Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Ashley Salaris told us about falling in love with a shy kitty who filled a feline-shaped void in her life.
My father and I decided to get a cat after three years of an empty house. Our previous cat, Brandy, lived for a full 22 years before passing away peacefully, and we waited several years for the wounds to heal. Once we were ready, I immediately suggested the New York City ASPCA shelter in Manhattan.
The volunteer we met was very helpful, and we saw quite a few kitties who all seemed very nice, but my father and I simply didn't feel that connection just yet. However, in the very last room I noticed a gorgeous Calico looking up at me with huge yellow eyes. I could tell she was shy, but she never took her eyes off me and I begged my dad to take a look at her.
Valentina was very reluctant to leave her cage, but did leave for a moment to eat a treat. We talked sweetly to her and she even began to knead her paws, which made me fall in love with her even more. The vet explained to us that Valentina was a nervous cat who would need a lot of time and patience to warm up to us, but we decided we were up for the challenge.
We are happy to say that it has been three weeks and Valentina—renamed Cali—has fit in perfectly! After a few days of hiding and running away from us, she suddenly came out of her shell and made herself right at home! As I write this, she is lying on the couch next to me, sprawled out and comfortable on a stack of pillows.
She is such a joy to have in the house. She is always meowing at us and playing with her toys, and she loves to have us pet her and rub her belly. The house feels so much more like a home now that she is a part of it. My dad has also become more cheerful, and Cali is his new best friend.
Thank you, ASPCA, for bringing us together!
Have you ever adopted a shy cat? Tell us about it in the comments! Got a happy adoption story of your own? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org you could be featured on our blog.
While we love senior shelter dogs, we can’t help but get excited when we have a litter of adorable puppies under our care. Recently, a litter of five sweet puppies left our Adoption Center for loving homes!
One of these cuties was a puppy with a velvety black coat named Inky, now called Boo.
Boo’s adopter, Diamond Durant, had never visited the Adoption Center before but fell in love with this “adorable, sweet, and playful” puppy right away.
“Boo is very sweet, loves to play and loves to sit on my lap,” Diamond says. “She nibbles on everything and calls for attention when she enters a room.”
Boo’s sister Pinky was also matched with a loving family. Her adopter, Pamela Harris, renamed her Opal and reports that this little puppy is thriving.
“We were thinking about what it would be like to adopt a slightly older dog, but then we met Opal,” Pamela says. “She was nervous and shaky, and the minute Joe picked her up and held her she licked his face and fell sound asleep. That was it—we were adopting her.”
And while Opal is still adjusting to the chilly New York City wind, she is adapting quickly to her new home.
“Opal hilariously hops when she runs, she politely sits before going out and coming in, and she loves her toys,” Pamela says. ”She has her moments of rambunctious puppy-ness and on the whole is beyond sweet.”
Opal will soon attend puppy playgroups, “where she can romp and get some of her ya-yas out,” and puppy obedience classes.
We’re so excited that these puppies got a second chance to find loving homes!
If you’re looking to adopt a puppy in NYC, check in with the ASPCA Adoption Center! We often have puppies for adoption, but they are frequently adopted before their pictures make it up on our website.
Got a Happy Tail of your own? Submit it to email@example.com and you could see it on the ASPCA Blog.
If ever there was a dog whose prospects looked grim, it was Carson the Shih Tzu. Two years ago, when the three-year-old breeding dog was rescued from a puppy mill in central Minnesota, Carson’s face and underweight body were completely overwhelmed by huge mats of hair, urine and feces. When his rescuers bathed him, they discovered that his eyes had been eaten away by infection. There was nothing left to save: His eye sockets were cleaned out and his lids sewn shut.
Jessica Danielson was on Petfinder.com seeking a companion for her senior pooch Diesel, and although she wasn’t looking for a challenge, she was drawn to Carson’s posting. “I knew I could give him everything he needed. God put him right there and said ‘This is the one. He needs you.’ When I called the rescue to set up a meeting, Carson’s foster mom almost started crying because she thought he’d never find a home.”
“It took almost a year before he would trust me enough to cuddle me, kiss my face, and just feel safe enough to wander the house,” remembers Jessica. In spite of his rough start, Carson is now a very loving and affectionate boy who has taught his new mom, in her words, about “survival, trust, and the real meaning of love!”
Carson’s impact on Jessica doesn’t end there. Now in love with the breed, she went on to adopt two more rescued Shih Tzus—Ernie and Mr. Wiggles—and became a volunteer foster mom for special-needs dogs through Ruff Start Rescue.
Did you adopt a puppy mill dog? Tell us your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, never buy a puppy in a pet store or online—they almost always come from puppy mills. While a pet store puppy may be hard to resist, purchasing one dooms his parents, dogs like Carson, to lives of cruelty, filth and neglect.
Visit NoPetStorePuppies.com to learn more and take the pledge not to buy anything at pet stores or on websites that sell puppies.
Jennifer Richmond got a very special gift for her birthday 11 years ago. That day, she visited the ASPCA Adoption Center and adopted “the love of her life,” a special kitty named Nicholas.
“He was a small, shy, black-and-white, six-month-old kitten,” Jennifer recalls. “He has grown into the most lovable and sweetest lap cat you will ever meet.”
The two formed a lasting bond that is still going strong today.
“At 11 years old he still has energy to play, calls for treats and purrs so loud it makes you laugh,” Jennifer says.
A few years ago, Jennifer decided it was time for Nicholas to have a feline friend. She visited the ASPCA Adoption Center once again to look for a cat who would be the perfect buddy for Nicholas. Her search was successful—she found Joey, a “rambunctious, gray, three-month-old kitten with more energy than you can imagine.”
“I wasn't sure how all this energy would work with an older cat, but within days they were fast friends,” Jennifer remembers. “They love each other.”
It’s safe to say Nicholas and Joey are two very lucky cats.
“I can’t imagine life without either of them,” Jennifer says. “I am greeted at the door when I get home, and they cuddle during TV time and find their place on the bed when we go to sleep. I can’t thank the ASPCA enough for rescuing them. You have helped create our special family.”
In July 2009, a special little dog with big brown eyes was found abandoned in a box outside Angels for Animals Animal Center in Canfield, Ohio, a participant in the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge. She was alone and in desperate need of a loving home. Luckily, Elizabeth Stark’s family decided to adopt the homeless pup and give her a fresh start.
They chose to call her Chooey, a name they picked to commemorate this sweet dog’s endearing snaggletooth. Elizabeth’s family also thought Chooey’s shiny blonde coat gave her a stylish look, so they adapted the spelling of her name to match the famed shoe designer, Jimmy Choo. One of Chooey’s favorite past times is to chew on her pet parents’ shoes, so the name is very fitting.
It didn’t take long before the Starks were head over heels for their furry new addition.
“How could anyone not enjoy the company of such a sweet little companion?” Elizabeth says. “Chooey is unlike any other dog I have ever encountered. Sometimes I’m not even sure if she is really a dog. She stretches like a cat, howls like a wolf, dances like a monkey, and smiles like a toddler.”
But whatever animal personality Chooey chooses, she is an energetic and steadfast companion.
“Sometimes the best things really do come in small packages—and they're covered with fur and filled with love,” Elizabeth says.
Did you adopt a homeless pet? Tell us about your furry friend in the comments.