Before he was even 2 years old, toddler Dylan Lipton-Lesser had undergone 15 brain surgeries due to a condition known as hydrocephalus, an excessive buildup of fluid inside the brain. But there's an upside – he's been able to find comfort in a friend who's experienced something similar: puppy Frank, a Chihuahua-dachshund mix with the same condition.
"As a very young puppy Frank clearly had a really big head," Amy McCracken, executive director of the no-kill shelter Richmond Animal League told TODAY.com. "We transfer animals from municipal shelters that are in danger of being euthanized, and that's how we got Frank."
Frank was placed with a foster family, and aside from suffering a seizure at 8 weeks old, thrived under their care and with regular doses of a seizure-controlling drug. When it became clear that concerns over his medical care were preventing potential adopters from signing on the dotted line, Frank's foster parents were prepared to make him their forever pet – until Stacy Metz stepped in.
Cecil Williams, whose life was saved by his guide dog after he fell on New York City subway tracks, will get to keep his pooch after animal lovers donated money to pay for the retiring pup's expenses.
Williams, 61, faced finding a new home for Orlando, the Labrador who jumped on the tracks to revive him after he fainted, because the 11-year-old pooch is getting to be too old to be a guide dog and the owner's insurance plan doesn't cover the expenses of nonworking dogs, the New York Post reports.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which trained Orlando, created a fund to help Williams keep his brave pup, and animals lovers have also donated more than $55,000 on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo so that the pair can stay together. "The spirit of giving, Christmas and all that – it exists here. It's in New York," a tearful Williams said from his hospital bed on Wednesday.
A blind man and his guide dog were struck by a subway train in Manhattan on Tuesday after the man lost consciousness and they tumbled on to the tracks, but both escaped without serious injury.
Cecil Williams, 61, told The Associated Press from his hospital bed that he was on his way to the dentist during the morning rush hour when he felt faint on the 125th Street platform. His guide dog, a black Labrador named Orlando, is trained to protect him from going over the edge.
"He tried to hold me up," Williams said.
Witnesses said the dog was barking frantically and tried to stop Williams from falling, but they both fell to the tracks when Williams fainted.
Rescued dogs have found their poster pup!
A once-homeless dog named Rupee is believed to be the first canine to make it to the base camp of Mount Everest at 17,000 feet.
Rescued by Joanne Lefson from a garbage dump in Northern India, Rupee was malnourished, dehydrated and on the verge of death when she found him.
"When I saw him on that dumpsite, he couldn't have had more than an hour to live. He couldn't even walk 10 meters without collapsing," Lefson, an animal activist, said in the U.K.'s Daily Mail.
There's no furry rivalry here. When New Zealand resident Kim Edwards realized her cat Rory had ingested rat poison last week, she turned to a risky paws-ibility to save her pet's life: dog blood.
After bringing Rory to her local veterinary clinic, Edwards was informed the cat needed an immediate blood transfusion to save its life. With not enough time to send a blood sample to the lab to determine Rory's blood type, Edwards called upon her friend Michelle Whitmore for help.
The vet retrieved blood from Whitmore's black Labrador retriever, Macy. The risk at hand: Giving Rory the wrong blood type would lead to instant death.
Plymouth, Mass. officers lined the sidewalks Friday to bid farewell – and pay their respects – to their beloved police dog Kaiser as handler Jamie LeBretton walked his four-legged sidekick past the saluting crowd and into Court Street Animal Hospital.
The solemn sendoff came following Wednesday's announcement that Kaiser would be retiring from the force – and ultimately laid to rest to end his suffering after his recent diagnosis of severe liver and kidney disease.
"I could not have asked for a better partner or friend. May you rest easy and wait for me at that sacred bridge. I will be there my friend," LeBretton wrote on Facebook Friday, sharing a photo of his devoted dog.
Amid the heartbreak, there was hope – thanks to some furry friends, and a few big-hearted humans.
Despite the devastation in Oklahoma Monday after a deadly tornado tore through the state, readers found joy in the heartfelt images of shell-shocked residents reuniting with their beloved pets, and shared the heartwarming pictures in droves. (See them all here.)
Forget diamonds – a dog in Poland proved to be a girl's best friend.
Rescue workers were able to find a 3-year-old girl, named Julia, who went missing overnight in Pierzwin, Poland, thanks to the barks of her "best friend," a stray black dog who often accompanies her.
The toddler wandered into the forest near her home after playing in her backyard with the pooch Friday evening. While members of the community searched for her, the dog stayed by her side and kept her warm throughout the freezing cold night. She was discovered Saturday morning in the marshes.
A fire blazed through a Portsmouth, N.H., couple's home Tuesday, damaging their historical home dating back to 1742. But there was a glimmer of hope for Dave Adams and his wife, whose 17-year-old cat survived the devastation – with some serious help from firefighters.
To the cheers of onlookers, firefighters carried Tiki Bear out of the house, which Adams, a carpenter, had spent the last 25 years renovating, reports local news outlet WMUR. The firefighters then administered oxygen and the cat began breathing again.
Tiki Bear was later checked into a veterinary clinic to seek treatment for smoke inhalation.
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