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A Forever Home is “Happily Ever After” for these dogs and their owners.

2017 has brought us more than a few challenging times. Earthquakes, hurricanes, political turbulence. It is enough to induce anxiety in anyone. But with any challenge or tragedy, there are times in which something good comes from the bad.

To brighten your day, we selected 5 heartwarming stories about rescue dogs. From a puppy abandoned at the airport to pets displaced during Hurricane Harvey, you might want to grab a box of tissues for the happy tears you are about to shed! These dogs (and the humans that love them!) are truly something special.

#1 Chewy, the Abandoned Airport Puppy

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Imagine walking into an airport restroom and finding a three-month-old Chihuahua puppy found in a bag. Before chalking this up as a cruel, selfish act, it is important to acknowledge the note found with this little one. It read:

Hi! I’m Chewy! My owner was in an abusive relationship and couldn’t afford to get me on the flight. She didn’t want to leave me with all her heart but she has no other option. My boyfriend kicked my dog when we were fighting and he has a big knot on his head. He probably needs a vet. I love Chewy soooo much. Please love and take care of him. XOXOXOXOXO”

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Airport employees were the ones to find the puppy. They brought little Chewy to Connor & Millie’s Dog Rescue near Las Vegas. When the rescue shared Chewy’s story, they received an overwhelming amount of requests to adopt him. Vets examined Chewy and found that he showed no signs of serious injury or trauma. He is currently in foster care, in hopes that his former owner is safe. Ideally, they hope for a reunion between Chewy and his owner. If not, there is no shortage of loving homes willing to take in Chewy.

#2 …and Justice for Justice

Justice found herself in a Detroit shelter for rescue dogs, after allegedly trying to bite an animal control officer. This behavior, regardless of the circumstance, put her on the list for euthanasia.  That was until Mike Diesel of Detroit Youth and Dog Rescue gave her a second chance. He rescued her and placed her into a foster home.

When her foster home could no longer care for her, Diesel boarded Justice at a kennel for nearly a year. Diesel described the dog as “sweet”, and was determined to find her a forever home. Then Diesel received a message from a family. It read, “I think you have our dog.”

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The family saw Facebook posts of Justice and sent Diesel family photos with Justice (whose real name was Patches) front and center.

As it turns out, the family’s landlord had entered their home illegally. Patches, protecting her family, bit the landlord. When animal control came, they put Patches into the shelter system, despite numerous calls from the family to bring her home.

Diesel set up a meeting with the family to verify the story. Patches immediately reacted to her old family who brought her home for good.

#3- A Saving Grace for Animals Left Stranded by Hurricane Harvey

Following the major hurricane that devastated parts of Texas, Austin Pets Alive set up shop on the grounds of an area Mall, saving animals impacted by the storm. The “pop-up rescue” took in animals from flooded animal shelters. Volunteers came from across the country to help assist with animal search and rescue efforts. rescue dogs

The tent-based rescue provided medicine and veterinary care to found and surrendered animals. Donated supplies were not only for the lost pets but to residents who needed emergency supplies, like food, medicine, and dog shampoo.

Surrendered pets or pets brought from other shelters went to the main facility of Austin Pets Alive. Found pets made their way to another rescue operation, in hopes of reuniting them with their families.

4- From Rescued to Rescuer

rescue dogsRocket is a border-collie mix from Sacramento, California. In 2012, evaluations deemed him not suitable for adoption, thus placing him on the shelter’s euthanasia list.

Rocket’s obsessive and manic behaviors, however, are exactly what the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation look for in rescue dogs. The foundation adopted Rocket and began training immediately.

In just under a year, they placed Rocket with a firefighter and the pair earned FEMA certification in 2015. Rocket, his firefighter partner, and 13 others headed to Texas following Hurricane Harvey. Their mission was to locate trapped people unable to respond to the calls of rescuers.

5- Homeless man gives what little he has to his “fur family”

Near Jacksonville, Florida, an animal rescue group discovered a homeless man living in the woods. What they did not expect was the pack of dogs he was tending to.

The discovery occurred when one of the dogs, known as Annie, was found running loose in the area. A witness called local animal rescue, Fur Sisters, to take in the dog.

When members of the rescue showed up, they found that Annie was a recent mother to three puppies. These were just four members of the 11-dog pack. All of the dogs were under the care of a man named Louie, who recently became homeless and was taking up residence.

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At a closer look, it appeared that Louie was taking better care of the dogs than he was for himself. They were well fed, compared to his skin and bones. There was bug spray to keep the dogs from pests.

As it turns out, Louis lost his job and home. His wife was in a shelter nearby, as he made his own shelter from a tarp.

The rescue took in eight of the dogs and adopted out two of them almost immediately. For the others, the rescue helped Louis and his pack obtain better temporary shelter, through a tent and supplies. The next step is to help Louis and his wife get back on their feet with new jobs.