These are but a few stories that make all of our efforts worthwhile, and give us the strength and inspiration to carry on our work for those creatures who cannot speak for themselves. Do you have a happy tails story that you’d like to share? Please email us your story with the subject line “Happy Tails.” Be sure to include a photograph or video link of yourself or other family members posing with your pet.
My boyfriend, now husband, and I had no idea we would be bringing home a 3-month-old puppy one day. I remember we had to make a mad dash to Petco after we signed the adoption papers to pick up food, a leash and a crate. We were so nervous, but it couldn’t have been a better decision. Thank you for bringing us to our Finnegan. She is a blessing and brings us joy every day.
Here are two picks (one from her puppy days and another more recent picture).
The Dwyer Family
We adopted our dog from your shelter about three months ago. He was named Sage and we quickly renamed him Rollins (or Rollie!) because of our mutual love for the former singer of Black Flag. Unlike Henry, Rollie is soft, sometimes scared, loves to cuddle and is devoid of a mean bone in his body. We couldn’t imagine life without him!
Xena’s story: Xena was found wandering the streets as a stray. It is clear that she did not have the best life so far. Her skin is in poor condition and she likely had many litters of pups and was discarded after her owner had no more use for her. Her teeth were ground down, her ears were cropped and she was somewhat emaciated when she came to Jersey Animal Coalition. You can read Xena’s story here.
Sorry it took so long to update you on how Xena is doing, but if you look at the pictures you can see she is great!!! She has been to my vet’s already, has had some dental work done and currently we are helping her with her skin disorder. She is truly a blessing to us and we adore her so much already.
Dave & Victoria
I adopted Jaeger (known to you as Caboose) about 1 1/2 years ago. When I brought him home, he was this shy little guy, didn’t bark, was very timid around people – especially men – and wasn’t even sure what a dog toy was. He hated any “new” object: he once barked out the window for 20 minutes one night at the garden hose which was coiled up in the yard.
As you can see from the pictures, he has blossomed into this healthy, happy guy (although he does like to steal my socks) In the past year and a half, he’s grown to just LOVE attention from people, men included, has learned to give “high five” and has met many dogs, horses, and people friends alike.
He loves car rides and hugs and is great with kids too. I’m lucky enough to have a job which I can bring him to, and he just loves it, although he refuses to answer the phone (pic 1). I’ve included several pictures just so you can grasp his personality; he’s usually trying to steal something of mine or trying to pose handsomely (THAT took a while as he hated having his picture taken).
He ALWAYS wants to play and I can’t thank you enough for rescuing him from Georgia and taking great care of him when you did. He has brought such joy to my life. And he definitely keeps me laughing. I’ve never seen him not smile! Theses last pictures show the cute face I see every morning!!
Bless you all for what you do!
I have attached the photo of Tony from the card I sent. Here is a little bit about the wonderful dog I adopted from JAC almost 9 years ago!
I saw Tony (aka Isaac) on PetFinder and had previously adopted a dog (Vinnie aka Shep) from the JAC some years before. JAC volunteers went to Georgia to pick up a group of dogs – mostly puppies. Isaac was about 4 months old. I knew I wanted to train him as a therapy dog and once Tony was home with me, we started obedience classes with Princeton Dog Training Club.
Tony passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test at 8 months and was certified as a Therapy Dog with Therapy Dog International at 1 year old. We visit Park Place Nursing Home every week. He is loved by both the residents and staff at the home. Tony has well over 350 therapy dog visits.
When the AKC allowed mixed breeds to show in obedience trials – Tony and I entered the trials. He has earned his CD (Companion Dog) and Rally Novice and Rally Advanced titles. He is a bit of a ham in the ring!
Every year we attend the Blessing of St. Francis Mass at St. John the Divine in New York. It is always a special day for my husband, Tony and myself. My husband wrote a letter to St. John and told them about Tony and his work as a therapy dog. We were invited to walk in the procession representing therapy dogs! It was a huge honor – the only other companion animal in the procession is a service dog who walks next to his owner’s wheelchair.
Tony is a testament to rescue dogs and the people who rescue them. Here was a creature who was saved by the good people of the JAC and now he brings joy to people every week. He is a great dog and I am so happy that the JAC saved him and I was the lucky person who adopted him.
This is Eddie! He is a beagle mix who was rescued from a high kill shelter in North Carolina. I fostered Eddie last year during Hurricane Sandy and kept telling myself that it was only temporary but not even 24 hours of being in my home, Eddie stole my heart.
A few days later there was a family scheduled to come meet Eddie and possibly adopt. That broke my heart. Just the thought of him not being with me and my family devastated us. The family never showed up to see him so my husband and I knew he was meant to be a part of our family for the rest of his life.
Eddie has been the best addition to our family. He loves everyone! He is great with my children and he loves my other dog and cat. Eddie is just our dream come true and I am so thankful for him!
“On Valentine’s Day 2011 my husband Sergio and I decided to formally adopt Dusty, our three legged wonder Cat. We couldn’t think of a better gift to give each other, than to provide Dusty with her Furever home. We originally agreed to foster Dusty back in July 2010 thinking it would only be for one week. Dusty was supposed be placed into her new home, as soon as her new momma to be, Lynn, found a home for the pit bull that she was fostering. Well, the pit bull is still with Lynn, and Dusty is still with us. Dusty is not only missing her front right leg, but she also tested positive for FIV.
However, she doesn’t let these two conditions dampen her spirits one bit. She considers herself the Queen of the second floor of our house and runs back and forth between the bedrooms chasing our other cats. She’s got a quick left hook and isn’t afraid to use it. She loves to to play with her toys and with her new sister Lina, they have become best of friends.”
Tamara and Sergio Schraiber
“In September of 2008, my husband Bobby and I adopted Halley from JAC.
We are so happy that he is part of our family. I couldn’t live without him. He travels on vacation with us and is such a good boy in the car. And every morning he goes with Bobby for a cup of coffee to the Minimart. All we say to him is “wanna go to Minimart?” and he runs to the door wagging his tail.
He loves to go in the car as much as he loves to go for walks with me. He gets along really well with his sister cats, Felix and BooBoo, and his brother cat Oscar. Watching them play is a hoot. Halley gets slapped in the nose a million times per second! He takes it and continues to wag his tail.
Our house is blessed with Halley here.
Thank you JAC!!”
“Back on September 6th 2009, my husband and I adopted our wonderful hound mix puppy from your wonderful shelter. You guys had named him Baby Doll (probably because he’s ridiculously cuddly and affectionate), and we renamed him Monkey (because of his curiosity and his love of mischief). When we got him, he was just 12 weeks old and 18 pounds. Now he’s almost 8 months old, and a whopping 63 pounds and still growing!
Where do we begin? We don’t have kids (yet), so he is definitely our son. We’ll admit that he’s a little spoiled — in addition to his giant luxury crate, mountains of toys, insulated coat for winter and the occasional custom-made scrambled egg that we give him, we also hire a dog walker to come and feed him, walk him and play with him every weekday just so that he’s not bored or lonely while we’re at work.
But make no mistake — we are the lucky ones, for sure. Even with all the dogs we grew up knowing and adoring in our lives, we never realized how much personality one dog could have, or how much joy he could bring. He is such a goofball! He’s also very affectionate, and loves to cause mischief and get into things. He needs to work on jumping on people since he’s so big, but he has never snapped or even growled at a person or an animal. He’s just pure love, and he’s great with our 3 year old niece, too!
We have so many pictures, we couldn’t choose which to include! The first photo attached is of Monkey sleeping curled up with my husband Sean when he was just a puppy — it shows how tiny he was then! I’ve also included the photo from our holiday card which has all 3 of us, a photo of Monkey cuddling up with me on a lazy Sunday in PJs, one that shows how zany he can get, and one that just shows how sleepy and cuddly he can be.
You all must sleep very well at night, with the peace of mind that you bring such happiness to the lives of pets and people! Thank you for letting us take home our boy, Monkey. It’s hard for us to even remember a time before we had him.”
A zillion thanks,
“Just a quick note to let you know that Popeye is doing very well. His ears seem to be clearing up, his eyes are looking better, and I think he has gained a little weight–he’s feeling a bit more solid. We only hear the cough after he’s been slurping up water. We go back to the vet next Monday for a follow-up on his eyes and ears, and the Monday after that, the groomer is coming to the house to clean him up a bit (he’s starting to look like a big dustmop!)
We’ve been taking walks every day. He tired quickly when we first started, but has been walking a little bit longer each time we go out. He likes to sleep on the bed with us at night, next to Kismet. The little bums don’t like to get out of bed before 8:30 a.m. Then they both get up and I take them out to do their business, and they have their breakfast and then go back to sleep for an hour or two. What a life! I’ve been calling them “The Princes!”
I’ve attached a photo of Popeye in his favorite bed in the kitchen. Hope you are doing well! Take care!”
“Rachel is a wonderful companion who loves going for walks and for car rides, to cuddle in the couch to watch tv on Sunday afternoons and to sleep. She is a wonderful companion who enriches my life and gives me more love than I can ever give her back.
Adopting her has been such a success that I am thinking of getting a second dog, if she will allow it.”
“We adopted Sammy shortly after we started volunteering at the JAC. Here is his story: Whenever we were working in the quarantine room, there was a friendly tuxedo cat who kept sticking his little paws through his cage. This kitty was very persistent, and kept ‘flirting’ with us to get our attention. We asked why he was in a cage by himself and we learned that he had FIV (the feline version of HIV). Because of his FIV, he couldn’t leave his cage and interact with other cats, so we regularly took him from his cage, held him, and walked around the room with him. He was very calm and laid his little paws on our shoulder as we walked back and forth.
Initially, we were not ready to adopt a cat, having recently moved to South Orange, but, after realizing that he would have to spend the rest of his life in that small, metal cage, we chose to take him home. We had no concern about this because FIV is completely harmless to humans.
Now, Sammy has all of the space, attention, and love that he can ask for – he loves to play with his mouse toys, explore all over, receive belly rubs on his special carpet, and snuggle next to us at night as we all sleep. His Mommy and Daddy love him so much and we can’t imagine our life without him.”
“We visited JAC on Veteran’s Day of 2009 with no intention of adopting. I had lost my beloved dog Boomer the prior year and just wanted to take a look at the dogs. An hour later, we left with our beautiful Sandy! At first, she didn’t seem to trust us and was very distant and didn’t listen to our commands very well. Two days later, she did a total 360. I guess she needed time to trust us as well. Although many have their ideas about her type of breed, Sandy has been absolutely friendly and gives kisses to everyone that comes to our home. Only problem is that she thinks she’s a lap dog! Kind of difficult to have a 68 pound dog sit on your lap! We may put her on a diet for her new year’s resolution!
She is definitely a blessing and have absolutely no regrets!! Attached are some of her recent pics!
Thank you JAC for our princess!”
Virginia and Jack
I was just browsing on your website and saw the “Happy Endings” section and thought that I would love to share our JAC adoption stories.
I had always been a “cat person” and had never had a dog before, but my kids had really wanted a puppy, so on August 30, 2007, I came into JAC with my then 9 year old son and found the cutest baby, a 10 week old, mixed breed female, described only as “long eared beagle,” since she had only been there a few days.
As soon as we saw her and she cuddled on our shoulders and gave kisses, we knew she was the ONE. We adopted her and named her “Virginia.”
She is wonderful, trained well, was never destructive, good with the three cats already in residence and always sweet and affectionate with the kids. She sleeps in my bed every night, so devoted and follows me everywhere.
The next chapter continued this spring when we were thinking that Virginia needed a friend, and we came in and adopted another baby, an 11 week old baby boy who we named ‘Jack.’
He is a bit mischievous, but now at 9 months is extremely sweet, well trained, good with cats and kids and just adores playing with Virginia!!
They are mixes and extremely beautiful with shiny coats, and I am always getting complimented on their coats and gorgeous green/grey eyes.
She was named Virginia because she came from a kill shelter in Virginia and he was named Jack, because he came from ‘JAC.’ They are members of the family and my kids think of them as siblings. We are so happy that they are in our lives and we love them dearly!!
Thanks for all of the wonderful work that you do. My son can’t wait until he is old enough to volunteer at JAC.”
Melissa, Jon- (the parents), Jeremy, Jason, Maddie- (the kids), Snowy, Oscaretta and Percy- (the cats) and of course, Virginia & Jack
“We adopted Zeus in May of 2008 as a puppy; he is a Border collie black Lab mix. When we first brought him home he was extremely sick and almost lost his life, thankfully he was a fighter and was able to come home in full health after a week, and grew to become a healthy 85 lbs.
Since then he has enjoyed a wonderful life. He is spoiled with affection by both his family as well as many others who cannot help but to fall in love with his adorable personality. He loves all people, especially babies and little kids, and adores all other dogs. Zeus has become part of the family, and sometimes thinks he is a human. He is extremely smart and knows many words; many times he tries to talk back to us.
His tail never stops wagging and he enjoys long walks, playing for hours, and romps on the beach at his summer home.
Zeus is the master at being charming and loves to cuddle and give kisses and if he is lucky sleep with his mommy and daddy (even though he is way too big).
We love him to bits and think he is the most wonderful dog and we thank God every day for bringing him to us. We are hoping to find his brothers that were also in the shelter because we would love to have a reunion for Zeus. Here are some pictures of Zeus.”
“I wanted to send JAC an update on ‘Miss Piggy’ aka Pearl.
We adapted Pearl 2.5 years ago and she has been a joy in my familyÍs life ever since. I never have thought of classifying a dog as having a gentle spirit but she has totally changed my mind. My children love her and she loves them back. My wife, who was initially weary of bringing a pit bull in the house, has not only accepted Pearl, they are inseparable.
Thanks JAC, Pearl is the best we could have asked for in a pet.”
West Orange, NJ
“Hi- I just wanted to thank you for taking such wonderful care of Longfellow and letting me take him home. He is the best little guy and I feel very lucky to have him. He follows me around everywhere in my apartment even if I get up for a minute. He is adjusting to city life well and likes to go behind the doorman’s desk to get a little pet every time we go out.
People on the street stop me all the time to pet him and to tell me what a handsome little guy he is. He really is very sweet and loveable and is my little buddy. I can’t imagine not having him around and I owe it all to you for finding him and taking such good care of him. Thank you all so much.
You really do a wonderful job and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it. Here are some pictures of the little guy. Warm regards-”
“Hello. About 3+ years ago (November 2005) we visited your shelter and fell in love with a 3-month-old puppy you called Tootsie Roll. We adopted her and she has grown into a wonderful addition to our family. I would have wrote sooner but I just came across your shelter and wanted to send you an update. I don’t know if you remember her or not she was only with you for a short period of time. You rescued her from a kill shelter in Newark. She came to you with kennel cough. I am attaching a picture of her.
Thanks again and good luck with all your adoptions.”
“Hello my family and I adopted Vanilla on April 15, 2009 and we changed his name to Reilly. He’s so loving and good, already housebroken. He loves to have his belly rubbed and give kisses. When he’s excited his ears go straight back, his tail curls, and he runs all over the house. He’s so cute when he has one ear up and one down.
All my friends love him and want to take him home. Reilly loves his walks around the town and loves to play at the beach. In the picture attached Reilly is in my room getting acquainted with the house. Our yard is decent size so he runs back and forth all day getting plenty of exercise. Also he is great with kids; my nephew is almost four and loves to play with Reilly.
Since the day we got him, he has gained about a good 15 to 18 pounds. HeÍs so funny when he has a toy in his mouth and is chasing a ball around the floor.
Thank You so much for our wonderful puppy, he has made a fine addition to our family. I couldnÍt picture life without our Reilly.”
Anna, Al, and Rob C.
“Hello, We adopted “Balboa” aka “Nate” on May 24, 2009. He is almost 6 months old now and is just amazing. The vet thinks he will be up to 100lbs. He has gotten used to his big ol’ paws. Everybody loves his whiskers!!! He loves playing fetch with a tennis ball, chomping on sticks, and taking a dip in the stream. We just took him to the beach for the first time – he was a little scared, but eventually seemed to enjoy it.
I have a 15 year old yellow lab, Bud, at home and Nate is just the best. He knows when to not bother the old man. Thank you so much for introducing us to the little guy!”
Ali and Sean
“Hello, We adopted ‘Don Juan’ now Rocky almost 2 weeks ago. We LOVE him, and best of all, he LOVES us! He is very comfortable in his new house, and even has an 11 year old beagle, Pluto for a brother! We wanted to say thank you for letting us adopt him! He IS a lover! In the last week he has learned sit and has almost mastered paw! All this before 12 weeks old! He has gained 4 pounds in 2 weeks and loves his food!
You guys are wonderful, and I want to thank you for giving this little mush a second chance at life! You guys do great work, Keep it up! We will be in next week to see you all as well!
Attached area some pictures of Rocky. Sleeping with some of his favorite toys! One of his brother Pluto sharing a bed and lending his body as Rocky’s pillow! One sleeping in dad’s slipper!”
Tori, Joe, Pluto, and Rocky
“Hello Doreen and the JAC team!
I just wanted to let you guys know that Bear (formerly known as ‘Cuddles’ at the JAC) just turned about 8 months and she is doing great. After we brought her home from the JAC on New Years Eve 2008 – she ended up scaring us after a visit to the doggie hospital for pneumonia. But she recovered fully with medical help and lots of love and tlc.
She is super happy, healthy and well loved. Thanks for all the work you guys do to save the lives of animals out there and especially thank you for giving us Bear. She is our love and joy! Here are a few pics attached from when she was a young pup and to the young lady she’s grown into! Enjoy!”
Jane, Dan and Bear
We adopted Tony (then Isaac) from the JAC 4 years ago (April 2005). Tony is a certified therapy dog who visits a nursing home weekly. Not to brag too much but Tony has just reached his 150th visit (he has been going since passing his CGC/TDI tests when he was 1 year old)! He has earned a new title TDIAOV – Therapy Dog International Active Outstanding Volunteer.
Tony’s visits are eagerly awaited by his friends at the nursing home each week. The residents love him and he loves them. Tony is the best and I am forever grateful that the JAC volunteers rescued him from Georgia when he was less than 6 months old. He is just a great dog. Thank you!”
“I wanted to thank you for allowing us to adopt Rocha. Words can not describe how much we love him. He is already such an important part of our family. We can not believe that he had been at the shelter so long without being adopted, but we honestly feel that he was waiting for us to take him home. Although we adopted him as a full grown dog, he is our baby. It didn’t take more than 2 minutes at home before he completely owned our hearts.
He is so much fun, walks perfectly at our side on the leash, and never pulls. He loves to play and cuddle, and especially loves his cuddle time in bed. (We don’t allow him to sleep in our bed, because he is so big. But we do allow him to cuddle at night before bed, and we allow him to wake Matt in the morning for work. We all cherish this new ritual!)
We were pleasantly surprised that he was fully housebroken and has no interest in chewing on our things. He loves every toy and hug and kiss that we give him, and in return, he gives us all of his love, and never holds back. We can’t promise our guests that he won’t give them a face full of kisses, and we don’t care. If they can’t take it, then they can stay home, ha-ha. Everyone of our friends and family members just adores him. When I think of life without him, I tear up. We are so much happier with him in our lives, and are so grateful for the work of the employees/volunteers of JAC, and what they do for the animals. We just wish we got him sooner.
I know many of you loved Rocha. Thank you to all the volunteers who spent time with us the day we took him home, answering all of our questions and telling us all about him. We decided to keep his name, as we know you lovingly chose it for him. Although, he does snore quite a lot, and when he does, we call him “pig-dog”, because he sounds just like a piggy!
Here are some photos of Rocha adjusting to his new life in our loving home. Feel free to put them on your website!”
Matt, Jessica, and Rocha
Beetle and Bailey
“Hi, I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I adopted two of your Danish Delights about 6 weeks ago. Thought you might like a current picture of them.
Originally, I named them Dum and Dew, but I ended up changing it because I couldn’t call Dum, Dum, he’s too smart. Their names are now Beetle and Bailey after the Army cartoon character.
They are doing well and growing fast. They are about 19 inches at the shoulders and weigh 37lbs and some ounces – they are only 2 ounces apart. They go for their final set of shots the end of August. We are still working on potty training.
When it comes to finding something to get into they are terrors. I put a hand of bananas on the kitchen table and Beetle climbed up on to a chair, grabbed the bananas and ran away with them. For some reason he really likes bananas.”