Throughout 2019, we shared as much animal-related news as we could with you all. The goal is to raise awareness on the plight of animals around the world and inspire people to help them and be more compassionate to all animals. Unfortunately, that means sharing a lot of heartbreaking news. But it isn’t always bad. We also love to share rescue stories and animal transformations. There are good people out there doing the difficult work of saving lives. Thanks to them, there are so many fantastic stories to celebrate at the end of the year.

In case you missed them or just need a good mood boost, here are 15 inspiring animal success stories of 2019!

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1. Dog Stolen and Dumped in a Recycling Bin is Reunited With OwnerDog in dumpster

Image Source: RSPCA via itv.com

In January 2019, a poor little terrier was stolen from his family’s garden. His owner had CCTV footage of someone taking the dog. The family was putting up posters and posting to lost dog websites in hopes of getting their dog back. Fortunately, an inspector for the RSPCA rescued the dog. The poor dog was found dumped in a clothing recycling bin. Thankfully, the dog was reunited with his family! Check out Dog Stolen and Dumped in a Recycling Bin is Reunited With Owner for the full story!

2. Paralyzed Rescue Dog From Iran Lives a Happy Life Now!

Pani, rescued paralyzed dog

Image Source: Tedi Sarah/Instagram

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Pani, a sweet little dog rescued from Iran, found her furever home with none other than her foster mom who already loves her and takes great care of her. Pani was found on the streets of Tehran with a severe spinal injury that left her bottom legs paralyzed. After spending a year in a sanctuary in Iran, Pani was sent to the Animal Haven in NYC so that she could be given rehabilitation. Pani spent just one night at the shelter before being picked up by Tedi Sarah, a child life specialist and vegan lifestyle blogger who had previously fostered 21 dogs and a kitten. Tedi thought she could foster Pani until she was adopted as well, and then continue fostering to help more dogs. However, little did she know, Pani was meant to be in her life forever. Read Paralyzed Rescue Dog From Iran Lives a Happy Life Now to learn all about their amazing journey together!

3. Wildlife SOS Team Saves Leopard From Lethal Poaching Trap

leopard saved by Wildlife SOS

Image Source: Courtesy of Wildlife SOS

The India Wildlife SOS team worked quickly to save this three-year old male leopard in Maharasthra from a dangerous jaw trap, which is a type of lethal poaching trap. The wildlife team had to sedate the injured cat before they could help carefully remove it from the trap. Luckily, the leopard sustained no internal injuries or broken bones. The cuts and scrapes it did have were cleaned up and treated so that the leopard could heal successfully. Read all about the rescue at Wildlife SOS Team Saves Leopard From Lethal Poaching Trap!

4. Goat Found Roaming in the Bronx by the NYPD Sent to a Sanctuary!

Goat with police and vets

Image Source: NYCACC/Twitter

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This goat had the luck of the Irish when on St. Patrick’s day, he was found roaming around 132nd Street and Locust Avenue. The NYPD found him and took him to Animal Care Centers where he was given a medical check. The goat most likely escaped from a slaughterhouse, but those scary days of awaiting death are behind him now that he’s at the Skylands Sanctuary and Animal Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey. There, the goat joined the fast little lamb who was found running along the Gowanus Expressway just a few days before. Learn more about his adventure at Goat Found Roaming in the Bronx by the NYPD Sent to a Sanctuary!

5. Breeding Pig Kept in Dark Stall For Over 10 Years and Her Piglet Are Rescued!

Princess, breeding pig

Image Source: Boochaces/Instagram

Princess, a 14-year-old pot-bellied pig suffered in a terrible situation like this for more than a decade. She was kept in a dark stall where she just kept being bred and did nothing but give birth over the years. She never saw sunlight, never felt a kind touch, and never even had a name before her rescue. Inevitably her mental health declined and when she recently gave birth to twelve piglets, she killed eight of them. The farmer who kept Princess in these terrible conditions knows Caitlin Cimini, founder of Rancho Relaxo, who often asked him to please let her save Princess. He finally reached out after this tragic incident when it became clear that Princess couldn’t help him make anymore money. Read Breeding Pig Kept in Dark Stall For Over 10 Years and Her Piglet Are Rescued to learn more!

6. Over 40 Animals Saved From Terrible Conditions at Gaza Zoo!

lion in cage

Image Source: Benjamin Czegeny/Shutterstock

Gaza Zoo became unable to care for the animals due to human conflicts between Israel and Palestine. The conflicts resulted in blockades which led to economic struggles in Gaza. This left the owner of Gaza Zoo unable to properly care for the animals. The terrible conditions led to the death of four lion cubs during a storm in January, a monkey killing another, and the death of a porcupine. Some animals have even died due to bombings in the area. In an attempt to make money, Fathy Jomaa, owner of the zoo even recently declawed two young lions so that people could pose for selfies with them. Animal Welfare Organization, Four Paws wanted to save the animals from this place and were fortunately able to come to an agreement with Jomaa. Read how the rescue took place at Over 40 Animals Saved From Terrible Conditions at Gaza Zoo!

7. 37 Rescued Spotted Seal Pups Released Back Into the Sea!

Spotted seal pups

Image Source: Courtesy of the Humane Society International

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In February, Dalian police in China found 71 stolen seal pups in a shed at a remote coastal farm that were taken from the wild by traffickers. They planned to sell the seals to aquariums and commercial venues like shops and restaurants for display. The seal pups were so young they hadn’t even been weaned and were in such distress that 29 pups had already died and 20 more were found buried nearby. Some pups who were sick unfortunately died since the rescue, but the healthy ones that survived were released back into the sea by Humane Society International! Check out 37 Rescued Spotted Seal Pups Released Back Into the Sea to learn more!

8. Endangered Baby Deer Rescued From Busy Road!

Rescued baby deer

Image Source: Courtesy of Wildlife SOS

A concerned citizen in India saw a very small baby hog deer on the side of the busy road, Chhatikara-Vrindavan, wandering around looking very confused. The passerby was nervous that baby deer might get hit by a vehicle and called the Forest department. They then waiting nearby in case the deer’s mother returned, but when she did not do so, they called Wildlife SOS for help. Check out Endangered Baby Deer Rescued From Busy Road to see some adorable photos of the baby deer and read more!

9. Endangered Moon Bear Cubs, Sugar and Spice, Rescued From Cruel Circus

Moon bears rescued from circus

Image Source: Animals Asia

Two moon bear cubs were being held captive illegally at a circus in Hanoi, Vietnam. The bear cubs were taken from their mother, who was killed, according to Animals Asia and being forced to perform for audiences. They were kept hungry so that they’d chase morsels of food on stage. Thankfully, authorities worked with Animals Asia to quickly rescue the cubs, Sugar and Spice who are just months old. Check out Endangered Moon Bear Cubs, Sugar and Spice, Rescued From Cruel Circus to see a video about the rescue!

10. Rabbit Rescued From Lab Where Vet Techs Injected Him Constantly

Rescued rabbit

Image Source: Courtesy of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Fred spent his life in a cage the size of a shoebox at a vet tech school. He was used as a prop for the vet techs to practice restraint techniques and injections. As the tattoo in his ear shows, he was simply known as 21M, but thanks to a student who stepped up to save him, he will spend the rest of his days at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Head over to Rabbit Rescued From Lab Where Vet Techs Injected Him Constantly to see photos and learn more about Fred’s story.

11. Dolphins Rescued From Swimming With Tourists in a Hotel Pool Now Doing Well at a Sanctuary!

Captive dolphin

Image Source: poeticpenguin/Shutterstock

In the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Bali, five bottlenose dolphins were kept in a pool where they were forced to swim with tourists and lived in terrible conditions. There were also other animals in concrete and steel cages. Fortunately, the dolphins were rescued by Dolphin Project and the other animals were confiscated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Check out Dolphins Rescued From Swimming With Tourists in a Hotel Pool Now Doing Well at a Sanctuary to read their full story!

12. Chile’s Last Circus Elephant is Retired to a Sanctuary!

Elephant

Source: Chile’s Last Circus Elephant is Retired to a Sanctuary!

Ramba the elephant spent 50 years all alone in a circus. The Asian elephant was first forced into circus life in Argentina and later in Chile. In 1997, she was “confiscated” from a circus called Los Tachuelas because she was suffering abuse and neglect. Despite being “confiscated,” she actually had to stay with the circus, just wasn’t able to perform anymore. After many years of hard work on behalf of Chilean NGO Ecopolis and elephant experts Scott Blais and Kat Blais, Ramba was rescued and it marks the official end of performing circus elephants in Chile. Read Ramba’s full story at Chile’s Last Circus Elephant is Retired to a Sanctuary!

13. Endangered Baby Pangolin Was Rescued from Poachers and Released Into the Wild!

Baby pangolin

Image Source: Positive Snapshot/Shutterstock

A baby pangolin estimated to be just under a year old was rescued by the ZoPosological Society of London (ZSL) from poachers. It’s believed the small animal (about the size of a puppy) was kept alive because poachers can make more money by selling a live pangolin for its scales and meat than a dead one. The poachers took the baby at night from the wild. The pangolin, nicknamed Kosin, was released back into the wild! Learn more about pangolins by reading Endangered Baby Pangolin Was Rescued from Poachers and Released Into the Wild!

14. Watch Former Circus Tigers Arrive at a Sanctuary and Enjoy Life for the First Time!

Rescued tiger playing in sanctuary

Image Source: Courtesy of Big Cat Rescue

The three tigers recently transferred were named Max, Simba (both 9 years old) and Kimba (2.5 years old). Kimba was sadly brutally attacked by circus workers on the day of his rescue. Since launching Operation Liberty, ADI has saved 15 tigers and 6 lions which like the tigers were taken care of at the temporary rescue center. However, Big Cat Rescue in Florida stepped up to offer Max, Simba, and Kimba a place to safely and happily spend the rest of their lives! Watch them enjoy their new life over at Watch Former Circus Tigers Arrive at a Sanctuary and Enjoy Life for the First Time!

15. Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Welcomes a Sheep Named Mabel Just in Time for the Holidays!

Rescued sheep named Mabel

Image Source: Courtesy of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary rescued 150 animals this year. An addition just before the holidays is a sheep named Mabel. Check out Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Welcomes a Sheep Named Mabel Just in Time for the Holidays to read her entire incredible story!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these amazing stories and they put a smile on your face. Most importantly, we hope it inspires you to be more kind and compassionate toward animals in 2020.

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