No matter how dark things get, giving up hope is not an option.
Few pups understand that better than Adam.
Found living in deplorable conditions with 54 other animals outside of Tallahassee, Florida, Adam was pink and hairless, covered in scabs because of a skin infection, which made it too painful to be touched. When rescuers from the ASPCA spotted the poor dog, they had little hope for his future.
“He was among the worst cases I’ve seen in my many years in animal welfare,” John Robinson, division manager of Escambia County Animal Services, which helped care for Adam, said in a statement. “Aside from his poor physical condition, he was extremely fearful and undersocialized, and showed signs of depression and stress.”
For many dogs, that would have been the end of the line, but Adam’s rescuers wouldn’t give up.
After weeks of medicated baths and rounds of antibiotics, Adam’s fur slowly started growing back and his bubbly personality began to blossom. Just as he started to heal, a new challenge arose. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the state of Florida, and Adam had to leave the only safe place he had ever known. His move to the Providence Animal Center (PAC) in Media, Pennsylvania, would be his first real step toward finding a home.
Around the same time, Pat and Chuck Feldman began thinking about adding another member to their family. With two dogs already, Cooper and Mocha, they needed to find the perfect fit — a pup who could match the playful energy of their young boxer mix Cooper, but sensitive enough to match 8-year-old Mocha’s slower pace. The perfect pup also had to like cats (the Feldmans have three).
Dayna Villa, PAC’s director of operations, suggested a new arrival who might fit the bill.
“She thought [Adam’s] playfulness would be good for Cooper but he would be respectful and gentle with our older girl,” Pat Feldman told The Dodo. “My son and I took our two dogs to the center to meet [him]. The dogs were first introduced through the fence and when that went well, [Adam] came into the play yard where we were.”
In that moment, Adam finally revealed his true personality — a sunny temperament that even a lifetime of hardship and neglect couldn’t alter.
“To say he came into the yard is an understatement,” Feldman recalled. “It was more like he bounced into the yard. He seemed so happy, even the volunteer who was there with us said she had never seen him act that way.”
“That was all it took,” Feldman added. “He came home with us that afternoon.”
Adam was adopted by the Feldmans on October 4, and his name was changed to something more in line with his effusive nature — Astro.
In just two months, Astro has adjusted quickly to his new home and the life of a pampered pet.
“Astro makes us laugh,” Feldman noted. “He bounces around our house. He has given Cooper a playmate and which has made life much easier for our older boxer.”
While Astro loves other dogs — and is even mildly interested in the cats — he can still be shy and fearful around people, especially men. But thanks to his loving family and the help of a trainer, Astro is learning to trust again.
Astro may just be one dog, but his perseverance has given his rescuers something invaluable — hope.
“Seeing Astro today gives me strength to continue fighting for the victims of cruelty,” Adam Leath, southeast regional director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team, which led the rescue, said in a statement. “My heart goes out to his new family, who gave him a second chance and have shown him what it’s like to be loved.”
The Feldmans couldn’t be more pleased with their new addition. “He has brought happiness and peace to our lives,” Feldman said. “It makes us feel really good that we could give this wonderful, sweet, shy guy a loving home and family.”