If you’re a friend of the ASPCA, chances are you’ve seen Kiki before. A staple at our New York City Adoption Center, this sweet bulldog mix has also been featured in ASPCA videos and on our website many times. But what you might not know is where Kiki came from, or the fact that he was adopted and returned three times after being rescued from cruelty. That’s why we are so thrilled to share this special dog’s Happy Tail with you today.
Kiki’s story begins all the way back in 2012, when the ASPCA rescued him from an extremely cruel situation. He was admitted to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for emaciation, ulcers, skin disease, ear infections and multiple fractured teeth. He was only about six months old at the time, and over the next year-and-a-half, he was in and out of isolation wards and hospital units for further issues such as knee disease, joint pain, Giardia and E. coli infections. In his short little life, the poor dog had already suffered so much.
Kiki’s first adoption came in late 2013, but sadly, it lasted less than a month. His second one, in 2014, lasted less than two months. In both instances, the adopters stated that Kiki was very sweet but that he did not seem to know his own strength. He was on edge around other dogs—likely because of his past abuse—and his many medical issues were a financial and emotional strain. His third adoption lasted nine months, and we were hopeful it would stick, but he was returned after getting into an altercation with another dog. Now more than three years old and weighing over a hundred pounds, Kiki was no closer to finding a permanent home. Then one day last October, everything changed.
Manhattan couple Lucas and Sashia had always wanted a dog, but they were unable to make the commitment while living overseas for the last five years. Once they returned to New York, they knew it was time. “We decided to adopt to give a deserving dog a second chance,” says Sashia. On their first trip to the ASPCA Adoption Center, they spotted Kiki. “He was lying on his bed minding his own business, unlike other dogs that were more jumpy and came up to the window,” Sashia recalls. “I noticed Kiki caught Luke’s eye, so I asked if we could meet him.”
Sashia admits that she was initially hesitant about Kiki because of his large size, but, she says, “As soon as I approached him, I knew he was the biggest sweetheart I ever met! I knew at that moment that I just didn’t want to let him go.” Although the couple’s plan had been to visit the Adoption Center, go home and think about it for a week, they decided instead to take Kiki home that day. We informed them about his medical needs, and they did a test walk and got tips from his trainer. “We were so lucky to find Kiki,” Sashia says.
After saying goodbye, everyone at the ASPCA kept our fingers crossed that this fourth adoption would stick. Kiki had been through so much, and deserved nothing less than a permanent, loving home. As it turns out, he got all of that and more: “Kiki is the sweetest, nicest, most well-behaved large dog I have ever met!” Sashia reported a few months later. “He was already very well trained, and he knew what he was allowed to do and not allowed to do.” It seems that his many adoption experiences had prepared him perfectly for Lucas and Sashia’s home, as she also reported that “He is a very calm dog and rarely runs around, which makes him perfect as a city dog.”
Now, months later, Kiki’s painful past is all but a distant memory. He even has a second home at “Gramma and Grandpa’s in New Jersey,” where he loves to run freely in their huge backyard. “I think Kiki loves both our homes, and our families, as much as we love him,” Sashia beams. “We couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t ask for more from a dog like Kiki!”
We, too, could not be happier to hear this update. After so many years of ups-and-downs, it means so much to finally write this sweet, goofy, lovable pooch a “Happy Tail” of his very own.