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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Rixey - December 29, 2023
(Formerly Teresa)

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Rixey (formerly Teresa) came into our lives in August 2023. She was very shy when we first met and every day is gaining more and more confidence. She loves playing with her brother outside, swimming and playing fetch with all her neighborhood dog friends, and curling up on the couch with the family. Rixey is the sweetest girl and lights up every room she walks into. We couldn't be happier and so grateful to Diane and family for fostering her and HART for trusting us to give her the life she deserves.

Estee - December 26, 2023
(Formerly Heidi)

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We adopted "Heidi" (now known as Estee) on Christmas Eve 2022. She was sweet and friendly from the beginning. We held a candlelight ceremony that evening to welcome her into our family, to honor her birth family, those who work at shelters and rescues, all adopted pets in our family, and to honor her adoptive parents. Estee was positive for heartworm, lyme, erhlichia, and giardia. Although well appearing, she was sick! Luckily, with the great care and support of JoAnn at HART and Dr. Rhymes and the staff at Parkway Veterinary Clinic, we were able to treat her. The first several months of treatment were challenging, especially trying to limit this young dog's activity. However, since completing treatment, Estee is thriving and living her best life! She is enjoying walks in our local park daily, has been to the beach, and to our family's rural home on the river in Virginia. She is a very cuddly and loyal dog. Just this week we learned that she is officially heartworm free! We are so grateful to HART for rescuing this sweet pup and letting us adopt her. She has brought such joy to our family and we are looking forward to celebrating our one year adoption anniversary this Christmas Eve.

Riley - December 26, 2023
(Formerly Raven)

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We adopted Riley( formerly Raven) on august 31, 2019. She's been the sweetest girl with some difficulties with people, but that doesn't stop us from loving and spoiling her. We thank Hart for giving us our furry family member and best friend. So thank you, HART.

Conan - April 22, 2023
(Formerly Hank)

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My husband and I adopted "Hank" just 1 week ago and he instantly settled into our home with ease. We have renamed him "Conan", which has an Irish meaning of "hound", although he to date has a quiet demeanor and only whines when his humans are in different room than him.

So far Conan loves to run after sticks, find scent trails in the backyard, chomp on his toys, and get the occasional (short lived) zoomies, but most of all just wants to be next to his humans and take naps on our laps or belly up on the sofa.

We can't wait for the vaccines to be complete so we can exercise this little guy on walks and trails. We love him so much and wish we could have taken all 9 of his siblings! (Although I cherish my sleep and sanity so instead I just hope they all go to loving homes).

Tori & Steve Dewberry

Storm - April 4, 2023
(Formerly Jim)

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Our family adopted Storm (aka Jim) in July 2020 during the pandemic when the local shelter was closed and not doing adoptions. He's the first dog we have owned and has brought joy to our family. He loves to play with balls and sticks. He loves to run up and down the fence with our neighbors dog Zuri. Storm can be stubborn at times when it's time to go inside and will lie down in the middle of the yard and not move, lol. He also loves walks and riding in the car. Thank you HART for allowing our family to adopt Storm

Lucy & Lilly Sparkles - March 6, 2023
(Formerly Shirley & Athena)

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Thank you to HART for rescuing our kitties and granting us the privilege of adopting them almost 15 years ago. Special thanks to Sharon for hand-raising Lucy (FKA Shirley, raised with Gizmo), because she was the sweetest and cuddliest cat I've ever met. Lilly Sparkles (FKA Athena) was a beautiful and sweet little girl. We loved them so much. They both recently passed away from kidney failure at 15 years old (13 days apart). We just wanted to send the update and pass on our deepest appreciation for these wonderful fur babies.

The Brennan Family

Kobe - February 3, 2023
(Formerly Nolan)

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Today is our 5th anniversary and he's going strong. He has been a perfect companion to this old lady.

Rue - January 9, 2023
(Formerly Lilly Beagle)

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I adopted Lilly Beagle (now Rue) on 5-10-20. Rue started out as a nervous, shy little girl, but she almost immediately bonded with my current pack. I was so happy that she got along with my existing dogs.

Then she wormed her way into my heart. This dog has become my very best friend. I never thought I'd find another heart dog after my first dog died. I never thought I'd find another dog that I'd bond with as deeply as him. But Rue has surprised me in ways I never expected. I love that I am her very special person and feel so special that have earned this shy girl's trust.

She snuggles under the covers with me every night, or sleeps on my pillow with her head resting on my head when the weather is warm, and I can't sleep until she's tucked in and gently snoring. When I adopted Rue, I knew I could give her a good home. What I didn't know was that I'd bond with her so deeply and in such a special way. I feel very grateful to have adopted her and have her in my life.

Molly - January 2, 2023
(Formerly Molly A)

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Molly A.... we kept Molly for her name. She is still a tad shy. We have worked with her and continue to work with her shyness around people. She has settled in great with her brothers Gunner and Butterball (feline) and is doing great with her new feline brothers that were adopted in July. We love this girl.

Molly has passed basic obedience class. We may go another round, as I can't get a "down" fron her. But the skills we have learned have been great. She now gets excited to go on walks, whether around the neighbor or to the park. I am still working with her going to the stores to work out her shyness with people.

Her DNA testing shows she is 94% pitt. She can be needy at times but, she's still a pup in works. We love her immensely. A great addition to our zoo. So happy we took the chance on this sweet lil girl.

Thank you HART for approving us.

Minoush & Stuart - December 22, 2022
(Formerly Peter Pan)

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In 2013, we came to HART looking for a companion for our cat Marco. Kim told us we should consider Minoush. We weren't sure, but we agreed to foster him. Within a week, his personality came out and we made it "forever." In 2014, we came back to HART to find a companion for Minoush after Marco's passing. Stuart (then called Peter Pan), who had just arrived from North Carolina, chose us. Minoush, the low-key genius, just turned 14. He continues to carry all kids of items around the house, including wallets and passports, but mostly his toy Mousie. Over the years he has trained us humans in all kinds of ways. Stuart, the snugglebug, is around 11 now. He loved the stay-at-home days and hates that sometimes we have to go to the office now. They bring us so much joy. The moral of our story is that when someone at HART says "this is your cat," listen to them.


Ace G - November 28, 2022

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We adopted Ace G from his foster mom in June, and it was the best choice we've ever made! He is a spunky and energetic pitbull mix who sticks to his favorite people like glue. Since adopting him, we've gone on lots of adventures together, including lots of fun rides in the car which he LOVES! He gets brand new toys every month, but he loves to go back to his classic favorites such as stealing one of his owners' lacrosse balls or chewing on his bone. He cuddles us to sleep every night and loves to plop down for a nap on our laps when he has a lull in energy. However, most of the time he's always excited to run and catch his frisbee in our yard, play fetch, or get chased around by the hallway monster (his owner in a big hoodie) so he can get his zoomies out. He gives big hugs to new friends when they walk in and slobbers kisses all over our faces whenever he sees us, and he's not afraid to ask for attention and belly rubs when he wants them (how could we say no?). He's an incredible addition to our lives, and he's one of my greatest blessings. Thank you HART for leading us to our perfect boy!

Rowdy - May 9, 2022
(Formerly Rowdy A)

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I am so thankful that you all found Rowdy and took him in! After reading his story I just knew we HAD to have him. We had no idea what to do with a tripod and had no idea if his care would be any different, but he runs faster than ALL of us!! You'd never know he only has 3 legs! He definitely has some anxiety and he is on medication to try and rectify some of that but he has settled in SO well. He is such a cuddly little lover and his fur brother, Maxwell, has decided to tolerate him. They get along well! We love this guy so much and I can't imagine life without him!

Melissa Carlisle

Wilbur - February 14, 2022

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I'd like to thank your organization for helping me find my best friend and fur child!

Millie (my sweet rescue Angel of 10 years now) and I went to the adoption event in Chantilly back on July 28th and as Wilbur walked by with the sweetest volunteer, I said, "May I see him and get to know him?" - The rest is history. I immediately fell in love with his absolutely sweet personality and gentle nature. We finished up our adoption contract since we had already been fully approved and snuggled Wilbur up in the car for his ride to his furever home! I was told that the nice lady fostering him had almost not been able to come to the event that day, but something told her to put Wilbur in the car and take him there, and I'm incredibly thankful that she did!

Wilbur is the definition of personality and he knows it! He's my hiking buddy, my wants to do the right thing SO badly for Mommy pup, his sister's best friend and my absolute snuggle bug! He LOVES digging for rocks, and is SO smart and learning to not dig up Mommy's entire backyard! Everyone he meets falls instantly in love, and his vet has even said he would make an incredible therapy dog! He's the perfect addition to our family, and he is truly the one who rescued me!

I will forever rescue my fur children and am so grateful to your organization for your help in bringing Wilbur and I together!

Kobe - January 27, 2022
(Formerly Nolan)

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We celebrate our 4th anniversary today. He continues to be a delight and perfect companion to this old lady.

Pickles - October 11, 2021
(Formerly Dylan)

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Today I celebrated the fifth year "anniversary" date of having adopted my pup from your incredible foundation. I adopted my sweet beagle, Pickles (then Dylan), who has been the greatest companion to come into my life and I have you all to thank for it!

Since that day five years ago, we've moved to Richmond where he now shares a fairly large, fenced in backyard with his younger brother, Benny (also a rescue)! They have the best time chasing and barking at squirrels out there. Otherwise, Pickles' passion is cuddling on the couch :)

Thank you all so much for the work you do and for being such a critical piece to helping me find him. He's the biggest, and one of the most meaningful parts of my life. Sorry for the long email, but thank you!

Best Regards,
Suzie Gissen

Bruce Wayne - July 20, 2021
(Formerly Jim Bob)

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We adopted Jim Bob in February 2020 and changed his name to Bruce Wayne (his ears tell the story). I had read his profile before we went to meet him and his foster Mom said he will change somebody's life and he has ours for sure. He is the funniest dog ever. He rarely barks but when he does it is hilarious. He loves to cuddle and thinks everyone is his friend. He has neighborhood dog
friends that come by to play in our backyard with him regularly.

He was heartworm positive when we got him but with his treatments he's recovered and is thriving. He loves all people food (we can't eat Cheetos anywhere near him) mashed potatoes are his favorites. He loved the snow we had this winter but was not a fan of the beach at all.

He's brought so much happiness to us. I'm so glad we found him.

Ladybird - June 6, 2021

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We adopted Ladybird on January 11, 2020. After adoption, we learned that she had adult heart worms. Two months later she had recovered. Today, she is doing great!! She makes every day better!

Cosmo - December 15, 2020
(Formerly Tater Tot)

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Cosmo (originally known as Tater Tot) came to live with me in July, 2020. We've been working through some fear issues, but he's such a delightful addition to my home! He's been great with my two resident cats, and helping him grow in confidence and begin to show his happy, wiggly, silly self has been incredibly rewarding. Thank you, HART, for bringing him into my life.

Minne & Bella - December 2, 2020

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We'd been searching for a bonded pair since the lockdown started in February. Finally, in August, we found Minnie and Bella on the Hart website. They have been an absolute joy since the day they came home with us. Alternatively cuddly and goofy, not a day goes by that they don't bring a smile to us. They're originally from South Carolina, so they're not fond of the cold morning walks, but they're very fond of the couches to snooze on, the occasional treats and all the petting and belly rubs. Bella is very insistent about those. As evidenced by the pictures, they alternate between excited and sacked out. They've really made this year a lot better just by being themselves.

Tucker - August 24, 2020

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I adopted Tucker in 2010. He was one of the dogs that HART rescued from a hoarding situation in North Carolina. Sadly, Tucker passed away a few days ago at age 17. He was an absolutely fantastic dog, and we had so many fun adventures during our 10 years together. He had quite the strong personality (some would say attitude) and regularly made people laugh at his antics. Additionally, he was the snuggliest and sweetest dog imaginable. He added immeasurable happiness and joy to my life. I loved him so much and will miss him terribly. Thank you so much HART for rescuing him and all that you do for animals.

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