5 faith-restoring animal stories

Tortoiseshell cat lying on a pillow
Need a positivity pick-me-up? Look no further because these positively uplifting animal stories will surely brighten your day.
By Jennifer Hayes

A roadside intervention to help an injured puppy leads to an adoption. A racquet club sends a senior, ailing dog tennis balls galore. A kitten is rescued from a vending machine. It might be hard to believe, but uplifting animal stories just like these happen every day, and that’s something to feel good about.

Here are five stories about cats, dogs and the people who stepped up to make their lives a whole lot better.

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1. Puppy love
Photo by Demarkus Jones

Multiple witnesses saw a little puppy get hit by a car on a road in Atlanta, Georgia, but only one person stopped to help. Musician Kelechief immediately pulled over, dodged traffic to reach the critically injured dog and made sure the puppy received medical care. It ended up being a love connection, because while Dolph was recovering, Kelechief adopted him.

2. Dog is having a ball (make that lots of balls)
Photo by Jenny Leech

When Huxley, a senior dog with three legs, was rescued by BAARK Dog Rescue in Illinois, Jenny Leech fell in love and welcomed him as a foster pet. Sadly, a trip to the vet revealed that he had lung cancer, so Jenny vowed to make the time he had left as wonderful as possible. When she discovered that tennis balls brought out his inner puppy, she asked the local racquet club for some donations. The club members went above and beyond by gathering lots of balls for him to play with. Huxley was overjoyed when he realized that he had hit the tennis ball jackpot.

3. Another day in paradise for cats
Photo courtesy of Gregory Brandt

“Ohana” is Hawaiian for “family” and that’s how Gregory Brandt feels about caring for community cats. Earlier in his life, he didn’t have a home, and two cats became his best friends. Now he’s paying it forward, waking up before sunrise every day in Honolulu to feed nearly 100 felines. But his advocacy doesn’t end there. He helped stop a bill that would have allowed the culling of feral cats on multiple islands in Hawaii.

4. Better with (a kitten named) Pepsi
Photo courtesy of the City of Morristown, Tennessee

Lindsey Russell, a Walmart employee in Tennessee, got quite a surprise when she went to get something to drink from the vending machine at lunch. She heard a meow coming from the machine. She and some co-workers to try to extricate the wayward kitten, but they were unsuccessful. Next, she called the Morristown Fire Department. The firefighters also had a tough time, but eventually they rescued the fluffy kitten, who Lindsey adopted and named Pepsi.

5. A yelp for help
Photo by Natalie Golay of Rescue Ranch

While photojournalist Jonathan Rivas was shooting video of rubble from the McKinney fire near the California-Oregon border, he heard a yelp. Unsure of where the noise was coming from, he began searching and that’s when a soot-covered puppy with singed whiskers ran up to him. After giving the pup a much-needed drink of water, Jonathan brought the lucky dog to Rescue Ranch, a Best Friends Network Partner organization in Yreka, where Patches was reunited with his grateful person.

This article was originally published in the November/December 2022 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.