Adoption Stories

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IMG_1062I had lost my beloved cat after 10 years and had been wanting another cat. While visiting my parents, my husband surprised me on my birthday and took me to the shelter to adopt a cat. I adopted Peeta, now known as Sam, on Jan 2. He hadn’t been in the shelter too long, and when I found him he was terribly sick. He had a URI. The vet said he had a high fever and dehydrated, and a little under weight. For a week he wouldn’t eat or drink so I had to feed him through a syringe, as well as give him medication. After a week he finally came around and started to eat and drink. He is now happy, healthy, loving, and very playful. He is a beautiful long haired cat, with a huge fluffy tail! I’m so glad I found him! -Amy



I set out on an adventure to find our first dog for our family when my youngest daughter was 10 years old. They all assured me they wanted to help in the care of a dog. I started searching the Animal Rescue League of Berks county’s website.

When a picture of Tiny tore at my heartstrings I just had to meet this handsome man with his little crooked legs and short stubby lab like body who was posing and clearly smiling for his picture. I sent Marcy an email since Tiny was currently in foster care. We set up a meet with his foster parents on a Wednesday in June before the kids summer break from school. I had 2 of my three children with me to meet Tiny. I was waiting in anticipation for Tiny to arrive not knowing what to expect from our meeting. Tiny was special because he was rescued from an animal hoarder and had very little human social skills.

After arriving at the animal rescue league he was walking with a child of a potential adoptee and he got loose from them and went missing in the woods behind the rescue league. They had to set a box trap to get him back and when they did he was even more scared than before. But he loved and was very happy with his foster mom and dad so I knew in my heart that he could love us too he just needed someone to be patient with him. As we were watching Tiny’s foster parents bring him up to the building you could clearly see he was scared to death. His foster mommy couldn’t get him into the building. So he laid in a heap in the corner with his foster mommy outside of the building.  I went over to him and petted and talked to him my heart was breaking what has this poor pup been through and tears welled up in my eyes.

With Marcy’s help we lured him away from the building she assured me it was very stressful for him and that he really was not like this with his foster mom and dad. We took him out to the gazebo in the back to interact with him and he had no interest in us. He hid under the bench and wouldn’t come out. My kids took one look at me and said mom really. Let’s go look at other dogs. They saw people walking puppies and they said look at that dog and so on. I said that dog will get adopted no doubt but what about Tiny. He doesn’t know what love is but we can show him.

Everyone is special in their own way and they deserve chances. I said he is perfect for our family we have lots of imperfections too. They looked at me like I was crazy. We sat there for a very long time. Which I finally said let’s go do it. They said ok mom if that’s what you want. It was a long road he was trained in everything but we had to treat him like a puppy. Show him everything again most of all show him love. He had a very rough start in his short life when we adopted him but I would like to think he has forgotten all about that now he is mine and my kids best friend and protector and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. His foster mommy and daddy and our family have bonded over Rooney we renamed him  (I think being called tiny was giving him a complex ;). So not only did we gain a awesome addition to our family but some new great friends! I encourage everyone to rescue! Best reward ever! -Monica Hess



Koki55My family and I had been searching for a Shiba Inu for over a year but haven’t had much luck getting one.  It wasn’t until we came across Koki’s profile on the ARL’s website. We quickly filled out an application and within a few days, we got to take him home. Coming across Koki has been the best thing ever! He is a blessing for our family.  Dogs like Koki are great therapy because I use to always feel down and anxious all the time and since having Koki now,  I been feeling 10 times better! We enjoy walking him and playing with him everyday too. We love him to pieces!! Thank you ARL for bringing him into our life! – Mary


I didn’t expect to walk into the league and fall in love that day but it’s exactly what happend. After losing my mom to illness I found myself down and needed a pick me up. I didn’t rescue Phil she rescued me. From the moment we left the arl she has brought me and my boyfriend nothing but joy and laughter. She is the best dog I could of asked for she’s great with kids dogs and any animal with four legs. I can’t begin to explain the happiness that she brings me but life is so much better with a rescued dog. – Christie



CarsonI adopted Buster (“Carson” while he was at the ARL).  The girls at the front desk were so friendly and asked if I would send a picture and let them know how he was settling in.  He’s doing great!  He’s learned to potty outside and is learning how to play.  He’s discovered the cats (also from the ARL) and would love to play with them, too – they are not too thrilled with that idea just yet.  ☺  We love him and he’s working out really nicely.  -LeeAnn Palmer







DobbyThis pup has been an incredible blessing in our lives. Though sometimes timid with strangers, Dobby has come out of his shell with training help from Steve at Awesome Dawgs, and weekly visits to the dog park where he has befriended an Italian greyhound who shares his passion for running. He is lovable and affectionate to our family and we could not be more happy to have him as the newest member. Thank you and your staff for everything you do for these animals. – Julia Shaw and Joe Becker

Sushi & Sundae

SushiSundaeAbout 3 years ago, after losing a loved one, we were very sad. It was just the two of us living in our house. I remembered how much my husband loved cats and decided to look into adding some furry friends to our home—dog, cat, rabbit, who knows?

I was merely going to “look” but not sure that I wanted to add fur and craziness into our clean quiet orderly home. I visited the ARL several times and was incredibly impressed. I assumed, at best, I might find sweet kitten to consider taking home. However, I saw a cage with two 4 month old brothers, Twizzler and Nutrageous, now Sushi and Sundae, snuggled together and washing each other. One of the volunteers shared with me that she knew these cats well

Because they were born at the ARL and had lived with her in foster care for a bit. Therefore, she knew their personalities and shared the information to help me decide if either one would be the right fit.

She told me that these cats were gentle, easy-going, sweet and loving brothers who would be happiest if they stayed together. I brought my Husband back and after meeting these two sweet kitties, we were in love and knew they were “our boys”.

3 years later, we can tell you that they are the best cats EVER and sweet loving brothers. They have added such laughter and love to Our home. They are spoiled rotten and pay us back in kisses and hugs on a daily basis. It is as though they know that their days were numbered and we Rescued them. We are just so happy to have these two furry sweethearts as part of our family. ARL filled our broken hearts with happiness through these two wonderful creatures who remind us each day how grateful they are to have found a furever home. It was a perfect match and we will rescue from ARL again someday. -Liz & Paul C



In July 2011 my daughter was pestering me about going to the ARL to find out about volunteer work.  So finally I gave in knowing that just going there and seeing the animals would be hard.   So I sent my husband.  On a Wednesday evening I received a text message from them while they were there.   Sure enough it was a scared looking Cattle Dog.  Well when they came home I was begging for more info on her.    We have a cattle dog already and they are a breed that I love.    So I was told she would not be available till that Saturday pending she wasn’t someone’s dog.   Saturday morning first thing I grabbed the kids and went up.   It was love at first sight.   She came home with us that day.   We named her Ruby, since we already had a Max.   She is my love.  And my son’s love.   Because of her I will only ever rescue from now on.   Thank you ARL for bringing Ruby into our lives.  – Shannon

Henri & Brady

BradyHenryAfter we lost our 17 year-old cat Louie this past fall, my girlfriend and I decided that it would be fitting to adopt a kitten and welcome a new member into our family. When we visited the Berks Animal Rescue League in October, we immediately fell in love with these two brothers, now named Brady (left) and Henri (right). Though they may appear quite demure in this photo, they regularly keep us on our toes now with their spunk and vigor. They are energetic and entertaining, but they are also two of the snuggliest things to have ever lived. We could not be happier.   -Josh Cutts and Katie Hufford



My husband and I accomplished part of the American Dream; we bought our first home shortly after our first wedding anniversary! Little did we know our home would seem so big with just the two of us, so we decided to start a family of our own.  Instead of expanding the more traditional route we agreed we both needed some practice. We had numerous discussions about adopting an animal before we found the home of our dreams and decided one late fall afternoon to take a visit to the ARL. Our visit was successful!

We walked through and found Diamond, an eight month old Pit bull Mix. She was the only dog we found that did not bark at us or appear scared.  My husband instantly fell in love; I could see it in his eyes before we even took her for a walk. I found Diamond to be as soft as my childhood puppy and her name resonated with me. My daddy always called me his “Diamond Girl,” so it felt like fate stepped in when “Diamond” met our eyes. Our time together has been filled with snuggles, cuddles, and more kisses you could ever imagine!  Diamond never barked for the first few weeks until she discovered the doors with full length mirrors. She can’t seem to understand her own reflection but loves to make use of her outdoor voice, indoor. Her funniest moments are right after she is rewarded with a treat. Instead of indulging, she throws it in the air and plays before eating. She has been spoiled since the second she left the ARL. Diamond is a clown of her own; she is silly, uncoordinated, and is completely unaware of her size. Diamond girl loves to make herself comfortable in the tiniest of spaces on top of anyone who will let her.  At the end of her long playful days, she can be found sprawled out snuggling and snoring.

Diamond has so much energy and excitement for life that it constantly teaches us to live in the moment and enjoy every kiss and snuggle.  It is crazy to think how different life can change with the simple addition of a rescue. We are blessed to be able to supply her with a dream life any doggie could dream of. She is truly our daughter in every way possible and takes advantage of her second chance in every possible way.  – Brittney & David Hurley


BellaWe adopted Bella a Mixed-Lab on December 2nd.  After spending nearly four weeks with us she is really fitting in with our life style and with our other dog, Marley.  We are the fourth home she has had and we can’t figure out why.  She has not damaged anything in our home and she has not had any accidents.  This is remarkable seeing her past.  She cuddles with us and just wants to be loved.  We are very glad we adopted Bella.  We believe that you can adopt a good dog or cat from the Animal Rescue League and wish more people would adopt.   Joe & Shirley Mack.


I just wanted to write to let you know that I adopted a dog the day before Easter of this year.  I have been meaning to send an email reporting our fabulous experience.  After several failed attempts at rescuing a Doberman, we decided to walk through the Rescue League and that is when we saw a dog named Ginger.  She looked really defensive and scared.  Barking at everyone with her hair up and staying low to the ground.  When we leashed her to take her for a walk and introduce her to our dog she remained low to the ground and very upset as we walked past the other dogs and cages.  When we were about 10 feet outside of the back door, she flipped on her back and showed us her belly, wagging her tail and so excited to be free for the moment!  We instantly fell in love and so did our 90 lb coonhound, Delmer!  We changed her name to Cricket because she loves to hop around.  This dog is the most loving, warm and sociable dog I have ever seen.  She loves people and loves being held.  She is an absolute dream!  You can just tell that these rescued dogs know that they got a second chance and they are so grateful and well behaved.  I love this dog and I can’t imagine our house without her.  She went from being a stray to spending her nights sleeping on a Tempupedic mattress.  I have attached a picture of her lounging around with her brother Delmer and another of the first day we got her.  She was at home from day one.  Thanks again for all of the good work you do!  -Tara Fry


One weekend, I went to the Berks Animal Rescue League to see a cat named Hermes (C57260) that caught my eye online. But, as is often the case with online profile pics, the cat – though cute – was actually quite pudgy in real life, and had endured some kind of trauma to his tail. (About 60% of it is missing). I passed him over that day, and was not at peace with myself in the days that followed.

Then one day, I caught a glimpse of myself as I passed a mirror and my reflection stopped me in my tracks. I saw this cute – but pudgy – girl staring back at me, whose tail isn’t quite what it used to be. And, it was in that moment that I decided.

I returned to the shelter and adopted Hermes (now, Ozzy) two days later. – Debra Bailey


LizzyWe had to put our 18 ½ year old cat to sleep. We were heartbroken as she finally got to the point of needing to move on and had been taking it hard. We live not too far from the shelter  and after helping our cat Katini move onward, we stopped by the shelter to look at all the cats as we knew we needed another cat in our lives, our old girl had trained us well.

It was so difficult choosing who to bring home with so many great personalities, but Lizzy, a 5 year old female cat, came home with us and was right at home. She settled right on my wife’s lap after a little introduction and quickly remembered that she was a house cat for the 5 years before coming to the shelter in late May. She was almost instantaneously comfortable, going up on the couch and exploring the limits of the first floor.

Everyone goes for the kittens and young cats, it’s the older animals that need to be considered more. Lizzy is loving, well mannered and is very happy.  -Stephen Solotist


In September I attended the Pet Expo at Freedom Toyota, and I signed up for the ARL email list so I could stay up to date with the fun & exciting functions the ARL hosts. I did not think anything of it until a few days later I received an email saying I won a basket from the ARL! I guess I did not notice that it was a raffle, did not pay it any mind because I never win anything. I went to the ARL with my husband to pick up my basket, and I was planning to donate the contents right back to the ARL sinTeddyce I did not have a dog.

When I arrived the wonderful workers there had to track down the basket, so I went in the back to love on all the animals. I am a cat person, so first I went in the cat room & saw lots of children sitting down with the cats reading them stories. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t go in a play with the kitties because their rooms were full, but who am I to intrude on the love of children reading books to these adorable felines?

I decided to venture on back to the dog kennels on a whim to spend some time. Now…I was never really a dog person, but I entered and immediately saw these big brown eyes looking at me from the kennel in the corner. Turns out these big brown eyes belonged to a tan and white toy poodle who was found on the streets and was very shy and scared. A worker told me I could take him for a walk, just to give him some time outside since it was beautiful day & I agreed that was a wonderful idea. An hour later after exploring the amazing grounds at the ARL I was in love! This little guy was so sweet and proper and stayed right next to me even on his long lead. You could tell he was scared, but he sensed I would not harm him and came up and sat on my lap when we took a rest. After lots of fun time outside, I begrudgingly brought him back inside where we met Marcie. Marcie informed us he was about to be picked up and my heart dropped. My brain did not know it, but my heart already knew that this little boy was meant to be with me. Seeing my face, she clarified that he was only getting picked up by his foster dad because he needed some dental work done. Yay! She assured me that she would consider him pending adoption while I did my adoption paperwork. 9 days later my little guy came back to the shelter with his foster dad with a shiny clean smile (albeit 5 teeth shy of when I left him).

Bringing Teddy home has brought immeasurable amounts of joy to me and my husband! At first he was very shy, he would not eat or do his business with anyone watching him, and followed me around the house. He spent his entire first day either right next to me or on my lap, never letting out a single sound or tail wag. Late that evening when we were out for our last potty trip he still hadn’t done his business, so I put him out on his doggy lead so he could have some privacy. 5 minutes later (after I saw him relieve himself from the window, happy days!) I went back out to bring him inside. What I found was the happiest little dog I had ever seen! He was wagging his tail, jumping, and even letting out little squeaks of happiness! I cried with joy because I finally knew he was happy to be home with me too 🙂 Every day is such a fun journey with him. He loves taking walks, cuddling up on the couch with my husband & I, his mini hot dog treats, and most of all he loves having a home where he is loved, safe, and spoiled. Thank you ARL for turning this cat lady into a dog lover and bringing Teddy into my life, I could not imagine it without him now!  -Kayla & Paul Rhein


We boarded our beloved Border Collie mix, Freya, at ARL for many years. Over that time she and Pam developed a special bond, and we are forever grateful for the peace of mind that gave us while we were traveling. Pam went beyond the call of duty to make Freya’s experience at ARL a terrific one.

MyaEighteen months after we lost Freya were finally were ready to add another furry friend to our family. Because of the good experience we always had at ARL, we decided to look into adoption. We visited a few times, and one day discovered a 6-9 month old Border Collie just brought to ARL a few days prior. She was Energetic with a capital E! She seemed to bond right away with my husband, but I was leery of the energy level and exercise she would require. After a few hours we decided to adopt her on the spot, although, admittedly, with some reservations on my part.

She was a handful! It’s difficult to adjust to a puppy with no knowledge of her background. She was very wary of people and anything new. We attended the Awesome Dawgs classes for new adoptees and found the advice from Steve to be encouraging and most helpful at a time when I sometimes questioned our decision. But she is so smart, and right away she wanted to please. After a few trying weeks and even months, Mya gradually became an integral part of our lives. It’s now a year since we adopted her. She is absolutely wonderful, loveable, smart, impish and so much fun! Her trust in us is nothing short of amazing compared to where she was when we brought her home. Each milestone we accomplished bound her closer to our hearts. Mya is most definitely part of our family.

We had never adopted from a rescue organization before. Although there were difficult times, we learned first-hand that patience and love work wonders in a dog that needs a forever family. We’re grateful for the work that ARL does every day, part of which is to unite families with furry friends for a life-long bond. – Debra Harvey


He’s got my back. One fall evening, after the clocks were changed, a walk on the Thun trail could have turned dangerous. I didn’t realize dark would fall so quickly. If it weren’t for my 3 year old 93 lb golden colored mutt Andy from the ARL, things could have turned out very Andydifferently. I wasn’t aware. There was no one in sight but Andy knew and he turned with his wolf like posture and growl. Where did two young male adults wearing chains and carrying clubs come from?  There was no one in front or behind us. Andy led the charge with my doxie Maximus from the ARL standing aside his brother with the look of a determined Doberman albeit with short legs. I’ll never know what the intent was of two club bearing young men with chains but I trust in my adopted dog Andy’s instincts and he scared them off.

Andy was at the ARL for a month. One month he waited. It was the beginning of December and he was still waiting. The timing for me was fateful. My beloved dog Alexander died of cancer on Labor Day weekend of that year. Just shortly after Thanksgiving, my sweet dog Celeste passed on and the pain was unbearable.  It didn’t matter if I wasn’t ready, the pain was too great and I needed a purpose. There Andy was (Nicole’s pick) for about a month waiting at the ARL. I always said that I would never adopt a dog that could leap as high as the chain link kennel that housed him. Andy leaped to the very top.

Andy’s story doesn’t end but he continues to be a faithful companion. With the serious spinal injury of my husband, he was always there by my side through all the tears and loneliness. He wouldn’t leave me alone while my husband was in the hospital and rehab but lay on my feet. Yes, 93 lbs on my feet but he felt it was his duty along with a lot of licking. His instincts kept him by my side trying to comfort me through all the tears. It wasn’t until my husband returned two months after the injury with a walker that Andy would leave my side.  And a frisky boisterous dog took a stance of caution by my husband’s side as he walked with a walker and later a cane.

Andy’s story is a happy ending. If along a trail you happen upon a motley crew of an overweight doxie, a thin black standard poodle and a handsome muscular golden lab, collie, shep mix give a greeting to Max, Isabelle and Andy.


In August of last year we lost our first dog “Josie”  we had her for almost 14 yrs. longer than our children in fact, we considered her our first baby.  It was a very difficult time to say Jakeythe least.  After about three weeks I was really missing the companionship more and more as she followed me around everywhere all day.  It just felt so strange.  We discussed waiting till the spring and getting a puppy, but the thought of going through all the training again especially now with three growing children in the house was discouraging.  One night we discussed maybe adopting a pet that needed a home.  I have to admit I was not all for the idea I always assumed that these pets were at the shelter for a “reason” and not a good one.  My husband tried to convince me that that was not always the case.

Well that night very late after everyone went to bed I logged on to the website as I scrolled to the bottom of the page there was a little black dog in foster care that immediately caught my eye.  Not at all the “type” of dog I thought I was looking for.  I told no one about him and dismissed it and went to bed.  The next morning he was on my mind.  I viewed his picture everyday for a whole week, then finally I made the call.

We set up a visit at his foster home after speaking to the foster parents.  The day we visited him, I left saying no way I don’t think this is our dog.  He was very attached to his foster dad and very shy and almost scared of us.  I said I wanted a loving and friendly dog.  My Josie would wag her tail at anyone she met.  We left that day feeling discouraged, however my husband told me we should try it and give him a chance, he saw something in him that I did not.  THANK GOD!!!!!

We adopted Jakey a few days later and he has been my shadow, my baby, my constant and true companion ever since.  We have him eight months  now and I can  not imagine my life without him.  He is such a good and loving boy.  I have even said on numerous occasions I think he loves me more than my “Josie” and this I thought was impossible.    You see that is what shocks me the most and what i tell people about adoption all the time now is “these pets will love you and be just as attached to you as a pet you raise from a puppy, it is almost as if they realize the privilege it is to be in a nice and loving home”  I can’t say enough about how wonderful the adoption process and getting Jakey has been for our family.  Josie will always have a special place in my heart as my first furry baby, but Jakey has made me realize that I will most likely never get a puppy again, he has made me a true believer in adoption of animals and we love him more and more everyday! – Melanie


For months I was looking for a couple new additions to my family. I wanted to adopt; it’s an easy choice because it’s saving a life. I [had a female ferret, Reggiebut wanted a companion for her], so I let [an ARL staff member]  know I was looking for a ferret. I got the call and was ecstatic. It was the day of the Easter egg hunt so it was very busy. I made my way into the back with my Tikki ready for a meet and greet. Two beautiful and happy ferrets were left meeting Tikki with two young volunteers in the meet and greet room. Tikki instantly became best friends with a male blaze named Reggie. Of course, he came home with me the same day! He’s a little older and gets tired sooner than five month old Tikki. He’s a little wobbly on his back legs but he plays hard anyway. He climbs up the ferret ‘tree’ faster than Tikki. After only a week he was using the litter box, allowing me to clip his nails, and even allowing me to walk him on harness! He even gets along well my cat. I couldn’t be happier with him, with the shelter, and for my little Tikki who absolutely loves her Reggie.  – Ashleigh McCarty



YogiMy husband and I decided we wanted to adopt a dog and give it a good, loving home. We decided to adopt a dog from the Animal Rescue League of Berks County and we’re very happy with our decision. He has brought so much joy to our lives. It’s been 5 months since we brought him home and we continue to learn new things about him every day. In the beginning Yogi seemed sad and unsure, but soon after we got him home and we fell into a routine, he really came to life and his true personality came through. Now he is a very loving, fun and happy guy. My advice to people adopting new pets is to give it some time for you to get to know each other and to get into a routine. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen. The adoption process itself was really easy. I can’t tell how you rewarding it is to adopt a pet. There are so many animals out there that are looking for good homes. – Julie & Samir Naber


On September 25th, 2011, we visited ARL with the belongings of our beloved Boston terrier, Lucy, who we had lost just the day before at the age of 10.  We were beside ourselves with grief, and donating her things to dogs in need was the only thing we could think to do that would make us feel a little better.  While there, we decided to visit with some of the dogs, and met Brady (then known as Marcus) in the very last kennel.  While all the other dogs were barking like mad, he was simply laying by his door and gently wagged his tail as we stopped to talk to him.  He almost looked shocked that someone wanted to see him!  I knew I had to meet him so my fiancé and I asked if we could spend a few minutes with him outside.  The volunteers were so helpful, they shared their personal experiences with the dogs, explained their differences and provided opinions on who would make a good fit with our family.  Thankfully, everyone agreed that Brady was a great candidate!  ARL gave us plenty of time to get to know him and make our decision.

It didn’t take long to know that he was ours, and the support from the staff helped us know we were making the right decision!  Brady had been at ARL for quite some time, but nobody could understand why he had not yet been adopted.  Sure enough, he is the perfect dog for us, and has grown into quite the momma’s boy.  He is now up to intermediate level obedience training and even knows a few tricks!  Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, and he’s become very good friends with our neighbor who was severely injured in a car accident and is confined to a wheel chair.  Even though our neighbor has trouble communicating with people, Brady seems to know exactly what he wants and is happy to sit next to his chair and put his head in his lap for affection.

We proudly support ARL and can’t thank you enough for our boy!  The staff is one of the most dedicated and caring groups that I have come across in public shelters as well as private rescue groups.  You guys are amazing! – Kelly Harre


In February of 2011 our dog Kasey, of 11 years passed away.  It was sudden and heartbreaking to our family. At that point, I couldn’t imagine having another dog living in our home.  However, our daughter, then age 4, had a different agenda.  Her and I began visiting the ARL once a week or so, just to walk and visit with the dogs.  I figured this would at the very least, give her the “dog fix” she needed and give me time to heal after losing Kasey.

Digby After Bath 002The angels that work at the ARL were so sweet to deal with.  They allowed us to just walk the dogs, full well knowing that we had just lost our pet a short time ago and weren’t quite ready to bring home another.  Then after about two months of doing the visits to the ARL….we spotted Digby.  We walked in that wonderful day on April 20th…and there he was.  Having heard his story that he was surrendered twice in his first year of life….my heart broke for this little guy.  He was everything we wanted and completely different from our dog that had passed…which made the transition a little easier on us.  He looked at us with warm eyes and took to our daughter like a duck to water.  We took him home that same day~~and he adapted to his new FUREVER home in a very short period of time~~I must say, it’s been a year now that Digby has been in our lives and I can’t ever imagine a moment without him….he spends half his night sleeping with our daughter and when all is sound with her…he comes in to our room and spends the rest of the evening with us. He has just begun level 3 of training with Awesome Dawgs and he’s doing simply wonderful 🙂 He brings such happiness and joy to our family…..I know by the way he looks at me, he is so thankful we walked into the ARL that day…….but I have to say, we are the lucky ones! Everyone who meets him is instantly taken by him…he is such a handsome, friendly guy!

Having the opportunity to spend time at the ARL with our daughter, has given her a heart of gold with animals….and she’s 5 years old. She speaks of rescuing animals like you can’t even imagine getting a pet anywhere else!  There isn’t an animal alive that she’s afraid of…and her compassion for all living creatures can only grow from here…..I’m sure she’ll be knocking on your door in about 10 years for a job 🙂

Thank you for all that you do~~I refer EVERYONE I know to the ARL if they are looking for any type of pet!  I will continue to support you anyway I can! THANK YOU!!!! – Michelle Stout


We went to the ARL on a cold rainy day in September 2011 to find a dog. My husband and I had recently put down our 16 year old rescued border collie and \we were heart broken. We found many dogs available at the ARL that day but none that were anything like our Zoie. My husband wanted to leave but I knew I would not be able to talk him into returning since it was very painful for him. I kept returning to one cage. A small JR/chihuahua mix, tan with a small white spot on the top of his head, was just sitting in the middle of his cage quietly staring at me. “What about this one” I said to my husband. He looked at me like I was completely crazy. How could we get one of those little hyper dogs that many people look at with complete dislike? I finally talked him into taking “Rosco” into the meeting room. After about 5 minutes, there was no way I could leave without him. My husband filled out the paperwork and we left with him.

My husband was completely believing that he would be able to blame me when this little yappy excitable dog drove me crazy. At least he did not pick him. We renamed him Pete because it fit him much better. Well let me tell you that this little Pete surely hung the moon. He is not at all yappy or excitable. We took him to meet my in-laws that day and they loved him. Before long I was dropping him off every morning on the way to work and picking him up every evening on the way home. My father-in-law was very ill at the time and was not responding to much of anything anymore. He hardly talked and had lost much of his short term memory. Pete changed all of that. Richard would ask many times a day “When is Pete coming?’” looking forward to each visit with anticipation. He would hide treats for Pete all over the house and got pure joy watching him find them. Pete knew that he always had 2 special treats in his shirt pocket and sat patiently to wait for them. Richard even figured out that Pete liked 2 ice cubes in his water and would make sure that those cubes were carefully placed every morning for Pete. Pete would wake him up every morning by gently laying next to him in his bed. He jumped all over me and my husband but knew that his grandpa was fragile.

My mother-in-law also benefited greatly from Pete’s company spending hours doing whatever Pete wanted to do – play, sleep, eat.  A few month’s ago Richard became gravely ill requiring home hospice care. As sick as he got, he always responded to Pete. When things got too hard for my mother-in-law, Pete sat on her lap looking lovingly into her eyes and licking her tears bringing her comfort when my husband and I could not be there. Richard recently passed away and we were all, including Pete, able to be by his side. It is a difficult time for all of us but Pete helps us all move on. Because of him, we have all spent more time together in that last year than we had in the last 25 years. He made Richard’s last year here happy, positive and the best that it could be. He gave Richard a reason to get up in the morning. I say that surely an angel put that white spot on Pete’s head before he sent him down to us. So if you ask me if Pete hung the moon – I say yes he did!

My family thanks your organization for all that you do,


Ethan and his mom came to the ARL on Labor Day and didn’t know that we were  closed. Disappointed that they could not visit with animals, they went home and  searched the adoptable pets on our web site. Ethan took one look at Mason, who was in a foster home,  and  said, “Mom, I have to have him!” Mason went home with Ethan the next day.

We love these happy faces and are grateful to everyone who considers giving an older pet a home.  Learn more about the Grey Muzzle Foster Program here.



On April 9, 2012 we adopted “Chance”; we have renamed him Maurice ( “Mo”). We have had many cats since we were married in 1964 and Maurice is undoubtedly one of the very nicest.  He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, is so laid back and happy to stay in your lap.  He has fallen in love with our dog, Lola, and follows her everywhere.  He is quite a talker and carries on a conversation with you, back and forth.  He eats like a little piggy and I can see that we will have to control his food in the future.  As an added bonus he is also beautiful.  We haven’t had him long but are quite attached to him already.

Thank you for Maurice and for all your good work,
Claude Poole


She is such a joy .We integrated her into the crew -it is as if she has always been with us. We are so grateful to the ARL and the Grey Muzzle Foster Program. Many shelters would not have given an 11 year old Rottweiler a chance for a new life – you did. I strongly urge all to consider senior adoption.Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to share our home with this grand old girl.” Carla , Tom,  the Boys and Miss Pearl