Ten years after surviving the devastating onslaught of Hurricane Katrina, Boots the dog is alive and well and still helping out hopeful kittens at the Arizona Humane Society (AHS).
Boots, a chow/shepherd mix who was rescued by AHS emergency animal medical technicians a decade ago, has been hard at work paying it forward for dozens of kittens through AHS's kitten nursery. The vivacious little pup was one of nearly 300 animals retrieved in New Orleans and brought back to Arizona for treatment. After making a full recovery, he was adopted by one of the volunteers who helped rescue him.
We previously reported on Boots's escapades in comforting these little guys and helping them acclimate to their new surroundings while also providing them with an important outlet for socialization. The Dodo is happy to say that on the eve of his anniversary of survival, he's still hard at work being a buddy for his feline friends.
"Boots is amazing!" AHS's public relations manager Bretta Nelson told The Dodo. "He puts on his kitten nanny vest and comes every Wednesday to volunteer in the Arizona Humane Society's kitten nursery."
The kitten nursery was created to fill a critical need in the social development of the kittens who come into the care of the shelter. Studies have shown that there's a brief period in the early weeks of a kitten's life where social interactions can determine how he'll act toward others the rest of his days.
Rain seeped into the cardboard box where she lay: alone, abandoned and on the brink of death.
When workers arrived at Animal Care Center in New York one dreary April morning in 2014, they found this box on the Manhattan sidewalk with a crying, nameless puppy inside. She was about 8 weeks old and in dire need of immediate medical attention. They called Second Chance Rescue (SCR), an NYC organization that responds to cases of severe abuse and neglect.
"She wasn't moving, but occasionally she'd let out a cute little breath," SCR volunteer Denise Diaz told the Dodo. Diaz borrowed her sister's car in order to race this young puppy to the animal emergency center. "She was in extreme pain and had the worst case of mange I've ever seen," said Diaz, also noting how the stench the dog's dying skin "lingered in my car for weeks. … I could smell it in my mouth and in my stomach."
Bumper-to-bumper traffic along the FDR Drive slowed the car down to snail's pace for 40 minutes. Whenever the car came to a stop, Diaz peeked into the cardboard box, hoping to see the puppy still breathing.
An incredibly wiggly pug was recently reunited with her owner after she was stolen and she just can't contain herself.
Lola went missing from her home after a potential home burglary. She was recovered during another police investigation.
Lola the pug was waiting patiently with police from the Essex Police Department in the U.K., when she heard her human, Kate Witham, call out to her.
Lola whips her head around and instantly goes careening toward Kate.
Nimby is a 10-month-old Jack Russell terrier mix who is missing his two front legs, but in no way is he missing his spirit and zest for life.
Nimby was recently given up by his family because, as they told the shelter, they couldn't handle him being different. The Fuzzy Pet Foundation, the rescue organization that took Nimby in, told The Dodo in a press release that Nimby was likely born this way, and has therefore had plenty of time to adapt to his two-legged way of life. Instead of moving around like a typical dog, Nimby channels another animal — a kangaroo.
Early last Friday, three horses were found on a private farm by field service officers with the Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC), a nonprofit organization that contracts with Washington County, Maryland to provide animal control services.
The officers were initially responding to a concerned citizen calling about the welfare of pet pigeons. But protocol demands that the officers investigate the conditions for the other animals on the property, as well.
What they found was this: three horses — two stallions and a miniature — confined to individual stalls.
They were emaciated. They had rotten teeth. Their hooves, which had never been properly cared for, were more than 3 feet long.
And they had been living like this for upwards of 15 years.
A couple strolling down the street in torrential rain suddenly stopped and took off their rain gear.
The couple stood by the dog, getting soaked as they kept the stranded dog dry.
Mickey the cougar could barely walk when rescuers found him.
Mickey had languished for years in a nightmarish backyard zoo in Alabama that was operating without a license — its USDA license was revoked in 2006. It had been discovered that the woman running the zoo, which was also serving as the local dog pound, was feeding domesticated dogs to her exotic cats. Big Cat Rescue was determined to save any animals it could from this horror story.
In 2014, Big Cat Rescue negotiated with the owner of the captive wild animals, and last August she finally surrendered Mickey to the Tampa-based rescue organization.
When Mickey was finally rescued, he was emaciated, his teeth were rotting and his legs were so debilitated from what specialists believed were torn ACLs that he could barely stand up. After further examinations, veterinarians determined that Mickey's knees were ravaged, with no ligaments or cartilage left at all.
"It had to be incredibly painful," Susan Bass, of Big Cat Rescue, told The Dodo, "but he's such a sweetheart, he never even let on that he was in pain."
And when the zoo was shut down in 1995 because of violations of the Animal Welfare Act, Fifi, Bruno, Pocahontas and Marsha were never allowed to leave their enclosures, not even for humiliating bicycle-riding for small crowds.
The orphaned puppies who show up at the doors of the Rocky Ridge Refuge all find themselves with a gentle, but unlikely, new mom: Cheesecake, a resident capybara, who adopts all the needy litters as they come through.
And she gives them the kind of love only a sweet, gigantic rodent can give.
The refuge, an Arkansas animal rescue, takes in lots of abandoned litters and pregnant dogs, which means there are always new puppies to care for.