In February 2014, Luca the pug was dropped off at the ASPCA. His owners had purchased him from a pet store, and when he was no longer wanted, they left him at our door. The truth is, most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills—large-scale, commercial, substandard breeding facilities—where dogs are kept in inhumane conditions and do not receive proper veterinary care. Luca was a sad reminder of the many ways the puppy mill system fails its animals. We were overjoyed to see Luca adopted just a few weeks later, and we couldn’t resist following up with his new mom for this week’s Happy Tail.
When Regina S. first met Luca, she was going through a hard time. After losing her mother, she had been laid off from her job and was looking to get her life back on track. She spotted the two-year-old pug’s picture on our website, and ran over to our Adoption Center that same day to meet him.
At their first meeting, Regina felt an immediate kinship with Luca. Like Regina, Luca was going through a hard time. After being born into the inhumane puppy mill industry, he was separated from his mother and sold to a pet store, where he was bought and discarded within the span of a year. As the result of his puppy mill past, Luca was struggling with separation anxiety, shyness and fear. In some ways, it was as if Luca and Regina were meant to rebuild their lives together.
“When I first saw my Luca, my heart broke to think that such a nice dog had been surrendered to the shelter,” recalls Regina. “I decided to adopt him so we could both start spending our better days with each other.”
After three months in Regina’s home, Luca is happier than ever. She says, “It’s like he’s lived here all along. I enjoy his company, and he is almost like my little shadow!” Regina takes Luca everywhere, and says that they bring each other joy every single day. She is looking forward to further adventures with the precious pug as the weather warms up.
We are so thrilled that, after a rough start to life, Luca found his perfect match. He and Regina are proof of the joy that can come through struggles, and we wish them nothing but a lifetime of happiness together. Please visit our No Pet Store Puppies page to learn more about puppy mills and how you can help more dogs like Luca.
Want to read more ASPCA Happy Tails?
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter, ASPCA News Alert - you'll receive important updates on what's going on and how you can make an impact to save animals' lives!