Spreading cheer through kindness to animals

Sheri Giordano putting food down for multiple cats outside of stainless steel kennels
From an escape-artist dog who chose his new home to a pet snake who needed help getting back home, these stories are sure to lift your spirits.
By Mary Daly

Kindness is powerful, and even the smallest act to help an animal, the planet, or another person plants a seed for more good to come. That’s why Best Friends’ vision is a better world through kindness to animals. Every day, animal lovers are making a difference through their actions and helping to bring the entire country to no-kill by 2025. We’re excited to share a few of their stories here.

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Full of inspiration and positivity, Best Friends magazine is full of uplifting tales, gorgeous photos and helpful advice.
When you become a member of Best Friends Animal Society by making a donation of $25 or more to the animals, you’ll receive Best Friends magazine for a year. Inside, you’ll read about what Best Friends is doing to save the lives of homeless pets nationwide. 

Third time’s a charm

One night, Scout managed to escape from a Michigan animal shelter and wander down the road to a nursing home, where he walked through the automatic doors and curled up on a couch. The clever pup was returned to the shelter, but a few nights later there was Scout again, lying on the couch. Back to the shelter he went. When it happened a third time, the nursing home staff took it as a sign: Scout had decided their facility was home, so they made it official and adopted him. Now, Scout hangs out with the residents, sticking by the side of those who need some extra comfort. And the residents keep tasty dog treats on hand for their favorite pup.

A life at the fair

For two decades, Colorado State Fair employee Sheri Giordano has been a friend to cats who’ve made the fairgrounds their home. She came across Garth when he was just a kitten and felt an immediate connection. She got him neutered and vaccinated and visited him every day — rain or shine — to make sure he was doing well and had enough food and water. Sheri had pets at home, and because Garth preferred not to share his territory with other animals, the fairgrounds became his permanent residence — for a whopping 21 years. When he passed away peacefully from old age, Sheri was there with him, his friend and caregiver right to the end.

Plentiful puppy pile

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and that couldn’t be truer for mama Ruby and her 18 (yes, 18!) puppies. Furever Home Pet Rescue in Texas took in a very pregnant Ruby, and she delivered her pups in a foster home — nine girls and nine boys — to the disbelief of everyone involved. Ruby was a great mom, but when you have that many adorable little mouths to feed, help is definitely welcome. Her story touched the community in a big way, and donations poured in — food, toys, puppy pads, and even meals for Ruby’s foster caregivers. Some neighbors also stepped up to help with the plethora of laundry that 18 puppies create. Thanks to the kindness of many strangers, this supersized canine family has happy, healthy lives ahead of them.

A serpentine rescue

A trip to Austin, Texas, didn’t go exactly as planned for Snow, a 16-foot albino python. Snow’s carrier was stolen out of her person’s car, and the snake was set loose. Fast-forward about six months: A guy walking his dog spotted the missing python down in a ravine, struggling due to the cold temperatures. The man, along with his girlfriend and a neighbor, worked together to get Snow into a dog crate and indoors to warm her up. Then, she was set up in temporary housing at the Austin Zoo until her person was tracked down and came to take her home at last.

Community cat connoisseur

Four years ago, Thomas Kaiser was walking his dog when he noticed some cats congregating in a park near his Florida home. Ever since then, Thomas has taken care of those community cats, including feeding them and taking them to the vet for vaccinations and spay/neuter. Thomas knows each kitty by name (e.g., QTip, Blue, Cookie, Scruffy) and finds homes for the ones who he suspects would prefer to live indoors with people. He calls the work his passion and says he’s grown fond of all the cats — and we’re sure his feline friends appreciate his love and dedication, too.

This article was originally published in the January/February 2024 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

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.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

You can help save homeless pets

You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

Saving lives around the country

Together, we're creating compassionate no-kill communities nationwide for pets and the people who care for them.

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