13 Times Humans Went To Extraordinary Lengths To Change Dogs’ Lives This Month

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

January 31, 2016

Dogs mean so, so much to us. We try to do good on behalf of these creatures, whether they’re sleeping in our beds at night, waiting in the local shelter, or wandering the streets in search of help. We can’t save every life or hand over dinner scraps as often as we’d like (Down, Scruffy!), but we try to do our best under the circumstances.

For these incredible human beings, dogs mean the world.

1. Cosmetic Surgeon Quits His Job To Help Homeless Dogs

Dr. Siew Tuck Wah is no closet dog lover. He began working with Save Our Street Dogs Singapore (SOSD) to make a difference in the lives of Singapore’s thousands of stray dogs, but juggling the welfare work with his career as a surgeon was too difficult to manage.

In September of 2015, Dr. Siew announced he was leaving the clinic to dedicate his life to saving dogs.


2. Shelter Staff Spend The Weekend With Animals During Winter Storm Jonas

The first blizzard of 2016 kept many people indoors, but it also threatened to keep shelter staff from getting to the animals the next morning.

A group of seven dedicated humans at Faithful Friends Animal Society volunteered to pack a bag and spend the weekend inside with the shelter’s numerous cats and dogs, snoozing on donated air mattresses, cuddling with cats, and shoveling snow so the pups could get out of their kennels.


3. Ohio Residents Rally To Vote Down City’s Pit Bull Ban

When a proposed ban on Pit Bull breeds was introduced to Shaker Heights, Ohio, it would have mandated that no new bully breeds enter the town.

Several residents came together to make a plan, attend council meetings, and even write up substitute legislation that would better protect citizens from dangerous dogs. Lo and behold, the law was rejected.


4. Anderson Cooper Donates Bullet-Proof Vests To Police Dogs

Following the unfortunate death of police dog Krijger, CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper extended an extremely generous gesture to the Virginia Police Department. At around $2,200 a pop for protective vests, it’s both understandable and upsetting that many police departments cannot afford to outfit their canine officers.

To ensure an incident of this nature doesn’t happen again, Cooper supplied vests for the entire canine team.


5. Man Funds Shelter Dog’s Surgery And Then Adopts Him

Some of the most heartwarming stories emerge within the depths of Reddit, and this dog’s is no exception. A senior Lab with a painful eye condition was not likely to recover nor get adopted due to his extensive medical costs, but that wasn’t a concern for one man.

This human paid for the pup’s eye surgery in the form of a donation, adopted him, and gets to enjoy a lifetime of watching him “being blind.” In other words, staring at nothing, which is pretty darn cute.

staring-at-wall (1)

6. Man Sets Out To Complete 81-Item Bucket List For His Terminal Dog

Todd Burchanowski’s best friend and dog, Reyes, developed terminal Lymphoma. The news was devastating, and with months to live, Burchanowski wouldn’t dare let his dog know that anything was amiss.

With the help of friends and family, he devised a bucket list packed full of things Reyes would surely love, like eating French fries and sticking her head out the roof of the car.


7. Man Leans Over A Cliff To Rescue Stranded Dog

On vacation with his wife, Derek Shaw switched into rescue mode when he spotted a dog balancing on a cliffside. She had likely been clinging claw-deep in the dirt for nearly 21 hours when Shaw peered over the edge, and with a trail of people gripping his legs, he hung down and lifted her up by the collar.


8. Veterinarian Saves Death Row Dog And Restores His Will To Live

Dr. Matt of Vet Ranch has a lot of amazing rescue stories, but Lovebug the Pit Bull deserves a shoutout of his own. Having been rescued as he was being walked to a room to be euthanized, he needed help restoring his spirit as well as his health.

Lovebug certainly looked as though he’d given up, but with a lengthy recovery and a lot of love, he was doing zoomies before we knew it.

dr matt and pittie

9. Nashville Rescue Workers Keep Homeless Individuals’ Pets From Sleeping In The Cold

It’s awfully disheartening to know that the majority of homeless shelters in America do not permit pets. When given the option between staying with their animals or leaving them outside, very few choose the latter.

That’s why a team of folks in Nashville, Tennessee go on “Cold Patrols” to provide homeless pets with food and a warm place to sleep, so that their owners may receive the same.


10. Street Puppy Survives Thanks To Chain Reaction Of Help

Luis was left defenseless on the streets of Romania, but he had one disadvantage most street dogs do not: no use of his hind legs.

His rescue began with a Facebook post pleading for help, after which Luis was passed along by a rescue worker from Germany to a vet in Bucharest, before finally making the journey to his forever home in the United Kingdom.


11. Woman Plans To Road Trip Through The U.S. To Help Dogs Find Homes

Not much as been easy for Angela Adan, whose love for dogs sometimes put her in difficult living situations and at one point left her with no place to go.

After discovering the gruesome fate of thousands of this country’s shelter dogs, she devoted her life to providing assistance and training for pups in need. In April, she will set off for shelters on a 20-state road trip to do just that.


12. Rescuers Completely Transform Dog With No Hope Left To Live

Kalu was missing half his face and both his eyes when Animal Aid Unlimited found him deep in a hole. We don’t doubt it took some thick skins and very, very strong hearts to begin his recovery process, as the situation seemed almost hopeless. But these rescuers are known to accept a challenge, and after three months of extensive care, Kalu is unrecognizable in the best way possible.

animal aid unlimited

13. Man Dies Trying To Help A Dog Under Attack

David Krieger was a man of compassion, who loved his family and his two dogs, and he did not deserve to die. As he witnessed a man brutally kicking a dog in a parking lot, he approached to put an end to the abuse and suffered two fatal gunshot wounds.

Krieger could not stand idly by as an animal was being hurt, and for that he will always be remembered.


Thank you so much to everyone featured here for the work you’ve done and have yet to do. Your impact is everlasting.

Featured Image via Vet Ranch/YouTube

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

January 31, 2016

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