We are some of the adopted dogs.  Some of our buddies didn't make it to the photo shoot so unable to put their pictures here.

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Naphtalia (fka Ami)
February 3, 2011

I ve been meaning to do this for awhile but life is so hectic sometimes.  I am the lady that adopted "Ami" a few years ago.  I just wanted to give you an update about her life.  When I first got her she wouldn't even let me touch her for two weeks and we had to take it really, really slow.  She was very anxious, she had bad diarrhea every day, which I took her to the vet many times about, she chewed up everything (phonebooks, dressers, my bed, toys), the first year was pretty rough.  But I was just very very patient with her and introduced her into new situations slowly.  I remember one time she had an "accident" on the living room carpet (because her nerves were so bad) and she would just look at me like waiting for me to beat her, it was so sad.  So I would just lead her outside and clean it up, this happened for a few months but doesn't happen anymore. 

She is such a happy, happy girl that just had a really rough start.  I remember when I got her you said she didn't bark, she barks at everything now, LOL.  She is very protective of me, loves to play, loves to go for walks, loves just sitting in the sunshine in the backyard.  I put about 20 lbs on her since I adopted her, she's not fat, all muscle.  Her coat was pretty bad when I got her probably because of stress; her coat is absolutely beautiful now, nice, shiny, and healthy.  She just had her yearly checkup and shots in December and my vet is amazed with how far she has come. 

Naphtalia is such a sweet girl, I love that dog probably more than you will ever know.  I have had times that I have been upset, crying on my bed, and she just jumps up, sits with me, and licks my tears.  She is very close to my other dog, Gabriella.  If they are ever separated (i.e. when Gabriella goes to the doggie salon) their faces just light up and tails start wagging when they see each other again, it is so cute.  Naphtalia always makes me laugh because her tail is so strong and makes so much noise hitting the wall when she's ready to go outside.  Naphtalia also stands in front of Gabriella and hits her in her face with her tail all the time, it is so funny to watch because Gabriella doesn't even move, she just flinches.  Naphtalia is the submissive one of the two.  Napthtalia still does not like taking baths, but she endures it for me.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of her life with you.  You definately do not have to worry about her.  She is soooooo spoiled and will be the rest of her life.  I never regret a day having her in my life, because she brings me so much joy and love.

Thank you, Bonnie
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Send us an email with your "Happy Tails" story
and some pictures of your pal enjoying
his/her new home and family.

Email to: sunburstfoundation@gmail.com
Submitted Feb. 2011

One day as a volunteer with Sunburst Foundation, I went to Pender County Animal Control to help out by taking photos of the dogs to be listed on Petfinder.com.  Linda put a lead on each dog and took them outside for a better photo.  The very last one was a young, medium sized black dog who was fearfully huddled in the back of his kennel.  He put up a strong resistance to attempts to coax him out. Eventually he went only as far as the shelter’s hallway so we decided to try photos there.  Every photo came out with him looking panicked or just like a big blur of matted black fur.  We decided to give him a few minutes to calm down.  I crouched on the floor sideways to him avoiding eye contact and grabbed a dog biscuit from the box I’d brought along.  I held it out to him and he was too frightened to reach for it so I tossed it over and he wolfed it down.  A couple more biscuits later, I held one in my hand encouraging him to come get it.  He quickly grabbed it and retreated.  A few biscuits later, he walked over to me and put his front paws on my thigh.  I turned to look at him and he gently  licked me on my nose.  That was the moment I fell in love with who the Pender Animal Control staff said was named “Scruffy”.

Since I had three rescued dogs at home already, there was no thought that I’d adopt this cute little guy (little relative to my other three dogs!).  We left after I got a few more photos.  When I got home and looked at the photos on the computer, I didn’t like any of them because it didn’t seem they would give him his best chance to get adopted.  With Linda’s permission, I went back up and took a few more photos with a more relaxed Scruffy.
Echo Rowdy Major Jai
Echo Rowdy Major Jai
Jerry Ming Ming  Oliver Honey
Jerry Ming Ming Oliver Honey
Darla Remington Ginger Scottie
Darla Remington Ginger Scottie
Daphne Champ Truen Spanky
Daphne Champ Truen Spanky
Hero Brownie Bentley Benson
Hero Brownie Bentley Benson
Turk Joe Joe Bagel Blue
Turk Joe Joe Bagel Blue
Pinky Amber Holly Zesty
Pinky Amber Holly Zesty
Andy Callie Crissy Rusty
Andy Callie Crissy Rusty
Candy Man Tiger Koto Spuds
Candy Man Tiger Koto Spuds
Submitted April 2011

About four years ago I decided it was time to add a pup to my life.  It was then that I rescued a two month old girl from a side of the road. Adoption fair hosted by a local pet supermarket.  After two long, sad weeks this little puppy died from parvo and it broke my heart (and my bank).   Now, what to do?  My life felt as if was missing something and now I was afraid to bring another puppy into my possibly parvo-ridden home. 

I finally came to the conclusion that it would be best to adopt an older dog, thus giving some sweet pup another chance at life.  This is when I found Lena (Melissa).  I saw her picture in PawPrints and just had to meet her.  She was shy and timid, shaky and neurotic-scared of everything.    Over the course of the past four years, Lena has come a long way, at times showing improvement on a day to day basis. 

She is now the most loyal, well-mannered and gentle dog anyone could have ever asked for! All she needed was love, and I think there is a little truth in that statement for all of us. 

Thanks again to the Sunburst Foundation and to Pawprints!
Phoenix and Kimbo
Submitted May 2011

These are 2 portraits done by an artist, of Kimbo and Phoenix.  Kimbo, originally called Hopeless at animal control because of his severe case of mange, was the product of a backyard breeder.  He was adopted from Sunburst Foundation in 2009.  He is thriving in his new surroundings, and his family reports that he is such a great dog.  His best friend is Phoenix.  Phoenix was adopted around 9 years ago from Sunburst Foundation.  Last year, at age 9, Phoenix became a certified therapy dog.  The family of these 2 very lucky canines, are so happy and proud of them and cherish the bond that they have with them.

[Click Here to read their stories]
Submitted June 2011

We adopted Sally in early spring and knew right away she needed another dog to be her buddy. We found a picture of Petie on Pawsprint Magazine and just had to meet him. My husband did not want two dogs but I knew he would love him. We meet Petie at Carolina Beach dog park and he showed no interest in Sally,, but it was love at first sight for her! Petie has gained almost 40 pounds since we brought him home and is a big boy that my husband adores. Petie is now my husbands dog!

He is so smart and obedient he loves to do tricks too, and he knows a lot of tricks and commands! He can roll over, sit, back up, move out, lay down and shake, he is really very smart! He greets us at the door every day with a wiggling tail, it wiggles so much he hits himself in the face with it! And look out Sally she stands back out of the way of that tail!

Petie is also the local celebrity, everyone loves Petie! He knows more people in my neighborhood than I do! Our neighbor whom has lived her for years, loves Petie. He is eager to introduce him to everyone who passes by as we talk outside. Petie and Sally have a dog walker too who visits them once a day. Its funny when I am walking Petie people will walk up to us and say "Hi Petie" with a smile on their face...I have never meet that person or have ever seen them before! And he is so happy to see them. I think one day he would be a great therapy dog and we are looking into that.

We love Petie and couldn't imagine life without him. He really is the perfect boy, he loves to snuggle, crawl up on your lap! So very cute and snugly. A perfect part of our family.

Petie's story was submitted by Sandy M.
See more adopted companions -->>
Submitted June 2011

Eli's adopted mom, Lydia, had lost her oldest dal Tyler.  Lydia then had 2 mixed breeds, Simon and Travis and one purebred Dal Mason.  One of the Carolina Dal Pal volunteers asked her if she would be able to transport Eli a 7 mos old Dal to a rescue in Virginia.  Eli had been quarantined at Brunswick AC for about 4 mos due to an outbreak of distemper.  Eli never came down with distemper but the Dal Pals were in constant contact with AC to make sure that he would not be put down.  Lydia said that she was a failed foster parent twice with her 2 fosters Simon and Travis and now was a failed transporter.  Needless to say, Eli never left North Carolina.  He now resides in a loving home with 3 other rescues, 2 from mixed breed rescue and 1 from a product of puppy mill.
Simon the rubber dog
Simon the rubber dog
A few days later, Linda called and said there was a good chance that Scruffy would be euthanized because PCAC was full and they were getting more dogs in.  I couldn’t let that happen so I convinced my very reluctant husband (who was afraid we’d end up with four permanent dogs) that we should foster him for Sunburst.

Initially it was clear he had been living on his own because of his physical condition (he was matted, significantly underweight and loaded with ticks) and it took some time for him to learn how to live indoors as well as to tolerate being gently handled.  Within a short time, though, he demonstrated behaviors which led me to believe there must be some Border Collie in him.  Besides the trademark intense gaze, he learned the “rules of the house” extremely quickly and in most cases by observing the other dogs.

While I really tried to find him a new family, he eventually made himself irresistible.  Even my husband agreed that Scruffy-whom we had renamed Simon-had found his forever home with us.  It’s been over 3 years now since we made him a permanent member of our “pack” and he has continued to amaze us with his devotion, extreme willingness to please, affectionate nature and intelligence.  He is definitely a lot of personality in a small package!
Submitted December 2011


My name is Sandra, I am originally from New York and relocated to Wilmington NC just over 7 years ago.  About a year after my move, I decided it was time to adopt a dog.   I've always had dogs in my life and felt the time was right.   I went online, petfinder.com, and got a PawPrints Mag  and low and behold I saw Caroline was on the cover.   I fell in love with her before I met her.  I immediately called Sunburst Foundation;  We setup a meeting, and the rest is history. Today, New Years day is her 9th birthday  and I love and enjoy her more and more every day.  Thank you Sunburst Foundation for Caroline.
Adopted March 2012

Our akita mix, Ted, while beautiful and super sweet with all, has this high prey drive.  And he is so fast.  Well we just had to find a "fast" family for him....  And that we did.  In fact, his family is a husband and wife team who are members of the canadian NASCAR, WOOHOOO and they came down here and swooped him up......& has he hit the jackpot.....

We invite you to please watch Ted's adoption story on YouTube.

Just wanted to let you know that Rocket (Rocky) continues to thrive and is becoming more and more people friendly. My favorite sight is to see that tail straight up and wagging for all it's worth. He is a happy, happy dog. He got out the front door (accidently) not too long ago and headed straight for the woods. He stopped, looked and turned around and headed home - guess he knows where he's taken care of and had too many months foraging for himself. When I get ready to go to work in the morning he is there waiting for me to rub and scratch him down - has become routine. I do love that dog.

- Jo Ellen -

Hi Linda,

Winston is wonderful and we love him!  I have attached a picture of him with James on Easter morning:)  I have lost 15 pounds this year and walking with Winston has been a big part of it.  As soon as I get my sneakers he is so excited.  We may do another round of classes with him this spring when James & Christian move back home from UNCW.  Thanks again for all your help!  I saw a picture in the paper recently of a dog adopted from Sunburst and I thought of you.  I would love a labradoodle type dog ...if a poodle mix ever comes your way let me know.  I think Winston would do well with the company too.

Thanks again,  Marie & kids