Heart-warming stories of adopted pets and the people who love them.
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
Chance and I adopted Rose in the early part of November, and in that time she has already become irreplaceable. We can already tell that her favorite time of the year will be winter because of the snow. She will run out into the back yard and play for hours... throwing snow up into the air, hiding her tennis balls just so she can dig them up, chasing snow balls. In the short time, we have also learned that Rosie May absolutely loves her tennis balls, and always has one (or more if she can) with her. She also is very quick at learning; she has perfected sit, lay down, stay and the handshake. The only issue is she doesn't just shake your hand when you tell her to! She will come up and shake when she wants a treat or to throw her ball, or your attention. We have also learned that she loves to cuddle; all 50+ pounds of Rose believes she is a lap dog.
When Chance and I walked into the shelter that day we had no idea that we were actually going to adopt a dog, but Rose has been the best decision we have ever made. Thank you WHS and Rose for making our lives so much better!
We adopted Riley in June of 2009. Our other dog Cosmo (WHS alumni) was getting older and slowing down. We had been thinking about adopting another dog for quiet some time.
I had been volunteering at the shelter for a couple of years. I had seen many sweet, cute dogs that would have made a wonderful addition to our family. But for some reason Riley really tugged at my heart. She was not socialized, very shy and fearful of her surroundings, and she was all alone.
I sat with her in her kennel, waiting for her to warm up to me. Finally she came up to me and licked my face. My heart melted. I think she was telling me she trusted me to help her.
We did a meet and greet with Cosmo. They got along wonderfully. We brought her home and started the long process of socializing her, building trust and love, and obidence training. Cosmo helped with this too. It was a long road but we are so happy to have Riley in our family.
We take her hiking, camping, and to the beach. She loves all our adventures! She has several doggie friends she loves to get together with and play. It's truely a happily ever after story.
Duffy (Griff at WHS)
I'm not sure who rescued who. The last year has been a challenging year for me. My husband had been sick on and off since June 2015. He was in and out of hospitals and care homes and when he was home I was sole care giver. At the end of May my daughter Kristy who is a play group volunteer noticed Duffy the first day he was at WHS. She is a big dog person but got real excited about this little guy. I went and met him and put a hold on him. The same day I put the hold on him my husband went back to the hospital. While he was there we let him name Duffy. Sadly 6 days after Duffy came to me my husband passed away. Having Duffy in the house kept it from being too quiet. He is a very sweet dog and is awesome company. He has made friends with my daughters chessie puppy and they play together often. I am very happy he came to me when he did.
Sherlock came in to the shelter as an old man who needed lots of tlc. We saw him on his first day and immediately rushed over and picked him up for fostering. After having this wonderful old man in our home for a month he was discovered to have liver failure so we decided to adopt Sherlock into our home of already 3 dogs. Sherlock was given 6 months to live out his days and be a happy go lucky dog. He went camping at the beach, to the river, the park, and to stores where he loved all the kids he met. His hearing is gone, his eye sight barely there, but he would still play and bounce about every time I got home. He couldn't wait to see what yummy treat I had brought him. I'm sad to say that this is likely his last month with us, as his health has started to decline. But in the short amount of time we have had the pleasure of having this wonderful old man with us he has brought us great joy. I can't even say how much I will miss him when he has crossed over the Rainbow bridge. Thank you WHS for sending that one email looking for a foster for him. That single email conected me with my first dog to call my own, and he is a very special dog who will always hold special place in my heart. I have now had the pleasure of opening our home to two seniors and will continue to do so. These wonderful guys need a happy ending.
We went into the shelter just to look around....Kyle spotted Tank(his name was Arrow)...Kyle knew Tank was gonna be his cat. We read the history on Tank and seen he had be returned twice. We couldnt figure out why cuz he looked so sweet. We couldnt resist....we took him home. Tank is such a happy kitty....and is such a joy to have in our home.
Ron and Hermione
Close to two years ago my husband and I went into the Willamette Humane Society with the hope of adopting a cat...and took home two. Hermione (left) and Ron (right) have been with us since, and have stayed with us through a move across the country. Hermione is the most affectionate and loving cat. She sleeps on my chest or my husband's feet every night, and has adopted our dog, Auggie, as her surrogate mother; he groans but seems okay with it 🙂 Ron is the sweetest, most playful and protective little guy. The first night we brought him home, he slept on my husband's neck, and they have been bonded ever since. The cats have also, clearly, bonded with each other, and were in love with each other from the first moment they met.
We just wanted to let you know that Hermione and Ron are the best cats and we love them so much. We cannot say how much they have added to our family and the happiness they have brought to our lives. Thank you, Willamette!
Back on May 20th we had made the decision to put our oldest dog down at age 18, losing my Jack has been about the hardest thing ever for me, losing him felt like I lost a part of myself, after about two weeks of me being in this funk my boyfriend was reading his email and he 'felt' like something was telling him to open the email from adoptapet.com, that's when he saw 'Demi' for the first time who was a mirror of our Jack so he dragged me down to meet this little girl and for me it was love at first sight and like he had said about the email, it felt like something was guiding us to this little dog, I knew I would eventually get a new dog but I never expected it to be so soon after wards of losing my Jack. I went to talk to someone about meeting her and my boyfriend stayed with her to see if she would come and say hi to him. Much to his surprise as soon as I walked out of the kennel area she got right out of her bed and walked up to the gate and gave him her big brown eyes and that's when she caught him, its exactly how Jack had caught him 17 years ago. After another week of waiting we took our two boys down to meet her and we decided to bring her home, we knew right away she was going to be Jackie after the dog that guided us to her, turns out the name fits her just right, she isn't just a mirror of my Jack, they are so much alike down to the way she walks to the temperament she has, she has moments of running with the boys then decides its enough and lies down and sleeps. Its only been a month since I lost my Jack so i still cry a lot and when I do she just climbs right into my arms and cuddles. Just like my Jack she knows what to do, which makes me cry even more, she has only been in my family a little more than a week but she is Jackie the Queen already. Jackie is truly a blessing to our little family, she has pulled me out of my slump with losing Jack and I still believe that Jack wanted her here. Thank you all so much for helping my Jackie was she was there.
In October of 2015 I lost my baby, Clyde. He was 14 and had been failing for awhile. I was broken. I knew someday we would get another cat, but didn't know when the time would be right. A dear friend invited me to come with her family to look at kittens at a Foster home. They were adopting one and hoped I would consider the other one. This was February. In the Foster home was a beautiful momma kitty and her two 8 day old babies. I went over to see them, and momma, aka, Mary, reached out to me and meowed. That did it. I knew I had found my cat! She needed to stay in Foster care until her boys were old enough and she could be spayed. It was the longest wait ever, once I had convinced my husband she was the one! On April 21st she joined our other 2 girls and 1 older dog and 3 boys. Introductions have been slow, but good and she acts like she's been here all along. Yes, I could've chosen a cute, spunky kitten, but I'm SO happy we adopted Sadie. She makes the 5th cat I've adopted from WHS, 3 of which were 1 or older. Kittens are adorable, but older, full grown cats are just as wonderful and loving. My heart is finally healing. Thank you Sadie for being purr-fectly amazing, Kim (super awesome Foster mom), and everyone involved at WHS. You truly have the best fur kids!
I first saw Bodhi (formerly Tim) on the Willamette Valley Humane Society facebook page. He was shaved in the picture and looked very scrappy. Having just lost a mini Schnauzer to old age I was looking for a new buddy.
I showed my wife the photo and she just laughed at me. "This is the dog you want?" she said sarcastically. I affirmed my choice and we headed down to see him. We have a female Chihuahua and brought her along to do a meet and greet.
The meet and greet went ok. The dogs had no problem with each other at all. As a matter of fact Bodhi had zero interest in any of us. he just walked around sniffing the room. I applied to adopt him kind of reluctantly hoping he would act different once he got home.
As it turned out Bodhi was just "playing it cool" He could not be more different than he acted during the meeting. He is very sweet and loving to everyone in the family, loves to cuddle, and goes crazy for tennis balls. I take him on my adventures around the state and he is the best behaved dog I have ever had. He loves to hike, go to the beach, and will jump right into my car as soon as I open the door.
My only "complaint" with him is that he is a little too energetic in the early morning. Together with our female we have what we call a fluffy alarm clock. It's a small price to pay for such a great pair of companions.
When senior girl, Bella was brought to the Willamette Humane Society by a family who was devastated that they could not keep her, I could see that this dog was just as distraught to be loosing them. She was so nervous and sad that she wouldn't eat even the best treats, but still came over to me with a tiny bit of "wag " in her tail. The next day, I went to check on Bella who was laying in her bed, not moving. She wouldn't even get up and come to the front of the kennel for hot dogs. I couldn't bear to leave her while she was feeling so depressed so I asked permission to take her on respite over the weekend. I didn't really expect to be able to have a dog, as it would take a special pup to be able to live politely with my house rabbit, Moonshine - however, Bella was surprisingly respectful toward the bun. When I brought her back and led her back into her kennel, I watched her wilt all over again. As my days passed, it became increasingly clear that I couldn't possibly go home without her.
Now that she has been a part of my family for months, I have watched my pretty pittie change from a lazy, quiet old lady into a spry and eager young pup! But however comfortable she gets, she is still quite aware that the bunny is the boss of the house.
I had been looking for a small dog to help keep my spirits up during the school year when I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed. I checked everyday online at many different shelters for the perfect dog, and just 30 minutes before I was planning on going into the WHS shelter, I saw Gordo online. They had JUST cleared him for adoption, and I fell in love with him instantly through the computer screen. I was at the shelter just a few minutes later, and went straight to his kennel. He was so new there that most of the staff didn't know who "Gordo" was yet. I didn't even need to look at other animals because he had instantly won my heart. I looked at my mom and said "He's the one."
At the shelter they said he wasn't interested in toys, other animals, or anything for that matter... He was too scared. He's no longer shy, or scared, and has such a bright look in his eyes, and a smile on his face everyday now. And he absolutely LOVES every single person, dog, cat, etc. that he encounters (including my moms farm animals... pig, horses, rabbit). He doesn't have a mean bone in his body, and he is the most loving dog I've ever met. He loves being by my side and follows me everywhere. He sits in my lap when I'm doing homework (which is where he is right now), but he also loves to be outside, go on walks, and play; it's the perfect balance. I LOVE him SO much, and can't imagine my life without him now. I couldn't have asked for a better pal to keep me company, and I've never been happier! I can't thank the Willamette Humane Society enough for giving me my new best friend.
Bilbo (used to be Scooby)
I lost my cat Powder at the age of 21 the beginning of this year, I swore to myself that I would never get another cat, it hurt too much to have him leave me. For weeks I would look out the window under his tree where he was buried and cry. Then a few days ago a friend of mine posted something on my Facebook page, it was a link to "Chocolate Bunny" (Now aptly named Sir Bedivere,) His story was that he had a really rough time until someone brought him into the shelter, he was almost starved to death and had a huge gash on his face, He looked like he had been through so much and my heart went out to him. I sent an email to the shelter immediately asking if he was still available and that I would be in Friday after work to meet him.
When I got there the girls were so happy that I had come in to see him, I could tell that he had touched the lives of all those that had cared for him. After meeting him and seeing his personality and after all that he had went through, he was still a gentle and loving cat, I knew I had to take him home. The adoption process was so wonderful and it pleased my heart to see a lot of people adopting. That night when we got home, he prowled around a bit and found a dark spot to hide, I let him stay to himself, and he eventually came to me and got up on my desk and laid while I did some work on my computer, he was purring and seemed very content. At bed time he followed me and we both got into bed, he stayed at the foot until I called him to let him know it was okay, then he made his way to my chest and laid down, he licked my cheek and I cried and hugged him. I cried because I knew he was happy and that small gesture of his kindness and affection was his way of saying, "Thank you." He does not know this, or maybe he does, but he in turn rescued me as much as I did him. He is truly my knight in shinning armor. Thank you Sir Bedivere.
I was walking through my local mall when I decided to walk through the Kitten Kaboodle. I had no intention to get a cat at that time, maybe in a month or so when I had moved. My older sister, who was following behind me, let out a gasp and an "Awwww". This little orange kitten had grabbed her through the bars of his cage. She had asked to hold him, and he immediately fell asleep in her arms, legs splayed, flat on his back, mouth agape.
She handed him to me and went to find her husband. I sat with him four a total of two minutes when I knew I would't be leaving without this little furball. He had curled himself into my sweater, and people were walking by and petting him. When the handler took him so I could sign the papers, he clung to me 🙂
He is now my constant companion and in much better health and spirits (He had a bad upper respiratory infection that he was being treated when I got him). I regret nothing. I'm so happy I went into Kitten Kaboodle that day.
When we arrived at the Humane Society early this month, we didn't plan on coming home with a new kitty. My boyfriend and I already had a 16 year old Golden Retriever and a 14 year old American Bobtail. However, while visiting the cat room there was one kitty who caught my eye, Tatertot. She seemed so friendly and had an adorable face so when a volunteer offered for us to go to a visitation room I couldn't say no. Tatertot had won me over; the only catch was she was very sick. Tatertot was a hospice adoption because there were multiple masses in her abdomen. At that point I'd already fallen in love so I still took her home and promptly to the vet. My veterinarian said that along with the masses, Tatertot had a heart murmur which makes it very difficult to predict when she might pass away. Despite all this Tatertot is happy as a clam and so are we. The other animals act as if they've been siblings all along, and I've never met a kitty who likes to cuddle more than Tatertot. One of her favorite activities is headbutting and purring. In the morning, I'm awakened to two meowing kitties on either side of me, begging for breakfast, and it's so cute I can't be mad. She has also created a very close bond to my Golden Retriever; they will sleep on the same bed, drink out of the bowl at the same time, and they have even begun taking leashed walks together! I feel so lucky that my boyfriend and I were there to find Tatertot and welcome her into our family. She is treated like an absolute princess and knows that shes finally at home. We look forward to spending many more years with Tatertot.
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