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Animal rescue stories make everyone happy. Thankfully there are wonderful, compassionate people who act when they see animals in distress or suffering. Thanks to these heroes, there were so many amazing rescue stories in 2018. Although it’s hard to limit the amount of amazing stories to share, here are 15 great animal rescue stories of 2018!

Grab a box of tissues!

1. Great Dane Rescued From the Freezing Cold

Rescued Great Dane

Source: Noah’s Arks Rescue

Luke the Great Dane found starving and tied up to a metal pole in the freezing cold. Police discovered the dog after being given an anonymous tip, and arrived to find Luke starving on the brink of death. Luke was forced to bite off his paw to survive. Luckily, Luke’s condition improved, and he was able to have the necessary operation! He is now in recovery.

2. 375 Cats Rescued From Illegal Slaughterhouse in China

Recently, 375 Cats Rescued From Illegal Slaughterhouse in China when a distraught pet owner who lost his cat contacted the animal activist group, China Animal Protection Power (CAPP) and tipped them off about an illegal slaughterhouse in Tianjin. The CAPP raided the slaughterhouse and found a total of 375 cats crammed into 24 wire cages. Thankfully, the CAPP was able to get all the cats out of there and were negotiating with police to shut down the slaughterhouse for good.

3. A Man Rescued a Kitten Glued to Road

Man with rescued kitten

Source: Chuck Hawley / Sticky the Kitty

Chuck Hawley was driving and noticed a number of other cars driving over something black in the road. His first thought was that it was a box because it was small enough to fit between the car tires. But when he got closer he realized it was a tiny, helpless kitten glued to the road. Chuck took her home, renamed her Sticky, and she is a happy part of the family now!

4. Police Officer Braves Fire to Help Rescued Horse Graze

Cop letting horse graze

Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images – via

As soot, smoke, and embers filled the air of Paradise, California, humans and animals alike fled for their lives. Disasters, especially fires, are particularly frightening experience for animals, who are often abandon and left to fend for themselves against terrible and unexpected danger. One kind brave police officer took a lost horse out to graze… in the wildfire’s smoke!

5. Firefighters Rescue Donkeys From Wildfire!

Firefighters with rescued donkeys

Source: The Dodo/Sacramento Fire Department Facebook

Firefighter Chris Harvey and Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch spotted the frightened creatures as they were driving down the road in Paradise, California a few weeks ago and made a impromptu animal rescue with a couple of tasty cupcakes!

6. Jeffrey Dean Morgan Adopts Inseparable Donkey and Emu

Jeffrey Dean Morgan With Emu and Donkey

Source: Twitter/@JDMorgan

Jack the donkey and Diane the Emu have been together since they were brought to the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue after being abandoned by their owner. According to the rescue, when the pair were separated they became stressed and panicked. The two only calmed once they were reunited, and spend all of their time together cuddling and sleeping. The service was concerned that it would be hard for anyone to adopt Jack and Diane, as caring for both a donkey and an emu, let alone a pair as special as this one, could prove to be a tall order. After discovering the interspecies duo, actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan decided Jack and Diane would find a home with him.

7. This Little Fox Had a Horrible Case of Mange – But Rescuers Refused to Turn Him Away

Rescued fox

Source: The Fox Project/Facebook

The Fox Project, a British charity dedicated to helping the red fox, has been rescuing and treating foxes since 1991. This year, the organization rescued Nicholas – a red fox found suffering from a bad case of mange. Thanks to those taking care of him, Nicholas recovered fairly quickly!

8. Neglected Pup Barely Resembled a Dog – Then Rescuers Changed Her Life!

Neglected pup was rescued and groomed

Source: Rescue Dogs Rock

In August, Rescue Dogs Rock received a call about Sara from a shelter in Georgia. When she arrived at their vet partners yesterday the team was horrified by what they saw. Sara, it seems, has been a very long time without a hairbrush. Her hair was so tightly tangled that it was pinching her skin and her fur had a full layer of black dirt. After being rescued by Rescue Dogs Rock, Sara was completely transformed and is doing much better!

9. Leopard Who Fell Into a 30-Foot Deep Well Was Rescued

Leopard in well

Source: Wildlife SOS

Wildlife SOS and the Maharashtra Forest Department successfully rescued a leopard who found herself in a really dire situation. The animal, an approximately seven-year-old female, fell into a 30-foot deep open well in Yadavwadi village, India.

10. Extremely Matted Rescue Dog Was Transformed

Rescued dog

Source: Trio Animal Foundation

Sang Su is a Cocker Spaniel mix that starts off our story resembling something more like an old floor mop! Trio Animal Foundation stepped in to help him when they heard of his condition. He now looks like a completely different dog!

11. Jon and Tracey Stewart Rescue Goats Found on Subway Tracks in NYC

Goats on subway tracks

Source: NYCT Subway/Twitter

On the morning of August 20th, two goats were reportedly seen roaming the sea beach line of the N train in Borough Park, Brooklyn. The goats were temporarily cared for by Animal Care Centers before having famous animal advocates Jon and Tracey Stewart aid in their transport upstate to Farm Sanctuary where they will get to live freely (and safely) for the rest of their lives!

12. The Rescued Dog Who Almost Died Multiple Times

Transformed rescue dog

Source: Trio Animal Foundation/Facebook

Augustus suffered horrific abuse. He had large deep wounds that dripped blood, chemical burns, a gunshot wound in his leg, and, unimaginably, even more disturbing injuries all over his body. Severely malnourished and suffering from muscle atrophy, Augustus almost did not look like a dog. It was verging on a miracle that he was still alive at all. Thanks to the Trio Animal Foundation, Augustus is a completely changed dog!

13. Beagle Rescued From Horrific Life Inside a Lab

Ricky Gervais with rescued beagle

Source: Scarlet, Beagle Ambassador for FLOE

Scarlet the beagle experienced a horrific past during her two terrifying years as a laboratory. But now, with the loving Support of her adopters Janie and Phil Green, Scarlet is doing her bit to help free other animals who have faced the same ordeal as the proud figurehead and ambassador of For Life On Earth (FLOE). She has a fierce friend and fan in actor Ricky Gervais, who is calling for a public scientific debate on claims that animal testing is still a necessary practice when so many feel that it isn’t.

14. From Being Beaten for Elephant Rides to Freedom! Rescued Elephant Finally Says Goodbye to Life of Abuse

Rescued elephant

Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook

Trekking camps in Thailand offer visitors the chance to be carried through the jungle on the backs of elephants, who are kept in chains and beaten with bullhooks to get them to act as desired. For four long years, a sweet elephant named Boon Dee suffered at one of these camps in Pattaya, Thailand. Thankfully, a team of volunteers from the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) Elephant Refuge stepped inBoon Dee is now officially a member of the herd at the WFFT Elephant Refuge.

15. Lifeguard Rescued a Shark

Shark who was rescued by lifeguard

Source: Lauren Cooper/Facebook

A lifeguard working on Belmar Beach in New Jersey found himself in a really unusual situation. A small beached shark was found lying helplessly on the sand in clear need of assistance. One lifeguard did not hesitate to help the little shark! The man decided to place the animal carefully on his board and took the shark into the water, saving the animal’s life.

We hope you enjoy these amazing stories. We are so grateful for all the amazing heroes who stepped in to help the animals in need and hopefully in the new year, there is less cruelty toward animals and a lot more kindness! For more awesome Animal, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!

Lead Image Source: Twitter/@JDMorgan