Awesome updates from Best Friends Network Partners

Smiling red heeler type dog wearing a collar
These stories about dogs, cats, and a unicorn (yes, you read that right) are sure to lift your spirits.
By Liz Finch

Every single day, our Best Friends Network Partners make a difference for animals in so many ways. With shelter and rescue group partners in all 50 states, there’s a lot of good news to share. So, here are a few recent highlights from around the country. From a family including a daughter with special needs who adopted a dog with limited vision, to a shelter in Los Angeles that made it possible for a young girl to adopt a unicorn, these stories will definitely put a smile on your face.

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1. One unicorn permit, please

Seven-year-old Madeline wanted to adopt a unicorn, but first there was something very important she had to do: get a permit to legally keep such a magical creature. The staff at Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control were happy to assist, giving Madeline a license once she agreed to polish her pet’s horn once a month and make sure the unicorn has regular access to moonbeams, rainbows, and watermelon. Best of all, thanks to the new Madeline’s Magical Unicorn Fund, anyone who wishes to adopt one of the legendary beasts can do so legally, with the proper license and tag to prove it.

2. Shelter teamwork makes the dream work

When Fountain and her kittens (Sod, Thatch, Brick, and Border) needed help, it wasn’t just one animal rescue organization that came to their aid. First, the feline family landed at Knox-Whitley Humane Association in Kentucky, where the staff jumped in to care for them. Then, when the shelter started to get too crowded and the cats were at risk of getting sick, Wisconsin’s Shelter from the Storm Animal Rescue stepped up to take them in. Finally, Best Friends awarded a grant to Shelter from the Storm to cover the costs of veterinary care and transporting Fountain and her kittens between the two shelters. The result of all that teamwork? Today, all five kitties are in loving homes.

3. Scooby-dooby-doo

After Victoria and Justin Hughes said goodbye to Maggie, their beloved senior dog, they weren’t sure they were ready for another furry family member. That is, until they met one-eyed, 1-year-old Scooby at Espanola Humane Society in New Mexico. It didn’t bother them one bit that Scooby was still figuring out how to navigate the world with limited vision. “Our daughter has special needs, so now we sort of specialize in dogs who are a little different or have special needs as well,” Victoria says. “It’s a perfect match.”

4. Cat is home at last

Life is tough when you’re a cat like Mildred, who tends to get a little nippy when she is stressed or scared. It’s a habit that caused her to be returned three times to Helping Hands Humane in Topeka, Kansas. The last time, Mildred also had ringworm. Because the treatment was certain to cause her additional stress, volunteer coordinator Shelby offered to foster her until she was done with the medication. After three weeks, the ringworm was gone and Mildred was adopted — by Shelby, who realized that she didn’t want Mildred to be stressed or scared ever again.

5. Canine history lesson

Like many dogs, Persephone has a mix of good qualities and some that are less desirable. Her destructive streak and tendency to be extremely picky about other pooches fall in the second category. After a year came and went, Persephone had something no other dog at Charlotte-Mecklenberg Animal Services in North Carolina could claim: She had been there longer than any other dog in the shelter’s history.

Determined to put an end to her residency, the shelter staff got her some local news coverage and started featuring her photo every day on social media. Three weeks later, a family who had just moved to town saw her story on the news and agreed to try her out for a few days. And, well, the rest is history.

This article was originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.