Jake Grupp came to the ASPCA to check out smaller dogs, but his girlfriend, Mary Yukevich, urged him to just take a peek at the larger ones. That’s when they saw Phoebe, a sweet little Pit mix, sitting quietly in her habitat and wagging her tail hopefully.
“We weren’t really expecting to adopt a dog that day,” Grupp tells us, “but when we met Phoebe we fell in love.”
A visit with Phoebe and an ASPCA behavior counselor sealed the deal, and Phoebe joined the family on the spot.
In the cab ride home, Yukevich knew she’d already fallen hard for Phoebe, but it wasn’t until Grupp was down on his luck that he knew Phoebe had stolen his heart for good.
“I had some teeth pulled and was in a lot of pain,” Grupp tells us. “Phoebe sat near me all the while, and eventually I invited her to climb into the chair with me. It felt like she was making sure I was OK, even though there wasn't a whole lot she could do.”
Phoebe went home already housetrained and knowing a few basic commands, and Grupp and Yukevich spent the first month doing “intense training” with their new pup, deepening their bond and helping their dog become the well-mannered princess she is today.
Soon, Phoebe was working on off-leash training, and the family put it into practice on a recent trip to the beach, where they discovered Phoebe’s special talent as a doggie mentor.
“There was a chocolate Lab puppy named Einstein who was afraid of the water,” Grupp remembers. “Phoebe would go bounding into the ocean and Einstein would follow her until she went in the water, until eventually he went in. It was really special to see that she encouraged him to take the plunge.”
Getting to know Phoebe has even had unexpected effect on Grupp: It changed his mind about Pit Bulls.
“I was wary about adopting a Bully mix at first,” he says, “but after having had Phoebe since June I'm extremely pleased. I'm glad that she picked us that day!”
When Autumn Giles and her boyfriend visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City in search of a feline friend, they found a perfect match in a beautiful gray kitty named Christopher. They soon renamed him Butternut. Giles shared the following story with us:
My boyfriend and I had been talking about getting a cat for a while, and it finally felt like the right time! Getting a cat via adoption was really the only option. As the woman who showed us around the Adoption Center observed, Christopher chose us!
Going into it, I thought I wanted to adopt a fluffy cat because I had very fond memories of a long-haired cat that I had as a kid. Christopher is not super-fluffy, but when we met him we knew almost right away that he was ours—and he was immediately so affectionate! He gave us head butts and licks within seconds of meeting us.
After bringing him home, we discovered Christopher had an allergic reaction to something in his food. The folks at the ASPCA were very helpful in getting him well again. In a strange way, having this experience with Christopher made me feel like he was even more of a match for our home because I can't eat gluten and am lactose intolerant, so he and I have special diets in common.
He's doing much better and getting increasingly comfortable in our apartment. I love waking up in the middle of the night to find him in the windowsill. I know he's just a cat, but it feels like he's watching out for us! We can't get over how much love he has to give. Even when he wasn't feeling well, he's was still so affectionate. We're so happy he's in our lives.
Ever wondered if microchips are worth it? If you ask Amanda L., they sure are! Here’s her story:
We adopted our cat Dempsey in January 2007 from the Houston SPCA. Dempsey is the smartest cat we’ve ever met. He plays fetch, drinks water from the faucet and follows you everywhere.
So we were heartbroken when, shortly after a moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2010, we lost Dempsey. We put up fliers, stayed up at night listening for him and searched the neighborhood for weeks, but with no luck.
We moved to New York City the following year but never stopped thinking about Dempsey and wondering where he could be and whether he was even alive.
Then, one Saturday while we were sitting in the park reading, we received an email from a vet in Ann Arbor—they found Dempsey!
An amazing woman had noticed him around her yard all summer and had been feeding him and looking out for him. They had warmed to each other, and so she decided to take him to a vet to see if he belonged to anyone. The first thing the vet did was scan him and they found our information. It was almost exactly two years to the day since we had lost Dempsey. We still cannot believe it!
Dempsey is currently recuperating with his grandparents in Michigan, and we are going to see him soon. We owe our reunion with Dempsey entirely to the kindness of a stranger and his microchip. We are so thankful that we have him back in our lives!
When Britney came to the ASPCA through the Humane Law Enforcement department, she was in pain and suffering from multiple untreated conditions.
Fortunately, the veterinary staff at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital was able to nurse Britney back to health, and eventually she became available for adoption; we could finally find a home for this sweet dog who had suffered so much.
We knew it would be a challenge.
Statistically speaking, animals who are black, large or senior, as well as those who take medication or can’t live with other animals, usually spend more time waiting for homes. Britney was all of these things, and to make matters worse, she didn’t engage much with adopters who passed her habitat, preferring to rest quietly.
Still, we knew that the right person would come for Britney, and to speed things along, we spread the word about this special canine. After seeing Britney’s picture and reading about her, Kevin Bechard tells us, “I wanted to snatch her right up.”
A few days later Bechard was going above and beyond to help Britney settle in to her new home in suburban Connecticut.
“The first couple nights I actually slept on the floor with her because she can’t do stairs, and she would just reach out with her paw and make sure it was against me,” he recalls. “Only then she would allow herself to go to sleep. If I moved away a little bit, her eyes would open.”
The love and comfort of a forever home has revived Britney, who has blossomed into a trusting and happy pup: Bechard reports that at his house Britney loves romping outdoors and goes on multiple nature walks a day.
In return, Bechard has gained a new best friend who, he says, never required house-training or manners instruction, thanks to her age. “I wish more people would consider older dogs,” Bechard says. “I was open to anything, but I was so pleasantly surprised.”
After losing her beloved cat, Cookie, Wilma Trani’s friends suggested she visit the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City. She shared the following story with us about her first trip to the Adoption Center, and her subsequent adoption of brother and sister kittens, Milo and Mia.
My love and obsession for cats started 20 years ago. I have cared for a total of five cats, and I adopted all of them from shelters—I never have any regrets.
We recently lost our most precious, spoiled and much-loved cat of ten years, Cookie, to a serious illness, leaving us with empty hearts and an empty home. We longed for the company of another cat, but wanted to look around.
My friends adopted their cat at the ASPCA Adoption Center about two years ago, and they had a positive experience and suggested we visit. So,on a beautiful day in April, my daughter and I decided to take our first trip to the ASPCA to "just look" at the cats—who were we kidding?
We walked into the building and saw content cats in a beautiful and stimulating environment and immediately knew we were not there to just look but to adopt.
After filling out the paperwork, a pleasant woman escorted us to a nice, clean room full of cats and, immediately, we saw two adorable three-month-old kittens—a brother and sister pair. It was love at first sight!
Two hours later and a phone call to my understanding and loving husband, we walked out with two cute additions to our family—Milo and Mia.
They are funny, adorable, mischievous, loving, naughty and spoiled. We love them to pieces, and they are adjusting well to their new home and family. Our hearts and home are no longer empty!