We asked our readers to share before and after pictures of their rescues so we could feature the long way these pups have come and the humans who gave them their furever homes. These stories will make you feel some serious feelings so proceed forward with a trusty hanky or kleenex box.
1. Nook Nook
“My baby Dogo Argentine, Nook Nook. He is 100% deaf so was unworthy to use for breeding or fighting in California. He was in the pound and had two days to live. My favorite rescue in Colorado, Peanuts Pit Bull Rescue, saved him. He lived there for about 6 months when I came out to volunteer. I fell in love instantly and even more so, loved his deafness. He now knows a full set of sign commands and is our big lap dog. Who says money can’t buy love, when all you have to do is pay an adoption fee for something so wonderful?” — Ariel Nichole Dehart
Image via Ariel Nichole Dehart
“This is my baby Phoenix! I chose that name for a reason…he was owner surrendered to a shelter when he was only 11 weeks old in Tennessee and had 3 days to find a home or he would be euthanized. I couldn’t get his sweet little face out of my head and I knew I had to save him! With the help of (we believe) his brothers’ mom Lisa Ciotti, we adopted him and he made his way up to PA. He had a bad case of demodex mange with a bacterial infection on top of that, but it wasn’t anything that some love and medicine couldn’t fix! He’ll be a year old at the end of March and is healthy and demodex free! He’s spoiled rotten and loves us unconditionally. We can’t wait to rescue a sibling for him this summer!” — Danielle Baldwin
Image via Danielle Baldwin
“This is Chad’s story: He and his mate, Clarisse, were abandoned at their house by their family. It wasn’t just the two of them, though. There were bigger dogs and, in the fight for survival and to protect Clarisse, Chad was badly bitten by one of the other dogs and it quickly became infected. Luckily, a neighbor was aware of their situation and called animal control. While that call is not always a good one for most dogs, it was Chad’s saving grace.
People from the Georgia Jack Russell Adoption tag-teamed to save them from the shelter. Chad’s infection was easily treated, but Clarisse’s heartworms were too severe. She did not survive the treatments and left us all heartbroken, including Chad. Exactly one year ago our family decided to take him home with us to foster him and help him overcome his fears. Through all his former experiences he had developed a phobia of men and a big fear of strangers. He is still shy around strange men but has come a long way. In this past year he taught us the most. First how to handle a very fearful dog in different situations, but also how loving, giving and thankful a rescue dog is. And last but not least, that sometimes you have to give up fostering and admit, this living being is a part of you now and you will never be able to give him away, no matter how awesome another family could be. Thank you Chad for this amazing year full of laughter and fun, kisses and cuddles and most of all endless love. Happy Rescueversary!” — Isis Maria
Image via Isis Maria
“This is Riley! We adopted her last summer. She was rescued from an animal control facility in Georgia, and had mange at only a few months old (see before photo). We came across her profile on her rescue group’s page, and knew she felt like a good fit. She was brought up to CT in August, and as soon as she came out of the truck to meet us, she started rolling around for belly rubs and gave kisses. She’s adjusted to her new home very well, and loves playing in the snow! As you can see from her “After” photo, she’s grown into a happy pup, and we couldn’t love her more!” — Jacki Loomis
Image via Jacki Loomis
“This is Waldo, formerly known as Diego. I had signed up to volunteer at a local Petsmart, but the event ended up being cancelled. I asked where the nearest animal shelter was so I could see about volunteering there instead. I didn’t go there looking for a dog, but Waldo found me. A volunteer asked, “Have you seen Diego?” And from that first sloppy kiss on my cheek, he was my new BFF.” — Jenn Mill
Image via Jenn Mill