ASPCA Happy Tails: A Home for Hal

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 10:30am
ASPCA Happy Tails: A Home for Hal

We all know that physical abuse and extreme neglect constitute cruelty to animals—but one little-discussed form of cruelty is abandonment. Though it seems less dramatic than other violations, abandonment is indeed cruelty—and its consequences can be just as dire. For proof, look no further than Hal the cat, an animal whose health was profoundly compromised due to abandonment—and who ultimately found his happiness in a new forever home. Here is Hal’s Happy Tail.

Hal came to the ASPCA in July 2013 after being found abandoned in a carrier on the street. Left without care or provisions, his teeth were badly decayed and his mouth was bleeding. Because of significant oral pain, he was unable to groom himself and was so severely matted that his entire body needed to be shaved. Already emaciated, Hal’s teeth had to be removed, which forced him onto a special soft-food diet. And that wasn’t even the worst of it. During his time on the streets, he contracted persistent Giardia (an intestinal parasite) that likely came from drinking dirty puddle water. The poor cat had been through so much hardship, all because someone chose to abandon him on the street.

Hal resting on an ASPCA volunteer

After a year in our care, Hal was stronger and healthier. Despite all he had been through, he was a social and affectionate boy, though slightly shy with new people. He was ready for his forever home, and we were eager to find him an adopter. Fortunately, it was around this time that Isabella R. made the decision to adopt a cat.

“I had been checking the ASPCA blog frequently and reading stories about all of these exceptional animals looking for their forever homes,” says Isabella. “Eventually, toward the end of June, I decided it was time to adopt.” At the ASPCA Adoption Center, Isabella spent two days meeting almost every available kitty, but she was having trouble choosing just one to be her new furry friend. When Hal started meowing suddenly, she asked an ASPCA volunteer about his history. “She told me Hal’s heartbreaking story, and afterwards I asked if I could offer him some treats,” she recalls. “As I opened his door, he started eagerly meowing again, and I knew that my home was now his home, too.”

Hal sleeping on chair

Isabella adopted Hal that day, and he settled right into her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I felt instantly connected and devoted to Hal,” says Isabella. “There is nothing I appreciate more than having him curled up on the side of my bed each night, or having him greet me at the door when I come home.” In fact, Isabella was so taken with her new buddy that she went back to the ASPCA two weeks later and adopted Hal’s new brother, Ari!

After his rough experience on the streets, Hal now spends his days happy, loved, well-fed and cared for. Never again will he experience the insidious pain of abandonment, and never again will he want for anything. Isabella says, “I cannot imagine my home without Hal in it,” but we’re pretty positive that Hal cannot imagine a better life than the one she has given him.

Hal with Ari waiting for food

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2 pounds 2 months for a spay/neuter.

sammie jo

GOD bless you, Isabelle..............I have 7 rescues in my home and one would never imagine so many as they all have their "places". Right now, Benjamin Krugs, my 10 year old who was found on the street in Houston at 3 weeks of age and was available for adoption at 8 cannot imagine the love this little one gives to me and you know Hal and Ari will also give to you. I so respect people like you who take the time to consider and animal for their forever companion instead of a human........humans just don't get it........animals do. they love you now matter what you look like when you get out of the shower, have no make up on or just feel like hanging out in your "fat pants"............all the best to you and your


I run a rescue group, and we do pediatric spays/neuters at 12 weeks and 3#. This is after much research and approval by our Medical Director. Please expand your research and rescue. There is a difference between shelter, rescue and retail medicine - they all do things differently, but the most important thing is to make the commitment to rescue a life. Thanks.


I think animals suffer horrible mental anguish from being abandoned. True it's not as bad as the physical abuse many receive however I think that it's all the same it's abuse. This world is a sad sad place animals bring a little happiness to us and those that abuse should face stiff penalty's even when it comes to being abandoned by an owner...


Bless you for rescuing two of God's own ... May Karma bring balance by "rewarding" whomever abandoned Hal.


I got to spend some time socialinzing with Hal at the A and he was always the sweetest! I'm so glad he has found the forever home he deserves. Yay Hal and Ari :)

erika granoff

what a beautiful ending! thank you isabella, i honestly dont understand the human race sometimes how people can be so evil, thank goodness for people like you!


thank you isabella, they will never forget what you did for them! god bless you
i cant understand how people can be so evil in this world-guess its something we will never figure out


Such a heart warming ending to such a horrible beginning. Isabella, thank you for having a loving, warm heart. I too have adopted wonderful cats who have suffered the same fate of abandonment. It is truly amazing that these poor animals can still be so social and loving.

Dee Dee

And thank you to the ASPCA for providing Hal with all the love and care he needed to recover. He's so beautiful and now so happy thanks to Isabella. Fantastic story, at a time when all I'm hearing about seems to be tragedy and abuse.