Ginny – the loving dog that rescued over 900 injured stray cats
The story of Ginny the Schnauzer/Siberian husky mix is one that will definitely brighten your day.
Her life saving skills made her legendary and she even has books written about her. This amazing pooch managed to save over 900 ill and injured cats in her lifetime.
The landlord of a disused apartment first discovered Ginny back in 1990. Clearly abused and abandoned, she and her three puppies had been locked in a closet with no food or water for several days.
The landlord called the shelter and Ginny and her pups were taken in. At first the vets thought that she might be beyond saving, and contemplated euthanasia.
Thankfully, she quickly showed signs of progress and the shelter vets had a change of heart. Carers brought Ginny and her puppies back to full health, at which point they went up for adoption.
Philip Gonzales was the man that stepped forward to do just that.
According to Gonzales, he “knew from the very beginning she was special.”
He had in fact arrived at the shelter to adopt a Doberman, but the dog had already been taken. A shelter worker suggested he take Ginny on a walk, and he did so reluctantly. “She sensed this though.” Gonzales said, “she refused to move until I had looked her in the face.”
From that moment Gonzales was bewitched by the little dog. And soon afterwards he would discover her incredible instinct for finding ill and injured stray cats.
It was as if after experiencing abuse herself, Ginny wanted to help other animals in need. She made it her mission to make sure others didn’t suffer, scared and alone.
“She always wanted to be out searching,” Gonzales said. She would spend her days sniffing out alleys, abandoned buildings and construction sites near where they lived. The first rescue she made was actually while walking with Gonzales.
Ginny dashed off and earnestly began scratching and pawing at a pipe. The pipe fell and five kittens tumbled out. “She has a peaceful air about her, and put cats at ease.” Gonzales said back in 1998.
“They showed no fear or aggression toward her; it was as if they had known her their entire lives.”
Ginny often put herself in danger in her search for her strays. She scoured dumpsters full of trash, glass-filled containers and auto scrap yards.
“She once found an injured cat in glove compartment.” All of this made Gonzales a regular at the animal shelter. Whenever Ginny found a new abandoned feline, she would alert her owner who would then have to bring the animal in to care.
But even at the shelter Ginny’s maternal instinct would overcome her.
On one occasion Gonzales found her begging in front of the kennel of a one-eyed cat. He went ahead an adopted her. When Ginny’s attention came across another cat, this two became part of the growing family. A few days later, he found out the cat was deaf.
Animal behaviourists speculate that she had an overly-active maternal instinct, stemming from the trauma she had experienced while helplessly trapped with her own new born puppies.
This drove her to save that incredible figure of over 900 cats in her life time.
Ginny deserved all the recognition she got while she was alive. In 1998, she was named Cat of the Year by the Westchester Feline Club in homage to her lifelong heroism.
In 2005, Gonzales made the difficult decision to put her to sleep at age 17.
Old age had gotten the better of her and she was in poor health.
But to rejoice in Ginny’s accomplishments is the best way to remember her. This loving dog lived a long and full life and saved the lives of hundreds of others. A truly wonderful soul.
We here at i iz cat solute you, Ginny.
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