Through the MUTTS comic strip, Patrick showcases the special bonds between animals and their guardians, and encourages readers to adopt (not shop) when welcoming a new animal family member into their home. When you adopt, you gain a new best friend, create more space in shelters for other animals in need, and give a deserving animal the chance to be loved by a new family.

Recently we asked MUTTS readers who have become adoptive animal parents to share their stories with us. Heads up — they’re going to melt your heart!

“We adopted our two cats from the local SPCA shelter. We had been looking after a friend’s cat, and our place seemed empty when she left. We went to see the cats in the shelter and left with Drew and his sister Missy.” — Dan

Published November 9, 2018

“I went to an animal shelter near a park to see the dogs they had for adoption. A doctor arrived with a puppy that he was taking to the vet. His name is Amaranto, and we’ve been together ever since. That was almost six years ago.” — María F

Published November 4, 2016

“My freshman year, I was really struggling with some unexpected things from fall semester. One Friday, I decided to make a trip home for the weekend — around the same time my dad saw a post from our local shelter about a litter of puppies. He showed my mom and said, ‘We’re moving soon, and they’re great lake dogs … want one?’ He picked one up and didn’t tell me since I was on my way home. It was a blessing from God to lift me up when I was down the most!” — Makenzie J.

Published November 7, 2020

“I never had a cat before. I went to the local shelter to see this little four-month-old kitten. He instantly stole my heart. I swear that he is the one who saved me. His name is Kylo Ren, but you can call him Kylo.” — Johnny

Published May 7, 2019

“I started volunteering at our local SPCA and began adopting from there. We had two foster failures with senior dogs. Abby was with us until she healed from surgery. The day the rescue was ready for her was when our old girl died, so she never left. Bentley was an old, stray mutt, and he stayed.” — Ellen D.

Published November 9, 2019

If you’re interested in adopting an animal friend of your own, check out PetFinder or Adopt-A-Pet to find animals for adoption at your local shelter. Already a proud adoptive parent? Awesome! Share your story with us in the comments!

Comments (6)

Bless you for all the care and kindness you give to older pets. It breaks my heart as well to see older animals surrendered.


The day we had to put 20 yr old Smidgen down, my vet offered me a ‘special’ cat kept away from the others at the kennel. I just couldn’t see beyond my tears and went home to grieve. My husband saw how devastated I was and suggested we meet the ‘special’ cat a few days later. She saw us through the window of an office as we walked from our car to the door and she made excited silent meows. Our eye contact was the adoption agreement! My heart soared! The vet mentioned her Bengal breed was prone to issues, she was already 10 years old, she needs prescription diet, as if any obstacle could keep us from each other. In this meeting she was overstimulated from the noise of the vet’s office, too many people fussing over her and she leaped to the desk to nuzzle and nip my hand. She was nervous to come home with us but acclimated within hours. Our spirits recognized each other and she is rarely out of my lap. She has a new lease on life after having been surrendered to the vet by the previous owner. We play daily, she gets zoomies like a kitten and always gets me giggling. She is so gentle, cuddles with me and we are bonded for life. She rescued me as much as we rescued her. Each critter is unique and special to me but Kashmiri Spicycat has imprinted her mitts on my soul.

Cat Hankins

The title panel here with Ella is exactly how my Phoenix and I found each other. I saw his picture ont he Anti-Cruelty Society website and that was that. When I went there to visit him in person I also passed by a cage that had a cat with the most soulful eyes. I asked to see him too; they put him on my lap and he just curled up in ball and didn’t move a muscle. Of course that was a done deal too I decided both these loves had to come home with me. When it came time to put Valentino back in his cage so I could do the adoption paperwork he just wouldn’t let go. That was 2007 and they were my first cats and the loves of my life. They are both gone now and together again at the bridge but I miss them terribly every day.


I adopted a cat in October 2019. The foster program underestimated Lucy’s age, by a lot. Lucy died 15 months later, and I was shocked when I learned that she was probably twice as old as I thought she was. Lucy had a very hard life prior to my adopting her. Once I realized that she was much older, those 15 months of love, stability, and safety took on so much more meaning. Within 2 weeks of Lucy’s death, I adopted 3 elderly cats who were surrendered for heartbreaking reasons. One human could not longer afford to keep her 9 year old cat, Blue, due to the pandemic, and the other was a bonded pair – Casey at 13 years old and Nickey at 15 years old – whose human had died unexpectedly. I now refer to my home as “Assisted Living for Elderly Cats.” The 15 year old lived 6 weeks, but he was in a home and not a shelter. He remained with his buddy Casey to the end. He got the best care possible from me until it was time to let him go. I have found my calling – to take in elderly cats and care for them in their remaining months or years. It’s tremendously rewarding, and I know that what I’m doing is unusual. It’s so easy to fall in love with my elderly friends and it broke my heart when Nickey died just 6 weeks after I adopted him. But I wouldn’t give up those 6 weeks for all the money in the world. I would love it if Patrick could do a strip on people who adopt older cats.

Laura Meisenhelter

I love your stories about adopting shelter animals. I am a volunteer at my local shelter and have fortunately been able to visit the pets during this difficult time, as I visit ringworm cats and kittens, and got special permission. I recently adopted a stray kitty who was found in very bad shape, and had to undergo several surgeries. I started out as a foster mom, but when it was time to put him up for adoption, there was no way I could let him go! Thank you everyone who opens their heart to shelter pets💖.


I’d spent a lot of time working and decided to take a day off. My husband and I drove to our local animal shelter and came home with Scout, a very shy Basset Hound. She now rules our lives with her heart…we lost ours to her. What a gift!!!

Cori Siggens