TeachKind Rescue Stories: Miss Willie’s Bucket List

Stories of people helping animals are all over the internet, and sharing them with your students is an excellent way to encourage kindness both in and out of the classroom. Because most children naturally feel compassion for animals, sharing rescue stories is a great way to engage and motivate different types of learners and encourage them to take action to help end animal abuse.

Each TeachKind Rescue Stories reading comprehension worksheet tells a different animal’s tale of transformation and features key vocabulary words and questions in order to encourage literal, inferential, and evaluative thinking. These worksheets were used in a study that found that students who read passages about having compassion for animals performed significantly better on Common Core–aligned assessments, demonstrating that instructional time need not be sacrificed in order to instill empathy in young people!

This rescue story is about Miss Willie, a dog who was kept chained outside for 12 long years before PETA fieldworkers were able to rescue her and give her a joyful final chapter to her life.

While Miss Willie’s story is heartbreaking, its message is important. We encourage teachers to address the serious issue of chained dogs with their students, especially if it is plaguing your own community. When students learn that they have the power to make a difference in the life of an animal, they’re motivated to take action. As educators, we can use this enthusiasm to drive learning and growth.

Use other TeachKind resources to create an entire lesson around this story. You can use this worksheet to address the following Common Core English language arts standards:


    Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


    Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


    Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Be sure to watch Miss Willie’s video to see all the fun things she got to do after her rescue.

This reading comprehension passage is geared toward students in grades 6 through 8 and is great for English-language learners, too.


Download this lesson in digital format here!

Inspired by Miss Willie’s story? You and your students can make a difference in the lives of other “backyard dogs” by ordering TeachKind’s FREE and simple-to-use “Change for Chained Dogs” fundraising pack!

cfcd donation jar labels and leaflets

Please share these resources to inspire other teachers to incorporate compassion for animals into their curricula.

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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