What did we do to deserve animals? They love us unconditionally and are there for us at the end of a tough day. Sometimes, however, these critters need our help, and there are some people out there willing to give it.
Here are 30 amazing stories of people helping out animals.
1. Jeff Longo To The Rescue
Jeff Longo was minding his own business when he was walking along a sun-dappled pavement before stumbling across a sick baby animal. In a case which appeared to suggest neglect, the helpless animal, who had been left in the boiling heat with no food or water, was soon taken under Jeff's care, despite having no experience dealing with injured animals.
In a story that could make even the brawniest of men cry, the following three months saw good-guy Jeff nursing her around the clock, and after photographing her most days, it was soon apparent the cute little thing wasn't as little as it once was.
A few months in, and it was clear to see that it was a ridiculously cute flying baby squirrel and as the days and weeks passed, it only became stronger and stronger thanks to Jeff's round the clock care.
2. Blackie Is Given A New Lease Of Life
Staff at an animal shelter house were used to dealing with animals who had been treated cruelly, but, even with that reality in mind, the staff at one shelter in America were left shocked when a couple walked in carrying their dog in a waste bag. Thankfully, The Frosted Faces Foundation (FFF) took the injured dog into their care and eventually identified the afflicted canine on Facebook. The snap showed a mature-looking black Welsh Corgi clad in a plastic trash bag.
A few weeks later, the FFF took to social media to reveal that Blackie's much-needed operation had been given the green light. “Today, Blackie had surgery at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital to have her tail amputated. This was the most effective way to remove her huge, infected, ulcerated mass.”
Soon after her recovery, she was delivered to her new foster parents. Due to the terrific work and funding in place at the FFF, all Blackie's future medical issues would be covered by the charity.
3. Sigra The Lion Is Brought Back To Life
Many people love to see lions play, but few would be brave enough to get in amongst them whilst doing so. The big cats renowned for their dense muscle, sharp claws, and piercing teeth are not necessarily the ideal playmates. But not everyone has the know-how and ability with these amazing lions as the conservationist Valentin Gruener, who is the co‑founder of the Modisa Wildlife Project in the Kalahari, Botswana.
They aim to save the lion population in Africa. Sirga was born into a litter of three cubs. Two of her siblings died, so she was left behind by her pride. They found her on the cusp of death on a farm in 2012 and immediately put her on a treatment to bring the tiny cub back to life.
4. Kids Alert Animal Charity To Abandoned Puppies
An animal rescue team was informed by kids playing at a construction site in their neighborhood that they had found five-day-old puppies and taken them home. Believing they were abandoned, they took the puppies from the site and tried to bottle feed them- not knowing that the puppies' mom had gone to find food for them.
Realizing that, they then agreed to return the stolen puppies. The rescue team wanted to make sure that the puppies and their mother would receive a proper care. So, they placed the puppies in a puppy pen and sat it in the area where they were initially spotted.
They waited patiently for their mom to appear and meet them there.And so she did. She tried to hide and keep a distance from the rescuers. It was clear she was afraid that her puppies might get stolen again, as they were taken from her once before.
They were able to get the lucky furry family to their facilities to give them food, care, and medical treatment. Most importantly, the animals got the love they deserved. Soon they were put up for adoption. It just goes to show, even when trying to help, you can cause more harm, so it is always best to contact the authorities first.
5. Passer-By Notice Something Isn't Right
A scruffy looking dog tied up to a kennel doesn't necessarily mean much but when some passers-by noticed that this dog looked a little shabbier than it should do they became worried for its welfare. It was only when rescuers came by that they realized the true extent of the squalor the dog was living in. A mongrel dog, it was also apparent that she had given birth recently to a litter of pups. On top of this, the beleaguered mother had picked up a tear in her ear and also appeared to be in heat again.
The team arrived and instantly identified that this dog was in trouble but needed to persuade the owner to part with it. This took some serious negotiation skills, but they managed to talk the dog's owners around to transferring the animal to their care. But it was her ear that really affected Droogman. A worker at the shelter said, “The reason why this girl touched me [in the first place] is because of her ear.
“My first rescue, and also the face of the team, [was] Amelia who also has one ear. I adopted her when she was 30 pounds, skin over bones, barely [any] hair and… one ear. This girl changed my life in every way. [This] rescue is her legacy. This girl is now named after her, but we still need four female names and three male names starting with an A.” Droogman's shelter and rescue charity is called "A-Team Elite Rescue Dogs".
Thankfully, all of the pups were rescued alongside Amelia and were named Aleria, Amina, Angie, Aragon, Arion, Arrow and Atisha after an online appeal.
6. Cookie Is Found!
Letting your dog loose- particularly in rural areas- will often result in them chasing anything and everything but little did owner Kay Barnes know what the rest of the day would have in store. After letting her pet Terrier Cookie off the lead it soon perused a rabbit deep underground only to have gotten stuck, leaving the distressed owner will little choice but to call the fire service.
In a matter of minutes, Shropshire’s Market Drayton service was on hand to help Cookie out. As well as bringing special shovels, the department also brought high-tech listening and infrared equipment which is how they first heard Cookie's cries for help. Describing how it helped, John Das Gupta, manager of Shropshire's Fire and Rescue service, said, “They used listening equipment to locate her before digging in with spades."
However, one of the firefighters had another idea. Consulting his co-workers, the team decided to ask Barnes to call out from the hole they suspected Cookie was near. In a matter of seconds, rasping murmurs could be made out. Cookie was found!
As well as being featured on a national TV show, the firefighters were shortlisted for the 2011 Dogs Trust Honours awards. Speaking about their nomination, a spokesperson for the trust said, “I know it was a very close call and there’s no denying that their actions were truly heroic… They certainly are dogs’ best friends in our eyes.”
7. Lions Feel Grass Underneath Their Feet For First Time
Lidia, Lavinia, and Petrica were trained as the star attractions of Globus, a state circus in Bucharest, Romania and had never felt grass beneath their feet until they were rescued from an abandoned zoo. Not particularly treated well, the group of Lions had never known what it is to be free and pushed to his limit, Petricia eventually ended up attacking his trainer. Subsequently, it was decided the circus could not keep the lions, and so they were shifted to another form of captivity.
Transferred to the Baia Mare Zoo, the conditions here were also not great. In fact, it was described as a small "concrete prison" according to the group FOUR PAWS International. More pressure would be put on these living conditions as Lavinia became pregnant with Petrica’s cubs, and she gave birth the following year. Thankfully, the non-profit organization FOUR PAWS International stepped in to find the lions a new home. After much searching, they were relocated to the big cat sanctuary LIONROCK in South Africa
The lions now had an entourage of vets and carers look after them on their epic journey. The majority of the animals had never touched grass before, so when they got to their final stop, they did not know what to expect. However, heartwarming footage appeared to show what looked like a tear coming from one of the lions as it felt the grass on its paws for the first time.
8. An Injured Jaguar Found By A Little Girl Is Nursed Back To Health
Jaguars are beautiful animals native to the Americas, but it's not often locals comes across abandoned ones. In Ecuador, however, that appeared to be the case after a local girl informed a team of veterinary workers about the plight of a baby jaguar abandoned by its mother.
What made this story headline news, however, wasn't just the great work done by the vets but the devastating reason behind the jaguar's chronic pain. The story dates back to October 2016 when Francisco de Quito University was alerted by a young girl to the whereabouts of an injured animal.
The girl also let the university know the animal was a jaguar cub who appeared to have no mother. This was a good call for the young girl to make as the university is home to the esteemed TUERI research institute. On December 28th, 2016, Reuters reported that D'yaira had made a full recovery from a near-fatal bullet wound. Speaking about the successful operation, veterinarian Andres Ortega told Reuters,
"We managed to remove the pellet that was lodged in the spinal cord. Once this foreign object was removed, the spinal cord and the nerve axons around there started to recover, to such a degree that in the weeks that followed, she slowly started to have better mobility in her extremities. To the point that after two and a half months of being with us, she is almost 100 percent rehabilitated, physically."
9. No Longer Feeling Blue
Valia Organidou was walking her two dogs along the beach when she stumbled upon a stray dog. An animal lover, Organidou, who was vacationing on the Greek island, was accustomed to having her heartstrings pulled whenever strays approached her because, however much she wanted to help, there was usually little that could be done.
"When you are an animal lover living in Greece," she explained to The Dodo, "you simply get used to lonely stray dogs wandering around everywhere and choose to rescue the ones that can't make it on the streets: the sick, emaciated or hurt ones, the newborns and the pregnant females." But one morning, there was a particular dog that caught her eyes more than any other.
Putting her thoughts into action, Orfanidou collected her from the same spot on the beach, put her in the car and quickly came up with the name blue, which she reasoned was because of the nearby sea that kept her company. "I named her Blue for the blue sea that kept her company for the first few months of her life.
Still, while Blue had found a temporary owner in Orfanidou, she needed a permanent owner sooner rather than later to guarantee that she would never, in Orfanidou's words, feel "blue" again, and luckily for the stray, a family in Holand needed a new dog.
After Blue had settled into her new life, she was trained as a therapy dog, which proved a very good idea considering Blue had suffered herself in her earlier life.
10. A Texan Plumber Notices Something Strange
At first glance, this story may not appear uplifting, because stranded in a ditch just off a Texas road lay a helpless dog, who was left to die by its previous owner, with its legs and mouth taped together so it couldn't bark for help or find food.
Luckily, the pooch was noticed by two passing plumbers. Carlos Carillo, who works for Shoreline Plumbing in Texas, was going to work with his colleague when they spotted something unusual looking in a ditch just off the country road. Speaking about the discovery to The Dodo, Carlos said, “We didn’t know he was a dog at first. We reversed and saw him.”
Setting the distressed pooch free, Carlos explained how elated the furry was to be in the company of humans. "He was very loving and liked the attention. He was probably just there for a day or so."
Aware of a nearby adoption center that has a no-kill policy, the plumbers took their new friend to Peewee’s Pet Adoption, where it transpired he had heartworms. Aside from that, however, the rescued pooch was in good health.
11. Villagers Help Stranded Dog Out Of Well
Exhausted, alone and paddling just to stay alive this dog was found deep in a well in India and was in desperate need of help as it was soaked to the bone, freezing cold and just moving to try and stay alive. Swimming for hours just to stay afloat, the peril was evident, and it seemed like there was little to be done for the poor animal Every so often the dog would lose her footing and land back in the water, again having to contend with the freezing cold depths sapping her strength
It was obvious that time was of the essence and so as soon as someone noticed the danger the dog was in, they called Animal Aid Unlimited.
Animal Aid Unlimited is an animal rescue organization that has saved the lives of 45,000 creatures since 2002 and continues to do sterling work Based in Udaipur, India, staff were sent out to the location of the well as quickly as possible. Recalling the incident, one worker for the organization said
“We got a call to rescue a dog fighting for her life after falling in a deep well,” it wrote. “She may have been swimming for hours before a villager saw her and called our helpline.”
"It looked like she’d been struggling in the water, trying to stay alive, for hours,” Animal Aid Unlimited added in a separate statement on its website.
“She repeatedly grasped with claws we later found were bleeding, trying desperately to hold on to the only jagged piece of rock she could find.”
12. Joao Pereira and his best friend, Dindim
Joao Pereira de Souza had spent most of his life working as a fisherman in Rio de Janeiro when an unlikely encounter would change his life. Noticing a moving object covered in oil, Souza came to the aid of an injured penguin. If he arrived any later, it is likely he would have died.
In time, Souza spent hours of his time nursing the penguin back to health, and in that time, they struck up an incredible bond, so it was almost of great sadness when the fisherman realized Dindim was well enough to be released back into the wild. However, the adorable penguin has traveled back to Joao for at least 8 months a year, proving how special their bond is.
13. A Zookeeper Reunites With The Gorilla He Saved From Death
An extraordinary reunion involving an Australian zookeeper and a gorilla was caught on camera by Australia's 60 Minutes series 5 years after the gorilla was released back into the wild.
It was a beautiful sight, and one made more so by Kwibi's stunned reaction as his former friend and carer came rushing to greet him. Kwibi then spent the night with his human pal and also introduced Aspinall to his family.
14. Derrick Thompson's Magical Elephant
Derrick Thompson has been instrumental in founding and running the Save Elephant Foundation. In his time there, he has helped rescue countless baby elephants and nursed them back to life before releasing them back to their natural habitat. However, one such elephant, who he called Kham Lha, demonstrated just how caring elephants can be when she rushed across a lake and offered its trunk in a bid to "save" Derrick.
Though he appeared to be drowning, Derrick was just fine, but it was Lha's offer of her trunk to hold on to that truly melted Thompson's heart.
15. Brutus The Grizzly Bear
Meet Brutus, an 800 pounds grizzly bear that soon became Casey Anderson's best friend. Casey, a naturalist, was there for Brutus when he was just 2 weeks old after coming to its aid in an overpopulated wildlife park.
Today, Brutus is living a life far removed from the hardships it faced at birth in a sanctuary that Casey built for all things-grizzly bears. While it may be shocking to casual observers, Brutus and Casey's friendship is entirely safe with Casey being able to predict Brutus's every move.
16. Giving Shelter To Stray Cats
Shelter is an essential part og life, yet more often and not, we seem to forget this until the Xmas period at which point we all make some effort to help the homeless. Of course, humans aren't the only ones without a loving and caring home. Across the world, there are millions of stray cats and dogs, so it helps when strangers lend a help in hand.
Just like us, cats don't take kindly to being caught in the rain, so one compassionate individual parted with their umbrella so a cat could take shelter. We could learn a lot from this person.
17. The Huskies Who Came To Dinner
I challenge you to look at this photo and not be instantly lit up with happiness! How could you not smile at this? A group of huskies all waiting for their supper as one owner presides over their meals.
18. His Dog Couldn't Walk, So He Did The Next Best Thing
Be prepared for another tearjerking photo of goodness. This one comes in the form of an elderly man whose mobility was, as it often is in old age, fragile at best. Still, with his dog's legs all but gone, he decided the next best thing was to offer the dog daily walks by sitting on his wheelchair.
Love comes in many forms. but sacrifice is often the highest measure of it. Dogs, it appears, really are man's best friend.
19. The Lonesome Busker And Four Kitties
We're a sucker for cute things on this site, so we had to include this heart-warming photo of a down-on-his-luck busker trying his best to entertain a group of adorable kitties!
As we all know, animals are great at helping us overcome mental adversities. Hospitals have even been known to use animal therapy courses to help patients overcome certain disorders. Even colleges have done this to some extent by hiring puppies for students to interact and play with during stressful term times such as exam season. But having cute kittens cheer you on when no one else will? Now that's some heartwarming stuff!
20. Jessica The Hippo
Jessica, like many domesticated wild animals, was found injured by South Africans Tonie and Shirley Joubert, who soon nursed her back to health. However, while Jessica now roams the nearby river with her fellow species, she still sees her rescuers.
When she steps foot on dry land, she can expect to be greeted with a bottle of her favorite tea, share the porch with the family dog and eat dinner in the kitchen. Not a bad life.
21. The Snake That Wanted A Friend
When this 5-year-old's father found a 1.3 meter python in their bathroom for the second time in days, he intially thought of destroying it. However, on second thought he was compelled to keep it and give it to his son to play with. Mad, right? Well, this story gets even more bizarre.
Shortly after deciding to keep it, his son struck up a strong bond with the snake named Lucky. Now weighing more than 5 meters, this reptile could easily swallow its owner, but instead lives off a diet of duck meat and chicken. The besotted owner said Lucky is the sister he never had.
That's one way of putting it!
22. Jimbo The Bear
Jim and Jimbo's story was documented on a popular YouTube video of Jim nursing back Jimbo to life. But upon recovery, Jimbo exhibited few signs of wanting to return to his natural home, and insisted on staying put!
Today, Jim has expanded his animal goodness to other bears by opening up his very own rehabilitation center for bears just like Jimbo.
23. Janice's Bengal Tiger Sanctuary
Janice Hailey has become something of a saint in Orlando for her ability to nurse cub tigers back to health and give them a loving home. While in the confines of cages, Hailey spends hours of her day not only feeding them but also interacting with them and keeping them entertained.
Bengal tigers have been a mainstay fixture in Hailey's household for over 20 years. Her work is aided by her husband and daughter.
24. Gilberto and his crocodile
One fisherman on our list befriended a penguin, and another made an unlikely bond with a crocodile! Yes, Shedden, in a story similar to a Joao's, found a croc seriously injured on a riverbank so took great care of it, despite putting his own life at risk.
Naming the feared reptile Pocho, Gilberto released him into a river after nursing it back to health, but found him lurking at his veranda the very next day! From there, Pocho never left his rescuer's side.
25. A "Kissable" Bond
You may have already come across this fascinating story of one woman's unique bond with a group of lions in a South African reserve. If you haven't then you'll be shocked to know that Lazmi, a volunteer at the nature reserve, has bonded so well with these lions they treat her as one of their own.
Due to their strong bond, the lions treat her as an authoritative figure and acknowledges her as a constant dominating figure in their lives, so much so that she can get, as Animal Planet described it, " kissably close."
26. Bacon Slider
This cute little fellow is a piglet named Chris P. Bacon who was born without any back legs. Determined to make sure he got the most out of life, Chris' owner made him a set of wheels out K'Nex pieces and attached them with a harness so that the little porker could get around.
27. Saving Those In The Same Boat
A homeless hero from Brazil who picks up and treats stray dogs living on the streets. He lets them stay with him in his makeshift shelter and has amassed quite a legion of four-legged friends.
His compassion and kindness to his canine brothers have been well-documented in his homeland, most notably after he was rushed to the hospital. Waiting outside, refusing to leave were the dogs he helped save.
28. Cropper The Friendly Fox
As any Londoner will tell you, foxes are a pest in the British capital. They are to London what the Racoon is to New York. In any case, this man could not turn a blind eye when he saw this seriously ill fox on the street after it had been in a fight with a dog.
Nursing the animal back to health, the fox never wanted to return to the wild after his stint in the home and so has been named Cropper and now lives with this gentleman, Mike.
29. Floating Aid For A Fish
Einstein here has a problem with his swim bladder (the part of the fish that helps it float) which meant he kept turning on his side and then sinking to the bottom of his tank.
Seeing this, his owner looked into flotation devices and created one of his own that allows the fish to move its fins and float, so it has its movement back.
30. A Bear Walks Into A House...
If we were to tell you this story by a cozy fireplace, you'd think it was a tall tale that had been passed down over the years only to become something of folklore legend, but this story is 100% real, even if it is stranger than fiction. An ex-Marine accustomed to barroom brawls, Carl Wilson was never a man to shy away from a fight, even if it involved a fist fight with a bear.
Protecting his pet chihuahua Lacy from imminent death, Wilson came to its aid by punching the bear in its face, a story he hilariously recalled to CBS Sacramento: “The man or beast that I run from ain’t been born, and his mama’s already dead,” Carl Wilson exclaimed with Lacy back in the safety of his hands. His story was confirmed by a close friend and witness, who candidly described Carl as someone, " who is an ex-Force Recon marine" that has been in many "barroom brawls."
Only in America.