Our top dog adoption stories in 2022

October 17, 2022

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and to celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite adoption stories. We ask all Animal Humane Society adopters to share their adoption stories with us on our Happy Tails blog and have selected a few that warmed our hearts this year.

Adoption can add joy, excitement, and companionship to your life. It not only changes your life forever but changes the life of an animal. Thank you to all who’ve chosen adoption at AHS and granted a second chance to these amazing pups.

We hope you find these stories as inspiring as we did.

Misty, a tan dog sniffs ground outside
Misty, a tan dog, plays in river


I had been debating getting my first dog on my own for months and months and months. I went to Animal Humane Society with three specific dogs in mind that I wanted to look at. However, none of them seemed like they would be a good fit for me and my living situation. However, I walked through a couple of times and kept stopping at this little Shepherd mix named “Misty”. I called her name and she came from the back of the kennel and started giving my hands SOOOO many kisses!

She had been in the shelter for a while and was considered a Forget-Me-Not and I was a bit apprehensive about this, but something told me I needed to give her a chance. I believe Mary Jo, a volunteer, brought me and ”Misty” out to the play yard and I immediately fell in love. My girl has the goofiest personality, so much energy, and so much love. I’m so glad I took the chance to meet her because she is the center of my universe now.

Her new name is Paisley and she is absolutely loving life. We go to the dog park every single day and she absolutely loves it. She was labeled as possibly dog reactive however she’s just a ball of energy and actually LOVES her doggie friends big and small. I’m so thankful I went the day I did and was able to welcome my baby Paisley into my life.

Frankie, a beagle, looks at the camera
Frankie, a beagle, wearing a costume


Hi, my name is Frankie! My family adopted me on July 15th, 2022. I came from a breeding facility that bred beagles for medical and product testing. 4,000 other beagles just like me were rescued over the summer. I am 5 years old, I have a tattoo on my inside left ear that reads CIA CIS, and I never lived outside of my little cage until I was rescued.

I love my new life, my new family, and my new home. My family is always telling me what a REALLY GOOD DOG I am, and they are always telling me how much they love me. I really love them too. I have an older beagle sister who has taught me how to eat from my bowl, go potty outside, walk up and down stairs, and she shows me all of the other things that I never knew about being a doggie... she's really helped me learn a lot.

Some of my favorite things are; snuggling with my people, snuggling with my beagle sister Enzo, trying really hard to be a really good doggie, playing with my tennis balls, going on walks, snuggling with my people, eating treats, snuggling with my people....did I say I LOVE to snuggle with my people?

I never knew that life could be so good! Thank you for helping me find my furever family!!!

Mr. Chico, a dog, waits to go on walk

Mr. Chico Sancho

After my previous dog died in August last year, I had decided to not get another one. I enjoy road-tripping. In February, I realized that it was unimaginable to road trip without a furry companion and started looking for a rescue pup. When I saw Mr. Chico Sancho's big eyes on Animal Humane Society's website, I thought, "I gotta meet this guy". When I went to meet him he was cowering in a corner, afraid of the people looking for dogs. I stood in front of his kennel and said, "Hey, there you are" He ran up to the gate and started licking my hand. Instantly, I felt my heart swell up with love and I could see in his eyes that the feeling was mutual.

I soon realized that he's crazy smart (he learned to sit in 5 minutes while were were getting to know each other!) He is all boy and has taken him a while to not be scared of everything. I love him so much my heart aches sometimes! I just bought an RV and he and I will be doing a road trip to Alaska this Fall. I can't wait to share the experience with him!

Meesha, a pitbull with a toy
Meesha, a tan pit bull with red toy


It has been 8 months since we adopted our girl, Meesha, from the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society, and it’s hard to remember life without her!

When we adopted Meesha, she had recently transferred from a shelter in Alabama and was recovering from her recent spay surgery and was also being treated for kennel cough. Once she recovered and gained some of her puppy energy back, we enrolled her in obedience training (which, to be honest, she did not graduate at the top of her class, but we love her anyway!) and have spent the months since bringing her into the fold of our family.

Meesha is a total lover and wants to be the center of attention at most times…and lucky for her, the resident cats don’t mind much. Meesha loves all people – belly rubs being her primary reason for living, next to eating – and she loves car rides, walks through the neighborhood, visits to pet stores, treats of all kinds, and any toy that squeaks or can be chewed to shreds.

As first-time dog adopters, we have learned as much about living with Meesha as she has about living with us, and even though she can be pit bull-stubborn at times, she has definitely wormed her way into our hearts and we cannot imagine our lives without her! Even the resident cats may begrudgingly agree that she is okay.

Leo, a tan dog, sits on couch


Last May, our 16-year-old Sheltie crossed over the rainbow bridge. In January, we decided we were ready to bring another dog into our lives and we always adopt from rescues. We stopped by the Woodbury shelter just to look, and we met “Leo”. He was laying on his bed, so mellow for a 7 month old puppy. We tried to have him brought into a viewing room but he wouldn’t get off his bed after his long day of meeting so many families, he was exhausted.

We sat in his kennel with him where he would raise his head and give us kisses. He had our hearts and knew he was the one. We hadn’t planned on adopting a dog that night, so we stepped in the hall to discuss what we needed. When we did, a volunteer walked in and placed a hold sign on Leo’s gate and we were told someone else was going to take him home. We were heartbroken.

We started our search over, but kept comparing each dog to Leo. No dog was comparable. After a week, we decided to quick stop by the shelter again to see what new dogs had arrived over the weekend. As we walked in to look inside each kennel, we didn’t have to look far. In the second kennel, we saw a familiar set of eyes. Leo was back! We immediately looked at each other and without saying a word, walked out to the front desk. We were told Leo was just brought back in 30 min prior to our arrival, due to landlord issues. We immediately said he was coming home with us. We adopted Leo and brought him home.

Now 2 months later, “Leo” is happy in his furever home. He is full of energy, happy and healthy, and continues to grow. He loves tearing up stuffed animals, frozen Kongs filled with yogurt, bananas, and peanut butter, and running around the yard. He gives lots of kisses and just passed his beginner obedience class. We couldn’t imagine life without him.

Noir, a black and brown dog stands outside


Hello my name is Noir. My parents adopted me even though I was not exactly what they wanted at first. I was very shy and sat in the corner and they were looking for an active outgoing pup as that fit the lifestyle they have. My mom saw in my eyes that I just needed some love and attention, so she took the chance on me. It took me about 2 weeks and I am now everything they wanted and more.

I am extremely smart, my mom says. I was housebroken in just 2 weeks. By the end of the first month, I knew how to walk on a leash, sit, stay, come, down, left and right paw and roll over.

I am learning new things all the time. I am a very lucky girl - my parents take me everywhere they can. I get to go "bye-bye" everyday, I go on walks at the park everyday, I live indoors and even have two houses - one in Arizona and one in Florida.

We just got to go to the Florida house and I can’t even tell you how much I like the beach. I LOVE the water just like my mom hoped I would. I have doggy friends that we go play with as well. I have the best life I could have hoped for.

I hope my brothers and sisters that came into Animal Humane Society with me have the same great life I do. Thank you to all that have cared for me during my journey at AHS. I am super grateful for my new family!

Amiko, a tan and white dog sits on a backyard deck.


Amiko, (FKA: JoJo), is a very welcome addition to our home. From the first day he fit in like he has been here his whole life. While we don't know what his life was like for his first year, he was returned twice to the shelter, and he was labeled "dog aggressive" when we adopted him, he is the absolute sweetest pup ever, to both humans and other dogs, of ALL sizes. He is super smart, and I am sure I can teach him just about anything. We just LOVE him.

His "dog aggressive" behavior turned out to be a "hypersocial" issue, and he is learning that he can't play with every dog we pass when he is on the leash. We have him enrolled in a class to learn to be calmer when walking around other dogs on a leash. When other dogs are not present, he walks really good on a leash, and has good manners.

He loves to run next to me when I'm bicycling and is a show-off when it comes to how fast he can run, but he also likes his longer slower walks. Once a week he gets to go to a dog park, and has been very well-behaved.

He has our chipmunk and squirrel population in our yard "on notice" that he's around, so that's a bonus. He has his favorite toys, (one being a stuffed hedgehog) and loves to play "keep away" and tug o' war. We try to take him with us when we can, and he loves to travel with us.

Millie, a grey and white pit bull, sits on couch with tongue out
Millie, a grey and white pit bull, snuggles pet parent


I went to AHS looking for a kitten. I walked out with the 75 pound big sweet baby of our dreams. Millie (formerly Baby) was a sweet, but very timid and uninterested shelter dog. She was one of maybe 2 or 3 that didn’t bark or make a peep in her kennel. When we took her out to meet her, all she wanted was to rest her head on your shoulder for a hug.

We suspect she’s never spent much time in a home before now. We’ve had to introduce most household objects very slowly (especially ceiling fans) and had to have some serious patience to gain her trust. In just a month, she has become a completely different dog. Playful, silly, snuggly, and oh so very smart. We wouldn’t trade a moment with our Millie for the world!

Are you interested in opening your heart and home to a new dog?

If you loved these happy tails, start your own adoption story today! Meet the dogs currently waiting for families by visiting our adoptable animals page.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline