5 animal rescue stories that will melt your heart!
They say, until one has loved an animal, a part of their soul remains unawakened – and we truly believe that. Furry animals, with their tiny paws and cute smiles carve a special space in our hearts; and these stories of animals being rescued go on to show the love they bring into our lives!
“10 years ago, I adopted Zeus from the streets of Bombay. One day, I felt a nudge on my toe and looked down to see this wide-eyed pup with his tongue out, wagging his tail as if to say, ‘Come play with me!’ I inquired around and got to know that his parents and siblings had all died and he was just a week old. It was a no brainer; I brought him home and since that day, he’s been my best friend.
He’s always been protective of me and thinks he’s in charge of my safety. He’d literally go to any extent to protect me. I remember once, he saved me from a coyote who was about to attack me. He just stood before me and growled, as if to say, ‘Don’t even think about it.’ And every time we go for a walk in the woods, he walks ahead of me and ensures that the path is completely clear.
The love doesn’t end there. Zeus even protects me from sadness. After my parents passed away, I'd often sit in a dark room alone -- he’d nudge me with his nose to tell me he’s there and just sit beside me, without demanding to play. It was almost like he knew what I was going through. He’d gone through the same, after all. Just sitting beside him, hugging and playing with him made everything better.
I don’t know how he does it, but he can always tell when I’m happy or sad, and his mood changes according to mine. He treats me like his own -- and on most days, he takes care of me more than I do of him. He’s family; my little brother, and I’m just grateful everyday that I’m the family he chose.”
“For the last 18 years, I’ve been feeding homeless animals everyday. But when the lockdown was announced, I knew that the dogs were going to be in danger. So I registered as a feeder with the local police station. But the number of abandoned dogs started growing– I was feeding about 35 homeless animals by the end of May.
On certain days, when there were vehicular restrictions, my husband and I would fill our backpacks and trek to the feeding points, even if it meant carrying 20kgs of food and medicines. We were trying our level best, but we were still criticised. One neighbour even said, ‘Why are you feeding these animals? This is the best opportunity to let them starve and die.’
On one of those days, a pup that I’d been looking after was severely injured. She was almost immobile and writhing in pain. As I held her in my arms, I began sobbing uncontrollably. That’s when her mother nudged me gently to comfort me. I felt an instant connection with this mother-daughter duo– we called them Rain and Snow.
Thankfully, after 5 days of dedicated medication, healthy diet, and prayers, Snow recovered beautifully. For the next 2 months, whenever our car neared their feeding point, Rain and Snow would wait for us, at the same spot. Even before I could open the car door completely, Snow would jump up on my lap — it was the happiest moment of my day!
Things started getting better after the lockdown was eased. But I wasn’t ready to part with the mother-daughter duo! They were family. Not to mention, Snow was just a month old when I first met her; I knew she was very delicate and may not survive on her own. So, I decided to adopt both Rain and Snow!
I never imagined adopting two animals at once, but then, I didn’t have the heart to separate them. My husband and I are now proud parents to our 2 babies! SInce the time we’ve adopted them, we’ve realised that all they ever really needed was our love, and to never again feel unwanted. So that’s what we’re trying to do by giving them a home.”
"8 years ago, my daughter came home with a street dog because he looked extremely terrified when she tried to play with him. We began to take care of him, feed him and we even built a small kennel for him and eventually he overcame his fear.
Overtime I started adopting several street dogs. I pay from my own pocket to make sure that they get all their meals and vaccinations on time. I believe that these animals are like my children and that's how I look after them.
One of them was detected with cancer and recently underwent his 3rd surgery but we're not giving up hope -- we're doing our best to nurse him back to health. These street dogs are ill-treated because people think they will bite, but they give the most amount of love. Sometimes people in the building have a problem that they're in the complex, but I don't think I can ever let go of them.
Everyday after work I come and spend a few hours with them, and that's all they want from you - your time and your love. My only message would be that the next time you see a street dog, try adopting one — you might just be saving his life."
“A friend of mine had two dogs in her building — one day she called me and said they were seriously ill. When I got there, I could literally see their ribs sticking out. One of them was even injured in her eye. It was heartbreaking to see those animals in that state.
I immediately called up a vet I knew. She couldn’t leave her clinic so, I borrowed a box from a fruit vendor, put them in it, and took them there. We tried really hard to save them, but couldn’t -- we were too late. What happened that day really affected me, but instead of mourning about it for a few days and then forgetting about it, I made the decision to help as many stray animals as I could.
I’m a photographer, so I was saving to upgrade my equipment. But since then, I use my savings to pay for the treatments of strays. That way, I don’t have to take money from my parents. They tell me to not get involved in all this, and to not get stray animals home. But of course, I do that until a good home is found for them.
Just last week, I saw a kitten in my building –- she literally fit in my palm. She kept following me around, and wouldn’t leave my side. I wanted to take her home, but I knew my mom would get mad.
So I waited until my brother got back from work, and convinced him to take her up. We tried giving her milk, but she kept crying, so we got her down to find her mom, but we couldn’t. Eventually, we made a makeshift bed for her but she started crying again, so I settled her on my lap and calmed her down. Finally she was comfortable, so I didn’t move or sleep the entire night. Later we found out that her mom was killed in an accident. Thankfully, a nearby chaiwala offered to care for her!
I must have helped only 10-15 animals; I’m not making a dent in the grander scheme of things, but at least it’s something. Someday, I want a whole team of people working with me. But right now, this is all I can do.
A lot of people ask me if I want a pet of my own – I don’t. Why give my love and care to one animal when I can give it to hundreds? Imagine if we all did just a little bit -- the difference we could make is massive. So many lives could be saved, if we just take that small step and try.”
“Sweety was the first stray dog I took home. I rescued her from 4 male dogs who were attempting to mate with her. She took some time to trust me, so initially I’d keep some biscuits and a blanket on my staircase for her. As she got more comfortable, I took her to the vet for vaccinations and then brought her home.
I started noticing more stray animals in my colony, and decided to start feeding them. Every weekend, I’d spend a few extra hours organising special meals for them. And on weekdays, I’d feed them on my way to work. I’m a teacher and my finances were tight, but the dogs meant everything to me.
From 2-3 dogs, I began feeding 40-50 of them on a daily basis. But despite my efforts, my neighbours derided me; they blamed me for ‘allowing’ dogs into the colony and even threw rocks at them. Once, a lady stood waiting for me with a rock in her hand, ready to hit me as I was about to feed the strays. I had to call someone to help calm her down.
I couldn’t take it anymore; I decided to move to a more dog-friendly neighbourhood. I was more than happy to relocate if it meant I could care for my strays. I’d go everyday on my scooty to feed the dogs; when vehicular movement was restricted during the lockdown, I’d go on foot.
My work came to a standstill owing to the pandemic, so at one point, I couldn’t afford to buy food for them. I had to save and pull back on my own expenses; I had planned to buy a TV and almirah for my home, but I decided to spend that money on their food instead. I even saved up on dog bowls and started using discarded coconut shells. And I gave up entirely on the idea of getting a new phone.
I don’t want kids and consider the strays to be my children; I can’t sleep without meeting them at least once a day. And now that Christmas is coming up, I’m planning on buying 100 winter coats for them– I’ll have to dip into my savings to make it happen, but I just want to make sure they’re warm and safe.
Some day, I want to open a shelter for animals. Till then, I’m doing my best to feed as many dogs as I can. That’s why you can always find a pack of biscuits and a little doggy bowl in the trunk of my scooty… I can never miss out on making a new four-legged friend!”
Being India’s largest storytelling platform, Humans of Bombay is all about bringing you extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Today, on World Animal Welfare Day, we bring you these animal rescue stories to remind you that our four-legged friends need all the love and care we can give them! Once we do that, they’re bound to give it to us in many folds! If you’d like to read more such stories, check out our book and dive into the diverse tales of Bombay.