1A cat with a "lobster claw," and a host of other health problems, finds a loving home
Two-year-old Lobstah was adopted by John and Leda Bigelow of San Francisco. He was found abandoned with a host of health issues, one of which is a deformed paw shaped like the letter "C."
Before he left the shelter, he underwent life-saving surgery. He was born without no sternum, which caused a problem with his intestines going into his chest. Lobstah was still in recovery when his new owners took him home. Despite a tough start in life, the feline has managed to live a relatively normal existence and has since become an internet star.
2Flipper was to be "disposed of" by his owner, but surgery and a new home changed his fate
In 2016, Flipper, a black and white cat, was threatened with euthanasia by his owner because he was born without a radius and was unable to walk. The RSPCA took him and, after surgery to fix his legs, he found a new lease on life and new owners in Canberra, Australia who agreed to care for him.
3A sad cat close to being euthanised is completely transformed
In summer 2016, BenBen, a ginger tabby, was living out his sad, final days at an animal rescue shelter.
Staff believed he had been attacked by a big animal, as he had "a crushed spine, several deep lacerations, and a cauliflower ear." He had stopped eating, drinking or even moving, and was scheduled to be euthanised, until a woman at the shelter took pity on the poor kitty and took him in.
Within hours, BenBen was transformed. After sleeping for a few days, “he was instantly full of purrs, smiles, and ‘thank you' cuddles,” his new owner said. “I like to think he knew he was safe and had his forever home at that moment.”
4A deformed dog whose life was spared at the last minute is now an international celebrity
A 10-month-old pitbull-corgi mix, who was on death row at a high-kill animal shelter in Southern California, is an now an international celebrity.
Meet Picasso, a dog with an out-of-kilter, but loveable, face who is looking for his forever family. He and and his brother Pablo were surrendered when a backyard breeder failed to find buyers for the pair. Luvable, a nonprofit animal shelter in Eugene, Oregon, stepped in a rescued both dogs, who will soon be available to go to a loving home together. But first, Picasso will have dental surgery to correct a painful condition caused by his misaligned snout.
5A bowlegged dog is flown from Greece to Britain for live-saving surgery
Sandy, a severely bowlegged dog, was abandoned in Greece in 2014. U.K. charity Mutts in Distress raised the money send Sandy to Britain for life-changing surgery. Donations through the charity's website poured in for the dog's transportation and keep. Once in the U.K., Cambridge surgeon Chaim Pilosof inserted specially-made plates into Sandy's legs to straighten them. Soon after, she had further physiotherapy and was adopted by a woman in Essex. Today, she lives a healthy, happy life.
6A puppy with a deformed paw gets his happy ending
10-week-old Casper was found in a "backwater area of Kentucky" when PetPromise Inc. arranged to pick him up. They were told "there was something wrong with his foot—he was missing some toes."
That's not all that was wrong with Casper, or his sister, Rowan. PetPromise said, "One of our awesome volunteers drove down to Cincinnati to meet the transport and pick up Casper and Rowan. Upon arrival at their house, she noticed they were completely infested with ticks—we're talking from head to toe, in their ears, embedded under their skin, between their toes—everywhere! She rushed them both straight to our friends at Rascal Animal Hospital where the vets immediately went to work on them. They were treated for the ticks, vaccinated, and given a full exam. Poor Rowan was so infested she had to be completely shaved down!"
Casper now wears a prosthetic foot to help with his balance. Rowan has since been adopted by one of the staff members at Rascal Animal Hospital, and Casper is happy and tick-free with his foster family.
7An injured stork thrives with 3-D braces
There was virtually no hope for survival for an injured Lithuanian stork trapped between waste and ropes.
Storks are known for their long and slender legs. This bird's left foot was badly deformed, and its right foot was so critically injured, it could no longer stand, nevermind walk, and didn't stand a chance at survival.
Rescuers took the stork into their care and tried several therapy solutions, but none seemed to make any difference. Amputation wasn't an option either, since the bird was unlikely to survive it. Instead, with the help of a company called Mass Portal, it was treated with 3D printed orthoses. Unlike prosthetics, which are used to replace a missing body part, orthoses are designed to fit onto an existing part to increase mobility and strength.
8A dog forced to live in a too small cage has finally found happiness
In December 2014, a pitbull known called Gargoyle, was taken in by Second Chance Rescue NYC. His body is deformed from being forced to grow up in a cage that was too small for him, but he's now got a new life and a new name—Landis.
Landis came to the rescue dwarfed, emaciated, with a curved spine and his front legs folded. After a bit of physical therapy to ease some of his pain, he was adopted by a family living near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is now minutes from the beach (sand is great for his legs), has a large fenced in backyard and is receiving hydrotherapy treatments.
9A dog born without eyes teaches kids to celebrate their differences
Noah, a puppy, was struggling to survive in the dirt at a backyard breeder's kennels in California. Born without eyes and deformed back legs, the tiny, white Bichon poodle mix had no chance to snap up any of the food thrown in the filthy space he shared with his two siblings. He was emaciated, frightened, and just two pounds when Saving K9 Lives took him in. They sent Noah to his new forever home in Wisconsin, equipped with a donated wheelchair and custom Muffin's Halo to help him navigate his life ahead.
Despite his challenges, Noah quickly became a therapy dog for area nursing homes, and now also visits schools to shed light on bullying by spreading his message of acceptance and empathy.
10The worm-eaten kitten that no one would help finds a forever home
This severely ill kitten was living on an Istanbul street when she was only four weeks old—she had been almost completely eaten by worms; one of her ears, her lips, and much of her tongue were gone.
A seven-year-old girl heard her cries among the trash—luckily for the feline, the girl's father was a vet. Together, they brought her to her forever home, nursed her back to health, and gave her the name “Gülümser,” meaning “she who always smiles.”