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Heroic Canine

Ginny, the Schnauzer/Siberian Husky mix whose life-saving skills were legendary. When she was adopted from a shelter, she paid the good deed forward by seeking out and saving sick and injured feral cats. She saved upwards of 900 lives.

Ginny was discovered by the landlord of an abandoned apartment. She and her three puppies were locked in a closet with no food or water for about a week. Shelter vets thought that she might be beyond saving. Once they were healthy, she and her puppies went up for adoption. When Philip Gonzales adopted Ginny from the shelter in 1990, he knew she was special, but had no idea just how remarkable she was.

He soon found out that Ginny had an incredible instinct for finding stray and feral cats. But not just any cats – only the ill and injured ones. She sniffed out alleys, abandoned buildings and construction sites. Perhaps having been found under the same circumstances, she made it her mission to make sure others didn’t suffer, be scared and alone. Her first feline rescue was for a litter of five helpless kittens trapped in a pipe. While out for a walk, Ginny dashed off. When Philip caught up, she was urgently scratching at a pipe. She continued to paw at the pipe until it fell, and the kittens tumbled out.

Animal behaviorists believe she had an overly-active maternal instinct, but to those she saved, she had just the right amount. Ginny’s drive to save lives was not limited to cats. On one occasion she came to the rescue when a blind man nearly stepped off a curb into high traffic. She leaped off the curb first and barked at him until he turned around.

Ginny crossed Rainbow Bridge at the age of 17 and will forever be memorialized in the hearts of people and felines that she had saved.


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