We asked and you answered: How has your pet impacted your life?

When you adopt an animal, they become so much more than a pet. They’re a companion, a confidant, a hiking partner, a cuddle buddy, and a member of your family. Pets impact our lives in ways we can’t even imagine when we first bring them home.

To celebrate the special place that our pets hold in our lives, we asked our animal loving community (via our email newsletter) how their pets have impacted their lives. Here are some of the incredible responses we received:

Felix, Gus, and Sally

A small puppy sleeps in someone's arms
Three dogs cuddle on the couch with their parent

“The best part of having our new puppy, Felix, is that our older dogs, Gus and Sally, are acting like puppies again! They love to play and chase. 

He also brings our 17-year-old son out of his shell. Felix brings a lot of joy into our home. Thanks for all of your hard work AHS!" – Kathy


A pit bull wearing a plaid jacket sitting and looking at the camera
A pit bull smiles lovingly at the camera

“We adopted Layla in April 2023, and she has been the greatest blessing and addition to our family. 

She is so smart and loving. We love our bedtime cuddles and kisses. Layla has come from a rough past but she has shown us nothing but love.” – Kayln

Leo, June, and Rebel

A dog lays in the grass
Two cats snuggle against each other on a crochet blanket in front of the window

 "Leo, the dog, came to live with us on Thanksgiving Day 2019. He was almost 7 years old.  We took him to 15 Minnesota State Parks in the summer of 2020.  We’ve seen so many new places and spent more time outdoors because of Leo. 

We recently took in two five-month-old kitten sisters, June and Rebel. The love, life, and general happiness the three of them bring to our home is immeasurable." – Deborah


A black and white cat lays in front of an oven in the kitchen

"Oreo provides us with countless laughs in spite of her naughtiness. This really helps us during times of extreme stress. She loves basking in the heat when the oven is on.” - Gail

Lucky and Lily

Two orange cats snuggle in front of a window

"Lucky and Lily are the loves of my life.  I found Lucky when he was about 9-10 weeks old, injured and all alone in our barn. We only had indoor cats, so his appearance that night in 2005 was a surprise.   

Lucky passed away on June 24, 2023, just shy of 18 years old.  He was the most special cat in so many ways.   So incredibly loving to me and to Lily, who he took her under his wing and taught her how to be a house cat when she was just a tiny feral kitten rescued from the outdoors in 2009.  Lily was "glued" to Lucky's side from that day on.  I have a "million" photos of them in a cuddle pile!   

On June 24, 2023, at around 5:00 AM, Lucky probably had a stroke.  He was awake, but I knew something was very wrong. I took him to the emergency clinic in Oakdale and brought Lily with us. She knew something was wrong too, because it was the first time in her life she willingly got into a separate carrier. 

The clinic could not believe he was as old as he was (and he never acted old, even the day before), but the prognosis was not good, so we helped Lucky cross the Rainbow Bridge. Lily understood he was gone.   

She adjusted to his absence pretty well.  It’s so important that pet parents know that bonded animals be there when the time comes for one to pass on.  Lily was never a cuddly cat with me, her person, but now she is, and I think she knows that has helped me with not having Lucky's physical presence anymore. I am her Lucky now.

Lucky was my heart, and there will always be a hole in it from his absence. He loved to be carried around like a baby, sit in the sun with me on not so hot summer days, and he slept cuddled up next to me at night always. I've loved all the cats, dogs, horses (and one orphan goat I raised) in my life more than anything, but sometimes there is that one incredibly special one —and that was my Lucky.” – Nancy

Jack and Ginger

An orange cat snuggles with a black and white kitten on a cat tree

“We adopted Jack from Woodbury AHS in October, as we could tell Ginger was in need of a friend. We couldn’t be happier having Jack in our family! 

Thank you, AHS, for making the adoption process simple and straightforward and ensuring they’re well cared for until adopted.” – Kevin


A small white kitten inside of a backpack
A small white kitten with two black spots on it's head lays in someone's lap

“I'm a high school student and aspiring veterinarian. This is my rescue kitten, Carl. While he may not be the picture-perfect fluffy kitten that most people are probably used to seeing online, in my eyes, he's just the most amazing, playful little guy one could ever meet.

I don't only see Carl as one of my many furry companions — he's more than that to me. He's a story of resilience, the will to live, and the strength to push on even when you think all hope is lost. Abandoned by his mother as an infant, it was honestly a miracle that he survived three whole days alone in the heat before I could get to him. If Carl can survive that, then I think there's hope and love waiting for anyone struggling out there.

I send lots of love to the Animal Humane Society. You guys are one of my biggest role models and your work continues to amaze and push me to be a better individual." – Abeeha


A white dog lays with their tummy exposed

"Luke is my fur baby. He is loyal. He depends on me and I depend on him as well. If ever I am troubled, he diverts my attention to him just long enough to get over it and remember what really matters.” – Lestie


A black cat lays on a dining table
A black cat inside of an Ikea blue bag

                                                                                               "We adopted Ansgar from the Golden Valley location in October 2006. He has been a source of great joy, entertainment and snuggles ever since. Even though he is now 17 years old, he still likes occasional play time with his favorite string toys and waking me up at 4 AM for breakfast or just attention. 

He also inspired me to become a Vet Tech because I wanted to be able to give him and all pets the best care possible." – Rachelle


a pit bull lays its head on the arm of the couch
A pitbull wearing a bandana sits on a dog bed

"Pickles is such a joy, truly integrated into my family as if she has always been. The biggest impact she has made has been with my six-year-old Ridgeback, also a rescue. He has extreme human anxiety and she has assisted in refocusing his energy on 'dog' things, a true supportive friend. I've seen his energy increase including dog play. You just smile when you see her. “– Emily 

Weller and Grace

A pit bull looks at the camera
A white and brown bulldog wears a hoodie sweatshirt

“We adopted Weller three weeks ago from the Des Moines ARL to heal our hearts from the loss of Grace (the doggy in the sweatshirt). We have always adopted, either shelter or rescue. 

After the devastating loss of Grace due to cancer, we looked at the ARL website to see who was available. Neither my husband nor I function well without a dog. The minute we met him in the Hug Room, we knew he was destined to be our doggy. 

Personality-wise, he is the opposite of Grace. He is a kissy-snuggly lover who feels "Hugs are his favorite thing!" Like Grace, he is an adventure dog up for any road trip. He loves toys, and we discovered he is a massive super-chewer, so we have upped our toy selection. He loves to carry around his favorite plushy, a Squatch doll, and his blankie. 

We firmly believe that when we lose a fur baby, one of our previous babies finds us a new family member. Never to take their place, but to leave new paw prints on our hearts. 

We hope Weller knows how important he is to us. He is healing our hearts and the hearts of all who loved Grace. He is now a vital part of our family.  When we bring someone into our home, the intention is forever. We know he will take his place among all the amazing doggos who have gone before. 

Weller, and all our puppies, have been a gift to us. They fill our lives with unconditional love and pure joy.” – Tammy


A long-haired chihuahua wearing a bowtie
A long-haired chihuahua wears a cowboy hat

“My King is a huge personality in a tiny three-year-old body. He serves as my Emotional Support Animal, but King is much more than a companion for me. He’s also a protector of all women and children.” - Cynthia

Are you ready to add a new member to your family? 

As much as animals can impact our lives, we can also positively affect theirs. If you’re considering adding a new furry or feathered friend to your family, there are so many wonderful animals at our three shelter locations waiting for their second chance. 

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