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

For more information on animal abandonment, check out our FAQ.

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A new and happy beginning for both Hal and Ari. Thank you Isabella for giving these darlings the forever home they deserve. And thank you ASPCA for caring for them until they were ready for their new life.


My baby, Ariel, lived to be 23. She began her life with my daughter at college, and was operated on while still a young kitten. She came to me when my daughter graduated and moved across the country. I refused to ship this much loved kitty on a plane to join her. So, no, it is not dangerous to do the deed while they are still babies.


Love this story! Happy homecoming, Hal and Ari!

Laura Todd

Wonderful story! So happy for Hal and Ari! I think it's wonderful that Isabella went back a second time!


You are a beautiful person, Isabella. Thank you so much for giving these gorgeous sweet boys a loving, caring, giving home. I cannot tolerate any type of inhumane treatment of any animal. I lost my beloved cat, Duke, 2 months ago and my life will never be the same. You can be sure that Hal and Ari love you as much as you love them. And they will always show you that love !!! God Bless All of you !!!

Renee Kaufman

Thank you so much for adopting Hal and taking him into your home and life. I love to hear such heartwarming happy endings for these poor tender creatures.

JoAnn Schmidt

Isabella -- you are a wonderful lady adopting Hal and Ari, and I know they return your love for them 100-fold! Bless you!!!!!


This story brought tears to my eyes! God bless you ASPCA and thank God for a kind hearted lady like Isabella to welcome both kitties into their forever home!

Susan Evans

Wow, what a tough guy Hal is! All his pain and suffering, he was in hell and now in heaven. And look he has Ari, a best friend! And a mom and a wonderful home where I bet mom throws birthday parties for her kitties!

Sandra Hammock

To all the men and women who help and rescues these animals, God Bless You All!!!!! And to ALL the ASSHOLES that abuse these beautiful gifts from God may YOU ALL BURN IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!