Linus’ Story: Numbers for a Name

Numbers for a Name

Linus on arrival

Linus on her first day at Anchorage Animal Care and Control

This story is written by Linus. A stray kitten who found love, fame and a name. Linus always says her favorite quote, penned by Victor Hugo, “to love or have loved, that is enough” because it was love that changed everything. Not many love stories feature a cat as the leading lady, but this one does. This is Linus’s story.

A224228 that was the first name I ever knew. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? Just like Jean Valjean in Les Miserables who was haunted his whole life by his prison numbers, I too felt those numbers following me like a shadow. A heavy burden for a little kitten to carry, but carry it I did.

I came to AACC as a stray. Stray – another name I hate. I don’t remember too much about that day, all I remember is that my eyes hurt and I couldn’t see very well. I had some very noticeable eye deformities, that is probably why I was a stray. Why I ended up with numbers for a name. I didn’t have much hope. And then I met this person, a special person.

She was the Kennel Supervisor at AACC and, much to my surprise, she didn’t put me in a cage. She took me to her house. It smelled so good there and she had two other kittens! They both had names and I was envious. They told me that this was their foster home and that the food was really good. They also asked me what was wrong with my eyes, but I didn’t have a good answer.

She would go to work all day, I missed her terribly when she was gone. I’d just count the numbers on the clock until she got home. She was so kind to us. I ached for her touch when she was away. The other cats cried and pleaded for food as soon as she walked in the door. I would meow too, but I just wanted her to hold and pet me. Food could wait.

Under her careful hand, we grew fast, as did my attachment to her. Then one day she said it was time to go back to the shelter to get adopted. My kitty-mates were excited, but I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay with her forever, but nevertheless, we were loaded up and taken away.

The other kittens were adopted very quickly. Their new owners gave them new names, which I was surprised at, but my heart was so full of longing for my foster mom there wasn’t any room left for envy. I wasn’t surprised that both kittens went before me. I might not be able to see well, but I knew what people saw when they looked at me, just numbers. Like the cost for eye surgery and the cost of care for my eyes. Like my name, numbers were in my way again.

Linus on adoption floor

Linus in her kennel…waiting to be adopted (but secretly hoping to go back to her foster home).

Then one day a man did ask to see me. This usually makes the animals around here very excited. I was just excited to see my foster mom as she reached in and gently handed me to the man. “Why is someone else holding me? I’m her cat,” I thought. She even looked sad and concerned as she watched the man interact with me. She seemed eager to get me back into the cage. The man said that he was going to think about it. My foster mom walked away with the man, but she came back rather quickly and slapped a big sticker on my cage. The sticker read “Congratulations, I’m being adopted.”

I was very confused, because the man said he needed to think about it. But my foster mom smiled at me and stuck a soft finger through the wires of my cage to scratch my chin. She said, “all I was thinking while that man was holding you was ‘why is that man holding my cat!’”

My foster mom realizes she can't let me go!

My foster mom realizes she can’t let me go. See how happy I am?

That day I went home. Numbers are still a big part of my life. Not A224228, or 24601 or the cost for my care, now I count the number of times my mom says she loves me, the number of cat-naps we take together, the number of adventures we go on in my stroller and the number of times she says my name.

She named me Linus and it’s perfect.

I once heard my mom get asked why she adopted me, after all, the number of kittens she had fostered, cared for and seen is enormous. She just said simply, “because I love Linus and Linus loves me.” This is true. Sometimes numbers do lie, but love… love never does.

Loving and being loved,



Linus had the eye surgery she needed and she can see much better now. Which is good because Linus is one busy cat! Linus and her mom can often be found strolling in local pet supply stores or watching geese at the park. Their favorite spots to go are Turnagain Arm and Beluga Point. When not out adventuring Linus spends a lot of time in her “catio” on the deck. Linus also has a big heart for assisting other animals in finding the love of their lives. She appears on AACC’s Facebook at least once a week, conducting promotions. She is currently “hosting” Meow Mixer, a dating game between cats and people to encourage people to adopt. Here is what her mom says about Linus:

 “How much do I love Linus? I don’t know how to swim but if Linus fell into the ocean, I would jump in to save her. But to be safe, I think our adventures will not include boats.”

Here I am after my eye surgery.

Here I am after my eye surgery.

Life is good. Love, Linus

Life is Good. Love, Linus

Britannica: The Cat Who Could

The Cat Who Could

This story is written by Britannica, the little cat who could. Britannica’s message is simple and clear: never give up on yourselves or in the goodness of others. This kitty kept getting returned to AACC due to “behavior problems.” But all of her problems were solved when an AACC employee went above and beyond and a new adopter decided to give Britannica the real chance she needed. This is her story.


I stared out the window of the moving car as it took its final turn into a parking lot and my heart sank. I knew where we were, I’d been here before. Time to go back to the cage, back to the wire, back to the loneliness.

Now, don’t get me wrong this place (I think I heard a human call it Animal Care and Control) wasn’t all bad. I was well taken care of by very thoughtful people. But it wasn’t a forever home and every animal in this place knew it; none of them better than me.

You see, I thought that I was one of the lucky ones when I got adopted. But then they brought me back. Then, I thought I was super lucky when I got adopted again! Then I was brought back. Embarrassingly, I kept having accidents in the house. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help it; these transitions were hard for me and I was often frightened and nervous.

As I was carried back into this familiar place I was resigned. Maybe it wasn’t meant for me to have a forever home – maybe this was the closest thing to a home I’d ever know. Then this one special person showed up.

She was sweet; you know when some people pet cats, they are so heavy-handed? But she wasn’t like that at all, she had a very gentle touch and she smelled like… dare I say it? Home. I tried not to get excited again, knowing she would probably give up on me too. But I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of hope rise in my chest.

She adopted me! And I heard her and Sue, the lady who cares for us at AACC, talking extensively about how to properly care for me. Sue was working very hard to help me not have accidents and feel comfortable.

Britannica and her new mom on her Going Home Day!

Sue gave my new mom many helpful tips. She told her to start me out in very small spaces and give me options; to let me choose when to be approached and to give me some play exposure to build my confidence. She gave my new mom many things that are familiar to me to take home like: my litter box, food, bedding and toys. Sue even gave us her book called ‘Catify to Satisfy’ by the famous Jackson Galaxy.

My mom kept Sue updated on my progress and even took me to the vet. They fixed my diet among other things. This was helping me make it to the litter box. Now I get called ‘Sweet Girl’ and I absolutely love it. I want to say thanks to Sue for providing my mom with a lot of helpful information and to my mom for sticking with me.

 My story is about determination and what can happen when people don’t give up on one another. I am a very grateful cat and I try to show that every day of our lives together, from the moment we wake up snuggling in bed together, through playtime and into each and every evening. We are very close. I am happy to report that this little cat that could, eventually did.

Home to stay,



Britannica’s mom is still in touch with AACC and checks in often to give us. “I’m smitten with her. I wake up with her sleeping on me every morning. She has a very kitten-like personality… likes to chew on the decorations on my jeans and drag wand toys around the house. The best part of the day is when she’s relaxed enough to flop over next to me and let me give her belly rubs, while purring and chirping. Unbelievably cute, and a wonderful companion! ” 

It is through the dedication, heart and true love for animals that Sue, and other employees like her, possesses that made this story have a happy ending.

Britannica and AACC are very grateful to our volunteers and employees; for the hard work and compassion they show on a daily basis. They are the true authors of happy-ever-afters like Britannica.

Here are the dates of Britannica’s up-and-down journey:

Surrendered on 10/14/16
Adopted on 10/27/16
Returned on 12/12/16
Adopted on 12/22/16
Returned on 2/23/17
Adopted by her new mom on 3/21/17 – Britannica still calls this her home.


This story is written by Hercules. A 5-year-old, mixed-breed on his very own personal hero’s journey. Hercules’s favorite quote originated from the Disney version of his namesake
“I would go most anywhere to find where I belong.”

Hercules has always believed in heroes, both finding them and becoming your own.

This is his story.


Hercules waits for his new family.

I love my name. I’ve always enjoyed hero stories, ever since I was a young pup. I’m attracted to the mystery, the challenges, the triumphs. So, to be named after one of the greatest heroes of all time is a great honor.

In every hero’s journey, there are 3 parts: the separation, the transition and the return. (The return was always my favorite!) So, I will share my journey with you in the same way:


It is hard for me to talk about this part without getting choked up, but I found myself at Anchorage Animal Care & Control right after New Year’s. Those entrusted to care for me had taken me to the vet and then never came back. Like all good heroes, I did have a weakness. I guess you could call it my Achilles’ heel; I had this lump at the base of my tail that needed to be removed. Maybe that is why I was left….


I had a dream one night after being at AACC for about two-weeks. In the dream, I saw another dog. He was very happy, playing and being cared for by a sweet family. I had dreams like this all the time, but this one was a little different. Before the dream ended the dog turned to me (the bright shiney tag on his collar read Max) and he said, “they are coming for you Herc, just wait, they are coming.” I woke up immediately and felt a little better.

A few days later, I was resting in my kennel, when some potential adopters came walking through. This happens often and I was tired of getting my hopes up. Today was also my birthday and no one had noticed. So, I was being grumpy. I went to move to the back of the kennel; it was then that I saw the potential adopters were the people from my dream! The same people Max had said were coming for me. I immediately barked with joy. They noticed me with smiles; they also noticed the lump near my tail, but it did not seem to bother them. I bounced around their legs and gave them both kisses. I knew, in that moment, that these were my heroes.


I am so very happy with my new family and thankful to Max for sending them to me. I also got to meet Max posthumously through, scents, pictures and memories in my house. You see Max was my owners’ much-loved dog. He passed away when he was 11-years-old and our owners had asked him to send them another dog, which turned out to be me. My pup-daddy loves telling the story of why they went to AACC that day. He said that Max told him to go.

Just like any Hero’s story, ours wouldn’t be complete without a little magic.

Honorably yours,


Hercules on atv 1

Hercules loving life with his new dad.


Parts of Herc’s story was shared with us through his new mom.. She says that her family is so very happy with their new pup “he is a sweet, loving dog who just needed a chance at being healthy! This is his forever home!” Hercules came to AACC on 1/3/17. He was adopted on 1/15/17.  His owners had the lump near the base of his tail checked out and it was first thought that the tail would need to be removed. Herc’s family posted on craigslist about the upcoming medical expenses and were trying to raise funds to help with the costs. The post was brought to AACC’s attention and the Center Director approved $300 from a medical assistance grant received from the ASPCA in 2016 to help the family.  Dr. Tom McGregor of Chugach Veterinary Practice later removed the tumor. Hercules goes to work with his owner at an auto repair shop nearly every day. He enjoys being the “shop dog” and the company of his doggie-girlfriend, Bella. They are currently living happily ever after.

Hercules with cone 1

Hercules in the largest cone EVER!

Alaska Dispatch News Dog Blog Pet of the Week: Alfred (A203779)

203779 Alfred meme

Watch out…I’m coming to love you. Signed, Alfred

Meet Alfred, who came to us as a stray. Knowing Alfred, he might have gone on a walk-about to spread love and good cheer to the neighborhood. Believe us, you will get kissed by this dog. Alfred is a strong and energetic boy who will need an active home with a family committed to teaching him his manners—he sits for treats and takes them gently from your hands and he is learning to walk politely on leash. He will be a fun and loving companion for his new family. Alfred can be adopted for just $72 which covers his microchip, vaccines, and MOA license.

The 92.9 KFAT and 96.3 The Wolf Pet of the Week: Chena (A211433)

A211433 Chena meme

I might be too old to race but I’m not too old to run, play, hike, and cuddle. Signed, Chena.

Meet Chena, a 7-year old former sled dog who is ready to start a new life. Chena takes a moment to warm up to new people but once she does she is a love—even kissing you if you stop petting her to ask for more. She is an active dog who will need an active family. She’ll make a great running, walking, or hiking partner. Chena has spent her 7 years as an outdoor dog so she’ll need assistance and patience as she transitions to being an indoor companion. Our volunteers have been working with her on leash training and indoor manners (like how to walk through doors – those were a bit scary at first). She can be adopted for $72 which covers a microchip, vaccines, and MOA license.

Advice from Shelter Animals: Preparing Your Home

1.19.15_preparing your home

You’re ready to bring me home. And I’m ready to go home. But is your home ready?

You’ve done your homework and selected the shelter animal that will be happiest in your home based on your family’s lifestyle. Good work! But have you prepared your home? Set your new family member up for success with a little prep work such as baby gates to keep dogs confined to safe areas until they learn the house rules, scratching posts for cats, potentially dangerous items out of their reach, etc… Read more here:

Reunited! 15-year old Lucky is Reunited with his Family.

1.15.15_Lucky reunion

Lucky and his mom after being reunited.

15-year old Lucky was a lucky boy when he was reunited with his family. Lucky and his mom drove in from Wasilla to visit a friend in Anchorage. Lucky was supposed to wait in the friend’s yard during the visit but somehow got out. His mom was frantic when she looked out and didn’t see her dog. In the meantime, Lucky was spotted walking down 100th Ave. by an APD officer who contacted us. Animal Control Officer Leece responded and brought Lucky to the shelter. Just imagine how happy his mom was to receive the call that Lucky was safe and waiting for her to pick him up!

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