Sometimes the world is full of sadness and despair. But every once in a while, there are touching moments that make everything seem better. Whether it's a cute animal or a police rescue, these occurrences happen every day. Here are some of those heartwarming moments.
Police Rescues Baby Seal
Police rescued a cute baby seal they found waddling down the road in Massachusetts.
It’s not clear how he got there in the first place as the road was two miles from the ocean, police said.
"How he got so far inland from the ocean to Route 6A without getting hurt is amazing," police wrote on Facebook. "Must be a NAVY SEAL!”
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Animal Stranding Team helped move the seal back into the sea. Police said the seal was in good health.
Woman Found Trapped Under Bed
An elderly woman found trapped beneath her bed in Florida miraculously survived nearly a week without food or water.
A close friend of 89-year-old Violeta Pilgrim called police after he hadn't heard from her in over five days.
Officers found Pilgrim pinned under her mattress, where she'd been for days.
"She was trapped in her mattress. She did not move from that position for six days," said Miami Beach Police Officer Pablo Gonzalez. "It is a miracle that she is alive."
The officers who saved her have been commended for their actions.
Georgia Woman Rescued
A Georgia woman is thanking her lucky stars, and a trio of police officers, after she was rescued from her burning home.
Dramatic bodycam footage released by the Savannah Police Department shows the heart-thumping moment the 39-year-old woman was pulled from her house as flames licked at her back.
Bodycam footage was released to applaud the men for their heroic act. No injuries were reported in the incident.
Mass Wedding in Bolivia
30 couples in La Paz, Bolivia were recently married in a mass ceremony. Authorities offered this option so couples wouldn't have to shell out lots of money on their weddings.
For many, the original plan was to get married last year, but quarantine and the pandemic changed all of that.
Social services reduced the standard price of the paperwork by half and donated champagne and the cost of the musicians' services, which helped make the event inexpensive but still special.
Dog's Head Stuck in Tire
It was a heartbreaking image as a puppy was seen with its head stuck inside a tire. Employees at the Bastrop County Animal Control and Shelter received a call Friday afternoon about the sad situation and quickly jumped in to help.
That’s when they called in the Bastrop County Fire Department for assistance. Thanks to rescuers, the small dog was freed.
“Everyone was ecstatic, even the puppy.” One person said.
Dog Returned to Shelter for Being Too Nice
Helena, the wonder dog, was not an orphan for very long. The 4-year-old pup was returned to a shelter in Atlanta for being "too nice." Her previous owner wanted an aggressive watchdog, and Helena is not that at all.
The man who gave her back to the shelter also suggested a woman might be a better parent "because they are more into that petting stuff."
She came back on a Monday. By Wednesday, she had new parents. Shelter staff was so taken with her loving self that they nicknamed her "Velcro dog " because she is always at their side. "She was super loving, loved to be cuddled, and liked to give kisses," one employee said. "She is this way with everyone!"
Paralyzed Dog Can Now Walk
Dog rescuers never thought Benjamin the Goldendoodle would ever walk after doctors discovered he was paralyzed, but a custom wheelchair helped him make his first steps.
Benjamin, a 3-month-old Goldendoodle known affectionately as "Benny," was born with a spinal abnormality that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
So when Walkin' Pets, a wheelchair company, offered to build Benny a customized walker, his caretakers at The Tucker Farm were ecstatic.
"I love his independence with his wheels. We are often outside here, so the way he's able to move freely and get what he needs is life-changing for all of us. Benny doesn't seem to spend time feeling sorry for his handicap but delights in what he has," his owner said.
Dog Found After Lost Three Years
An elderly dog went missing in the chaos of Hurricane Harvey, and after three long years, the pup named Maddie has reunited with her family thanks to social media.
"We had a friend here to help me unpack, and we think she went out with my friend because we looked for her after that point and couldn't find her," Rachel Koster, the pup's owner, said.
"After you search for so long, you just assume the worst," she said
Then, suddenly, they received a call from someone who said they knew where Maddie was. The Lost Dogs of Texas got into contact with Rachel's mother and facilitated the reunion.
Sully the Service Dog
After Sully, President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, ended his time working for the former president, he went to his next gig.
He was “sworn in” at Walter Reed National Military Center in Maryland. He will now help wounded service members alongside other service dogs.
Sully, named after Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, was initially raised as a puppy by an incarcerated veteran in a Maryland prison, as the organization does with all of its future service dogs.
The yellow Labrador was given to Bush 41 after the death of his wife, Barbara Bush, to help him cope.
“Sully will go on to spread his love at Walter Reed Hospital. He was a loving companion when my Gampy needed him most,” Jenna Bush Hager, Bush 41’s granddaughter, posted on Twitter.
Boater to the Rescue
Dylan Berian and his friends were enjoying a day of boating off the coast of Florida when they saw a small dog stranded in the water nearby.
Berian didn’t hesitate and jumped right in with his clothes on. His friends aboard the motorboat near Fort Lauderdale pulled in the dog, who was wearing a collar.
“The dog warmed up to us instantly. As soon as he got on the boat, he was shaking, but after about five minutes, the dog calmed down and seemed quite happy to be on a stable boat rather than getting drowned by waves,” Berian said.
Afterward, Zuko, who was unharmed, safely reunited with his owner.
Animals Saved After Flood
An animal rescue group went above and beyond to give animals stranded in the Louisiana floods a second chance, flying the pets across the country in an effort to find them their forever homes.
Wings of Rescue lent their services to ensure dogs and cats left in the storm-ravaged southern state would be brought to Oregon, where Friends of Shelter Animals worked to find permanent homes for the rescues.
As many as 31 rescued cats were either adopted or taken to other shelters in the hopes of finding families.
Homeless Man to the Rescue
A man from Atlanta was hailed a hero after he sprinted into action to save the animals inside an animal shelter that went up in flames.
Keith Walker, 53, was on his way to take his pit bull, Bravo, for a walk when he saw the shelter that houses his beloved dog engulfed in flames.
Walker, who at the time was homeless, selflessly jumped into the burning building and rescued all six dogs and 10 cats that were there. Though he was nervous to go into the building, Walker said he believed God put him there to save the animals.
"If you love a dog, you can love anyone in the world," he said. "My dog is my best friend, and I wouldn't be here without him, so I knew I had to save all those other dogs."
Volunteers Needed To Pet Animals
An animal sanctuary in Idaho is looking for helpers to make their animals feel loved.
Dominifarm Animal Sanctuaryhelps abandoned farm animals like cows, pigs, chickens, and horses. They're hoping the volunteers will help the animals socialize.
"We need volunteers to come play with them, brush them, feed them treats and give them belly rubs. Even just talking to our pig friends helps socialize them," they wrote on Facebook.
The sanctuary is hoping some of the animals may be able to be adopted. If not, at least they will be loved by the volunteers.
Adorable Dog Saved
A severely abused dog named Cutie somehow escaped her home and wandered into someone else’s yard. The pup, whose mouth was wired shut, was found by a good Samaritan.
"Her mouth had been wired shut causing deep lacerations while exposing her bone and tissue,” the Kansas Humane Society said.
Chollett Bucl, who has fostered more than a hundred animals for the Kansas Humane Society, came to the rescue. Now Cutie is in good spirits and is healing.
Italian Firefighters Save The Day
Cries for help were all that could be heard after a dog fell into a hole in a rock and got stuck. Firefighters in Italy were tasked with getting the pup out, but this was no easy feat.
The search and rescue crew used a pneumatic hammer to make a larger hole in the rock in hopes of being able to get to the dog that way.
The plan eventually worked, and after five long scary hours, the dog was finally free. It was taken to a veterinarian and is said to be doing well.
When some orphaned and abandoned elephant calves needed intervention to stay alive, they found help in northern Kenya’s Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.
There, these extra-large infants get the socialization, health care, and nutrition they need. Nutritionists at the sanctuary found the powdered milk formula they were using was not beneficial to the calves less than six months old.
They found a way to give the pachyderms the nourishment they required and bring financial resources into their local community.
Fresh goat milk, which a Reteti veterinarian says is a “very highly digestible protein,” is also much less expensive than human baby formula. In switching to a goat milk-based formula, the sanctuary can support Samburu County farmers, many of whom are women.
They also provide a healthier alternative for baby elephants.
Soldiers Adopt Puppies
Three overseas U.S. soldiers found stray puppies on the road near their base and decided they wanted to take them home.
The dogs were hungry and cold, so the soldiers took them in to feed them and keep them warm. The soldiers each adopted a puppy, naming them Strawberry, Luna Moon, and Duchess.
The three wanted to send the pups back home to their families so they can stay safe and loved. Thanks to Paws of War and generosity from donors, they were able to do just that.
Man Saves Baby From Choking
It was a scary sight in South Carolina when a 10-month-old baby started choking on a piece of pancake.
“We kind of hit him on the back, thought OK, he’s got this, he’s gonna get it down,” the baby’s mom, Jayne Koehler, said. But Jayne and her husband, Jon, quickly realized how serious it was.
Salvation came in the form of a man named Major Hillard, who immediately got up and retrieved a device called a Lifevac from his car. He used the Lifevac to try to suction the obstruction from little Gabriel’s mouth. After several plunges of the device, Gabriel was miraculously breathing again.
Lost Ring Found
Isadora Rose, 7, was exploring New Johns Lake in North Dakota when she saw something shiny. It was a high school baseball star's class ring lost in 1982. The story took a bittersweet turn after Isadora's mom found the man's widow through social media.
Turns out, it was Kerry Helm's, who was a star baseball player. Thirty-nine years ago, he was having his graduation party by the lake when the ring slipped off. His initials were engraved on the inside of the ring.
But the story took a bittersweet turn when it was discovered that Helm died five years ago from an asthma attack. His widow, Cheryl, met up with the Rose family to receive the ring.
Child Saves Parents
A 9-year-old girl was hailed a hero thanks to her quick thinking. She used her dad’s face to unlock his iPhone and call 911 as carbon monoxide filled their home.
“I heard my dad screaming and say my mom passed out,” Jayline Barbosa Brandão said. “So, I unlocked it by using my dad’s face.”
She rescued her parents as a dangerous and fatal amount of the toxic gas had engulfed the home.
Woman Vows to Plant Trees
Jane Goodall, a widely-known primatologist, announced that she hopes to support the United Nations’ Trillion Trees Campaign to combat climate change by planting a trillion trees by 2030.
Her initiative, called Trees for Jane, hopes to not just plant trees but to protect “existing forest because those big trees already have stored CO2,” Goodall told National Geographic.
The world now has roughly three trillion trees, but the planet loses 15 billion trees a year.
“I know that a trillion sounds like an insane number,” said Jeff Horowitz, Trees for Jane’s co-founder. “We’re not saying flat out that we’ll be able to succeed, but we want to come as close as we can.”
She's going where no Barbie has gone before. Mattel is marking World Space Week by creating a doll to honor Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
"Well, as astronauts, one thing that we all really care about is inspiring the next generation," Cristoforetti explained. "Inspiring young boys and girls to take up careers in space exploration or in general in science and technology."
Proceeds from the sale of the Barbie will support Women in Aerospace to help them follow their dreams to the stars.
Wedding Ring Found
A wedding ring lost last year at a Hawaii cliff diving spot has finally been returned to its owner — all thanks to the power of social media.
Ryan Priest found the ring while climbing out of the ocean onto rocks. He and his wife Corinne posted a video about the remarkable discovery.
They didn't hear anything for over a year until the video found its way through social media and was viewed by Alexis Jordan-Ames. She and her husband, CJ, had gone diving in 2020 on that same cliff to celebrate their wedding anniversary with a photo shoot when she lost the ring.
"I was heartbroken," CJ said.
After Alexis saw the video, they all met on the beach to surprise CJ with his lost ring.
"We just still can't believe that we were able to find the owners a year later," Corinne said.
Vin Diesel's Good Deed
“We’re Married!!!!” Meadow Walker exclaimed on Instagram, sharing a video from her recent ceremony to now-husband Louis Thorton-Allan.
For the romantic occasion, Meadow, daughter of late actor Paul Walker, had a special guest walk her down the aisle: Paul’s “The Fast and the Furious” costar and her godfather, Vin Diesel.
Meadow shared the sweet moment on Instagram.
The ceremony took place earlier this month in the Dominican Republic. Also in attendance for the wedding was Jordana Brewster, another “The Fast and the Furious” costar.
Luke Bryan Changes Tires, Too
When a Tennessee mom got a flat tire, she didn't have to call AAA, because she got some help from a total stranger: country music superstar Luke Bryan.
Courtney Potts’ tire blew out on a dangerous curve outside Nashville and she was stranded on the road with her two kids when Bryan came over to help.
“The second he hopped out, he said, ‘I almost hit you, we have to get you out of the road,’” Courtney Potts said. “He didn’t introduce himself, but I paused for a minute and I was like, ‘Are you Luke Bryan?’ And he was like, ‘Yes, but we really gotta get you out of this road, and then I’ll get you fixed up ready to go.’”
In no time, the flat was fixed, and Bryan was happy to pose for a photo. Before he left, Bryan gave Potts a piece of advice: go get new tires!
Retired Crossing Guard's Send Off
After 16 years as an elementary school crossing guard in Florida, 92-year-old Robert Frew retired.
“I’m in my 90s now, and I decided to hang it up,” he explains. Robert took the job because he wanted something to fill his time after retiring from the phone company. And this time, he’s retiring for real.
And when he did, he received a warm send-off from the school community. On his last day, people showed up with signs of well-wishes for Mr. Bob, as he’s affectionately known.
Wherever he should go next, here’s hoping Mr. Bob arrives safely.
A Special Can of Coors
When Diane and Ed Nusselhuf married in 1971, they bought themselves a can of Coors beer, which they promised to drink on their 50th wedding anniversary. And for nearly five decades, that can of beer followed them
But sadly, Ed passed away in 2016, five years short of the anniversary.
So mom and I decided that we would honor the pledge that was made a long time ago,” Ben Nusselhuf, the couple’s adult son, said. Finally, the day arrived, and the special moment was captured on video earlier this year.
Autistic Toddler Found
After days of searching, authorities in Australia located a missing autistic toddler. Three-year-old Anthony ‘AJ’ Elfalak is non-verbal, making the search more difficult.
AJ’s father, Anthony Elfalak Sr., said when they noticed their son was missing from their rural home north of Sydney, their search began right away.
A police helicopter crew spotted AJ sitting by a creek, cupping his hands to drink the water. Now a family and an entire community can celebrate AJ’s return.
Afghan Family Reunited
An Afghan family recently reunited, embracing in a tearful hug that appeared as if it could go on forever.
Shakiba Dawod has lived in Paris for 12 years. Until recently, her mother and siblings lived in Kabul, Afghanistan.
But all that changed this month. As U.S. and NATO forces withdrew from the country, the Taliban toppled the government there.
Shakiba's family is one of the thousands who fled. And now they are all together.
"I hope I'll be able to help them to dream again and to rebuild their lives," Shakiba said.
The Colorblind Can See Color
A colorblind viewer was recently installed at Radnor Lake State Park in Tennessee. It’s one of 11 installed in parks around the state so that those who are colorblind can appreciate the brilliance of colors.
With this new addition to the parks, they now feel seen.
"I've never seen somebody spending money on someone that's colorblind,” One person said. “I've never seen something like this. So I think it's incredible."
Woman Gets Visit From Flamingos
Peggy Garrison, a hospice patient, recently got a unique visitor. She loves flamingos, and she's paid homage to the majestic animals with the 158 trinkets and decorations she's collected throughout her life.
Now that the 75-year-old is in the final stages of cancer, a flamingo named Mango paid her a visit from the San Antonio Zoo.
According to her daughter, Peggy hasn't been speaking or smiling much lately, but when Mango showed up, her feelings were visible.
"Seeing the surprise and the emotion on her face, I think it's making an impact for sure," Amy Doezema, Peggy's daughter, said.
The San Antonio Zoo said it was happy to allow Mango to meet Peggy to honor the life she spent loving these animals.
Woman Braids Hair For Free
When Brittany Starks offered to braid the hair of a few kids on their way back to school for free, she had no idea how great the need for her services would be.
"It was supposed to be five to seven kids," she explained. "I had a lady, she had five kids, she was living in a hotel, and she needed her kids' hair done. I kept getting stories like that, and I'm like, 'I can't, I can't stop!'"
Parents and guardians all over Nashville have reached out to Brittany on social media, asking for her help. There was so much demand that she's enlisted other braiders to donate their time — and it is a lot of time.
Brittany's generosity stems from knowing what it's like to receive. She says she was inspired to offer her braiding services when someone gave her children a backpack full of school supplies and clothing.
"I was a struggling single mother," she added. "I've been homeless before. It meant something to give back."
Cop Helps Man in Need
When a Michigan officer pulled over a car for speeding, he encountered an upset senior citizen who shared his problems
“My wife’s real sick, and my son’s mentally ill,” the man told the officers. “I bought a television today because I want to make my wife happy, and I can’t get it hooked up.”
So the officer offered to help. About an hour later, three officers showed up at David’s house. They hooked up the new device and showed him how to use it.
David was given a verbal warning for speeding and a helping hand in a moment of need.
Wallet Found After Being Lost 50 Years
Most of the time, when someone loses a wallet or valuable item, it's never to be returned. But one Kansas man proved to be very lucky.
"It's not every day we have fun stories like this. We have to share," the Great Bend Police Department shared on Facebook after someone turned in a lost wallet to them that was 50 years old.
"It contained several items, to include a social security card and a driver's license that expired in 1974," they noted.
They tracked down the owner from Lawrence, Kansas, and he informed them that he lost the wallet in the early '70s. It is now back in his possession, better late than never.
Tiny House Community for Vets
America’s largest tiny home community is now in Highland Park, California, and the new neighborhood will be housing people in need.
Two hundred and twenty-four people who previously didn’t have a place to sleep will soon move into their own tiny spaces.
“It’s your un-housed neighbors that will be living here," Rowan Vansleve from the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission said. “It’s better here. Getting treatment, getting care, getting services, than in your backyard.”
Vet Cuddled With Dog
A NYC vet tech was photographed sleeping next to and comforting a dog with cancer as it went through rounds of treatment.
Taylor Calhoun, a licensed vet tech at Clinton Pet Vet, was photographed by the dog’s owner, Cindy Siddon, as she laid next to Rizz as the pitbull mix battled bone cancer.
Siddon posted the photo on Facebook and the picture warmed hearts in a time of discomfort.
Sadly, just a week after the photo was snapped, Rizz was euthanized.
Barber Gives Free Haircuts
Herman James is a licensed barber from Queens. When the pandemic began, he brought his tools to Central Park, set up a chair, and proceeded to give the gift of haircuts.
"Nobody was interested in being inside the shops," Herman explained. "They felt more comfortable being outside because there was less of a risk of catching COVID."
So Herman went outside and cut hair regardless of the person's age, gender, or ability to pay.
"Somebody baked me a cake once and brought that over," he revealed. "I know a lot of people were financially impacted by the pandemic. I didn't feel a need to charge them at all."
The Central Park barber says he will continue to cut hair on a pay-what-you-can-scale, even after the pandemic.
"Just being out here amongst nature, seeing the seasons change. It's a very tranquil feeling of serenity being here in Central Park. It's been a real blessing and a joy being able to work here," Herman said.
Child Gets Prosthetic Arm
It was a joyous day for 8-year-old Beknur Zahibekyly when he received a prosthetic arm made of Legos.
According to his mother, Zaure Bektemissova, finding suitable prosthetics has been a challenge. So, she reached out to a popular YouTuber, David Aguilar, for help.
His many fans know David Aguilar as Hand Solo. He's also an engineering student who created a prosthetic arm for himself out of the famous toy bricks.
Aguilar was happy to make one for Beknur, who has been thriving since receiving his.
His mom says the gift has changed her son's life. "His self-esteem is high now, compared to what was before," she said.
Parents Create Haunted House for Autistic Son
Parents will do anything to make their kids happy. The Koolings, from Virginia, had to get creative so their son could experience Halloween. They created a haunted house so that Gabriel Gonzalez, who has an autism spectrum disorder, could enjoy the holiday in his own special way.
"I said, you know, you can help me pass out candy, but I'll make it scary for trick-or-treaters," Gabriel’s mom said. "So that's how it got started in, and it was just a basic maze without any tunnels or anything like that."
Now the Halloween spirit comes to Gabriel, who says he is looking forward to the holiday this year.
Man Finds a Way to Cope With Wife's Death
Nick Gardner took to nature to cope with his grief and mental health after the life he had with his wife for over 30 years was suddenly gone.
So the 81-year-old set a goal that would scare some people half his age.
"My wife got Alzheimer's four years ago," Gardner explained. "And when I couldn't look after her two years later, I had to get a challenge to refocus my life, and it had to be a challenge that would last some time.
The challenge? Climbing all the Scottish mountains. He’s climbed 177 of the 282 so far, and along the way has raised money for charities that assist people with Alzheimer's disease.
And his goal is to keep climbing and keep raising more.