Adopted Dog Survives Rough Past and Finds Her Family

Ted, Danielle, and their pack of three gave Caitlyn the happiness she truly deserved.

Ted + Caitlyn

Caitlyn was rescued from abuse and found her family with Ted, Danielle, and their pack of three.

"All four dogs played all afternoon and then cuddled in bed with us that night. The next morning Danielle and I shared a look: Caitlyn was a part of our family and wasn’t going anywhere."

In May 2015, I was working as a prosecutor handling animal abuse cases in Charleston, South Carolina, and suddenly got assigned to an animal abuse case. The victim’s name was Caitlyn.

Adopted Dog Caitlyn

Caitlyn’s case went viral around the internet and #IAmCaitlyn became a rallying cry for animal abuse awareness around the world. Suddenly, I was the lead in a very high-profile case. The first time I met Caitlyn, she jumped in my lap and I knew I had to get her justice and that she would never be just another case for me. Caitlyn’s abuser ultimately pled guilty and received the maximum sentence for felony animal cruelty in South Carolina.

Following Caitlyn’s case, I was working on another animal abuse case and met with Aldwin Roman, the Charleston Animal Society’s Chief Strategy Officer. During the meeting, Aldwin asked if my wife, Danielle, and I might be interested in adopting Caitlyn.

Adopted Dog Caitlyn

Aldwin wasn’t aware, but my pit-mix, Brady, who I rescued in college was suffering tremendous pain from a spinal condition and didn’t have much time left. My wife Danielle and I built a family with Brady, and our other dogs Lucy and Sully. Caitlyn meant a lot to me and I wanted to bring her home immediately but was unsure if it was the right time with what we were going through with Brady. I expected Danielle to feel the same but she didn’t hesitate and said, “Absolutely, let’s adopt her.”

Adopted Dog Caitlyn

Prior to adopting Caitlyn, we wanted to make sure she would be a good fit with our other dogs so we brought her home for a night. Everyone got along right away, especially Caitlyn and Brady. All four dogs played all afternoon and then cuddled in bed with us that night. The next morning Danielle and I shared a look: Caitlyn was a part of our family and wasn’t going anywhere.

Devastatingly, we lost Brady shortly after. It is the hardest thing we have ever been through. Brady was tough and incredibly devoted. He would have stuck it out as long as he could, no matter how much pain he was in, to spend more time with us. People had told me that your pet will let you know when it’s the right time to say goodbye. It was unimaginable to me that would ever happen, not Brady, he would always put us first.

I believe that Brady instantly recognized a kindred spirit in Caitlyn, one that he knew would watch over and care for us as he always had. I know that she made it possible for him to say goodbye, comfortable that his family was in good hands. Although Brady could never be replaced, Caitlyn made his loss so much easier for us to bear. She means the world to our family.

Adopted Dog Caitlyn

People mention how lucky Caitlyn is. Really, we are the lucky ones. Caitlyn inspires and brings joy to us and countless others every day. For that, I will be forever thankful that Caitlyn came into my life through Charleston Animal Society.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Ted won Charleston Animal Society in North Charleston, South Carolina a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.