Finding joy and unexpected opportunity during this global pandemic continues to challenge even the strongest constitutions. Enter PUPPY LOVE… Arkansans are opening hearts + homes to FURever friends and welcoming the unbridled joy that dogs deliver with devotion. Here are just a few “happily ever after” tails < and wags >

 width=Miner – Saline County Humane Society, Paige & Stephen Brasher 

Photography by Barbie Jones 

“Stephen and I were going to run errands on a hot summer day and as we got into his truck Stephen told me he needed to make a stop and “show me something”. He took me to a car lot in Benton and I was very confused. As we pulled up I saw the Humane Society’s truck and he admitted to calling about a puppy! We visited all the dogs up for adoption that day. I was so surprised when he told me we were taking this cinnamon colored pup home with us! Miner is named after the Bauxite Miners, where Stephen coached football that year.”

 width=Pete – Out of the Woods, Natalie Sanderson

“I adopted Pete from my friends Meggie Green and Michael Inscoe. Out of the Woods rescued him from the side of the road where he was found after being shot by a horrible person. His front leg was amputated. Meggie and Michael adopted him with fresh stitches. Pete and I connected right away, which wasn’t incredibly common given his traumatic past. So, I was basically his godmother. Meggie and Michael moved to NYC to pursue opportunities and that’s not a city suitable for Pete. That’s when they asked me if I would like to adopt him. I had never had my own dog before, but it was a no brainer. Pete is the best decision I have ever made and I make sure he feels the same way everyday.”


Nora & Lilly – Humane Society of Pulaski County, Laurel Lawrence

“After serving on the Humane Society of Pulaski County Board of Directors for more than 12 years, I knew the fate of most black dogs that end up in a shelter – especially adult dogs. I have always tried to be conscientious to pay attention to them. Nora – her shelter name was Jai or something like that – was outside with a volunteer and without ever going to visit the other animals inside, she was immediately plucked from the shelter and driven to her forever home. She was almost exactly a year old and adult dogs are far slower to find homes. She’s 8 years old and still a puppy.”

 width=Kali, Nelli & Nova, The Parker Family

Photography by Bob Ocken

Kali – “In January of 2013 we learned that a 3 year old Great Dane needed a foster until she was able to find a forever home. As so many similar stories, she never left – we were her forever home! In her younger years Kali liked to chase squirrels and get her feet wet in the lake, but her favorite thing has always been laying in the grass with all of the neighborhood kids climbing all over her. She has been known to “counter surf” and one time pulled an 8 quart pot of soup off the stove top and licked it clean.”

Nelli & Nova – “Jan Zimmerman shared on Facebook that a litter of pups needed homes. We went to get one and came home with two! Dad is a yellow lab. Mom is a German Shorthair Pointer.”

 width=Walter T – Little Rock Animal Village, Deanna Jones

Photography by Callie Neel with FTP Collective


“Here is Walter’s before and after…he was known as Jake when he first came to Little Rock Animal Village, and had a pretty bad skin problem. In fact, he was in the back in quarantine when I stumbled upon him on PetFinder.”


Martin Family

“Scout was abandoned at the Humane Society when he was just a few months old. He was eventually adopted for several years but brought back again when his family’s circumstances changed. That’s when we met him and fell in love! He sleeps with our daughter and is the sweetest, gentlest boy.”

“We rescued Moose when he was found wandering in our neighborhood. His owners were located but they were moving and wanted to find him a home. We decided to foster him until a permanent home could be found and he never left!  We are crazy about him and his silly, loving, fun personality.”

“Marley was our first senior dog adoption and we highly recommend it! She was owner surrendered to the Humane Society of Pulaski County with her lifelong companion at age 7 years old, but it became evident pretty quickly that her companion was very sick. When he was taken from her cage, Marley became so depressed she wouldn’t even lift her head to eat, so we brought her home until he got better and they could be adopted together. Sadly, he passed away just a few days later from advanced cancer and we knew we couldn’t give her up. She is maybe the sweetest dog that ever lived!”

“My husband rescued Alex in Northeast Arkansas nine years ago. At that time, she was the youngest of our then four German Shepherd rescues. She is fiercely loyal to my husband and her job is to wait all day for him to walk in the door, to follow him around and be close to him. She is super smart, sweet and affectionate.”

 width=Walter – CARE, Paws in Prison, Amy & Lars Turpen

Photography by Whitney Bower for Home Sweet Home (Et Alia Press)

“Walter is all love and hair. He is a seven year old great Pyrenees/Labrador Retriever mix, adopted from CARE in October of 2013 when he was almost a year old. Walter was picked up roaming the streets of Conway, skinny and starving at about nine months old. CARE rescued him from the shelter that picked him up and entered him into the Arkansas Paws In Prison Program, but was moved to service dog training because he was very smart with good temperament. But after a few weeks of service dog training, his trainers noticed he was having some muscle tremors and weakness in his legs and he was put back into the regular program. He finished out his eight weeks of training with a lot more tricks than most Paws In Prison dogs have due to the extra training, and we finally were able to take Walter home. He was still skinny and taking medication, but after a few months of good food and care, he was close to 90 pounds and was weaned from his medication. The tremors and weakness he had when he was in training were gone, and the cause is still a mystery. Walter is a healthy, happy dog. He loves spending time with his family and doesn’t mind is sister Gemma (CARE rescue and Paws in Prison graduate) too much, even though she is a bully sometimes. He still loves to tricks every day and does so before he eats his meals. He has some special tricks from his service dog training. His favorite trick is Dry. On command, he shakes his body like he is drying off. Walter is also really good with babies and small children. We think it is the guardian in him that makes him want to be near little ones.”

 width=Ethel – Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic, Dan Roda

Photography by John David Pittman for Fur & Collar 

“So, Ethel is what they call a foster fail, but let’s be clear: the one who failed here is me. We were asked by our friends – Drs. Brent and Allison Koonce with Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic – if we could take home this sweet older Pomeranian who was recovering at their clinic after having the highest white blood cell count they’d ever seen in a dog that survived. She’d fought off sepsis and had a chance at a normal life, and the doctors wanted to see how she’d do in a home environment for a little while. To seal the deal, they even sent me a picture of her in a cage with a bandage on her arm, hooked up to an IV. It was just the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen. So, we agreed, and brought Ethel home.  At first, she was so weak that she could barely stand. But, within a few weeks, she was running, jumping, barking… barking some more…. A lot of barking, but hey, we were glad to see her regain her personality. In this short time, she bonded to me pretty closely and was already insisting on being by my side every possible minute – day and night. She even started curling up by my sneakers when I went to work.  Neither of our other two dogs are snugglers, so they didn’t really seem to mind if we kept her. I don’t recall asking Elizabeth to weigh in. By that point, it was settled – Ethel was part of the fam. She’s been with us now for five years and has even been to the top of the Rocky Mountains and back.  How many former puppy mill dogs can say that?”

 width=Milo & Max – Humane Society of Pulaski County, Kara Fowler

“When I was working to open Bark Bar, I got an email from the Humane Society of Pulaski County looking for fosters for a litter of puppies.  I was approved to foster and went to pick out the pups that day.  They were only 3 weeks old! They would need to be bottle-fed every two to three hours for the next five weeks before being old enough for adoption. I chose a feisty, pudgy female I named Millie and her brother, the runt of the liter, that I called Milo – yes, that’s a reference from the movie Milo and Otis! While Millie was healthy and thriving, Milo was small and couldn’t keep up with Millie’s rough-housing.  Millie nipped Milo on his side causing an infection and I realized that he still needed special care. A week later, I dropped them off to be spayed and neutered. It was the longest night of our five weeks together. The following morning, I showed up and asked for my dog Milo. I knew, not only did he need me, but I needed him! I should probably say I expected the little runt to only reach 50 pounds but I now have a 113 pound shadow who helps me welcome customers and canines at Bark Bar.”


Support Central Arkansas Agencies: CARE for Animals, Arkansans Assisting Homeless Animals, Last Chance Arkansas, Little Rock Animal Village, Humane Society of Pulaski County, Rescue Road, Rock City Rescue

Inviting Arkansas in Your Inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter today!