As animal lovers, we know how uncertain life can be for injured, disabled and abandoned pets. As animal rescuers, we also know that every animal deserves a chance at life — even the ones that need a bit more TLC.
Penny, Schoep and Sierra are three animals whose lives were saved by dedicated pet heroes. Read their amazing stories.
Dumped in a carpark at 9 weeks old, this tiny Dachshund/Jack Russell Terrier mix had serious problems with her lower back and hind legs. The shelter didn’t even put her up for adoption because they assumed no one would want her. But two benevolent owners took Penny home the next day and paid for a full vet exam. Her prognosis was not good: an MRI showed multiple neurological disorders and serious coordination problems. No one would have faulted them for returning her to the shelter, but her owners did no such thing. They vowed to give Penny the greatest life they could, and they’ve been doing so ever since.
John Unger rescued Schoep from an abusive situation and taught him to love and trust once more. The years passed and their friendship deepened. When Schoep become frail with arthritis, John would take him into the cool waters of Lake Superior to remove the weight from the dog’s aching joints. Schoep would lean into John to rest, and it was during one of those intimate moments that a photographer snapped the photo above that went viral. Fans donated to help give Schoep the most modern treatment, and he lived for one more year — one perfect year — with John.
On New Year’s Eve 2014, Sierra Nevada was hit by a car and taken to an Arizona animal shelter. Her leg needed to be amputated, but the shelter didn’t have the resources to perform the surgery. Thanks to sponsorship from GreaterGood.org, a local rescue group stepped in to save Sierra. Her surgery put a heavy financial burden on the rescue group, but generous readers like you rallied and Sierra made a full recovery! Not long after, she was adopted and welcomed into a new, loving family.