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If you have an animal shelter success story to share, email your info and .jpg to: niffe1jl@yahoo.com (please use your email provider, sending from here may not work)

Honeybee and her sister Reba

 I wanted to share our story about Honeybee, a Redbone Coonhound we adopted last fall after finding out she was available from a H.A.T.S. function at Island Park in Mount Pleasant, MI.

When we met Honey it was pouring rain so we had little time with her at the shelter so we decided to take her home for the weekend as it was Saturday when we stopped at the shelter in Mount Pleasant to see her. We had a bloodhound puppy that was 4 months old at the time and wanted to make sure that they would be compatible. The handler at the shelter told my husband, “you don’t want this dog; she is aggressive towards other dogs and you will never be able to do anything with her.” We took her home with expectations of taking her back to the shelter on Monday as we were not sure how she would do for the 2 days we had before we had to make a decision of keeping her or returning her.

She got along beautifully with Reba our bloodhound so we decided to keep her. She has had her issues of aggressiveness so we decided to take her to private training lessons as she needed to learn manners along with how to get along with other dogs. She still is difficult around other dogs but is getting much better than she was when we first brought her home. She has gained 30 lbs and weighs 92 lbs as when we got her she was only 60 lbs. Attached is a picture for you of Reba and Honeybee. She is truly a loving dog that needed a home that would have the patience and love she needed. We really love her and she is a great dog. Our Reba is over a year old and they still have their moments of aggressiveness towards each other as they are struggling to be the boss of one another but they are inseparable. They seem to be best friends so it all worked out for her. We are glad that we took that walk in the park that day and found Honeybee a forever home!


Vicky Pittsley

Elwell, MI

"Karma Dancing Moon"

Sunday October 13th 2010 was like any other Sunday morning... go to the Shelter, walk dogs and
take pictures with Jen Souva. When I arrived Jen had a "surprise" for me. A doberman puppy left at the Shelter because "there is something wrong with her." The puppy could not stand or walk. Her head was bobbing and she appeared to be blind. I knew she wouldn't survive at the Shelter so I took her home to foster her.
I named her Karma... (Karma Dancing Moon)
After I got her home she began walking in a high stepping awkward way. After a few steps she'd collapse then try again. Her vision was fine...
Eventually she began walking a bit better but I still had to carry her in from outside. She would try to get up on the porch, fall and roll. She spent much of her time setting in the yard watching the other dogs play.
During this time I received a lot of help from Dr. Eric Gaw,Michelle Schwark, and Jennifer Hamp. I had at least a dozen
calls and e-mails from potential adopters. After hearing about her questionable condition most realized she would be
"too much work" or wasn't what they were looking for.
After fostering her for several months I knew her condition was a neurological issue and... she was my dog.
Her condition will not improve or get worse. She is what she is and I love her.

Over time she has learned that she has to do things on her own. My favorite phrases were "you CAN do this"
and "good girl! you did it!!!" Karma has a cute prancing walk that turns into a stomping walk when she's tired.
Her head tremors are almost non existent now. It takes her awhile to process commands. She cannot set for treats
or go for long walks. My other dogs adore her. She's loving and smart. She's learned to climb up on the porch on her own. (Good Girl!!!)
Karma has adapted to her disability, and to my hectic household.
I'm proud of her and consider her story a success story.
Annie Moon

Cooper in his forever home.

 What a sweetheart!

Cooper makes us smile every day. He's a constant companion and really likes those walks in the evening. He's very aware of the wildlife all around him. He could chase the birds, chipmunks and rabbits all day if we had the energy to keep up with him. He's a great car traveller and has met his extended family (both human and canine/feline) in Lansing. He is a joy. We're happy he has joined our family.

KuJo found his perfect home.

Last year I fostered-adopted Minkey, now known as KuJo. KuJo had heartworm. I lived 2 hours away from the shelter, so he got treatment through my family vet. It was a long process, but a successful one. The vet says he is doing amazing! From the day I met him, he was the most loveable dog. He loves to chew bones and has recently learned how to play with plush dog toys and play fetch! He cant get enough of his rawhides. In the colder months, he loves to go on car rides. He likes to visit his best friends Kacey, a rat terrier mix, and Tasha (formerly Blake from the Isabella County Shelter-adopted in May 2008). They will run together for hours. He is my gentle giant and a wonderful addition to my family.

I recently celebrated his year anniversary with my family and it made me think of all the wonderful staff at the shelter especially Jen. She was so easy to work with through the entire process and helped us out so much!! Thank you staff for all that you do! Keep up the good work!

-Krista Steward & KuJo =]

Gem and her brother Jack

In October of 2009, our dear dog Sally died.  We had adopted her as a puppy, and she was the best dog ever.  She was a Eurasier.  She never chewed anything, she stayed in the yard, barked only when the doorbell rang, and was my faithful companion.  She had been slowing down a bit and so we had adopted Jack, a Havanese, the summer of 2008.  I was hoping that Sally would get Jack trained right before she really started slowing down. 

When Sally died, my middle son insisted that we get another dog.  He wanted a “real” dog, and not another froofy dog.  We decided that we did not want a puppy, but wanted to try to adopt from a shelter.  I started checking out different sites on the internet, and praying that God would help us.  Jack would just sit on our front porch and wait and watch.  Everyone in the family was sad and really missed Sally.  We had to get on this pretty quick because Jack was not eating. 

I found on the Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter website a picture of a dog snuggled up with a woman.  I learned that the dog was in the foster home of Jen and that she had been left in a repossessed home.  The female three year old had been very sick and underweight, and was just now coming back to health.  I imagined that she had once looked like the pitiful dogs on TV – the ones where you can see all of their bones.

We met Jen and Gem (formerly Charm) at the animal shelter so that Jack could also be brought into the loop.  What I liked about Gem was that she seemed very calm, and I could talk to Jen about what kind of dog she was really like.  Was she potty trained?  Did she listen?  Did she chew?  What kind of dog breed is she?

With the answers of  Yes, Yes, and No – Well only once.  Her papers listed her as a shepherd mix.  We decided to go for it.  We brought Gem home, and began to work with her.  I am a walker.  It was obvious that she had never been walked.  She would just take off like a rocket and boy could she run.  I began to leash train her.  We have an invisible fence, so I began to show her the yard limits.  It seemed like she had been trained with an e-collar incorrectly and was very afraid of it.  I asked a trainer to come out and help me.  Brenda had worked with Sally, and I was very interested in finding out what she thought of Gem.  When she came out, she informed me that first of all Gem was a pit bull, and that secondly we had named her correctly.  She was definitely a gem.  

Flash forward to Aug. 2011 – Gem and Jack are my loyal companions.  On the spectrum of the dog world, Jack is at one end and Gem is at the other, and yet they are buddies.  They play together, and when I take Jack to get his hair done, Gem misses him.  She will put her big head on my knee and look at me with those golden eyes as if to say, “Where is that boy dog?”.   She hears my sons when they pull in the driveway and waits at the door to greet them.  She snores just like my husband. She stays in the yard and comes when called.   She runs five miles with my husband in the morning and walks with me in the afternoon.  She will get the squeaker out of any toy in no time at all.   She is smart and sweet.  She is part of our family.  She is not perfect, but she loves us all and we love her, and that is what really matters.

Baloo was a recently adopted foster pupppy.
Baloo is happy in his new family with his new human big brother.

This is Jiggles

This is Ethereal

A few months after the sudden death of our kitten, my boyfriend and I believed it was time to welcome a new cat into our family.  Our plan to adopt one cat quickly turned into three.  We adopted Jiggles (Mark), Ethereal (Camden) and Peanut (Pita) during 2010 and love each dearly.  Jiggles means so much to me and I feel the need to express the importance of adopting older cats.  Jiggles, now ten, is a wonderful loving cat who enjoys to talk; his personality is endless!  When Jiggles (formally Mark) lived at the shelter he frequently visited the nursing home where he made others happy.  Jiggles makes me very happy.  Older cats are less likely to be adopted and I would like to stress to people to give them a chance.  I am so thankful for the three of my cats, I love them with all of my heart. - Angela & Simon
This is Peanut with Ethereal
Read the heart warming story about Jenn and Sandi
...and the rewards of adopting an older dog
Why should you adopt a senior pet?  Because you need it as much as they need you.  Sandy, a beautiful yellow lab mix, spent her days in the shelter sleeping in the dirt under the tree in the backyard.  Sometimes I went over to her to make sure she was still breathing.  She was sad and lifeless after being dumped off by her previous family.  A large tumor hangs from her chest, she has several smaller lumps and bumps, she has digestive issues and she cannot hear.  These are all common problems associated with age.  After spending a month in the shelter's kennel number 15, Sandy was going to be euthanized.  I could not accept that.  She deserved more than to die alone in the shelter.  I took Sandy home with me, expecting that she would only make it a few more weeks.  After finding comfort in our home, and finding a diet that eased her digestive problems, Sandy was a new dog.  She began to show her true personality.  She loves to go on walks and for rides in the car.  She is so happy now.  Most of the time her tail wags so fast, I think it could fall off. 
It turns out I needed her just as much.  Watching this transformation made me realize bringing Sandy home was the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  I not only saved her life, I gave her comfort when she needed it most.  I look into her brown eyes framed by all that white fur on her sweet face and I see how innocent and dependent companion animals are.  I will always adopt an older dog from now on because of my experience with Sandy.  By the way, it has been 2 1/2 yearss since she came home with me and she is still living a comfortable life, happy to be loved. 
Jenn and Sandi
If you would like more information on adopting an older animal please contact Jennifer at 989-506-1063 or email niffe1jl@yahoo.com
Meet Homer
Hello, approximately 3 years ago I was introduced to Hannibal...a big-headed, foamy mouthed, 9 year old boxer that had heartworms.  Due to his age, health, and poor appearance, he was not an attractive dog.  But...I followed my heart.

Here I am three years later with the best dog anyone could ask for.  He has been re-named Homer, and is the most gracious, appreciative, loving, spoiled dog anyone could meet.  His heartworm treatment was effective, and he gained weight.  He has been in good health and has provided our family with 3 years of unconditional love and endless kisses.  Adopting Homer was the best decision we made.

And now, we're facing the idea of losing our "little man."  He has leukemia and is on a slow decline.  We watch as our once active boy now snoozes all day and walks with an enormous amount of pain.  We will see him through to the end, as he is part of our family.  He is loved.

Thank you to the Isabella County Animal Shelter for opening our eyes (and our hearts) to adopting a dog such as Homer.  We will do everything in our power to honor Homer, and all other rescue dogs, by promoting the adoption of rescue dogs.  Adoptions, such as Homer's, will enrich the lives of dog lovers everywhere...and the dogs' lives themselves.
Sincerely, Meredith L.

Diva’s Success Story
 In the fall of 2007 Diva arrived at the Shelter with approx. 80 other puppy mill dogs and puppies.  She had lived her first 8 months confined in a small cage with two other dogs.  Her matted hair had to be shaved; her nails were so long they curled into the pads on her feet.  Diva was almost euthanized because she was extremely mean, but Jessica J. saved her with patience and tender, loving care.  Since then Diva’s name describes her perfectly! As a HATS volunteer, I spent time with the puppy mill dogs and puppies until they were adoptable in March 2008.  I adopted Diva and after a time she loved me as I love her.  Four years later Diva still shows the emotional scars from her puppy mill months…I don’t think she will ever trust anyone 100%.  But she is a very loving and happy “Diva”!Cathy Zuker

Meet "Snickers"

In August 2006, we brought home Snickers. We had just lost our beloved Greyhound to cancer. The house was so empty and we were all grieving. My sister and I were visiting the shelter regularly looking for the 'real dog' my father wanted. We wanted an older dog, medium energy, larger size. On the third or fourth trip my sister noticed Snickers. We pulled her out of the kennel, did a few puppy tests (which she passed with flying colors), and called the family. We had found our dog! Our family rushed up and fell in love with her, too. She was younger then we were looking for - only six months old - but otherwise perfect. It was a rocky beginning, bringing an untamed puppy into the house, but once she figured out the rules, Snickers became the perfect dog. In the years we've had her, Snickers has preformed Freestyle Dance (dancing with your dog) at a dog show, walked in parades for various causes, hosted dozens of other dogs in her home, helped teach puppy obedience, visited classrooms as an ambassador for shelter dogs, and protected her yard from squirrels. Snickers regularly goes to work with us, cheerfully greeting everyone that comes in the door. All of Alma knows her and everyone loves her. She is so cherished, we even sent away to get her DNA profile. Turns out our 'shepherd mix' is actually Boxer/Red and White Irish Setter/Miniature Schnauzer/Dachshund mix, with a few other breeds thrown in for good measure. Snickers is an AMAZING dog, and we know for sure we'll never find another like her!

Humphrey with his new family.

Humphrey was a little rough when we adopted him: chubby, questionable in the coat department and nervous.  He is now a lean, well groomed, polite pup.  He likes people, cats and dogs, but dislikes sirens, hats and being alone.  He rarely barks and never sheds (score!).  He is enjoying his fresh start in life, complete with a doting grandmother who buys him obscene amounts of toys and a Yorkie cousin for a best friend.  Humphrey is spending his time being loved by all, constantly doing something that looks like smiling, exhibiting a penchant for learning tricks and pursuing his biggest passion in life: sleeping.  We were very lucky to adopt Humphrey from the Isabella Shelter and are grateful that the shelter tries so hard to find new homes for the pets taken there. So thanks to the shelter and we are glad to help out and adopt such a strange and enjoyable dog!

This is Yukon
We adopted Yukon (formally known as Balto), the Great Pyrenees mix, in August 2010. He has been the joy of our household and our hearts since he set paw inside. A total riot, he gallops about like a fluffy, white horse. He's in love with everyone and everything! The stubbornness of a Great Pyr and the obedience of (what we assume to be) a Golden Retriever; he is a bundle of energy and selective listening! For now he's the king of the pride (3 cats strong), though we plan to adopt another brother or sister for Yukon to spend his days with some time in the next few years. We send a big thank you to HATS and the Isabella County Animal Shelter for all that you're doing for animals in need. And thank you for our sweet, sweet boy.

Erin, Angie, & Yukon

We wouldn't give Houston up for anything! We absolutley love him and so does Roxie :) He has adjusted really well to our home and we could not be happier. I invited my friends over with their two dogs (sheperd mix and a doxin) and all four of the dogs were playing with each other. Everyday he shows more and more of his gentle and sweet personality.  We changed his name to Griffin and he started responding to it right away.  The only issue we've come across is that he is a bit scared of going down the basement stairs, I'm sure in time he will warm up to them. Donny carried him down once so he could sniff around and become familiar with the area and he had no issues going up the stairs afterward.  He also has no problems with the two stairs from the kitchen to the backdoor landing. Griffin loves to snuggle with us and cuddles up with Roxie in her dog bed every night.  He went to our vet yesterday for a physical exam and everything came back normal  We'll keep you updated over the next few weeks.  Thank you for helping us find him, he completes our family!
Take Care, Brienne

This is Monique
MO in our front yard. She's a doll! Nothing but belly rubs from now on.
Monique was adopted in May by a family who has always helped us (the shelter) out with big dog rescues.  Carri has been fabulous helping us by fostering the really large breeds that do not really do well in our small kennel spaces.
When she saw Monique, on the site, she was on the phone offering to help us move her to a safe and loving home.
As you can see, she looks wonderful and she is going to be a little (well, maybe not little at 110 pounds) princess with Carri in her forever home.
This is Wilma
I adopted Wilma (now 'Wilms!') from the shelter almost a year ago, and boy have we come a long way! Just a few days after her adoption, she began to have some serious health issues from a neglected injury prior to adoption, which required emergency surgery.. something that as a new pet owner, was quite shocking to have to do! But having had her in my life for just those few short days, I knew I couldn't lose her. She bounced back from surgery quite rapidly, and has been my partner in crime ever since. She greets me at the door every day, pokes at my face with paw and whisker every morning, and enjoys sitting on my lap, with both paws resting on my desk, when I type at my computer (like she is now!) She even enjoys playing fetch, and has learned to 'sit pretty' like a dog! I'm pretty sure she's part Maine Coon, which would explain her dog-like demeaner, loyalty, and aptitude for learning tricks! I can't imagine my life without Wilms, and give my unending thanks and gratitude to HATS for assisting with financing her surgery, and for their wonderful website. Keep up the great work, every pet deserves a great home, and every home deserves a pet as great as Wilms!


This is Bella with her Ducky

I was going to buy a puppy from a breeder, but prices for a purebred dog were too high. I started to look on Petfinder and discovered how many dogs are in shelters everywhere!! I decided to adopt a shelter dog. I found Pebbles, now Bella (She is named after Isabella Animal Control), on Petfinder and the HATS website. I came over to see her, then came back with my two dogs to be sure everyone got along. Bella came to me spayed, microchipped, neutered, free of fleas, and had her initial vaccinations. My vet was very impressed!
Bella is WONDERFUL! Because she came to Animal Control as a stray, not much was know of her previous life. Somebody either lost or dropped off a great dog. She walks on leash, is housetrained, is well socialized with all sizes of dogs (big ones don't scare her at all!), is crate trained, and very affectionate. I'm going to take her to an obedience class and even try agility. As she learns commands and meets the outside world, I'll judge whether she could be a therapy dog....that's something I've wanted to do for years but have not had
the time and right dog for the job. Bella might be the right one for that, but she definitely is the right dog for me!! Thank you HATS and Isabella Animal Control. You took good care of her until I could find her and bring her home. 
The staff deserves a HUGE thank you for all they do at the shelter.  I was there three times and every time there were cheerful desk greeters/workers, eager volunteers working or being trained,  dog walkers out in the yard, and helpful kennel staff in the back room. 
I have told many people what a great place your shelter is for the animals. Bella will be a great advertisement for you here in Midland because everyone who meets her wants to know where she came from and I'm happy to tell them.

This is Mia and Shyler

My name is Schyler and this is my dog Mia.  We had been visiting the shelter on a regular basis and helping out with walking the dogs.  My family brought Mia home from the dog shelter in June 2009.  We were originally just “fostering” her while the kennels were being cleaned.  Mia was such a great dog, she didn’t bark or run away from me.  She grew on us all and we decided to adopt her.  She is a good girl and loves to play with me and my brother.

Thanks for bringing us together!  Schyler


Meet Gracie
We adopted our dog Gracie (formally Coco) in July, 2009.  We went to the shelter on a whim, with absolutely no intention of bringing home a dog any time soon.  When we arrived, we asked Cindy to introduce us to some older, smaller dogs who might need some walking.  We found our girl, who was neither older nor smaller, and fell in love. Gracie has since doubled in size (a healthy 65 lbs and growing!) and is a wonderful addition to our family. She's a gorgeous and brilliant pup, and we adore having her with us. Thank you for helping us find her :)  Adrienne West
Gracie and Santa
"I got what I wanted"!!!


 My husband and I decided to adopt a dog. The first day we walked in, we saw our dog Chip (formally Petie).  We fell in love with him and wanted to adopt him. He was not available yet, but the day he became available we were in at 9am and adopted him right at 9:01am, August 2009. He became comfortable with us right away! We quickly found out that he is so loving and so smart! He is such an amazing pet! We couldn't have had better luck! ~Amy
Scout and Randa

Hello, my name is Randa Hanes. I am a college student from Muskegon, MI that fell in love with an adorable Siberian husky/basset hound mix a couple months ago. Needless to say, I drove up there and adopted Leonardo, now named Scout (our Scouticus Finch, lol). Scout is an odd looking dog with a big heart. Just picture a husky with floppy ears and short legs, only a little taller than a basset hound, and you have Scout. When I came into the shelter and walked back to his pen, I was so excited and ready to meet him. He seemed like a laid back dog, I even had to coax him over to see us, but after that, he was my new sweetheart. When we brought him home, it took a while for our basset hound Elvis and basset/beagle mix Trixie to get used to him, but now 2 months later, they're the best of friends. They love running around our big backyard together, playing around the "kid's" play structure, and having little conversations. It's like watching actual children play and we love watching it, surprisingly enough, our neighbor does too. So, in 2 months, Scout went from being a dog that wouldn't get up on furniture or snuggle to a dog that plays outside for hours with his new siblings (and loves to get them all playing), snuggles right up to me on the bed at night, and gets as much attention as he can from everyone else in the house. It didn't take long for him to be at home here and we wouldn't trade him for anything.
o, my name is Randa Hanes. I am a college student fat fell in love with an adorable Siberian husky/basset hound mix a couple months ago. Needless to say, I drove up there and adopted Leonardo, now named Scout (our Scouticus Finch, lol). Scout is an odd looking dog with a big heart. Just picture a husky with floppy ears and short legs, only a little taller than a basset hound, and you have Scout. When I came into the shelter and walked back to his pen, I was so excited and ready to meet him. He seemed like a laid back dog, I even had to coax him over to see us, but after that, he was my new sweetheart. When we brought him home, it took a while for our basset hound Elvis and basset/beagle mix Trixie to get used to him, but now 2 months later, they're the best of friends. They love running around our big backyard together, playing around the "kid's" play structure, and having little conversations. It's like watching actual children play and we love watching it, surprisingly enough, our neighbor does too. So, in 2 months, Scout went from being a dog that wouldn't get up on furniture or snuggle to a dog that plays outside for hours with his new siblings (and loves to get them all playing), snuggles right up to me on the bed at night, and gets as much attention as he can from everyone else in the house. It didn't take long for him to be at home here and we wouldn't trade him for anything.

"Sisco" in his happy home.

Me and my boyfriend were ready to take the next step in our relationship. Thats right getting a dog. We first went to the shelter in Harrison but they were closed. I couldnt wait so fate led us to the Isabella county animal shelter!! We walked in the shelter and all I could think was I want them all. Until my boyfriend finally picked a dog. I had a dog in mind so we drew straws. I won :) Then the lady told me that the dog my boyfriend wanted was going to be put down because he was there too long. I wasnt sure if she was kidding but my heart melted and we ended up taking home this brindle pit mix :) I honestly couldnt be happier with sisco he is a loving family dog he is my car buddy my beach buddy and always puts a smile on my face with the little goofy things he does.:)

Meet Mikey

myself jamie and my husband david rowe adopted mikey from u guys back in
november  he is a wonderul dog he is so smart and we taught him to count to ten and he plays hide and seek with our cats and we take him every where we go to get him usta being around other people and animals and he loves other dogs our friends have 6 kids and he licks them all to death and when we go over there we get close to their house and he starts freaking cuz he knows where we r at it is so funny they have a full blooded great dane and she is his best friend they even sleep in the same kennel he plays try and catch me lord knows i can't catch this dog lol it took my husband years to talk me into getting a dog and i could'nt imagine a day without him now and i recommend u guys to any 1 i hear of wanting to get a dog he is beautiful i get so many compliments on him he is funny he loves sliced cheese and strawberrys r his favorite sometimes i make him eggs and sausage for b fast once in a while for a treat lol and he loves ice cream cones and vegetable soup and deep fried cauliflower he loves the garbage man he loves to go sit and watch him dump the garbage and he hides around ther corner an keeps peeking his head out and looks for the cats and then the cats do the same and then they chase each other and get going so fast its so funny and when i have food or a treat i say sit and he does i'll say 2 and he barks twice i do that all the way to10 it is so funny i can say go get the bunny and he runs around the house like 10 times i just love him and he is a joy thank you so much for him we love him and thank you so much we love him we may soon adopt another animal
Mr and Mrs Rowe


Nestle and Cooper

My husband and I adopted our first dog, Cooper, from the Isabella County Animal Shelter in September 2008.  He had been surrendered to the shelter, left in the overnight drop with no note or other information about him.  When we decided it was time for us to have a pet, we both knew we wanted to adopt a dog.  I went to the shelter alone just to "look" and came out with Cooper unexpectedly because at first look, I just knew he was meant to be mine.  His big brown eyes just shot straight to my heart and though I went in looking for a small female dog, I ended up with what would grow to become an 85lbs Male Black Lab mix!  He was the opposite of everything I thought I wanted but has turned out to be everything I could have ever dreamed of and more.  His first night in our home, he retrieved his leash and harness and brought it to me to let me know he needed out.  I knew right then that he was a smart dog and he has continued to surprise me.  He has a big heart and even bigger personality and is amazing with other dogs, children and other people in general.  He cuddles with me when I am sick, greets me with great happiness when I come home, naps with me when I am exhausted and loves to play every chance we get.  His favorite things include going to the U.P. to play with his "grandma's" Great Dane and Lab, going to the dog park, playing with his "brother" Nestle, going for rides in the car, getting "treats" and getting blow dried with my hair dryer!!  He is a great companion and friend.  My husband and I agree: we couldn't be happier with the choice we made to adopt Cooper.

My husband and I decided to adopt a second dog as a companion to our first in June 2010.  We went into the decision with no preconceived ideas on what breed or sex, but knew that we would "just know" when we saw him or her.  As it turned out, I saw an article in the local paper about the "Pet of the Week" at the Isabella County Animal Shelter and watched the video clip online.  Watching the video, my husband and I decided: this was our next dog!  His name is Nestle and he was just 9 months old at the time, but had very soulful, expressive eyes.  He also happens to be a Chocolate Lab mix, and is now best friends with our first Lab, Cooper.  Nestle is a very entertaining dog and is very reactive to our voices.  It almost seems as though he is listening to every word we speak as his eyes widen, his ears perk up and he tilts his head listening.  He is a very loving dog and is always eager to give "kisses" and cuddles.  He is still very young, and thus, loves to play but is also gentle with children and other dogs.  His favorite things are playing with his "brother" Cooper, going to "grandma's", getting "treats" and playing any kind of game imaginable with my husband or I.  He has been such a fun addition to our family and has really made life less lonely and more exciting for Cooper.  He is definitely a permanent and welcome addition to our family.

My advice is: if you are considering getting a new pet, ADOPT!!  I have had nothing but great experiences with the shelter and HATS and I think most adoptive families will agree; shelter dogs (and cats!) are the most loving, have the biggest personalities and really appreciate you more than you would ever imagine.  If you can't have a pet, but want to help animals in need, please consider making a donation to HATS, a wonderful organization who will put whatever funds you can give to good use.  Without them, many more perfectly adoptable animals would have to be destroyed.

Windy (and Chris) Carroll

Meet Lucy
January of last year I came to the shelter to look at the dogs. Recently after, my other dog I got from there ran away. I was very upset about that. Sadie was a very good dog. She was a black and white pit bull. Very friendly! I never thought any other dog could take her place but on January 30 2009, I came across this light brindle and white pit bull. She was only about four months old. After, months and months of looking at dogs that came into the shelter hoping to find Sadie or maybe even one to help fill the emptiness of Sadie not being around, I knew this Brindle and White dog had to be the one for me. I asked a little information on the dog. The workers at the shelter said “she needs immediate obedience classes”. I still knew this dog was meant to be my dog. There was not a doubt in my mind that I couldn’t give her a little TLC to get over the disobedience. Now almost a year has passed and Lucy (formally known as Zelda) has been the best dog I have ever had. It took a lot of discipline and training by my boyfriend and I but, Lucy came right out of any puppy stages she was in. She is the friendliest dog I know. When people come over to our house I think she pesters them because she wants them to pet her. She tries to sleep right next to me every night but, she is too big. So she has a blanket to sleep on. Lucy enjoys chewing on rawhides, going for car rides, walks, and sucking on blankets…weird I know. I asked the vet why she does that and he said because she was weaned too early from her mother. Everyone thinks pit bulls are horrific killers and mine suckles on a blanket like a newborn pup. I have had cocker spaniels, and Springer spaniels, my pit bulls have been the funniest, most loving of all. I think society needs to realize a dog is what you make of it. All they need are love and affection. Lucy is truly a blessing and an ambassador of her breed. Please rescue one from the shelter, there are so many loving pets there that need you more than anything. 

Tiffany, Blanchard,MI


Meet Zookpo

When I walked into the shelter on August 28, 2009 I didn't know someone would be coming home with me. We dropped of some treats for the dogs and decided to take some for a walk. When I saw him my heart dropped. His name was Storm and I knew he had to come home with me. When he got to the house he knew he was home. He stretched right out on the rug and let his new sister know he wasn't going anywhere! Keiko is my chow and wasn't too fond of the idea of someone else running the house. Hard work paid off and now they are the best of friends. When he leaves she cries at the door. He had alot of energy so, he has became my new running buddy! We renamed him Zookpo from Storm which means "its snowing". We thought it was a good name for his breed, and the fact that he is obsessed with snow! We hope we have many years with Zookpo and couldn't be happier that he is a part of our family! Thank you for letting us have the chance to have this wonderful dog in our lives!!!
- Emily
This is Olliver and Chloe
My boyfriend bought me the puurfect Christmas present this year! Meet Chloe (tortie) and Olliver (orange), the two wonderfully troublesome cats that we adopted from HATS earlier this year.
Chloe was a rescued medical research cat and is missing part of her tail. She likes to play with paper and she LOVES water.
Olliver is the friendliest kitten in the world and LOVES attention. You can hear him purring from down the hall and he will snuggle right up by your face if you let him.
Ollie and Chloe have really warmed up to each other. Every morning they thunder through the house chasing one another. They have really warmed up to us too. It is so nice to have them greet us at the door or lay with us while we are relaxing at home. 
Hopefully in the future we can give more animals a forever home. Thank you so much for getting our little family started. =) Rachelle
Chloe and Olliver-the best of friends