known as Speranza Animal Rescue. To Janine, it seemed that the dog had been dumped in the park and was waiting for her family to return. Sadly, no one ever came. So, it was time to bring the help to her.
Janine started slowly with gaining the dog’s trust. First, she hand fed the dog but once she tried to slip a leash on her, she ran away and into the nearby woods. The dog was obviously very scared and ran from humans so she was difficult to track—but the community helped Janine track her movements. Then, the dog, who they began to call Carla, was nowhere to be found. Then, a call came in: Carla was found sleeping underneath the porch of a nearby home. Janine knew this was her opportunity to save her—and that’s just what she did.
Janine and a few other volunteers cornered Carla on a porch and were able to slip a leash around her neck. Finally, she was safe. Carla was taken to the vet right away, where it was determined that she was ten years old and was somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds underweight. She had no microchip and no one came forward to claim her, sadly. Carla the dog was exhausted from her ordeal, but she finally had a soft bed to rest and plenty of food so she could recover. She is now safe and recovering well and will be up for adoption soon!
In Costa Rica, a little dog named Leon was on the brink of death. He was discovered by a woman who works for Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue – Costa Rica (CAARCR) and he was very thin and incredibly weak—so she brought him some food. Leon had been locked inside a home and was very neglected; investigators rushed him to the veterinarian in the hopes of saving his life. He was very weak and could barely lift his head and his body was covered in sores, but he was a fighter and clearly wanted to live. He scarfed down several bowls of food happily, but he needed medical help: Leon was anemic and very weak. In order to give him a fighting chance, he needed a blood donor. That is where a large Rottweiler named Norman comes in.
Finding a dog to donate blood was not easy. The dog needed to weigh more than 25 kilos (55 pounds) and be very healthy. After posting requests on Facebook, they could not find the right donor nearby. So, the CAARCR contacted a friend of the rescue named Jose Lobo and asked if his dog Norman could help Leon. Jose dropped everything and brought his dog Norman to the vet. After tests to ensure he was healthy, it was determined that Norman was the perfect match. So, they began the process of drawing his blood.
Though Jose was worried Norman would not like having his blood drawn, he was incredibly calm during the procedure. It was almost as if he knew that was he was doing was important and could save little Leon’s life. To thank him, the vet’s office gave Norman plenty of belly rubs and some toys to thank him—a bright pink tennis ball is his favorite. Though Leon has a long road ahead of him, veterinarians are confident the blood donation will go a long way to helping him regain his strength.
These days, dating apps and online dating is a great way to meet people in the hopes of finding love. Many people even create these profiles for friends in order to help them meet someone. That is exactly what a woman named Miranda Morrison did recently for a friend—who happens to be a dog named Henry. Miranda works at the Animal Ark Rescue in the state of Georgia and she knew Henry would be the perfect match for someone out there. Henry was originally found as a stray when he was a young puppy and then found himself in a kill shelter; that’s when Animal Ark stepped in in February, 2015 to rescue him. Sadly, he has spent over two years at the shelter waiting for a family to adopt him. After he spent his third Christmas at the shelter, Miranda knew she need to take action. So, she created a Tinder profile for him.
The shelter has a program in place where those interested in adopting dogs can take them on a playdate to the local park to learn more about the dog. These outings help people see a dog’s true personality and temperament, which can often be different inside the walls of the shelter. Miranda just knew that if someone was willing to go on a date with Henry, they would fall in love with the sweet dog. While he did not have any luck on the dating app, his story did go viral and that is when the adoption applications began to flood into the shelter.
A man named Alexander Ognibene, who lives in Virginia, actually heard Henry’s story on the radio while he was driving. He came to meet Henry and the two really hit it off. Alexander had recently lost his older dog and really missed the companionship of having a dog in his life—and Henry was just the guy for the job. He drove eleven hours to meet Henry and then drove him back to his home. Henry fits right in at his new home, where he has two siblings: a Shih tzu named Lola and a corgi named Clairee.
With a name like Macho Furious, you know this dog means business. His foster mom, a woman named Caitlyn Reyonds from Rescue for the Misunderstood, knows that Macho Furious is actually quite goofy despite his serious name. But life for this spunky dog could have gone quite differently if it weren’t for her. The dog, who is eight months old, lost the ability to use his back legs and his former owner, a breeder, brought him to the veterinarian. When the owner was told he was permanently paralyzed, the owner asked for him to be euthanized. The veterinarian refused and contacted Caitlyn to care for the puppy instead. She drove from her home in Delaware to Baltimore, Maryland to pick him up.
Macho Furious has been living with Caitlyn and her partner, along with their six dogs and five cats—and he’s loving every moment of it. He really enjoys both his canine and feline siblings and despite his disability, Macho Furious scoots around on his front legs to get from place to place. So, why “Macho Furious” as a name? Well, the breeder originally named him Furious and Caitlyn felt adding Macho to the front would help, and he actually responds to the name!
Veterinarians say that Macho Furious’ paralysis is likely from bad breeding and unfortunately, surgery would not fix his hind legs. But he is otherwise a quite healthy young dog. Best of all, a group that donates wheelchairs to dogs called Gunnar’s Wheels Foundation has agreed to give him his first wheelchair—and replace them each time he needs new wheels for the rest of his life. Macho Furious is going to be in his foster mom’s home for a little while longer, then is looking for a permanent home. He will be fitted for his wheelchair and then neutered and he will be ready to roll into his forever home!
A dog named Lulu was found in Hawaii, wandering the streets in need of help. She got just that: someone took her to the Hawaiian Humane Society and she was then adopted by a woman named Carissa Wong. Carissa and her boyfriend immediately fell in love with Lulu, who was a perfect fit for their family. The dog is quite a lover and really enjoys meeting other animals and new people. They knew she was affectionate toward her fellow animals, but did not realize to what extent until they began to foster kittens in their home.
They were not sure how Lulu would handle kittens, but she took to them right away. She was the perfect foster mom to them and always acted concerned about their location and their well being. The kittens took to Lulu, too. They began to snuggle up to her and purr and even attempted to nurse her. Since then, Lulu has spent every moment she can with foster kittens; the family has raised ten kittens so far. Lulu helps with each of them, helping them to grow strong and healthy so they can be placed into permanent adoptive homes.
In addition to taking care of the kittens, she also helps them to become socialized and increase their confidence so they won’t be scared or nervous once they get into a new home. Lulu helps the kittens to trust people, too. She helps the kittens to navigate the world and understand that people are there to help them. Though she did not have the best start in life, Lulu has certainly found the perfect calling as a “foster mom” to every kitten that comes into her home. Carissa says she couldn’t foster all those kittens without Lulu’s help along the way to ensure they are safe and healthy and completely ready to go into their new homes.
For a man named Matt Bentley, weekends are spent out in the Utah desert off-roading. So, when he was out and about in the area on a Sunday afternoon, he could not believe his eyes when he saw something running through the desert. It was a large animal that appeared to be bald. He slowed down his car to get a closer look and realized it was a dog that had somehow lost all of its fur. Not only that, but the dog was also covered in scabs and was sunburnt and incredibly thin. She was not doing well, so Matt called her over and she came right over and jumped into his vehicle. The dog was miles away from civilization and he saved her life.
Once she was in his vehicle, she was scratching and her skin and shaking—she needed help and she needed it quickly. So, Matt wrapped her in a blanket and took her to a local animal hospital. The hospital contacted Utah Animal Adoption Center, who agreed to sponsor the cost of the dog’s care. The head of the shelter says she has never seen a dog in such terrible condition. Even the dog’s feet are red and inflamed, which causes pain every time she takes a step.
The shelter named her Kelly, which means “warrior” in Gaelic. While it is unclear where she came from or why she was wandering the desert, they do know that she is between 7 and 10 years old and really is a fighter. She is currently on antibiotics for her mange to prevent infection and is also in isolation because of the mites on her body that are contagious. Shelter staff must wear protective suits to sit with her at this point, but she absolutely loves the human interaction. The hope is that she will heal soon and can then be adopted into a new home. Contact the shelter if you are interested in adopting Kelly: http://utahanimals.org/contact
For a Chihuahua named Bertha, her nine years on earth were anything but easy. Her owner passed away, which means she found herself in a local shelter. Furthermore, she was battling a severe seizure disorder and weighed around 12 pounds, which was double her normal, healthy weight. The sweet but a bit portly senior dog could not be cared for by the shelter, so staff contacted the organization known as the Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. They promised to help the overweight Chihuahua, despite knowing it was going to be a difficult journey for the little dog.
Bertha was so overweight and nearly round in her body shape that even going for a short walk proved to be a difficult effort. She needed lots of breaks at first and the rescue frequently posted about Bertha in the hopes of finding a new home for her—someone who could help her continue with her weight loss journey. A woman named Allison Hackett was just the person; she saw the posts and had helped several other dogs lose weight. She just knew Bertha would make the perfect addition to her family. So, Allison met Bertha and officially adopted her and though Bertha was down one pound, she had some progress to make.
Bertha has dropped another five pound since she moved in with Allison, thanks to a restricted diet, special food and carrots for treats. She is now down to 5.9 pounds, which the veterinarian says is officially a healthy weight. Since dropping the weight, Bertha’s sweet personality has also emerged and her resiliency is quite impressive. While her life was not the easiest and losing the weight was tough, she has bounced back and is now a sweet, loving companion to Allison and really to everyone else she happens to meet, too.