We all know about the 12 Days of Christmas—the famous holiday carol about a lucky recipient receiving a series of gifts from their loved one. Although gifts can be a nice gesture, most can agree that the true joy of Christmas is being able to spend time at home surrounded by friends and family. Pets are entitled to the same comforts during the holidays, but unfortunately for the thousands of abandoned pets across the country, this isn’t always the case.
There are those pets who are lucky enough to receive the gift of love during the holidays—including those who may have not been ever able to experience this luxury before. In light of the season of giving, we’re offering 12 heartwarming pet adoption stories. These once-abandoned pets finally found their forever homes and are able to spend this Christmas surrounded by the best gift of all—love.
Roxie the Rottweiler was sitting on death row when her guardian angel by the name of Armando Acosta saved her from being euthanized.
Roxie was abandoned at the Hernando County Animal Services dog shelter along with her brother in May 2016. “After six weeks, her brother was adopted, and she became more aggressive with each passing day,” says Acosta, the owner of Rompin’ Rovers dog daycare, boarding and training facility in Largo, Florida. At 2 years old, Roxie had a slim chance of getting adopted, especially with her escalating behavioral issues. When it reached the point to where the staff couldn’t get close to her, Roxie was scheduled to be euthanized. “She was on death row, set to be put down on Wednesday, when I was called in the day before, on Tuesday,” says Acosta.
On the first visit, Roxie was aggressive toward Acosta. But when he returned to the dog shelter the next day, he was able to get closer. “Roxie was granted a five-day stay of execution once I was making progress relating to her and being able the enter her kennel,” Acosta says. If Acosta could relate to her, touch her and take her for a walk around the yard after five days, Roxie would not be euthanized.
The stay was such a success that Acosta was granted permission to take Roxie back to Rompin’ Rovers for a 3-week pet rescue rehabilitation program to increase her chances of adoption.
After spending more time getting to know Roxie, Acosta couldn’t help but to get attached. He felt the pup was being treated for aggression, when, in reality, her behaviors were a result of fearfulness. “I reasoned that she was just trying to protect herself, had been mistreated for quite some time, and she was guarded,” Acosta says. Once Acosta established a bond with Roxie, her self-confidence increased and her behavior got better. “She is really a loveable animal,” he says.
While there was one viable candidate for Roixe’s adoption, Acosta couldn’t bring himself to let her go. “I was growing more attached to Roxie,” he says.
Acosta officially adopted Roxie, and she now lives at his home. Roxie frequently visits Rompin’ Rovers for training classes, as a “role model to other dogs,” he says. “She is friendly, sociable and truly has fun-filled days with the other dogs and Rompin’ Rovers’ staff,” says Acosta.
See the next adoption story: Stowaway Kitten Rescued