Pet adoption stories to make your heart warm and fuzzy

Shannon sitting on an outdoor table next to Felix the dog, both of them smiling
A cat who overcame medical troubles, a calm canine companion, and an anniversary adoption are just a few of the sweet pet adoption stories waiting to be read.
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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Fossey arrived with multiple medical issues. The extremely obese cat wouldn’t eat, needed a dental and a feeding tube, had ringworm, and was so severely matted that we couldn’t even tell whether he’d been neutered. After he was clear of ringworm, had a dental, and started eating on his own again, Fossey transformed into a different cat, becoming active and even a little playful. When Bryce came looking for a cat to adopt, Fossey ended up being a match, and the two are now happily at home together.


One look at Rufus and you can tell he’s a laid-back cat. So laid-back, in fact, that Best Friends staff took him to a local TV studio to be on the news. That’s when this couple spotted him and knew they had to meet him immediately. They lived over an hour away, but that was no problem. Rufus was at ease with them right away and acted as if he were already home — perhaps because he knew he was.


Arya is named after the Game of Thrones character because of her fearless and feisty personality. Her adopter, Coty, says, “She loves her big (feline) brother, Toby, and they regularly play and groom each other. She’s also warming up to our two dogs, Avi and Leo, and is getting close to cuddling with them. We love her very, very much!”


Some cats need a little time to adjust to a new home. But others, like Paul, settle right in. From the moment he set paw in his new pad, he stretched right out and made himself comfortable. His adopter says, “He became a member of our family instantly and continues to add so much joy to our household.”


‌Travis and Mel recently celebrated four years of marriage, and when they couldn’t remember the traditional anniversary gift theme, they just said to each other, “Let’s adopt!” That’s when they met 5-year-old Eustace and made him a part of the family. This is one anniversary gift idea that we’d love to see become a tradition.


Shannon decided to help a dog in need by fostering, but she wasn’t sure she was ready to adopt. Her foster dog, Felix, however, charmed his way into her heart. He made sure to show Shannon he would be a very good roommate by putting himself to bed in his crate when he’s ready for a nap and playing fetch with himself. Felix’s calm demeanor and love for cuddling made this foster win a no-brainer.


When we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center with a neighborhood block party, Rosie had no idea that she’d be celebrating a lot more that day. The itty-bitty pup caught the eye of Matt, a previous Best Friends adopter and foster volunteer, who fell in love with Rosie and her silly antics.


Cute little Nermal (and his two siblings) came from a local shelter and was one of 23 cats and kittens adopted at a Kittenpalooza adoption event just a few days later. When Ivory came in and saw this little one, she couldn’t resist his playful and outgoing personality.

This article was originally published in the January/February 2024 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 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.

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