On a quiet mountain road in southeastern Taiwan, a chance encounter led to a new chapter in the life of a young pup we've named Benedictus, or Ben for short.

A Call to Action

Our story with Ben began with a message from Fish, a long-time friend of ACT. She stumbled upon a starving puppy, alone and vulnerable, while travelling in the south of the island. Unable to take him in at the time, she reached out to us for help, sharing photos and videos of the friendly but anxious young dog hungrily taking food from her hand. Knowing we were short on space at our sanctuaries, we urgently appealed for a temporary foster home.

Ben as Fish first found him, thin and hungry, scared and anxious, at the side of a mountain road

Rescue Against All Odds

Delayed by sickness, weekend traffic, and poor weather, we finally embarked on the 6½-hour drive to rescue Ben several days later. The journey was filled with unexpected events, including rescuing another tiny puppy and encountering a macaque injured by a snare just down the road from where Ben was located. It was a sad reminder of the dangers that stray and wild animals face here in Taiwan.

Yet another wild animal #MaimedInTaiwan

Ben’s First Moments of Hope

When we finally reached Ben, he was curled up on the grass, a picture of neglect but still holding onto life—and hope: by the time we had turned the rescue vehicle around, he was excitedly awaiting our return in the middle of the road. He was wary yet grateful, hesitant but clearly in need of help. After offering him some wet food and water, which he eagerly accepted, we knew we had made a new friend.

The Road to Recovery

Ben was one of the easiest rescues we’ve ever performed. Usually, Taiwan strays keep their distance and we have to work hard to gain their trust or catch them humanely. But Ben was happy to be picked up and put in the rescue vehicle—though very submissively. The flattened fur on his neck showed he once wore a collar and must have been someone’s pet; his nervousness showed that he feared what might happen when he got close.

The next day, we took Ben to the vet. He was too thin for vaccinations or neutering but received a microchip. His journey to recovery had truly begun. Fish came to see the little guy who’s rescue she had ensured happened.

ACT for Animals’ founder, Judy, carrying a muzzled Ben after he tried nipping the vets in fear

Co-rescues Meeting for the First Time

Ben also got to meet BingGan, the tiny puppy whose life he unwittingly saved just because of his own rescue (more on him in an upcoming blog post).

BingGan meets his unwitting saviour

A Clean Start

Next was a trip to get cleaned up. Still very nervous, little Ben was too ruffled by the noises and goings-on at the spa, and showed his teeth again in fear. So our founder and rescuer, Sean, stepped in to wash and dry him with as little stress and fuss as possible. He looked so much nicer when we left!

Looking so much cleaner—and a bit sheepish about his outbursts at the spa

From Mountain Loneliness to Foster Happiness

We were very lucky to find Ben a really lovely foster home: a kind retired couple who spend their summers in Canada but their winters here in Taiwan. We delivered him to them yesterday. The moment he met the kind lady, his transformation was evident. From a scared, skinny pup to a happier, healthier dog excited about the future, Ben’s journey is a testament to the power of care and compassion.

“Really? Is this happening to me?!”—excited Ben with legs of his new foster mum and ACT’s Judy

Be a Vital Part of the ACT Rescue Team

As Ben embarks on this new chapter, you too can play a role in the transformation of his and other animals’ lives. Your kind support enables us to respond to emergencies and provide care to animals like Ben. Consider becoming a donor today, and if you can, opt for a monthly donation. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, ensuring we can continue these life-saving efforts month after month.

📸 Stay updated on Ben’s progress and other heartwarming rescue stories by subscribing to the ACT Blog today—complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Ben’s journey from a lonely mountain road to a loving foster home is just one of many stories made possible by your support. Let’s continue to make a difference, one animal at a time.

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