In May 2012, I lost my Pit Bull of 11 years, Mojo Jojo, to osteosarcoma. My heart was broken. I knew I would adopt another Pit Bull but wasn't quite ready yet. I decided to foster a puppy named 17. He fit in really well, and loves his housemates—we have three Staffordshire Bull Terriers named Charlie, Rumble and Page, and two adopted cats named Mush and Viggo. After about three weeks, we decided to officially adopt him.
As a dog trainer, I felt it was important to socialize 17, taking him to new places, introducing him to people and dogs during his foster period. Walking in town was a challenge. If a bus or truck passed by, or if 17 heard a loud noise, he would try to get back to the house. Walking him with our confident, adult dogs Rumble and Charlie, as well as bringing food along, helped 17 learn to walk in town without fear. At first, 17 was also hesitant to use the stairs leading up to our home. After a few weeks of eating breakfast on the steps, he overcame his fear.
17 is an avid swimmer, which we discovered when we took him to the beach—I could hardly hold onto his leash when he saw the water. Wearing a life jacket, 17 will fetch a ball over and over in the ocean. He's also enjoying agility classes. We also do a sport called lure coursing, which he took to right away. He has competed in Coursing Ability Tests and earned his first title in May.
A lot of people ask us why his name is 17. When we first took him home, his paperwork said #17/Arthur, meaning 17 of the 47 dogs in the case. “17” stuck and it is perfect because people always ask about it, which gives us an opportunity to educate people that great dogs really can come from cases of cruelty and neglect. No one forgets his name, either.
We’d like to thank the ASPCA for the great work they do and the opportunity they give animals like 17 every day in their work.
In March 2013, Eriny Y. decided to drop by the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan to peruse the adoptable animals. That’s when she met a special black-and-white kitty named Hamper, since renamed Lucy, and the two became inseparable. She shared the following story with us:
When I first saw Lucy at the Adoption Center, I asked if I could meet her because I thought her lazy eyes were adorable. The moment her cage opened, she started licking my fingers and purring. I knew I had to have her. I was hooked! She came home with me, and with a bit of time, she began to trust me.
Eventually, she started to curl up in bed with me and fall asleep as I scratched her head. She now insists on sleeping with me every night! She also loves her kitty treats and her catnip toys.
Whenever I leave the room, Lucy meows until I come back. At the end of the day, when I come home from work, she meows as though she is telling me about her day.
I love sharing my home with my adorable companion, and she has enriched my life in so many ways. I'm so thankful I decided to take that trip to the ASPCA on the off chance I might find a new friend.
Lucy has adjusted very well, and she makes me so happy to come home every day. Thank you so much, ASPCA!
When Marlene M. took on her first ASPCA foster dog, a white ball of fluff named Curly Sue, she didn’t know that Curly Sue would soon become a “foster failure.”
“I was fostering her for about three months and of course, she grew on me, as well as my cats—they all got along so well,” Marlene says. “Her personality started to come out, she became less shy and started asserting herself with the other animals.”
When it came time to part with Curly Sue so that she could be made available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, Marlene says she felt very protective of her, and wanted to make sure Curly Sue found an excellent adopter. It didn’t take long for Marlene to decide the perfect place for Curly Sue was in her own home.
Marlene says the adoption process was easy because of her familiarity with Curly Sue’s history, experience caring for her, and first-hand knowledge of her personality quirks. Curly Sue couldn’t be happier with her new family.
“She sticks by my side wherever I go,” Marlene says. “She and the cats get along well; the cats are bigger than she is, but she keeps them in their place if they try to run over her! I recently took her on a road trip to Michigan, a 13-hour drive, and she had a blast exploring new territory.”
We’re thrilled that Curly Sue’s foster placement turned into a wonderful forever home. If you live in New York City and think you might be a good fit for a foster animal, please read more about the ASPCA foster program.
Kathy M. shared the following story with us about meeting and adopting a lively cat named Harmony at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, and how Harmony has expressed her mischievous personality each and every day since.
In March 2011, I took a trip to the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City to adopt a cat. I had lost my beloved kitty, Oliver, about a month earlier, and I was looking for another kitty companion to love. My friend Michelle, who had also loved Oliver, accompanied me to the Adoption Center.
Michelle spotted Harmony before I did and pointed her out to me. I looked and saw a beautiful black and brown female tabby with lively, alert eyes. A volunteer showed us other cats as well, but when we saw a group of people looking at Harmony, Michelle and I both had an "Uh oh!" moment. I decided nobody else was going to have MY cat!
I had another slight "Uh oh!" moment when the front desk volunteers told me that Harmony had aggressive play habits. She was only eight months old, smack in the middle of feline adolescence, and teenage cats can be as obnoxious as teenage humans. By that time, I was hooked—I had fallen in love with Harmony and was going to take her home, no matter what.
The volunteers did not exaggerate. Life with Harmony has been an adventure. She is very smart, and eager to find some creative ways to make mischief.
As she grew older, her personality has mellowed. It must have helped to know she’s in a place where she is loved and appreciated for the lively, intelligent little being that she is.
Harmony is smart, very funny and full of personality and love. I'm so happy to have her in my life, and I think she feels the same way about me.
During a trip to New York City, Bill H. and his family decided to adopt a dog at the ASPCA Adoption Center. Lex, now named Sandy, was one of many animals rescued in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Bill shared the following story with us about Sandy’s happy new life in Pennsylvania:
Adopting Sandy was a product of luck, timing and coincidence. Denise, my wife, and I were visiting New York City with our daughter Amanda, and stayed at a hotel next door to the APSCA. As we walked by, Amanda’s first question was, “Can we get another cat?”
We saw a couple of dogs that Amanda and I liked, but Denise was not sold—that is until she saw Sandy. Our introduction to Sandy involved a great deal of barking, but she became very happy and her tail began wagging like crazy upon seeing ASPCA staff. A potential adopter was visiting with Sandy, so we decided to come back the next day. We decided that Sandy was a good fit for us, and we hoped we were a good fit for her.
From that point on, Sandy has been nothing but happy surprises. She got into our car and sat on Denise’s lap for the whole ride back to Pennsylvania. We learned at the Adoption Center that Sandy might take a little longer to warm up to men. When we got home, I was sitting on our deck while Sandy explored. After a few minutes, she walked up to me, licked my face, and then rolled over and sprawled out, waiting for her me to pet her belly. Sandy also became fast friends with my 20-year-old son, Zack.
We have had a few people in and out of the house since Sandy's arrival, and she has reacted to them with varying degrees of wariness, but has warmed up to each. We host a large deck party every year, and struggled with what to do with Sandy during the party. We decided if she became uncomfortable, we would put her in our room. The best part of the party was how Sandy handled everything. In the beginning, she stuck by me or Zack. By the end of the night Sandy was "working" the party, "introducing" herself to various guests and letting them know she expected to have her belly rubbed if they were deemed lucky enough to get the "rollover."