success stories

Success Stories (the newest received stories are first)
If you have a success story you would like to share with us, please email it to NCook@hswestmi.org.
Thanks in advance for helping us spread the word on the success and importance of rescuing animals!
 

Ernie

"We first adopted Ernie and his brother Jimmy (Burt) from the Humane Society of West Michigan in March of 2013. The Lion head rabbits were six months old. We had been looking for two rabbits that were already bonded but there were not any. Just as we were about to leave, somone came rushing up to us,saying that there were two rabbits in the back that had just been brought in that day.They took us to the back room and explained all about the rabbits.

One thing that no one knew what to say about though, was what had happened to Ernie’s leg. When we first got to go into a room and take them out, I noticed that the back left leg was bald and covered in big, bumpy scabs. The best that any of us could do was to guess that he had been hurt by his previous owners. This became more apparent when the sole thing that he wanted to do was hide under the chair. 
A week later when we brought Ernie home, nothing had changed. After about two months and a lot of catching a constantly escaping Ernie who wanted nothing to do with being held,  his momentum finally subsided.
We will celebrate Ernie’s second birthday in August. For the past year, we have been working with Ernie to overcom his fear. Now, (and for about the past six months) Ernies favorite place is on someones lap. I will never be able to thank the Human Society enough for stopping us that day, and taking us to that back room. And for showing us two rabbits that were not even up for adoption yet."
Fedrigo Family

April

"In May of 2008 my husband and I made the spur of the moment decision to adopt April, the adorable Rottweiler/German Shepard mix puppy we had seen on the Humane Society of West Michigan's website. We had both had family pets in the past but she would be our first pet together. But let me just say that April is not a pet. April became far more than a pet the moment we laid eyes on her. She became the center of our family. As our animal family grows April remains at the center of it, welcoming her furry siblings with open paws.

 
April turned 6 years old this last year and we celebrated with her favorite activity, a trip to the park for a swim with her sissy pup. I've never heard of a dog loving water as much as April does but she is always the last one out. My husband and I have taken to calling her our 'otter puppy.' Mike and I both hope to have many more birthday swims with our April baby because we just can't imagine a day with out her. Thank you, Humane Society of West Michigan, for helping us find our amazing April! We can never thank you enough!"
Lynae and Mike Umlor

Mollie

"We adopted Mollie (Peggy) in the summer of 2012. We had lost our Pug just months before and the kids were ready for a new friend. I was a little nervous about adopting a Pit Bull mix with 3 children at home and she was much bigger then our pug! From day one, Mollie has been the sweetest, kindest animal I have ever owned. She loves to run and play in the yard with the kids. She is so sweet and gentle. Any company that comes to our home comments on what a well mannered dog she is. Even people who aren’t dog crazy fall in love with Mollie. I am so thankful her everyday and think the program at the Human Society is top notch!! It is hard to see that it is mostly Pit Bull mixes up for adoption. I will just say that I will now ALWAYS get a pit bull mix. They really are the original family dog!"
The Nolan Family

Stella

"We adopted Stella from the Humane Society of West Michigan in April of 2011. I've had a dog most of my life, & had to put down my 14 1/2 old Golden Retriever Morgan in May of 2010. While my husband was more of a cat person (we had 2 at the time), the house felt empty to me without a dog. He agreed to go meet a few at the shelter with me. Stella (then Farrah) wasn't one of the dogs on my radar, but they showed her to us I think because of the our activity level based on the survey we filled out. Stella had been at the Kent County Animal Shelter for a few months before transferring to HSWM, where she had spent the last 4-5 months. It made her incredibly anxious to be in the shelter, & they were keeping her in the back offices. My husband fell in love with her right away, but I had some initial hesitancy about adopting a pit mix because of all the bad press they get. We agreed to sleep on it, so we went home. I couldn't stop thinking about her & how sad she must be to have spent so much time in the shelter. The next day I went back as soon as the shelter was open & took her home. She jumped in my car & laid down right away, like she knew she was home.

The first cats we had were very old, & wanted nothing to do with Stella. They both passed away in April of 2013, & things didn't feel right just having one animal in the house. We adopted 2 cats from the shelter in June of 2013, & added a kitten in August. Stella has done wonderfully with all three of them. It took her a while to realize that these cats actually want to play with her, so at first she didn't know what to do. They play with her like a dog would, but she is so gentle with them. She loves that they want to be her friend. We couldn't have asked for a better dog to have around cats. She is so tolerant of the kitten biting at her, & making his home right on top of her! :)

Stella has been such a wonderful addition to our lives. We take her on walks, hikes or runs every day. She's gone on several vacations with us, to the Upper Peninsula, to West Virginia/Washington DC, & even all the way to Phoenix & San Diego. We've gone to obedience class, agility class, & she's even been certified as a Canine Good Citizen, though sometimes she still needs to be reminded about manners :) She is a wonderful ambassador for the bully breed, & I can't take you enough for not giving up on her. In many other shelters, due to her breed, her color, her level of anxiety, & the amount of time she was there, she would have had a death sentence for sure. It is heartbreaking to me how many great friends get put down every day in shelters simply because there is no where for them to go. I am thankful that we were able to rescue Stella & give her the home she deserves. Thank you for all you do for our friends, especially the bully breed.

Thanks again!! We couldn't have asked for a better match, & our lives are so much better with her around!"
Erin Chillag

Bo and Lacey

"I didn't have much of an opinion on pit bulls when I starting volunteering at the HSWM in the summer of 2011, but it did not take me long to form an opinion. After I had taken a few adoptable pitties on walks, I was in love with the breed's wide smile and desire to please. In June 2011, I adopted Lacey (formerly "Jenna"), a ten month old pit bull mix. I love Lacey's attitude about life; she thinks everything is exciting and every person and animal is her best friend.

Because she was so full of energy and loved playing with other dogs, I decided in September 2011 that I needed to adopt her a "sibling". I adopted Bo (formerly "Spencer"), a four month old pit bull mix, from the HSWM. They are the best of friends. Lacey's outgoing personality has really helped Bo's shyness and fear toward new situations and people. We go to parks, beaches, and pet stores, and people are surprised by how sweet pit bulls truly are. Bo loves being pet by young kids; he sits very nicely and will gently lick their faces. Lacey's enthusiasm toward life makes me smile every day.

The HSWM is wonderful, and I am thankful for the work they do to save so many dogs, and especially for understanding the pit bull breed."
Amanda M.

Bow

"I have always been a huge doggy person growing up. We've always had great family dogs and when I bought my first home in July of 2012 I knew I wanted a dog of my own. I moved in with my boyfriend and his dog, Cassie. After settling into our home, my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to get Cassie a friend.
 
We went to the Kent County Humane Society just to look around, not setting our minds on bringing a dog home that day. We decided to walk around the kennels and see if any dogs stood out. When I walked up to Bow's (formerly Buddy) cage I knew he was a great dog. He stood right up came to the door and started pawing at the cage and wagging his tail. I couldn't believe how well mannered he was for only being a year old. We kept walking around and I said lets go back and see what that black lab is up to. After saying this three times, my boyfriend told me to fill out adoption papers. I just knew that I already loved him and wanted him to know I wanted to give him a forever home.
 
Because we had another dog in the home, we had to go get Cassie to meet our new four-legged friend. When they met they just sniffed each other and didn't really want much to do with each other. The animal behaviorist told us that they would warm up to each other. The important thing was that neither dog showed any aggression.
 
Now they are the best of friends. They run around the house together and even cuddle on the couch together. I am so happy that we decided to go to the humane society that day and adopt a new part of our family. I am forever grateful." 
Abby M.


Dewey 

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for helping us find the perfect companion in our dog Dewey. In April of of 2011, we began the process of finding a dog to adopt into our active lives. On one of our first stops, we found Dewey. Right away we fell in love with his calm demeanor and cuddly nature (and his giant ears!). In the past year he has yet to grow into his ears, but has grown into our hearts. The little black puppy we adopted has grown into a handsome, active, and smart (and somehow brindle!) dog that is always ready for the next adventure. He is such a "mystery mutt" that we have fun hearing people guess as to what his mix is, although most people are quick to see the hint of pittie in him. We still don't know what else, but are perfectly happy with our unique Dewey-dog. Dewey is everything that we could have wanted in a dog; he loves to travel, hike, play frisbee, go to Mom's races and Dad's soccer games, and more than anything, to snuggle at home on "his" couch. Dewey is also extremely loyal to his people; when Mom is working late into the night on her graduate schoolwork, he will lay at her feet for hours until she is done. We discovered at a young age with him that he LOVES hiking. We took him to the U.P. where he did 15 miles along the North Country Trail and only stopped because no one else could keep up with him! At night while camping, he won't sleep in his lux dog bed, but prefers to snuggle up in someone's sleeping bag. Love truly is sharing a sleeping bag with a 60 pound dog for a week!  

Thank you again for helping us find Dewey. He is curled up next to me drooling and snoring contently as I type this, so I think he says thank you too!"
Emily P. and John M. (Dewey's loving mom and dad)

 

Mabeline

"It's February 2012 and I had finally talked my boyfriend into accepting a furry feline into our lives. I was browsing online and found the perfect cat! He was adorable, he was amazing, he.. Was adopted. Then I saw Mabeline in the window waving around saying "Pick me, pick me!" I knew right away that she was perfect and I still can't stop flooding my friends with photos of her and all the adorable things she does.

I learned that she is a Korat, and that she was found on the streets by a couple that wasn't able to keep her due to their apartment. She loves swatting at the TV while I play Mario Bros, looking out the window, ... and walking across my keyboard to cozy up to me as I type this. :) Mabeline definitely picked me, and I couldn't be happier!  :) I just... absolutely love this girl!"
Kasondra S.

 

Maggie 

"Maggie is doing great, she is a very happy dog and still gets very excited. This picture is from Christmas, the Christmas that she pulled stockings off the mantle and ate the girls' candy while we were asleep. Maggie is the perfect dog for our active family and she likes camp, eat, and play tug-of-war."
Jessica B. 


Maximus

"In February 2010, I came across a picture of the most handsome Rottweiler mix (Alfie) I had ever seen on Petfinder. If Salvador Dali painted a Rottweiler, it would have looked like him!

My kids and I went to meet him at the Humane Society. Because he was and adult dog and brought in as a stray, I went with the mindset of caution. My kids' safety always comes first. When he came into the room, he was friendly but not overly so (typical of Rotts with unfamiliar people). My daughter (then 7) told him to "sit" and he did immediately. HE WAS THE ONE!

Since bringing him home, we have been so pleased with his gentle demeanor toward family, friends, our other dog (a rescued dachshund), as well as numerous foster dogs we have had. He also listens incredibly well and is smart as a whip! He has been such a welcome addition to our family. He also helps provide us with a sense of security. Although he rarely barks, he will if a stranger comes too close. Not in an aggressive way, in "a back off I don't know you" way (typical Rotty).

We now call him Max. Named after Maximus in the movie, Gladiator, a strong but gentle soul, smart, dedicated to his family and protective when need be.

Thank you for taking him in, caring for him, and allowing us to adopt him. I ADORE the Rottweiler breed (he is the second we have had) and he is a fine example of how fine this "bully" breed is."
Sue W.

Molly

My husband and I adopted “Cuddles” now called Molly from the Humane Society of West Michigan. She is considered an American Pit bull mix. I think she truly adopted us, because we fell in love with her the day she picked us out at the Humane Society. I know this breed gets a lot of bad publicity, but she is such a loving dog. She loves playing with the kids in our neighborhood. But I think her most favorite thing is going to doggie day care, and playing with her numerous four-legged friends. I understand that someone from your organization rescued Molly from another shelter, where they euthanize any dog that has Pit bull in them. This person from your organization saw that Molly had potential to be adopted, and had her transferred to the Humane Society of Michigan. We are so happy with Molly, and are so grateful to have her. Thank you to everyone involved in this great organization!
Jackie O.

Grace

"Grace has been the most wonderful addition to our family, she is always happy to see us when we come home. She loves to go on long walks or runs with us, she loves to play with her friends around the corner or at daycare! She brings a smile to my face everyday, I cannot image our lives without Grace in it. We are so happy to have adopted Grace!"
Becky and Keith P.