Sweet stories of people doing good things for pets

Smiling person sitting on the ground while petting a cat
Every day, animal lovers across the country are making a difference through their actions.
By Mary Daly

A Girl Scout who came up with a brilliant way to help dogs at a shelter. A man who climbed great heights to save a cat. And a community that rallied for a family and their rabbit. Here are stories about people making a difference for animals and people in their own unique and wonderful ways.

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MVP for the dogs

How do you celebrate winning the Super Bowl? If you’re Kansas City Chiefs player Derrick Nnadi, you’re making tails wag by paying the adoption fees for all 264 dogs at KC Pet Project in Kansas City, Missouri. And Derrick’s 2023 Super Bowl victory wasn’t the first time he helped pets find homes.

For years, he’s been sponsoring adoption fees after each Chiefs’ win, and he covered the fees for more than 100 dogs at KC Pet Project after his 2020 Super Bowl victory. “Dogs don’t have a voice, so I think it’s important for people to help, care, and love them,” Derrick says. “(My dogs) Rocky and Saint have brought so much happiness into my life; I wanted to pay it forward.” Sounds like a lot of pups out there would pick this defensive tackle as their MVP.

Next generation of lifesaving

When it was time for Ariela to pick a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award (the organization’s highest achievement), the teen knew just what she wanted to focus on: her love for animals. Specifically, she wanted to help pets in shelters who were dealing with stress or boredom.

Ariela came up with a toy rotation program for her local shelter, so the pets there could routinely receive new-to-them toys to help keep playtime fun and interesting. She also organized a huge pet-supply drive for shelters and rescue groups and held several workshops about pet enrichment in which attendees could volunteer to make toys for homeless pets. The future is bright for this hero to the animals.

Sticking together

When Cory Coleman and his family fell on hard times and lost their home, Cory was determined to keep everyone together — including their beloved pet bunny, Goldie. Cory’s partner and their four daughters were able to move into a shelter, but pets weren’t allowed inside. So Cory and Goldie slept outside.

That’s how Cory met Greg White, who offered to take Goldie home on cold nights. Greg then connected Cory with the Georgia House Rabbit Society, which stepped up to care for Goldie until the family members could get back on their feet. The society also initiated a fundraiser for the family that raised more than $75,000 and helped them secure a rental home where they, along with their favorite bunny, can get a fresh start.

Sky-high rescue

Savage the cat found himself in quite the predicament: stuck 80 feet up in a tree, cold, hungry, and tired. But he had a friend on the ground who wasn’t about to give up on him. Matt Baumann runs Baumann Tree Service in Tennessee, and he has used his skills to rescue many cats like Savage. Getting this orange-and-white kitty out of the tree, however, proved extra challenging.

On the first attempt, Savage climbed out of Matt’s reach in the massive poplar tree. When Matt tried again, he brought a secret weapon: a can of tuna. Enticed by the food, Savage slowly made his way toward Matt, who safely stowed the exhausted feline in a soft bag and carried him down to be reunited with his family.

Resourceful community

It could have been a tragedy when a dryer sparked a massive fire at a Seattle dog daycare facility. But thanks to the staff, first responders, passersby, and people in the community working together, the 115 dogs there that day and all the staff made it out safely.

One local business brought around 40 dogs to its fenced parking lot. And employees of a restaurant behind the daycare cut a hole in their fence, so dogs could be passed through to safety. Other local boarding facilities took in pups until they could be reunited with their families. It just goes to show that people will step up to save pets, even on an impromptu basis.

This article was originally published in the July/August 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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