Dog Tales That Will Warm Your Heart

It’s holiday season, so we’re spreading cheer with heartwarming stories about rescue pups meeting their new families. Grab a hot cup of peppermint mocha latte, curl up with your doggy, and enjoy these uplifting tales as told by proud fur-parents.


Meet Ripley, an Italian Greyhound rescued from people so horrible it’s hard to call them people. They captured, stole, and “adopted” small dogs and puppies to sell them as bait dogs, giving them miserable and ultimately, short lives.

A twist of fate rescued these pups from certain doom. Police raided the abuser’s home for reasons unrelated to these puppies when authorities found cages full of sick, hungry dogs desperate for the rescue that came just in time. Most of these innocent dogs were in bad shape after the suffering they endured, but all were successfully rescued and sent to various animal rescues.

Ripley was rescued by the East Coast Humane Society. After several weeks of much-needed attentive and loving care, she was nurtured back to health.

When an employee of Zesty Paws, Cindy, heard Ripley’s story, it tugged at her heartstrings, and it was love at first sight. Ripley is thriving with her new family and is slowly overcoming the emotional issues she suffered at the hands of her cruel captors. She has bonded with both her new parents and her new doggie siblings, and has made herself quite comfortable in her new, warm home.


Kelly’s story goes from heart wrenching to heartwarming. This poor little pup was found hairless, sick, and abandoned in a desert. A group of heroic guys going 4-wheeling ended their adventure early when they found Kelly and took her to the local shelter. She arrived at the shelter and she needed to stay in isolation for two months to recover. But Kelly was a fighter and never gave up. After she passed her health tests and her hair started growing back in, the shelter started looking for a new, permanent family.

They didn’t need to look far. Jamie, one of the shelter’s volunteers, asked to visit Kelly during her time in confinement. Kelly put her little paws on the glass window and kept wagging her tail, happy to see people despite her still sickly condition. When Jamie and Kelly looked each other in the eyes - they both knew they were meant for each other. All that was left was getting Rocky, Kelly’s new dog-brother, and Jamie’s husband, Kelly’s new dad, to agree.

Kelly fit in with her new family right away, jumping on the couch and waiting for someone to scratch her belly. These days, Kelly gets belly scratches and endless amounts of love every day - leaving thoughts of the desert far behind her.


Matt first found Bernie, a 4-year-old miniature pinscher, while volunteering with Zesty Paws at Pet Alliance Animal Rescue. Out of curiosity, he checked the rescue’s website before the volunteer event and found something he would never forget - Bernie. All of the pets in need of a new home had sweet faces and sad stories, but Bernie never left Matt’s mind.

He recalled a conversation he had with his wife only months before, where she said something that proved he was fated to adopt Bernie. The couple were already parents for an older miniature pinscher, Bruiser, and she told him that if they ever got a new dog she would want to name it Bernie – what are the odds?

Bernie suffered from severe burns, leaving a big scar and missing fur on his right side. It was obvious that this little guy needed a home where he would be treated better than he had been in the past. The pup’s story tugged as Matt’s heartstrings, and when he saw the little guy’s name - he knew he and his wife were destined to become Bernie’s new fur-parents.

When Matt arrived for the volunteer event, it was love at first sight. He adopted Bernie during the event and brought the miniature pinscher to his happily ever after home, where he became part of the family right away and finds new mischief to get into every day.


Meet Ruby, a sweet and fun-loving pup who is the proud mother of over 450 goats, piglets, and all kinds of furry friends at Edgar’s Mission, an animal sanctuary.

Ruby’s prior owner bought her to herd animals, not cuddle with them. But Ruby’s energetic personality was not a good match. Her story nearly ended in tragedy as she grew thin and depressed while her owner got more and more frustrated with her. Eventually, he gave up, taking her to Edgar’s Mission.

Ruby wasn’t supposed to stay at the sanctuary. Like the rest of the animals dropped off there, Pam Ahern, the sanctuary’s owner, wanted to help Ruby get better and find a new home. What neither Ruby nor Pam knew was that Ruby had already come home.

Ruby found her calling. She bonded with Pam and the rest of the sanctuary animals right away, and now the staff can’t imagine the place without her. Ruby’s the official tour guide greeter and cuddler for all the little baby animals who desperately need her love and attention after life gave them a few too many lemons. So Ruby finally found her happy ending by helping everyone else get their ever after too.

Can't get enough of pet-parent bonding? Then check out these quotes about dogs or these images proving how ridiculous (and lovable) our pups are.

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