open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The start of Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin is a tale about a a boy and his dog, Gin. After a few episodes Gin joins a pack of feral dogs and the series changes focus to being about him.
- Blue from Wolf's Rain is a wolf-dog. She originally hunted wolves alongside her master, Quent Yaiden, however when she learned she was half-wolf she joined the wolves. Blue subverts the usual cliches as she has no issue living in the wild nor is she the lead.
Film — Animation
- Leafie, a Hen into the Wild is about an abused hen living in a factory farm who one day manages to escape. She escapes to the local marsh and lives amongst the wild animals. Leafie ends up adopting a duckling after his parents are killed by a local weasel, and the film is mostly about her and her son Greenie.
- Lady and the Tramp
- In the original film, Lady is a pampered pet Cocker Spaniel who leaves her home early on. She doesn't actively seek to become a stray though and ultimately returns home after having a fling with the Tramp. In the end, the Tramp himself is taken in by Lady's family and becomes Lady's mate (though he got her pregnant earlier in the film).
- In the sequel, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, Lady's and Tramp's only son Scamp is a rowdy puppy who wishes he could live on the streets. His father Tramp has settled in nicely to life as a pet and is very against his son's desire. One day Scamp escapes from home to join up with a local gang of junkyard dogs. He befriends a puppy named Angel, who unlike him wants to become a pet. Scamp soon learns that being a stray isn't as fun as he thought it would be, and in the end both he and his girlfriend return to his owners.
- Bolt is about a White Shepherd named Bolt who accidentally gets lost. Besides having no experience on his own, Bolt also believes he's a superhero due to being raised on a TV show since puppyhood. He befriends a stray cat named "Mittens" and a hamster named "Rhino" that help him survive. Ultimately Bolt returns to his owner and his friends get adopted by her too.
- In The Aristocats a molly cat and her kittens are left to die by a butler who is mad that their wealthy owner gave her cats her inheritance and not him. Duchess and her children must find their way home with the help of a stray named Thomas O'Malley. Ultimately they return home and Thomas gets adopted too.
- In the end of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Spirit is returned to his herd in the wild alongside his human-raised mate, Rain.
- In the sequel to Balto, Balto II: Wolf Quest, Aleu is the only one of Balto and Jenna's puppies who is not adopted. This is due to the fact she looks more like a wolf than a dog (her father being a wolf-dog). She ultimately ends up leading a pack of wolves.
- Flushed Away is about a pampered pet rat who is accidentally lost in the sewers of London.
- Rango is about a pet chameleon who gets lost in the desert and wanders into a Western town inhabited by Civilized Animals. There he passes himself off as a tough guy and is made sheriff.
Film — Live Action
- Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey: Two dogs and a cat are left on a farm while their owners are on vacation, but not understanding they think their family is in trouble and escape to trek hundreds of miles across the Sierras to return home.
- From Stray to Pet appears in Warrior Cats but it is much more common for this to occur. The Clans look down upon "kittypets" (and it's against the Warrior Code to interact with humans and act like a kittypet), and thus it's rare for them to be taken in by humans permanently; however, many kittypets leave their owners to join the Clans:
- The series starts out with a kittypet kitten named Rusty who finds his life as a pet bland and has dreams of being a stray cat. (Appropriately, the first book is named Into the Wild.) One day he ventures away from home and comes across three cats from ThunderClan. Due to Bluestar recognizing Rusty as being the cat who will likely fulfill a recent prophecy she has seen, she allows Rusty to join the Clan and renames him "Firepaw". Firepaw is renamed "Fireheart" once he finishes his warrior training and ultimately becomes "Firestar" when he becomes the new leader of ThunderClan.
- Fireheart brought his nephew, Cloudtail, to ThunderClan as a young kit. His sister, Princess, wanted to choose what happened to her firstborn as she knew her owners would choose where her other kits went. Cloudtail was ostracized by others for his kittypet heritage but didn't even know he was adopted until he was almost of apprentice age.
- Firestar's half brother Scourge was a kittypet named "Tiny", who fled his home after his sister told him that any kittens that humans didn't want were thrown into a river. Later on, Scourge's littermates Socks and Ruby, who had been adopted by Twolegs, became strays when their Twolegs abandoned them after moving away. The two begged their brother Scourge to take them in, but he chased them off. It's never clarified if Socks and Ruby were eventually adopted again or if they lived as loners for the rest of their lives.
- Sasha's owner was sent to a nursing home. When she realized he wasn't coming back, she became a rogue cat.
- Purdy became a rogue after his owner died.
- Millie left her home to help Graystripe find ThunderClan and join it herself.
- Many of New SkyClan were kittypets who left their homes to join the Clan.
- Violet's kits were born as kittypets however they wanted to become warriors. Violet let Ravenpaw take them to New SkyClan.
- In Windrusher, a cat named Tony is abandoned by his owners. In his effort to find them, he is nicknamed "Windrusher" by other animals.
- In The Call of the Wild a sled-dog named Buck ends up acting increasingly wild until he joins a wolf pack.
- Varjak Paw is about a kitten named Varjak who is forced to leave his pampered home in order to save his family. While Varjak is quite clueless about life outside his home, in many respects he quickly becomes more adept at living as a stray than his peers. While he doesn't know the social in's and out's of being a stray, Varjak is able to unlock the "Way" which allows him to hunt animals. Most of the stray cats in the city can't hunt and instead scavenge off of humans.
- Survivor Dogs:
- A stray dog named "Lucky" (who was born a pet) manages to escape his enclosure at a pound after an earthquake. He finds out the humans have evacuated the area and left their pets behind. Lucky and several other abandoned dogs form a pack. The Leashed Dog pack, which eventually became the Wild Dogs pack, spent a long time trying to get used to the fact they'll never see their longpaws again. Sunshine, a Maltese and an Omega, was the most attached to hers and will likely never get over them.
- Sweet is a swift-dog (Greyhound) who lived as a racing dog until she was deemed too old. Instead of killing the dogs or giving them to shelters, the dogs were let loose into a pack. The rest of her pack died in the Big Growl.
- Marco from Guardian Cats And The Lost Books Of Alexandria is a pet cat who can read. After he becomes homeless, he meets a group of cats entrusted with guarding a group of mystical books. An elder chooses Marco as the next in-line to guard one of the most special books.
- Stray by A.N. Wilson is about a cat named Pufftail throughout his life. He has been owned by several owners (both abusive and kind), been abused in a lab, and lived as a stray on the streets.
- Dogs of the Drowned City stars a German Shepherd named Shep who, after a hurricane forces the humans to evacuate, has to leave his home and venture into the surrounding area. Along the way he befriends other dogs who are now on their own.
- The Incredible Journey is about a Labrador Retriever named Luath, a Bull Terrier named Bodger, and a Siamese cat named Tao who get lost in the Canadian wilderness and must find their way back home. It and its 1963 film adaptation was the inspiration for the 1993 film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.
- The Good Dog by Avi is about a Malamute named McKinley who meets a wolf named Lupin. Lupin is trying to persuade dogs to leave their owners and join her pack.
- Doglands by Tim Willocks is about a puppy named Furgul who is born into a camp for racing Greyhounds. When the owner finds out that Furgul is only half-Greyhound, he tries to kill him but Furgul escapes into the wild.
- The Wild Road is about a pet kitten named Tag who begins having prophetic dreams. He goes on a journey to bring the queen and king of cats to Tintagel before the spring equinox.
- The children's book Dear Hound is about a Deerhound puppy named Alfie who gets loose and gets lost in a forest. He survived on scraps of food from garbages and is helped by a pair of foxes until he returns home.