Read stories of pets that bring joy to their new owners.  Do you have a story of your experience adopting a pet from AWA? Email us your stories to with "Happy Tails" in the subject line and and we'll share them.

You can read many more heartwarming adoption stories on our Facebook page.


Our cat passed away from old age and it left such a void in our family.  We came across Merda during The Rachael Ray Adoption Challenge and adopted her in June. When we brought her home, we could not believe how well she just fit our family. We honestly feel that she was waiting for us. She is such a loving kitten and we feel very grateful to have her. She gets along great with her two sisters and loves to sit on the sofa with you and watch TV.  She is such a cuddle bug! Thank you! The Frasca Family


lost cat found south jersey

Two families know the same cat by two different names, but he's loved the same by both. This is a story of love lost and love found.

Sid was a 7-year old tuxedo cat raised by Jeana in Blackwood, NJ since he was 2 weeks old. Then when the Hurricane hit, Jeana looked high and low for Sid but to no avail. Her worst fears seemed to be realized when days turned to weeks to months to years with no signs of her beloved cat. 

More than two years later, the unbelievable happened! Jeana was perusing AWA's Facebook page when a picture caught her eye. Many adoptive families post photos showing the pets they adopted from AWA to show how they're doing now. Although Sid was never in AWA's shelter, his sister, Chloe, had been adopted by Linda who lives in Cherry Hill. She posted the picture of both cats on AWA's Facebook page.

Could this one be her long-lost Sid? Jeana had to find out. She arranged a meeting and sure enough, it was her cat, now named Ansel Catern (after Linda's passion for photographer, Ansel Adams).

"He's very quirky. The way he would walk, the way he would play," she said. "It's the same boy."

The cat had come to Linda through a friend, Denise, who found him in her backyard in Blackwood (not a mile from his home). Linda made efforts to find the cat's owner but when no one turned up, she gradually came to love him as her own.

If you think this is a story of cat and owner being reunited, you would be wrong. When Jeana saw how happy and well-cared for Sid was with his new family, she made the difficult decision to leave him where he was.

"It was really the right thing to do," Jeana said. "Taking him away would have confused him, and it would have been hard for their family, and they are great people."

A grateful Linda said: "This is the best outcome we could have imagined in what has really been a very heartbreaking situation for another family. I'm so happy they are pleased with how we are taking care of their beloved pet."

Story in



dog adopted South Jersey

Osaka was a stray found wandering the streets in Virginia and brought to a local shelter. A kind woman named Molli spotted him while visiting the shelter and fell in love. That love would take her many miles in search of Osaka. A day after leaving the shelter she returned to adopt Osaka, but he was in mid-transport to AWA’s “Subaru’s Share the Love Rescue Ride.” 

Molli made some desperate calls to AWA where staff promised to hold the dog for her. She then drove 5 hours to NJ to adopt Osaka. When they re-met, the two looked like old friends. Molli and Osaka returned home to Virginia where the dog-- microchipped, fixed, and sporting an ID tag—promised never to wander from his loving home!

Happy dog story

I adopted "Misty" - now "Luna" from AWA Nov 2010 on my lunchbreak from work and received approval that day. She was frustrating at first. I put her on my enclosed front porch while I went shopping for her; crate, toys, food, bedding, blanket, harness, leashes, all that good stuff. Came home within the hour to find she had eaten the welcome mat, parts of the wall and ripped up a good amount of carpet which would continue for severalmonths.

I stuck it out for her good qualities and her smiling face, and she loved her crate. Several months later I found her wobbling and disoriented and took her to my vet where she got a diagnosis of Addison's disease and was in crisis. They got her back up and running and on daily and monthly medication and shots which she seems fine with. She was also noticeably double jointed (ortho even suggests quadruple) but that never kept her from flying around the yard and playing with the neighbors dog. One leg did get injured, the same week I was laid off of my job for 7 years. So surgery was done and she had several casts over this past winter. $4500 later her leg looks great and is jointed normal. I hope she can wait until I fall into a large sum of money before her other hind leg needs a surgeon, but after all the mayhem and thousands of dollars spent, we love each other and I can't imagine being without her. She is cute and funny and makes me happy. 




During graduate school and a lot of stress, I longed for a dog of my own. I started searching rescues for MY dog, and what I really wanted was an Airedale Terrier.

Airedales are not an easy find.I stumbled on Alfalfa. What a name! I thought it was silly and his tail did resemble the one spike of hair from the Little Rascals's head.

AWA staff were careful to check him out with the entire family. With 2 other dogs and a 5-year old, the behaviorists wanted to be sure Alfalfa would be a good match since he was quick on his feet but generally, a very friendly boy.

We passed their test and he has been my dog ever since. In only two nights he began settling in and he sleeps quietly all night in his bed next to mine. He gets up  and waits for me. We started our routine with breakfast and a run and he is up to 2 miles with me every morning.

I love my dog and he loves me. Thank you Kate and Amanda from the Voorhees AWA!




I took Brock home yesterday after he met Angel. They seem to be a team. When we got home he took to me very well and won't leave my side unless he is playing with Angel. I don't know if my couches will survive. I think their names should be Bonnie and Clyde!



Snuggles and Fizgig'S HAPPY TAIL


After losing several of our old rat ladies in the last year, my husband and I felt we needed some new little faces in our mischief.

So, we started looking at local shelters on We fell in love with, then, Snuggles and Fizgig at AWA.

With the help of the wonderful staff we met the girls and knew they were meant to be in our family. After letting the girls settle into our home for a few days, it was time for them to meet their sisters. In the neutral area of the bathroom, the girls met, wrestled, cleaned tackled and got to know each other. The girls are the best of friends and you would never know these sweet little faces, now Fitzy and Mabel,  are newcomers to the family.

Thank you AWA for all you do! 



Animal Welfare Association

509 Centennial Blvd., Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: 856.424.2288 | Fax: 856.424.8318