Two weeks ago, I received an email from a lady who adopted a dog from Charleston Animal Society.  It made me cry… tears of joy.  I remember quite vividly the morning I first met Kendra.  She was a beautiful 1 year old Pit mix who was super skinny + had obviously been neglected in her life prior to coming to CAS.  She was so gentle and had the most inquisitive, soulful eyes.  Both Brian and I fell in love and as I walked her back into the shelter after taking her photograph for the website, I prayed that she would be adopted by a family that would love her forever and give her the type of life that every dog deserves.

I was elated when I found out she was adopted, as I am with every dog I meet + photograph that makes it out of the shelter.  It is usually at that point when the story ends for me.  It’s rare that I ever really know what happens to the shelter dogs after adoption – unless, of course, they are returned and I see them back at the shelter.  That always crushes me.

But this time, I got this beautiful email and updated photos from Kendra’s adopter:

Dana,
You photographed a dog I adopted from CAS back in March, her name was Kendra. You wrote she tugged on your heart strings and you hoped she would get a good life. I just wanted to send you a picture to let you know you got your wish. I love her so much and she is a fabulous addition to our family. She got a new life and a new name “Lillie”. Thanks for all you do!

My heart melted with pure joy as I read this email and looked at the photos she sent me.  It really put everything into perspective. This is why I do what I do.  This is why I volunteer at a high kill shelter.  This is what it’s all about.  It’s stories like these that make all of the heartache, frustration + sadness that can come with working in this environment worth it.  Happy endings do come true for shelter dogs and I just love it when people share those stories with me.  I’m so glad I could play a small part in her story + I will continue to do whatever I can to help homeless dogs in Charleston find a happy ending of their own.

Congratulations Lillie!  Looks like you hit the jackpot!

Please spread the word – adopt, don’t shop!  There are plenty of deserving dogs waiting for their forever home at your local animal shelter.