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Here on One Green Planet, you can find a wealth of heart-warming, inspiring stories about animals that were rescued from deplorable situations. These stories illustrate the kindness and compassion of people and organizations across the world who are willing to raise their voices and take action for suffering animals in need.

While every rescue story serves as a little glimmer of hope indicating that the world is changing for the better, they also highlight the prevalence of many different forms of animal abuse. From dogs saved from puppy mills, to rabbits rescued from laboratory testing facilities, and exotic animals freed from their lives as domesticated animals – the individuals who are removed from these horrible circumstances serve as an example for many other animals continuing to endure similar challenges.

However, of the lucky few animals who escape situations of abuse, there are a select group who go on to advocate for animals like them who are still suffering at the hands of humans. These animal advocates “speak” from their first hand account living on factory farms, or being forced into a dog fighting ring, and tell the world about the thousands of other animals who need help as well.

This list of animals is but a small selection of amazing advocates, but as you learn more about these special individuals we hope you will be motivated to learn more about the causes they represent and how YOU can join them in their mission to end abuse for all animals!

1.  Teddy and Harley: Puppy Mills

This dynamic duo are both puppy mill survivors who were rescued thanks to National Mill Dog Rescue. Both Teddy and Harley have their own Facebook pages where they post news about Anti-Puppy Mill legislation and upcoming mill dog rescue missions. Every year these brave pups set out with their kind human guardians to rescue other dogs from puppy mills. So far, “Harley to the Rescue,” an effort headed by Harley and greatly supported by Teddy has saved 364 dogs from puppy mills.

Most people don’t realize that when you purchase a dog from a pet store that these animals likely came from puppy mills. These large-scale breeding facilities treat the animals in their care like commodities and they are forced to breed continually while living in squalor. Both Harley and Teddy bear the scars of their time in puppy mills. Little Harley lost an eye due to improper veterinary care, and Teddy was terrified of humans and had severe dental issues.  The dynamic duo have now recovered and are loving their freedom. They share the dream of ending puppy mills forever and get one step closer every day!

X Rescue Animals Changing the World for Other Animals in NeedHarley/Facebook

2.  Timmy Sheep: Farm Animal Issues

Like all of the rescued farmed animals who reside at Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Sanctuary, Timmy Sheep has a unique personality. This happy little sheep is an animal advocate with Edgar’s who travels with sanctuary founder, Pam Ahern, spreading the word that farm animals are “someones, not somethings.” Edgar’s Mission is committed to spreading the word of kindness and encouraging every living human to reassess their relationship with farmed animals (and every other living creature too!) for the better.

Timmy is a sweet, intelligent sheep who was rescued by Edgar’s Mission when he was no more than one week old. Having been saved from life in the wool or meat industry, Timmy Sheep is determined to show the world that farm animals deserve the same care and respect as any domesticated animal – and he does it all while being super fuzzy and hug-able!

X Rescue Animals Changing the World for Other Animals in NeedEdgar’s Mission

3.  Ray the Vicktory Dog: Dog Fighting and Breed-Specific Legislation

Ray, the Pit Bull, once lived in Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennel. This kennel had little to do with caring for dogs, and everything to do with fighting them for profit. Ray, is one of 51 dogs rescued from this illicit dog-fighting ring. After their rescue, this group of abused Pit Bulls were renamed the “Vicktory Dogs” by the Best Friends Animal Society and began the process of rehabilitation with the hopes of being adopted.

Ray was adopted into a forever home and now spreads the word about dog fighting and works to dispel the damaging stigma that Pit Bulls are vicious and aggressive. The danger of Pit Bull stereotypes is the proliferation of Breed-Specific Legislation that prohibits the guardianship of bullie-breeds in certain states and municipalities. As a former fighting dog, Ray does away with these silly stereotypes and is set on showing the world that dogs like him just want to love and be loved, not fight!

X Rescue Animals Changing the World for Other Animals in NeedRay the Vicktory Dog/Facebook

4.  Bobby II: Carriage Horses

Bobby II is a rescue horse unlike many others. This special horse is a former NYC Carriage Horse. After serving seven years carrying the weight of a 2,000 pound cart and countless tourists, Bobby II was rescued by Equine Advocates. Due to the secretive nature of the horse-drawn carriage industry, very few horses are rescued from this life. When a carriage horse is too old, or too lame to work, they are auctioned off by their drivers. The only way to distinguish a carriage horse from any other work horse is by a numerical carving in their hooves. Most carriage drivers sand off these numbers to ensure the horses being sold to slaughterhouses are never connected back to the booming tourism enterprise.

Bobby II, however, maintained his carriage horse number and activists from the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and Equine Advocates were able to arrange for Bobby’s rescue. This old horse shows the scars of his years in this cruel industry, but his rescue and story serves as motivation for ending the horse-drawn carriage business.

X Rescue Animals Changing the World for Other Animals in NeedAfter Serving Seven Years as a Carriage Horse, Bobby II Goes to an Equine Sanctuary

 5.  Tasha the Cougar: Exotic Pet Trade

Tasha the cougar is a magnificent big cat who was rescued by The Wildcat Sanctuary. This cougar was born into the exotic animal trade, kept as part of a dilapidated petting zoo in Ohio. Tasha was used for breeding other big cats for most of her life, living in a small garage utterly unfit for an animal of her size and strength. Tasha was able to escape her prison and was discovered wandering down a highway. She was then sent to live in a USDA certified facility where she was placed in a 10×20 foot cage. This wild cat is one of thousands of big cats that are forced to live in unnatural habitats where they are unable to express their natural behaviors, and pose a real threat to the well-being of the people who are unprepared to care for them.

Since her rescue, Tasha has been enjoying the space and freedom she is allowed at The Wildcat Sanctuary, and while she is a beautiful addition to the sanctuary, her story tells the sad fate of many big cats in the United States. The legislation to protect big cats from domestic ownership is sparse to say the least. It is legal to own big cats in 20 states, and in seven you don’t even need a permit to do so. Tasha advocates for big cats everywhere spreading the fact that we must remember to keep the wild in our hearts – not our homes!

5 Amazing Animals Changing the World for Other Animals in NeedKeep the Wild in Your Heart, Not Your Home: The Story of Tasha the Cougar

Lead image source: Harley/Facebook

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9 comments on “5 Amazing Rescue Animals Changing the World for Other Animals in Need”

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1 Years Ago

Would be nice if it said where these places are right in the article without having to click on something.

1 Years Ago


Nikolien De Vrieze
1 Years Ago

please check my facebook-group! I wanne involve dogs more in the social life off people. so a remedy against isolement :) + welcare off dogs https://www.facebook.com/groups/1116064118449318/?fref=ts

Lyra Alves
2 Years Ago

you forgot Esther the Wonder Pig :-)

Jenna Thornburg
20 Sep 2016

Esther really isn't treated fantastically. I found out from someone who worked with her care givers that her blood pressure and heart are under strain because she's morbidly obese. They really need to feed her less.

Lyra Alves
22 Sep 2016

Jenna, she is a breed of pig who has been genetically modified to be obese - there is really nothing anyone can do about that :-/ those type of pigs are not expected to live longer than 1,5 year. I'm sure her dads treat her the best they can and they even got pig kibble be made specially for her by one of the farmers where they live...

3 Years Ago

I think we need to study more about their emotions, which some of these experts have been studying for increasing successfully breeding rate. If you agree this, You will need to study the emotion before you decide to.

We seldom know when, We seldom know how, We seldom how to \'sign\' the agreement (Each agreement differs,Can be Short as 5 years, Can be long as 6 decades if you decide to be one of the psittacine). After I have read this. I do not think amazed as I have been following what do these people are actually \'selling\' for days. Perhaps if we know more about the emotions, then better as we have fount a way to control the greedy.

3 Years Ago

I have always wondered about the treatment of those carriage horses...too bad animals can\'t speak.
These horses are worked whether they like it or not, they serve without resistance, and the thanks they get is being auctioned off to be somebody\'s dinner.
Honestly, how is it that humans have such an enormous capacity for cruelty?
I can\'t begin to imagine the untold numbers of animals who have suffered at the cruel hands of humans. Nothing angers me more than horrible, indecent treatment of animals. Except maybe children but unfortunately, children aren\'t always so innocent and they all eventually become grown ups, who may very well become these very people treating these animals this way.

Rhonda Pendleton
4 Years Ago

Saying that Harley lost an eye due to improper vet care is sugar coating the reality. Harley lost an eye because the subhuman beasts that ran the puppy mill Harley was in, would on rare occasion power wash the cages without removing the dogs. Harley\'s eye was a result of a painful water shot to his head. Thank you for bringing awareness to the plight of these animals and how they are helping others.

Judy Allen
18 Sep 2014

Thanks for clarifying and correcting that Rhonda... yes you speak the truth.... no sugar coating needed when it comes to puppy mills and the abuse/neglect and deaths there!

Pamela DuBois
08 Nov 2014

I hope the people who were running this puppy mill have been put out of business, & put in jail for at least a year or more. I would be throwing away key. Put them in a cage & hose them down.

Carol Keith
4 Years Ago

I think your choices are great but a little variety wouldn\'t hurt. Say a different big cat every now and then and let\'s not forget the great apes and primates along with polar and grizzly bears and my favorite the elephant.I know photos would be costly but they all need our help,(and I didn\'t even scratch the surface,)

Patricia Krause
4 Years Ago

I hope people will listen and advocate for these wonderful animals... The horrible treatment of these animals MUST STOP!!!

25 Nov 2014

Not just these animals, ALL animals, whether they are raised for consumption or not.
If you absolutely refuse to stop eating meat, then there should be some near instantaneous, as painless as possible method for slaughtering them. And while they are being raised to be food, they should be treated decently. But of course, all this is easier said than done, and near impossible to enforce or oversee on a day-to-day basis.
No wonder I like animals more than people. This is the kind of stuff that makes me despise my own species.

Jacqueline Johnson
4 Years Ago

We are surprised and gratified to have Ray the Vicktory Dog included in this article. Thank you....every time an article like this appears...highlighting former fighting dogs...it helps to dispel the fear and hatred that pit bull terrier dogs sometimes suffer.


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