7 success stories to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

In honor of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day we're looking back at some of our favorite Sanctuary adoption stories from the past year.
By Sarah Thornton

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is April 30, a day to raise awareness for the thousands of animals needing homes who are in shelters across the country, and, of course, to get them adopted. Each time a homeless pet gets a second chance is cause for celebration. So, to celebrate, we’re looking back at some of our favorite adoption stories of the past year from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

There’s plenty more to come. Maybe one of those stories could be yours.


Yuma the dog in a car with the woman who adopted him

It can be hard for a dog who doesn’t get along with other dogs to get adopted. To bring Yuma home would mean her family couldn’t adopt a second pup anytime soon. Otherwise, Yuma was a gentle dog who loved spending time with people and had many admirers. She was 11 and had been in and out of shelters her whole life, all because she didn’t like other dogs.

Then along came Mary Hardy, who had just lost her previous dog to cancer. She was happy for Yuma to be her one-and-only dog.

Read Yuma’s full story


Peyton as a kitten lying next to another brown tabby cat together in a bed

Found sick and alone outside in the cold winter, Peyton had a rough start to life. She was skin and bones, had a bad respiratory infection, wouldn’t eat and had an eye that needed to be removed. Then, veterinary staff at Best Friends Animal Clinic found the source of her illness — a growth in her nasal passage. She had surgery, made a full recovery, and with the help of both human and feline friends, came out of her shy kitten shell.

When Jordan Ray visited Best Friends one day, he was reminded by the little one-eyed tabby kitten of a favorite cat from his past. She went home with him to her new life and with a new name — Ava.

Read Peyton’s full story


Bubbles the cat with pink Soft Paws over her claws, with paws outstretched to chase a toy, while wearing a soft cone

Bubbles is a young cat with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a rare condition that affects the production of collagen and causes skin to become extra stretchy, loose and more fragile. Modifications to her room at the Sanctuary, including foam on the door handles and corners, plexiglass to cover rough walls and catio fencing, and plenty of soft bedding kept her safe and comfortable during her stay.

Then Cici Ogden, a young woman who also has the condition, heard about Bubbles on Instagram and knew the little cat was perfect for her. Now, Bubbles has her own social media page, full of happy home pictures.

Read Bubbles’ full story


Charger the dog wearing a bandanna and looking up at the woman who adopted him while out on a hike

Feeding squeeze cheese through a fence to a dog who’s lunging at you isn’t usually a good idea. But winning Charger over so that he would allow someone to approach him is exactly what was needed. Dogtown team lead Tierney Sain spent a week working with him before she could even bring him to the Sanctuary; however, once he was comfortable with one person, everyone became a potential friend.

While his life was changing completely, he was about to make another big change in someone else’s life. When Marisa Patelli met Charger, it was love at first sight. And then after he helped her through a scary situation when they got lost hiking, there was no question: Charger (now Chance) would have a home with her forever.

Read Charger’s full story

Salvador Dogi

Salvador Dogi the pug with his paws up on a front desk at Dogtown Headquarters

Sweet Salvador Dogi wasn’t at the Sanctuary long, but everyone fell for his adorable face and lovable personality. From greeting visitors at Dogtown headquarters to playing diligently behind the desk with his favorite toys, there was not a moment Salvador Dogi wasn’t making someone smile. Now, he gets to spend all day making his forever family laugh.

Read Salvador Dogi’s full story


Phantom the paint colored mini horse with blue eyes with a young girl

One of two majorly cute mini horses, Phantom already knew all sorts of skills when he arrived. From being trained to pull a cart to being ridden by small children under supervision, he is a solid little guy. He was perfect for Jorah Cohen’s family — specifically her young daughter, Sonja.

Sonja takes great care of Phantom by brushing him, giving him plenty of treats and riding around on his back like there’s no tomorrow. He’s certainly one happy horse.

Read Phantom’s full story


Carl the dog face-to-face next to the woman who adopted him

Who would have thought that their wedding at the Sanctuary would have led Haley and Kevin Meyers Matheiu to adopting their perfect stay-at-home coworker? Carl’s daily tasks currently involve making sure Haley wakes up on time for their morning jog, being extremely cute and reminding everyone to take a break every once in a while. He’s diligent in his work and has perfect timing on when he should roll over and give everyone one of his signature goofy grins.

Read Carl’s full story

Create your own story, adopt a pet near you

Photos by Molly Wald and courtesy of Marisa Patelli and Haley Meyers

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