When Craig Grant first moved to a remote tree farm in 2003 to set up a sanctuary for cats, he was taking care of 11 felines. Now his Caboodle Ranch, located just 50 miles outside Tallahassee, Fla., is home to almost 500 of them.
Over the last seven years, Grant has taken in more than 660 unwanted cats from around the country. This past week alone he welcomed castoffs from Michigan, Ohio, New York and his home state of Florida. But while he continues to keep his ranch open for felines in need, that growing population does not come without its own set of challenges. Grant works 14-hour days, seven days a week; and he only recently gave himself two days off during Labor Day weekend – his first "vacation" in four years.
When Coweta County, Ga., firefighter Jim Cadenhead got a call on June 29, he didn't realize it would end up changing his life. Animal Control was dealing with a cat stuck in a 40-foot well, and Cadenhead had been deployed to help.
"We took the roof off of the well house and hooked up a little system to go down into the well," the La Grange, Ga., resident tells PEOPLEPets.com. "Then I grabbed the cat. It was very simple."
Ric O'Barry spent a decade of his life capturing and training dolphins that he would work with in the 1960s TV series Flipper. But he has spent the rest of his life trying to do exactly the opposite, and has for 40 years been fighting for dolphins' lives.
They say a dog is man's -- or woman's -- best friend. And never was this made more clear than early last Wednesday morning when Princess, a five-year-old pit bull/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, was stabbed multiple times as she tried to protect her owner from a violent boyfriend.
"I feel like she's my hero," Marie Wells, 31, of Southbridge, Mass., tells PEOPLEPets.com. "If she hadn't been there, I don't know what could have happened. [My boyfriend] snapped."
For her first two years, Gina was a typically happy German shepherd puppy. She loved going up to people with tail wagging and ears up. As she trained to be a bomb-sniffing dog, Gina enjoyed checking out new sites at her home on Peterson Air Force Base. But all that changed following her six-month tour of duty in Iraq from December 2008 to May of 2009.
He had eight beers and two 32-oz. margaritas before calling it a night and falling asleep. So when Jerry Douthett awoke an hour later to a pool of blood beneath his right foot, he thought it was a nightmare. "But when I got up and rinsed my foot off, you know what a shock it was?" says Jerry of the moment he discovered the top half of his big toe was missing. "I still can't believe it."
As Jerry, 48, yelled to his wife, "My toe is gone," the couple's 1-year-old Jack Russell terrier was following him, licking up the trail of blood, his face smeared with it. "Right then and there, I knew Kiko ate it," says wife Rosee, 40, a registered nurse. "It was so bizarre."
Yes, the dog ate Jerry's toe the night of July 24, but at the same time, the pooch most likely saved his life. For several months, a smelly infection festered in the swollen digit, but the Rockford, Mich., resident refused to see a doctor. Once at the hospital to repair the toe, he was told his blood sugar was an eye-popping 560 (the normal range is between 80 and 120) and that he had type 2 diabetes. His doctors said that with blood sugar at such a high level, Jerry could have died.
A regular morning romp through the yard turned into a nightmare for a young Chihuahua named Buster when he was suddenly attacked and taken by a wild coyote in the suburban town of Littleton, Colo. But thanks to two brave pit bull neighbors, the dog survived the frightening encounter and is on the road to a recovery.
Four-year-old Buster had just returned from his morning walk with mom Jodi Robinette on July 31, but wanted a little more play time outside. Having already checked the surroundings of her back yard, Robinette felt it safe to let Buster burn off some active energy while she kept an eye out from her living room couch. But not even 30 seconds later, Robinette was back on her feet.
Call it the will to survive: One cat is on the road to recovery today after she was left for dead in a pet carrier that was apparently put into Boston's Charles River last week. Nicknamed Grandma Moses by staffers at the MSPCA-Angell, where she's recuperating, her potentially tragic story became a small miracle, thanks to one very good Samaritan.
When Cherry Woods found herself the target of two pit bulls in the distance, ready to attack, she started walking back home. But the dogs caught up to her, and even as she and her husband tried to fight them off, they continued to charge and bite her legs.
According to a report from Houston's KHOU news channel, a surprise hero came to her rescue: her tortoiseshell cat, Lima. As the Pearland, Texas, woman struggled, her onetime stray cat jumped out of the bushes and scratched one of the dogs, hissing at them. With the dogs distracted, Woods's husband Harold was able to bring her into the house.
Brenda van Bovene's Monday was punctuated by screams. First, the screams of her 11-year-old Australian silky terrier Tammy, then by her own shrill cries – so loud that a neighbor across the street heard them through his ear buds as he listened to his iPod.
Van Bovene heard Tammy crying in a terrible, distressed way from the backyard that afternoon, which prompted the 56-year-old woman to rush outside to see what was wrong. She was shocked to find her 15-lb. dog caught in the stranglehold of an 8-ft. python, which was slowly coiling itself around Tammy in a bid to kill her.
chickennugget in Dogs