A Few of Houndhaven’s Success Stories
Sweet Margo met a former adopter who came to pickup her homecoming auction items. Margo did her best to express with her paws and eyes “I’m ten years old, my owner died, I had knee surgery and I’ve got a broken leg. PLEASE take me home!” The message was quite clear to both of the humans present. Margo’s new mama talked it over with “dad”, and when he came out to meet her he pronounced that she was a member of their family! Margo is fitting in well, apart from some stubbornness about not wanting to take only short walks per the doctor’s instructions. Mama says when the splint comes off, obedience school begins!
Prada has a new doggie sister Hermione who, like Prada, is a lab mix. Mom has been looking for a playmate for Hermione. Both dogs did very well together at the home visit. Hermione showed off her big backyard to Prada who did her best to keep up with Hermione’s zoomies, but Prada couldn’t keep up. Mom is determined to get Prada into better shape. Mom told us Prada is fitting right in and sleeps next to mom’s bed. Family came to visit and said that Prada (her name isn’t changing) is incredibly sweet and mom totally agrees with that.
Drake was only at Houndhaven for a very short time before he was adopted. His new family’s yellow lab Teddy was missing a playmate, so the whole family (mom, dad and their three boys) brought him to the shelter to find a new brother. Teddy and Drake hit it off from the start. The family enjoys doing activities together, and whether it’s swimming in their pool, playing in the yard or watching tv, Drake–like Teddy–will be right beside them. In fact, at the end of his home visit, Drake was on a blanket on the floor watching tv with his new family.
Snickers’ new mom has made her one very happy pup. As much as we loved Snickers at Houndhaven and tried to spend extra time with her, it was really hard on her not to be in a home. But walking in the front door of her mom’s home, she immediately felt relaxed and comfortable. Mom is home from work until next March so the two will have a lot of bonding time. Snickers is keeping her name. And while she can never replace her mom’s beloved yellow lab that she lost earlier this year after 13 years, Snickers hopes to help ease the pain of that loss as the two start their new life together.
Autumn’s family are previous adopters. Having sadly lost their foxhound mix, they wanted a playmate for lab mix Sally (formerly Sally Sue at Houndhaven). In addition to Sally, Autumn has a 14 year old human brother Nicholas to play with both her and Sally. When the family came to Houndhaven to meet her, Autumn gave such good kisses they knew immediately she was the one. When Autumn arrived at her home, both family and friends were there. Autumn took it all in stride and greeted everyone. She acted as though she was already part of the family.
Juliana’s parents have had three dogs in the past and wanted that again. Juliana is the lucky dog they chose. While it wasn’t love at first sight with her doggy sisters Finn & Madison, it was promising. And mom let us know everyone is getting along and Juliana is doing well. She sleeps well in her crate. It turns out that Juliana loves toys and playing fetch with a ball. At the home visit, she sat for her dad each time he threw the ball. The three girls have a great fenced yard and pool area. Juliana’s new name is Oreo!
MOLLY & LUNA
Molly & Luna spent six months at Houndhaven, but we’re thrilled that they’ve been adopted together and now have a home and family of their own. Their new parents had been following our website and they felt the timing was right to bring two dogs into their home. Dad works from home which the girls will absolutely love. Molly & Luna have a large fenced backyard, several doggie beds (or even their parents’ bed if they prefer), a swimming pool and lots of tennis balls. Happy life, Molly, Luna and your parents!
Willie is living the good life with the family of one of our volunteers. Since he’s been in his new home, they said each day he shows them more and more of his adorable personality. He enjoys spending his days snoozing on the couch, chewing on bones, and running laps in the backyard. When they take him for walks, he loves every dog he meets. He has started beginner dog training classes and they said he’s extremely smart and learns very quickly. His family said they just love him and he’s brought them such happiness. Sounds like Willie is the perfect match for them!
DOLCE & GABBANA
Our two precious pups Dolce & Gabbana got to stay together and are doing great. They’re learning their new names (Faith & Grace), how to walk on a leash and potty outside. They’ve learned to sit for a treat and have their own fenced outdoor play area. Just like these two pups did at the shelter, their family said these two continue to sleep cuddled up on top of each other. Now not only do they have each other, they can depend on their family for all the comfort, security and love they could ever hope for. Happy life, Faith & Grace!
Cocoa Bear has started this new chapter in his life with a wonderful family. They are previous adopters who lost their beloved Houndhaven dog Sally (formerly Suzy) last year. Cocoa lives with a golden retriever sister named Lindsey and three cat siblings. The cats did run when Cocoa came to stay, but he didn’t chase them and with a little time they’ll get comfortable having Cocoa there. Lindsey and Cocoa have a large brick walled backyard to play in together, and Lindsey loves the pool but Cocoa hasn’t made a decision on how he feels about it yet. His parents are thinking about a name change for him. Have a happy life, sweet guy!
Nala will rarely be alone in her new home. She has a family of four humans with at least one person being with her most of the time. This also means she’ll always have someone willing to play catch with her. Nala has a pool with a large attached screened lanai but mom said, for now, Nala has decided the pool isn’t for her and has figured out how to keep her ball from falling in. She told us Nala is learning boundaries amazingly quickly and is adjusting really well. They’re keeping her name, and her family said they love having her with them. Good girl, Nala!
In a little less than two weeks Capri will be getting the all clear after going through heartworm treatment and she’ll be ready to go to her new home. Her two moms are so excited. They waited a whole year to adopt again after the loss of their previous dog. As soon as they saw Capri—and her beautiful eyes—online, they knew she was the one. She has a bed in every room waiting for her, and her moms even bought a new rug so Capri will be more comfortable when she lies on the floor. They’re not sure if they will change her name yet, but they are certain that the day when they can pick her up at the shelter can’t get here fast enough.
With their move to a brand new home, Courtney’s parents felt the timing was perfect to add a playmate for three year old lab/Australian cattle dog Fiona. They have more room now and are just waiting on approval for having their backyard fenced in. Courtney christened their new rug at the home visit, but they didn’t mind at all. She loved Fiona’s toy box and didn’t even notice the family’s cat. Courtney is currently at the shelter recovering from her spay and will be going to her home in just a few days. Her new name is Azula and will be affectionately known as ZouZou.
Sawyer went on a home visit recently which he loved. He had a great time checking out his large backyard and all its trees, exploring each room inside and picking out a favorite bed. He sat for treats and ignored the pool. There are two cats in the family but they mostly hid. Sawyer was interested in them but not too interested, and he enjoyed drinking their water from their bowls even though he has an extra large bowl of his own. His new family actually submitted an application a year ago and have been waiting for the right dog. So it was very hard for them to say good-bye to Sawyer since he had to come back to the shelter to finish his heartworm treatment. In just a few weeks Sawyer will be starting his new life.
Spenser’s mom has never been without a dog in her life. When her beloved standard poodle passed away recently, she was going to wait before adopting again, but her home just wasn’t the same. She wanted to adopt a young mixed breed dog that needed a home, and she felt a connection to Spenser when she saw him and read about him. He’ll get plenty of socialization from his extended family—there are three grand-dogs that visit regularly. Spenser has a home with a loving family (parents, an adult human sibling and a feline sibling), a pool, and a fenced backyard. They said they’re already completely in love with him. Thanks, Spenser, for doing a great job of helping to mend your family’s broken hearts.
Minnie’s new family was devastated by the loss of their lab a little over three years ago and then followed by the loss of their family cat. It took them a while to recover, but they now feel ready. Minnie’s family consists of two human sisters, ages 9 and 7, and their parents. Minnie loved playing with the girls at the home visit. They had quite a few new toys waiting for her. Minnie has a pool but only walked around it and then ignored it. Maybe with time she’ll learn to enjoy the water. One thing that we do know for sure is that Minnie is surrounded by the love of her new family.
Clancy, one of our sweet little pups, has gone to live with HH alum Piper Pepper and her parents. Piper was excited to have a playmate. And once he arrived, she decided it was her job to make sure Clancy stays off the couch that she was not allowed on for a very long time—until she wore out her humans! Clancy (now Zeus) will soon have his own travel bag like Piper does to go on day trips and road trips with their parents. They try to drive most places and find dog-friendly Airbnb’s so that Piper and now Zeus can go along. Happy travels, Zeus!
After experiencing a lot of loss in her life this year, Jingo’s new mom wasn’t sure she was going to get another dog, but she quickly realized how much she missed having a dog in her home. (She recently lost HH alum Liam.) Upon meeting, it was love at first sight for her and Jingo. He was very polite at his home visit. He approved of his new dog beds and his large backyard, and he LOVED the attention from mom—his tail never stopped wagging. He’s keeping his name, and the two of them will be joining mom’s friends and their dogs for group walks around the neighborhood. Jingo, we wish you and your mom many, many happy times together.
Linus is living with Houndhaven alum Dakota and their two moms during the week, and on the weekend they go to be with Dad in Ocala. He’s doing very well in his new home(s), is working on potty training and on not nibbling on humans 😊. He’s become a hunter and likes catching lizards and eating grasshoppers. He loves his big sister, and she’s adjusting to him being a permanent member of the family. Linus’ moms are veterinary dermatologists, so we know he will be well cared for. Congrats to Linus on a wonderful life with his new family.
Lance found himself the most perfect home. His parents said they were looking to have a second fuzzy face around and a forever playmate for their 4 ½ year old German Shepherd who also survived parvo just like Lance. They said it takes a big heart and a brave soul to fight through it and that was the spirit they were looking for. Lance’s new name is Yoshi and he’s learning how to shake, is working on his potty training and follows his big brother Rico everywhere. Rico has taken him under his wing. We think Yoshi is going to grow up to look just like Rico, too.
Although at first Cerese was a little unsure of her new puppy brother–Fred, a 5 month old golden doodle–it didn’t take long before the two were starting to play together, and within an hour they were sharing a doggy bed. There are also four humans (parents and sisters 11 and 12 years old) and two cats in the family. The cats have their own room and decided to stay hidden during the home visit. Fred sleeps in their parents’ bedroom and the plan is for Cerese (now Mazy) to sleep with one of the girls. The family said they love to spoil their pets and Mazy thinks that’s just perfect.
Estelle’s new mom is Joyce, a long time HH volunteer and friend who lost her sweet Kiko (also a Houndhaven alum) a while back. We were all waiting for the perfect fit and Estelle made the cut! Joyce started out as Estelle’s foster mom, but in a matter of just days she knew Estelle would be her forever dog. We’re so happy for these two. Estelle has made great progress, losing 11 pounds so far in Joyce’s care!! Congratulations, Estelle!
When Cooper’s recent home didn’t work out and Beau & his family learned that Cooper was back at Houndhaven, they came to his rescue and adopted him. So the two brothers are very happily back together again. Beau has been in training to be a service dog for several weeks now (dad was a former K9 handler & trainer for both the military and law enforcement) so Beau can share everything he’s learned with Cooper in the time they’ve been apart. And besides receiving great training, their parents have so much love to give these two brothers. They said Cooper is doing really well. Congrats to Cooper and thank you, thank you to his wonderful family who opened their hearts and home to him.
MESSINA & CARLI
Messina & Carli have been adopted together. While Carli’s previous adoption didn’t work out, things happened for the best and she got to go to a home with her buddy Messina. These two have a large fenced backyard to play in. At the home visit, Carli LOVED fetching the tennis ball and would bring it right back. Messina on the other hand just loved the tennis ball, but he should figure it out with a little time. Besides training and exercise, there will be plenty of snuggle time, too. Carli is going to keep her name, while Messina is now Maxwell. Have a great life together with your new family, Carli and Maxwell.
As volunteers at Houndhaven, we see so many great dogs come to the shelter and sometimes there’s just an instant connection with a particular dog. That’s what happened when Nicki and her volunteer mom met. As a result, Nicki didn’t have to stay with us very long and she’s in her forever home with her very own mom and dad. They’re all looking forward to going on car rides, long walks along Lake Minneola, and just relaxing together. Besides having that special bond with her mom, we’ve heard that Nicki (now Nala) is already in love with her dad, too!
Tanner went to a foster home to get some TLC and in just a very short time his parents saw what we all saw at Houndhaven—that Tanner is sweet, affectionate and absolutely adorable—and they quickly became a foster failure. He is recuperating from hip surgery in the comfort of his own home and being taken care of by mom & dad. Once he’s feeling better, he has a fenced backyard to run in and the nearby trail in Clermont to explore. He’ll be traveling with his parents to Gainesville and North Carolina to visit family. We can’t wait for the day Tanner is totally healed and can run again.
Toby’s mom is a Houndhaven volunteer who has helped take care of him since the day he came to the shelter three months ago. She saw all his wonderful qualities and what a super smart, fun dog he is and enjoyed handling him. She felt a connection to Toby and has brought him into her family of two senior jack russells and six cats! She missed having an athletic dog and Toby certainly is athletic with his love of exercise, playing ball and fetching. Toby and his mom have a special bond.
At her home visit when Venice was unsure about being inside the house, it didn’t upset her new family and their first concern was Venice and allowing her to acclimate at her own pace. They took her back outside and around to the backyard where she was much more relaxed. They stayed with her and she began to see that her humans love her. Venice is getting more comfortable in her home as each day passes and things are going well. They’re slowly teaching her voice commands and she loves the two walks a day that her sister takes her on. They told us Sadie (her new name) also loves her toy box and knows those are just for her. She definitely has the family that was meant just for her.
Jason was on his best behavior from the very start of his home visit. His new family was impressed by how well he walked with his new doggy brother and he sat nicely for treats. He found tennis balls in the backyard and showed everyone how fast he can run and bring back the ball. It was unanimous by the whole family that Jason was a keeper! His good behavior has continued. His family said he’s been amazing! No accidents in the house, loves retrieving balls, and chews bones only. He’s been to the groomer and will be attending a training program later this month. Jason is now Storm and his family said they’re thrilled to have him home with them.
Jake’s family pulled off a fantastic Christmas surprise. Jake’s new dad met him one Saturday at PetSmart and just knew that Jake was his dog. He even went back the following Saturday to spend time with him again, but was disappointed when our volunteers—who were in on the surprise—informed him Jake had a home visit scheduled with another applicant. In the meantime, the rest of the family had already made a secret trip to the shelter along with their dog Tucker (he was Mason Dixon when he was at Houndhaven). The two dogs got on well together and a home visit was scheduled. Dad was totally surprised when he opened the front door and Jake was standing on the doorstep! Jake is a sweetie who sits, gives everyone his paw and loves belly rubs.
After meeting Waverly at PetSmart, his new family fell in love with his sweet personality and felt he would be the perfect first dog for them. At his home visit, he did great with the three kids playing with his new toys. He showed everyone how smart he is by demonstrating “sit” and “shake”. They’re keeping his name. His family said he’s adjusting nicely and they’ve learned he loves to snuggle! He’s also enjoying all the attention he’s receiving from the three kids. His family said they are grateful to have the opportunity to love Waverly.
Tucker has a large family of five humans, two doggy sisters and a kitty brother. At his home visit he discovered that he loves to chase tennis balls and jump into pools. His family said he’s gotten to do those things and more–he’s gone for walks and taken car rides to pick up his human siblings from school. He’s done great with everything. Tucker (his name is staying Tucker) and his hound sister love racing around the yard together and he’s very respectful of his smaller beagle mix sister’s size when he plays with her. His family said they feel sorry for whoever abandoned Tucker because they missed out on a good one!
Ariel is in her new home and is the happiest girl. She has a mom and dad that love her and will spoil her. As soon as she walked in the door she made herself right at home. She found all her dog beds and decided she was in the perfect home with the perfect family. Her new name is Gabby. On her first afternoon at home she went for a walk to get to know the neighborhood and for a ride in her golf cart (which she loved) and settled in for a nap back at home—Gabby’s idea of a great afternoon.
Our buddy Max is settling in with his new family. They’re friends with one of our long-time volunteers who sent them a photo and video of Max. That’s all it took—they put their application in immediately. They’re partial to yellow labs and have had several in the past. Max has a fenced backyard to run and play in. He has lots of daily walks and love coming his way. His parents say he’s just great. Congratulations to Max.
Finnigan has been adopted. His family rescued an American Bulldog puppy a year ago. They wanted to add another dog to their family because they enjoyed raising Ferguson so much and he needed a buddy to run around and play with. They felt Finnigan was adorable and with him being the same age and having similar qualities—playful, friendly and funny—that he would be a great buddy for Ferguson. And their instincts were right. Finnigan and Ferguson are inseparable. Finnigan’s new name is Busby. There are also three family cats and Busby ignores them—which works out just fine. Things are going well. Good boy, Busby!
Cash had one of those record short stays at Houndhaven. The photographer who has taken such great photos for our website came to do a photo session for our newest dogs, met Cash and fell in love. He is now Obi and has joined HH alum Ursa (formerly known as Belarus). The two dogs are getting along great. They nap together and have even snoozed nose to nose. They also seem to enjoy sleeping on mom! We don’t think she minds at all. Happy tails to Obi, Ursa and their parents!
It was a three-hour drive, but Lizbeth didn’t mind because she was on her way to her forever home and her new mom and dad were waiting for her to arrive. When she got there, her tail never stopped wagging. Her family had been looking for a year when they said they saw Lizbeth’s sweet face online. She’ll be getting daily walks on a paved walking trail in her community where she’ll be able to socialize with other dogs. And of course, she’ll have mom & dad’s undivided attention. They’ve added an “a” to her name and she’s now Lizabeth. She’s a happy girl and settling in well.
Although they didn’t know what to make of her when she first got to their home, former Houndhaven dogs Bingo and Brady Boy have welcomed Calliope to their family. Brady loves to play and they were hoping to find a dog that would be his playmate. Not only does Callie (her new name) love to play with Brady, she has so much energy she’s wearing him out. The two are having a blast chasing balls in the yard. And while Bingo isn’t as playful, he sweetly slept next to Callie’s crate on her first night. She’s discovered she has a kitty brother, too and he and Callie are taking it one day at a time, but they will get there. Mom said Callie is the sweetest girl.
Everyone at Houndhaven knows just how much Velvett loves water. She also loves children. And she thinks it’s pretty great that her family has two children (a boy and a girl) and that her new brother loves playing with the hose and the kiddie pools outside, and he has been so excited to have Velvett come join in on the fun. She’s got a new collar and lots of toys. At the home visit she thought all the stuffed animals in the kids’ bedrooms were for her, too. The family enjoys hiking and meeting friends at the park and will bring Velvett along on these outings. She’s getting all the belly rubs she wants. It’s wonderful that Velvett has all her favorite things now thanks to her new family.
Milly walked into the kitchen at the shelter and while there were other people there, she went directly to the person who has now become her new dad. She was a girl who knew what she wanted and her tail never stopped wagging as she looked up at him adoringly. Her new name is Jasmine. HH alum Kona (f/k/a Fawn) came with her family to meet Jasmine at her home visit and they got along well. Kona wanted so badly for Jasmine to play tug, but Jasmine wasn’t interested in the toys that day. Dad said she’s adapting well and enjoys sitting on the couch with him and loves begging for treats. Great work choosing your new dad, Jasmine!
BRECK & BROCK
Breck & Brock have been adopted and are doing good in their new home. Their parents work from home now and knew they wanted to share their home. They actually looked for a bonded pair and knew at first sight they wanted Breck and Brock. At their home visit Brock explored the house and soon had his new toys all over the place while Breck found a comfy spot to watch everyone. Mom and dad said as the days go on Breck is making progress and has started playing with her toys, too. They’re willing to give Breck all the time she needs. Breck is now Dutchess and Brock is Duke.
Jennings is now at his new home. His family had originally met him at animal control and fell in love, but he needed to come to Houndhaven to have a medical issue fixed. They were delighted to hear that he was with us because they had already fillout out our application. It was perfect timing as his family’s fence was completed just before his home visit. It didn’t take long for him to want belly rubs and lap time with his parents. His mom and dad have named him Bentley and they said he’s loving and sweet, loves to sleep on the bed and cuddle on the couch. He has a wonderful new life!
Handsome Blackburn is settling in at his new home, becoming more comfortable as each day passes. His mom works from home so he’s enjoying being with her and going on their twice daily walks together. He has a large fenced yard for play time and at the home visit he made it his mission to inaugurate every plant and flower in it! Since recently losing her dog of 14+ years, mom said she needed another soul in her home to love and care for which is what Blackburn needed and he has a lot of love to give in return, so it worked out great for both.
Baron has a forever family waiting for him. Once the vet gives him the “all clear” from his heartworm treatment, he’ll get to go to his new home. At the home visit, he was very sweet, calm and very respectful of his family’s baby. He sat nicely for homemade doggie cookies and decided he likes soft squeaky toys. He’s got a large, fenced yard and his dad can’t wait for him to be able to resume normal activities so they can play fetch with a tennis ball. It was difficult for his family to say goodbye to Baron, but it’s not for long as they’ll be able to pick him up at Houndhaven in just a few weeks.
Loggins’ new name is Bolton, and his parents have been wanting to expand their family for a while and find a brother for their lab Blue. He will have his choice of couches and also beds once he braves the stairs, and they hope he’ll also learn to love the water as much as Blue does. As his home visit was over, Bolton was starting out on his first walk to the beach (just a block away from his home) with his family. They said he’s coming out of his shell more each day and is even more fun and loving than ever.
MOLLY & KOVA
Molly & Kova’s new parents said their house was empty as they lost both of their sweet dogs in the past three months (one was Houndhaven alum Raven). Mom is a teacher and at home right now so they thought this was the right time to adopt, and when they saw the Facebook videos of Molly & Kova, they fell in love. Their son and his dog Grady are visiting, so Molly & Kova got to meet them and the three dogs did really well together. Grady & Kova took turns running up and down the stairs, but Molly will need a bit more time before she joins in on that activity. Molly’s name is staying the same but Kova’s new name is Colby. Their first night in their new home went incredibly well.
Bruno (originally Brisket) was posted on our website’s available dogs list for a total of about five minutes when one of our applicants contacted us about adopting him. He came out to the shelter that same day to meet Bruno and a few days later Bruno was in his new home. Dad works primarily from home and is looking forward to taking Bruno on walks and hiking trips. And Bruno will have lots of doggy friends to play with as, besides going to the nearby dog parks, a golden lives next door to Bruno and the next house over has four dogs. Bruno’s name is staying the same. Dad now has a best friend for life in Bruno.
There were unlimited belly rubs for Layla from her whole family—mom, dad and sister—at her home visit, and at least one family member will almost always be home to give her as many kisses, snuggles and belly rubs as she wants. Layla is living in pet-friendly and walkable Celebration. Besides going on lots of walks daily, she’s been enjoying playing fetch with her new toys and just having fun running around the house with various toys in her mouth making happy noises and wagging her tail the whole time.
Our little buddy Blade is enjoying life as the center of attention in his new home. Right now, he’s spending the most time with dad as mom is still working. Dad had a tennis ball waiting for him and plans on teaching Blade to play catch. Blade’s parents have sent us an update: Things are going very well and he’s a very good boy. They told us he loves running in his fenced backyard and seems to be very happy. They’ve renamed him Toby and said he’s a very good fit for their family. Thank you to his parents for giving this sweet pup a great home. Congratulations, Toby.
Miss Birdie has finally recuperated from her leg surgeries, and she’s officially been adopted by long-time friends of Houndhaven. She will be joining Houndhaven alum Harry (formerly Potter), Fred the macaw, and two feral cats. This family has adopted three other Houndhaven dogs previously. Birdie and Harry get along well (even if Birdie did steal Harry’s chicken strip that he was saving) and Birdie is a real daddy’s girl. The first time they met she fell asleep with her head resting on dad’s foot. She’s going to enjoy frequent camping trips with her new family. Birdie said she’s glad for that e-collar to be off–she has places to see and a family to love.
WINSTON & HARPER
Winston and Harper get to continue their life together looking after each other. They also have new parents and two adorable girls (ages 12 and 7) to look after now, too. While Harper was excited and happy, she showed it in a quieter way. But Winston couldn’t contain himself. He was enthusiastic about everything–he smothered the girls with kisses, played in his water bowl and splashed most of the water out of it in the process, and ran up and down the steps. Who knew Winston could even move that fast?! The two will stay officially Winston and Harper, but their girls already had special nicknames picked out for them. Winston will be Winnie after Winnie the Pooh and Harper will be known as Harp. Mom and dad are both animal care professionals and the whole family is very active so that will help with Winston & Harper getting to their weight loss goal. This happy home is exactly where these two were meant to be.