Happy Tails

We always appreciate updates on the dogs that are adopted. They take a piece of our hearts with them.

This is the story of the first rescue in the year 2000.



He is a two-year-old Pit bull that Kathy Swaney and I rescued from the Apache Junction animal Shelter. If I may take a few moments of your time to tell you his story and to make a special plea for your help. We first saw Petey at the animal shelter on one of our trips to check out the dogs that we might rescue or take in for foster care. He was standing at the front of his cage, all wiggles and happy Pitbull smiles. He was distinctive in that he could not walk around, but rather had to drag his back half around with his front legs, and appeared to be about twenty pounds under weight. We could see from his stance that he was in a lot of pain, and that he could possibly have spinal cord damage, as his back legs appeared to be paralyzed. This did not stop Petey from trying to jump up and down and lick every hand that came near.
In talking with the animal shelter employees, we learned that a lady that had rescued him from the side of the road had brought him in. It appears that his owner and another man were going to euthanize him by shooting, because of his injuries. The lady took him, kept him for three days, then, for economic reasons, turned him over to the pound. After talking further with the pound employees, we learned that he had been beaten across the back with a baseball bat by an irate neighbor who was mad at his owner. He was not expected to recover, and was slated for lethal injection.
Here was a lost cause! A lifetime of abuse, can’t walk, so skinny I could see his pelvic saddle and count his ribs from across the room, and filthy dirty. But there was something in his eyes that wouldn’t let me walk away. Then and there, we decided to try and get him a second chance.
Sooo, after talking with the folks at the shelter, and getting permission to take him out, we took him to a vet that has agreed to work with us. After a thorough examination, it turns out that he does not have severe spinal damage, but rather has damage to his rear knees. This condition is quite painful but correctable if treated in time. If not, the condition will deteriorate, and he will end up crippled. In fact, if surgery is performed, he has every chance of living a normal life!
Needless to say, while I was in the examination room with the doctor and Petey, Kathy was on her cell phone calling around to see if anyone would want to foster a crippled underweight dog. She found someone.
Petey was taken into surgery on Monday morning, the 7th of January. After being put under anesthesia, the veterinary surgeon began to repair Petey’s knees. After several hours of work reattaching his ligaments and generally reconstructing his damaged knees, he was sutured and moved to a recovery area.
We are pleased to report, that the operation has been a success, and that he has begun to move about, although his back half is being supported by a sling of sorts to prevent any unnecessary weight from being applied to the repaired areas. He is able to move about in a limited fashion, and appears happy and well. He will need physical therapy, of course, but all looks good for a total and complete recovery at this time.
The brothers, who are his foster care providers, were with him during and after the surgery, and have brought him all of his favorite pillows and toys. A young lady who is one of the surgical assistants is taking special care to insure that he is comfortable and well looked after. You can see her in the posted photos tending to him. He is, and will continue to be, well loved and looked after.

Lance Rollie
Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know that “Lance” has settled in fantastically with us in just a few short hours. He’s already one of the family. We decided to rename him to “Roland” or “Rollie” for short. He has such a friendly nature and loves to follow the kids around the house finding new things to get into. We are so happy we could give him a forever home. If any of the foster “parents” who had him would like to visit they are welcome anytime. Just reach out

This is ice he has been with us for a little over a year now. He was found with a younger pit puppy in the desert full of cactus and very thin. Last weekend his angel came in and said that she wanted to Foster him and was looking for an emotional support dog for herself. They are truly in love with each other and he has helped her a lot over the past few days. As of now Ice is going to be adopted. Cross your fingers and send good thoughts for him that this will truly work out. He is such a good boy and truly deserves the love and attention that he will get. Thank you Natalie for seeing who Ice really is.

Sweet Hope
Faith came to our adoption events for over a year. Kathy worked with 2nd Chance Rescue to have Faith at the events to increase her visibility. Her foster, Debbie, truly loves her and took such good care of this girl. The time at the events helped bring Faith out of her shell. There is a home for every dog. Faith found a wonderful family.

Faith, the miracle dog, got adopted September 26, 2016 to a kind hearted loving family. Faith and this family were the perfect match. 


Her Back Story

Our amazing Faith… this sweet girl was run over by a car 6 months before we received a plea for help for her. A woman supposedly found her and picked her up, but couldn’t afford vet care and was willing to surrender her to a rescue; we could not let this poor girl suffer for another day! Faith had broken back legs and was approximately 90% paralyzed from a broken back. But this little girl is a fighter, although we tried everything to save her legs, we ended up having to amputate part of her back legs, but that has not dampened her spirit!

A permanent cart has been made for her, and she is doing GREAT with it. She has a lot of life and love ahead of her. She has shown incredible resilience, and is a true inspiration. Her lucky forever home has been found and the family of her dreams is ecstatic to have this dog.


How you can help


Since this wonderful dog has been adopted, please consider special need animals for adoption.

hopper happy tails

The big boy in the picture is Hopper. About nine months ago are Facebook followers will remember we had a story about a little boy that was found in a garbage  truck as they were compacting it. He was almost squished well very soon after he was cleared by the vet he was adopted by a wonderful family. Last night we got an update that he is doing wonderful has been the best dog ever and is even tolerating the crabby little tiny boy that doesn’t seem to care much for his company. Way to go Hopper we’re so happy for you


We wanted to wait until it was official and he was home. River has adopted and is home with his mom, dad and sister. What a happy ending. Thanks you everyone who donated and shared to help him get his forever home. We love you River!

Mister& Mocha
Hello there! An update on our furbabies Mister & Mocha (formerly Apollo & Daisy) They are doing wonderful! Growing like crazy as you can tell from the photo and yes that is a full size bathtub-They love napping in there for some reason LOL They mastered the dog door day 2-they go in the crate at bedtime easily, they have learned sit and love to play with toys. We are working on walking on a leash in the house and have been to the vet 2xs for checkups and shots, and at last checkup Mister weighed 30 lbs! and mocha was 26! Vet said they are both perfect ? Hard to believe these pups are only 1 week shy of being 4 months old-they are getting bigger every day ? Heres a pic of them in their fav nap spot

Hope was found in a box along a canal with two other littermates. She was the smallest of the three. Having under developed lungs and a very small trachea and pneumonia as well. They were all very hungry and malnourished. Hope had a questionable prognosis .She was given lots of medication, and love. Hope slowly became stronger and bigger until she was adopted. Here is her new families note:
Hope playing in her new back yard with her new sisters Pyper and Londyn! She is already their protector and playmate !!❤️

Bubbles had a hard first few months of her puppy life. She was found injured and went through oral surgery and many stitches and drainage tubes. We also discovered that she is deaf. Bubbles was a fighter and pulled through like a champ. Here is her Happy Tails story from her loving new family…
Bubbles (now Aggie) is loving her new forever home!! We are all loving her being with us too. Her big brother, Murphy, is her right hand man. He always makes sure she is close to him or following him, if she isn’t he goes looking for her. She’s his shadow!
Aggie has started training and is doing GREAT with it (it’s funny how much better she does at training than murph, who isn’t deaf)! She has learned “stay,” “down,” “watch me,” and is working on “leave it”. She is so smart! Soon Aggie will start training to be a full service dog so she can go to schools for the deaf to be their new best friends,mascot, and teach them the wonders of the “bull breed”.
I can’t begin to explain how perfect she is in this family. Aggie was the missing puzzle piece and I love her with all my heart Everyone who meets her loves her! She is the sweetest and most loving little baby, I am so thankful for her. Without a doubt, one of the best things that has happened to me.
Thank you sooo much for being so good to her and doing so much for her. Thank you for doing so much for all these dogs!

He is a gem of a dog. My husband and I love him to pieces!! He is such a unique spirit, he’s in a class all his own. He gives endless kisses and love and adores his sister, Kona, as does she him. He is always the life of the party when we have company over, without fail he usually ends up on someones lap before the night is over. He is healthy and happy and I swear his tail never stops wagging. Food time is his favorite thing, the utter mention of it, he flips out and starts dancing and jumping all around. He is extrmely easy to train, he is as smart as a whip! He’s been a great addition to our family! (3/1/11)

This is Nacho’s rescue story and how we came to have him in our rescue!
Local Man Receives Award for Rescuing Abandoned Dog in Foreclosed Home‏






Hello Kathy! Tell his foster mommy he’s doing so great. He’s in love with our boxer Harley and me (probably because I spoil him with love constantly!). He follows me everywhere around the house, if I’m in the kitchen he’s there taking a nap while I’m making dinner and if we are watching a movie like we do most nights we are all cuddled up on the couch together. He does really good with our cats. Better than I expected him to. All he wants is to figure them out and play but they aren’t having it. We all absolutely love him and I’m so so happy that I went back that day and adopted him. He’s such a sweet baby and I fell in love the second I saw him. He makes me feel very safe at night too. He’s the perfect addition to our family !! And whats funny is that when we got home that first day we all came right out back well he didn’t see the pool right in front of him so he walked right into the pool. Hilarious!
ps. Tell his foster mom thank you for teaching him some good manners. He’s getting better with the whole jumping thing too. He doesn’t do it as much as he did when we first came home. (2/28/11)



Jax was found stray and about 30 lbs under weight. After being rescued by VOTSDR he had to undergo emergency surgery on Christmas morning becuase he had an intestinal obstruction that could have been fatal. It turned out that he had a large corn on the cob stuck in his belly from rummaging through the garbage when he was stray, trying to find a meal. I begun to foster Jax while he recovered from surgery. When I brought him home he didnt even know what a toy was and he would crouch in fear with any sudden movement or noise. Jax recovered well from his surgery and came out of his shell with lots of love and encouragement. He quickly learned that his rough life was over for good. I quickly saw how amazing he was. He loves all other dogs, children of all ages and even cats. I couldnt imagine a better dog then him. I adopted Jax a little over 1 year ago. He loves to go for weekend hikes and play with the other dogs at the dog park, but his favorite is just lounging around the house with his teddy bear and blankie…. YES my 85lb pit bull carries around a teddy bear and blankie ? He is the perfect example of how friendly and loving pit bulls really are! Jax took part in a special event at the Arizona Science Center in 2010 called “Face your fears”. He was there to show the public how amazing pit bulls really are. The event was a huge success. I plan on getting Jax certified as a therapy dog by the end of 2011. Owning such a wonderful dog has brought me to educate people about the breed every chance I get. Thank you for such an amazing pit bull! (01/27/2011)

In this busy world, in our busy lives, we often assert that we don’t need or want another responsibility. We don’t need, nor want to indulge in another emotional liability. We decide that we have enough love and we are already giving at our maximum capacity. But then pure innocence arrives. A handsome boy with big copper eyes and a squishy red nose. Cooper was supposed to be a foster but he quickly worked his way into our hearts with his easy going personality and his endless reservoir of affection. Cooper is super intelligent, very soft spoken, but always fun –loving. We gave Cooper a second chance. In return, he has given us unconditional adoration. He is truly a cherished member of the family.

Prior to Enzo, our family had 2 dogs, both in their senior years. We had been toying with the idea to get another dog for about a year when heard about Enzo’s story. We talked each other in and out of going to see him over the course of several weeks, until it was too late – he was adopted. Then, about a month later, we got notice that he was back. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out. So, one Saturday afternoon, we drove down to Mesa to ‘visit’ Enzo – although we both knew darned well it was more.
We adopted Enzo in June of 2010 from VOTS Pit Bull Rescue. When we went to see him for the first time, we brought Scout with us. She is our Boxer/pit mix and it was love at first sight between the two of them. We didn’t plan on signing any papers that day but once we met this little guy, we couldn’t take any chances of him going to someone else.
We enrolled Enzo in puppy class right away and 8 months later, after Puppy, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, the big guy graduated and successfully passed his CGC!
We’ve also had Enzo in an Entry to Nose Work class as he’s exhibited a great passion for finding toys we hide around the house. This game is a great mental and physical exercise for Enzo and we enjoy it too.
Enzo goes to day camp twice a week and even got “Camper of the Month” recently! On the weekends, we like to take him to the Biltmore Fashion Park. He likes to go to Saks. He has about 5 girlfriends in Saks that oohh and aahh over him.
He LOVES our family and is the perfect fit. He brings us so much joy and laughter. He is such a love. His favorite place to be is asleep on one of our laps – all 60+ pounds of him.
We feel so lucky to have rescued him from VOTS. This breed is so fortunate to have you fighting in their corner. Thank you VOTS !!

Little Girl
We gave Little Girl a new name: Seraphina (Fi, for short). She is thriving in our home and has adopted all of us as if we were born to her. Our other dog, Gabriel, loves her, as do the children and my husband and me. She takes long walks/runs with us every morning at 5:00 am. We are still getting her used to hiking the mountain (we have a trail head directly out our front door). She’s not that keen on the hikes. I think because she has very soft pads on her paws and I don’t think she was exercised much in her past life. She continues to take fluconazole twice a day for the Valley Fever. According to the medical records you gave me, when you first rescued her back in November 2013, her titre test result was 1:128, super high. We had a titre test done 2 days after bringing her home to check on her progress. Result: 1:16!!!! I am very happy to report that based on this, our vet has given her an excellent prognosis: full recovery entirely possible within 4 months. She and Gabriel each have an impressive spiky collar for wearing on outings and special occasions. His is black leather, hers is pink leather. They look AWESOME. In addition, she wears t-shirts or little dresses when we are out in the afternoons to protect her fair skin. We spent a week up in Prescott for the July 4th. In town, she was greatly admired. Everybody exclaimed how beautiful and sweet she is. She is, truly, an excellent ambassador for the Pit Bull breed. All in all, Seraphina is a contributing, valued member of our family, and we feel so blessed to have her in our lives. Thank you for saving her, and thank you for facilitating our coming together with her. We are deeply grateful.

Hercules (now Bear)–We love him! He has such an awesome personality; everybody that meets him, loves him! We love his big head and little body. It gives him a lot of character! He loves to chew on anything he can find, but he’s doing pretty well with training, and he learns quick! He is the biggest lap dog we’ve ever met. He has no sense of personal space, but that makes him more lovable! Bear is the 2nd dog we’ve adopted from Valley of the Sun. Thank you guys so much!

Things are going great with Jewels. She is a fabulous dog! Amazing with my kids. This dog has amazed me at how obedient and good she was from the get go. NEVER tries to get food from my kids or beg(this pic is the day after we got her and i was in shock that she was letting my daughter eat her snack, drop them, pick them up again, and Jewels didn’t even attempt to get any of it), so patient with my kiddos, plays fetch even with my 4 and 6 year old, walks well on a leash, took us a day to only have her go on our rock (not grass yah!), and more. She is fabulous!

Little Bit
Mullins, formerly known as Bambi, and Little Bit were both adopted from Valley of the Sun Dog Rescue!
Mullins was very excited to have her 1st Christmas. Then shortly after received a new baby brother, Little bit. The new little guy is keeping all his sisters on their toes. There is constant playing going on around the house. He always feels like he needs to steal any toy or chew bone his sisters have. Mullins loves her new brother, even though he bites, chews, and steals everything from her daily. When thing finally calm down and its nap time Little Bit always has to lay on at least one of his sisters. Thank you for 2 great dogs. Keep up the great work.