Kristin M. wasn’t planning to adopt a dog when she visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, but meeting Dakota changed her mind. She shared the following story with us about the way in which her family of three became a family of four.
We decided to adopt Dakota when we first saw her. She wiggled up to the glass wagging her tail and just seemed like the sweetest girl—not too big or too small—and flashed her happy Pit Bull smile.
We had never adopted before. We, of course, went to “just look.” After meeting Dakota and learning she wasn’t quite ready for adoption, we put a hold on her.
The adoption process was so easy! It was great being able to have Dakota and our bossy Chihuahua, Cali, meet in a neutral area at the Adoption Center.
Dakota has adjusted into regular home life here. When we first brought her home, we could tell she wasn't used to being in a home setting. Every time I opened the refrigerator, she tried to climb inside it! Stairs were a real challenge for her, even though it is only three steps. We kept her and her older sister separated, while we were gone, for the first two months, just to be safe.
Over the past five months, she has relaxed quite a bit. Dakota walks on a leash very nicely now and has no trouble with our little set of stairs. We often joke that she wants to be best friends with everyone she meets on the street. She and Cali sleep next to each other and even play! Of course, Cali is still the boss.
We couldn't be happier to have Dakota as a member of our little family. We don't even mind waking up to her silly face trying to lick ours!
When Shakira H. decided to bring home a feline companion from the ASPCA Adoption Center, she thought it was best to take her time. Having recently lost her beloved Tabby, Brooklyn, whom she adopted from the ASPCA, Shakira wanted to spend some quality time with the adoptable cats to find the perfect fit.
“The ASPCA representatives were helpful and patient,” Shakira says. “I went to the Adoption Center for a whole week just visiting and trying to make the right decision for this lifelong commitment. The staff worked with me, listened and understood what I was looking for in a cat.”
After plenty of time and thought, Shakira ended up with not one but two kittens. She named them Gusto and Niu Niu.
“Gusto and Niu Niu were the ideal pair,” Shakira says. “They were exactly what I wanted: a young, bonded pair. They were adorable, playful and friendly.”
It’s safe to say that these lively kittens are keeping Shakira on her toes.
“Gusto, Niu Niu and I are still adjusting,” she says. “They are very playful and curious, as any 6-month-old kittens would be. They are also fast learners. Their antics keep me going and put a smile on my face.”
When Joey J., a photographer, went with his family on a tour of the ASPCA Adoption Center, he had no idea they’d be bringing home a furry new addition. He shared the following story with us about adopting Frannie, his loyal canine companion and photographer’s assistant:
We lost our beloved Boxer, Riley, in June. I was devastated and did not feel ready for another dog. I was getting used to not having a 24-hour companion with me at our home and at my photography studio. While visiting our friend Lisa, who works for the ASPCA, my son asked if we could go take a tour of the Adoption Center. As we were there learning about all the wonderful animals and the amazing work the staff and volunteers do, Frannie came running up with a toy and melted my wife's heart. We then had a chance to meet her, and we all fell in love. Frannie found us, adopted us and we are living happily ever after.
The adoption process was wonderful. We were screened as a family to make sure we were the right fit for Frannie, which we believe is very important. We spoke with volunteers who knew Frannie well, as well as with trainers who worked with her on specific behaviors and obedience. We were given a very thorough packet of information regarding her health and training records, along with a wealth of information on care and training. We had never adopted before, and after touring the Adoption Center and learning more about the ASPCA, we recommend it to everyone.
She is a perfect family member. She loves to play hockey and football, and loves to dig up treats we hide for her in the yard. She is with me all day and works as a greeter and professional photo bomber in my studio. Everyone loves her. She’s a big girl, but we find room in bed with us or with our son. We love it—and Frannie is way better than a blanket.
Stephanie of the East Village shared the following story with us about meeting a very quirky kitty named Mr. Snaggles at the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan, and how he seamlessly became a part of her family:
Many months after our cat passed away, I surprised my husband on his birthday by taking him to the ASPCA to adopt a cat. He had no idea where we were going, and was actually grouchy at first because he thought I was dragging him to a museum.
We spent all day looking at cats. We had such a pleasant experience at the Adoption Center. It is immaculate and has a friendly and well-informed staff.
My husband noticed him first—he was the one cat that was really responsive to us—a sweet, sad looking orange tabby with saucer-shaped eyes.
“He’s only got three legs; no one will ever want him,” I thought.
During his stay at the ASPCA, veterinarians tried to correct an extensive injury to his leg, but when his injury would not heal, they had no choice but to amputate it.
Once we brought him home, we followed the suggested procedure of confining him to a smaller room at first to let him get acclimated to his new surroundings. My husband, the new cat and I were all stuffed in our tiny bathroom. He immediately jumped into my husband’s lap and started purring, so we decided to let him out into the rest of the apartment. He sat between us as we watched a movie and slept at the foot of the bed that night.
We named him Mr. Snaggles, homage to his less obvious but cuter flaw, his missing canine tooth.
A new amputee, he took some time getting used to his lack of leg. For about a month, he would forget it was missing and attempted to scratch with his phantom leg by stretching out and wiggling his stump. I was conflicted between laughing and crying when I first witnessed this, but now I just brush his side.
Finally accustomed to his predicament, Mr. Snaggles is the most affectionate, loving cat I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He has excellent grooming habits, cleaning himself as soon as he uses the litter box. He is a valued and fantastic new member of our family.
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Aerin L. shared the following story with us about her dog Scout’s rough start as an abandoned puppy, his subsequent recovery and his happy adoption:
Scout, a black Pit Bull-Chow mix, was found with his three brothers—all around four-months-old—emaciated, close to death, coated in fleas and ticks, and suffering from severe cases of Demodex mange. The shelter that was called in to rescue the puppies said it was the worst case of mange they had ever seen. Scout in particular had not a strand of hair on his body, was covered in fleas and ticks, and his eyes were swollen shut.
A woman who operated a rescue in the Chicago area fostered Scout, then known as LoveBug. When we went to the rescue to look at another dog, we met Scout. He was described as a sweet, fast learning, calm dog.
We adopted him and learned that his personality was far from what we anticipated. Untrained except for the command sit, we enlisted the help of a dog trainer who taught him "down," "heel," "go potty," "wait," "stay," and more. She socialized him and helped him work through his fear of cars.
My plan is to work with Scout so he can achieve the "Canine Good Citizenship Award" before enrolling him as a therapy dog at children’s hospitals. I think children—especially those with cancer—will be able to connect with him. I hope they see his remarkable, and almost impossible, recovery as something they can look forward to. He's alive, well and happy.
Scout can help me educate the public about how loving Pit Bulls are and disprove the myths associated with the breed.