Attention: The safety of our adopters and volunteers is our highest priority. HART has resumed adoption events at the Chantilly Petsmart. We ask that adopters that are not fully vaccinated wear a mask while outside and that all adopters, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask while indoors.

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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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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.

Gracie - June 12, 2020

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I adopted Gracie on Jan 25, 2020. She was one of a litter of pug mix puppies. I kept the name that she was given from HART. She is now 6 months old and is the sweetest little girl. She loves snuggling with me and my other pup. She has brought nothing but joy to this family.

Thank you HART,
Patricia Cipparone

Jin - May 11, 2020
(Formerly Shawn)

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My husband adopted Jin (formally Shawn) in may 2008. I come along 2 years later. Jin was a bless in our lives and was a VERY spoiled puppy. He was adopted from HART when he was about 2-3 years also, survived cancer twice, moved all the way from the US to Brazil in Jan 2018, was the proud owner of an insane amount of toys, and passed away in Dec 2019. He was a love bug (in his own way) and absolutely love to eat chicken feet!

It has been a long while since Jin was adopted, but I would like to thank everyone at HART for allowing us to be the parents of the most amazing and special puppy!

Tucker - April 10, 2020
(Formerly Jager)

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I adopted Tucker (Foster Name Jager) back in February 2020 and wanted to give you an update on how spoiled he really is! He is now a whopping 30lbs and is an absolute treat monster. He is super smart and knows come, sit, and stay really well. He is a huge fan of couches and human beds as he thinks they're more comfortable than his bed. He always has to be touching me no matter where we're lounging - couch or bed. He absolutely loves my parents dog, Bear, and has to be near her at all times when we come to visit. He enjoys puppacinos from Starbucks and lots of naps.

Bailey - January 2, 2020
(Formerly Elle)

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Hi! My family adopted 1 1/2 year old Elle (now known as Bailey) in September 2019. We love her so much and she is the best dog! She is really smart and knows come, sit, lie down, stay, and she loves to chase squeaky toys on the lawn! She greets us every day with a wiggly bum and a tail wagging at the speed of light. I take her on runs 3-4 days a week and she loves it- she is quite the athlete and makes a great running buddy. But when it comes time to cuddle, from day one she sits with her head in our laps and takes a nap. If anyone is worried about adopting a dog for the first time, it is worth every moment we have with her! Thank you for all you do to rescue dogs! It is so worth it for them!

From, the Murray family

Faith - October 11, 2019

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Faith is settling in with us. She likes yogurt from her small humans, exploring the woods, basking in the sun, "working" in the home office, and curling up in the reading chair. We love her wiggle butt when we return home and her little zoomie to run back in the house. It's her house now too, and after 6 weeks, she seems comfortable with that.

Thanks for Faith!
The Kostenko Family

Remy - June 30, 2019

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Good afternoon,

We wanted to give you an update on our little girl, Remy, adopted from you in July of last year.

When we first met Remy, it was clear that she chose both Stacy and I as her doggie parents. At first, she was a scared little girl (the strong thunderstorm at the time didn't help), but my wife snuggled with her on the way home - her first sign that her new life would be very different from her old. Although we were challenged with some separation anxiety issues, she has evolved into a happy, healthy, confident dog. On behalf of Stacy and I, we want to thank those who made it all possible to save her and make her the perfect addition to our family

Abby Tay - June 3, 2019

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Back in February of this year, my family and I adopted Abby Tay. She is doing wonderful! Her and sister, Pebbles, get along fabulously to the point that friends call them Yin and Yang.

In addition, she no longer has any hot spots/chew spots on her. Abby Tay is a riot when it comes to her toys that we keep in a wooden box; she will carefully go through the box to pick out a toy she wants to play with and often times will try to get Pebbles or one of to play tug of war with her.

Thank you so much for letting us adopt Abby Tay!

The Boni Family

Panther and Puma - May 9, 2019
(Formerly Mr. Storm and Cashew)

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Just wanted to send an update on the two I adopted last week - they are adjusting to the house really well! Panther (Formerly Mr. Storm) and Puma (Formerly Cashew) love to run around the house until exhausted - and then fall asleep hard. Panther literally passes out on me - picture attached of him on his back, mouth open, tongue hanging out. All is quiet for about 30 minutes and then they are up and off again - setting the land speed record for time up and down the stairs, around the kitchen, then back to the sunroom. The big cat tree is in their sunroom overlooking some bird feeders so they have entertainment. The other smaller cat tree is in their front bedroom so they can catch the morning sun.

Don Raines, cat dad once again

Hershey - May 8, 2019

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Hi everyone at HART,

This note is long overdue but wanted to give you an update on Hershey! He is doing just great and has definitely been the piece of the puzzle that completes a perfect picture of our little family!

He is so easy going that his canine and feline brothers and sister immediately took to him. He LOVES treats and adventures and at the end of the day loves to snuggle up with me on the sofa and relax. He is just the most perfect little hound and as sweet as his name! Thank you again for introducing us!


Penny - March 25, 2019
(Formerly Okie)

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Hi there! I am the owner of the former Okie - now called Penny (after our favorite show Big Bang theory!)

We adopted Penny in February of 2019 so that our 6 year old boxer mix could have a friend. And boy did she get one! Penny goes wherever Zula does and they love playing in the backyard. Penny runs circles around Zula while Zula just watches her be crazy and then pounces on her! Penny is an ankle biter and likes to plop right on top of Zula (see pictures) but Zula doesn't mind at all. She just loves having a friend.

Penny still has some young pup tendencies but she quickly got the hang of potty training and learning to drop her toys when you say "out". She is currently in obedience school as well on Monday nights. She is the BEST snuggle bug and never misses a Chance to give a kiss or chase a squirrel/bird.

Thank you for finding Penny and for giving our old girl new life with Penny!

Kelly and Kenny champagne

Kobe - February 25, 2019
(Formerly Nolan)

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We celebrated our first anniversary on January 27. He's great and thriving! Could not ask for a better buddy!


Gus - October 23, 2018

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My family and I fell in love with Gus when we met him at an adoption event. He has been with us for about 4 weeks, but we can't remember life without him. He is a member of our family.

Gus is a sweetheart. He is my shadow, following me around the house everywhere I go. He loves to sleep on the couch and give lots of kisses. Gus has made several dog and human friends, and has a BFF, Boomer, that he takes walks with every morning. Our elderly neighbor loves him and let's him come in her house, but won't let her own sons' dogs in.

Gus went on his first camping trip where he got to sleep in a tent, go to the beach, eat bacon, and "get married". His beautiful bride, Diamond, is a sweetheart, and we are happy she has come into his life. He loved the water, but not the waves.

Gus is looking forward to Halloween. He is going to be a cop and will be keeping his BFF, Boomer, who is going as prisoner, in line.

We are looking forward to many years with Gus.

Maggie - August 21, 2018

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My boyfriend and I adopted Maggie when she was about a year and a half old sometime around Easter of this year and have loved every moment since. We fell in love with her the moment we saw her. Right away all we could think was how much we wanted to rescue this dog and spent the entire week thereafter thinking about her.

When we first brought Maggie home and she realized she was here to stay we had a little bit of trouble getting her to go outside. I think she thought she wasn't coming back in but she slowly got over that fear. She's definitely got some issues with men and some anxiety issues that we're still working on with her.

Since Easter, we've learned that all Maggie wants to do is give us lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles. She's the sweetest and kindest dog we've ever known. She's a little shy with new people, occasionally sleeps with her eyes open, and has some strange fears like caution tape or any type of door opening/closing. We love all of Maggie's little quirks no matter how strange and she certainly keeps things interesting. We love her so much and have enjoyed having her in our lives thus far and couldn't imagine life without her.

Thank you HART for helping us find the perfect addition to our family!

Bune - May 7, 2018
(Formerly Weizen)

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I'm Bune (formerly Weizen). I've been with my family since July 2016, when I picked them out at an adoption event at the Chantilly Petsmart. Since I came into the family, we've gone on lots of adventures at local parks, lakes and hiking trails. We've spent summer weeks camping at a state park. And, we've graduated from dog obedience and agility classes - I'm an AKC Good Citizen! My family is so happy I found them, and so am I.

We are all so thankful for Hart. Thank you!

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