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Animal Welfare Association of New Jersey

Happy Endings for Homeless Pets

Thousands of homeless pets come through the doors of AWA every year, each leaving with their own happy ending. In AWA’s Happy Tails, you’ll find a few of the recent stories that really warmed our hearts. If you would like to be a part of a homeless animal’s happy ending, please give a gift today.

Chip & Tyson


Chip after his surgery



Thank you for making it possible for Chip to have the surgery he needed.  Your donations allowed Chip to live a pain-free life.

Chip was the best surgical patient.  Just 14 hours after surgery he was walking around the outside of AWA meeting staff and volunteers wagging his tail.

Now, a double Thank You!  We are pleased to share with you that, with the generosity of yourself and others, we surpassed the goal.  This was very fortunate because, hours after asking for donations for Chip, we got word that a new doggy, named Tyson, needed the same surgery.

Like Chip’s story, when Tyson arrived, the veterinary technicians looked at his leg and said, “it shouldn’t go in that direction.”  The next day we were able to get an xray of his leg which showed a bad break which had healed improperly.

The extra funds raised allowed us to make Tyson a “tripod dog” like Chip.  AWA’s shelter veterinarian was joined by Dr. Chris Torre of Mount Laurel Animal Hospital so both procedures could be performed the same day.

Both dogs are dreaming of their new forever homes and getting lots of attention and treats during their recovery.   It’s an invaluable gift you’ve given them.

Your generosity is inspirational!


Woodstock was found in an alley, emaciated and injured. This sweet boy was starving and had suffered from broken bones after being hit by a car – he was frightened and hesitant to accept help.

Once he arrived at AWA, we began fundraising to cover his extensive medical care. Our loyal donors warmed our hearts with an outpouring of support for Woodstock, and he began to receive the medical care he so desperately needed.

After everything he had been through, you can imagine that Woodstock’s injuries were more than just physical. He was quickly placed into a foster home with one of AWA’s staff members where he was able to begin the healing process.

AWA is so excited to announce that Woodstock was adopted on December 9, 2017. He gets to spend forever with Liz, an AWA staff member who was also his foster mom.

“Woodstock fit right into my home – it was like he had been there for years! I could not imagine not keeping him.” – Liz S.


Mr. Phathead


Mr. Phathead was born with severe eye issues, which led to a string of problems such as pain and infection. While under the care of AWA, this sweet boy has received multiple surgeries and other forms of medical treatment. We are grateful to our donors for allowing us the funds to provide extensive medical care to a homeless pet in need.

Mr. Phathead spent a few months recovering and became a hit at the shelter, learning to walk on a leash and spending his days with the staff at the front desk.

After an eight month stay and multiple eye surgeries, Mr. Phathead finally found the purrfect family to go home with.

“Mr. Phathead went from being a loner stray cat to a loving, eccentric, fabulous feline, who loves his costumes, being a jack in the box and lounging in the sun.” – David C.


As you can imagine, the transition to a shelter can be difficult for pets, especially after spending their entire lives in a loving home. Peaches, a senior cat, found herself in this exact situation after her previous owner was no longer able to take care of her.

Often when people decide to open their hearts and homes to new pet, they are looking for younger animals, making it difficult for seniors like Peaches to find a home. Your support allowed us to support peaches over the seven months that she was AWA, and give her all the time she needed to find a forever home.

Throughout the duration of her time here, the staff and volunteers grew to know and love her – but one staff member in particular always had her eye on Peaches. After a very long wait, Peaches was adopted by Paula, an AWA staff member. AWA is thrilled that Peaches will spend the rest of her days lounging around her forever home with a very loving owner.

“I am thrilled to be able to give Peaches a loving home where she can spend her days basking in the sunshine. As I grow older, adopting a senior makes a lot of sense.” – Paula D.


Princess Plumpy

Princess Plumpy

Unfortunately, many dogs find themselves in and out of shelters their entire lives – and this was almost the case for Princess Plumpy. Plumpy was in and out of a high in-take shelter in Philadelphia many times, but each time she was placed on the euthanasia list, her owner came back for her.

One night, the shelter was full and Princess Plumpy’s luck almost ran out when she was dropped off by someone claiming she was a stray. AWA got wind of her predicament, and we were able to come to her rescue – all thanks to the funds donated by people like you.

After a short stay at AWA, Princess Plumpy found the perfect forever family. Her new family even brought her to AWA’s Well Mannered Dog classes to learn a few new tricks! We are so grateful that donors like you allowed us to help Plumpy find forever.

“Her rescue story is my all-time favorite and if it weren’t for AWA’s incredible donors, fosters, and volunteers, Princess Plumpy would not have lived happily ever after.” – Sara R.


Lola was just a puppy when she wiggled away from her owners and was hit by a car. Her family brought Lola to their vet where she was treated for her initial injuries. Lola was going to need weekly follow-ups and the cost of the care became a huge burden to her family.

Lola’s family decided to bring her to AWA’s Pet Clinic, where we were able to care for her through our Helping Hands program. Our donors allow us to provide low cost pet care to families that are facing financial hardships, which in turn, allows pets to stay with their loving owners. Before long, Lola was back to enjoying life as a playful puppy.

“I was blown away by not only her strength but her owners as well. It was obvious how much they love Lola by how hard they tried to get her proper medical attention. It’s animals and owners like them that remind you of all the truly great things we do here at the AWA!” – Patrick M.




Hugh came to AWA from Korea, where he was going to be sold as meat for human consumption. As you can imagine, he was very shy and scared. Our donors allowed our behaviorists to spend months working with Hugh,  teaching him how to be a dog. Hugh learned new things like how to walk on a leash and how to put his trust in humans.

After months of rehabilitation, Hugh went off to a rescue group where he was quickly adopted by a woman who volunteers with the program. AWA is so happy that Hugh found a forever family.

“I cried like a baby the day he left, but I was also extremely happy for his next endeavor. We had taken him as far as he could go in the shelter, and he was ready for a forever home. ” – Kelly M.

Do you want to be a part of a happy ending?