Pet Connections

A Home for Cesara by/ Edward R. Moats

We have all heard stories regarding pet adoption that tend to tug at our heartstrings. Recently, I met a family that shared their story of adoption that truly touched my heart. But before I continue with this adoption story, I need to give you a little back history regarding a sweet American Staffordshire Terrier and Boxer mix named Cesara.
Approximately three and half years ago, Cesara was surrendered to a high-kill shelter in South Carolina. Upon her surrender, she was examined and found to have multiple health issues, which included testing positive for heartworm. Her outcome looked grim. Because of her various health issues, it was highly unlikely that Cesara would be considered for adoption. Most likely, Cesara would be euthanized within a designated period.

Fortunately, a rescue organization from Canton Connecticut, known as Dog Star, frequents many high-kill shelters in search for dogs that would make great pets. But, may be overlooked by potential pet parents looking to adopt from shelters. Dog Star prides themselves in rescuing pets that are being considered for euthanasia.

Upon meeting Cesara, Dog Star felt that she would be a prime candidate for their program. The decision was made to bring her back to Connecticut. However, they would need to address her health issues. Dog Star volunteers transported Cesara back to their facility where she was evaluated in order to devise a plan of care that would meet her physical and behavioral needs. During this time, Cesara’s personality shined through. Although she enjoyed interacting with volunteers, Cesara clearly had issues being around other animals. She would have to be the only pet in her forever home. Little did they know that this issue would have such an impact with placing this sweet dog. Generally, most pets brought into the Dog Star program find their forever home in just a matter of weeks. The staff would come to realize that this special dog would become a challenge with placement.

Days turned into weeks. And weeks turned into months. Cesara would meet potential pet parents, but either Dog Star or the pet parents felt that she would not be a good fit for the family. Over the next two years, Dog Star Staff would make certain that Cesara’s physical and emotional needs were being met daily. One generous contributor even donated $500.00 for Dog Training when Cesara would find her forever home. Volunteers would spend time taking Cesara for outings and socialization. This sweet dog had become a local celebrity in the community. Although Dog Star had received interest from potential adoptive families, Cesara’s need to be the only pet in the household continued to be a common issue for approving a family to provide a forever home. The staff came to realize that if they were going to find a home for Cesara, they would have to take creative measures to help the process along.

In February 2018, Dog Star decided to create a social media page entitled “A Home for Cesara.” This page would chronical Cesara’s story and her public outings within the community. Volunteers regularly posted pics and narratives of Cesara during her outings and interactions in the community. Cesara clearly enjoyed these outings. The page truly painted a picture of a waiting pet with a lot of love to share. However, Cesara continued to wait for a family.

In March of 2018, a glimmer of hope ignited for finding Cesara a forever family. The Dodo, an organization that shares videos and stories of animals to heighten awareness and assist in making their stories go viral on the internet; had chosen Cesar’s story to share in order to assist in finding this loving dog a home. Excitement grew as Cesara’s story was being shared. This exposure opened more options in finding Cesara a family.

A few months had passed. Cesara’s story was being shared all over the internet. Little did everyone know that it was only a matter of time before Cesara’s life would forever be changed.

For some time, the Vibostak/Hall family from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; had considered adding a dog to the family. However, they had not made a definitive decision. Kim Hall recalls the day when Jim Vibostak came home and said, “I think I found us a dog!” Jim had found Cesara’s Dodo video on the internet and felt the need to help this dog that had been waiting so long for a home. After some consideration, they decided to contact Dog Star Rescue for more information.

For the next few weeks, the Vibostak/Hall family and Dog Star were discussing to possibility of adopting Cesara. Dog Star carefully screened the family. This screening was different from most since Cesara was in Connecticut and the family was in Pennsylvania. Dog Star wanted to be certain this situation would be a good fit. The family had two teenage children that would assist in caring for Cesara and they had no other pets. After a careful consideration, Dog Star Rescue and the Vibostak/Hall family agreed for the family to travel to Connecticut and meet Cesara. The final decision would hinge on how Cesara would react during this meeting. In May 2018, the Vibostak/Hall family traveled to Connecticut to meet Cesara.

Kim recalls the day when they arrived at Dog Star to meet Cesara. “I remember when we drove up to the facility. We noticed a great deal of activity and cars. When we got inside, there were several people there to greet us. They all appeared very excited for us to meet Cesara.”

The volunteers had organized a meet and greet party for the family and Cesara. During the party, Cesara was the epidemy of a social butterfly. She ran back and forth from volunteers and the Vibostak/Hall family. The party would last throughout the day. Staff and volunteers came to meet the family and to celebrate the possibility of Cesara finding her forever home. At the end of the party, the Vibostak/Hall family left for their hotel. The final decision would be made in the morning.

The next morning, Dog Star had made the decision to approve adoption for Cesara. The staff was elated that Cesara had finally found her forever home. Cesara’s new family was excited to take her back to Pittsburgh. After a short time of adjusting, the family scheduled dog training classes that were paid for through a contributor at Dog Star. After a few sessions, the trainer stated that Cesara was the happiest dog she had ever trained. And it seems that she was adjusting well to her new home

At the time of me interviewing the family, a year and a half had passed since adopting Cesara. Kim stated that Cesara has become a big part of their family. And that they could not imagine their home without this sweet dog. In Kim’s own words, “She is my shadow.”

At the end of my interview, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful and resilient a dog. Cesara had spent such a great deal of time in facilities. However, the love and support from Dog Star helped maintain the true nature of this patient dog. Cesara had finally found a home where she would be loved. Let this be a lesson to all of us that we should never give up on a pet waiting for a new home. When fate steps in, a beautiful bond begins between a waiting pet and their family. And that bond continues to grow and nurture the souls of all.


December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023