Duke – The Good And The Bad

This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Submit your own rescue story here. Your story just might be the next to be featured on our blog!

Duke was a neighbor’s dog when I first met him. I fell in love with this boy the moment I met him. He and his mother visited regularly and played with our horses.


One day, I was lounging in the house when I heard loud gunfire. I ran outside just in time to see my neighbors cart off Duke’s mom on the back of their flatbed truck.

After that, Duke spent almost every hour at our home. Curiosity drove me to ask my neighbor’s what his name was but all they told me was they simply called him Dog. A couple of months after that, they simply stopped feeding Duke. I started to feed him because I wasn’t going to let this baby starve.

When it came time for our neighbors to move, I asked them if I could take Duke off of their hands since it was clear they didn’t want anything to do with him. The son said yes, but the day after I asked, Duke was gone and so were they.

I contacted the son and asked if he had changed his mind and decided to take the dog with him and he grew defensive and put all the blame on me and threatened me. After explaining to him I didn’t have Duke, he hung on me calling me a liar.


In an effort to find this baby, I posted Missing Pet signs all over the local vets office within a 25 mile radius.

5 months passed before I got a phone call from the UPS man that delivered in our neighborhood. He said he saw a dog matching the description of Duke in a nearby field and he looked pretty bad. I thanked the man, hung up and drove straight to where he said he saw the dog. It was Duke. Malnourished and severely afraid of everything. However, one look at me and after hearing my voice he perked up and ran straight into my arms.

Now Duke is healthy and happy and has three other dogs and three cats to play with.

Story submitted by Amy A. of Foyil, OK.

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He Wasn’t Supposed To Be Mine

I saw his photo on a Facebook page for a kill shelter in North Carolina. His tilted head and flopped-over ears just grabbed me. In the shelter they called him Gyro. He had a brother at the shelter that got adopted but he was alone.

I knew that litters of puppies would be sent to rescue groups in the Northeast, but single pups got looked over. Working with a rescue group, I partnered with them to take financial responsibility for him and I was to foster him when he arrived in Massachusetts.

Gyro/Oskar. Photo: Karin Wilmarth

Two days after he left the shelter (and the name Gyro), I was informed by the vet he was sent to that the shelter had to close due to possible distemper. Now I got scared. I had taken financial responsibility for a dog that I might never meet, who could get distemper. I was calling the vet daily to check on my Oskar. And luckily, he stayed healthy.

After a four week stay at the vet, he got his traveling papers to take the trip North. I was still considering just fostering him since I already had a dog and I didn’t know how Dexter would feel about a brother… especially one that is double his size.

On April 4, 2012, Dexter, my son and I drove to the place where Oskar was staying after his trip North. Since it was a neutral location, I thought it would be a great place to see how the dogs would get along. And they took to each other like they were forever friends.

Photo: Pixabay

Looking back to that day 8 years ago, when I saw Oskar’s photo that Facebook page, I realized now that his eyes were telling me that he needed to be a part of my life, my family, my world.

I never regret the money, worry, and scared feelings that I went thru after pulling him from that shelter. To think now that this beautiful, loving dog could have died at that North Carolina shelter just hurts my heart. And to still know that thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters because animals are not spayed or neutered just makes me cry.

Story submitted by Karin Wilmarth, from Georgetown, MA.

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My Best Friend

In July of 2020, I worked for the SPCA. I had seen hundreds of dogs come through our doors but had never committed to taking any home. I fostered this little 8 to 9-month-old puppy who had a major heart defect and was not thriving at the shelter.

He was emaciated, only weighing about 4 pounds, and he had a chopped hair coat due to being severely matted and then shaved. He had transferred from another shelter where he had been brought in as a stray, I have no idea how he was able to survive that long on the streets. He looked pitiful, and I knew he had to come home with me.

Photo: Lynn

We ended up raising enough money to allow for him to have the surgery he needed. Two unsuccessful attempts to fix his PDA resulted in me adopting him through our “Pawspice program,” knowing that he was ultimately going to live a short life. I had gotten him up to almost 6 pounds at this time, and he was living a very loved life.

A few months after adopting him, his cardiologist suggested we try surgery one more time at a different hospital. If successful, his prognosis was great, and we should be able to see him live a relatively normal little dog life. No question, we had to do it!

Photo: Pixabay

We traveled from California to Colorado where we spent a week, and one last attempt was made to fix his broken heart. Third time was a charm! They were able to fix the main problem, and he was able to come home and not have to take any more heart medications. This was only two weeks ago, and you would never know to look at him that he has been through so much in his short little life.

We find out in about three more weeks if everything is healing as planned, so we are praying for the best. He is the greatest dog, and we have become inseparable. He came to me during a very rough time and helped me to get out of my funk. I am truly blessed that I have been able to help him just as much.

Story submitted by Lynn, from Antelope, CA.

These rescue stories were originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!

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