The 12 Best Pet Rescue Stories of 2022


man rescuing a dog from a 100 foot cliff

man rescuing a dog from a 100 foot cliff

Courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

Every day, thousands of people step in to care for our furry and feathered companions, whether through work, volunteering, or simply being in the right place at the most crucial time. These caring souls are doing everything they can to ensure their well-being, from rescuing over 300 dogs from an alleged dogfighting operation to providing shelter for elderly and medically compromised cats.

We love spreading the word about their continued advocacy and quick heroic actions during a crisis. While this article won’t come close to fully thanking them for their unwavering dedication, we still want to express our gratitude by highlighting some of our favorite rescue stories, in no particular order, from 2022.

1. Thousands of Beagles need a better life

The exceptional release of more than 4,000 beagles from a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company breeding facility has mobilized shelters and rescues across the United States and made headlines around the world. Due to numerous federal animal welfare violations seen at the facility, these precious puppies were part of “one of the largest coordinated dog rescue efforts ever” and hundreds at a time went to various organizations partner with the Humane Society to receive crucial medical care, socialization, and adoption.

AFTER: What you need to know about the 4,000 beagles rescued from a Virginia breeding facility

2. Seattle cat trapped in storm drain rescued from freezing water

Rafa, a Siberian mix, snuck out and slipped 45 feet down a drain pipe. Stuck up to his neck in freezing water, meowing for help, his owners couldn’t save him on their own, so an entire village rallied to help him, including firefighters, service personnel Seattle public, Roto-Rooter employees and neighbors. After a week in intensive care, Rafa returned home and recommitted himself to being a safe indoor cat.

AFTER: Cat Stuck 45 Feet Deep in Frozen Drain Pipe Wins Bizarre Insurance Claim Award

3. After 3 years in a shelter, Sweet Cami the Pit Bull Mix finds his forever home.

Shelter staff who care for dogs long term are simply the best. So no one was more thrilled and teary-eyed than the folks at the Saint Francis Animal Center in Georgetown, South Carolina, when Cami, an adorable pit bull mix that is normally shy and reserved for new people, rolled over on her back for a belly massage from Addie Nelson. , who of course couldn’t resist adopting her on the spot and offering her a home of unconditional love.

AFTER: Adorable South Carolina dog finally adopted after spending more than 3 years in shelter

4. This guy!

man saving cat from hurricane

man saving cat from hurricane

Courtesy of Megan Cruz Scavo/Twitter

As the wrath of Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida’s Gulf Coast, Mike Ross braved high winds and rain to rescue this needy cat from the deluge. Ross and his girlfriend, who shot a video of his featkept the cat as their own and named him Ian.

AFTER: Watch this brave Floridian save a ‘terrified’ cat from Hurricane Ian’s floodwaters

5. Puppy mill survivor Lolly feeds other traumatized dogs

The conditions in puppy mills are abhorrent and the animals suffer so much. Still, Lolly, a poodle mix and one of 500 dogs rescued from a puppy mill in Iowa, responded valiantly to the professionals who fought to save her. Through dedicated care, she cured multiple health issues and behavioral issues. Now she is a service dog at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center.

AFTER: After being rescued from a dirty puppy mill, Lolly the poodle mix helps dogs recover from fear and trauma

6. Passers-by call for soldiers to rescue an abandoned kitten from a bridge.

Washed up on the Huey Long Bridge 153 feet above the Mississippi River was a little kitten that the Louisiana State Police couldn’t bear to leave behind. After veterinary treatment for some injuries, Mrs. Bridget, as she is now known, is the new furbaby of Trooper Eric Alsup, Jr.

AFTER: Louisiana State Troopers Rescue Kitten From Sky-high Bridge, Then Give Her A Forever Home

7. Firefighters rescue puppies from a charred building

puppies rescued from fire by Colleton County firefighters

puppies rescued from fire by Colleton County firefighters

Courtesy of Colleton County Fire-Rescue

After the Colleton County Fire Rescue Team of Jacksonboro, South Carolina extinguished a large structure fire, members heard groaning from under the rubble. They found not one, not two, but eight puppies covered in soot. After some TLC from county animal services, all of the puppies were adopted.

AFTER: How South Carolina firefighters rescued 8 puppies from a burning building

8. A Happy Ending to a Labradoodle’s Ice Dive

Normally a quick, cool splash can be quite refreshing, but darling Lucy the Labradoodle got more than she bargained for in the sub-zero temperatures of a Michigan lake. Wyandotte police and firefighters coordinated the rescue, which included a fearless soul stepping into the wintry water herself to pull her out of the ice, back to dry land and reunite with her family in less than an hour. .

AFTER: Watch rescuers pull a shivering Labradoodle out of the ice floating in the Detroit River

9. Fat Cat (No really, that’s his name) returns to Earth

More than 9 million TikTok viewers couldn’t get enough of watching Duane Hook coax poor Fat Cat from the member he’d been stuck on for four days. Hook volunteers to help stranded kittens all over Ohio get out of tough places.

AFTER: Watch This Rescuer Climb To Save ‘Fat Cat,’ Who Was Stuck 45 Feet Above The Ground

10. More firefighters saving dogs: 53 this time!

Lake County Fire & Rescue first responders couldn’t believe what they found when a plane crashed into a golf course in Pewaukee, Wisconsin – three people and 53 rescue dogs in need of immediate assistance. Luckily, firefighters and paramedics were able to keep each creature safe and even adopted some of the puppies!

AFTER: Firefighters Adopt Puppies They Rescued From Wisconsin Plane Crash

11. Animal control officer frees shelter cats trapped in steel cages during fire

While conducting night patrols, animal control officer Jesus Aranda of Laredo, Texas discovered one of the town’s shelters on fire. Without waiting for firefighters, he rushed through the smoke and flames to find 45 terrified cats in their cages and led them outside to safety.

AFTER: Animal control officer braves smoke-filled shelter to save 45 cats from fire

12. Heartbreaking Rescue of a Deaf Australian Shepherd

man rescuing a dog from a 100 foot cliff

man rescuing a dog from a 100 foot cliff

Courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

While his family was putting up a fence on their property, Hobo the Australian Shepherd lost his footing and slipped down a 100ft ravine. Members of the San Diego Humane Society emergency rescue team had to rappel down the steep slope to bring him home. Phew.

AFTER: Rescuers Recall 100 Feet Down Ravine To Save Deaf Australian Shepherd