Amazing Animal Rescues You Won’t Believe

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Awesome Animals

From missing dogs who brought the whole town out to look for them to koalas saved by a canine, plenty of lucky animals have been rescued from daunting conditions and difficult scenarios. Read on for stories of creatures who got their happily-ever-afters, including a bull elk who just recently got some relief after walking around with a tire around his neck for over two years. 


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Alert Bull Elk

Elk Loses His Spare Tire

A bull elk in Colorado has been carrying around a spare tire for over two years, but unlike pandemic pounds, all the weight has been around his neck. First spotted in 2019, the elk has been elusive, though he's shown up on trail cameras occasionally. Recently, thanks to a community tipster, wildlife officials were finally able to find and tranquilize the 600-pound animal. His skin was in good condition, but officials had to remove his antlers to get the tire off. All in all, he lost an estimated 35 pounds during his nap.

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Cat Holding the Rope

Cat Saved From Stadium Balcony Drop

Forget the football — it was all about catching a cat at a recent Miami Hurricanes game. When a cat somehow sneaked into the stadium and got tangled in the upper deck facade, fans stopped watching the game and focused on a rescue plan. When the distressed kitty tumbled to the lower deck, quick-thinking fans used an American flag to break its fall. The lucky cat, held up for the crowd to roar its appreciation, appeared to be unharmed.

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Simon the Shih Tzu Before and After
KC Pet Project

Dog Rescued From 7 Pounds of Matted Fur

A stray Shih Tzu in Kansas City, Missouri, needed more than a makeover. KC Pet Project was unsure if the dog, covered in matted fur, was even, well, a dog. When the dog was given a shave, it turned out he had seven pounds of matted fur covering his body. Underneath, the little dog was skinny, covered in fleas, and in need of dental surgery, but otherwise in good shape.

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A Golden Doodle dog plays
Bruce Bennett / Staff / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images North America / Getty Images CC

Pup on Thin Ice for Days

A scruffy young dog was making a fast recovery after spending four days stuck on ice in the Detroit River. The sweet stray was found floating on a small piece of river ice and eventually reached via airboat. Despite frostbitten paws, dehydration and even a prowling coyote, the pup escaped near death. His rescuers think his overgrown coat is what insulated him enough to save him.


Owner Rescues Puppy From Alligator's Jaws

A 3-month-old King Charles Cavalier puppy in Florida was the subject of a dramatic rescue when his owner saved him from the clutches of an alligator. The pup was walking by a pond when the alligator bolted out and snatched the pup from his retiree owner’s gaze. The owner acted fast and jumped in the water, wrestling the alligator and prying its mouth open to release the puppy. Both owner and pup emerged unscathed from the insane encounter.


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Labrador Retriever

Lab on the Lam for Over a Month

In November 2020, Lexi, an 11-year-old Labrador retriever in Fairfield, Connecticut, was visiting a farm with her owner when she got spooked and ran off into the woods. What followed was an adventure worthy of “The Incredible Journey.” For a month and a half, Lexi evaded hundreds of volunteers, all of them desperate to save the pup from frigid conditions and dangerously low temperatures. Periodically, Lexi would be caught on Ring doorbell videos, leading to frantic attempts by her owner and volunteers to catch her. Finally, after 42 days Lexi was caught when she went into a humane rescue trap to snag some chicken. When her owner came to get her, she remembered her right away, and today is safely at home with her family, eating and sleeping to her heart's content.


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Backpack Full of Kittens Nearly Recycled

A backpack with crying sounds made its way onto a recycling conveyor belt in Westampton, New Jersey, right before Christmas in 2020. Luckily employees noticed, dashing to the rescue of three kittens stuck inside it. Amazingly, the kittens had survived being dumped with cans and bottles into a recycling truck and then dumped again into the center. All of the kittens received a clean bill of health and were adopted in time for the holidays.


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Cheeseburger Helps Rescue Trapped Dog

In South Carolina, a stray dog was spotted with her paw stuck in an illegal coyote trap. A number of local rescues tried to save the dog, but weren’t able to capture her due to her fear of humans. Thanks to a cheeseburger, a soccer net, and a team of patient volunteers, the pup was finally rescued. Today, the dog is now named Hermione and is living happily and healthily ever after with her new family.

seal pup

Seal Pup Stranded Among Treadmills

Employees in Wales were surprised when they came across a seal pup stuck amongst the treadmills in a gym equipment warehouse. It’s thought the seal came from the River Loughor and found his way inside. The workers were able to get him back into the river, but two days later the seal pup had to be rescued again when he was found stuck in a ditch filled with oily water. Animal rescue volunteers were able to save the pup in time and he is now in a rehabilitation center for wildlife.

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Donkeys Rescued With Cupcakes

During the 2018 Paradise wildfires in California, numerous animals were rescued from terrifying conditions. A pair of donkeys were found by firefighters running down the road away from flames. The firefighters were able to lure the donkeys to safety by offering them a treat of cupcakes, which the cute duo simply couldn’t refuse.


Cute Cat
Ingus Kruklitis/istockphoto

Kitten Found Stuck to the Road

There’s a reason they say cats have nine lives. A driver noticed what he thought was a black box in the middle of the road, but when he got closer, discovered it was a kitten with glue on its paws who had been stuck to the road. The driver took the kitten home, cleaned her off, and named her Sticky, giving her a new chance at life and a happy home.


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Dozens Of Stranded Dolphins Rescued

In early August 2020, animal rescuers responded to a call of at least 30 stranded dolphins off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. When trained volunteers arrived, there were 43 live dolphins stuck in the mud, desperately struggling with heat stroke and shock. With one volunteer for every seven dolphins, the team worked as fast as they could against the tide to keep the animals breathing as they heralded them into deeper waters, while simultaneously making sure the animals in more serious peril received immediate veterinary care. In the end, 39 of the dolphins were able to be saved and re-released into the oceans, for a second chance at life.


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Iuliia Zavalishina/istockphoto

'Escape Artist' Pup Finally Finds a Home

In October 2020, a shaggy puppy was proving to be quite the escape artist as residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico, spent months posting sightings of the small dog wandering around without anybody being able to catch him. After spending his entire 10 months of life on the streets, the pup was finally caught via a trap and was subsequently groomed of nearly five pounds of matted fur. Now appropriately named Dash, the pup is adjusting to a life of leisure and is preparing for adoption.


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Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Canine Koala Sniffer Helps Save Lives

It is estimated that the 2019-20 Australian bushfires destroyed nearly 80 percent of koalas’ habitat, causing koalas to hover on the brink of extinction. That’s why it was so important to bring in specially-trained koala-sniffing dogs to find sick and injured koalas hidden amongst burnt habitats. Bear, an Australian Koolie Dog, was one such dog taught to sniff out living koalas, and along with the help of his handler and a koala spotter, rescue them. From November 2019 to April 2020, Bear found more than 100 injured, sick, dehydrated, or starving koalas, helping to save their lives.


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Stranded Goat Rescued From Towering Ledge

Rescuers in a small town in England recently saved a goat that was stuck on a ledge over 150 feet up in pouring rain. The goat had been stuck there for two days and was exhausted and too scared to move. With the help of a firehose, rescuers sprayed water near the goat to encourage him to move, and eventually were able to coax him off the ledge to safety.


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Canine Caught in a Canal

Volunteers from the rescue Hope For Paws in Los Angeles received a call about a small dog with a severely injured leg. Witnesses saw the dog thrown 30 feet into a canal, where he lay whimpering for help. The rescue team was able to climb down a long ladder to rescue the pup and get him to the emergency vet in time. Today, the dog is now named Jordan and has a happy life with human and canine siblings.


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Pup and Family Reunited After Years

A pup named Runt wandered off his family’s farm, and no one knew where he went. It turns out he only went 10 miles down the road, where he was fed by people in the neighborhood for years. The dog ended up in a shelter, where he was named Roscoe. After his story was posted on Facebook, his original family happened to see it. They were elated to reunite three years after the dog’s disappearance.


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Injured Porcupine Rescued and Reunited With Mate

A good Samaritan came across an injured porcupine with burns on its face due to wildfires over Labor Day weekend 2020 in Washington. The porcupine was missing quills, appeared weak, and was behaving as if blind. The do-gooder decided to take in the porcupine, who she named Porky, and nurse it back to health. When the animal was ready to be re-released into the wild, the porcupine immediately found its mate and friends in the trees, resulting in a porcupine party filled with plenty of excited teeth chattering and glee.


Lucky Leopard Saved From Deep Well

A farmer in a small village in India received a surprise when he looked down into a well and saw a pair of eyes looking up at him, which belonged to a terrified leopard. The animal had fallen into a 30-foot deep well and was trapped in waist-deep water. A team of wildlife rescuers from a leopard rescue center were able to save the animal by lowering a ladder into the well for the leopard to climb onto for support. She then entered a trap cage, which allowed rescuers to pull her to safety.


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Celeb Saves Abandoned Donkey and Emu

A donkey and emu were found abandoned by their owner in South Carolina and it became clear that wherever the duo ended up for their new home, it would have to be together. Both animals became immediately stressed and anxious whenever they were away from each other. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan saw the sweet set’s story and offered them a new home at his farm in New York state. He named them Jack and Diane and they now live happily ever after.


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Goats Help Protect Presidential Library

In this twist, animals helped humans by having a good meal. Five hundred goats were released in May 2020 to chow down on flammable scrub surrounding the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, as a preventative measure to slow the flames and give firefighters more time to do their job, saving the building from flames.


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