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From Tragedy to Happiness

The following article was written by PETA online activism coordinator Jessy Easton in honor of ‘Adopt a Shelter Dog’ Month.

During college, I lived in a dormitory and was not able to take my dog with me. After putting my nose in a book for three years, I was finally reunited with my lil’ rescued companion, Angelina. My parents had been taking care of Angelina, and when I arrived home, I found that she had become a close companion to my dad. Because of my parents’ divorce, my dad was moving to Michigan; I decided that it was best for Angelina to accompany him on the long road trip to her forever home. I was happy that my companion was bringing my dad so much joy in this time of trouble.

During the three-day road trip to Michigan, tragedy struck. My dad hit some black ice on the road and lost control of his truck. The vehicle rolled, causing the windows to break. The shock of the crash made Angelina frantic, and she jumped through one of the truck’s broken windows and started to run away. With a broken neck, my dad ran after Angelina screaming her name, only to be met with a terrible fate. Angelina was hit by a semi-truck right in front of his eyes. My dad called me from the hospital. Through his sobbing, he managed to tell me of Angelina’s death. After this tragic accident, I decided to fill the empty void that the loss of Angelina had left inside me by adopting a dog from an animal shelter.

I looked at the websites of many Los Angeles animal shelters, and I found a shelter that was located approximately 30 minutes away from my home. I was looking for an older dog because my heart aches for the animals who have had to spend their “golden years” in a concrete prison. I explained to a staff member at the animal shelter that I wanted to adopt an older dog who had been at the shelter for a long time. I wanted to give a dog a second chance at life, so I asked the staff to show me the dogs who they thought didn’t have a bright future. After searching tirelessly, I found her—an 8-year-old miniature Doberman pinscher who was sick from malnutrition and had been in the shelter for more than a month. When a staff member handed her to me, she was covered in dirt and shaking with fear. She had been found stranded on the streets, starved and scared. As I looked into those worried eyes, I knew that I could give her a forever home full of love and joy.

Before taking my new family member home with me, I had the shelter implant a microchip in her so that her chances of getting lost on the streets again were slim to none. I named her Sydney after Sydney, Australia—the place in the world that I wanted to go to the most. It’s been about two and a half years since I adopted Sydney, and I still haven’t made it to Australia. But I have something better—companionship. Sydney has touched my life in more ways than I could ever name. She is a blessing, and she has mended my broken heart from the loss of Angelina with her adoration and loyalty. I thank God every day for being able to offer a loving home to an animal in need. You could say that I rescued Sydney, but I’m the one who feels rescued.

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  • murielhyacith says:

    i have 12 dogs 4 of them is adopted,i found them on the street i really love them i give them their own dog house the 12 of them and showered them with love,care and affection.we are created equally by God and animals s the less unfortunate one so we should love the animals of all kinds.

  • DogMom says:

    This was a very nice article. We adopted a ten year old Shih Tzu from a local shelter. He came to our home already housebroken and knowing basic commands. We reinforced this with obedience training. His energy level is perfect for our lifestyle. Giving that one-eyed dog a home was the greatest thing we’ve ever done. He is so bonded to us. There has been nothing more gratifying than giving an older dog a second chance at a loving home and a second chance at life.



  • Cecilia Gonzalez says:

    That is an inspiring story. Homeless aniamls are a blessing!!! they are always willing to demostrate us love and compain us in every single moment of our lives. I think they appreciate everything deeper becasue of their suffering experiences.

    I am organizing a foundrising to spread te word about animal rights and to remember the people to not forgett about animals becasue we are their only hope. I am planning in purchasing prodcuts from the PETA catalog with the money of the foundrising to give them as gifts in my community, college, home and everywhere possible to inform the people about animals rights. Please take a look at it and it, I will appreciate your help and it would be great if you pass the voice to your friends… I really need everyones help to could attain my goal.

  • liz says:

    What a touching story. Animals are such a blessing. Heaven received two more angels that sad day. I love visiting my local animal shelter. I have allergies so I spend 2 hours a week playing with them. They bring me so much joy to my week. I can’t imagine why someone would go buy an animal in a pet store when they can rescue one from a shelter.

  • BelleB says:

    What a sad and happy story! My heart goes out to Jessy and her Dad, he must have been heartbroken, I hope he’s recovered both physically and emotionally from the ordeal. I’m so happy the story had a happy ending, Sydney and Jessy look lovely ladies!

  • Sara says:

    I am from Sydney and this city would be honoured and privledged to have somone with a heart like yours, visit or even live here.

  • genkidolphin says:

    Thanks for sharing, I plan to get a dog in the not so distant future, an older dog from the shelter sounds like a good idea!

  • Chaminda says:

    Jessy your story made me cry. Both sad and happy tears for Angelina and Sydney. You are a true human. I wish that every one could do the same. If every animal lover think the way you do it would be much easier to close the puppy farms as well as to help these poor animals in animal shelters. I wish you good luk in every thing you do.

  • Lauren says:

    This story gave me chills. I miss my Miniature Pinscher. She passed away far too early.. However, my other dog came from the same shelter, and she’s such a sweetie. I don’t understand why some people don’t want to adopt animals from shelters..

  • Janet Siri says:

    Very touching story, thank you for sharing it with us!! I have a miniature Dachshund that we adopted from a shelter, he is such a wonderful addition to our family, we adore him, I also lost my best friend of 14 years(a husky mot), if I ever decide to get another dog this is the only way I would go.

  • shawna goodwin says:

    this story brought tears to my eyes i just lost my dog of 15years and miss him everyday. i’m not ready for another companion yet but when i am i will be going to a shelter also

  • Nancy says:

    Jessy, GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FATHER. You are one of those who care about these small souls that are commonly fortotten by common people. YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. PLEASE, BE THE WAY YOU ARE FOREVER.

  • Anita says:

    Beautiful story! Lucky Sidney!

  • MamaMischief says:

    I have never heard of a miniature Doberman pinscher. IDK if the dog was bred small, but if she meant a Miniature Pinscher, they are NOT mini-dobermans. They are their own breed. In fact, the breed has been around longer than the Doberman by about 50 years. Just had to point all that out.

  • Andreas Håkansso says:

    I must say this brief article had me shed some tears. I’ve grown up with dogs, I’ve lived alongside them, I’ve loved them, and I’ve seen them pass away. The woe caused by losing your best friend does inevitably leave an enormous void.

    Merely by mentioning those innocent eyes you gained an entirely new level with this article, and I adore you for actually deciding to help a dog whose life otherwise seemingly would go to waste. It’s admirable of you, that instead of choosing that spunky li’l pup, to actually opt a friend who needs you just as much as you need it. To save the lost, so to speak…

    It was a pleasure reading your declaration of love for dogs; it brightened my day. =)

    Yours sincerely, Andreas, Sweden

  • yuvi says:

    very good work done……………….we all proud of you