feel good stories


Animal shelter celebrates being empty for the first time in nearly 50 years

The silence coming from a Pennsylvania animal shelter during this holiday week is being hailed "a true miracle."

Adams Count SPCA/ Facebook

So many animals spent Christmas in loving homes.

For the first time in 47 years, the Adams County SPCA met the holidays with silence. Not a creature was stirring—not even a mouse.

Because this year, every kennel was empty. All the animals had either been adopted or reunited with families, thanks to what the organization called a “true Christmas miracle.”

To celebrate, the Adams County SPCA shared a photo of its employees and volunteers smiling alongside all the empty kennels, and thanked the community for its continued support.

“This year we have adopted out 598 animals and reunited 125 strays with their owners! WOW! It has been a busy year!” the post read.

This miracle comes despite the shelter “discouraging” potential pet owners from adopting pets during Christmastime, as there is a long-standing belief that animals adopted during this season as gifts are more likely to be returned weeks later. (TODAY)

While this belief is certainly warranted (there are plenty of tragic stories of Christmas pets being returned once the novelty wears off), studies show that might not necessarily be the case. In fact, a lot of research has found the opposite—that animals given as gifts are far less likely to be returned to shelters.

And to add to that optimism, several people responded to the Adams County SPCA’s post with pictures of their own fur babies adopted from the organization, showing them in happy, healthy homes.

"Happy Jack who was named Briscoe, is excited to hear the great news!"

"Toulouse (adopted 16 years ago) says Meowy Christmas and congratulations"

"Harper was adopted 4 years ago from Adams County SPCA. So grateful for all you do. Merry Christmas!"

The shelter also regularly adds “happy tails” of adopted animals living their best lives, including Bootsie the cat, adopted in November.

As Bootsie's new parents can attest, the sweet feline is “adored” by all, but has been a “game changer” for their autistic daughter, hope.

"Hope cuddles Bootsie when she’s upset instead of having full blown meltdowns, cuddles him and practices her verbal expressions of compassion, love and affection. Thank you so much for all you do!" their post read.

So maybe, just maybe, we can really believe this was a well deserved miracle after all.

But still, the work continues. As the organization explained in a subsequent post on Dec 26th, other overwhelmed shelters in the state have reached out in need of support. Right now resident owner surrenders still take priority, but they are branching out to surrounding counties when able.

In their words: “We are going to do the best we can to help as many animals and people [as] we can.”

It's a well-known standard of etiquette that you don't upstage a bride at her wedding. You should dress up and look nice, but not fancier than the bride. And you certainly shouldn't draw attention to yourself with a big announcement, taking the attention away from the big day and turning it onto yourself.

But what if the bride does that for you?

A video shared by @_BlackCouples and reshared by @RexChapman starts with a bride with her back to her line of bridesmaids, preparing to toss the bouquet. Traditionally, the woman who catches the bouquet is supposed to be the next one to tie the knot. But as this bride is about to toss the flowers, she stops.

Then she turns around, shakes her head, and starts walking toward one of her bridesmaids.

The bridesmaid clearly has no idea what's going on, and when the bride hands her the bouquet she just giggles. Then the bride spins her around to her boyfriend, who is down on one knee, holding up a ring. Aw, dang.

The joy of the whole wedding party is palpable as the bridesmaid squeals and then starts to cry. Her boyfriend's grin could not be wider, and the bride herself is beaming behind her friend.

Some people commented on the video saying they'd be upset if a friend stole their thunder with a stunt like that on their big day, but it's clear that the bride was 100% in on it. It's not like she was taken by surprise, which would have been tacky. There are stories of clueless people staging their own big moment during someone's wedding reception, and such stories are always super cringey.

But this wasn't that. This looks like a beautiful group of friends sharing not just one, but two very special events in their lives at the same time. The bride selflessly shared the spotlight on her big day, and in doing so got to play a significant role in someone else's love story as well—someone that she clearly cares a lot about to want to surprise her like that at such an iconic moment.

The video clearly hit people right in their soft spots, perhaps especially right now when so many of us have had to miss out on attending our loved ones' weddings. It's not clear when this wedding took place, but it's presumably from before the pandemic. These are the kinds of moments we long to see again, when we can safely hold big gatherings, when don't have to wear masks and mentally measure six feet constantly, when we can hug our loved ones with wild abandon.

Until that normalcy returns, we'll just have to live vicariously through these kinds of inspiring, feel-good videos.

Most of us had one of those neighbors growing up—the one who gave us the stink eye if we so much as looked at their perfectly mowed lawn and shooed us away if even our shadows crept onto their flower beds. There's a reason "Get off my lawn!" was a meme before memes were even a thing.

Then there are neighbors who rock. The ones who smile and wave through the window and share their fresh-baked cookies with the neighborhood kids. The folks who genuinely enjoy the vibrant energy that children bring to the block and embrace the idea of "it takes a village."

When one of the guys behind Canyon Chasers, a motorcycle enthusiast website, shared a video of how he handled a kid who kept playing in his driveway when he wasn't home, it wasn't clear at first which kind of neighbor he was going to be. But then he explains how his security footage showed a preschooler riding his bike around his flat concrete driveway every evening, and how he decided to do something about it.

And what ensued was the best Anti-Get-Off-My-Lawn move that ended up pleasing more neighbors than he anticipated.

How I Deal With Kids Playing in My Driveway | The Saga of My Driveway Racetrackwww.youtube.com

How fun would that have been when you were a kid? And how great that he made a new one each time it rained? And how delightful is it that people of all ages showed up to enjoy it?

Imagine a world where all neighbors were this thoughtful and generous with their time and property. More of this, please.