Alumni Stories

We always love to hear stories of how our dogs and cats are doing. When we become tired and life becomes difficult, reading stories from our alumni helps to remind us of why we work so hard. We are so proud of how well our little ones are doing that we wanted to share their stories.

If you have an Alumni Story you would like posted on our website, please send it to the Webmaster. Feel free to include digital photos with your Alumni Story. Stories without photos are welcome too!

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Lady Collington - March 2, 2017

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It's been almost 5 months since we adopted Lady from HART and we can't be happier to have been chosen to be her forever home. Lady, at 65 lbs now, constantly forgets how big she is and loves to climb in your lap for a cuddle. She is eager to greet anyone that comes within sight and has made friends of every human in our apartment complex. Lady is very smart and now has 8 tricks under her collar and is willing to learn new ones every day. My boyfriend and I spend our work days just waiting to get back home to lay on the couch with Lady and relax as a family.

Thank you so much for giving us the chance to be fur-parents to this sweet girl, she truly makes every day better for us. We hope you enjoy these photos of her!

Penny & Leonard - January 18, 2017
(Formerly Dixie & Moe Moe)

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Hi everyone,

It has been 8 months since you gave us the chance to be the forever home of our two kids Penny (formally Dixie) and Leonard (formally Moe Moe). They have settled in very well as you can see frome the pictures. Penny even allows us to scratch jer ears and for everyone at jart that knew her that would have been impossible without some huge vocalization. Leonard took some time to learn the rules but he caught on. When he first got home he decided to redecorate the house such as to many pillows on the sofa and the carpet on the stairs didnt have enough holes. Leonard did his first camping trip with dad while Penny stayed home with mom. They enjoy car rides and you cant say walk without them jumping for joy.thank you from the new family to all of you for the wonderful work you do every day.

Roger, Jen, Leonard, and Penny

Henry - November 6, 2016
(Formerly Nicholas)

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To the HART family!

It has been about four weeks since I have been adopted!!! I love my new family. Mom and Dad have been spoiling me rotten. I have made a lot of new dog friends. I recently met my grandparents who visited all the way from California; they bought me A LOT of toys!!! I love my new forever home!

***Thank you HART for choosing us to be parents to this beautiful fur baby of ours! We are very grateful to have been able to adopt from the HART family. We are blessed for our Henry boy; he's been such a joy in our lives.

Thank you again!

Henry (formerly Nicholas), Gabriela & Steven Tennyson

Daisy - November 6, 2016
(Formerly Lauren)

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Daisy has become a sea dog - adjusting to life on a boat like a champ. She surprised us by getting on and off using a ramp as though she had been doing it all her life. Daisy is a sweet girl and we love her dearly, as do all the dogs and people she meets.

Thanks, HART!

Kaia - October 23, 2016
(Formerly Kya)

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To my HART family -

10 years!!! Woohoo, I just celebrated 10 years with my furever family. It's been amazing, exciting, fun and most of all loving. I've been on more adventures than I could have ever imagined - the beach is still my favorite however!

My mom works from home every day so I have a companion to let me out to sun myself, back in to nap, back out to sniff around the yard and back in for well, whatever I want. Oh yeah and lots of long walks daily, everyone in the neighborhood knows me and of course, loves me.

Thank you to Dick, Charlie and all the other volunteers who helped get me ready for the best life a dog could ever hope for. Rescue dogs rock!!!!

Kaia (formerly Kya) Cindy & Norma

Tucker - September 6, 2016
(Formerly Wilbur)

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Tucker (formally known as Wilbur) has brought joy to everyone he comes in contact with. He's always ready to greet you with his wagging tail and wiggling body. He loves his toys and his fury brother Chance, he will do anything for turkey treats and enjoys play time with his friends at the park. I encourage all, if you're thinking of adoption, do it! Not only will you save a life but you will get so much back in love.

Tucker and family

Sage - August 12, 2016
(Formerly Tiny Dancer)

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We adopted Sage (Formerly "Tiny Dancer") on November 19, 2015!!! As soon as I saw those big bright beautiful eyes, I knew she had to be mine and as soon as I held her and looked into those eyes it was an instant connection!! Sage just recently celebrated her 1st birthday on July 27th!! She is the sweetest little baby girl, she has adapted very well to her new home and 3 other fur siblings, they are all the best of friends. Sage is full of energy, very curious and loves to play with her toys especially her kitty soccer ball... she loves to play fetch back and forth, oh and let's not forget her favorite feather toy!!!. Sage brings our family such joy, happiness, love and a ton of affection!!!! We are truly blessed that we found each other. Attached are some pictures that I wanted to share of our girl and her siblings, enjoy! Thank you Hart for everything that you do and most of all thank you for our sweet precious girl Sage!!

Princess Buttercup - May 17, 2016
(Formerly Cherry)

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Hi Hart!

We adopted Princess Buttercup (formerly Cherry) on Superbowl Sunday, 2016. We first saw her picture (those ears!) and her heart-tugging story on the Hart website, and knew we had to meet her. We instantly fell in love. As one of the dogs used for breeding, she was understandably timid at first. She has come such a long way in such a short time! Unsure of toys at first, she now loves fetching her toy pizza or stuffed lobster. Initially litter box trained with very little experience on a leash, she is now house broken and loves being outside in her fancy sweater. She is our constant companion, joining us on long walks, hiking, fishing, and even to the winery, where she is definitely everyone's favorite pup! Although she is always up for adventure, her favorite activity involves lounging on the couch, snuggling up in a pile of blankets and keeping an eye on us to make sure we aren't leaving her.

Since we have had her, her personality has really come out! We are always greeted by a loving and enthusiastic tail wag, and like most Iggies, she is always a step behind us wherever we go. Some of her goofier traits include her tendency to cross her paws while sitting and making some very funny faces. (See photos for some great examples!)

We want to thank Hart for giving us to opportunity to adopt our little peanut! We love her so much, and have you all to thank for bringing her into our lives. She is truly the best companion; with the greatest personality! I could write a lot more, but Buttercup is starting to paw at my laptop, which means it time to play!

We really cherished the experience to rescue an older dog, and hope that we can inspire more people to do the same!

-Eric, Caitlyn, and Princess Buttercup

Zahara - May 2, 2016

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I got Zahara from you guys back in October. She was very shy and timid from the moment I met her. After 3 short months, you certainly can't say that about her any more. She absolutely loves going out for our runs every day at the park and on the weekends when I'm out of town, she has a blast playing tag with her cousin Taelawne. She has grown into one of the happiest and friendliness dogs I've ever been with. There are times when I'm having a bad day and she comes and snuggles up, wanting to play and always manages to get me laughing and smiling in no time. Thank you so much for introducing me to her! I love her so much and she has helped me in my depression and got me back into shape. I have, and shall continue to, refer you to anyone who has given interest on adopting.

Keep up the great work!

With love,
Zahara and Tony

Stormy - April 18, 2016

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We adopted Stormy, one of the "Forces of Nature" pups, on Halloween, 2015, so she has now been with us almost six months. She has gained five pounds and grown a bit taller, and she is almost eleven months old. For the first couple of months, she really was a force of nature. Our three kids (ages 8, 6, and 3) would laugh at her crazy spells when she would run wildly around the house. As Stormy settled in to house life (she had been primarily kenneled with HART), she found all sorts of new joys: food dropped from the table, a cozy chair in which to snuggle, and toys left out for her to sneak off and chew... One of her favorite things in those early weeks was eating crayons. Despite our intense efforts to keep crayons out of her reach, there she would be, chomping away on one. Thankfully that phase has passed (though she still finds plenty of mischief)! Things were unpredictable those first weeks, but with each passing month Stormy has become more and more a part of our family. Stormy loves on our three-year-old during the day and greets the older two kids with licks and tail wags and hugs -yes, she really does seem to hug them! - when they get home from school. Despite being a hound, she is mostly a people-pleaser, and she likes to be where we are.

We were worried when we got her because we were told that she loved to play with other dogs, but she would be an only dog for us. I think it is fair to say that the kids (and husband) have filled in nicely as playmates, and she loves to run around the backyard with all of us, chasing balls or toys. Stormy also now has a best friend two houses down, an active two-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer. They run and play in our fenced yards a couple of times a week. We go for lots of walks, during which Stormy insists that she could catch birds and squirrels if we would just let her off the leash. She also loves running, and she will go out for a three mile jog with my husband two or three mornings each week. Once she has her energy out, she is very mellow and is really just the sweetest thing. One of her favorite things this winter was to lie in front of the fire, chewing on her Benebone. She's content to relax a bit, and she'll take her own 'quiet time' in her crate during part of the day. In the evening, we'll find her upstairs snoozing on one of the kids' beds. We all adore Stormy, and she really has been a perfect fit for our family. She is our second dog from HART, and we will keep coming back!

Grace - April 1, 2016
(Formerly Angel)

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Hello, HART:

And here is the good news about Grace (formerly Angel)!

It was clear Grace and I were made for each other - she climbed into my lap without hesitation at a HART adoption event, purred like a motor boat and put her little head in the crook of my elbow.

Her fost-fur Mom called her "an absolute dear...who had been somewhat traumatized in her original home by a new cat that would aggressively corner her and not allow her to eat." The former was a complete understatement, the latter no so much. Sadly, Grace was the one sent away from her original home.

She has maintained her gentle disposition from day one. My other senior rescue, Sophie, welcomed her and showed her the ropes. She was initially, however, content to stay largely hidden under my dresser and was extremely anxious about taking her place at her food bowl.

After several months of patient work, she eats fully and without hesitation and has blossomed into a confident, talkative, thoroughly amusing little creature we cannot imagine we ever lived without!

Thank you, HART, for your terrific program and bringing Grace to us!


Ruby - March 3, 2016

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It has been just 6 weeks since we adopted Ruby and she has truly become a part of our family. The boys have made a habit of hugging her every night before bed - and first thing in the morning they are looking for her - though she's usually the last one out of bed! She has become my constant companion at home, laying at my feet as I work. She even comes downstairs to check on me if I stay up too late. She is so smart and responsive to commands - and really has maintained the same relaxed demeanor we witnessed at the adoption events. We can't wait to have her enjoy the back yard with us as the weather improves. Being a coon hound, we thought she might run but she's not a runner and comes when she's called. She rarely even howls or barks.

We love her so much - and are so happy we took a chance with adopting. For those of you thinking of adopting one of her pups, I can assure you they had a fantastic mom.

Thanks so much to HART for helping to bring Ruby into our lives. We look forward to starting obedience training soon and teaching her some new tricks.

The Leopold Family

Abby - February 3, 2016
(Formerly Abbey)

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Abby is a GREAT cat. Thank you, HART, for rescuing deaf cats.

Prim Rose - January 26, 2016
(Formerly Ebony)

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Ebony, aka Prim Rose wanted you to know she is the the most loved kitty in the world! She is happy, healthy and wishes the same for all the other kitties with HART.


Brooke - January 15, 2016

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Dear HART,

This is a picture of our sweet Brooksie. She turns 14 today and we were blessed to have adopted her when she was 11 months old! She came from Page County with her brother, Brock.

We love her very much and she is a tried and true friend to our family. She is very healthy and active and has lived a wonderful life.
I thought you may enjoy this information!

Thank you for rescuing her!
Laura Hall

Max - January 15, 2016

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Max is such a wonderful dog! We've had him in our family a little over a year and he is a bundle of joy! He was pretty quiet and subdued when we first got him and after we moved but his personality is finally starting to shine! We took him to obedience training (he's a smart boy and loves to learn!) and have worked hard to keep him entertained, exercised and engaged! He's definitely got border collie in him but he's the laziness one I know- or maybe we just exercise him enough because when he's inside he's totally fine just snuggling and when he's outside he's ready to go! Good dog! We taught him to play fetch about 6 months ago and he loves to run! He's also made a bunch of dog friends. He's been the best addition to our family! Thank you for helping us find each other :)

Sadie - December 25, 2015

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Happy holidays from Sadie (adopted May 2009) and family!

Lily - December 25, 2015

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Lily came into our lives in October right before Halloween. She has been an absolute pleasure. The first weekend she was home she chowed down on all her food and then brought her food bowl to us setting it in our laps asking for more. Within a week she no longer did this, she realized she would be fed daily, she wouldn't go without food or treats again. She loves to play ball and she loves to be the center of attention. She has yet utter more than a growl, and she only growls when she is being protective of her momma. She is a lover a cuddler and an all around sweet girl. She leaves food in her dish these days so she has a mid afternoon snack :-) she gets along beautifully with her brother and she snuggles with momma every night in bed. She is working on some habits like pawing people when she wants attention. She like to carry around 3 lb weights, she tries to drop them on her mommas toes(unitentionally of course). She has been most important in helping her brother with the loss of his beloved sister that he lost to nasty cancer. Lily has a smile that will light up a room, she has a personality that shines like a star, she is truly a pleasure. She is getting more and more comfortable with each passing day. She is the greatest gift I could have asked for this year. Thank you for the blessing HART provided to Lily and to us.

Angie - December 21, 2015

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Angie has been busy since her adoption. From an exuberant, door-rushing, leash-pulling, counter-surfing, ball of energy; Angie has worked hard to master obedience skills earning her AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate. She and her "Dog Dad" have also become a Pet Partners ( certified animal assisted therapy team. Angie has visited nursing homes, met lots of friends at Fairfax County's Family Autism Night, and most recently was privileged to join her friends with Summit Therapy Animal Services ( to support seriously ill children and their families as they visited the North Pole compliments of The United Airlines Fantasy Flight. Angie and her "Dog Dad" are best buds and she has brought incredible joy to our household. We are indebted to HART for making this match. Angie is also a big sister to another HART alum, Gizzmo (adopted 4/13/14), but she says this update is all about her so enjoy some pictures from the Fantasy Flight.

Ranger - December 20, 2015
(Formerly Farley)

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Greetings to our friends at HART!

We thought you might like to know how Ranger (formerly Farley) is doing since we brought him home in April of 2014. In short, we could not have asked for a more amazing dog! While the details of his pre-HART life are hazy, it was clear that our pup was not in a good place prior to being rescued. He has filled out beautifully and now sports a sleek and soft coat. He's also equal parts regal, goof ball, and A+ cuddler. He enjoys long walks and trips to visit his grandparents in Connecticut, who all can't say enough good things about him.

He is extremely loved and well cared for and we can't thank you enough for saving him and affording us the opportunity to call him ours.

With warm regards,
Nikki, Antonio and Ranger Peronace

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