Then & Now: See How These 10 Popular Rescue Stories Ended


The best stories have happy endings, and if we had it our way, every dog would be living happily-ever-after in a cozy home with a loving family. We don’t always have a happy ending to share, because these pups are still in the middle of their stories when we hear about them. But we always hope that they’re on their way to a better future.

Sometimes we’re able to find new information later, and when we do, we like to update our old stories. These are just a few of the ones we’ve been able to find – do you remember any of these dogs?

1. Bart

Sergeant Tanzanika Carter saved this pup today! The dog was running on the tracks near Coliseum Bay Area Rapid Transit…

Posted by BART Police Department on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Then: This pit bull caused a ruckus during rush hour in San Fransisco one morning when he decided to walk along the tracks and try to play with a Bay Area Rapid Transport train! The rambunctious pup made headlines and even became something of a local meme for a little while. B.A.R.T. and the police worked together to corral him at the Fruitvale station where he was finally caught. He was then taken to Oakland Animal Services, where they named him after the train: Bart!

Now: Bart’s story went viral and was proof of his sweet, playful nature! Only a month after he was taken of the tracks, Bart was adopted by a couple who appear to be spoiling him rotten!

Posted by Bay Area Rapid Transit on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2. River and Daisy

Special Pet Sunday! Meet River & Daisy, a beautiful, very friendly and sweet bonded pair of pups looking for rescue,…

Posted by Pennsylvania SPCA on Sunday, July 17, 2016

Then: In 2016 River was a 6-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who had lost his sight. 4-year-old Collie, Daisy, became his best friend and seeing-eye-buddy. They were rescued together from the home of a cruel owner who neglected them and their medical needs. It was apparent when they arrived at the Pennsylvania SPCA that River and Daisy were bonded, and they wanted to find a home for the two together.

Now: The Pennsylvania SPCA reported a few months later that River and Daisy found a home together! These two will be together til the end!

The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived, we are happy to report that River and Daisy, our nearly blind pup and…

Posted by Pennsylvania SPCA on Tuesday, October 4, 2016

3. Rosie

Meet Rosie, a Great Dane puppy recently fit with a prosthetic leg by Fort Myers, Florida-based Hanger Clinic Prosthetist…

Posted by Hanger Clinic on Thursday, September 10, 2015

Then: Rosie was only 10 months old when iHeartDogs shared her story in 2015. As a very small pup, her mother accidentally stepped on her leg and broke it. Her breeder intended to have her euthanized, but Big Hearts Dog Rescue stepped in and offered to pay for Rosie’s care.

The little cast she wore restricted blood flow to her broken leg, and it had to be amputated. Big Hearts reached out to the doctors at Hanger Clinic in Clearwater, Florida, who are responsible for the prosthetic tail that Winter the dolphin uses to swim. Rosie was fitted with a prosthetic leg and recovering in a foster home.

Now: Rosie is a much, much bigger girl! And she found the perfect human!  Maja Kazazic survived a bombing in her home country of Bosnia in 1993, but lost her leg. After years of physical and emotional pain associated with the loss, she visited Hanger Clinic, where a doctor told her she should meet Rosie. Maja fell in love, and the two have been together since. Rosie has been an inspiration to Maja, and helps with her PTSD. Together, they visit others who have lost limbs to offer encouragement!

On stage with Rosie!

Posted by Maja Kazazic on Saturday, February 23, 2019

4. The “Dumpster Puppies”

It is freezing and sleeting in Indy tonight. So to work with no coat, you’d have to be crazy… or crazy kind….

Posted by Every Dog Counts Rescue on Saturday, December 17, 2016

Then: Indianapolis police officer Scott Charleswood was out working late one cold winter night only a few weeks before Christmas 2016. At the time he was responding to a concerned call about the sound of crying coming from a dumpster, and discovered that someone had tossed seven newborn puppies away like trash. Without a second thought, he took them all out, removed his coat and wrapped them in it to keep them warm. He then took them to Every Dog Counts Rescue for care.

Now: News of the pups went viral, and there was a ton of interest from potential families. They spent the first weeks of their life in the care of the rescue, and became little celebrities! They got to visit with the Indianapolis Colts, appeared on shirts, and took adorable photos like the pajama pics below! When they were old enough to go to new homes, Every Dog Counts carefully considered each application and made the best choice possible. They did an excellent job, because all seven are still with their families, happy and healthy! Even after they were all adopted, they still made a few appearances for pictures with their adoring fans!

By popular demand… updated photos of our sweet little Dumpster pups, on their first birthday! Happy birthday sweet babies! <3

Posted by Every Dog Counts Rescue on Sunday, December 17, 2017

5. Binx

I’m Binx, And I am TOO good of a dog. No Seriously! I was adopted and returned within 48 hours, with notes saying I’m…

Posted by Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA on Monday, October 22, 2018

Then: Binx may be the only dog ever to be surrendered for being “too good,” but that’s exactly what happened. This sweet boy was at the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA, potty-trained, fun-loving, well-behaved, and with good basic obedience skills. He was adopted one day, and returned within 48 hours because his new family was looking for a dog who was more of a chalenge, they said!

The shelter didn’t want to judge, but they couldn’t believe it – either way, it was clear that this was not the right match for Binx! We were shocked, and shared his story hoping to help Binx’s forever family find him.

Now: It didn’t take Binx long at all to find the right family – who wouldn’t want a dog that is so good, some people can’t take it? His soon-to-be dad heard his story, but couldn’t take action while his wife was out of town. The moment she arrived home, he picked her up from the airport and drove them both straight to the shelter and met Binx! He’s living the good life with a couple that’s just as great as he is!

Everyone! It happened! I have a family!! My new dad saw me on TV, but my new mom was out of town. When he picked her up…

Posted by Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

6. Dodger

Dodger has been in the shelter 7 years . He is 11 years old . He needs a very special LOCAL home someone who can come…

Posted by The North Fork Animal Welfare League, Inc on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dodger’s story doesn’t have as happy an ending, but it’s better than some.

Then: Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana in August 2005, but in May 2007, the city was still recovering and shelters were packed with strays. Southold Animal Shelter in New York took some of the pets out of New Orleans Shelters to relieve the strain. One of those dogs was Dodger.

When we shared Dodger’s story in 2017, he had been waiting for a home for 10 years and was living at the North Fork Animal Welfare League. Although he was sweet and won the hearts of shelter staff, he was also shy with new people, and needed a home without other pets or children. This made it difficult to place him.

We shared his story again last year, hoping the right person would see him, but instead, many people seemed upset that no one on the staff had taken him home yet. The staff knew Dodger best, and they knew that none of their homes were the right fit where he could be happy. They never gave up.

Now: Dodger may not have had a home of his own, but he was adored by the staff. They worked tirelessly to get the word out and never let their followers and friends forget that he was still waiting. Sadly, he passed away in 2018 after spending 11 years in the shelter.

He didn’t have a traditional family, but he left this world with a full belly, and friends and supporters who will remember his name and never forget it. That’s more than many other dogs might ever have.

It’s a very sad day at NFAWL. This afternoon we had to say good bye to our longest resident, Dodger. He lived with us…

Posted by The North Fork Animal Welfare League, Inc on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

7. Meatball

Meatball wants to know if he will find his home for the holidays! This lovable handsome pocket pittie is ready to curl…

Posted by Tails and Scales Rescue on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Then: When we first shared Meatball’s story in Feburary 2019, he had been waiting for a home for over 1,000 days. Even with a big smile and a love for swimming pools, Tails and Scales were having a hard time finding someone who could give him a loving home. They were eager to find his family, and were offering free training sessions to make sure that he fit his new family well.

Now: Tails and Scales means business when it comes to finding Meatball a home! When someone expressed interest almost 800 miles away, Meatball’s foster mom loaded him up and hit the road, hoping that this would be where he belonged! Unfortunately, when they arrived, they discovered that it wasn’t meant to be. Though he didn’t get a family that day, he did get a nice road trip and some good pictures! Meatball is still waiting – Tails and Scales needs help spreading the word. There’s a home out there for him, we just have to find it!

We always appreciate when our readers share our articles – but we’re really asking this time! Please share Meatball’s story on iHeartDogs or this post from Tails and Scales with your friends – one of them might be looking for a Meatball of their own! 

Posted by Tails and Scales Rescue on Monday, July 22, 2019

8. Caitlyn

Caitlyn the dog on road to recovery after being found with muzzle taped shut >> http://bit.ly/1H5NfL5

Posted by Animal Planet on Friday, June 5, 2015

Many animal lovers have followed Caitlyn’s story from the beginning, but the impact is so great we felt it ought to be shared here again!

Then: Poor Caitlyn had been through a lot in a short time. She was sold for $10 to William Leonard Dodson, and when he got sick of hearing her bark, he wrapped her muzzle with duct tape and left it on for two days. The consequences were severe – she was in so much pain she couldn’t eat or drink. The tape was so tight it cut off blood flow to her tongue and some of it had to be removed. She needed jaw surgery. And those are only the things she suffered physically.

But Caitlyn found wonderful advocates at the Charleston Animal Society. Her story spread far, and people all over rallied behind her, demanding justice for her.

Now: Dodson was sentenced to 5 years – the maximum sentence for his crimes against Caitlyn. When he was up for parole in 2017, Team Caitlyn was there to demand justice, and his parole was denied.

Caitlyn was adopted by a staff member at the Charleston Animal Society, and has recovered from her ordeal. She stil has scars around her muzzle, but with a smile as big as hers, you’d hardly notice! She’s become a “spokesdog” against animal abuse, and inspired Caitlyn’s Animal Cruelty Fund, which helps other dogs who have suffered abuse, with the goal of someday eradicating it completely. Her upbeat spirit has helped her make a huge impact in animal rescue. keep up with her on Instagram!

9. Sarah

Poor baby

Posted by Almost Home-NO KILL Shelter on Friday, August 19, 2016

Then: Like Caitlyn, Sarah had also suffered a serious physical ordeal. She was found one summer morning stuffed into a cat carrier that was left in the driveway of Almost Home No Kill Shelter. When staff checked their security cameras, they discovered that she had been out there overnight for twelve hours. She was shoved into the carrier so tightly that staff had to disassemble it to get her out, and when they did, they discovered her legs were paralyzed. She had been neglected for some time and was in very bad shape.

Even after her night trapped in a too-small carrier, Sarah was sweet and loving, and gave her rescuers kisses and cuddles.

Now: Almost Home was totally devoted to her care, and helped her recover from a severe Urinary Tract Infection and even got her walking again while in her foster home. They did the best they could for eight months, until Sarah passed away peacefully, asleep in her foster mom’s bed. Whatever she suffered before, she crossed the Rainbow Bridge happy and loved, and with supportive fans who cheered every step of her recovery til the end. You can read the sweet goodbye from Almost Home below.

*** FUREVER IN OUR HEARTS AND SPIRIT*** Sweet Sarah SmilesOur beloved girl, Princess Dutchess, Sarah Angela, of the…

Posted by Almost Home-NO KILL Shelter on Thursday, May 4, 2017

10. Lucy

We are seriously busting at the seems here .. we got the estimate for Lucy that was beat in the head by her owner in…

Posted by Snarr – Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Then: Lucy’s owner didn’t think of her as a living creature so much as he thought of her as a status symbol. Even so, she was terribly abused. When rescuers were finally able to help her against her owner’s wishes, her jaw was broken on both sides from an attack with a brick. Still, her owner would not give her up.

Rescuers in Cairo reached out to S.N.A.R.R. in the U.S. for help getting her away from her abusive owner. They had to go to extremes to see that she was safe, faking her death so that he couldn’t reclaim her. She recieved care for her jaw in the U.S., and a foster mom to help her recover from the invisible scars.

Now: A family in Arizona saw Lucy’s story when it went viral, and once she was ready to go home, they took her in! She’ll never live another day in the situation she was in, and is now the treasured pet she was always meant to be!

Meet our next pup! SNARR is putting together a 2017 calendar featuring all of our adoptables. But before we can begin…

Posted by Snarr – Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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