Around the Bend - Adoption Reunion at Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter

Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter has been open for a little more than a year. During that time, we have adopted nearly 300 cats and dogs!

Behind every adopted dog or cat is a story.  Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter may have been a temporary stop for your dog or cat down the road to a new life. By sharing your story, you just might inspire others to adopt an animal of their own.

If so, email us ( and tell us about your adoption experience in one or two paragraphs. You can also attach a photo of your adopted pet, although it’s not required. If you choose to not have your name revealed, please let us know in the email. We’ll review your story and post it on our website for other adopters and potential adopters to read.

We first saw Rufus online & thought he was very cute. We weren’t super sure if we were ready to have a dog yet, but we decided to “just take a look.” When we first met him, he was a really boring, calm, quiet dog. I think we spent most of the time just staring at each other. When we took him home, we slept all the time. He didn’t know his own name, and he didn’t know how to sit, lay down, shake or anything.  A month later, he knew all of that. He just needed someone to take the time to teach him. Three months later, his personality is so much different. If you look at this picture, he smiles now! All the time. Since he’s been in a happy home, he’s much more lively. Yes, our dog is still a lazy boy and pretty mellow, but when he sees a people-friend, he’s excited and ready to play. Our family all agrees that his personality has really come out since being in a healthy environment. Everyone I’ve met loves our dog & I’m glad we took a chance on him because we’re crazy about our Rufus boy!

Hi! My name is Athena. This is my story. I came into my Mom's life at the end of May 2018. She is a volunteer and foster home for RABAS. When I came into the shelter as a stray my Mom was volunteering that day. I was very scared and nervous. She got me settled that day. I was so nervous and scared that I didn't want anyone to touch me or take me from this new place. I even lashed out at the volunteers and nipped a few of them(I am sorry for that). After a week or so my Mom was asked to foster me because I was still so scared. That was the day I came home for good! Little did my Mom know that I had chosen her from the beginning. I still become nervous around large crowds but my Mom is helping me be more confident. I have come a long way and I know that my Mom will be with me every day. Thank you RABAS for bringing me to my furever home! Thank you, Athena.


We adopted Umbra, aka Petunia. We thought we would share our story. When we saw the video of Petunia on Facebook, we knew she deserved a good home. Being her age and her breed, we knew many others wouldn't give her a chance. We already had a four-year-old female pit bull at our country home, so it was just a matter of seeing if they could get along.
It wasn't the best start, that's for sure. It took these two about a month before they were comfortable with each other, but they figured out their differences, and now they live happily here together. Umbra, aka Petunia, has come to love the country life. She enjoys alerting us to ANYTHING that is in the yard that doesn't belong (rabbits, squirrels, deer, sketchy leaves), and she gets along just fine with our chickens, as well. She is a mega-cuddler and loves to put all of her body weight on you to let you know she's ready for snuggles.
She was a perfect fit for our family, and we are so happy we could give her the home she needed. -- 
Haley Stanley


I started volunteering at RABAS in December 2018. This was one of the best things I have ever decided to do. The shelter has become my happy place and I love all the cats and kittens that come in. Well, one day a very special kitten came in that won my heart. Rosey. She was in the back in ISO as all new cats are when they first came in when I first saw her. Whenever I had duty and would open her cage she would jump onto me and start purring. I just knew I had to have her. We already had 2 cats at home so my husband didn’t feel the need for a third. Well, the more I saw Rosey I knew I had to convince him she was meant to be ours. Eventually, I did. In March Rosey came to her furever home. Her 2 big sisters still don’t share the love I do for her but have come to accept she’s here to stay. She has helped them become more active since they like to chase her. I am so thankful for RABAS for bringing Rosey to us and helping all the animals they do. - Michele Kraus


We adopted Ender and Valentine in October 2018. They may be the "rescues", but they sure helped me through a particularly difficult time. These days they rule the roost, and their current hobbies include galloping around the house, providing alarm clock services, and seeking out the warmest snuggling spots in the house. They love chin scratches and fishy treats. They have never met a stranger and will cuddle with anyone- unless you are a dog, in which case they will hiss from afar. After a stressful year, starting 2019 off with these two has been wonderful. Thank you, Rivers and Bluffs!

Samantha and Andrew Matern

Rambo by Christy Hassmer – I adopted Rambo aka Tiger in October 2018. I already have 2 cats but couldn’t resist him. He is such a lover, but very busy and energetic. Tiger runs around the house like the Indy 500. He bugs my other cats, but I love him too much and cannot imagine life without him! “Tigers bounce because that’s what Tigers do best.”

My name is Maggie Novey. I'm a regular volunteer at RABAS. I started volunteering in late January and I'm so pleased with the large number of animals that have been adopted! One that was adopted came to my house!
I adopted Sam, a 14-year-old Ragdoll cat. He came to the shelter when his previous owner had to move to a nursing home.
Sammy hid in his litter box at the shelter for a week. He barely ate or drank. He was terrified.
I thought about Sammy that whole week. Who would adopt a 14-year-old, slightly anti-social cat? He needed me! That Friday I came out to the shelter and brought him home, much to my husband's surprise! That was 6 months ago.
Sam is a quirky cat. He chose a bed to hide under and that's where you will find him most of the time. We were told he did that with his previous owner, too. Just last week he asked to sit on the couch with me and today he jumped up with my husband - a first!
Remember, Sammy's been with us for 6 months. Shelter animals often need time to adjust. They don't know why they ended up at the shelter. They don't know what to think when they come home with us. Most animals don't come with a backstory. We don't know what they have experienced or how they were treated.
We love our little "Troll under the bed!" He's funny and weird but makes us laugh. All he needed was our patience and time to adjust. Glad we gave him both.
He's great!
One of our favorite places to be is the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter volunteering. In July of this year a little Long-Haired Chihuahua was surrendered when we were there. She only weighed a little over 4 pounds and was terrified, shivering in her kennel and totally afraid. Bob and I decided to bring her home to foster. Imagine our surprise when she got along with our Lab mix Molly and both of our elderly cats. Seemed like a match made in heaven and that is how little Betsy came to live with us.
In the past three months, Betsy has become a very important part of our family. She’s gained a couple of ounces, learned how to wear a harness and walk on a leash. And on many warmer days, you can see us walking around town with Betsy in her little doggie stroller!! She’s attended the PdC Homecoming parade, won 4th place in the Oktoberfest Costume Contest (she was a Bumble Bee) and just this past week did the shelter proud by participating in the downtown Halloween event to showcase the shelter. Bob and I are extremely grateful to our shelter. 7 years ago, we adopted our sweet Molly-dog when we saw her on the shelter Facebook page and this year our Little Betsy came to live with us. Thanks, RABAS – Bob and Diane Witt

This is Emma. A sweet girl who is very content with just having a warm place to stay, play and plenty of food and treats. She has come out of her shell in her own way. Finding the courage to climb on my lap or lay next to me in bed.
Emma came to our home in September 2018. She was quite shy and stayed away from everyone and was perfectly content with just having a warm place in the sun to lay and didn't want interaction with people. She slowly started to come out of her shell and looked for affection from me and even my dog. She enjoys pets and being brushed. Sometimes she is bullied by my other cat Felicia, who is younger than Emma. I was scolding Felicia for bullying her but then started to find Emma chasing Felicia and I decided that they were playing in some cat-like way. This happens regularly in the middle of the night and usually on my bed. We are all getting along well and settling in nicely and I think that she is happy and content. That makes me feel like even though it was a rough start everyone is getting along so well. I'm afraid to say any more just in case I jinx myself.
Would I adopt another shelter animal? Yes. But right now we are finally settled into a nice routine and I am afraid that bringing in another animal is not a good idea at this time. I wish I could. If my dog (Angel) and cat (Felicia) would allow it, this fall when you were overflowing with kittens I would have taken them all and not thought twice about it. After all, I am a cat lover and always will be. I'm sure you are wondering why I have a dog. She is a rescue as well, but that is a whole nother story in its self.
When someone oohs and aahs over them I recommend that they volunteer at their local shelter before they bring an animal to their house. The responsibility of a shelter animal is greater than the responsibility of all because they have to adjust to a new living situation and a whole new routine. It feels good to adopt an animal. It does not feel so good when things don't go smoothly and the situation isn't at all like you would have liked it to be.--Ana Cook