With so much negativity in the news and social media, it’s easy to get sucked into feelings of hopelessness and apprehension. But there’s more good in the world than we think, and it’s important to look at and appreciate what’s going well.
Here are three heartwarming dog rescue stories to give you a boost of optimism and to remind you that the world isn’t such a bad place.
In August 2017, Memphis-based rescue Streetdog Foundation (SDF) received a report about a dog who had been abandoned behind a dumpster in South Memphis. When rescuers arrived at the scene, they found a scared Pit Bull mix who was in dire need of medical attention. He had bite marks all over his body, a gash on his face, an eye that was swollen shut, and possibly a broken tail. In addition to his physical injuries, rescuers could see that his spirit was broken. They believe that he had been used as a bait dog.
After nearly an hour of trying to gain his trust, rescuers were able to scoop him up and rush him to the emergency vet. They named him Liam, which means warrior.
Liam was treated overnight for puncture wounds, dehydration, and infection. He was then transferred to an animal hospital, where he continued his recovery and was visited by many SDF volunteers.
Because he had been abused, everything was scary for Liam, including going outside. But with the help of volunteers and his favorite orange puppy toy, he slowly gained confidence and strength. And despite everything he’s been through, he’s learned to trust people quickly. After about a week at the animal hospital, Liam smiled for the first time since being rescued.In 2018, about a year after his rescue, Liam was adopted by Leslie Owen and her family. They have another dog, Dalia, who was also saved by SDF, and she helped him come out of his shell. Liam now gets homemade dog food and new toys almost every day. See what this super spoiled pup is currently up to on his Instagram account, @memphis_loves_liam.
For over a year, a stray dog living on the streets of De Doorns has evaded capture. Every time rescuers from the Cape Town-based non-profit Sidewalk Specials tried to catch him, he would run away in fear. Crumb used to have a family, but when he got sick, he was abandoned and left to fend for himself. He was also mistreated as a stray, so he was understandably wary of humans.
In July 2020, the Sidewalk Specials team was finally able to nab Crumb with the help of a local resident. The quick-thinking man grabbed a plastic bottle from the ground and placed it on Crumb, causing him to freeze. Though he resisted at first, Crumb stopped fighting as soon as rescuers slipped a leash on him, and he was soon wagging his tail after being given some food.
Because he had been out on the streets for so long, Crumb had developed mange, TVT, tick bite fever, and ear infections. He also had damaged teeth from eating rocks, and four needed to be removed due to exposed nerves. Moreover, the mange had caused him to lose almost all his fur except for a strip down his spine, making him look like a hyena.
But despite his appearance and condition, Crumb is still a sweetheart on the inside. He didn’t make a fuss at the vet’s as he was being poked and prodded, and within a few days of staying with his foster parents, he had transformed into a different dog.
Crumb was adopted less than two months later and now lives the good life with his mom Linda and canine sister Willow.
One day in July 2020, the team at Philippine-based non-profit Dumaguete Animal Sanctuary (DAS) received a heartbreaking video from a concerned citizen. The video showed a street dog who was severely emaciated and suffering from mange—but even more distressing was the fact that the lower part of his right front leg had been hacked off.
Rescuers went looking for him a number of times but couldn’t find him. When they finally did locate him, he looked like he had given up and was just waiting to die. At the DAS clinic, rescuers discovered that Matty also had holes in his body caused by people throwing stones at him. His stump was rotting as well, but amputation would have to wait as he was too frail for surgery.
Over the next two weeks, the team at DAS focused on helping Matty gain enough strength for his surgery. The 3-hour operation was a success, and Matty made it through the next 24 hours. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing. Matty’s personality bloomed, his fur grew back, and he got used to getting around with three legs. He had no difficulty loving and trusting people again despite all the abuse he’d endured.
Seven weeks after his rescue, Matty was adopted and went to live with his mom Blake on a neighboring island. They recently visited the shelter and had a mini reunion with a few other DAS dogs.