On May, 25th 2008 Madeline (a stray that my husband brought to me 15
years prior) died from renal failure. We missed her so much that
summer and I would go to "Petfinder" and look at the many cats and
kittens and wonder if I would ever be able to find a cat that I could
love as much as Maddie.

One Saturday evening in August, I found a picture of a young cat on
your website. She didn't look like Madeline, but she really touched my
heart for one reason or another. The next morning I asked my husband
and daughter to take a drive  out to Norridge to look at a cat that was
listed on your website via Petfinder.  When I went to the computer to
show my family the photo, she had been removed!  We took a Sunday
drive out from St. Charles anyway. The car barely stopped in the
parking lot and I was out of the door and in your office asking about
"Tessa".  I was shown all of the young cats that you had (there were a group of cats that were called "the cows" because of their markings) I knew who I was looking for and I was very disappointed because she had not been adopted but no one could locate her.

There was a really nice woman in the office who gave me a book to look through that listed all of the cats that were at "Heartland" at the time. "Tessa" was on the second to last page. Finally I had found her only to learn that she was very ill along with several other cats that had been rescued from animal control in Fulton County.  I asked if I could just see her.  The staff person said that she would bring her up but we had to stay in the office area and not touch any of the other animals after we touched Tessa. As soon as I saw that sick, little, congested kitty and held her in my arms, I knew she was mine.  After the staff discussed it (I am the woman who cried and begged) I was allowed to adopt her as long as I brought her back to your vet for follow-ups.  The staff thought that she might do better in a home.

To make a long story short, Lily (we changed her name on the way home) went back and forth to the vet and visited her new vet in Winfield regularly. She had blood in her urine, and nose, and breathed out of her mouth for many weeks... she slept in a room with a vaporizer for 2 months (the wallpaper began to fall off of the walls because of the moisture)! She took several different antibiotics in order to knock that awful upper respiratory infection out of her little body!  All along the way, she was the most loving and precious cat!
Lily is now a very healthy, active, adorable cat. She needed us and we needed her!  I wouldn't have wanted just any cat to waltz into our lives after Madeline.  She needed to be as special as Lily. I absolutely adore her... we all do!

Several months after we adopted Lily, I was putting all of her adoption and medical papers in our files when I came across her birthdate again... I never really thought about it but Lily's birthday was 5-25- 08. That is the same day that Madeline died.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to adopt, love and care for such a wonderful little kitty!
Valerie DeMeritt

Oh, I forgot to mention.... Lily is a "Sing-A-Ling" or "Ring Tail".  Surprisingly, her tail curled at about the age of one and she carries it over her back!dors
We'll make sure your wedding day is everything you ever dreamed of
Welcome to Heartland's Happy Tails Page 2010!

We adopted Ava in preparation of losing our 19 year old Susie.  Ava settled in very well with Eddie and Susie without a hitch.  Susie passed away a couple months later.  She had a good long life and brought lots of enjoyment to our lives.   When the idea of fostering Rowdy came up, we took a chance to see how an older dog would work out with Eddie and Ava. They are still a little wary of him, but do come out and sit with us on the sofa in the living room where Rowdy has his bed. Eddie will even walk past  Rowdy when he is on his bed and sniffs & investigates his bed when Rowdy is out for a walk.  Ava will walk from the bedroom past Rowdy on his bed and head downstairs to our family room when she really wants to.  Rowdy does not attempt to walk down the steps to the basement.  Not yet anyway.  He surprised us the other day when we came home from shopping to find that he managed to climb up on the sofa while we were out.  He must be feeling a whole lot better in order to do that.  Our Vet has taken good care of him.  He had his teeth cleaned and a very bad one removed.  He is taking meds
to help the joints and has improved tremendously.  Eats very well also.  Loves his TD snacks to keep his teeth clean.  Vet wants us to brush his teeth.  Need to work on that.  He gets out for a half hour walk (3) times a day.  Amazing how fast he can jump up when he notices Ava or Eddie are around.  Most of the time just looks and doesn't bother.  He helped me bake Christmas cookies the other day.   Layed on the floor while I worked.  Also will lie behind me when I am doing dishes. We think his leg strength is improving and he evens wants to play with a soft  toy.  When he gets tired of chasing after it, he finally takes it to his bed with him to rest.  Believe me, he will be spoiled rotten with us.  Love to give him big hugs and rub his shoulders and back. 

People who are not sure of adopting a dog, should start with a senior.  He is so mellow and behaves well.  Walks on leash great.   

We expect to see more improvement with the cats coming around and that they get use to him more and more.
Bill & Connie H.
Hi Guys --       
I'm Charley, now named Buffy because of my beautiful buff
coloring.  I love my new home and my new Mama, and she
certainly does love me.

Mom loves it when I give her little kisses, and she loves how
I purr all the time.

There are so many toys for me here, sometimes I don't know
what to play with first.  My Mama throws the toys for me so I
can chase and retrieve them.

I sleep with my Mom and snuggle with her on the couch and
follow her around everywhere.  I love it when she scratches
my tummy!

I miss my friends at the shelter, but there is nothing like
having your own Mom and your own home.

I just wanted you to know how happy I am, and to send you a few pictures.

Love, Charlie (Buffy)       

Hi there,
Hope your holidays were absolutely wonderful and that all is well with you and
Heartland.  I took off two weeks around Christmas and New Year's , so I got to be
home ALL the time with Magic and my son, Matthew.  We had a great time, and
above this text are some photos taken at various times. Magic LOVED the tree,
would sit and look at it for HOURS, seemed to be calming for him.  We took him on
our annual trip around town to look at outdoor Christmas lights, and he loved that
too, could not decide which side of the car to look out of (he kept going from side
to side!)

Magic also loved his presents from Santa.  He took his stuff (and the cat's toys
too!) and put them all safely in one of his three beds, to have them to play with
when he wanted them.  Too darn cute!!

He had a lot of firsts in the past month or so.  He went to the groomers, where Tammy had to shave him a lot due to matting and he would ABSOLUTELY not tolerate them being brushed out. He liked her though, despite the bath and clip, and I am sure they will become even better friends as time passes and he gets used to her.  She is so sweet, takes a lot of extra care with him and I appreciate that.    He looked so cute, a little shaved, but he wears sweaters to stays warm as needed.  He seemed a lot more comfortable without some of the little tangles on him. 

He has met his vet, Dr. Laurie Swanson, and she called him a "squirrel monkey".  Barring any problems, he will see her throughout each year to be monitored.

He also has become MOSTLY friends with Rafiki, our Maine Coon cat.  As you can see in the one photo, they actually sleep within INCHES of one another - a big change from when Magic would stalk and chase Rafiki who would run from a dog one quarter his size.  So that is progressing very well, too. 

Magic's two greatest accomplishments this month are that he did not like to take his meds with me putting them in his mouth, so one day when I set them down to reclose the bottles, he took them all by himself.  Now that's the norm, it's like he is a little child who wants to "do it by himself" so all I do now is set them out and verify (watch) that he takes them. There have been no potty accidents or marking in the house for a few weeks now (not even overnight!) so he no longer needs to wear the bellybands.   He signals when he wants to go out and is such a good boy about the whole thing, so the extra attention to this really paid off - and it hasn't been nearly as long as I thought it might to have things fall into place.

That's about it for now, just wanted to share the great news and let you know (and see) how happy he is and what a great fit he is with our family.  I so very much appreciate you helping get him to us.  Take care - Sally S
Lucy(Daisy Blue) is adjusting very well!  she has already put on 10 lbs!!  She
weighs in at 52 lbs!  She loves her new brother and seems to love her new life! 
Thank you so very much for all the good that everyone does at your shelter! 
We are so happy to have our new addition!
Here are some pics of how she is adjusting!
Thanks again,
Amber and Joe

Well it has been almost a year since I lost my beloved Quiggley.  And at the
time I did not know if the pain would ever go away I was so broken hearted
by his loss.  Then something happened that changed my life, I walked into
Heartland Shelter. With the help of my boyfriend Shane we found a cat that
helped heal a broken heart.  That night I adopted Cypress who we now call
him Loomis. Just walking around the shelter and seeing all the animals that
needed a home just broke my heart even more. And I could not understand
why no one picked Loomis but then again I like to think he was waiting for
me. It has been almost a year since I have adopted him and I feel like the
luckiest pet owner in the world. I know that that night I saved him but in
reality he saved me. Every time I look at him I feel bad for how long he was
in the shelter for and how many other animals have been there even longer
than him. Now with the economy the way it is I know that there are probably more animals in there than before and I want to try help. I know that I can not personally volunteer because I would want to take every animal home with me which would not be good so I did something else. Instead of Christmas presents I asked my family to make a donation to the Heartland Shelter and that will be my Christmas request every year. This past Christmas we donated $200.00 and I was so excited. I also try to donate on a monthly basis if I can.
Loomis has been a great addition to our family. He has brought so much joy and love to our home that I am so grateful. Everyday I thank God for wonderful volunteers like yourself that take time out of their busy schedule to help those wonderful animals in need.  Thank you for everything that you do and thank you for giving me an experience that changed my life.

I attached a few pictures of  Loomis. You will notice that he LOVES blankets and like hanging out with his brother Blazer.
Thank you!

I wanted to tell you how wonderful it has been having Reese in my life!  He was about
3 months old when I came to Heartland to find a dog, thinking I wanted to adopt a adult
dog but, when I saw Reese I melted and knew he was the one.
Bringing him home was a joy, he learned very quickly to be potty trained within a
month no more accidents he would walk to the door and scratch to let me know he
had to go outside!  He went to doggy bootcamp at Bark Avenue and scored a 10 in
obedience training and social training.  Now he is 2 years old and just an amazing,
sweet, happy dog! He has a best friend Matilda she is a rescue pooch as well and is his
neighbor they are best friends. To make a long story short, he is a fantastic boy and I
will adopt again!

Best, Christina & Reese

Hello All,
I adopted my dog Eysley (formerly Daizee) from Heartland in April of last year. When I found her at Heartland, she had had eight puppies a few weeks before and was still recovering. She was found in downstate Illinois with her eight puppies and was nursing them to keep them nourished long after she was supposed to because she was such a good mama. When the Heartland staff went to pick up the dogs they were planning on only taking the puppies but Eysley had such a great temperment that they decided to take her too. And thank goodness because it was meant to be! When I saw her, I felt that there was something about her that was very special. I filled out an application to adopt her and visited her over a 2 week period while she was recovering from weaning her pups so we could get to know each other. I took her home after the two weeks anticipating a long period of trust building ahead as she had been sort of hyper when I interacted with her at Heartland. It turns out I didn't have to wait long at all! I showed her around her new home, took her for a walk, and she followed me around constantly for the rest of the night and was a completely engaged, sweet, friendly dog. Later that night she plopped her head in my lap and fell asleep. It was true love. 

I discovered the next day that Eysley was trained! She has never had an accident and knew how to "sit" and was very good about waiting for treats. I taught her how to "shake" which I'm pretty proud of because I had never trained a dog before! She is truly a wonderful dog and might be the most loved and adored dog in the history of time.

I am so grateful to Heartland for allowing me to adopt Eysley. She is very loved and well taken care of. Because of my wonderful experience at Heartland I will be a life-long adopter!
We've been meaning to send you a picture and brief update on the
dog we adopted from you just before Christmas (Fiesta - now known
as Sadie "Fiesta").

In a nutshell, she is doing great and the most loved (and pampered)
dog around.  We have her on a supplement so her bad dandruff has
completely disappeared, she's lost a little weight and in better shape
from lots of walks, and gets lots of hugs and kisses each day.  Please
tell our friends at Heartland that Sadie is doing great and we will
continue to urge others to consider adopting an animal from your
organization.  One of our friends did already adopt a puppy from
there about a month ago and we hope more will follow. 

Best, Katie
My wife and I would like thank you for a great addition to our family.  We adopted
Stella (fka Sapphire) a black lab mix 8 months (July 2009) ago when she was just a
pup. Its been such a joy having her. She goes everywhere with us and she loves
going to dog parks and running around with all her pals. Over the winter she had
a blast meeting new friends and having play dates in the snow. Her favorite toy
is a red bone that she takes everywhere with her. It is one of the most cutiest
thing ever. Attached are couple of pictures of Stella.

P.S. Stella had a sister when we adopted her from the shelter named Amethyst.
We would like have the two dogs meet each other and have a play date.

Stella says ooof...ooof to
everyone at Heartland.

Thank you,
Cozuc Family

We adopted Misa in August of '09, and she's doing wonderfully.  She's gone from 35
to 85 lbs. in the past 6 months and is long, lean and leggy!  Last week, we brought
Misa to visit Christy and the rest of our Heartland friends to show off how beautifully
she's matured.  Misa loves playing with her human "brothers" and will even climb to
the top of their swingset platform to get a better view of the birds and squirrels.  Misa
loves to run, and we both love our long walks.  She loves to play with other dogs and
really enjoys her training classes (which is good, since we still have lots to learn)! 
The boys enjoy training with her too, especially when it comes to giving her treats
Misa is such a love!  She's definitely my soul-mutt!  Thanks to Christy, and everyone
at Heartland, for bringing us together with our precious girl.

The Walker Family

Dear Heartland Friends,
Well, here we are!  We are certainly BFF?s in our Forever Home.  Me, Finn, (I?m the
orange Tabby) was adopted about 2 years ago (3/26/08) and Me, Ty, (I?m the buff
Tabby Mix) was adopted 12/26/09.  We were best buds immediately.  Mom couldn?t
believe it and was just ecstatic.  There was no hissing, growling or fur flying.  It was
love at first sight! 

Mom adopted me, Finn, after her husband passed away.  She was lonely and needed
some company.  We were good and life was grand.  But then she started to notice, I,
Finn, was lonely when she was not around or working.  I have a cousin, Diesel, that I
love playing with at family gatherings and holidays, but day-to-day I was lonely and
really dreamed of having a daily playmate.  She took note that I wrote Santa a letter
that I needed a brother to play and snuggle up with.  Santa then made sure mom
knew and sent her back to Heartland the day after Christmas to pick me, Ty, up. 

She wasn?t sure how we would get along and was a bit nervous about bringing me
home.  However, it was love at first sight.  Mom brought the carrier in and Finn came
and greeted me.  He gave me kisses and said let me show you around.  He took me
for a tour of our living quarters, showed me all the toys, good places to hide, her
comfortable bed as well as the premium cuisine she feeds us.  He then told me how
we go for rides in the car, on weekend field trips to Pet Smart to check out the birds
and mice and dogs and how she dresses us up for any and all Holidays.  Finn
assured me it was quite all right and to just put up with her that the payoff was well
worth it.  Actually, we don?t mind it.  We even win prizes for our costumes! She also
has a double stroller for us and we get to go for walks to the park to see the squirrels
and birds.  We are treated like royalty.

Our mom wouldn?t know what to do without us.  We are her
life as much as she is ours.  We are so grateful for our
friends at Heartland for providing us shelter until she came
into our lives.

Mom is making a donation on the 2-year anniversary of
Finn?s adoption and attaching some pictures of us for all to
see.  Those are our Valentine?s outfits and St. Patrick?s Day
outfits.  We sure are Two Lucky Cats!

Kim, Finn & Ty

Dear Heartland,
We have recently adopted Boscoe
from you guys and I could not
thank you guys enough! Boscoe is
A Rottweiler and is FAMOUS upon
your staff! I couldnt believe it.
Before coming to the shelter and
seeing Boscoe for the first time
the website had nothing but our
attention for a good couple
months. We had a rott prior for a
great amount of years and
unfortunately he had to be put down for cancer. [With our hearts empty
and our minds open and feeling like something was missing we continued to
keep checking up on Boscoe and he was never adopted! So we figured
maybe it was our calling to adopt him. We came in and all dogs were going
crazy but him! He just sat there and looked at us like yeah right not me.
Until he came out of the cage. WOW WHAT A BALL OF ENERGY! That night
you told us that he is not that well around other dogs mostly MALE BLACK
DOGS [but is a GREAT dog] and we had a male black lab at home almost as
big as him. We also found out he was in that shelter for a year and a half
and came from one in Indiana. We wanted to chance it anyways. We took
him home and let him get comfortable and of course as you said he would
not like Bubba. HOWEVER, with a lot of patience, time, and work. They are
great friends now. They run the yard together, guard our home together,
everything together. Boscoe fits into this family more perfectly than I could have ever imagined. He sits on the couch  and watches TV with me. Sleeps in bed with me with all fours in the air. Runs the back yard faster than a bullet with a basketball in his mouth. He truly is a happy dog in his forever home! We feel the emptiness of our heart was filled by this large 4 and a half year old meathead puppy! He is my best friend!

Couldn't thank you guys enough, Ashley and Family
Dear friends at Heartland,

We adopt Aimee back in Dec of 2007, she is a
sweet and shy indoor cat, her favorite food are yogurt
and Friskes cat can foods.  Aimee loves to sleep on
our ottoman during the day and she would come
over and sit on my legs while I am working from home
or watch TV.  Her favorite activities in the summer are
to chasing after bugs and pick out dead leaves from
our plant. In the winter, she would look outside from
our house window to enjoy the snowflakes and
scenery. Aimee, always being so cheerful to greet us
when we came home from work..  The life with Aimee
is joyful everyday, thank you,heartland to be match
maker for us to get to know Aimee and now she has became an older sister of  our six- month old baby.

Christine, Matt and Samantha
Hi Heartland!
I'm writing to let you know about Kona the adorable French Mastiff (now known as Princess Kona
Kai)!  We adopted her in June of 2009 and at that time she was about 135 Ibs and a little timid. 
We weren't too sure how she would adapt to our house, but with a lot of work, patience and love,
we are happy to report that she is a total lovable doll!  She has lost 35 Ibs and is just absolutely
gorgeous.  Her favorite things to do are: go for car rides to day camp, lay in Mom or Dad's lap, play
with "her" kids (our 9 year old twins), play with her younger English Bulldog brother or flirt with her
boyfriend at camp.  She has blossomed so much and has become such a well rounded dog. 
I know it was really hard for her previous owner to give her up, but we're glad they chose to give her
a chance at new life at Heartland.  She is a huge part of our lives and we cannot imagine what it
would be without her!  Enjoy the photos attached!

-Teresa and Mike

Dear Heartland,
Just thought I would send along a few photos so you can see how Minka has
adjusted to her new home. It's hard to believe she has been with us a month
already.  Minka,  Shane and Lillie, as you can see are doing quite well together. 
It is really amazing to see all the things that are so normal for us, every day stuff
that is all new to Minka.  Her nightmares are getting less frequent.  She used to
wake up very frightened and sometimes growl, and that hasn't happened in a
while.  We do have some nicknames for her,  Minka-bell is a favorite.  Puddles is
another, although that name is becoming obsolete since she is getting really so
much better with going potty outside.  We're very happy about that progress!
She does get frightened easily, so we are very aware of that and time will
definitely help with that.  The greatest thing to see is how happy Minka looks
and acts.  When we come home after being gone for a while, all our dogs are
quite happy to see us, however she is hysterical!  She runs like crazy, but it is
like a run/hop and you have to watch because she gets so excited she often
runs right into us, we definitely need to get that on video!!!  Anyway our little
Minka is doing really well and we are all so happy that she is part of the Kelso
family now.  We will definitely keep you updated as time goes by, let me know if
the photos don't come through. 
Sincerely, The Kelso's

We thought you might enjoy these photos of Giant, adopted from you last year,
and Bradley, adopted from you this January. We met on a walk in our
neighborhood and they've been having a couple of doggie playdates a week
ever since! 

Giant is now "Payton" and Bradley is "Bullwinkle."

We want to say a special thank you to Tom for all of the time he spent with our
family finding "our" dog. :)  Bullwinkle is a wonderful dog, and already very much
a part of our family and loved by all. We speak very highly of the Heartland to
anyone who'll listen.


Good Afternoon,
I just received your newsletter below
and noticed that my dog is in the
pictures.  I just wanted to say thank
you.  Hedley (Noel) is the best dog
anyone can ever ask for.  She trained
very quick and she is very quiet. 
Sometimes, I wish she would bark, but
only when we play.  :)

It makes me curious to the past that
she had.  When I adopted her, Tom,
the man who introduced us, said she had been rescued 3 months prior to my
adoption from a kill shelter and she was 5 months when I got her.  Make me
wonder how badly she was treated before you and I got her.

Here are some pictures of her.  The first two are from the day I brought her

My family adopted Jubilee (now known as Rainbow), at Heartland around 6 years
ago.  When we got her, she was the runt and not the cutest cat in the world, but
she picked us.  That meant we had no choice. Rainbow is insanely picky about her
food, and very territorial, but she's ours.  We love Rainbow more then anything in
the world and she loves us right back.  Once, for Halloween, we managed to put
her in a chicken hat for a few minutes.  Though she was not thrilled, she put up with
it.  We still thank her for that!  Even my dad, who freaked out when heard we had
gotten a cat, and is not a pet person, loves her very, very much!  When Rainbow
warms up to you, she is a total sweetheart.  She loves her treats, and well, almost
any kind of food!  My parents say that we might have been the only people to adopt
her, and I am very pleased about that.  If someone else had adopted her, she would
not have ended up in our lives.  She means the world to us.  Thanks to Heartland
for letting Rainbow be a part of our lives and letting us be a part of hers.

Rainbow's loving family

Please give a hearty round of applause to Harley, a Heartland alumnus, who received 27% of the votes in the NEW LIVES, Inspiring Stories Contest!  The book NEW LIVES by Joanne Wannan tells the inspiring, true stories of dogs who have come from shelters and the streets, and have gone on to perform miracles in animal therapy and as service dogs.  These heartwarming tales of hope, healing and second chances, proves that it never too late for miracles.  Harley and his parents entered the contest and, as a winner, proceeds from the sale of NEW LIVES will be made to the Heartland Animal Shelter!  Read Harley?s Inspiring Story below and click here to learn more about NEW LIVES and purchase a copy of this wonderful book A big thank you to Harley and his parents Jim and Debbie McHugh!

Harley?s Story:
I?m Harley, a 3-1/2 year old Weimaraner.  I was surrendered to Heartland Animal Shelter in Northbrook Illinois along with 4 of my siblings by a breeder that couldn?t find us a home.  My shelter name was ?Wild Thing?, which should give you a clue about me. I was a bouncy, playful guy that was given lots of love and attention in my days at the shelter.

One day at the shelter, volunteers Jim & Debbie came in to spend time in the kennels walking dogs.  Jim immediately fell for me and my siblings the minute he saw us.  They inquired about us with hesitation, since Weimeraners are known for their high-energy and they already had 2 other dogs at home, Heidi a German Shepherd, and Harvard a Lab/boxer mix.  Debbie brought Heidi and Harvard in for a meet and greet to be sure everyone would accept me as a new member of the family.  Happily accepted by all, I now spend my days playing with my new big sister and little brother, chasing squirrels and burning my energy at Playful Paws Doggy Daycare.

Since Jim and Debbie were volunteers at Heartland and always did whatever they could to help the animals at the shelter, they decided to try to find a way to help even more.  With a name like ?Harley?, what do you think Jim and Debbie?s favorite hobby was? Riding Harleys of course.  Jim had an idea that he and Debbie could combine their two favorite hobbies ? riding Harleys and helping animals to start a fundraiser to help Heartland Animal Shelter.  Motorcycle riders spent much of their time riding for charities because it gives them a place to ride and join a group of friends while supporting a charity.  Most riders are animal lovers with a heart of gold under all that leather, and love to share their passion with other riders.  In September 2007, Hogs for Dogs and Kitties Too! was born, with me, Harley as the spokes dog to help all my furry friends at Heartland.  Posters and flyers were sent out everywhere with a caricature of me on a motorcycle. I also became the icon of Hogs for Dogs and Kitties Too on posters and patches.  The event was exhilarating and exciting with our first turn out of 80 motorcycles and over 100 participants, raising over $3000.  We enlisted the help of sponsors and raffle prize donations through friends and local businesses.  The parade of motorcycles and vehicles rode 60 miles through the northwest suburbs and the after party was held at Side-Outs Bar & Grill in Island Lake, with food, refreshments, live band, and raffles.

Each year, the Hogs for Dogs and Kitties Too ride is held the 3rd Sunday of September and it grows and grows. As Debbie and Jim prepare for the fourth annual ride, they continue to attract riders from all over the Chicago-land area raising awareness of our small community shelter and increasing the pool of potential adopters who have learned about Heartland. The ride continues to be a big success raising funds to support our not-for-profit shelter, which houses over 40 dogs and 100 cats at any one time. This helps all my furry friends have a safe haven to live until they find their forever homes, where they can live happily ever after like I do now with Jim, Debbie, Heidi and Harvard.

Hi everyone?
In January 2010, we adopted Flicka (our 3 year-old daughter, Stella, loved the name Flicka so we kept it).  It didn?t take long for Flicka to fit into our happy family.  She loves to go for long walks, play with rope toys, and run around
the backyard.  She was 44 pounds when we adopted her and 42 pounds by her first vet visit in February (way to go, Flicka!).  We are hoping she sheds more weight during the spring and summer months.   She only had two minor accidents since bringing her home but we weren?t used to her signals at the time?oops.  She?s the sweetest dog (and the loudest?she loves to howl at dogs that pass by the house on walks).  She lets us know how much she appreciates us taking a chance on her by licking our faces on a daily basis.

Here is our happy tale about Trixie. 
Trixie is a beautiful German Shepherd/Husky mix who is about 10 years old. 
We adopted her from your shelter in February 2010.  Our previous and
beloved Jet had passed away from a brain tumor (we also adopted Jet from
Heartland ? her name there was Twilight) and we were so lonely.  We missed
Jet a lot and were so happy that we had been able to adopt a senior dog
(Jet was also 10 when we adopted her) that we resolved to adopt another
senior.  We did a search on Petfinder for large female senior dogs, and Trixie
popped right up.

Trixie was a BIG girl.  She weighed about 90 pounds and was a roly-poly
when we met her at Heartland - she was a wee bit overweight.  Tom, who
is a miracle worker at Heartland, told us that Trixie had come to Heartland at about age 8 very underweight and was adopted by an elderly gentleman.  He obviously loved her very much (with many food treats), but he passed away and his children did not want Trixie, so she was returned to Heartland a bit ? er ? larger than she had been two years earlier.

We loved Trixie right away.  She is intensely, almost insanely attached to me in particular ? she goes apoplectic when I get home from work!  She nearly loses her mind with joy when we go for our first walk of the day.  She loves to roll around on the ground with all four legs in the air, which we find very amusing.  She is also a natural guard dog, and she makes me feel very safe at home or out and about.  She is typically as sweet and friendly as can be, but when she perceives a threat, it is clear she would lay down her life to protect me.

Guess what?  Trixie is no longer fat!  She has lost about 15 pounds.  Amazing, right?  She is now slim and trim, and she can go up and down all the flights of stairs in our house without any trouble (when she first came home with us, she could not go beyond the first floor).  I am sure she feels better and she has even more energy, if that is possible. 

We love Trixie very much and look forward to hopefully several years of fun and love.  And when the time comes, we will adopt another senior dog.

Jamie and Michael

I adopted a dog "Nana" from your organization about 3 months ago and I just
wanted to tell you how wonderful she is.  She has made herself quite comfortable
at her new home and is a real sweetheart.  She likes to go on walks of any length
and while she is still weary of other dogs (especially when they run up to her)
she is actually much better now than she was.  She is great with people children
love to pet her soft fur as well as adults.  She enjoys her weekly training sessions
and is very smart. She is a rock star. She knows many tricks.  I have
recommended your shelter to several people because I am always getting
compliments on how beautiful she is.  My trainer thinks she is one of the prettiest
mix breeds she has ever seen.  Keep up the good work. 
Sincerely Helen S.

Hi I'm Alyssa. Our whole family loves Kai formally Carson! 
He does lots with us!  We would love to put a picture of
Kai on your website here is a picture.

We adopted Blair, a terrier boxer mix in February.  Blair lived at
Heartland off and on for over a year and a half.  He is very lovable and
happy in his new home.  His home is filled with teens that love to play
with him. He likes to go to work and spend the day at the office or
hang out in the sunny back yard.  He sleeps in one of our beds every
night and wakes up happy every morning.  He has brought our family
as much joy as we have brought him.  We are very happy we adopted him. 
Thanks Heartland.

Mindy,  Larry , Paul and Jamie H

My family and myself would like to extend a big thank you to Heartland! It was about a year ago
that we adopted our wonderful cat Angie from Heartland. When we first got Angie, she was
scared and had some behavioral issues, but we knew she would adapt just fine. She has
become an extremely sweet girl, and (at times) does not mind going to the vet. She has
grown into part of our family and I couldn't be happier to say that she is my little kitten (even if
she is 10). My family just can't thank you enough for this little joy that was brought into our lives!
Thank you,
Kathryn K
P.S. I have attached a few cute pictures of Angie! :D

Hi Heartland!
We just wanted to let you know what a great dog Skye (the Border Collie mix
formerly named Steffi) turned out to be! We adopted her in late December, 2009.
At first, we were worried how she would get along with our many cats, but she?s
formed great friendships with two of them (the older ones still aren?t too sure
how friendly they want to be)! Her best dog friend is a Collie, and they play
together all the time. Her favorite things to do are to visit the dog beach, stop
by the local dog bakery to get an ?pupcake? or dog ice cream treat, and
splashing in her pet pool! She also loves visiting her dog cousin?s farm and
galloping through the fields. She can be a very energetic dog at times, but she?s
always extremely sweet. I could not have asked for a better dog!

Thank you so much for Skye!
Fiona Maxwell and family!

I wanted to share a happy tails story about a cat named Felice (we changed her name to Blink) that
my husband and I adopted from your shelter back in January of this year.

Blink (a.k.a Felice) is the best cat anyone could ask for. When we first brought her home she had
just had her surgery to remove her eye and also had an upper respiratory infection that required 2
rounds of antibiotics to get rid of.  At first I was a little worried that having only 1 eye would make it
difficult for Blink to climb and do normal cat things, but here we are several months later and you
wouldn't even know she was missing the eye. She climbs, jumps and plays with her 3 dog friends.
She doesn't let her disability get in the way. She gets a long great with our 3 dogs and loves being
part of the family. Shelter animals make the best pets, they really do appreciate having a forever

Thanks, Dawn

Hello All,
Enclosed are some shots of the best dog in the world! Some are pre-spa, some are
post-spa. In one shot, you can see that Champ was not happy after his cologne
and bandana treatment!

Enjoy and Thanks,
The Gormans

Attached is Hector with the boys. We have had him now for 6 months.
He is a great dog from the day we brought him home.

He is very obedient and was potty trained within a few weeks. He plays
well with other dogs and has several friends in the neighborhood.

Thanks for keeping such a nice shelter!

Hi everyone at Heartland!
Here are some photos of Louie (formerly
Gingersnap) that we waited a month to adopt
because he had kennel cough and had to be
neutered. I'm sure it doesn't sound like a long time
but we were so excited and wanted to bring him
home... but it was so worth the wait!!Louie's
training is coming along, he's a jumper and a licker
but he is ONE SMART PUP! Within the first few days
my husband had him sitting, giving paw and rolling
over! Just yesterday I told him it was time to go outside so he went to the
basket where we keep his collar/leash etc and pulled out his collar and tossed it
at my feet! He has the most endearing head tilt and crinkled head and when he
hears something outside he runs to the door and puts his ear up to it to listen! It
is sooo cute! We are so glad Louie is a part of our lives!
Thanks Heartland!
Tina & Paul

I adopted Boo! (known at Heartland as "Dexter")
in June of 2007. A sad story, he was rejected by
his mother and hand raised by the kind staff at
Heartland. He subsquently was infected with
Coccidia and was quarantined in the basement.
Three years later he has been a perfect cat. He
has grown to almost 12 lbs, enjoys having claws
and eating organic food. The vet is constantly
astonished by his thick and glossy coat. The
perfect Halloween cat.

So perfect that I recently adopted another cat from Chicago Animal Care and Control,
this time a small female. They are now best friends forever.

Attached find Boo!'s picture from Heartland, and what he looks like now:

Hello Heartland!
Just wanted to write and give everyone an update on Joni, now named Ella.  Since leaving the
shelter, she's gotten a summer haircut and everyone compliments me on her "foxiness," which
is also very popular with the boys at the dog beach!  She's the perfect dog for me, very calm and
obedient and she's never had an accident in the house.  She's definitely come out of her shell a
lot - she likes going on walks, watching the squirrels, and enjoys meeting her neighbors (canine
and human).  She also enjoys watching football games on the couch and wags her tail when our
team scores (lots of treats from her excited owner may have helped with that....)

I'm so thankful to Heartland's staff, especially Tom and Chris, who patiently answered all my
questions both before and after the day of adoption.  It's only been about a month since I
brought her home but already I can't imagine my life without her!


Hi Heartland!
Thank you for Jump and Jive (we kept their names).  The adoption was in
December 2009.  My husband and I stopped at the shelter (just to look).  He
spotted Jump and found out she had a sister, Jive.  At the time, Jive had a cold
so she was separated.  When I walked into the room she was in, my heart
melted.  I didn't notice any other cat but her.  Heartland has a policy of adopting
2 kittens under the age of 5 months. They were just under by about 4 days. 
The next day I went back and adopted them.  

Heartland was very honest and warned me Jive was extremely shy.  It took her 2
months to come by us, while Jump took 2 hours!!  I never gave up on Jive.  Now
she races to the couch to get the attention before her sister.  Everytime I look
at them, they make me smile as if it was the first time seeing them.

Jump and Jive love to cuddle, get brushed, their cat condo (my husband's gift to
the girls), and going outside on the deck.  The morning is best for them to sit
out there, while it is still quite.  They are not social cats when it comes to
strangers.  But they do have us and each other....FOREVER!

They were born sisters, but they are definitely BEST FRIENDS!

I'm glad we stopped in at Heartland that day....JUST TO LOOK!


?What kind of dog is that??

We aren?t really ?dog people? in the formal sense. As adults, we?d always had cats. But the change in the economy had us adopting simpler ways, and a dog sounded like something to brighten up our home after a long winter.

We searched and researched: visited shelters and rescues, but never really reached a comfort level. I called Heartland on a whim, and the voice on the phone was so friendly and genuine, I had to get my wife there, even though it meant a trek to the suburbs.

After a short talk, an enthusiastic volunteer introduced us to Bonita, a small, gaunt figure with soft eyes and a wonky gait. Little was known about her other than she appeared to have been in a home, and well cared for. A test in the cat room, where she appeared bored by and disinterested in felines closed the deal.

For several weeks, we returned for visits, but she seemed to make no progress in recovery. The stress of shelter living was hampering her healing. We agreed to take her home as a ?foster? to see if she healed in our home. In the beginning, she was anxious, sickly and stressed: unable to find real comfort and unsure to trust. When we walked her, she seemed slightly pathetic. Her odd shape and gait, along docked tail made her look more awkward: people on the street would often ask in a somewhat derisive tone, ?what kind of dog is that?? We felt defensive, unable to answer, and almost apologetic. We left the answer unspoken: ?We don?t know, we are not dog people. She is a sad, anxious rescue of no specific breed. We are doing our best?.

But after a lot of bonding, a lot of petting, experiments with diet and rigorous training, (the renamed) Roxy began to blossom. With different food, her appetite increased, and her protruding ribs receded. Training gave her confidence, which added a new wiggle to her awkward gait. Her coat changed from dull black to velvet. She basked in the reaching arms of small children, and the invasive sniffs of dogs around the neighborhood. She gained confidence in fetching in Lake Michigan; diving like a seal into the waves. She has, in 18 short months, morphed into a very different dog. We, also have gained confidence, she has changed us: we no longer feel apologetic. Now, we hear so many ?dog people? refuse to apologize for their dogs bad behavior, explaining ?it comes with the breed?.

That we don?t know what breed she is now more problematic. People still ask what ?kind? of dog she is. She is so compact, yet so outgoing, she is the perfect city dog. Now people ask, because they want something that resembles her. We have so many answers, none of which describe her breeding:

Roxy is a dog that swims and fetches, and sleeps in a beach chair
Roxy is a dog that licks the faces of small children and makes them giggle
Roxy is a dog that thrives playing with dogs of all breeds and sizes
Roxy is a dog that has learned well to cope with all of the chaos of life in the city, and take everything in stride

She may not be any known breed, Roxy is a kind dog, with soft
eyes, and a peaceful snore. That, in our hearts, is the best kind
of dog afterall.

Joe and Colleen Stein
Roxy/Summer 2010


We adopted the dog you know as
Chub, whom we named Gatsby,
4 months ago, and just wanted to
let you know that he's doing great.
He's a perfect dog and we couldn't
be happier.

Thank you so much!
Amy + Jesse

Dear Heartland Shelter,

Last winter we adopted Tazz, now named Milo.  He had
been found as a stray, and at the time of adoption he was
approximately one year old.  We already had one cat, an
orange lovebug named Thomas, who we had rescued two
years previously.  We found Thomas at a different
Northbrook shelter in terrible condition (very underweight,
broken/rotten teeth, ringworm, ear infection, chronic upper
respiratory infection, chronic diarrhea, the list goes on) and
the amount of time, money, and heartache that went into
healing him was a bit traumatizing.  Thomas was worth
every bit of the effort and more, but we were a bit afraid to
adopt again.  Nevertheless we wanted to share our hearts
and homes with another cat, and just as importantly, we
wanted a friend for Thomas!
We had never been to Heartland and from step one we were
thoroughly impressed with the cleanliness of the facilities,
the impeccable care the animals received, and the friendly and warm staff.  The volunteer we
worked with, Samantha, was amazing, and she helped us tremendously.  Adopting an animal
is one of the most exciting and heartwarming experiences you can have.  At the same time,
even without difficult past experiences, it can be stressful and overwhelming--it is a major
decision, there are so many wonderful pets to choose from, and it is heartbreaking that you
can't take them all home.  Samantha was there every step of the way. 
We were looking for an affectionate, playful cat, and also knew that the cat we adopted had to
be great with other cats.  Milo is everything we wanted and more.  He is such a sweet boy and
he and Thomas have made fast friends.  It is a joy to see them cuddle and clean each other. 
All of our many cat toys have just about fallen by the wayside because they entertain
themselves--our home has turned into nonstop wrestlemania.  If we ever have to be away from
the house for a long day, or even overnight, I feel so much less guilty and worried than I used to
because I know that each cat has companionship and entertainment in each other. 
Milo is a true joy and we am so grateful to have gotten this happy, healthy, wonderful addition
from Heartland.  It also brings great happiness to know that since we adopted Milo, another
lucky kitty was able to take his space at Heartland, enjoying the wonderful care at the shelter
and, ultimately, the excellent home that their careful screening ensures.   
Thank you Heartland!

-Erika and Jack

Dear Heartland Animal Shelter,
We adopted Meaghan (Now renamed Maddie) and she is doing great and having lots of
fun! After going back and fourth to the shelter because of other owners, this will
definetley be her permanent home because we just  love her to death and shower
her with it. She has a big backyard to play with her squeaky toys in, and has so much
fun.   Maddie is so sweet and playful.  She likes to watch our other pets, and play
around with them too.  She loves everyone and seems to fit in perfectly. We fall in
love more everyday, so thanks for leading us to her, Heartland!

The Quinns

My name is Teegan, I adopted a dog from you about two years ago. I just wanted to say
thank you for pairing me with Caleb (boxer mix). I couldn't have found a more perfect dog
for me! From day one he has been amazing. I take him everywhere with me, whether it is
to the store to buy him toys, to the barn to go ride with my horse, and house parties.
He's good with children and horses, and he can even control himself around cats and birds
(even if he doesnt want to.) His personality is like none other, and he gets along with
everyone.  His favorite activities are chasing sticks, going to the barn and running along
side my horse as I ride and chasing the squirrels out of the yard. I have attached two
pictures.   One from when I adopted him and one that is about a week old.

Here is a happy tail sure to make everyone at Heartland happy.  Our dear Chappie is settling in very well at his new forever home.  Chappie stopped by Heartland to show off his new family.  He looks so incredibly happy!  Here are some pictures of his visit.  Although we all will miss this sweetheart, we are so happy to see him so happy!

My daughter Caitlin and I adopted two kittens from your shelter last Saturday.  First let me say that Samantha and all everyone at the shelter were wonderful.  We took home Frankie Blue Eyes and Roscoe.  They have been renamed Tux and George (don?t ask).  We have a yorkiepoo, Harley, at home that is 20 months.  It is only 4 days and look at them. 
We promised pictures.  If you want more as we go along, let us know.

Hi remember us!?  Bute & Dinah!

We changed our names to Tiger & Grey Grey, and we just wanted
you to know how happy we are in our new home with the Silver
family. Oh, and...we love each other! We lay together all the time,
we wrestle, we share a plate and we chase each other around the
house and knock things over for fun.

Hi Guys!
This is Buffy (formerly Charlie).  Remember me?  (Of course you do!)

Today, my Mom and I are celebrating our first anniversary together.  I could
not ask for a happier life.  We are "crazy in love" with each other.  I think my
Mom is the best thing since catnip!  I am forwarding a few recent photos of
my georgeous self.

Love,  Buffy   

I adopted Ruby (formally known as Izzy)
in July of 2008. I would like to say thank
you for rescuing my best friend and giving
her a second chance! She is a wonderful
dog, very sweet, and loving.

Thank you for all you do for our pets!
Krissa and Ruby

Good morning.  I've been meaning to send
an e-mail with photos for a while, time
has just gotten away from us.  Oregano is
a fantastic addition to our family. 
Sometimes we wonder if he's a human
stuck in a cat's body!  With our Christmas
tree up, he thinks that the tree skirt is
his personal bed, and doesn't want to
leave it!  I've personally never attempted
to dress a cat before, however couldn't
pass up an elf hat.  Surprisingly, he doesn't
seem to mind all that much (well for a minute at least).

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, we look foward
to our first Christmas with our little elf!

Oregan's family (Pat, Jacki and Melanie)

Hi all at Heartland, and Happy Holidays!
We wanted to let you all know that Puzzle, now called Baby, is very
happy, healthy, and hyper with us at her new home!  Thank you for
taking such good care of her until we adopted her in August when
she was 4 months old.  We love her very much!

Much love,
The Hallowell Family

Hello all at Heartland,
We wanted to update you on our little girl Minka,  this will be her first
Christmas with us and we're so happy we have her. This has worked out
wonderfully!  We have had her for 9 months already and her tail wags
almost non-stop. Minka adores her big brother Shane and she follows him
all around.  She is definitely a "snuggler",  whether it is with Shane or
with us watching tv. She loves to go for car rides, and even came along
on vacation to Florida this summer and then to Pennsylvania with us.
Minka doesn't allow any deer, bunnies, chipmunks, or birds in HER
backyard!!! That keeps her very busy in the warmer weather which she
definitely prefers to the cold.  Her appetite is incredible, she keeps up
with Shane (a lab) who we thought had the only bottomless pit for a
stomach!!!   All in all this has been a perfect match for us and for her!

Thanks Heartland, The Kelso's
Just wanted to send an update on Diesel
(known as Costello at Heartland) He has
adjusted really well to his new home and
just loves going for car rides and loves his
picture taken. He is quite the social little
guy while out on walks and around our
apartment complex! I just wanted to send
you his Christmas picture! 

Thank you so much for allowing me to adopt
this amazing dog!!!


Ever since adopting Effie the day we got back from our honeymoon our
little family has felt all the more complete!  We had been secretly falling
in love with Effie (formerly Zaria) at Heartland since she came in (Sept.09)
and every week would have to tell ourselves that we already had 2 dogs
and could not handle a 3rd at that point in our lives.  However, we
convinced ourselves that we could give her a wonderful life and couldn?t
live without her any longer, so we had her meet our other 2 dogs (Paeton
and Bobbi) and everyone got along wonderfully.  Now they are just so
full of love for each other.  Effie & Bobbi spent lots of time snuggling on
the couch and in bed together and Paeton & Effie are the best play
mates ever!  They are always running through the house and getting into
mischief together, but that?s why we love them!  Effie could not have
fit in any better with our family.  The 3 of them definitely run the
household together and know that they have complete control of their
mommy and daddy?s heart strings!  We can?t thank Heartland enough for
rescueing little Effie so that she could become a part of our family!

The Duran Family (Alex, Erin, Paeton, Bobbi & Effie)

Here are some pictures of her with her brother and sister:

My name is Maverick (formerly Dickens) and my forever home has kept me
soooooo busy and happy that it has been 4 years since I left Heartland
(12/9/06).  Mom said I was skinny and put on 9 lbs. the first week at home and
slowly added 11 lbs. more in  a month. I've never been crated since arriving
and didn't destroy anything.   After 3 weeks I gave mom my first smile for I
knew I was here to stay!!   We took training classes and mom learned how
stubborn I could be and I learned how persistant she was.  I must say I did turn
out to be one handsome  athletic lab.  I've spent a lot of time running the
Desplaines River Trail with my mom helping her train for a few races.  I was
not happy  when she left me at home due to heat or cold for I love my trails in
the mornings.   But my favorite thing is to swim! I put on a huge sad face
when told it's time to go home.  I was a bit unsocial at first but now I go to
the dog park 4-5 times/week with Dad in the jeep.....I look so cool !  I've been
fortunate to travel to out west and do some excellent hiking in Utah and
Colorado.  The freedom and fresh mountain air really tire me out and I sleep
well.  Mom and Dad give me lots of love everyday. I greet them when they
come home with carrying my very first toy they gave me and wagging my tail.  
I've aged a bit and have no problem napping but am ready to go in a moment's
notice.  I've been trained to walk off leash and know some other tricks.  Yes, I
am spoiled and living the good life!!  My mom says that I will be her  "dog of a
lifetime" that all others to follow  will be compared to.   

Needless to say  we love our dog- 
Joy & Scott 

Hi everybody!
My family and I just wanted to send along a couple pictures of Anza (now Lily)
in her new home and D.Lee (we adopted him as a pup last year; we named him
Ringo).  They were instant best friends and are inseparable.  They have an older
brother too, Elvis, who lets them do their thing (he seems to have outgrown play
wrestling), but they all cuddle together and are truly a pack.  Anza (Lily) is so
happy here, I wish you all could see how much personality she has! She's the
sweetest dog. Thanks so much for finding her.

--The Rosenthals