We've gasped in horror at the cruelty inflicted on some Canberra animals this year: the kitten found in a drain, the nine puppies dumped in a box.
Rarely do we hear their tales of survival.
Toby was just 10 weeks old when he was found seriously injured in a drain in Weston in February and taken to the RSPCA ACT, where vets were forced to amputate one of his back legs.
Today, the nine-month-old feline bounds around his Bonner home and snuggles up to his owner, Karen Sheard.
The RSPCA veterinary nurse treated and fostered Toby and fell in love with the black and white cat.
She said he was lucky to be alive.
"Losing one leg was hard enough but [one front] leg was pretty badly damaged," Ms Sheard said.
"It was a very slow process. We had to continuously clean the wound and bandage it.
"Eventually the wounds did heal over."
At one point staff feared Toby would lose use of the leg.
Today, Toby is a new cat.
"When he first came in he was petrified. He's full of personality now," she said.
"He has the loudest purr of any cat I know.
"You can still see scars on his leg. The fact he's getting around so well on that leg is incredible."
RSPCA chief executive Tammy Ven Dange said about 25 per cent of animals taken to the shelter were rescued from abuse, neglect or abandonment, including many cases of hoarding.
Sometimes cases went before the courts.
Ms Ven Dange said the recovery process, including foster care, could be long or complicated but transformative.
"I don't think people realise how much work goes in before these animals are up for adoption," she said.
"When you see an animal after its been in foster care for a while, it's like a new animal.
"Even animals who stay in our office space during the day, you watch them build confidence around people again. A lot of them have lost faith in humans; they learn to trust humans. It's remarkable."
Nine-month-old puppy Effie is one of these animals.
She was among nine five-week-old puppies found in a box near Kingsford Smith Drive in Higgins in January. One puppy was so badly beaten it was put down immediately.
Effie has returned to Higgins, this time surrounded by Michelle Black and her family including children Lachlan, 7 and Chloe, 6.
Chloe and Lachlan instantly fell in love with Effie, the last box puppy to be adopted, before realising her story.
Ms Black said the family had intended to adopt a dog from the RSPCA or the pound "when the time was right" after the family's dog, Jack, passed away in 2013.
"I wanted to give a dog a second chance," she said. "It was just the right place at the right time.
"Both [children] just loved her. They sit on the couch and she sits between them. They're like peas in a pod."
Ms Black said Effie was "completely different" in personality and stature.
"She was very timid and very stand-offish when we first picked her up," Ms Black said.
"She's really come out of her shell. It's just good to see the trauma hasn't stuck with her. She's been able to get on with her life and find a happy place."