Happy Tails

Heart-warming stories of adopted pets and the people who love them.

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Photos of Your Pet

We adopted Rocky at the beginning of the Covid outbreak and what a joy he has been. We have enjoyed him so much and he makes sure we laugh at him often. It took him a little bit to get used to us and we to him but he settled right in and made sure we knew his rules. He has his routines which he switches up about once a month, just to keep us on our toes. He lives in a neighborhood where he is not allowed to be outside to run free (a sadness and frustration for him), so he goes out on his leash almost every day. He especially likes getting acquainted with the neighbors, including the dog neighbors, and walks along beside us on his leash or just parks himself and surveys the area and sniffs the air. He is quite the talker and begs to go out after dark every day to hunt for moths and bugs. Beings that he is all black, it is impossible to see him out in the dark. I think I must get him a white harness so I can see him. He is a great little traveler, and his nosy and curious instincts allow him to get in the car and go with us for visits to family. We have so enjoyed this gregarious, self assured, full of personality cat. He is not a lap cat - yet- but I hope as he constantly evolves that he will mellow enough to sit on a lap occasionally. We can’t imagine being without him!

The perfect dog

Ziggy (formerly “Jackson”)

Photos of Your Pet

Ziggy has been an absolute joy to have in our home. We are so happy we found him and thankful for adopting such a great dog! He can still be nervous with new situations, but he’s quick to adjust so we just take baby steps to get him comfy and once he’s there, he’s back to his normal puppy-ish self. He recently graduated from a Reactive Rover class at the Oregon Humane Society and did really well. We’re working on his leash skills and he’s making decent progress. We also learned about Doggy Parkour and are considering doing some work with him there since we discovered during one of training sessions that he loves obstacle courses!
He gets along wonderfully with our two cats and has the perfect amount of energy for our family. We recently took him to the beach for the day and then a dog park with a fenced in dog run; he did awesome. He still has to fine tune some manners with meeting new dogs as he’s very exuberant and likes to bounce around them, but it’s all in the name of play and with patience and positive guidance, we know he’ll get there! He’s very much loved and we’re very grateful to the staff at WHS who were with us when we first met him and helped us with the adoption process. Thank you!

Photos of Your Pet

As soon as we saw pictures of Titus on the adoption website, we just had this feeling he was meant to live with us! After our first visit with him, we learned he has FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Whereas this may have made other potential adopters turn away, this made us love him more. He is such a sweet loving (big) boy. He wakes me up every morning by jumping on me and making me pet him. He is such a blessing to our family.

Photos of Your Pet

I am not going to lie, I was pretty apprehensive about adopting Chip because of his looks. He was listed as a mixed breed and I was terribly concerned about his Pit Bull resemblance. He’s a very strong dog and was pulling me all over the place when we stopped at the dog store to get supplies on our way home. Luckily for me the trainer was in the store and approached us and gave me some wonderful tips. The biggest tip of all was his suggestion of a Wonder Walker harness. This harness is the most amazing thing ever. We had to go to another pet store to get it and it was totally worth it. It was an instant difference! It was recommended that I get a chain leash as he likes to grab the leash and play tug with it. While he does this once in awhile, it is no longer an issue. Chip had several accidents in the house for the first two days. I started to seared him with treats for going potty outside and we’ve had no more accidents! Today was the first day I went back to work since getting him and was terribly concerned about barking and a potty accident but neither happened! He’s been wonderful with all of the neighbors and their dogs so far and everyone loves him! He even went to the dog park on Tuesday and did fantastic! I kept him on his leash until he had a chance to meet the dogs that were there and when I could see that everything alone good I let him loose. If things got touch with the other dogs he would just escape and start running and the other dogs would chase him but could never catch him because he’s so fast. I wish I could up load the video him sleeping because he snores when he sleeps and it’s loud but freaking adorable. So far so good! I think he knows he’s mine! Thank you for letting me spend the needed time with him at our meet and greet!

Rocky cat

Rocky (Conan)

Photos of Your Pet

Boy did I get lucky when I came to my new home. All I could think about when I met them was getting out of this little room and I talked about it non stop. Guess they got the message. At my new home, I have the run of the house and even have a catio with perches and a big tree branch and some wheat grass and a great view of the birdbath and big trees with noisy crows. I love being up high so they got me one of those condo things so I can scamper up there and sit on the top to survey my world inside and out. I make it very clear to them that I really want to go outside and do more exploring, and have managed to escape a few times but they always find me within too short a time and haul me back home, and then I plead with them for days about how much I need to get out for additional exploring. So to help satisfy my longing to get out, mom takes me outside on a leash or carries me and then I can see more of the wider world, but the best thing was we went on a road trip clear to another state to visit friends who have a kitten (who hissed and growled at me; what was that about), but I was calm and very kool and we became good friends by dinner time. We really had a good time together. Riding in the car is the best, lots of windows to look out and see things whizzing by. I got bored in a short while and got inside my igloo and napped most of the time. I loooove being in the car. I might get to go on another trip since I am such a good traveler.

Perfect addition

Cooper (formerly Will)

Photos of Your Pet

I lost my wonderful cat, DB earlier this year and wasn't sure I was ready for another until I looked on the whs website and saw Will (now Cooper). He was such a shy little guy when I met him, even trembling out of fear. After a few minutes meeting him and him licking my hand, I knew I had to take him! He has completely come out of his shell and is such a wonderful addition! He still hides from visitors but is slowly coming around to them too. He is such a curious kitten and loves everything shiny! He can play fetch with his favorite mouse toy for hours and loves to cuddle at night. It was definitely the right choice bringing Cooper home. Thank you so much! Cooper has helped me heal and I have been able to give him love and security!

Photos of Your Pet

Hannah here! Its been just a few short days but my servants thought it best that I give an update. First, these people came and visited me at the shelter and I was so happy because everyone was paying attention to me. Next thing I knew though they put me in a box in the car and I had to stay there for 3 hours. I was such a good girl though and didn’t cry once. It took me a while to settle in at my new home, but I showed everyone how loving I am and how loud I can purr. All was well until I locked myself in the bathroom. That was terrifying! Especially when they had to use a saw on the door to get it open! I was scared for a while after that, but the servants learned that I like treats and playing with the red dot to settle me down. I am starting to trust them and impress them everyday when I come when my name is called. Even though I occasionally hide behind the piano, I am settling in to my new home where everyone knows that I am the queen!

Thank you to WHS for helping me find a home with people who will always take care of me, give me plenty of scratches, and love me even when I am scared!

Photos of Your Pet

Louis came to our family as a roughed up stray looking for food and a place to rest. With the virus and lockdown in full effect we were unsure if we would be able to care for him and took him to the Humane Society after a few days of feeding and petting him when he showed up. After a couple of weeks our situation changed for the better and we found out the little rescue was adoptable under the name TJ. We knew we had to snatch him up as soon as possible and we welcomed him into our home, now as Louis. He is very chatty and loving! The morning after we took him home I woke up to him snuggling with my arm, and he has done so every morning since. My husband and I are newlyweds, and we couldn’t be happier with our new family!

Maggie’s Recovery

Maggie Rose

Photos of Your Pet

When we first brought our Maggie (Rosalie) home, we weren’t sure what to expect. It didn’t take long to figure her out though. Right away, Maggie showed us just how full of spunk she was. After a bumpy first week, things started to mellow out at the Bishop household, and now Maggie is a spoiled little princess! With enough toys to make any feline jealous, Maggie has taken over the house as well as our hearts.
She enjoys long conversations with mom, and an abundance of cuddle time with dad. Her favorite activities include chirping at the squirrels, jumping on mommy’s feet, and telling us about her day in as many words as possible.

We would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Willamette Humane Society for their excellent services and willingness to help animals like Maggie who have no where else to go. Not only did you introduce us to our new baby girl, but you did it in the middle of a pandemic! Thank you for your kind hearts and helpful hands. We love WHS!

Photos of Your Pet

Anchor loves his boys and we are constantly on the lookout for outdoor adventures! He follows his kids over logs, up waterfalls, and into the river.

We don’t know how Anchor lived during the first 4 months of his life, but in the beginning, he would get winded before us on walks, and he was a clumsy climber. But he was eager to follow us and in no time he has surpassed us all in fitness and skill. Now we’re following him off trail and into the mountains. He is loyal and protective, doing what looks like perimeter checks when we’re in remote areas and staying close when he’s off leash.

He loves other animals and people, but we know we’re his favorites. He has been a blessing and I can’t remember how we ever got along without him.

Anchor is our first dog and we’re learning right along with him and the journey has been so fun! We’ve discovered all the dog friendly places, made new friends and found new ways to live daily life.

Gertie the Cat Dog

Gertie (formerly Gumdrop?)

Photos of Your Pet

We adopted 2 cats, 4 years ago and they have been a joy. Gertie worships our anti social dog and tries the emulate her. Gertie comes when she is called, begs at the table and catches. She is still working on retrieving. The last time we took her to the vet, the first thing he said was Oh my that is a big cat! And all 15 pounds of her loves to cuddle, she runs to greet us at the door then gives licks and nose rubs all over our faces. One of her favorite spots is in the dog bed and often kicks the dog out. LOL.

Zylina's Home

Mothra- Zylina

Photos of Your Pet

My family adopted two cats, and one of them was Mothra, who we renamed Zylina. Her and her 'boyfriend', Sauron, who used to be Charizard, like to run around the house and wake you up at night for snuggles. Even though she used to stay in one room all day and hide under the bed as soon as you set foot in the room, now she's running around the house, and on you.

Charizard's Home

Charizard- Sauron

Photos of Your Pet

My family adopted two cats, one of them was Charizard, who we've renamed Sauron. Him and his 'girlfriend', as we call it, go thumping around the house at night and sometimes come up onto your bed to wake you up at 2 in the morning. While he's not fully socialized yet he lets you touch him a lot and is always playing with yarn and toys.
He's even got a homemade cat tree and a bunch of scratchers (which will include your arms)

Home At Last

Bombur (formerly Brody)

Photos of Your Pet

One day in February, almost three years ago, I was browsing online when I saw the big, fluffy, tom-cat face of a cat named Brody. From the photo alone, I instantly had the feeling that this was the cat I'd been looking for: a large, lovable, cuddly, cool-as-a-cucumber lap cat who'd fit the name Bombur.

I instantly drove over to WHS to meet him, and promptly fell in love. He was, indeed, the cat of my dreams.

Unfortunately, adopting Bombur ended up taking two months. He'd been found in a feral colony by the colony's feeder and brought in because he was so obviously not feral. He also wasn't doing so well at feral colony life: He had bad hair loss and dermatitis from severe flea allergies, numerous scabs and scars, and was FIV positive. Additionally, even though they estimated his age as 8 and he'd clearly had a home at some point, he'd never been neutered! Before he could be neutered, he ended up coming down with a severe URI (complicated by FIV) and was in isolation for weeks and weeks, where I visited him several times. Even snotty and wheezy, he was the most affectionate cat I'd ever met.

I finally got to bring him home on April 1. Thanks to the excellent information at WHS, the introduction with my female cat was a huge success. The two now love each other like siblings--he puts up with her compulsive licking and generally lets her run the house, even though he's nearly twice her size. I regularly catch the two of them spooning in various spots around my house.

Some lovable factoids about my baby boy now:
1) He likes to sleep on the same pillow your head is on and purrs me to sleep.
2) He has "blanket-dar" and runs from wherever he is in the house the second I put his favorite blanket on my lap.
3) If I don't have the blanket on my lap, he meows at me until I fetch that blanket.
4) He's beloved by vets, vet techs, and basically everyone.
5) He's a huge dork with 0 dignity.

Thanks, WHS! And to everyone else: adopt older cats!

Best Christmas present ever!

Ellie formerly “Bella”

Photos of Your Pet

Ellie formerly “Bella” is an answer to our prayers. We have been discussing getting a puppy for awhile now but after talking to a Petco employee we headed to the Humane Society to check out the rescues. We saw her and knew. Yes she’s older than a puppy however she is the perfect fit for our family now & forever.🐶❤️ We are grateful to the lady at Petco who planted a seed in our hearts and to all the crew at WHS (specifically the lady working the front desk on Thursday night, John and Sasha). Merry Christmas. 🎄Ellie is the best present ever!❤️

Pack Happy


Photos of Your Pet

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.

Photos of Your Pet

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.

Photos of Your Pet

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❤️

Amazing Foster Family - Thank you!

Nosey (formerly Neville)

Photos of Your Pet

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!

Photos of Your Pet

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

Our 77lbs of Love

Freki (Formally Ronnie)

Photos of Your Pet

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.



Photos of Your Pet

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!

Photos of Your Pet

I am so happy how she took to her new home. Our daughter is over joyed. We are happy to have her. Our daughter has always wanted a dog to lay with her on her bed. I believe Gracie will do just fine.

Hospice dog


Photos of Your Pet

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

Meant To Be

Nathan Scott Phillips (Formerly Aaron Purr)

Photos of Your Pet

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!

Submit YOUR Happy Tail

Would you like your Happy Tail featured on the website, on Facebook, or in Brief Paws quarterly newsletter? Submit your Happy Tails of adoption with photos here! Tell us about your adoption alumni’s accomplishments, special skills, or certifications!

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