Happy Tail: ‘Pit Bull wanted, must love cats’

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“Must love cats” was a requirement for any dog that Vanessa and J.R. Van Noy of Highland, NY, adopted. Vanessa had never had a dog before, but the couple had an older cat. They also had a large house and yard, and J.R. was eager to add a dog to the family mix.

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Read Patton’s adoption story in mom Vanessa’s own words.

They started searching on Petfinder. “We narrowed our search down to Pit Bulls,” Vanessa says. “We knew that the breed was in so much need for families.” They came across Animal Farm Foundation in Bangall, NY, and “set up a meet-and-greet with some potential housemates.”

The first dog they met was Patton. “He barreled into the room like a tornado on fire,” Vanessa says. “He leaped right on top of us both and immediately started licking our faces and climbing on our laps.”


Vanessa was a bit worried about this big strong boy, but though they looked at others, J.R. really loved Patton. Their adoption application was approved — and now he had to meet their cat, Sage. Would they get along?

The big meeting came. “Sage scared the pants off of him,” says Vanessa. “Pretty amusing, actually, to see a big strong dog tuck his tail and run from a little cat.”

Being a new dog parent, Vanessa established house rules: no lying on the couch, no sleeping on the bed. Patton settled in and got over his fear of the cat. The Van Noys have since adopted two more dogs, Ruud and Maggie, and another cat, Dan, as well as two abandoned kittens they found. “The kittens actually sleep with Ruud and Maggie,” Vanessa says.

And where is Patton in all of this? Why, where else but sleeping in the bed with Vanessa and J.R.? So much for those house rules.

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Previous Happy Tails:


Dumped by a backyard breeder, a Yorkie gets a second chance

A Labradoodle trades shelter life for spa treatments

Deaf puppy Ollie’s whole litter was adopted, but he was still waiting

After five years of waiting, Tiger Tom finds a home

Two Maine Coon cats are adopted after a 6-month search

Inmates partner with pets to give both a second chance

A Petfinder staffer can’t resist one pet’s profile


A nurturing cat helps another who needs a friend

An injured cat is adopted and becomes a celebrity

A kitten’s photo convinces a woman to adopt, not buy

A mama cat is rescued from a home with 50 animals

A rescued Pit Bull brightens the breed’s tarnished reputation

A big black dog is perfect for a boy with Down Syndrome

An adopted dog provides the perfect cure for a broken spirit

The puppy had been tightly bungee-corded to a bicycle

A cat with cerebellar hypoplasia teaches unconditional love


A dog inspires a chocolate company; plus: WIN treats from Rescue Chocolate!

Two autistic boys find guinea pigs are perfect pets

Four little guinea pigs brighten a new home

A senior guinea pig settles into retirement

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