5 animal stories that prove kindness goes a long way

Gray and white cat in a kennel
These good Samaritans, including one cat, pulled out all the stops to help when it was needed the most.
By Jennifer Hayes

Want to know what happened when a good Samaritan stopped to rescue a kitten (make that 13 kittens) or how a puppy went from being found alone on a gravel road to the good life? Keep on reading to get the scoop and for more good news. Random acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, go a long way.

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Kitten ambush
Photo courtesy of Robert Brantley

When Robert Brantley stopped to rescue a kitten beside a road in Louisiana, he was surprised to see another 12 kittens leaping out from the grass, running toward him. The scene was captured on video and shared on social media, where it went viral. Robert rescued them all, despite his exclamation to the contrary (“Oh my gosh, I can’t take y’all!”). Requests to adopt the kittens, as well as donations, poured in from around the country. The money will be used for the kittens’ medical needs, and any leftover funds will be donated to a local animal shelter.

Out of the darkness, into the light
Photo courtesy of Rick Haley 

The last thing some spelunkers in Perry County, Missouri, expected to find while deep in the Tom Moore Cave was a dog. The cave explorers, Rick Haley and Gerry Keene, placed Abby in a duffel bag (with her head sticking out) and carried her up the steep, 500-foot vertical climb to ground level. Then, along with the assistant fire chief, Robert Cahoon, they went door to door and found Abby’s people, who stated that the senior dog had been missing for two months.

Tender loving care for a dog

Nurses are known for their compassionate care, but some go above and beyond to comfort their patients. Kim Still, a nurse at Northside Hospital Gwinnett in Georgia, formed a strong connection with a terminally ill patient, who was worried about what would happen to her Chihuahua, Jax, after she was gone. Before passing, the patient was informed that Kim would adopt Jax from the shelter when the family surrendered him. Jax now serves as a loving reminder to Kim of why she became a nurse.

Special (puppy) delivery
Photo courtesy of Ruff Start Rescue

A young puppy became the smallest civil servant for a day when a mail carrier found him lying alone in the middle of a gravel road in South Dakota. She picked up the pup and set him next to her in a USPS priority box (which inspired his new name). She finished her route and then took him straight to the vet. Priority was severely dehydrated but otherwise healthy. A Best Friends Network Partner, Ruff Start Rescue, took him in, and today he’s happy and healthy in a new home.

Guard cat

Who says you need a guard dog to protect your home? Fred Everitt reports that his cat, Bandit, thwarted some would-be thieves in their Mississippi home. Several hours after going to bed, Fred heard Bandit start to yowl. He disregarded it, but then she jumped on the bed, frantically pawing at his arms. Realizing that something was wrong, Fred got up and saw two men outside the kitchen door, trying to break in. Four years earlier, he had adopted Bandit from Tupelo-Lee Humane Society thinking he was saving her life. Now she might have saved his.

This article was originally published in the January/February 2023 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.