Helen and 10 Others PETA Rescued in 2023: Where Are They Now?

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

2023 is almost over. You’ve spent the better part of the year monitoring PETA’s page of adoptable animals as if it were your ex’s Instagram page. You feel personally invested in the stories of Helen the cat and others rescued by PETA fieldworkers. And trust me, as one of those fieldworkers, I get it—I more than get it. (More on that below.) This year, PETA’s Community Animal Project (CAP) facilitated the adoptions of hundreds of animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, goats, and a pig. See what just a few of them are up to now!

10+ Animals PETA Rescued in 2023: Where Are They Now?

1. Helen

Remember that personal investment I mentioned? Cue Helen: She was just one of many animals being kept in squalor by a hoarder. When one of my fellow fieldworkers first met Helen, she needed urgent medical attention for a ruptured cornea, likely due to living in a cramped, filthy space with numerous other stressed cats. Fortunately, her former owner agreed to let PETA take her for emergency treatment and ultimately find her a new home. I should have known when I first agreed to foster the beautiful brown tabby queen that my home would forever be her royal kingdom. Helen now spends her days playing, napping, sunbathing, “participating” in prayer time …

Helen biting the bookmark tassel of a bible

Not today, Satan!

… enjoying sunset adventures in her stroller …

Helen in her stroller

It’s no Furrari, but it’ll do.

… as well as learning important life lessons from her mature mentor and new BFF, including proper grooming:

Brandi, a brown and black cat, licks Helen

The love between Brandi and Helen is just so purrfect.

2. Georgina

Once kept in a crowded, makeshift outdoor pen in North Carolina, Georgina has since taken New Jersey by storm. She was one of 22 dogs fieldworkers removed from a rural property after a man who had failed to have them sterilized called PETA for help.

A PETA rescuer carries a small brown dog in a pink harness

A PETA staffer safely transports Georgina back to the pawffice.

Before PETA’s rescue operation, Georgina was denied meaningful human companionship. Although she was initially nervous and uncertain about living indoors, this sweet girl’s foster guardians quickly confirmed that she would make the ultimate best friend, preferably for someone with an outdoorsy streak. It didn’t take long for this once-shy hound-retriever mix to be scooped up by her new lifelong adventure buddy. Quickly adapting to life as a Jersey girl (and little sister), Georgie—as her guardian affectionately calls her—has officially traded a filthy, outdoor pen for a family and fun.

Georgina napping with another dog on a teal couch

The snuggle is real.


3. Kumar

When I first met Kumar, he was struggling to survive on the mean streets of rural North Carolina—and to kick a mean cold. His former owner (who had simply named the sweet but sick fella “Cat”) recognized his dire condition but was unable to afford veterinary care or bring him indoors, so she agreed to let my fellow fieldworker and me take him.

Kumar, a black and white cat, sleeps on a couch

Kumar loves napping the meowst.

After a course of treatment for an infection and a few weeks spent at my house, Kumar began a quest to find his very own castle—or apartment. And find it he did.

“[H]e’s willing to head anywhere on the East Coast for the perfect home—even Joisey,” we told PETA newsletter subscribers.

But he ended up in Boston, where he became a little brother to a wonderful canine companion, Bunny. From the moment they first laid eyes on each other …

Kumar and a white dog named Bunny look at each other over a table

Kumar’s life is now composed of two eras: “B.B.” (Before Bunny) and “A.B.”(After Bunny).

… Kumar and Bunny were fast friends. Together, they’ve spent the better part of 2023 snuggling, napping, playing, enjoying the Boston skyline …

Kumar sleeping on a windowsill

Don’t let his dozing fool you—Kumar thinks the New England views are ameowzing.

… and celebrating this black-and-white domestic shorthair’s first Halloween indoors.

Kumar sits next to pumpkin and black cat halloween decor

Who wore it better?

4. Buster and Zoe

When Buster and Zoe’s former guardian was diagnosed with a terminal illness, she knew she could no longer provide the care these senior Chihuahuas needed. Heartbroken but determined to do right by the inseparable duo, she turned to PETA for help.

Zoey and Buster sitting in a dog bed together

We double-dog dare you to name a cuter pair. We’ll wait.

While Buster and Zoe were at our Sam Simon Center headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the entire staff was utterly entranced by their large, expressive eyes and impossibly elfin paws. One particularly smitten soul took the cute couple home with her to foster. But she—and the rest of the world—had been warned in their adoption blog post that they were irresistible, so it came as no surprise when said staffer had her own “Helen” moment and announced that we could call off the search—they would be living out their golden years right where they were. Buster now spends his days running around, playing, and demanding rump scratches, all while Zoe curls up with their new guardian to observe her brother’s antics from a safe distance.

Buster sunbathing on a wicker chair

Buster’s favorite pastime after a ruff day

 

Zoe in a pink sweather on the lap of her human companion in a car

“Shotgun!” Zoe, every time.


5. Daisy May

I was a CAP newbie the first time I met Daisy May—at the time, she was named “Midnight.” A seasoned fieldworker was showing me the ropes, we’d had a particularly heart-rending day in North Carolina, and it was nearly time to head back to our Virginia headquarters. She told me about a dog who lived nearby and rattled off directions to the location.

“She brightens any day,” I remember my coworker promising me.

Just like so many other dogs we visit, Daisy May had a wooden doghouse that had been built and delivered for free by PETA staffers—instead of living inside where she belonged and where it was safe and warm. Her owner was a long-distance truck driver who wasn’t home often and didn’t have the time to give her the care she needed. So for years, this sweet Labrador mix spent every day and night chained on a small patch of dirt amid piles of junk in a backyard. Her bleak existence was punctuated only by visits from her biggest fans: PETA fieldworkers.

A PETA fieldworker pets Daisy Mae, a black dog

PETA fieldworkers are mutts about Daisy May.

One day, the same fieldworker who had introduced me to “Midnight” persuaded her owner to surrender her to PETA so that she could get the veterinary care she needed along with a chance of finding the loving indoor home she deserved. Back at headquarters, she was delighted to see all her favorite humans in one place and enjoyed the sparkling Norfolk skyline from her comfortable guest room. CAP’s search for a new guardian—one who would give her the life she deserved—didn’t take long. This “low-rider” lady’s adopter, who affectionately renamed her Daisy May, reports that the sweet girl loves playing with toys, going for walks (moonlight optional), and snuggling with her new family members—two- and four-legged alike.

Daisy Mae plays with a green stuffed toy

No more darkness for “Midnight.”

6. Ada

You won’t find an adoption announcement for Ada (formerly known as Oreo) because as soon as Hollie, the PETA fieldworker who rescued the matted but sweet-natured poodle mix, got her back to our shelter, she knew this wise dog’s permanent home was with her.

Ada, a small black and white dog, is held by a PETA fieldworker

Finding a loving family and a proper place to call home after 10 years without either is proof that anything’s pawssible.

Like Midnight, PETA fieldworkers had been visiting Ada for years. We transported her to and from her no-cost spay surgery, and we groomed the mats out of her fur on multiple occasions. When Hollie and two coworkers visited her one day this past summer, they were devastated to find her tethered without shelter and matted yet again. Fortunately, her owners finally agreed to let us take her.

“Even though she’s 10, she has the energy of a 10-month-old,” Hollie gushed. “We’re so lucky to have her. She’s made our lives so much better.”

7. Karate

Karate’s story is one for the books, from being tethered outdoors 24/7 …

A shiba inu mix stands outdoors on a chain

His name may be Karate, but this kid’s always been a lover, not a fighter.

… to helping his PETA-staffer foster decorate for the holidays …

Karate stands next to a pumpkin.

Karate’s foster guardian made sure to carve out lots of time for fun.

… to finding his permanent, loving home.

Karate with his new family

PETA found Karate the most pawesome family.

This small and spunky Shiba Inu mix was forced to live outside, and his PETA friends frequently found him shivering in the rain or hopping around frantically, desperate for the slightest bit of attention and, often, something—anything—to eat. On a recent visit, they found him ravenous and extremely thin and had a heart-to-heart with his owners, who agreed to give him up for a chance at adoption by a guardian who would care for him properly. The Karate kid blossomed while in foster care, and we quickly found him a loving home, where he’ll finally ring in a happy Inu year!

8. Pisa

When PETA fieldworker Alex flew 8,000 miles from his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Turkey in order to help rescue as many animals as possible following the country’s devastating earthquakes, he didn’t expect to return home with a new family member in tow. But plans change. Call it what you like—fate, luck, a blessing, a Pisa-shaped space in Alex’s heart. He found the terrified cat in a dilapidated building that was tilting just like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and coaxed him into a carrier. When he discovered that the frightened feline wasn’t microchipped—so there was no way to locate his family, if he even had one—he knew exactly what to do.

“There was no question he had to come home with me,” Alex said of his new BFF (best feline friend, obviously).

Pisa took to his new guardian’s lap on the flight home to Virginia, purring the entire time—the loudest purrs Alex said he’d ever heard.

Piza pictured with family

“Today, our whole family is showing Pisa he’s safe and loved, and he’s enjoying life, from cuddling with the kids to playing with our two dogs,” Alex said.


9. Joy

At local law enforcement’s request, PETA assisted with rescuing dozens of animals from a hoarder horror show, where they were kept in hideously cramped, filthy conditions. Among them was a piglet our rescue team lovingly named Joy.

Joy the pig at the PETA shelter

Getting Joy out of hoarder hell was a total PETA staffer collaboaration

Knowing that pigs’ unique needs require special care (FYI, there’s no such thing as a “teacup pig”), our experts set out to find sweet Joy the perfect home—Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary in North Carolina. Now she’s free to explore open fields, forage for food, splash in a pool, and dine on seasonal treats like fresh pumpkin.

Joy the pig after rescue

Once at Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary, it was nothing but hogs and kisses.

10. Rainey

We know spaying and neutering save lives. But for young chow chow Rainey, her spay day turned out to be vital in more ways than one. When a PETA fieldworker transported her (for free) from her spay surgery (also free) in Virginia back to her North Carolina home, he was troubled by what he found: she lived tethered and penned in a backyard, forced to endure the hot summer sun and winter’s freezing cold with little or no companionship.

Rainey stands chained outdoors

Rainey was ready to say ciao, ciao to being tethered and penned.

So this fieldworker came to Rainey’s rescue, persuading her owner to give her a chance at the indoor home she deserved. In her foster home, her unique personality quickly shone through. Like most chows, she had her aloof side, especially when meeting new people, but once she admitted you into her inner circle, she revealed herself to be a friendly, playful ball of fluff.

After a thoughtful search …Adoption flyer for Rainey. The headline text reads "Rainey Day got you down? This adoptable dog will lift your spirits!"… CAP found Rainey the perfect home in New Jersey, complete with a devoted guardian and a canine companion who quickly showed the chipper chow the ropes (meaning the best spots for zoomies) and became her lifelong friend.

Rainey rolling over in the grass

Friends furever


With the homeless-animal crisis worse than ever, PETA’s work to fix overpopulation—in our own backyard and beyond—has never been more vital.

On any given day, an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats are struggling to survive in the U.S.

CAP is helping to end animal homelessness by spaying and neutering thousands of dogs and cats every year, offering the only donation-based euthanasia services in the area, running Norfolk’s only open-admission shelter, and conducting in-house adoptions—carefully screening potential adopters instead of just giving animals away. But we need your help. If you’re searching for your own Helen or Rainey, look no further than PETA’s list of animals who are ready for a loving, permanent home …

Adopt an Animal Companion From PETA!

… or visit Petfinder.com or your local open-admission shelter. If you’re not ready to expand your family just yet, you can still help: Encourage everyone you know to get their animals spayed or neutered; work to pass laws that would implement animal-care standards, ban tethering and breeding, and prevent selling animals in pet shops; volunteer at your local animal shelter; and please, when you see animal abuse, always try to stop it or at least report it. Click below to learn more about PETA, CAP, and how you can help animals:

How to Help Dogs and Cats

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind