Rescue Stories
On this page, we will share some of our rescue stories. Some are heart-warming; others heart-breaking. These pictures and stories reflect just a small percentage of special needs dogs that Wright-Way Rescue has helped over the years. With the addition of WWR's on site medical clinic, WWR is able to save the lives of many animals typically turned away by no kill shelter facilities. Our goal is to be able to help all adoptable animals, including those with treatable medical conditions.

This is Emma, a daschund puppy who was brought to us by a young couple who found her on the side of the road. Emma was covered in demodectic mange. The mange was so bad, after having been left untreated, that Emma's entire body was covered in open wounds. It was the most severe case of mange we had ever seen.

We are happy to report, despite the horrific picture to the left, Emma made a full recovery and was adopted into a loving home! Medical care for Emma was made possible through private donations from many individuals and WWR's Shelter Medicine Program which was funded through a grant from the Petco Foundation!
Bandit is a nine year old shepherd mix. This emaciated dog was brought to us from Union Co Animal Control after being forcefully removed from her former home. This dog has been left for many days without food, water, or shelter. To add to this senior dog's problems, she also was stressed with having to care for her five 6 week old puppies.

Bandit gave everything she had to ensure her puppies were well nourished and safe. Because of this, and her owners failure to care for her, Bandit became dangerously thin and weak. This nine year old dog should have been enjoying her senior years in the comfort of her owners home when instead she was fighting for her and her puppies' lives.

When Bandit arrived at Wright-Way Rescue she had to learn how to eat again. Fluids were provided to help boost her hydration levels. Vitamins, canned food, and lots of loving helped ensure this girl made a quick turn-around. Her internal and external parasites were treated. She was given a grooming and a warm bath. Pretty soon Bandit felt like a new dog!

Bandit's puppies were quickly adopted. Then came the lucky day that Bandit was chosen by her family!

Wright-Way Rescue was happy to help this special dog find the life she always deserved! 
Meet "Smiley!" This handsome senior dog came to us all the way from Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas! Smiley found himself a stray at a rural animal control facility in Arkansas that had only 7 dog runs. Smiley's time was extremely limited, and because of his age (seven), the shelter gave him just five days to live. Susan Clay, a volunteer with Friends of Horseshoe Bend Animal Control, recognized that Smiley had a wonderful warm-hearted loving personality and called Wright Way Rescue in hopes of saving Smiley. 

That's when Smiley's journey began - he was driven from Arkansas to a Wright Way Rescue Volunteer in Missouri, where a volunteer from Southern Illinois drove to Missouri to retrieve Smiley. Next, a special transport was made for Smiley to be taken from Murphysboro, Illinois all the way to our Adoption center in Niles, Illinois. All in all, Smiley traveled a total of 795 miles and transformed from an unwanted stray to a beloved family member.

Shortly after arriving at our Niles adoption center Smiley was adopted. He is extremely happy in his new home and enjoys long walks to the park and hanging out with his new family.

Wright Way Rescue is dedicated to saving dogs and cats in need, and is thankful that families, like Smileys', took action by adopting him.

Wright Way Rescue would like to introduce you Lilly, our adorable 4 month, 5lb, Chihuahua mix puppy. Lilly was brought to Wright Way by her family because they couldn't afford to provide medical attention for their dog. Her extremely sweet and friendly temperament was hard to overlook. Lilly's only option was to be taken in by Wright Way Rescue or left to face a grim future at animal control.

Wright Way Rescue opened their doors to Lilly and immediately provided her with the medical attention she desperately needed through our on site medical clinic, funded by the Petco Foundation. Lilly was able to be immediately diagnosed upon intake by a skin scraping, which was able to rule out the possibility of allergies and infection. Lilly had lost most of her hair on her head because of a severe case of Sarcoptic Mange. This extremely contagious, long lasting disease that requires intense time and labor is the reason that Lilly would have been euthanized if she been brought to any other local shelter.

Despite being difficult and costly to treat Sarcoptic Mange has an excellent prognosis.  Without Wright Way Rescue providing medical attention to special needs dogs like Lilly and many others, these otherwise adoptable loving pets would be left to face a very uncertain future. Lilly responded quickly to the medical treatment provided and maintained her fun and playful personality throughout her stay. Thanks to our medical program Lilly was  given the opportunity to find family and a life long home where she now resides!

Hi! My name is Molly, and I'm a two-year-old Shar-pei mix who's just arrived at Wright Way  Rescue! Despite my current condition I continue to be the sweet and playful dog that I am-I just love to give kisses! I have a warm personality that people just can't overlook. But as much as I love being here at Wright Way, what I really would like is to find a forever home to call my own.
Before I came to Wright Way, I went through multiple pregnancies, have given birth to several litters of puppies, and found myself on the euthanasia list. After being taken in from an  Animal Control facility by Wright Way, I have since been spayed, but the numerous pregnancies have caused me to develop mammory tumors along the side of my body.

These tumors have a sixty percent chance of malignancy, and I need to undergo diagnostic testing and most likely extensive bilateral mastectomy surgery to fully treat my condition.

UPDATE: Donations were received for Molly's surgery and Molly did wonderful! She does NOT have cancer but DOES have an adoptive home lined up with a repeat WWR Adopter! A special thanks to the children who set up a lemonade stand in order to raise funds to help save Molly's life! Thank you!

Nugget is an adorable Chihuahua who now came to us as a new mom. She was surrendered by her owner simply because the owner lost interest in her. She was a "burden" to the family since she delivered six adorable baby Poodle-Chihuahua puppies. Nuggets was under-socialized and lacked the love and support a mother dog desperately needed in such a challenging time.

Nugget was welcomed with open arms at Wright Way Rescue. Since being surrendered, Nugget and her six seven-week old puppies are thriving. The once malnourished mother and puppies are now healthy and strong. Nugget has come out of her shell displaying a shy but affectionate personality.  Nugget was adopted by one of WWR's Board Of Directors. Her puppies were all placed quickly in loving homes.
Wright Way Rescue would like to introduce you to Milly. Milly was found in the cold dark cage of an animal control. She sat patiently as we walked up and down the aisles of dogs, all needing to be rescued.  Milly was covered in severe matting which covered her entire face.  She was scheduled to be euthanized the day after Wright Way had met her. Although we knew it would be a challenge to adopt a special needs dog, Wright Way simply could not leave this loving dog to be euthanized.

When we asked to see Milly she immediately came to life wagging her tail. When she stood up we noticed she only had three legs! Upon further inspection, it became clear that the missing leg had been surgically removed some time ago along with one of her eyes. We brought her to a quieter, private area near where Milly's was able to let her personality shine. She passed the temperament screening with flying colors. Wright Way Rescue couldn't understand how anyone could have saved her from injury and not have bothered to save her from animal control. With tears in our eyes we promised Milly that never she would never be hurt or left behind agian.

You may think that Milly was lucky to have found us. However, the family destined to adopt Milly would be the lucky ones!  The Thier family adopted Milly, and recently called in to report that Milly is enjoying her new fabulous life. Milly fortunately was adopted to the owners of Splash Dog Inc, a canine hydrotherapy and wellness center. Milly loves her weekly swim at Splash Dog. Her regular walks and weekly swims have helped her gain strength and muscle-mass. Her self confidence has drastically improved, and she no longer has a problem climbing stairs. She loves to hang out in the back yard or on the couch with her sister Zoe. They are the best of friends, and have numerous daily play sessions. The Thier family has expressed their love for Milly and how happy they are to have her in their lives.

The Thier family has continued to support the work of Wright-Way Rescue through fundraising efforts for various dogs. We thank them for their support and for welcoming Milly into their lives!

Wednesday, a 9 week old pit bull terrier mix puppy was abandoned overnight at our Southern IL Admissions & Care Center. It was extremely cold and Wednesday was nearly frozen by the time our morning staff found her in a cage on our front porch. Wednesday's back leg was badly broken in three locations. She had a laceration on her leg and her jaw was very inflamed. A puppy tooth had literally been broken from her jaw. She was in incredible pain. We're not sure how anyone could leave this puppy to suffer in this condition. After Wednesday was stabilized she was taken to our orthopedic specialist and received a full work up. Wednesday made a full recovery after a couple months of foster care adn the excellent care provided to her by Haire Veterinary Clinic. She found a wonderful home who fell in lov ewith this sweet puppy who beat the odds!

Harvey is an adorable black labrador retreiver mix puppy who came to us from an animal control in Arkansas. Harvey was scheduled for euthanasia due to space limitations. Harvey fits into the less adotpable category because he is a large breed, black colored, male puppy. To add to his problems he also had an eye deformity. When we heard about Harvey we wanted to give him a chance for a happy life. With the help of a volunteer we were able to drive to retrieve Harvey just in time. Harvey's right eye never developed correctly. He was provided with medication but unfortunately this did not resovle the issues. Wright-Way Rescue provided Harvey with the surgery Harvey needed to remove his eye and provided the follow up care he needed to ensure a long and happy life.
Holly's survival is nothing short of a miracle. Her passionate resolve to live is only matched by her incredibly trusting and loving nature. This girl came to us through the John A. Logan Veterinary Technologies teaching program. One of their veterinary technician students in Herrin IL had found this stafordshire terrier as a stray. She had just been involved in a serious dog fight. Holly was in critical condition and required immediate care in order to survive.

The veterinary technician program offered to give Holly the help she needed to stabilize her if Wright-Way Rescue would agree to take her in. Exhasuting other shelters as options, Wright-Way was Holly's only hope so we quickly agreed to help ensure this dog had a future.

Holly had a long road to recovery but was a total sweetheart throughout the entire process. Once her wounds healed Holly then had to go through heartworm treatment.

Holly's then long-term foster home decided to make it official and signed the papers to adopt Holly. This once street-bound pit bull now lives as any pampered house pet should! She is fully obedience trained and a welcomed member of the community! If Wright-Way Rescue had not taken her in, Holly would have been euthanized.
Matilda (top left), Gracie (middle left), and Cleo are three dogs from over 25 that Wright-Way Rescue was asked to take in from a MO animal rescue. The home based rescue program reported that they were overwhelmed with the number of dogs they can accumulated and needed help.

28 dogs were received from this facility. All the dogs were infested with fleas, internal and external parasites. All were extremely matted and soaked with urine and feces. Many of the dogs were shy and fearful. The majority required major dental work. The Petco Foundation grant for Operation Lifesaver enabled all the dogs who required it to receive the extensive dental care they needed before being placed in new homes.

After many weeks of grooming, scaling teeth, socializing, bathing, and other medical care these dogs began to get adopted. Every single one was placed in a loving home after only 3 months. The majority of these dogs were small mixed breeds.

Wright-Way Rescue was happy to assist with these dogs to ensure they received  the care they so desperately needed and had a chance for a happy life.