These Incredible Animal Rescue Stories Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity
Come fire, ice, or floods, these brave and heroic humans weren’t about to leave anyone behind, including their precious animals. It is certainly tear-jerking to witness people rescuing animals in distress, but the fact that these brave souls risked their own lives makes it even more heartwarming. Whether it’s a 400-pound bear or a tiny little kitten, these incredible people weren’t about to let their furry, feathered, or four-legged friends go without a fight. So read here for the most inspiring animal rescue stories of all time, but make sure to have your tissues on hand. Have no fear, though, as these all have beautiful happy endings. Yes, animal lovers, this one’s for you!
1. Water Is Life
John Fusco, a heroic Manchester, Connecticut firefighter, saved this ashy poodle from a house fire. The best part of this inspiring animal rescue is how Fusco bottle fed the distressed dog some water as if the pooch was his own.
It certainly isn’t an easy task being a firefighter and having to deal with all the pressure of getting all humans and animals to safety, but this man still took out the time to give the dog some water. Our hearts are full!
2. Fins are Friends
When this kayak guide for Pelican Point Kayaking in Walvis Bay, Namibia stumbled upon a beached baby Benguela dolphin that had become stranded on the beach, he scooped up the adorable marine animal and dashed into the water right away.
He placed the dolphin in the water, helping the dolphin maneuver about and it didn’t take long before the little friend “took off like a bullet” for the depths of the ocean. If it wasn’t for this heroic man, the poor dolphin wouldn’t have survived.
3. Best Friends for Life
Hurricane Harvey was the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since 2005, causing major devastation and catastrophic flooding in Texas. Over 30,000 people had to flee their homes, like this woman. However, she refused to leave without her beloved dog.
She didn’t care about saving any valuable belongings, as the only one that mattered to her was her precious pup. She waded through the water with her dog on her shoulders until they reached safety. This picture can make just about anyone shed a tear.
4. Team Effort at Its Best
The sheer determination on these men’s faces says it all! Norwegians Erik and Torvald were out taking pictures with a new camera when they spotted a poor lamb in the water. They weren’t about to let this little lamb drown in these turbulent waters. The current was strong and the log was slippery, but the two never gave up.
After several attempts of trying to reach and grab the lamb, the men were at last successful. They could have easily drowned themselves in the strong current, but it seems like that didn’t even cross their minds for one moment.
5. Stuck in the Mud
Horses are magnificent and powerful animals, but even they need rescuing at times, like when this mare got stuck in the slime of a bog. No matter how much she struggled, she couldn’t break free to make it onto solid ground.
Luckily a brave and determined British animal rescue worker managed to save the terrified horse from sinking in further. It wasn’t an easy feat, but he managed to free the mare after a few hours of work pulling and tugging.
6. David’s Ark
Perilous floods tore through Louisiana and Mississippi in 2016 threatening the lives of not only humans, but also animals and livestock. This courageous man in Church Point, La. named David Smith wouldn’t let any floods stand in the way of rescuing his livestock.
Smith built a sturdy makeshift raft and heaved his animals through the water to safety. They weren’t acclimated to water, so he knew if he didn’t save them, none of them would we able to endure the floods. What a heroic man!
7. Manhole or “Cathole”?
This little kitty might have thought he found a nice “cathole,” but he quickly realized the dark and damp manhole was no fun at all. As for the fireman, we’re sure he doesn’t particularity like venturing into the sewer, but to save this little feline, he made the plunge.
They both look super happy after the brave man succeeded in rescuing the little fur ball, but we certainly hope the little cat doesn’t get up to any more mischief. We’re definitely glad everyone managed to come out smiling this time!
8. Sleepy Bear Rescue
A drowsy 400-pound black bear almost drowned after Animal Control in Florida had sedated him in order to prevent him from roaming around the residential neighborhood of Alligator Point after he had made his way there from Osceola National Forest.
Before the wildlife authorities could capture the bear and take him back to his home, the bear swam into the Gulf. However, it soon started drowning once the tranquilizers kicked in. Without even thinking, Adam Warwick, who was nearby, jumped into the water, grabbed the floundering animal, and dragged it to shore. The sleepy bear made it safely back home!
9. A Child Hero
When we gaze at this image of a little boy saving a drowning puppy, we remember how essential it is to fight for the survival of vulnerable animals. This boy is a true hero as he risked his own life to rescue this little dog.
Floods are extremely dangerous because of all the moving objects and the strong currents of water raging forward, so this lightweight puppy had almost no chance of surviving. Look how creative and resourceful this boy was — kudos to him for taking action!
10. A Special Moment
This frightened kitty had been trapped in a burning building and couldn’t have been more grateful when this brave firefighter saved him from the vicious flames and certain death. There is certainly nothing better than being able to witness such heroic moments!
This image seems to prove that animals share similar emotions to humans by the way the cat clung to the firefighter in fear and gratitude. He was sure shaken up after experiencing such a terrifying ordeal. Read on for more of the most special and tear-jerking animal rescue stories out there.
11. Piggy Business
Heavy rainfall flooded large swathes of Serbia and Bosnia in May 2014, unleashing dangerous landslides and floods, which proved deadly for animals like this pig. In order to save the pig form the raging flood waters, it was placed on a roof in the village of Vojskova in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Here these brave Balkan men are shown visiting the frightened pig by boat in order to feed it. For its own good, it was forced to remain on the roof until the flood waters receded. Sadly, not all animals had the same fate. Thousands of other pigs, cows, dogs, and sheep, and other farm animals perished.
12. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!
When the stratovolcano Mount Agung in Bali started to rumble, local volunteers chose to risk their lives to rescue monkeys, dogs, and farm animals instead of leaving them behind in the danger zone at the mercy of the erupting volcano.
This man formed part of a 12-person emergency response unit that made dangerous trips into the red zone just to relocate the animals to shelters where they’d be cared for and fed. Seeing the dedication in this photo definitely restored our faith in humanity!
13. A Goose Rescue
This distressed goose was covered in bees after a swarm of them attacked two people and some livestock in Queen Creek, Arizona. A crew was removing a beehive when they spotted this goose and wanted to make sure she didn’t incur any severe injuries either.
One of the rescuers gently placed a “Fido Bag” (oxygen mask for animals) over her beak to make sure she was stable. Isn’t that the sweetest image? The good news is that she was fine and turned over to her owner after receiving the oxygen.
14. Hootie’s in Trouble
Just look at those eyes! This little owl was hit by a car and found on the side of the road by firefighter David Eastman. He scooped up the injured creature and wrapped him in a blanket before taking the bird back to his house.
Eastman placed the owl in his backyard where it rested until it regained its strength to fly away. This little hootie’s wings and legs were fine, but one eye was injured and he incurred a minor concussion. Eventually, the owl recovered and made his way back into the wild. How’s that for a sweet animal rescue?!
15. Rodney the Guinea Pig
Most people would save their precious dogs and cats from a burning house, but what about a helpless guinea pig? After a fire erupted through a house in Mulberry, Florida, Polk County firefighter John Williams swept the entire property and that’s when he found Rodney’s cage.
Williams didn’t hesitate for one moment and quickly grabbed the cage after rushing out into the fresh air. Rescue workers then assessed poor little Rodney and placed an oxygen mask on his tiny nose and mouth seeing that he had inhaled the thick smoke.
16. A Little Joey
Kangaroos can jump alright, but not this little joey. He was too weak after getting swept away and almost drowning in the turgid waters during the Queensland, Australia floods of 2011. Luckily for the little one, Ray Cole came to his rescue.
Cole was always taught to help those in need, and for him, that included this vulnerable kangaroo. He described the dramatic moment of saving the animal as follows: “I couldn’t stand there and watch our coat of arms just drown.” When he witnessed the kangaroo’s head bobbing up and down in the torrent after the animal bashed into a log, he immediately jumped in despite the angry police who commanded him not to do it.
17. Braving the Ice
The temperature of the water in this frozen Norwegian lake wasn’t about to stop this selfless animal lover Lars Jørun Langøien from jumping in to rescue the trapped duck, whose head was stuck under a thick layer of solid ice.
Langøien was out for his weekly swim when he spotted the distressed duck but didn’t think twice to brave the icy-cold waters to save it. After pulling the duck to safety, Langøien performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and wrapped the poor animal in a towel. He recalled to VG News that “It felt like the right thing to do.”
18. In the Ruins
When an earthquake struck China, this poor canine was found trapped under the debris of the fallen buildings. He never gave up the fight and kept struggling to set himself free. These two rescue workers spotted the struggling dog and immediately went into action.
These heroes believed animal’s lives were just as important as those of humans, and they were on a mission to save any living they could find among the rubble. Despite all the destruction, this is another beautiful animal rescue moment.
19. Sam the Koala
This moving picture shows a dedicated Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer braving the blazing forest fires to help save a desperate koala whose habitat was scorched by the flames during the Black Saturday bush fires of 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.
David Tree was worn out and exhausted after working around the clock to put out the fires, but nevertheless, he bent down to give the thirsty koala some water. The Koala was named Sam afterward and was proof of how our wildlife also suffer during natural disasters.
20. By Hook or By Crook
Many people couldn’t save their animals after unprecedented floods raged through the Balkans in 2014, but thanks to emergency service workers, the situation wasn’t as hopeless as it seemed. This pooch may have weighed a ton, but they weren’t leaving without him!
The massive dog looks too big for the rescue boat, but this heroic group of Serbian rescuers couldn’t abandon such a beautiful and innocent animal. Are these animal rescue stories melting your heart? Well, read on for some even more beautiful stories.
21. An Inspiring Cat Rescue
This heroic villager of Cuttack City, India spotted a litter of kittens struggling in the torrent of waters during the floods of 2011 and risked his own life to gather them all up in a basket until he could reach dry land.
The sweetest part of this animal rescue image is how the curious kittens are peering over the basket as if encouraging their savoir to push on until they reach safety. Luckily for them he brought a stick as well to maintain his balance.
22. Oh, Bambi!
This little deer was way too frail to survive the raging floods in Noakhali, Bangladesh after being separated from its mother, so when a brave boy called Belal saw the fawn, he knew he had to think quick. Belal jumped into the water and held the young animal above his head as he plunged through the vicious waters.
This heroic animal rescue story ended well, even though onlookers weren’t sure Belal would be able to wade through the waters himself without drowning. Luckily, wildlife photographer Hasibul Wahab was on the scene and snapped this courageous and moving moment.
23. A True Hero
When everyone fled the scene after the untold damage caused by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, a lot of the poor animals were left behind. Well, Naoto Matsumura wasn’t having it! He returned to save his animals despite the dangers of radiation poisoning in the area, and then saw how many others needed help.
The animal lover was determined to help his vulnerable four-legged friends. “They told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less,” he exclaimed. The government has forbidden Matsumura from staying in the area, but he isn’t listening. Now that’s what you call a true hero!
24. In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
When this poor dog was hit by a car in a high traffic zone, this young boy rushed out to save the bewildered pooch. Whether it meant risking his own life wasn’t even a question for this boy (though we do recommend taking all the safety precautions first).
He scooped up the trembling dog and dodged speeding vehicles until they both made it to safe ground. Kudos to this child for taking initiative and not waiting for an adult to come to the rescue. Who knows, if he didn’t act, it might have been to late for this fur baby!
25. Rescuing Roscoe
Roscoe the Great Pyrenees went missing and was saved by the Edmonton fire crew after they found him in the North Saskatchewan River in Canada. His tail had turned to ice after being immersed in the bitterly-cold water for 24 hours.
The family’s other dog ran to the edge of the river to show them that the poor dog was stuck in the ice. The rescue crew was fascinated by how tough Roscoe was after suffering such a difficult ordeal. The crew members pulled him to safety with an inflatable raft and then onto a blanket, so he could be rushed to a veterinarian clinic for treatment.
26. A “Doggyback” Ride
When a vicious tropical storm hit the Philippines and caused severe flooding and mudslides, many people and animals were left in harm’s way to fend for themselves. This young man wasn’t going to let any flood stop him from saving this adorable dog, though!
With great determination, he marched through the waters with the dog hanging on to his shoulders, piggyback-style. No one gets left behind, right? Yes, not even our furry friends should get overlooked when Mother Nature comes out to play. What a powerful image!
27. An Unbreakable Bond
When Hurricane Harvey reared its ugly head in 2017 and ravaged through Houston, Texas, this local man named Joe Garcia refused to abandon his beloved dog. He might have been waist-deep in the muddy waters, but he clung to his dog Heidi and didn’t let go until they reached the rescue boat.
The fear is extremely palpable in Heidi’s big brown eyes, but she was definitely in good hands because her owner wasn’t going anywhere without her. Many locals in the area showed unwavering loyalty for their pets during this devastating time.
28. Teamwork for the Win!
Here we have some serious teamwork. Two kids saved this poor dog from getting swept away in this water reservoir. They thought up a resourceful plan of using what looks like a lunch bag to support one another so they could pull out the dog without falling in themselves.
This is what you call dedication and determination! The dog must have been absolutely horrified, but he definitely wanted out, as evidenced by how he is trying to cooperate. We have a good feeling this ended well with the dog being pulled to safety.
29. Even While Men Battle One Another
This photograph was taken during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. It captures a heartfelt moment when soldiers helped out a baby goat while a brutal battle raged on between the US Army and Marines against the Imperial Japanese Army on the island of Okinawa.
Even while their lives were in the balance, these soldiers still managed to stop what they were doing to help the little frail kid drink up. Who could resist such a cutie patootie, right? Also makes you wonder why humans can’t always be this kind to one another.
30. Braving a Russian Blizzard
If you thought this cat looks like the angriest one alive, then think again! She was just overcoming a trauma after almost freezing to death during a house fire (the irony). Thanks to this brave Russian firefighter, the feline made it to safety after clinging to the roof with her paws.
The weather was so cold when the fire happened that the building was covered in icicles, so it’s truly a miracle that the firefighter rescued the poor kitty in time. We hope she was wrapped up in thick woolen blankets and given some warm milk after this frightening ordeal.
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