5 sweet animal stories for the new year

Gray tabby cat lying on a leopard print blanket in front of an orange wall
Get 2023 off to an uplifting and inspiring start with these stories about people doing amazing things for animals.
By Liz Finch

A 100-years-young woman in San Francisco who adopted an 11-year-old Chihuahua. A shelter staff in Cincinnati who celebrated a dog’s antics on social media until he found a home where he can be his silly self. And a woman in Hawaii who adopted a blind cat after already having two sight-impaired cats at home.

Here are five stories about people showing kindness to animals across the country.

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Bringing up babies (puppies, that is)

Four-week-old Louee and Oliver came to the Humane Society of Yuma, Arizona, having already experienced a lot of trauma, including losing their mom in an accident. Enter a surrogate mom dog named Annie, who let them pile up and sleep with her (although sometimes she had to remind Louee to stop goofing around during naptime). Once they were healthy and old enough to be adopted, the woman who had nursed them back to health with the help of her dog, Annie, decided she couldn’t break up the family. So they stayed put.

“I sits even if I don’t fits”

Austin Animal Center staff and volunteers lovingly refer to Centaur as a “certified weirdo.” The reason? They found out one hot day that he loves to get into a bucket, even though he clearly doesn’t fit. They offered Centaur a dog-sized pool to cool off, but he preferred the bucket. It’s no surprise that he was adopted by someone who was charmed by his weirdness — and his bucket went home with him, of course.

Party time for an awesome dog

While he waited for a home, Damon found some ways to make his stay at Cincinnati Animal CARE more fun. That included throwing parties, as staff found out when they left him alone in an office. A shelter staff member says, “He pulled out every toy. I believe the official number he destroyed was all of them.” Staff posted a funny photo of the mess on social media, and guess who saw it: Damon’s family, who quickly claimed their long-lost wild child.

You’re never too old for love

Johanna Carrington has loved numerous dogs during her 100 years on this planet; she and her late husband once had eight Pekingese. Recently, she was ready for a new canine companion, but her daughter worried that a shelter might not adopt to someone of Johanna’s age. Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco had no such qualms, matching Johanna with an 11-year-old Chihuahua named Gucci. Johanna’s caregiver takes Gucci on walks and helps with his care. “He came in like he’d been here before,” Johanna says. “He was just our baby right away.”

Seeing the need to help a blind cat

Sally May arrived at Kauai Humane Society in Hawaii with such a severe eye condition that the vets decided to remove both of her eyes. It didn’t bother Sally May one bit; she “made biscuits” and was playing and snuggling with everyone soon after she woke up from surgery. When a woman named Margaret heard about Sally May, she knew she had to adopt her. After all, she already had two blind cats at home.

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.