Animal Friends Blog
Every year thousands of unwanted animals are abandoned at rescue shelters. Whilst some are rehomed, a lot are euthanised due to a lack of space. This is tragic considering the amount of animals that find new owners willing to give them the loving home they deserve. There are many remarkable stories from around the world demonstrating how rescue animals have made a massive difference to their owners’ lives, some of which may not have survived without their pet rescuing them.
After being found abandoned in a box, Pippa the black and white cat was rescued by the RSPCA and then adopted by the Jansa family from Whitstable. Diabetic Mia Jansa, aged eight at the time, soon learned of her cat’s apparent ability to sense when her blood sugar levels were dropping too low. She woke one night after finding Pippa walking over her arms and legs, and decided to measure her blood sugar levels. If they dropped too low, Mia was in danger of experiencing a hypoglycemic episode which could result in a coma. Whenever she didn’t wake up, the cat would go to Mia’s mother’s room and meow until she responded, walking across her pillow to rouse her. The family soon realised that Pippa was trying to warn them, and she continued to save Mia’s life over twenty times. Pippa’s story is one of many that illustrate why rescue animals should not be given up on, and why they deserve to be given a loving, stable home as much as any pet.
Duke the dog is another example of a remarkable rescue animal that saved a life. Adopted from a shelter by the Brousseau family from Portland, Connecticut, Duke alerted baby Harper’s parents to the fact she had stopped breathing. He began to shake violently after jumping on to their bed, and the couple decided to check on their daughter. After they phoned for an ambulance, paramedics revived Harper and she was transported to hospital. She may not have survived if it had not been for Duke alerting his owners to the danger their baby was in.
There are also instances of rescue animals being trained to save lives, further proving that such animals are not lost causes. Pearl the black Labrador was discovered by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in a shelter after her owner gave her up. Based in California, the Search Dog Foundation trained her and she was placed with her new handler, Ron Horetski of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Horetski and Pearl were part of one of the many teams deployed to help those affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Pearl proved an indispensable member of her team as she aided in saving twelve people from underneath four storeys of rubble. Her story further shows the potential that rescue animals have to make a difference to people’s lives, and why they should not be dismissed.
Additionally, many are retrained to become service animals that help people who require medical attention. Such animals visit hospitals and can improve patients’ health because of the opportunities they provide for the patients to interact with them. This was the case with six year old Leo, who suffered from multiple brain aneurysms. When service dogs came to visit the hospital, his mother Yasmine noticed a drastic difference in Leo as he began walking around and laughing whilst playing with them. The change was so rapid in him that she even rescued a dog called Henry from a shelter for Leo. Henry was on a list of dogs to be destroyed but after being rehomed, he became an invaluable member of the family. The dog was discovered to have a talent for detecting the chemical scents that indicate when Leo is about to have a seizure, and was able to alert Yasmine to when her son needed her.
Despite these amazing stories, a rescue animal does not need to exhibit an amazing talent or save a life to be considered and appreciated. Sometimes they can make a difference by simply proving to be the perfect loving companion that someone needs. It is disturbing to learn that many animals are deprived from a potentially long, loving life with someone who can provide that for them. As these stories show, a rescue animal does not mean a lost cause, but rather the opposite.
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