Bringing joy through random acts of kindness to animals

Black and white dog on a leash with a person whose hand is on his back
People who show kindness to cats and dogs (and geese and octopuses, too) are all around us. These stories are proof.
By Mary Daly

From a community who came together for a dog who helps lost pets find their families, to a beachgoer’s efforts to save a stranded octopus, a cemetery manager who penned a personal ad for a goose, there are people, everywhere, who have opened their hearts for animals. Chances are, you don’t have to look far in your community to find people who have done the same.

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Going above and beyond

There are five kittens who have a lifetime of meows and pounces ahead of them, thanks to the Moritz family. The Moritzes spotted the very young kittens near their family business in Colorado and didn’t see a mama cat coming to care for the babies. The kittens looked hungry and stressed, so the family decided to take them home and care for them until they were old enough to be adopted. That included around-the-clock feedings and, after a vet diagnosis, treatment for ringworm. Soon, the kittens were healthy, playful and sociable. The Moritzes’ veterinarian adopted two, and a family friend adopted another. As for the last two? They were home with the Moritzes all along.

When love blossoms

Blossom the goose knows about love and loss. After all, she lives on a pond in an Iowa cemetery. When her mate, Bud, passed away, she seemed very lonely. The cemetery’s manager had an idea: She posted a personal ad for Blossom, hoping the goose could find love again. The ad may have seemed like a wild goose chase, but it actually worked! Frankie the goose had also just lost his mate, so his people set up a date between Blossom and Frankie, and — goose bumps — the pair fell madly in love. Today, they’re living happily together at Blossom’s pond.

A dog is home again

In Texas, a day out at a pond turned into a pet rescue effort for two brothers. The boys spotted a tiny dog in the bushes around the pond and brought their mom over to see. With her approval, one of the boys waded into the water to get to the dog and then used his mom’s sweater to wrap up the pup and carry her to safety. The family took her home, fed her and got her cleaned up. Then, they searched online for missing pets and were able to reunite the 19-year-old pup with her family that very same day.

Giving back to Plato

For years, Plato the pup has been a beacon of hope and service to his community. After his person, Michael Fradin, noticed Plato’s natural talent for tracking (through games of hide-and-seek), the duo began helping to reunite lost pets with their families by following scent trails in California’s San Lorenzo Valley. Michael never charged for the service because the happy reunions were enough. But then the community had an opportunity to give back to the dog who had helped so many of them. When Plato was diagnosed with heart failure, community members raised funds to cover his treatment.

Octopus rescue

Some rescuers were expecting the worst when they got a call about a giant Pacific octopus stranded on a Washington beach. An octopus’ gills collapse after several minutes out of water, resulting in death. But this one survived, thanks to the kindness of a little girl who was at the beach with her family. She used her sand bucket to pour water over the octopus, keeping the animal alive until the rescuers arrived and moved the cephalopod back out to open water.

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

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

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