The 17 Most Pawsitive News Stories of 2017

Forget negative news and dive into the most positive pet stories on the Internet!

By Catalina Barrios


2017 went by too fast. It seems to me that as you get older time passes much faster than in the carefree days of youth. I remember spending the first day of Y2k or 2000 at Epcot Center and now, 18 years later, a lot has happened. In almost 20 years, I have traveled the world, lived in three countries and, of course, became a mom, which is the best thing that has happened to me.

So when I think back on the 2017 as a year of negative news stories, I’m a bit worried. We watch as our favorite celebrities get married and then promptly divorced. We read about politicians fighting and feel our freedoms being compromised in the process. We hear about hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed in conflicts or continue living in poverty. We see police killing unarmed black men. We sit back helplessly and watch as the world is devastated by natural disaster after seemingly endless natural disaster. As a mother who wants to leave this world a better place for my child, all of these factors can feel overwhelming.

But thanks to the Internet, and great readers like YOU, I have found seeds of hope in all the bad news. Many people like you have mobilized assistance or raised money and helped those in need. We all came together to make difference, which is what inspired me, as writer, to do my part in making a difference.

We don’t need to end this year with negative stories. Why not focus on all the good that has happened? Why not spread a little light, right?! As a first step toward living in a more positive world, and doing my part to get there with my little slice of the Internet, I have compiled a list of uplifting, inspiring and super cute pet stories of the year. These bits of news made the world a brighter place to live in 2017 and I’m sharing them with you in hopes that your world too becomes just that little bit brighter.

1. Dog Owners Have A Lower Risk Of Heart Attack


According to a study published in the journal, Scientific Reports, owning a dog can help reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease and even death. This is definitely one of the many benefits of having a furry friend in your life and definitely some GREAT NEWS. #prouddogowner

2. Puppy Left At Airport Receives Love and Adoption Letters


Credit: Facebook / Connor and Millie’s Dog Rescue CMDR

This picture went viral after a puppy was left by her owner at the airport after leaving an abusive relationship. Staff from Connor and Millie’s Dog Rescue, a dog shelter in Las Vegas, found Chewy in the airport bathroom. The response? After hundreds of received adoption letters, Chewy found a lovable forever home.

3. “Frida” The Dog Hero


Credit: Imgur

This adorable dog saved over 50 people during Mexico’s earthquake in September. She worked alongside of 14 other rescue dogs as well as human workers to locate victims of the 7.1-magnitude Mexico City earthquake.

4. Man Restores Faith In Humanity By Saving Rabbit From California Wildfires


Credit: Daily Mail

Oscar Gonzalez was deemed a hero after rescuing a rabbit from the California wildfires. On his way home to work he stopped and saw a rabbit running along Highway 1. He got out of his car and saved the animal despite official announcements stating that any attempts to save wild animals would be too dangerous for civilians. He is a real hero – way to go, Oscar!

5. What Is Different About This Picture?


Credit: Reddit / @r_gavin09

This picture was a sensation on Reddit after a user posted it with this caption: “My sister’s husky ran out of ink while giving birth.” While 6 puppies are always great news, we especially love it when they are arranged in graduated palette order.

6. Rescue Dog Gives Birth To “Baby Cows”


Credit: Instagram / @ourgoldenyears

This is hard to believe. This rescued Golden Retriever didn’t actually gave birth to “cows” but rather to four giant, cow-spotted pups who look nothing like her. The four black and white pups were named Daisy, Betsy, Clarabelle, and Moo after their possible bovine brethren. The fact remains that no one knows really know the father’s breed. Care to offer a guess? We think it could be a Bernese Mountain Dog, St. Bernard or even a Basset Hound!

7. Hundreds Of Dogs Rescued From South Korean Meat Farms

Humane Society International-FB

Credit: Facebook / Humane Society International

Over 250 dogs were rescued by Humane Society International (HSI) from a dog meat farm that closed in Wonju, South Korea. Thankfully, several dog meat farms had closed in 2017, greatly in part due to the tireless work of HSI. Many of the rescued dogs have found forever homes in Canada, United Kingdom and United States.

8. Dogs, Turtles, and Pigs Were Among The Animals Rescued From the California Wildfires


Credit: Twitter / @LAPDHQ

In December, over 200,000 people fled their homes due to the California wildfires. Emergency crews worked non-stop to rescue those in need including pets. Local humane society branches and shelters stepped up to provided the needed care for both injured and rescued animals.

9. Wild Lion Nurses Leopard Cub

National Geographic

Credit: National Geographic

Who would have thought that enemies could get along? African lions and leopards are not known for being the best of friends but according to this picture, there is at least one exception. A National Geographic photographer took this photo of five-year-old lioness nursing a week-old leopard cub in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

10. The Best Wedding Crasher

Felipe Paludetto

Credit: Felipe Paludetto

Traditionally, rain isn’t the luckiest thing that can happen on your wedding day. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case for Marilia Pieroni and Matheus Gomes Martins who were getting married in Brazil and had planned for the weather. As the rain started to come down, the couple and their guests finished the wedding ceremony under the shelter of a large tent, only to find that a stray dog also had the same idea. Surprisingly the dog was not unnerved by the hustle and bustle of the jovial crowd, and in fact, decided to make himself comfortable on the bride’s veil. Several guest made attempts to chase the dog away, but he always came back. Thinking that their furry wedding crasher might be a sign of good luck, the couple adopted the stray and gave him his forever home.

11. Over 1 Million People Watched As April The Giraffe Gave Birth

Animal Adventure Park

Credit: Animal Adventure Park

Birth is one of the most beautiful and magical experiences in life. April became an Internet sensation after a video of the last stages of her pregnancy and the subsequent birth of her calf were put on YouTube. In the spring of 2017, she gave birth to her fourth calf named Tajiri. A public contest was held to choose the calf’s name. And you can visit Tajiri at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York. In the end, April’s trainer chose the name Tajiri, which means “hope” in Swahili.

12. After Being Afraid Of Everything, Penni Now Has The Life She Deserves


Credit: Instagram / @pennidog

Penni the Pit Bull was locked in a basement the first part of her life. At the age of two, her captors dumped her and their other dogs onto the streets of New York. Due to her extreme isolation, she had not yet learned to run. Thankfully she was rescued by Fur Friends in Need who worked long hours to help her heal and grow strong. Blaine DeLuca adopted her and became the best of friends and travel companions. They love hiking and climbing mountains together and, of course, visiting vast landscapes where Penni can run free.

13. Couple Rescues Special Needs Cats


Credit: Instagram / @littleman_mika

What a beautiful act of kindness!  Joe and Lauren DiPaolo, a cat loving couple, rescue special needs cats or “handicats,” and provide them access to happy and fulfilling lives. They hope to raise awareness about the value of adding a disabled cat to your home and have accumulated an impressive 100K followers on Instagram. Well done!

14. France’s First Baby Panda

South China Morning Post

Credit: South China Morning Post

This baby panda’s parents have been in France since 2012 as part of a research and breeding program in cooperation with the Chengdu panda center in China. In August of 2017, Yuan Meng, whose name means “dreams come true,” was born weighing in at approximately 142 grams. He opened his eyes for the first time in mid-September and weighed in at about 8 kilograms this December.

15. Man Turns Family Farm Into Animal Sanctuary

Credit: Facebook / The Barn Sanctuary

Dan McKernan left his 9 to 5 job to found Barn Sanctuary, a shelter for rescued farm animals who are often in need of some type of rehabilitation. This includes any animals that have been abused, abandoned, sentenced to death, or are victims of natural disasters. We applaud McKernan’s noble act of converting his 140 year old family farm and turning it into a place for animals to live out the remainder of their lives in a safe and peaceful environment.

16. Courageous Mom and Good Samaritan Save Puppies From Drowning

A bystander helped a frantic dog as she tried to rescue her puppies from drowning in a hole that was filling with water. While all of the puppies were retrieved, one of them wasn’t breathing. Acting fast, the bystander administered CPR and was able to save the pup in peril.

17. Three Dogs Helped Their Walker Survive Two Nights Lost In The Woods


Credit: CTV News Vancouver

Annette Poitras survived two nights in the woods thanks to the three dogs she was walking. Jumping into action, one of the dogs took on the role of the guard, another one searched for food and the third one cuddled Annette to keep her warm. Chloe, Roxy and Bubba made it their priority to ensure their walker was safe. After hours of searching and a tip from a hiker, it was the dogs’ extensive barking that led the rescue team to find Annette and the brave pooches safe. The dogs were reunited with their owners who were proud to hear of their heroism.

We hope 2018 is filled with MORE paw-sitive stories!