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Updated October 20, 2012

Success Stories

Check back for more stories of animals in their forever homes. If you have adopted an animal from Pay It Forward and would like to submit your story, please e-mail us at pifanimal@yahoo.com

I Rescued a Human Today - by Janine Allen

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them. As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.

I would promise to always be by her side.

I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.

So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors.

So many more to be saved - at least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.




Wrigley loves his new home with mom, Mary, and corgi brother, Teddy.


JJ, formerly Nathan Pierre

Nathan is now a spoiled rotten only-dog living in Vine Grove, KY with Earl and Hazel.




Coco with her new parents, Danielle and Drew.




Franklin loving life with his new dad, Clay.



Miss Eve, living the good life with her new mom, Shelby.




Bear enjoying life with his new forever family, the Holders.


Aspen, formerly Cecelia

Aspen now lives in Cincinnati, OH with a loving mom and dad, a two-legged brother and sister, and a four-legged sister. We are sure that silly girl is keeping them all on their toes!




Artie now lives in Minnesota. Her mom says that she and her new brother, Charlie, are Mighty Squirrel Hunters.




Burt now lives in Tennessee with his dog buddy, Dooney. His family says he is doing great, getting bigger, and getting lots of love.



Sadie is in her forever home...with some luxurious new locks!



Sam found his new forever home in Henderson. He seems to be living the good life!



Titan is the first of the river dogs to find a forever home! It looks like he is loving his new life.



Shamrock found her forever home in Indiana with her new brother and sister, Sam and Cricket. She sure is one lucky girl!



Torrie (left) is living happily with his new mom and dad and Yorkie brother, Colby.



A note from Andy's new mom:
He has settled in rather nicely...he thinks he owns the place! We had a sunroom built and he thinks we did it for him! He so sweet and smart. I know that you had a lot to do with that!  He is a wonderful addition to our family!! Thanks!!!




Rufus now lives in his forever home with his new sister Sonya.



Buddy the senior beagle found his forever home!



Rocco the black lab pup found his forever home!


Bella (formerly Carissa)

Bella is enjoying her new life with Van, Robin, Audrey, and Garrett Davidson. She also has a doggy sister, Chelsey.





Reggie (left) is enjoying his new life in Springfield, IL, with his mom, dad, human brother, and doggie sister, Winnie.





Fred now lives in his new home with his basset hound brother, George!





Bentley in his new home with Katie!




I chose to adopt Daisy from PIF because she was so small and the runt of the bunch.  She was so sweet that I fell in love with her instantly!  Since adopting her I have been having such a good time playing with her and making her part of the family.  She is doing great in her new home and will be with us for many years to come! Thanks so much PIF!   
Wendy Denney



One of a litter of eight puppies found under a shed, Brody is now living with a family and he and they are enjoying every minute!




Jasper (formerly Nikko)

A 2011 update from Jasper and his family:

I just wanted to let you know that Jasper is still doing great. He has the best personality of all our dogs; so loving and he doesn't know a stranger when people come over or when we take walks he loves to be pet by everyone.
Jasper's also turned into quite a little runner. He litterally gets depressed when he can't go with me. He's been 5 miles into a run with me and he's the one pulling me to try to keep up with him! 
We've been fostering Dobermans for the past 8-10 months and Jasper especially LOVES the little girl we have right now. You'd be surprised for how small he is; MAN he has a big "voice"!
Attached is a recent family picture, and one of the little ones and Bruno we had taken late fall 2010.

Brett, Serena, Lily, Jasper, Bruno, and our foster Doberman Peanut




Dean was to be temporarily fostered by one of our regular foster familes, Kevin and Marissa. He wasn't there more than 12 hours when Kevin was telling Marissa he was never leaving. He fits right in with the rest of the crazy crew, fosters included. Plans are in the works for dachshund-friendly dog steps for access to the big bed.


Cheerio (formerly Darla)

Our son has a new best friend! Cheerio (or the beagle formerly known as "Darla") has been a wonderful addition to our family. Our son has wanted a beagle for a long time. The rest of us have also been very happy to have her join our "pack," which also includes Dad, Mom, Big Brother and Honey, our six-year-old golden retriever. Cheerio has been enjoying playing (especially with Honey, who is "nuts" about Cheerio! ) and sniffing every square inch of her new back yard...every day...several times a day. Thank you so much! Gail DuPuie



Shazam (formerly Captain)

Captain is now known as Shazam and lives on Staten Island, NY with a loving family and two doggie siblings. As of June 2009, Shazam is officially a therapy dog! Here is a recent e-mail from his new mom:

"EXCITING!!! Shazam passed his Therapy Test. I just have to send in the papers and off we go to Rehab and Nursing Homes. Very happy day, I also requested for the name "Shazam Captain Ryan" for his certificate, not to forget where and who he is originally from. "



Denver the beagle at home with his new parents!



Note: Bogart was rescued by PIF and sent to Homeward Bound Rescue in MN where he found his forever family.

From the moment we saw those big brown eyes we knew it was meant to be! We adopted Bogart from Homeward Bound about a month and a half ago and it has been the best month and a half of our lives. He's extremely caring about mommy and daddy and is always looking out for us. At 2 years old he still has some funny "puppy moments" and loves stuffed toys! His favorite toy is ?"Mr. Squirrel". He could chew on it all day! Bogart also loves real squirrels and can spot them a mile away. He even has a squirrel bandanna. Bogart loves to "flirt" with other dogs and makes his cute little happy whine when he meets them. He also loves to run back and forth super fast in his grandma and grandpa's back yard! His favorite "auntie" Tootsie the Bichon Frise lives there too. He has a lot of energy but when it's bedtime he's out like a light! Going to work with daddy is another one of his favorite things. He always says hi to everyone at the office and even has his own special work blanket. The greatest thing in the world is to come home to an excited Bogart. Even if we go somewhere for 15 minutes he certainly lets us know how happy he is to see us come back! We don't think there is a sweeter sound then Bogart's happy whines and yips. Most of the time he's a pretty quiet guy but when he's really excited he lets us know!

Thank you so much for giving us the gift of such a wonderful dog. We hope to adopt some friends for Bogart from Homeward Bound in the future!

-Tina & Tom



Note: Rockey was rescued by PIF and sent to Homeward Bound Rescue in MN where he found his forever family.

Just wanted to drop you a line on Rockey. WE LOVE HIM !!!!!!!!! He is a great dog. I was never a dog owner before this and I could not have wished for a better dog. When we are out walking people ask what he is and I tell them he is Shepard mixed with snaggle tooth. People still do the "oh my" at his teeth but I think they are part of his personality. He is an extremely courteous animal and is very loving. Not much excites him. My husband is teaching him how to play. He has never had an accident in the house. He is all around the best dog we could have wished for. Thank you again to Homeward Bound for letting us adopt Rockey.

-Tracy and Joe Jarvinen



I had always said I would never have a long haired dog nor would I have ever expected to own a 3 legged dog, but Clarisse showed me different! I am so glad that I made the decision to adopt her! She is wonderful and I mean wonderful! Her human brother is a little rough with her at times but she just licks on him to get him off or away from her, but if they aren’t in the same room she has to go check on him. Clarisse has a bark that will shake your socks; although you don’t hear it often it’s when you do it is such a surprise that such a massive sound comes from such a small girl! She loves to just hang out where ever I am; always lying at my feet which has been a tripping hazard more than once but it’s something I am getting used to! An almost 3 year old and a Shepard / Chow mix always at my feet can get a little rough at times! She really enjoys getting her daily brushing, and is really doing well with obedience training! She is very eager to please and is wonderful to work with. Looking at her is like looking at a person, there is something about those eyes that is very special; she is very special to me and my whole family!
She attracts a lot of attention where ever I take her, and I have had people make fun of me for having a tripod, but I am proud of her and everything she has been through in her short life is amazing to me. I tell them I want to give this dog the type of home that she deserves! It may slow her down a little but she has no trouble running all the way across the yard full speed and retrieving her tennis ball over and over again!
I really want to think Marissa for all the hard work you put into this little girl, and for the compassion you show to all your foster dogs! We really love Clarisse and are so happy to be able to give her a loving forever home! Thank You PIF for saving her and bringing her into our lives!

Annie M. Blake




After spending four months in foster care, learning to trust humans, Sid made the long journey to his forever home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He now has a boston terrier brother named Whiskey and a doting father, Martin.



Never in a million years could anyone have told me I would have
a Pekingese! I love ALL dogs, but I am more of a "medium- or
big-dog" person.

But last summer, my friend Rhonda, saved Pekingese Nana and
a boxer from being euthanized when their human could no
longer keep them. Rhonda found a home for the boxer fairly
quickly but didn't worry too much about Nana at first because the
little dog was no trouble to have around. Eventually, tho, Rhonda
realized that Nana needed a home, so she contacted Robin /
Pay It Forward about finding Nana a forever home. Robin needed
someone to transport Nana to the vet for her spay surgery. I
volunteered and afterwards said Nana could stay at my home to
" recuperate" and until we found her a home.

I really did try to find her a home at first, but most people were
shy of taking in a 10 yo dog, thinking Nana wouldn't have a lot of
years left. Nana was absolutely no problem to have around and
got along well with Doberman Dozer and Boxer-Pit-mix Babe. I
thnik Nana thinks SHE is a big dog, too. She loves to go running
off leash with them when I take them someplace safe and if they
bark at something, she chimes in, too. She greets me at the
door wagging that waterfall tail, sniffs around the yard
contentedly, barks to come in, sleeps on the foot of the bed and
cracks me up daily.I cannot imagine our home without her.

Nana's lesson has been that the last thing you think you WANT
may just be what you NEED the most -- be open and don't
discard the size of the package!



I grew up with dogs and love the companionship. I had been begging my fiancé for a puppy for a year and he finally caved. He wanted a cat. I started to look online and found Sassy. She sounded like just the dog for us. When Chad and I finally got to meet her I was a little apprehensive about what he would think of her. After she left he said simply “She is really cool”

A week later Sassy came to live with us. On her first night there I had to go to Owensboro to help my sister with something and so left the two of them to bond. When I got home the two of them were hanging out in the game room. Chad proceeded to ramble about all of the fun things they had done and how awesome she was.

That first night she slept on Chad’s pillow with him. When we woke in the morning she was there licking his face and he was actually in a good mood. Sassy had been here a week now and she still sleeps on his pillow and he still wakes up happy. She is so much fun and has such a cool personality. I am wondering what we did without her.

Thanks so much for bringing this family that piece of joy it was missing. The only thing to figure out now is how our little girl (Sassy) will fit into our wedding plans.



In the middle of July we had to put down our 17 1/2 year old Maltese mix, Sophie. She had arthritis very badly, was deaf and going blind and had a kidney infection. At that time we thought that we would not want another dog. But being dog lovers for 30 years and having had 4 dogs it was a given that we would get another dog. All of our dogs have been rescue dogs from the Humane Society or given to us so I went online to the Humane Society, Animal Care Society and the Shamrock Foundation. We did not find the right match for us. We were looking for an adult dog of Westie or Maltese Breed. We contacted the Indiana Westie group but a lot of the Westie dogs did not get along with children and I was very concerned about the dog being able to get along with my four year old granddaughter.
Then my daughter went on Petfinder.com and she called me to get on it on my computer. We both saw Dusty and fell in love with him .

We are in Louisville and Dusty was in Henderson, Kentucky. We met Robin Dance in Corydon, Indiana the end of August and became proud parents of Dusty. He is King of the House and everyone just loves him. He has a good yard to chase all of the squirrels and even has discovered the possum family under our back building. He is a great little traveler and loves to go in the car. He loves going to the parks in the area. We just got back from Land Between the Lakes and got to see Robin again in Henderson. We look forward to having Dusty with us for many, many years to come. He is a wonderful companion. Sophie is up in heaven looking down saying "You got yourself a really good guy".

Hugs and Kisses
Kay and Bob Hardy (and Dusty)
Louisville, Kentucky




We discussed getting a second dog as a companion for our current 10-year-old beagle. I wanted a miniature dog that would be loving, smart and cute. Nate’s experience and affection for beagles did not necessary overlap completely with my wishes. Through PetFinder.com we found Emmie and her story peaked our interest. We inquired and that weekend we met her foster parents and took Emmie home with us. She immediately adapted to her new surroundings and quickly learned sit, stay, fetch and walk on her hind legs. Emmie’s playful, friendly and polite nature makes her incredibly lovable. She is exactly what we both were looking for. We are so happy we found her and she is now a member of the family. Our older beagle is adjusting to his new young playmate. Emmie is much quicker than he when racing around the house (simulating doggie Olympics), but together they make quite the mischievous team.

Pamela Giasson & Nate Provost


Before and After

Sammy's information was cross-posted on a board I belong to: 911petrescue.com. I had tentatively been thinking about a second dog as company for my year old golden retriever. Sammy's sad face tugged at my heart and I couldn't get her out of my mind. She was so weak and underweight when found that she couldn't even stand.

I contacted the shelter and learned she had gone into rescue. After a few confusing emails and phone calls, I was finally put in touch with Robin who was Sammy's angel. I managed to convince her that Sammy was meant to be with us, and she moved to Michigan in September 2006.

She has brought joy into our lives every day, and loves being here with her big sister Molly. They play all day long, and spent many hours in the bay window watching everyone go by. They love to be outside, to go to the dog park and pet store, and to play ball.

She's come a long way from the sad little girl posted on Petfinder, and we look forward to many happy years with her.

Shari Wilcox



We had been looking for a playmate for our then 8 month old puppy Penny (also a rescue) and came across Tia's picture and it was love at first sight. I immediately emailed Debbie only to find out someone else was coming to see her that Saturday (this was Thursday). We were disappointed but she said the people always have a week to change their mind and she would let me know. Well Friday came and I thought it was a sealed deal, but Saturday I got an email that through a twist of circumstances with the adoptive family she was back with Debbie and did I still want her! Of course I leaped at the chance and arranged to go meet Debbie halfway to her house, an 85 mile drive for each of us, to go get her. She was a perfect fit from the moment we brought her home and Tia and Penny are BEST friends now. This was the best decision we ever made and we can't thank Debbie enough for her love and devotion while fostering Tia, and for your organization for caring so much for these helpless strays!

Judy Swain

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