Our Story

Mutual Rescue has motivated people worldwide to embark on their own mutual rescue journeys.


Watch “Our Story”

Diesel - Kristi Johnson Photography


The spark that ignited the global initiative Mutual Rescue happened in the summer of 2015, when Carol Novello and David Whitman first met—thanks to their friend Sally Hazard Bourgoin.

Mutual Rescue was launched on February 14, 2016, with the release of a short film called “Eric & Peety” and a national call for stories of mutual rescue.

From hundreds of inspirational stories received, Mutual Rescue judges selected five for filming that year: “Kylie & Liza,” “Tracy & Jack,” “Josh & Scout,” “Jessi & Andi,” and “Mike & Abbie.” Several other top contenders were later featured in Novello’s book Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too. 

 2021/08/MR-history-photo@3x.jpg Carol Novello, Eric O’Grey, David Whitman, and Sally Hazard Bourgoin in 2016
Carol Novello, Eric O’Grey, David Whitman, and Sally Hazard Bourgoin in 2016

First Film

“Eric & Peety” is Mutual Rescue’s 2016 début documentary short film about Eric O’Grey and his rescue dogs, Peety and Jake. Viewed more than 100 million times and cited by The New York Times as California’s most-viewed news-source video of 2016, it has generated conversations, comments, reviews, broadcasts, podcasts, screenings, translations, talks, workshops, interviews, articles, and awards—motivating innumerable people worldwide to embark on their own mutual rescue journeys.



To date, we’ve created 14 short documentary films, a Mutual Rescue compilation called “The Love Is Mutual,” two memorial montages, and 11 Mutual Rescue Moments films, with another five currently in production; published a popular book; promoted Doggy Day Out programs nationally; attracted an impressive following on social media; presented at numerous conferences and events; directed $180,000 in unrestricted cash grants to animal shelters throughout the U.S.; inspired greater philanthropic giving to animal-welfare causes; and encouraged individuals and businesses to support their community animal shelters through adopting, fostering, volunteering, and donating.

Watch “The Love Is Mutual”



Mutual Rescue will continue to create original content that encourages people to help homeless companion animals by adopting, fostering, volunteering, and donating to animal-welfare organizations in their communities.

We are building our base of corporate support nationally to benefit community animal shelters and rescue groups throughout the United States. 



“Mutual Rescue has proven its capacity to touch souls on a grand scale. This initiative cuts straight to the heart by bringing to light the depth of humanity and deeply transformational connection between two- and four-legged soul mates.”

Tom Corwin, Author, Producer, and Founder, Corwin Creative