How Troy Found His Home and Gained an Adoring Fan Club!

February 1, 2024


Last summer, a handsome six-year-old dog named Troy was patiently awaiting adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center (AC) after being adopted and returned twice.

Troy originally came to us from our longstanding partners at the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). Through our close relationship with and ongoing support of ACC—the only open-admission animal care center serving all five boroughs—we help New York City’s most vulnerable animals by providing grant funding for ACC’s innovative programs, veterinary care for owned animals, spay/neuter services and transfer of dogs and cats to the Adoption Center. Transferring animals like Troy, who may require specialized support or experience longer stays in shelters, helps to alleviate ACC’s capacity.

“Troy was definitely a staff favorite here,” says Danielle Levy, an Admissions and Placement Specialist at the AC. “After his returns, we all felt so sad for him. He definitely has those puppy-dog eyes and always looked so sad in his kennel.”


The Road to Adoption

During his time with us, Troy was often taken out of his kennel to relax and socialize with staff in their offices or at the front desk, which always cheered him up! As a result, everyone at the Adoption Center got to know him quite well as they worked to find him a loving home. He was affectionately known as “Big Boy Troy” by the team.

Unfortunately, despite his sweet nature, Troy faced challenges when it came to finding the right home. “Troy was a slow placement due to his size and medical needs,” Danielle says. 

At 75 lb., Troy is a big dog, and he also had food allergies which needed a strict, long-term prescription diet. His time with us also helped our teams to identify and work on behaviors that could also affect his success in a new home.

“Troy definitely wasn’t the easiest dog to manage in an office, as he would bark for my attention pretty consistently,” says Olivia D’Amico, another Admissions and Placement Specialist who helped him on his adoption journey. “He was actually the first dog I ever took for office time, and I had to bring him back to his kennel because of his demand barking.”

“Overall, he just had a rough start to life!” Danielle adds.

Fortunately for Troy, the AC team was committed to helping him find the home that he needed. They knew that the right adopter was out there, and in short order, they would be proven right.


Billy Meets Troy

Last year, Billy H. moved back to New York City after spending a few years away. He left NYC in 2016, and a lot had changed in the years since. The effects of the pandemic were still felt, and it was an isolating time for Billy. There was something—or maybe a very special someone—missing from his life.

“After talking with my therapist,” Billy says, “we decided it would be greatly beneficial to get a dog to help fill the missing companionship in my life.”

Soon enough, Billy landed on the adoption profile of Troy on the ASPCA website, and it was love at first sight.


“I knew Troy was the dog for me because I always wanted a big dog, and that he is,” Billy says. “He is also super gentle, a great snuggler and (just like me) loves a snack!”

When Billy applied to adopt Troy, the staff knew it was the perfect fit! After he received approval from his landlord that Troy could live in his apartment, Billy picked him up at the AC.

“Needless to say, it was a joyous occasion,” Olivia says. “We chatted a lot, and Troy went home in his very own Taylor Swift-themed bandana!”

“His adoption was truly magic and meant to be,” Danielle says. “It was the best day ever!”


Getting Over Early Hurdles

When Billy and Troy arrived home, they initially faced some challenges.

“Night one was rough, I’m not going to lie,” Billy says. During the adoption process, the AC team provided behavioral information about Troy, including his history of demand barking. “And boy, did he demand,” Billy tells us.

Though the transition and settling-in period were initially stressful, Billy was patient, and Troy soon began to feel more comfortable in his new home.

Billy also connected with a trainer, who helped show him how to redirect Troy’s energy. Troy also needed to learn that demand barking won’t get him what he wants, no matter how much he barks.

“He instantly became a (mostly) good boy,” says Billy. “He is still always hungry and lets me know, but, like—same!”


The Dog Days Are Here

Six months later, life couldn’t be better for Troy and Billy! They have just about perfected their daily routine together.

“We go for three walks a day, I feed him twice a day and we cuddle nonstop,” Billy says. “Also, can’t forget to destroy his toys daily!”

Taking on the responsibility of being a dog dad has affected Billy’s life, as well.

“Having Troy has taught me to be much more aware of something other than myself,” says Billy. “Even if I don’t feel like walking at the time, it’s not just me, and Troy’s needs come before mine.”


Now that he has his own experience with dog adoption, he advocates for others to do the same.

“I was initially nervous about what kind of personality Troy would have, and how it would differ from what I wanted—and it did—but in the best way,” Billy says.

“He challenges me to be better, and to be more aware of his needs and feelings. It may be a challenge at first, but knowing I changed his life for the better, and that he did the same for me, makes everything worth it.”


Billy also has a personalized Instagram account just for Troy, which he shared with the AC team, so they can stay updated with their journey. He has also left some gifts for the staff, to show his appreciation.

“A few months after the adoption,” Olivia says, “Billy even came back to give us our own Taylor Swift-inspired friendship bracelets that say ‘Troy ❤️ ASPCA!’”

“We all follow Troy's account and still get excited over every post,” says Danielle. “They both lucked out, and we are so happy that Troy found the perfect home!”