7 min read

Scared Shelter Dogs Totally Transform When They Realize They're Going Home Together

"We all cried happy tears seeing pictures of their arrival."

There was no real reason to believe that life would ever get better for two severely neglected dogs who turned up in a rural shelter in Georgia β€” but the best possible thing ended up happening for both of them.

Rita and Dexter were two extremely hungry and emaciated dogs who were found on the streets and picked up by animal control. It's believed they were abandoned by their owners. Despite what were surely painful pasts, they both had sweet demeanors, curling up together and helping each other feel safe.

bonded dogs in shelter
Second Chance Rescue

Their sweetness did not go unnoticed. 

Second Chance Rescue (SCR) in New York learned of Rita and Dexter and rushed to help them. "After seeing their pictures, we raced to get them out of there," SCR wrote on Facebook. "When they arrived at our vet partner, we were horrified at their condition but yet shocked at how friendly and loving they both were despite their obvious neglect."

As Rita and Dexter were getting stronger at the vet, their photos were quickly circulating online among animal lovers determined to find them homes. And finally the images reached the exact right people.

Kari Ceicys and her husband, Ian, are both dog lovers. They were extremely devoted to their dog, Sadie.

"My husband rescued her after she was dumped with her litter in New Orleans," Ceicys told The Dodo. "She had severe injuries suggesting she was used as a bait dog. She was the sweetest soul and we essentially built our house around having a dog."

Couple with their rescue dog
Ian and Kari had totally fallen in love with their rescue dog, Sadie. | Kari Ceicys

The couple had been planning to adopt another dog to keep Sadie company, when the unthinkable happened.

"We were playing fetch when she stopped suddenly and wasn't able to catch her breath," Ceicys said. At the vet, a large tumor was discovered in Sadie's chest β€” before the couple could even schedule the surgery to remove it, a blood clot related to the tumor caused Sadie's death. "We were left with a house built for a dog, no dog, and huge holes in our hearts."

A month later, though, the couple saw Dexter and Rita for the first time β€” a video of the pair showed up on Kari's Facebook feed. "The very first time I saw the video, I knew that Sadie was bringing us these dogs from beyond the Rainbow Bridge to us, to live the life she loved so well," she said. "We knew these dogs were ours and we needed to step up and take them in. There was no way we were allowing them to be separated after they had been through so much."

bonded shelter dogs find forever home
Kari Ceicys

Kari and Ian immediately applied to adopt them and were accepted as Rita and Dexter's new parents. Kari and Ian were so excited to bring Rita and Dexter home. "They waited patiently (kinda) for them to be ready to leave the vet," SCR wrote.

Finally that day came this week. "We all cried happy tears seeing pictures of their arrival," SCR wrote. "This is what happiness looks like."

Rescue dog in yard
Rita enjoying her new yard | Kari Ceicys

Kari and Ian feel that they got to honor Sadie's memory by giving a home to Dexter and Rita. And now that Rita and Dexter are finally in the home they always deserved, they're finding out how fun life can really be.

"They love snuggles on the couch, walks around the neighborhood, and we recently found out Dex is a fan of balls," Ceicys said. "He often walks around with one in his mouth and when he first saw one, his entire personality changed and whole body wiggled!"

Rescued dog with ball
Dexter rolling around in the yard with his ball | Kari Ceicys

There are millions of sweet dogs and cats in shelters across the U.S. right now who urgently need homes — thanks to this family's act of kindness, two of them just found their homes. 

Shelter dogs in forever home
Kari Ceicys

"Looks like they hit the jackpot!" one commenter wrote. "Thank you for adopting them both."

Adopting homeless animals brings so much happiness to everyone β€” visit Adopt-a-Pet.com if you think you can give a special shelter pet a forever home.