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.

Add new comment




God bless you Isabella for adopting these two beautiful cats. You will be rewarded with all the happiness you deserve and the luckey babies without a voice. People who are evil to animals will suffer in the end. Thanks to all good people.


Thanks to Isabella and other caring souls like she is, for opening their hearts and homes to these smallest and most helpless creatures. My five kitties are all rescues and wonderful, loving beings. I also have four 'functioning ferals" in my horse barn, who are friendly, sweet souls, : "earning' their room and board.:-) I cannot imagine being without them, and they have welcomed me into their lives.
The love and devotion a rescue will give you is simply immense. For those who are considering, but haven't done so, please adopt a rescue animal. it will enrich your life beyond measure!

Kevin Dean

thank you so much for rescuing those gorgeous kitty kats. very heartbreaking, Hal's story. thanks.

SDM of Fort Lee, NJ

Thank you for this gives humans who care about homeless animals the hope to go on trying to save these little defenseless lives....thanks!


You are Hal's reward for once having it so hard. Even though I don't know you, I feel we are kindred spirits. My husband and I adopted a feral cat that looks a great deal like Hal. His name is Willow and he sleeps with us in bed every night. He is so grateful for his home as I'm sure Hal is. Thank you for helping him get a great forever home. You are a caring person.

Linda Gilbert, Bethel, ME

Marci Jackson

I am so glad this cute little cat is at a home where he will be loved and cared for and taken care of for the rest of his life


Hal and Ari found an Angel named Isabella! Hope all three of you will have good times for many years to come! Isabella, congrats on your new best friends!


Many thanks Isabella for opening your home and your heart to these little dolls. Hal and Ari look so happy and content together - from homeless to loved and cherished! May God bless you and your new family, and may God give the same good fortune to every abandoned, abused and neglected animal in the world.