Adoption Stories

Adoption Stories

Have you adopted a Pen Pals graduate?  Please send your story and photos in to to be featured on this page.

Niyak and Daphne

niyak and daphne 0415 (1)


What a wonderful update! Niyak (left) and Daphne (right) are both Pen Pals alumni! So happy they found each other.

“Niyak and Daphne are absolutely fabulous. They are the best of friends, and Daphne definitely was definitely the best thing that ever happened to Niyak.”

Fiona, Fluvanna Correctional Center Grad

Fiona FCC

Still going strong at 12 years old!

Ace, Lunenburg Correctional Center, Class of 2012

Ace1  Ace2

“We take him everywhere with us, including wine tastings in the Texas Hill Country.”

–Pam, Ace’s Mom

Mako, Fluvanna Correctional Center Graduate


Henley, Fluvanna Correctional Center Graduate



Sailor day care  sailor bone

I wanted to give you an update on Sailor, a Pen Pals Alum. We adopted Sailor two years ago and he is an amazing dog. He loves to play and enjoys his days at doggie day care. He has been a wonderful addition to our family. This year, Sailor became a big brother. He loves his little sister and I’m sure when she gets older they will have an amazing time playing chase, catch and having fun. He spent the first few months after she was born watching over her crib. He has learned to love cats (although I’m not sure the feeling is mutual). The Pens Pals program is amazing and I always tell people that are looking to adopt a dog to check it out. They did an amazing job laying the training foundation for Sailor. I credit them for how good he is with the baby. Thank you so much for this program and the dedication to all the animals that are in and have gone through the program.

–Tracy, Heath, and Gabrielle, Sailor’s Family


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Sadie Update

Here’s an update on Sadie, a Pen Pals alum all the way back from 2007!!

“Just wanted to let everyone know how well Sadie is doing- though she is considered a ‘senior’ now, she is as full of life and energy as ever. We have children now and Sadie is truly their best pal. She has adapted extremely well to having kids around and sees them as her opportunity to get more treats snuck to her! She has hip dysplasia, but gets monthly injections and she shows no signs of slowing down…”



Panga is living the life I want!  She is so loved by her family and gets to enjoy lots of lazy time with them.  Panga is now a wonderful running buddy.

Bucky (Formerly Shortstop)



Bucky enjoys sleeping in the sun, running like a lunatic at the dog park, and befriending everyone he meets (human and canine).  Bucky is now acting as an emotional support dog!

Bella (Formerly Bianca)

Bella for Website

Bella is living the good life!


Noah and Maui 1     Noah Car 3

Noah Christmas Lights     Noah and Maui 2

“Noah is a GREAT dog and we are so happy with him. He just wants love and attention. He and Maui play together very well…Noah sometimes forgets he’s a little bigger but Maui always lets him know if it’s too much and he stops. Every once in a while he will get into the kids toys but listens well if you tell him to leave something. He’s just letting them know he wants some attention and that they should pick up their toys!…I hope you all have had a wonderful start to the New Year and thank you for all you do! We got a great addition to our family because of what you do. Please tell the ladies at Fluvanna THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the training!! They did a great job! Hope you enjoy the pictures!!”

–Teresa, Noah’s Mom


10462674_10106818971328684_429173461309396994_n     10915157_10107952540561854_1658523986213029272_n

“Penny is wonderful.  She’s loving, mellow (unless she finds another dog to play with, then its like a switch is flipped and she has tons of playful energy), well mannered, and just all around a wonderful dog.  We couldn’t gotten a better dog, and she’s really absolutely perfect for us.  We always have friends happy to house sit, or to have her visit for the weekend when we go traveling, to the point when they ask us the next time we’ll be out of town so they can get more Penny time!

She is getting along amazingly with our cats (it took about a year for them to warm up, but that’s as much because my cats got introduced to a dog for the first time at 6 years old when we first brought her home than because of Penny).  She gets along amazingly with my sisters two 4-year old daughters.  I could go on to gush, but really she’s just a great dog.”

–Sarah, Penny’s Mom


Copper     Copper2

“Just a little update on Copper! He’s doing great! It’s amazing how much his demeanor has changed and how much of his personality has come through. He’s such a little love bug.

We have had no negative incidents at all! He’s great on the leash, friendly with other animals…including our cats! Aria is 100% back to her normal self, although she still likes to hiss at him a bit after they kiss noses. 🙂

He spent the weekend with me at my parents for turkey day, and my mom really doesn’t like dogs, but by the end she really liked him and declared herself a “copper person”, but not a quite a dog person… Yet!

He sleeps right at our feet throughout the night, and outside of the occasional watch dog in him, he is so quiet and most of all just is so loving. He fills my heart with so much joy.

Here’s a picture of us lounging on my birthday this past week. He definitely has completed our family. ❤️”

–Amanda, Copper’s Mom



“We first saw Gus on and knew immediately that he was the one for us. We were looking for a Beagle, sex didn’t matter. Since we live near Baltimore, MD we both had to take a day off work to drive the 5 hours to get him. We brought our other rescue, a Belgian Malinois, Candy with us. We needed to make sure they would both get along. When they met neither one really paid any attention to the other, I was not sure if that was a good sign or not. Gus was very scared of most things, including my husband, Bob. Candy was able to teach Gus how to be a pet and how wonderful life is!! She taught him how to climb steps, another thing he was afraid of. We have 3 acres fenced but we still need to walk Gus on a leash because he didn’t know how to come when called. I used Candy and the clicker to teach him to come when called and that didn’t take long, since he is a beagle (food hound). He was afraid or nervous of even being petted so I taught him that human touch was not going to be a bad thing. I would massage him and he loved that! We both would feed him by hand in order to get him used to both of us. He warmed up to me much faster, he is still more nervous around men than women. We take him camping and he loves it! Now he lets anyone come up and pet him! Even kids, where he used to be nervous around little kids.  I am sure our house was the perfect place for Gus because it is just my husband and me. We both treat him the same, so as to not confuse him. Gus and Candy do not need to prove who is boss, they are so the same in that way. Neither is alpha and neither is omega. Our house is very quiet, we live way out in the country, not near a road/traffic. There are many reasons why Gus fit in so quickly. One is because of his relationship with Candy. We don’t have any kids. Our house is quiet. He needed all these things to be able to adjust to life as a pet in a house. When we got Candy as a 4 month old pup, our other Beagle, Belle taught her all the ins and outs of being a pet. Now she is the one teaching Gus all those good things she learned!  It took Gus 6+ months to adjust to life here, but it was no doubt the best thing for him. He nows plays with us and his toys! He barks when Candy does, if someone is at that door or if someone comes in the yard. Now he lets anyone pet him.  I remember when he first saw the TV on, he would bark at it!! It took him months to get used to the TV. Then when I would watch PetTube on the laptop he would sit and watch!! Sometimes sniffing the screen or looking behind the screen! He would never walk in front of us, now he does! As a Beagle he loves to go out in the yard and field to run around and sniff everything!! I am so glad that we have so much to offer him.

Gus has turned into the dog he was always meant to be. We could not have asked for a better dog!!”


roo and brother     roo golf cart 1114

Roo is settling in well.  She is loving all the squeaky toys from Bentley’s toy chest.  She already killed one squeaker.  Bentley is warming up to her more but is still rolling his eyes at her!  We took the dogs to the beach and Roo had a blast.  So many scents.  She had her nose down almost the entire time.  She was intrigued by the waves but I didn’t encourage her to go in because it’s cold.  She loves all the toys in my house and had no problem settling in.


axel1         Axel 5

“In April 2012, we decided that we would begin looking for a “big” dog to join our menagerie. We already had two rescue cats and an 11 year old dachshund named Roxie, so we needed someone who would recognize her as the Queen Bee of the household. Thus, our search began. We found Pixie’s Pen Pals, spotted Axel, and spoke to a trainer right away. Axel had actually been placed for a very short period with another adopter, but was returned to the program, so we pounced at our chance to meet him. I loaded up Roxie in the car and went out to Fluvanna to introduce them. When Axel, at that time a 10 month old 63 pound lab mix, met Roxie, he politely exchanged sniffs with her, then lay down so she could get a better view of him. She sniffed him a few times and promptly began ignoring him. It was then I knew we had our boy, and we brought him home. He definitely had some fits and starts as he began his life with us. He was far too interested in our kitties, and needed to learn to respect their space, and he had been taught by whomever gave him up originally to nip at ankles (especially children’s ankles). But with a few private sessions with Virginia and a short stint with another trainer, he has become a close to model citizen. Now weighing in at almost 90 lbs, he is the apple of our eyes. He adores our girls, most especially our 12 year old, who he follows everywhere. He is an enormous goofball, making us laugh daily. His nickname is “Bubba” because of his extreme goofiness. He is an incredible addition to our family, and loved to pieces. We’re so blessed to have found our boy through Pixie’s and to the trainers and inmate handlers who brought him along from unadoptable dog with behavior issues to a dog our 12 year old can walk on a loose lead. Thank you, Pixie’s for sending our boy to us! “

–Kati, Axel’s Mom

Snoopy, Now Sam


“Snoopy (transitioning to “Sam”) is just a real lover boy.  He has just settled in beautifully.  He makes himself right at home.  We have been walking for 3 miles each day and he has already lost 3 pounds.  We are working on toning down his food cravings and his walks in the urban world are getting better each day. I am most grateful to Fetch a Cure, Pen Pals and all the patient, caring teachers/friends Snoopy has had this past year.  Thank you all.”

–Carol, Sam/Snoopy’s Mom


Brooklyn 3               brooklyn

“For the past several months I have been searching for a companion dog, talking to people in shelters, reviewing dogs for adoption, until I found the Fetch a Cure website.  The Fetch a Cure employees, particularly Sarah, spent hours on the phone and email helping me search for the right fit, advising me on the choices they thought would work and the choices they knew would not.  When I made my first selection and spent a week at home with him, he was the most beautifully trained dog I’ve ever known, affectionate and loving, but the prior occupant of the home – my cat – did not get along with him.  Sarah personally drove halfway to meet me when I had to return the dog and to reassure me that they would continue to try to find him the right home.  She suggested I meet another dog instead.  All I can say is that she was absolutely right: Brooklyn is perfect for me and my home and it was pretty much ‘love at first sight’.  She has found a forever home with people who love her and she certainly gives just as much love in return.  This would not have been possible without Fetch a Cure.  I cannot thank them enough for the time they take, the care they show both the dogs and the adopters, and the effort they cheerfully spend making sure the choice is the right one.  It has been a wonderful experience!”

–Beth, Brooklyn’s Mom

Cocoa and Bitsy


“Wanted to share this picture of Cocoa and Bitsy relaxing with me last night.  They are my Pen Pal pups. Bitsy didn’t handle prison life so well so she was fostered, but Cocoa was a graduate. We love them dearly and are so happy to give them a forever home. :)”

–Janine, Cocoa and Bitsy’s Mom.

Dudley and Family


“Wanted to give you an update about Dudley. In a nutshell, he’s fantastic! We are just crazy about him.

He looks forward to walking with us to the bus stop, going on walks and running with his golden retriever buddy who lives down the street. It’s been so fun to have a dog that we can take places. He does great in the car and he’s never growled at another dog. We regularly get compliments on what a good looking dog he is. We can’t take any credit so we just agree. The pictures [included] are from the Soggy Doggy Day at ACAC. Before they close the pool they let members bring their dogs swimming. It took him a few minutes to warm up but then we took him off the leash and he had a blast in the pool. Not exactly the best swimmer but he did great. There were a ton of dogs there too and he was sooooo good.

Whenever someone [asks] about him, I give them the story of where he came from. The Pen Pals program is truly amazing. [Dudley’s Handler] did a great job training Dudley and fortunately we haven’t undone it. He’s actually gotten better with us and following commands. We can him outside off the leash and throw the ball for him.”

–Sara, Dudley’s Mom