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Top Pet Stories 2010

On April 7th, animal rescue found a German shepherd by the name of Courage was chained in the back yard and left by his owners. Courage was on the brink of death having gone without food and water for about 5 weeks. He weighed half of what 3 year old healthy German Shepherds should weigh, and was not even expected to make the trip to the emergency vet clinic. Upon arrival, doctors gave Courage fluids and nutrients to revive him. Further examination revealed that Courage was so hungry he ate dirt to survive. With extra care and time, Courage gradually recovered and is now in a loving new home. His story is an example of how sometimes we can beat the odds if we have enough courage.
Taffy is a bloodhound that had an important job with the Orange County's Sheriff Department in search and rescue of missing persons. Whereas most bloodhounds are considered successful if they even find one person during their careers, Taffy has found 13 people in her 10 years of service. She has been able to track down many criminal suspects, missing Alzheimer's patients, and lost children, making her the most successful hound in the Sheriff Department's pack. This year, Taffy retired to enjoy the rest of her life in a comfortable home. We honor her for her work and dedication.
Phoenix was a victim to some of the cruelest type of people- people who enjoyed and profit from the violence of dog fighting. His ears were cut off at an early age so he could be used as a bait dog to train fights dogs. When he was no longer of value to his handlers, he was cast away and left to fend for himself in the streets. He was found as a stray and was supposed to be euthanized, but his story drew attention from all over the world. He was eventually adopted by loving couple, and now enjoys pats on the head and tasty treats.
Mia is a Rottweiler that has had a full and happy life as a family dog. However, Mia was suffering from spinal problems that were causing her great pain and she was having a difficult time performing the simplest of functions. Euthanasia was recommended by the animal hospital as the humane choice to end her suffering. On the appointed day, Mia was given two injections to put her to sleep and her owner took the body home so his family could give it a proper burial. However, in the morning, her owner went into his garage where Mia's body was placed and found out she had miraculously survived the shots! They decided that once was enough and opt not go through the heartbreak of euthanasia again.
Scrub was a grey and white indoor kitty until Hurricane Katrina hit and left his owners without electricity. To cope with the heat, the owners left their windows open, which allowed Scrub to come and go as he pleased. One day Scrub did not return and was not seen for five years until a visit to the Human Society revealed his ID number and a trace was initiated. Scrub is now reunited with his family who says he is a little wilder but they still love him. This is a good reminder to micro chip your pet because one day it might just come in handy.
Dogs are known to have an amazing sense of smell, and some are proven to be able to detect cancers and low glucose level in humans. Jerry Doughett is a musician and had passed out after a night of too much drinking. When he woke up, he found out that his dog Kiki toe had chewed off his toe! Horrified, he checked into the hospital where doctors discovered that he had dangerously high blood glucose levels, and that he could have died from undiagnosed diabetes. In losing his toe, his life was saved.
Don Peck was doing some shopping and had left his truck with his Shi Tzu relaxing in the back seat with the windows cracked to keep him cool. When he came back to the spot where his truck was parked, his vehicle was gone and so was his dog Kiwi. Don was besides himself and spent days looking for his beloved dog. He couldn't eat and sleep and his family was having a hard time seeing him suffer. Finally, Don's daughter in law did some extensive searching online and was able trace Kiwi to a local shelter. Don went to the shelter even though it was closed on that day, determined to get his dog back. Once Kiwi saw his owner, he started running around like crazy, tail wagging and licking everybody.
One of the most popular stories of this year, a woman named Mary Bale became the most hated person to cat lovers worldwide when she was caught on a security camera committing an a shocking act. The video showed her petting a friendly neighborhood tabby by the name of Lola, and then suddenly throwing the cat into a trash can, shutting the lid, and briskly walked away. Lola was trapped in the trash can for 15 hours before she was heard by her owner meowing and crying. Mary maintains that it was a joke, but she probably wouldn't think it was so funny if the same thing was done to her.
Target was a mutt that hung around the barracks of American soldiers in Afghanistan. He and a few other dogs had thwarted a suicide bomber and saved countless lives. He was eventually brought back to the United States by his owner Sgt. Terry Young and lived with him in Phoenix. One day, Target had gotten out while the backyard gate was open and picked up by the pound. The pound had a staff member who did not follow procedure, and accidently took Target out of her pen instead of another dog that was scheduled for euthanasia. The shots were administered and Target was put down. Sgt Young was able to track down Target a few days later, but was too late. We are saddened by this tragic story and find solace in the fact that his life was not in vain.
Esperanza is a stray shepherd mix had just given birth to a litter of puppies and was looking for scraps of food that she can feed to her hungry kids when she was struck by a car and badly injured. She dragged herself back to her puppies despite a mangled leg because she knew they depended on her. She was discovered by a passerby who amazed that a badly injured homeless dog was taking care of so many babies-and more surprised that one of those babies included an orphaned kitten! A local veterinarian was so touched that he performed surgery to save Esperanza's leg, and it was successful. She is now healthy and even occasionally visits the cat that she helped raise.
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