Celebrating an Amazing Year of Happy Tails

December 31, 2015

At the ASPCA, animal adoptions are at the heart of what we do. There is no better feeling than rescuing an animal from homelessness, abuse or neglect and helping them find the loving home they deserve. We work 365 days a year to create these “Happy Tails,” and in 2015, our New York City Adoption Center helped over 4,400 animals find families.

In honor of these new beginnings, we’re counting down the year’s ten most popular Happy Tails. These were the most read, most shared adoption stories of the year—and we are so thrilled to celebrate them here today.

10. Love at First Lick: Patriot’s Happy Tail

Patriot was already eight years old when he was rescued from an abusive situation. The sweet senior pooch had been starved and developed a heart murmur as a result. After receiving medical care at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, he was adopted by Mark and Micah, a couple from Brooklyn, who filled his days with playtime and snuggles. It may have taken eight years, but this very special senior finally found the home of his dreams.

9. Sweet Bea

Although we treat victims of cruelty nearly every single day, Bea’s story is particularly heartbreaking. After being rescued, the two-year-old pit bull arrived at the ASPCA with a large, bloody gash on her head—a suspected stab wound. She received multiple stitches and spent more than a month in recovery, but was still emotionally traumatized. Thankfully, a patient couple named Molly and Daniel were willing to help Bea overcome her fears, and after her adoption, they reported that she is loving her new life. “She adores tennis balls, her Monkees blanket and endless cuddling,” Molly says. 

8. A Second Chance for Hazel

Hazel was adopted quickly after being rescued from cruelty, but she just wasn’t thriving in her new home. She became morbidly obese and was suffering from a leg injury, so we agreed to take her back in. After repairing Hazel’s injuries and putting her on a strict weight-loss diet and socialization routine, we helped find her a new home with a couple named Samantha and Paul. It was a perfect fit, and Hazel couldn’t be any happier. “Hazel transformed and exceeded our expectations!” Samantha reported. “With everything she’s been through, she deserved a second chance at life.” For this Dalmatian, Samantha and Paul’s home proved to be “just the spot.”

7. There’s Something About Maverick

After being hit by a car, Maverick the Shih Tzu couldn’t walk or use his legs. At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Maverick trembled and cried while doctors assessed his situation. He was terrified of people and objects; he urinated and defecated from fear. After nearly $11,000-worth of surgeries and months of recovery, we helped Maverick learn to walk again. An ASPCA employee named Crissy fell for the tiny pup, stating, “I wanted to be the lucky human who gave him a loving home.” Now he seems to have forgotten all about his painful past and instead enjoys his days with Crissy and his canine sister, Rebecca.

6. A Lover, Not a Fighter: Stella’s Happy Tail

Last year, the ASPCA and the NYPD joined forces to rescue 20 dogs from a dog fighting operation in Queens, New York. Stella was one of the canine victims rescued that day, and she spent more than a month recovering at the ASPCA Animal Hospital. Soon after, she met a couple named Katelyn and Jesse, who adopted the 40-lb. pooch and helped her transform from a frightened victim into a happy-go-lucky pet. “After the first few nights, Stella was like a new dog,” Kate recalls. “She is so happy to be with her new family. Every day we wake up to her wagging her tail!”  After a lifetime of suffering, Stella has so much to look forward to.

5. Rolo Gets it Right

One-year-old Rolo was rescued from the home of a hoarder, and the neglect he suffered had left him with chronic skin issues and a heart defect called pulmonic stenosis. He was a special boy, and we were saddened to see him adopted and returned for behavioral issues. Thankfully, nearly nine months later, Rolo met a patient adopter who was undeterred by his special needs. In Joe’s apartment, Rolo quickly proved what we had known all along: that he could be a perfect pet. Joe says, “Rolo has beaten the odds and become the most admired and most loved dog by everyone we run into, everywhere we go. And most definitely by me!”

4. A Bright Future for Hilary and Wendy

After being rescued from the home of a hoarder, cats Hilary and Wendy were suffering from serious physical impairments: Hilary was nearly blind and had numerous infections, while Wendy was born with congenitally small eyes and was completely blind.  But the two kitties relied on each other and soon found a home with an adopter named Elizabeth. Elizabeth changed their names to Pepa and Lola and says that they love to frolic and play, as well as to snooze together on the couch. Despite their vision loss, we know they’ve got a bright future ahead.

3.  After Being Crushed by a Car, K.C. Recovers with a Little TLC

At the age of four months, K.C. was hit by a car and severely injured. With neurological deficits and severe pelvic and leg fractures, she spent a lot of time at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she quickly won the hearts of our staff. Vet Tech Jennifer Doyle agreed to take K.C. in as a foster pet and to provide physical therapy, and it wasn’t long before the petite pup made an extraordinary recovery. “At the end of her foster, I could not bring myself to return her. I had fallen in love,” Jennifer said. She changed K.C.’s name to Bonnie and now the sweet little girl is loved and happy in her new home.

2. Choosing Chuck

Many of you may recall Chuck, the pit bull who was abandoned with two fractured legs. Over six months of treatment, the ASPCA helped Chuck walk again, only to face an even bigger challenge: finding his perfect home. Thankfully, a video of Chuck caught the attention of fiancés Joan and Christian. Christian had also recovered from a leg and hip operation, and so felt particularly drawn to Chuck’s story. “I gravitated right to him,” Christian says. After his adoption, the sweet pup continued to make great progress. “He’s got a constant smile and wagging tail,” and Joan says, “Christian and I couldn’t be more in love with him. We were meant to be.”

1. After High-Profile Cruelty Case, Charlotte is Living a Happy Life

Charlotte garnered national attention when she was severely injured and left for dead in a trash bag near the Staten Island train tracks. During a six-week stay at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, the teeny Maltese/Shih Tzu received treatment for a fractured femur, fractured skull and brain trauma resulting from blunt-force impact. After she recovered, Charlotte was adopted into a loving home where she was renamed Pip. Her adopter, Dava, said she has gotten a lot bigger and is now happy and full of energy. Thankfully, Charlotte seems to have forgotten all about her painful past.