Magical pet adoption stories to lift your spirits

Brown tabby and white cat with a dark background
A dog who smiles all the time. A puppy who landed a new home at a business conference. These pets are living the good life after being adopted from Best Friends.
By Best Friends staff

No matter how big or small, young or old, it’s a magical moment when homeless pets have new families to love them. The wagging tails, rumbling purrs, and smiling faces are all the proof we need of that. From coast to coast, Best Friends Animal Society places thousands of pets in new homes each year as we work toward the goal of bringing all shelters across the country to no-kill by 2025.

Every adoption is a cause for celebration (and maybe a few happy tears). And because that joy is worth sharing, here are just a few of the dogs and cats who have recently settled into their new lives with their new favorite people.

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Sometimes you make a plan to adopt an animal, and sometimes it just happens with no planning at all. Katherine and her family had recently lost their dog of 14 years, and they came to the Best Friends Pet Resource Center in Northwest Arkansas to play with cats. But then they met Bailey. Here’s what they say about that: “She was so happy, innocent, and full of life that we just couldn’t leave without her. This picture is the day we brought her home. She hasn’t stopped smiling like that since we brought her home!”


After adopting Vinnie from the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City, LeAnn had this to say about her very good boy: “He is a very relaxed, smart, snuggly guy. Vinnie mostly gets excited for hikes, tennis balls, and squeaky toys. Our days start out with a walk and then a training session. He has learned a lot of skills in the short time I’ve been working with him. I have a private psychotherapy practice, and Vinnie loves to come to work with me. My clients love him, and he helps soothe their anxiety by offering himself for pets or snuggles.”

Coco Puff

Coco Puff had survived parvo and then spent two months getting specialized veterinary care to help her recover from pain and stiffness in her young body. Once she was feeling better, she had her television debut on the local news, which is where Raymond first laid eyes on her. In no time at all, Raymond arrived at the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in New York City, eager to meet the young pup. He is now, of course, cuckoo for Coco Puff.


It’s common to come home from a business conference with a suitcase full of swag, but Jason got so much more than that when he came to Houston for a conference. The event organizers had invited Best Friends to attend with some adoptable pets, and that was serendipitous for Jason, who had been hoping to add another dog to his family. Iceman was just the puppy for him, and once the conference was over, the two of them embarked on a road trip home to Tennessee.

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

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

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You can help save homeless pets

You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

Saving lives around the country

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