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The Most Inspiring Animal Rescue Stories Of 2014 Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes

by Todd Briscoe
Todd is a LittleThings editor. He grew up in Texas and has lived in New York since 2003. He doesn't own a Boston terrier, but he will one day soon.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.9 million pets are placed into shelters ever year, but only 2.7 million of those are ever adopted. Only 35 percent of dogs and 37 percent of cats end up finding their forever homes. Rescue animals like these hilarious shelter dogs need your help.

I genuinely wish I could bring home every one of those hilarious pooches.

My childhood pet was a mutt I adopted from the local ASPCA and named Sirloin. In retrospect, I see that we gave him a terrible name, but he was far from “terrible” himself. For 12 years he gave my family unconditional love and comfort, and there’s no possible way we can completely show our gratitude.

Here at LittleThings.com, we love inspirational stories about animals being rescued. These 12 animal rescue stories sometimes made us smile, and sometimes they made us cry too. Some of them feature some shocking images, but all of them feature happy endings.

These stories are arranged in no special order, as all of these animals are equally adored.

Please SHARE these 12 beautiful stories with another animal lover today!

Bunny the Pit Bull

Bunny the Pit Bull

Bunny’s owners abandoned her on a remote stretch of land. When the rescue organization Hope for Paws found Bunny, she seemed scared and hungry. They took some drastic measures to get her to climb under a fence so they could rescue her.

Initially, her rescuers thought she might be some kind of “monster,” but click here for a video that proves just how wrong they were.

Landis the Pit Bull

Landis the Pit Bull

This pup’s former owners cruelly kept him in a cage much too small for his body as he was growing up. As a result, his legs and spine were severely deformed. His owners even cruelly called him “Gargoyle.”

Don’t get too sad. Fortunately, a wonderful shelter in NYC is helping to get Landis (as he’s now called) the proper treatments. You can read more about Landis’s amazing rescue right here.

Toothless the Shetland sheepdog

Toothless the Shetland sheepdog

Toothless wandered into a factory one day and approached worker Cody Leightenheimer. Poor Toothless was malnourished, deaf, covered in fleas, and had cataracts, ulcers and fistulas in his mouth.

Needless to say, this senior dog was in seriously bad shape.

Fortunately, this pup approached the perfect guy. How Cody helped change Toothless’ life is heart-breaking. You can read it here!

Bethany the Pit Bull

Bethany the Pit Bull

The first time I saw this video of Bethany, I couldn’t help but cry.

Bethany was found abandoned on the side of the street. She was missing patches of fur and her paws were so swollen from infection that it was painful for her to stand. Rescue organization Hope for Paws helped Bethany make a truly incredible transformation you have to see. 

Iris the Pit Bull

Iris the Pit Bull

Here’s another tear-jerker from Hope for Paws.

The organization received numerous calls about a homeless dog living in a bunch of bushes. She seemed to only come out at night for food and no one could get this dog to leave her nest.

You must watch this beautiful video that explains why Iris refused to leave her habitat in the bushes. She was staying there for one truly beautiful reason.

Daisy the French mastiff

Daisy the French mastiff

A volunteer rescuer named Kelly had worked for months to get gorgeous French mastiff Daisy to approach her. Daisy must have been badly abused because she avoided human contact for months.

One day that all changed when a simple hero stretched out his hand to her. What occurred after that moment is another beautiful rescue story you have to see.

Pepper the stray dog

Pepper the stray dog

Recently, a man walked into his backyard to see that a homeless stray had curled up in his backyard. She seemed weak and hungry, so he offered her some food. When she got up to get the food, the man was in for a big surprise, as you can see in this video.

Fortunately, this dog named Pepper now has a forever home.

Thorn the baby squirrel

Thorn the baby squirrel

A group of wildlife enthusiasts were called on what they thought was an unusual bird call. What they found was a poor, defenseless baby squirrel hanging from a tree. I know this image is shocking, but if you watch the video about Thorn’s rescue, you’ll know it has a happy ending!

These rescuers have huge hearts.

Arthur the extreme sports enthusiast

Arthur the extreme sports enthusiast

Mikael Lindnord was a member of a Swedish Extreme Sports Team. He saw a stray dog following them one day. He offered the dog a meatball and got the surprise of his life. 

The dog’s name is Arthur. Arthur went to incredible extremes to find his forever home including crossing a freezing river. His story will definitely inspire you.

Pig the short-spined mix

Pig the short-spined mix

Pig was born with a rare, genetic short-spine condition. So far, records report only eight dogs having this syndrome. Pig is notable for a variety of other things you have to read about. 

This rescue puppy has even inspired a whole new rescue service named after him.

Benny the horse

Benny the horse

I know this photo is shocking, but Benny’s story will leave you crying from happiness rather than sadness.

This poor creature was found nearly starved-to-death in the middle of a field, but The Last Stop Horse Rescue truly made some miracles happen for this beautiful horse.

Timber the Pit Bull

Timber the Pit Bull

Look at that gorgeous, smiling pittie! Timber’s gentle disposition proves that stereotypes about pit bulls being aggressive are just untrue.

Unfortunately, someone really abused poor Timber who was found abandoned on the side of the road with a gunshot wound in his head. You can read more about Timber’s miraculous recovery right here.

Please SHARE this incredible rescue stories with all of your friends!