The World’s 5 Most Famous Rescue Dogs

marnie famous rescue dog

Marnie lives the good life now!

Not all dogs get a lucky start in life with loving owners to dote on them; some do it pretty rough – from puppy mills to neglectful owners or surviving on the street. Thankfully, many of these dogs are rescued and given a new life – and for some, that new life is pretty damn amazing! We love a good rags to riches tale, so to celebrate these four legged wonders, here are five of the world’s most famous rescue dogs – who have also rescued their new owners right back. Nawwwwww.


Internet sensation Tuna has been melting our hearts since 2011 when he was rescued by Courtney Dasher in an LA farmers market. After starting an Instagram account for him, Courtney was overwhelmed by the response, with people loving the story of the underdog with the overbite. His characteristic wrinkly neck and overbite jaw make him instantly recognisable to his adoring fans – all 1.8 million of them! Tuna has been on adventures all over the world since coming to fame, and Courtney aims to not only bring a smile to people’s faces but also educate them about rescue dogs.

Follow Tuna and Courtney’s journey on their Instagram: @tunameltsmyheart

toto terry wizard of oz famous rescue dog


After being abandoned at a few weeks old, Terry was taken in by German couple Carl Spritz and his wife. She was a nervous puppy but after six years of slowly gaining confidence, she landed her first role in 1934 rom-com Ready for Love. The Spritz’s, who trained film dogs, had intended to keep Terry as their own house dog but when a group of Hollywood producers went to see another of Carl’s dogs she caught their eye. Unable to leave her behind they flew her to paramount studios. Terry continued to star in movies but her big break came in 1939 when she took the iconic role of Toto in the Wizard of Oz. The relationship between Dorothy and Toto was off screen too, Judy taking her in when she broke her leg on set. Terry went on to star in 17 feature films and remains a testament to how far rescue dogs can come in life!

toast rescue dog karen walker


Adorable King Charles pup Toast was rescued by her owner Katie from a puppy mill in North Carolina. With rotten teeth and almost freezing to death, Katie took her home to New York to start a new life. Toast much more than a social media superstar, taking the feature role in Karen Walker’s Winter Eyewear campaign. But Toast is not the only famous face in the family, Katie is the publicist for Tinder and runs her own fashion blog, whilst her husband is world renowned @thefatjewish on Instagram. Today Toast makes celebrity appearances at various events and has high hopes for her modelling career.

Learn more about Toast and the family by following her Instagram: @toastmeetsworld

clyde marley and me rescue dog

Marley from Marley and Me is played by various dogs at different stages in their lives but Clyde got the most screen time, and ultimately the starring role. Adopted by Susan at a shelter she volunteered at, Clyde was a real life Marley: running around, loving and attention and eating anything he could get his paws on! For his role in the movie, Clyde was awarded $1500, all of which was donated to a Labrador rescue charity.

marnie famous rescue dog

Older dogs are often last to be adopted but when Shirley saw Marnie online she just knew she had to take her home. Marnie had been found on the streets of Connecticut with 14 decaying teeth, matted, smelly and with a clouded over eye. Luckily, after some treatment she was looking happy and healthy again. Marnie’s is known for is her lolling head and dangling tongue, which is the result of brief vestibular disease when she was younger. She now makes frequent appearances at events, travelling all over the US, stopping only to shake paws with a variety of celebrities – most recently Seth Rogan and Selena Gomez.

Keep up to date on Marnie’s daily antics through her Instagram: @marniethedog

Do you have a rescue dog or know of any rescue dogs we should add to this list? Tell us in the comments below! If you are thinking about rescuing a dog, check out our advice on choosing the right rescue for you, and visit our charity page for links to some of our favourite rescue organisations. 

Hattie Constance is a writer and blogger from West London now living in New Zealand with her two pugs, Bonnie and Scrappy. She spends her days working her way through Auckland's cafes or taking her dogs for walks along the beach. Outside of writing, Hattie has a huge passion for fitness and running - something her pugs do not!

1 Comment

  • Reply June 14, 2018

    Charlie Kaser

    Great article! I have a rescue dog named Rosie Belle this is quite new on the scene, but is making a splash in her popularity. We travel the USA going to events promoting adoption of shelter animals.

    Her Instagram is on the rise with 124K followers and growing.

    She has an amazing background story and was adopted in Franklin, TN.

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