Dedicated to finding 

every adoptable animal

a loving home...

Hello From Alaska

09 Nov 2016 9:00 AM | Anonymous

It takes a long time to grow an old friend…
John Leonard

 “…and when I held her I just had ‘that feeling' and I knew that she was the one!”

In the past five years, thousands of lost and abandoned animals have been saved and adopted from the Upland Animal Shelter.  And every one of them has a place in our hearts. 

Sometimes they are with us for a short time, and sometimes for a longer time...longer than we’d like.  But we always send them off with the hope that they have found their perfect match, that they will be happy and healthy, and that they will never return to the shelter.

Another success story from a few days ago.

After a brief “happy dance” and a Facebook post (like the one above) about another one being adopted, we return to the work of getting the next one adopted.  That is, until we get a moment to dwell on an unexpected e-mail about a long-ago adoption confirming all of our hopes have been met...and more.

“To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Matt Yancik and I'm writing to update you, after over 5 years, of how a cat I adopted from you was doing!

I adopted Gracie (that was the name you had given her) from your team on May 22 of 2011. I was, at that time, living just a few blocks down from the La Brea Tar Pits and wandered over to eat my lunch. Coincidentally, that day, your group was there. I loved cats, but wasn't sure if I was ready to adopt another (I'd had several before that I saw into old age.) None of the cats I saw that day had really 'clicked' with me, and I was kind of thinking of giving up, when I saw Gracie curled in a ball in the top cage of a stack of cages. I loved her color, and so I asked to hold her. One of your reps got her out for me, and when I held her I just had 'that feeling' and I knew that she was the one! I took a short 'cool off' period to call my sister and ask her advice (she told me to go for it) and then returned to adopt her!”

Gracie was two years old when she was adopted in May 2011.

“You guys started me off with a litter box, a box of litter, some toys and a few other things I can't remember. I took Gracie home and she stepped right out of the box, calm as ever, as if she'd always lived in my place! She has given me five great years since then and I'm very happy I have her! She has lived mostly in Downtown Los Angeles, and I took her on regular walks in the park at the La Brea Tar Pits and parks in Downtown. I have been living in Anchorage, Alaska for the past few years and I can tell she loves it even more! I'm pretty sure she can sense and smell the differences between a bustling city and the wilderness of Alaska!”

Out for a stroll.

“I'm not sure if anyone will remember her, but she was spayed by a student surgeon named Amaris Pao, a student anesthetist named Kursten Roderick, and supervised by a vet named Maria A Fahie. (That's what it shows on her records.) Maybe they will, and you can show them these pictures!”

Gracie was spayed through a partnership with
Western University of Health Services College of Veterinary Medicine

“The description of Gracie, written by Amaris Pao, reads that she's 'very sweet with a curious personality. She loves people and loves attention. She will make a wonderful pet to a loving family.' This is TOTALLY true. She has been the gentlest and sweetest pet that I've ever had, and has also become very clever at opening drawers and cupboards in my house, as well as sliding closet doors open. She's super smart and clever.”

Is there a beagle in your future Gracie?

“Recently I think she's been a little sad, because I've been working a lot and must leave her at home alone. (I'm a teacher and tutor in the evenings.) I have been looking, the past year or so, for a companion for her. None of the cats I've seen have 'clicked' like Gracie did, but just the other day, by chance, a small beagle dog that a coworker found actually did and I am considering adopting her as a friend for Gracie! This beagle is quiet, gentle, and curious... just like Gracie! I'm going to see what happens when I introduce them next weekend, and I hope that they'll hit it off! I think she'll be happy with a new friend!

Anyway, I just thought I'd write because maybe your team sometimes gets curious about those animals that were adopted years ago. Hope you like the pictures.

 Matt Yancik
Anchorage, Alaska"

Matt and Gracie

Thank you, Matt.  Not only for sharing your story and photos, but for giving Gracie such a wonderful home.

All of us who staff and support the shelter in so many ways are only temporary stewards of the many homeless animals who go through the facility.  Many of us have our own animals and know the incredible love and joy they bring to our lives.  It is heartwarming and uplifting to know there are special people like you who choose to adopt the lost and abandoned animals that have been left behind and cherish them for their entire lives.

Keep in touch, and let us know about the beagle!

Find your own Gracie…

In case you haven’t heard, the shelter is overflowing with cats who desperately need a good home.  We are even starting to use the top tier of kennels, which are generally not needed throughout the year.  These kennels are hard to reach and are more difficult to clean.  Plus, it is hard to see the wonderful cats in them.

Our goal is to get at least 100 cats and kittens adopted by December 31, 2016. We are calling it the “100 Cat Challenge” as part of the nationwide “Million Cat Challenge.”  To meet this goal, we are lowering the adoption fees by almost 50% for kittens (under 1 year) and 75% for cats.  And, we will be featuring one or two kittens and cats on our Facebook page every day so you can see all our lovable felines who are ready to go home. 

Please share this challenge with as many family members and friends as you can and help all of our cats find a home!

If you have a story you would like to share about an animal you adopted from Upland Animal Shelter, please send an e-mail to  We’d like to feature you in an upcoming blog post.

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Contact Us

Friends of Upland Animal Shelter
1275 San Bernardino Road
Upland, CA 91786
Animal Shelter Phone Number: 1-909-931-4185

2nd Chance Thrift Shop
972 W. 9th Street
Upland, CA 91786
Thrift Shop Phone Number: 1-909-920-6020


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