Elizabeth and her dad are living proof that opposites
Elizabeth was a gorgeous, long-haired princess who was part of our rehoming program before coming to our Sanctuary for over a year. She was FIV positive and elderly, making her difficult to place as it was – pile on a bit of a ‘tude and you have a nearly impossible-to-adopt senior kitty. Though she was great with our staff and volunteers, she would let us know when she was done with getting attention and wasn’t always very polite about it! And when it came to meeting potential adopters, she was downright rude. We all thought she was just being a brat, but I guess she just wanted us all to know that she likes her humans to be young…and young men at that! As it turns out, Elizabeth is an actual cougar.
You see, Elizabeth was something like 15 years old when she was finally adopted. In cat years, that equals right around 77 years of age (or something). And her adopter? Just 22 years of age when he brought his “Bells” home. And this lucky lady has not one but THREE young men doting on her at all times (turns out her human has two eligible bachelors for roommates). Like any self-respecting cougar, Elizabeth has her human absolutely wrapped around her finger. This dedicated cat dad does everything under the sun to ensure that his “pretty Belly baby girl” is not only happy, but downright spoiled. And he loves to share Elizabeth’s every adventure on her very own Instagram (check it out - @bellspositive) which has us melting with every new post!
Elizabeth is absolutely the princess, or perhaps queen of her household. She enjoys weekly strolls through the pet store, even donning a ridiculously adorable harness, complete with pink frills, as she struts her stuff down each and every aisle. Her hilariously titled photos and videos reveal that this particularly particular little floof is on cloud nine in her forever home. And it is clear that her human is absolutely head-over-heels for his “puffy princess” who has allowed his “Madame Smooshy Face” to turn his home into a fur-covered cat Paradise – and has instituted a strict no-black-clothes policy for his wardrobe.
While every single one of our adoptions hold a special place in our hearts and all of our wonderful adopters are equally appreciated, it is incredibly touching to see any elderly pet find a forever home – especially when that home is with a young man who has absolutely no worries showing everyone who knows him just how much he loves his “Belly” (she has a LOT of nicknames!!). If you’re ever wondering what it’s like to adopt a senior pet, regardless of your age, just know it is at least as rewarding as adopting a puppy or kitten, if not more so! So don’t knock it til you try it!
The sweetest story about our resilient and amazing Rosalie!
In October of 2016, Our Companions received news from a local vet that there had been an emaciated, neglected young pit bull dropped off at their office, just minutes from death. Though she should have been around 50 pounds, this beautiful little lady who the vet named Rosalie (aka Rosie), weighed in at under 20 pounds and was wasting away. It was an absolute miracle that she was still breathing. This wonderful vet’s office worked long and hard to bring her back from the brink and knew that once she was healthy enough, she would need a special place to heal and grow into the amazing dog they knew she could be – a place just like our Sanctuary!!
Though we knew we would take her in when she was ready, she needed to put on some weight and stabilize before she could leave the vet. Her feet were flattened due to emaciation and she was missing patches of fur all over her body and on most of her tail. She had a long, difficult road to recovery and needed round-the-clock care just to survive. During the two and a half long months that she stayed at the vet, she got regular visits from one of our amazing volunteers, Daryl. She would take short walks outside, bundled up in comfy blankets and once she was stable enough, she would even take trips to Daryl’s house and to our office on occasion for morning trips with employees. We were absolutely amazed at the resilience that this gorgeous little lady showed. Despite the horrific abuse and neglect she had endured at the hands of her “owners”, Rosie adored people. She just wanted to be close to someone at all times and was happiest when sitting directly on top of a warm lap. She didn’t quite understand how to be a dog. Toys were a mystery and the concept of playing was foreign. She had to be bundled up in layers of jackets that hung off of her bony body and didn’t help with her constant shivers. But despite all of her health issues, she was happy and absolutely thrilled just to be close to someone any chance she could. Everyone who met her fell madly in love with this puppy-like girl.
When she finally made it to the Sanctuary in January of 2017, we knew very little about the dog that she would really be when she was finally back on her feet. Rosie weighed in at right around 30 pounds and had funny shaped feet and legs due to the impact of starvation. She still required layers of jackets to keep her warm and ate multiple meals a day. She could handle short spurts in the chilly weather, but was happiest when spending time in her room or the living room with anyone who would let her on their lap. As she gained weight, she became more and more active and playful. We quickly learned that she absolutely despises other dogs and made funny little squeals whenever she saw a dog while out on her walk. She was high energy, playful, and lacked manners and training, but had loads of potential and amazed us with her love for people – especially children. Anytime a child approached her during public hours, she melted into a calmer, more relaxed version of herself and seemed at peace just to be near a little human. She would lay on the couch across their laps or sit patiently at their feet getting pets and love. When a lovely family with two toddlers came to us looking for an adoptable pet, we knew just who to introduce them to.
Though we had yet to even put her up on Petfinder for adoption, we brought Rosie to a Meet & Greet event to meet her potential adopters. When they came into the room to for the first time, we were absolutely certain they were the perfect fit for our sweet Rosie. The kids were amazing with her and the calm, quiet demeanor of the entire family helped put Rosie’s anxious, excited little self at ease. Just a few short weeks later, she headed home.
Rosie has settled into her forever home wonderfully. She adores her kids and gets daily walks in the woods around her house, followed by cozy couch snuggles with the entire family. Though we miss her happy-go-lucky seal face at the Sanctuary, we couldn’t possibly be happier for how her life has turned out. She finally gets to know what being loved feels like and is so adored by her entire family. Rosie’s story is a wonderful reminder of the resilience and strength of man’s best friend, as she continues to amaze us all with her capacity to love and adore human beings despite the way they treated her in the past. We are beyond happy to be sharing this adoption update with you just about one year after we met our beautiful Rosalie for the first time and hope that it inspires you to give a rescue pet a chance, regardless of his or her past!
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite your hand. This is the principle difference between a dog and man” – Mark Twain
PS: we would like to send out a huge thank you to all of our volunteers, especially Daryl, for helping to socialize Rosie and spending so much time showing her how it feels to be loved! Our pets are so incredibly lucky to have such dedicated, reliable volunteers who provide them with love and care for however long they remain in our care.
Sometimes the perfect match is found when you least expect it!
Nearly seven years ago, Brody came to us a very tiny puppy looking for a home where he could live out his days. Unfortunately, Brody just couldn’t get used to the idea of sharing his home with a tiny human and needed to be rehomed at the age of 6. He came to our Sanctuary and after an initial weird period (where he refused to eat normal food and we had to cook him burgers and Steak-Ums) he settled right in. Over time, we came to learn that he was a very sweet and easy boy with a few funny quirks. For example, he hates ceiling fans and LOVES to hunt for small rodents and other tiny creatures. He gets along great with everyone he meets, but is kind of picky about spending time with big, male dogs. He is super sweet and snuggly and absolutely loves learning new tricks, but hates car rides and enjoys barking very loudly at passing trucks and people. Like most pups, he has his strange little quirks, but is overall just about the best boy you could ask for!
Which is why after a year at our Sanctuary, we were all surprised that he hadn’t found his forever home. Finally, a lovely woman came to us looking for a hiking partner and we were totally convinced that they could be a perfect fit! Unfortunately, her love for ceiling fans made that an impossible match – but don’t worry, she ended up taking home one of our other favorite boys, Bruce – check back for updates on that adorable adoption!!! Anyway, thanks to this woman, a wonderful family of 3 (her close friends) came to use interested in one of Brody’s “girlfriends”. They wanted a family member who could hang in their back yard, get along with their 13-year-old son, and welcome visitors who came to swim in the pool and celebrate holidays. And none of our shy ladies fit the bill. But we decided to introduce them to Brody to see how it went. And we couldn’t believe how quickly he took to them!
Right off the bat, he was practically sitting on top of their 13-year-old son and went from person to person for pets and attention. It was the absolute perfect match! We couldn’t believe that these people had come to us because their friend wanted Brody and they ended up being his match made in heaven. Of course, the home visit was just as wonderful as their introduction and they could not wait to bring him home.
Since he moved into his forever home, we have received nothing but amazing updates from Brody and his new family. They are all madly in love with him and he sleeps every single night with his best friend/brother. He adores playing with, snuggling up to, and just generally being around all of his family members and has loved meeting their friends and extended family members. Although we didn’t expect this to work out the way that it did, we have learned that everything happens for a reason and it has all worked out, both for Brody’s family and for the woman who brought them to us! We couldn’t be happier for all of them and are so thrilled with how all of this has worked out in the end.
What’s better than a forever home for one deserving kitty? A home for three!
A while back, Our Companions took a pretty big, handsome, and energetic kitty into our Sanctuary and we named him Higgins! Higgins spent his days playing with everything in sight, climbing furniture like it was meant to be climbed on, and zooming around the living room terrorizing his poor kitty roommates. He was desperate for a playmate that could keep up with him, but just couldn’t find the right fit – that is until he met his buddies Tetris (now Omar) and Jupiter (now Roosevelt). These three guys started tearing up the living room as a really cool – not to mention adorable – team.
To rewind a bit, the story behind Tetris and Jupiter is truly one-of-a-kind. Tetris and Jupiter came to our Sanctuary after being found as kittens with their two much more outgoing brothers, Chickpea and Colt, at the Colt Building in Hartford. When they first came to us, all four kittens were extremely nervous and shy. They would hide from any person that came near them and were so jumpy and scared it was sad to see. Thanks to our amazing volunteers who so patiently sat with and fed these four cuties, they really started to come around! Tetris, the most shy of the four, was even able to be coaxed onto a lap or two with delicious treats when he was in the mood! After Colt and Chickpea found their forever homes, we knew it would be tough for Jupiter and Tetris to transition into a family, but when they bonded with Higgins, it was clear that he would provide all the confidence that these two were missing! We felt so sad knowing that this fantastic threesome would probably have to be separated down the line because who would adopt THREE cats at one time?!
Fast forward a few months and out of the woodwork came the most magical of people – Judith and Jeffrey. Though these two amazing adopters initially only wanted two kitties, they couldn’t bear the thought of separating any of these guys from one another, so they ended up with a trio! We were all so thrilled and frankly very surprised to hear that three wild boys could find their forever home together.
Now, just about 10 months after they headed home, Higgins, Roosevelt, and Omar are loving life. Higgins, still a wild child, happily rules the roost, while Roosevelt and Omar continue to gain confidence. And of course they all three still love to play, snuggle, and hang out together! Omar and Roosevelt now love getting attention from their parents and are happily living their lives with their best bud and now big brother, Higgins.
We are so happy that thanks to Judith and Jeffrey, our three amigos are able to spend their days together and will be forever grateful to these amazing adopters for bringing them all home as a family!
A Very Happy Ending for One Happy-Go-Lucky Pup!
Gunnar was part of our rehoming program for several months, which simply means that he remained with his original owners while we worked on finding him a home. He was brought up to Connecticut to be adopted by a different family, but it didn’t work out, so the people who brought him up ended up taking him back until we could find the perfect situation for him.
Gunnar lived with other dogs and loved everyone he met, but had some quirks that made it difficult for him to live in certain home environments, such as apartments or condos. He really needed a home where he could get tons of exercise, attention, and couch time, preferably one with a canine companion. But after a few potential homes didn’t pan out, we started to wonder if Gunnar’s perfect match would ever come along!
And then we met Emily, Russ, and their adorable fur-child, Mickey! They initially came to us interested in meeting a Mickey look-alike who was also part of our rehoming program, but we had the feeling that Gunnar would be the perfect fit and boy were we right! Though Emily and Russ loved Gunnar right off the bat, it became clear that it was a match made in heaven when Mickey and Gunnar hit it off during their first meeting. These two well-behaved boys spent the whole visit chasing each other, rolling around, and playing tag. We had no doubt that they would be the best of friends!
Though there were a few bumps in the road getting Gunnar home, followed by a few unexpected twists and turns after he moved in, Gunnar has truly become part of the pack and all three of his family members just adore him. He and Mickey spend their days frolicking about in their enormous fenced-in yard or taking their parents for a walk. Gunnar loves to people-watch from the front window and loves nothing more than snuggle time with his entire family on the couch. Though he is over 50 pounds, he has no clue that he shouldn’t just always be sitting on someone’s lap!
We often tell adopters to give pets a few months to settle in and warn them that those first few weeks and months can be a bit challenging, but it will all be worth it in the end. Gunnar is no exception and is in fact the perfect example of how important it is to keep an open mind and stay dedicated to a pet during the transitional period, but it sure seems to have paid off for the whole family – especially Gunnar and Mickey who are two peas in a pod!
A Very Special Adoption Update
Many, many years ago, a very scared cat by the name of Dillon came into our rehoming program looking to find a forever home! For those of you who don’t know what that means – our rehoming program is simply a way to help find pets homes without having them go into a shelter. We work with the original owners of animals to promote them for adoption and place them in forever homes and they (hopefully) avoid the shelter environment all together! Anyway – back to Dillon!
Dillon was placed in a home with small children, which just couldn’t work for this scaredy-cat. He was petrified of these miniature humans and though the family loved him and kept him for an entire year while we looked for a better fit, it just couldn’t work out. After a year, a lovely foster home came forward to take Dillon in. Though we no longer have a foster program, this worked out great for Dillon and he stayed there for nearly two years! At that point, we had space for this sweet boy at our Sanctuary and he moved in where he became our resident office cat.
Initially, Dillon seemed like a real tough guy. He was grumpy and spent much of his time around people swatting and hissing, but we soon learned that this behavior was simply Dillon’s way of showing us that he was scared of everything around him! With a lot of patience, understanding, treats, and love, Dillon aka Dilly aka Dill Pickle aka Grumpy Cat slowly but surely made many friends! He became quite the lap cat and though he still swatted and hissed from time to time, he was hiding the sweetest, most lovable kitty behind that tough exterior!
In 2016, we finally decided it was time to focus on finding this sweet guy the perfect home. We ramped up the effort to find him an adoptive home by launching our very first pet campaign entirely dedicated to Dillon! We posted weekly Instagram photos, boosted Facebook postings, and, using quotes from volunteers and staff members, wrote a blog all about our favorite little Dilly! We hoped that this extra attention might catch the perfect person’s eye and help us to find the right fit for this deserving kitty.
As luck would have it, a lovely young couple – Brittany and Tom – attended an adoption event looking to find their new best friend. They were open to ages, sizes, and personalities and were more focused on finding the right fit than anything else. After chatting with them for a bit, it became clear that these patient people might just be the perfect fit for our Dillon! They were so excited to meet the star of our campaign and after visiting no less than five times, which is just what this shy guy needed, they brought him home. We were all so thrilled, though nervous that things may not go as planned.
Fortunately for Dillon, Brittany and Tom were just as perfect as we had hoped. They patiently waited for Dilly to come around, which hardly took any time at all, and now nearly one year later, he has turned into the most perfect lap cat, companion, and family member. He adores his mom and dad and they are just as smitten with their fur child! Though it took him a bit longer to find the right family, everything worked out as it should have and this trio have created an adorable family unit where Dillon happily thrives getting all the love and attention he so deserves! We couldn’t be happier and are hopeful that our newest campaign for our sweet pup Hera is just as successful!
A recent email from Dillon’s adopters shows just how much they love him!
So Dillion has been doing amazing over the past couple of months. He has really made himself at home here, we joke all the time that this is Dillion's apartment that he lets us stay in. As soon as we brought him home he started warming up to us more and now he is so much more affectionate than we ever thought he would be. He is constantly head butting and licking our legs when he wants some attention and taking naps in our laps. Even when he isn't feeling like being petted and acts like he is too cool for us he is still following behind us like a shadow and making sure that he is near us. Some of his hobbies lately have included playing tag with us (where he will run around like crazy, comes up to you, jumps up and hugs your leg, and then runs away just as fast), sitting outside in his crate watching the birds, helping us make the bed (we have different versions of helping there), and lining his toys up in a straight line (possibly to appease the vacuum that he has to terms with over the past few months, we are still trying to figure that one out.) He is a complete goof ball and that's why we love him so much.
In January of 2015, the Sanctuary welcomed the happiest, most lively pup by the name of Kaylee. This little live wire lived in the pound for many months before coming to us and was in desperate need of training, exercise, and tons of love. It was quickly learned that this bundle of energy was not a fan of other dogs, required more patience, running, and walking than some other dogs, and had far too much energy for cats and kids. She wasn’t the easiest pup to place, but OC was confident that the right home would come around! Kaylee’s upbeat personality, social nature with people, and her cheerful disposition, everyone thought it would be no time before she found her forever family.
Fast forward a year and a half and sweet Kaylee was still waiting patiently for her perfect match. Though she was happy at the Sanctuary, she was desperately in need of a home where she was the only pet with people who could give her lots of attention and love. Just when we were running low on hope for finding Kaylee’s soul people, our first ever try at participating with Clear the Shelters came around. Clear the Shelters is an annual adoption event sponsored by NBC and though we are not a traditional shelter, we thought it was worth a shot to take part in the event for the publicity it would bring. Though we didn’t send home any pets the day of the event due to our adoption policies, it certainly paid off because a very special couple attended the event and fell hard for our very own Kaylee!
Now nearing the one year anniversary of her adoption, sweet Kaylee and her amazing parents are still loving their life together and from the pictures we’ve seen and updates we’ve received, we’re certain that this is indeed a successful adoption! Be sure to check out Clear the Shelters this year, August 19th, and follow along with NBC CT as they share success stories just like Kaylee’s in the months prior!
Adoption Update: Blast from the Past
Seven years ago, an adorable pair of kittens found their forever home – this month, we received the greatest update and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you!
Theo (formerly Tubby) and Pixie (formerly Tallulah) are a gorgeous pair of kitties who originally came into Our Companions’ care 7 years ago – before the Sanctuary even existed! They were raised with their mom in an amazing foster home with one of our lovely volunteers, Andrea, who did an amazing job caring for these beautiful kitties. Andrea shared her story with us for this sweet update:
"It was September 28, 2009 and a friend of mine, Marlene, called me for help. She had found a newborn kitten unattended by its mother in the yard of the housing complex off Albany Avenue in Hartford. Never having dealt with
an orphaned kitten before, I immediately contacted Stephanie (from O.C.) and together we headed to Hartford.
Knowing that the chances of a day old kitten making it without its mother were slim to none, Stephanie encouraged Marlene to put the kitten back where she found it in hopes that the mother would return. As we were walking outside to put the kitten back, t he mother cat appeared and came running. She was so happy to see her baby and us that she rolled over the ground, rubbing her face on the concrete. She immediately took to nursing the kitten.
"We knew that we couldn’t just leave them where they were, boxed the stray mother and her kitten up and headed to the vet. It’s there that we were told that there was another kitten in her belly. I ended up bringing both of them back to my house and building her a quiet, warm space in the shower of one of the bathrooms. Momma cat, now named Libby, was as kind and loving as they come and was totally trusting with me around her new kitten, who we named Tubby. It was two more days until Tallulah arrived, born at 6:10 pm on 9/30/09. The next few weeks were the most amazing weeks of my life. Watching them grow and bonding with them made me proud; I wondered how I would ever give them up when the time came.
"Kitten applications came pouring in and I shared their information, along with 3 other kitten pairs to Brenda, a potential adopter. The rest is history and the kittens went to the most perfect home on Friday, 11/27/09 at 11 am.
"Tullulah, now Pixie, and Tubby, now Theo, have been living happily with their family for many years now! Their adopter, Brenda, stumbled into one of our employees at a meeting and struck up a conversation about her amazing and very loved kitties whom she adopted from O.C. years prior. Brenda showed off some photos and we knew we needed to share them to showcase how great these adorable kitties are doing in their forever home! We were so thrilled to get this amazing update and are happy to report a very, very happy ending for these deserving cats.
Read Brenda’s email to us below and check out their adorable photos! Theo (the white cat) is very dog-like. They both greet people at the door and are very social, but Theo is extraordinary. He wags his tail when he’s happy, and loves to get all “in your face”. They are both lap cats, but Theo loves to really stretch his arms out in a hug. Pixie, no disrespect intended, isn’t as bright as Theo. She is a little clumsy (no ear infections – just not your typical graceful cat!), and always makes us laugh with her antics. They get along for the most part, but also enjoy a little scuffle now and then. Theo enjoys creeping up on Pixie while she sleeps, and then laying right on top of her. Sometimes Pixie lets him, other times it’s a quick swipe and a hiss that gets him off her! Typical siblings."