Heart-warming stories of adopted pets and the people who love them.
My search for a new addition to our pack started with my Chihuahua Mix that I've had for 7 years needing a playmate her size. When we went to meet new dogs, the lady working at that time explained what home she thought would be best for the dogs we saw. When she introduced us to Jessie (an 11 year old chihuahua mix), she mentioned all the negative things on her report and it felt like she stressed them very profusely. "Jessie is not potty trained, she has bit someone before, always escapes, etc." I started to think this was a mistake even prior to adopting her, but something in my gut said to give her a good home because no one else would want an older dog with such a long rap sheet.
After taking Jessie home and introducing her to the rest of our "pack" she fit right in. She loves my husband's lab mix just as much as my other Chihuahua mix. She plays well with everyone human and canine. Possibly due to being part of a pack, she took to training VERY fast. Jessie was having zero accidents after day 4 of being in our home. She listens very well to our other dogs and learns the rules very fast. By day 6 she was sitting and staying prior to meals. She is learning new tricks to her but tricks our other dogs are pros at. It's so wonderful to see her development and how well she is fitting into our family.
After not even a full month of having Jessie live with us, the 'bad' dog has turned into an angel (albeit a rambunctious one) and we couldn't be happier with the choice to adopt her.
We adopted Short Stack back in February, 2019. After watching the website for almost a year for a dog that would be a good fit, we found Shorty, but he was adopted before we could meet him. Unfortunately, he wasn't a right fit for his first family, so when we saw him back in the site, we headed back over to meet him and fell in love with him.
After a couple of days, his personality started showing through and some not so good habits, so I signed him up for some behavior classes at WHS. What a difference three short lessons and a lot of practice made. We have a lot of work to do still, but he is so much better walking and less dog reactive.
He loves waiting at the bus stop for the kids and calmly greets each and every kid who gets off the bus. He seems so disappointed when I occasionally can't take him to the bus.
Short Stack has been such a wonderful addition to our family and we look forward to many adventures with him.
Peppi came to the shelter when he was about 9 months old and quickly put on hold and adopted. I visited the Humane Society during this time and couldn’t bring myself to pay much attention to him in the kennel because he was SO darn cute and I knew he was spoken for and didn’t want to fall in love when I just knew our forever dog was waiting for us....somewhere. Fast forward a few weeks later and lo and behold Peppi was back on the website. The minute I saw him I made plans to go in the next day to meet with him as soon as the doors opened and put him on hold. That night we took him home and that lil lovebug shook the whole way in the car and my husband cuddled him and he snuggled right into his neck. We made it home, we played, we snuggled, and we laughed. That lil Peppinstein wiggled his way into the bed between my husband and I and straight into our hearts. A few days later I started reading through his paperwork because I just couldn’t fathom how this adorable, sweet, loving, smart bundle of pure happiness could have ended up at the shelter...TWICE. Who would bring him back and WHY? I felt like I was reading about a different dog. He was described as “usually whining and/or barking” “difficulty settling down” and follows commands “never”. In the car he was described as “stressed” and at home “all puppy, too much to handle”. I don’t know who they dropped off when he was surrendered but it certainly wasn’t the dog I took home. He has been a HUGE source of love and laughter in this house. He only whines when he knows we are leaving without him which isn’t often as he gets to go to doggie daycare. He learned “sit” “down” “stay” and “shake” each in mere minutes. He’s done more for us than we can ever do for him. Our hearts are full and we just hope that maybe you will read Peppi’s story and not let labels sway you from making opinions before finding your forever lovebug. BTW..the pic is Peppi’s 2 week adoptaversary celebration with a puppaccino from Dutch Bros❤️
Nosey (formerly Neville)
During the holidays of 2017 we lost our cat of 16 years to cancer. It left a whole in the heart of the entire family that we struggled to fill. After about 8 months of mourning, the family decided that we were ready to adopt a new cat. It was kitten season at the shelter and we all fell in love with this little guy after reading his description and seeing the picture. Nosey (formerly Neville) and his kitten siblings had been fostered by a family that had young children and dogs....just like us!! The description said that Nosey was particularly fond of dogs....which is exactly what we were looking for! Our 8 year old dog never really got to play with our previous cat because she was older when he arrived in the household as a puppy. We were looking forward to getting a younger cat that would enjoy playing with him. Turns out the gamble paid off. Nosey adores our dog and they have daily wrestling matches followed by cuddles on the couch. Nosey is the most easy-going cat I've ever owned. He lets the kids cart him around on their shoulder like a sack of flour, and he loves to go for rides with them in the doll stroller! He naps on a bed on top of my desk during the day and gives great cuddles at night. We wanted to write this note as a huge THANK YOU to the foster family that helped raise him to be the awesome cat that he is. We hope you are reading this and that you keep fostering. You have inspired us to consider fostering in the future so that we can do the same for other animals in need. We could not be happier with our little guy. Thank you for all you do!
I volunteered at the Humane Society from March-September. While there I met a blind cat named Jodi. She was placed in an up-and-down kennel and staff thought she would do better in a side-by-side. She was a large cat so we put her in a 3-room suit. My 12-year-old sister put her litter box in the far right and the food, water and bed in the far left. I was very concerned about her finding her way, so I used her food dish to walk her through all three rooms. I planned on adopting her when I returned from a camping trip with my fiancée. I was heartbroken when I got back and found out she was gone. Due to personal circumstances I had to quit volunteering.
I was just looking on their site on a whim and I saw Jodi! I knew I had to have her. I went straight there and adopted her. While I waited I was loving on her and she took her paw and put it on my arm and pulled it into her chest. She still does this and holds my hand close to her. I am her 3rd home in 6 months. She is an amazing girl. She is still finding her way around the house, but she walks around purring non-stop. She plays and has decided her favorite place is outside. I bought her a doggy door and can watch her from the warmth of my house as she explores my back yard. She cuddles me and is very talkative. They say if you let something go and it comes back to you it was meant to be. We were meant to be. <3
Freki (Formally Ronnie)
After moving into our new apartment we were finally in a place where we could consider getting a dog. Our cat had died a few weeks before and we couldn't bring replace him with another cat. A dog wouldn't bring any comparison. We knew we wanted a shelter dog. We were not in the market for a puppy so definitely something a bit older. After cruising the website close to home without finding anything that called to us we decided to look a bit further out. That is when we saw Ronnie's picture. We fell in love with his face and immediately decided to make the two hour trek down to meet him. After meeting him we were told there was a hold placed on him while we were travelling. We were slightly devastated that we couldn't bring him home immediately but placed a second hold and hoped that we still had a chance. We were informed he was dog reactive and we shouldnt bring him to any dog parks which worried our daughter...but we had faith that a bit of love and training would help him overcome his issues. So when you called us the next day and said the other family had passed on him we came the very next day and picked him up. Once home he settled down pretty quickly and today, only one week from the time we adopted him he played in a dog park with two other dogs happily. When not out on walks Freki is our lap dog. He is quiet and loveable and follows us around the house, sleeping either with us or our teenage daughter. He is by far the sweetest boy and well worth the long drive to get him.
Poppy was brought to WHS with exposure damage to her ears-which had to be clipped. After waiting over a month we were able to bring her home. Poppy requests snuggles daily 2pm and 2am minimum. My chronic pain requests the same. This tenderhearted cat exchanges 'catherapy' with me and we comfort each other. Her ears are healing nicely and she will never have to be exposed to the elements again. Now the only element this small gentle kitty will be exposed to is love!
I finally agreed to getting a dog after a year of my husband and boys asking. I had a lot of requirements for this dog. No drooling, no barking, no jumping, no chewing and pretty much no other annoying dog behavior and had to be potty trained. Definitely no puppies! I’m a cat person can you tell? I also have 4 small rambunctious boys in my house so we needed something not too big and definitely not small. I assumed we’d spend weeks looking for the perfect dog but we went to the pet smart event on our first scouting trip interested in this dog called pita bread and wondering why she had a zero adoption fee. Turns out she had breast cancer which had been removed but since they couldn’t guarantee the cancer wouldn’t come back she was considered a hospice dog. We sat and watched her and fed her treats for quite a while before we decided we’d take her. I just couldn’t leave her there. I didn’t care if she lived a week or lasted 8 more years, she was coming home with us. She had scars all over her face and 2 big ones on her behind. Her face is white while the rest of her is brown. She’s been through some kind of hell. She came from a shelter in San Antonio and had been here for 3 weeks. I couldn’t believe nobody wanted this calm seeet dog! My husband finally got his dog except, day 1, she decided I was her person instead. She likes him just fine but she follows me everywhere! We’ve had her for just about 2.5 weeks now and she is the sweetest most calm dog I have ever met. She ignores our 2 cats, is sweet with the kids, and hasn’t barked once. She’s become more playful since we got her and loves to run! She also got a clean bill of health from the vet and we’re hoping she sticks around for many more years to come. She has also decided she loves the baby and will lay next to him wherever he’s playing. Pita bread is now my Maggie girl and we couldn’t be happier! I still can’t believe we have a dog and I am so glad she waited for us! She brings so much joy to our family! <3
Nathan Scott Phillips (Formerly Aaron Purr)
I remember looking at cats for months. I had a very specific kitty in mind: a young grey kitten that would be OK with other animals. I wanted to name him Nathan Scott Phillips. You see, one of the reasons that my mom and I wanted a cat was to give our old 7-year-old collie a friend. He would sit at home all day alone, and we constantly felt bad for doing so. So then started the searching. I looked and looked for months, and felt hopeless after 2 months of checking shelters every day. I almost gave up after finding 3 different cats and then coming back the next day to find them adopted. Then one day, I stumbled upon this little fella. From the moment I saw him, I knew he was the one! His name was Aaron Purr and was exactly what I wanted, and I knew this was a sign. You see, at the time I had recently become OBSESSED with Hamilton, and knew that I had to have this kitten. Since then, we have adopted this young furball, and he's 100% found his forever home. I was worried that he wouldn't get along with Marley, but the two are now best friends! They even share water bowls! As for Marley, he's never been better. There's some sort of playfulness inside of him that has come out ever since and brought out a whole new side of him! I don't know what life would have been like without our little Nathan!
Fern (was Cinch)
I had been wanting a dog for a while and had been checking in at shelters off and on. When I saw this little boys face I knew he was the one. I showed the photo to my husband and we went to meet him as soon as we could. He had a stray that had been at the humane society for a month. We were also warned about him being dog reactive. We are pretty secluded so we felt like a good fit. His story also melted my heart! I can’t believe how far he has come. He still can’t go to the dog park anytime soon but he has some dog friends that he plays with. He is so cuddly and such a goofball. We go on hikes almost everyday and he now gets along with our cat, chickens and goats! He even helps put away the goats. I am so glad that we get to have this dog in our life! I can’t believe anyone could ever give him up!
Years and years ago I adopted a German Shepard from Willamette humane society and was completely happy, that dog died of old age in 2001. So last week Vic and I went to the shelter after looking at 50 plus other dogs from other shelters. There is such a thing as love at first sight. We saw Dexter and he gave us that pitiful look and whine. We interviewed him in the room and we absolutely fell in love with him. Since he's been home with he is the happiest puppy alive! An absolute delight and you can tell hes is genuinely happy. We love our new fur baby! Thank you Willamette humane society!
Hercules (was Kitty)
I came into shelter looking for my cat who disappeared and this cat kept meowing at me from behind a sign that said "Warning Biter". He always came to the front of the cage to be petted when I would come in after two weeks of coming in to see if my cat was there I noticed "kitty's" time was running out so I decided to take him home if and only if he was nice to my grandson since I can't have a biter with a baby. 8 years later this terrified cat named Hercules has learned to trust, play and give love to most everyone. I am so lucky that he was given a chance at the shelter. It wasn't easy for him to adjust but after several months he is was home. Now he is so spoiled and well loved.
I can't say thank you enough for saving this sweet crazy boy for me.
Remember little Ruby who was available for adoption back in late January 2012? Six years later she is healthy, thriving, and enjoying many camping trips. After our 15-yr old Basenji was stricken with cancer, we decided to adopt a younger dog as a playmate for our yellow lab Maddy. Three-month old Ruby had just become available after spending a few weeks in foster care with a Junior Dog Trainer named Katie (who did a fabulous job). We rushed down to the Humane Society on Saturday and saw Ruby in the puppy room. She came running up to us and put her paw under her kennel door trying to touch us. She is such a sweet friendly dog that looking back, I'm sure she greeted everyone that way. My husband thought she might grow into a very large 80-lb type dog so we didn't inquire. However on Sunday he said lets go look at Ruby again. We did and of course another party had put an overnight hold on her. On the advice of a volunteer we put a backup hold on her. Luckily we got a call on Monday that the other party decided not to adopt her. She was ours!! My husband picked her up a day before my birthday. And what a gift - one that keeps giving and giving unconditional love. Ruby is such a delight. We thank our lucky stars every day that the gentleman who originally was going to adopt her decided not to because he worked long hours. Our yellow lab passed away at 13, but Ruby enjoys playing with her 3-yr old sister Shelby, an Australian Cattle Dog/German Shepherd mix, who we adopted from another rescue. We've had purebred dogs before and loved every one of them, but now we have purebred mutts and they have the BEST of several breeds in them.
Coco and Patty (Patience)
I adopted Coco (Cocoa) and Patty (Patience) as a bonded pair in late January 2018. They blended in with my two cats and are doing well. One if my older cats is trying to play with them and hopefully will lose a bit of weight in the process.
I'm happy that I listened to that little voice in my ear that said to go to the shelter that day when I found them.
Eli aka Lancelot
After my divorce I was looking for a companion to keep me busy and get me out of the house. I kept visiting the humane societies website to see if there was a dog I might be interested in. When I saw his profile I knew he was the one for me. I went straight down to the shelter , only to discover that he had already been adopted! None of the other dogs there seemed to be what I was looking for. I kept visiting the website and checking for a possible match and a couple of weeks later he was back!! I drove straight to the humane society and had to discover that another family was already playing with him. Fortunately for me he wasn't a good match for them.amd I snatched him up right away! We have been inseparable ever since and have had many many adventures together. I hope we have many more fun years ahead of us, he truly is my best friend!!
I was looking for an older cat to adopt a few weeks after we lost one of our fur babies to cancer. I know that older cats have a harder time finding homes. Py loves to be a grump and have her way but she also has learned how to show affection and never wants to be left alone. We got her at age 16 three years ago this December. We wouldn't give her up for the world.
My family had been looking for a dog for some time and about six months before we got Dakota we had a hold on Gracie but she got adopted. When we got Dakota our cats hated us but they eventually warmed to him.
Dakota is now a therapy dog for Pet Partners and is in training for agility. He came home to us knowing only like 2 tricks but now he knows over 30. He is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Sidney and Skyler
Sidney and Skyler did a great job with the hour ride home. Skyler was a little scared the first day, after that he did just fine and is such a sweet dog. He loves to cuddle with anyone who will give him a belly rub. Sidney is definitely very much in charge. For a 10 year old she loves to play with her many squeaky toys. She has a basket of toys which she has figured out how to get the toys out, but not put them away. 😁 Senior dogs are the best dogs to adopt!
We came into the shelter as a school project for my kiddo and did not plan on leaving with any animals that day. I'm a single mom with three kids and a quiet senior kitty, we really didn't anticipate adding to our family that day but as soon as I locked eyes with June, I knew we couldn't leave her behind.
3 years later we can't imagine what our home would be without her. She gets along great with our senior kitty Mae Mae and her clowning around keeps everyone constantly entertained. June loves all of her humans, including the smaller ones. Her interests include stealing feathers, knocking items off the coffee table, being a kitchen vulture, cuddling, watching birds from her cat tree, scaring the pizza delivery person, and wrapping mom around her little paw.
Black cats bring the best luck!
Rooster is a mixed breed dog with a very sweet, sensitive disposition. I suffer from occasional nightmares related to PTSD. My dog has taken to either waking me up or trying to lick me in the face when I wake up. It's more than I could have ever asked for from a pet. He's smart, quiet and gentle. How he could have ended up without a family is beyond me. He now sleeps in a king size bed and takes regular trips to the dog park. I couldn't imagine not coming home to my best friend.
I came to the open hearts even this last weekend 3 hours before it opened to find an already short line forming. As the hours ticked on the line got longer and longer until it was wrapping around the whole parking lot and the sidewalk by the street. I had a cat in mind but I walked into the cat room for a quick look anyway and there he was. His name was Harry Potter and I saw this as a sign because I AMA big Harry Potter fan and have been reading the first book to the class I work with. So I was the first person to adopt on Saturday. He's been great since being home, he loves his new sister Penelope, though she's still on the fence. He purrs most of the day and follows his sister when she's not following him. I think they'll be great friends! Thank you for our new family member!
This is Moro in his favorite thing ever... SNOW!! He literally never wanted to go inside. He would plant himself and would do so until he got his way. Which of course he did.. Look at that face! Hard to tell him No! He is the best dog (small bear) I could ever ask for. Thank you Willamette Humane Society!
Five or six years ago our family decided that it was time to look for a new addition to the family and we sought out the Humane Society to do so. In the past, we had looked for pure bred dogs from breeders but this time around we wanted to save the life of a little doggo and give it a family. Our search brought us to Cricket, a shy, unhappy, and sometimes angry puppy with a lot of room to grow in heart. She had been to many families, had been tied down, muzzled, yelled at, kicked, and left time and time again and yet we knew we had found something special in her.
When we first brought her home, she was scared and that fear often showed its face with mean teeth and growls. Yet, as the weeks passed and our family showered this previously unwanted puppy with love, she blossomed. Now she often spends long hours sleeping in the sun lit front room with a cat to her left and another doggo to her right, laying in the laps of toddlers with a smile on her face, and shoving her little head into the tummies of her owners asking for butt rubs and face smooches.
She is stubborn as an ox but devoted to another level, she comes to our aid when we are upset, and frequently wiggles her nub of a tail so quickly it disappears. This happy doggo has found a huge home in our heart and I believe we have in hers. I am so thankful to have found her and to not have given up like so many others had! It just goes to show that even the left over puppies with little broken hearts can find happiness again!
We lost our beloved dachshund May 27, 2016, she was 16 years old. We decided we would not get another pet; that we just had too much grief. In July we started thinking about getting another pet. We talked about another dachshund, but decided we needed to rescue a pet. We are so glad we visited WHS! Coquette (Cookie Monster) has found her forever home with us and we are so happy. We fell in love with one look at her on our computer screen! We were there on a saturday morning, making sure we were the first in line! We knew this was our baby girl. We couldn't wait to bring her home (and we had to for a few days for a special check up). We cannot express how happy our home is now, our new baby girl is here and she is so loveable. We joke that we "have to people walk her" because she loves to go for walks, it started with walks around the block, then walking a few more blocks, and now we are now up to 2 miles per day! She is always happy to meet and greet others! We have met many of our neighbors and their pets. She has gone to California on a trip to meet her family and she was the hit of Thanksgiving! We love our baby girl and thank WHS for this opportunity to give her a forever home! Becky & Brian
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