Vafa Shelter >> Happy Ending Stories
Ripley (Violet)

Adopted by Dani Johnson & Ben Sarb - Oct 17, 2015 - Seattle, WA, USA


Ripley (formerly known as Violette) joined our family in October of 2015. We had wanted a dog for a long time, but we both worked full-time with 8-10 hour shifts and didn't think it was fair to bring a dog into our lives until that changed. Lucky for us, Ben changed careers and ended up with a schedule much more conducive to raising a dog. Even luckier, Ripley ended up in the Seattle area right when we started our search for the perfect dog.

Maxwell (Bruno)

Adopted by Laura and Jim McIntyre - Jan 2016


It has been nearly a year since Maxwell joined our family in Chicago. He is an energetic youngster who has developed a sweet relationship with our blind, older Australian cattle dog, Taz.


Adopted by Coe Family -May 23, 2015 - Kensington, CA -


I can't believe that it has been one year since we adopted beautiful Nava! In that time she has really enjoyed going on vacations with us to Carmel, Calistoga, Sonoma and Healdsburg.

She-ra (Guira)

Adopted by Noshi and Rita Asangarani – May 26, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Upon arriving in Toronto, My new adoptive human mother and human sister were waiting for me with big smiles and a large welcome party. Everyone looked so happy to meet me. Being timid as I was I stayed close to my adoptive sister during the entire car ride to my new home to Ottawa. But looking out the window I saw a whole different world, one with many green trees and grass.


Adopted by Carina and Dave - November 2014 - Snohomish, Washington, USA



I had been watching VAFA postings provided by Farah Ravon for some time when I saw Nader's picture and the urgent need for him to have a temporary foster home when he arrived in the Seattle area. We already had 2 senior dogs and had recently moved from a 2 bedroom condominium to our dream home on five acres. I could not imagine being the reason for Nader to not have a temporary home that would allow him to come to the United States.


Adopted by Leone and Jack Samilson - July 2014 - Blairstown, NJ


As you know Tara joined our family in July of 2015. Originally scheduled to be a foster, Jack and I took one look at her soulful eyes and fell in love. When she joined us we had two German Shorthair Pointers, Chica age 14 and Scarlett age 6. Sadly Chica crossed the rainbow bridge in September. Tara is bonded with with her new sister Scarlett, as well as all her cousins both in NJ (Max, Molly, Tux and Delilah) and in Florida (Ruby and the black dog brigade).


Adopted by McCormick Family - Sept 5, 2015 - Delta, BC, Canada


Sibby is doing very well and has fit into our family exceptionally. We did keep her name as it suits her and she responds to it (most of the time - unless distracted by the falling rain drops that she seems to love!)

Iko (Haiku)

Adopted by Parisa Salehi & Burk Finley - Oct 2014 - Washington DC


Haiku now known as Iko- came to us from Vafa as a foster. He managed his long air journey with courage. Lots of courage. When we picked him up from the airport he walked out of his crate smiling and he continues it still. It is as though he knows some folks have done right by him!

Cowcub (Abtin)

Adopted by Noam and Itai - August 2015 - Chicago, IL USA


 Cowcub (formerly known as Abtin) was love at first sight. He lost his leg only a few months before we met him but walked around with a huge smile and a lot of love for whoever he met. In a short span of time, he had not only become the neighborhood superstar that everybody knows and wants to pet, but he ​​​​also became the center of our home and family.

Surah (Khaleh Rizeh )

Adopted by Gloria DeGaston - Emeryville, CA - Feb 2015

 khaleh rizeh-he1

I am so grateful to VAFA for all they did for my Surah (formerly Khaleh Rizeh ). She, in the short time I have had her, is so sweet, loving, playful (especially when she sees the leash come out) and a great companion. With her background, being on her own before entering the shelter, then being with so many other dogs and competing for attention, she could have become distant or aloof. But she didn't! And it must be because of the wonderful people who work and volunteer at VAFA, and who are so full of love for all the dogs you save and care for.

Teddy (then Cinnamon)

Adopted by Deborah W & Pietro R - Hillsborough, CA - Feb 7 , 2015


Teddy, aka, Cinnamon came into our lives in February, a few days after arriving in California. Since then he has made huge adjustments to his new home. He has accepted his little sister, a 10lb. Coton, like the gentleman he has turned out to be. He now rides in the car without a care, he walks on the leash like a pro, and most of all, gives kisses whenever asked.


Adopted by Stacey & James Holley - May 2014 - Citrus Heights, CA


Hello, First I need to give a deep sincere thank you to all of you that helped me on my journey. I started out as a rambunctious puppy with an attitude that created a challenge to correct, but with the patients of my mom and dad my attitude changed dramatically.


Adopted by Mohammadi Family - June 25, 2014 - Goteborg, Sweden

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Our girl, Shalizar, has now been with us for about eight months here in Sweden. It's not an easy task to describe the love you have for your first pet but we'll try. The story began in September 2013 when my parents visited Vafa. The gates opened and a dog ran towards them faster than a lightning bolt. Shalizar is honestly one of the fastest running dogs that we have ever seen. It was love at first sight. Right there and then my mom and dad decided that they wanted to bring her back home to Sweden.


Adopted Feb 2012 - Ravon Family - San Jose, CA


Hi! My name is Patoo, and I am a very special dog! I am not only beautiful, but smart enough to make the best of the opportunities that life put on my path. I had it all planned out. After getting lucky to leave my birth land, and the safety of Vafa Shelter for an even better future in US, I picked the best home that a dog could ever ask for. One look at now my guardian, Farah Ravon, and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Lady (Tootak)

Adopted by Danielle Loustalot and Daniel Beagley, adopted October 9th, 2014 in Bakersfield, California.

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On the day of our meet & greet with Lady (then "Tootak"), we brought my dog Blaze so they could become acquainted with one another. He doesn't connect with all dogs, and I wanted to be sure as I was basically adopting a second to be his sister. They hit it off on our walk together, as well as later at my home – running around the backyard, playing, the usual.


Adopted by Dan & Margarida - July 15, 2014 - San Jose, CA


Hello, I'm Dan. My partner Margarida and I have had a rescue dog, Dragon, for three years. Recently we adopted s beautiful blind husky through VAFA. Dragon decided that he wanted to tell the story about our new dog, Haleh:


Adopted by Marsha & Stan Laugher - April 9, 2014 - Oldsmar, FL

poolak - he1

 My husband and I lived in Maryland in the DC suburbs, with our two dogs and two cats and were getting ready to move to Florida. I had become familiar with VAFA through facebook and had sponsored two dogs at the shelter in remembrance of my mother who was Iranian.I came to know Farah Ravon and the VAFA team better through their heroic efforts to save the dogs from my home country and I had made a vow that our next dog would be from VAFA.


Adopted by Yvonne Formel - Oct 6, 2013 - Glen Ellyn, IL


One year ago I stood in the cargo building parking lot at O'Hare International Airport while my new "jube" dog from Iran relieved himself on a 1 foot by 1 foot patch of grass. The cold autumn wind ripped past us and I wondered how he would adjust to his new home in the suburbs of Chicago. I felt the need to apologize for the lack of mountains and for the frigid long winters that would be coming.Once home, Choupan was greeted by my children and Rosie, my senior beagle.


Adopted by Richard Del Pezzo - April 6, 2014 - Daytona Beach, FL


Princess has been a wonderful addition to the house ever since day one which was April 6, 2014. In a short period of time she has become very popular in the neighborhood as well as the dog park. Everyone here seems to know her background and they continue to be amazed at how beautiful and how well-behaved she is. Everyone is impressed that she has a passport!


Adopted by Madeleine & Claude Bourget, July 7, 2013, Toronto, Canada


Sheeba came into our lives shortly after we lost our 10 year old Schnauzer. We aren't sure who rescued who, but its been a great experience. She has found her forever home and protects it, and her new mom and dad, with vigour. She loves to wear her fancy coats as she struts around in her new neighbourhood.


Adopted by Aivaziyan Family - May 13, 2013 - La Crescenta, California


From the time I opened my eyes, we had a dog in our house. I lost my last dog at the young age of 8. After that, it was very hard to imagine bringing home another dog until I met Vafa and saw their activities, which seemed so beautiful to me. I wished to be a part of this kind group. Finally I decided to look for a dog and asked Faranak about Sebastian who had just arrived from Iran. I found out then that he already had a foster home, but they were looking for a temporary home for another dog.

Maggie (then Margie)

maggie - he0

Adopted by Linda & Barry Potter - July 23, 2013 - Salt Lake City, Utah

We sit in the quiet living room, and the only sound to be heard is the contented chewing of chew toys from my three dogs. It is, as we call it, the evening chew. To me it is the sounds of three contented rescued dogs engaged in an enjoyable social activity while each one is sprawled on in the security of their own part of the very long couch. I think it is their version of smoking a cigar in the smoking room, they even wear their dinner jackets.


Adopted by Ghafoori Family -  September 4, 2012 - Harlingen, Texas 


My name is Ziba (which means "pretty").  I am an Iranian-American -- and a Texan at that!  
I was born in Iran. And as my name suggests, I was a very pretty girl. Unfortunately, when I was very little, a very bad person kicked and beat me, damaging my hip severely. But a lovely angel named Hengame, who volunteers at VAFA, came to my rescue. She nurtured me and took me to the vet and got me hooked up with VAFA. (For those of you who don't know, VAFA is an incredible dog shelter, the ONLY one in all of Iran, established by another lovely angel, Fatameh Motamedi (who donated the land) and is run by dedicated and beautiful worker/volunteer souls in Hashtgerd, Iran.)

Adopted by Anna & Andrew - August 16, 2013 - Bethesda, Maryland


When Maloos joined our family in August 2013, we were told that she had a fear of men. To our surprise, she quickly bonded with Andrew and it is clear that he is now her favorite human. Yet, she is fiercely loyal to both Andrew and Anna, and loves to welcome friends and family in to our home.


Adopted by Ramtin Minouei - April 30, 2013 - Bridgewater, NJ


Milo's (lucky) story started for us when I was visiting my mother in Iran . I promised a good friend of mine to take some medicine and dog accessories for Vafa animal shelter and when I contacted Ms. Zarrin for pick up she arranged a full day visit for me at Vafa . During this visit I met few terrier dogs who were rescued from very bad situation and I decided to bring Milo aka Lucky to united states.

Nakhoda (Persian for Captain)

Adopted by Reza & Cheryl Saffarian - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - Feb 24, 2013


Dear friends; My name is Captain Jack formerly known as “Nakhoda” and here is my “Happy Ending Story”.My story begins as a stray dog living on the streets of Northern Tehran/Iran. I don’t know how I became an amputee losing my left leg, but I ended up at Vafa animal shelter when I was six months old. While at Vafa shelter, Reza Saffarian and his wife Cheryl who live in Saginaw, Michigan saw my Bio on Vafa’s web site and adopted me. As a two year old dog, I arrived in U.S. on Feb/17th/2013 in Boston, Massachusetts and what an arrival that was. While I was in my crate being transported from the plane to the terminal on a conveyor belt, wind knocked my crate down, the crate broke, but luckily I escaped unharmed,,,,only….HMMM…...well…..emotional trauma. You might want to avoid that airline for your next trip; they have no clue how to transport animals!!!! Just kidding!!

Surf (then Sona)

Adopted by Parisa Salehi & Burk Finley - Feb 06, 2013 - Washington DC


Surf's arrival from Vafa was not only to have a dog accompany us as we go through life, but to have a piece of a place I once called home nearby. It was also a way to contribute to my Mom's tireless efforts to make an impossibly harsh life of some of the animals in Iran a little less harsh.


Mahtab (now Debbie), Adopted by Anne Marie and John McCusker - Mossley, Ontario, Canada - Feb 24, 2013


Debbie (Mahtab) has been with us for over two months now and we could not imagine life without our sweet girl. She is best pals with her new brother, Geordie who she runs and plays with especially when they have neighbours to bark at! When she came to us she was very shy and scared of all things new even us wearing sunglasses! She is still easily spooked but only for an instant and is no longer afraid of the vacuum, the mop or sunglasses. She is very amusing and loves to lie on her back inviting belly rubs from anyone who is willing.


Adopted by Catherine & Ken and their 3 kids Andrew, Courtney & Kimberly - Mississauga, Ontario - Oct 21, 2012


"Chesmak" was one of four female puppies who were brought to the shelter early summer 2011. They were only a month old. The staff was told that their mother was killed but how much of that was true, it’s unclear. Either way, since they were very little and the shelter wasn’t really a proper place for them, Zarrin family accepted the responsibility of caring for them.


Adopted by Susan Arnett, September 2012,  Seattle, Washington


In September 2012, I was a volunteer dog walker at PAWS Animal Shelter.  One Sunday evening I was returning a dog to it’s kennel and overheard one of my co-volunteers in the kennel next door trying to coax a new dog out for a walk.  She wasn’t having any luck, so I thought I would give it a try.  I peeked in and say a very nervous Sheltie mix with big ears and dark brown eyes.  I went in and sat with her for awhile, inching a little closer and offering her hot dogs.  I could tell she was very frightened but also wanted to be loved because she let me pet her legs, then her tummy and head and eventually she took a hot dog off my knee.

Princess Persia

Carbon (now Princess Persia) adopted by Farid & Cindy Yaghini - Ottawa, Canada

On a beautiful Spring day my Father called me and told me about a puppy's cries of pain near their house. He had looked for the source of the cries but could not find it. We live nearby so I went on the terrace and listened but still didn't notice any signs. By the afternoon we could not hear any more noises and we concluded that the mother must have returned and the case was closed. But that night, my sister Fariba, noticed a black object under a staircase around the corner that seemed like an old hat to her.

Roya and Oscar

Adopted by Nicole & Karlheinz Pilgrim - Oscar - July 1, 2011 & Roya - Sept 30, 2011 - Friedrichshafen, Germany


Our story with Roya and Oscar started about a year before they actually came to live with us for good. That was when my husband went to Iran for work. While he was there he told me on the phone that there was a beautiful stray dog which often came to the gate of the factory where she was happy to see him. From the start there has been a special connection between my husband Karlheinz and Roya which still can be seen today. He told me that she had one blind eye though and that he would like to take her with him. I replied jokingly that we already had a sweet little dog which would not tolerate any other dog in our house.



Adopted by Linda Kay - Oakland, California - August 12, 2012


Her face kept popping out at me every time I scrolled down the Petfinders webpage. Her name was Lucky and she had a You Tube video. I finally watched it and watched it over and over. Her story was an amazing one of surviving against all odds as a street dog in Iran and from having her back legs shot (and losing two of her dog buddies to those bullets) to end up for adoption in the US.


Adopted by Annie Altman - September 23, 2012 - San Francisco, California


A few words from Rico's rescuer/foster mom in Iran:

Rico was only about two months old when she arrived at my home on a cold Winter day. It was late February when I received a phone call from someone letting me know of a little puppy who had been beaten to near death in Fereydoun Kenar. I got to the address as quickly as I could.


Adopted by Stein Family on September 22, 2012 - Danbury, CT

Azarakhsh with her new family

While volunteering at VAFA Animal Shelter in Iran this summer, I thought how good it would be if every volunteer from outside of Iran would take a dog back with them and find it a good home. With that in mind, I decided to take one of the healthy puppies back to the USA with me.



Part 1-

It was a cold day in late Fall. I was sitting in my office. Back then, I didn't know why on that day I decided to take on the task of patrolling the company grounds and workers residences myself. I got out of my chair and headed for Boomehen. On one of the side streets I saw a dog sitting by the side of the road, that at sight of my car using his arms he struggled to pull himself


Adopted by Fraticelli Family - Sunol, California - April 2012

I knew the moment I saw the picture of Delband on the GSRNC (german shepherd rescue of northern california)website that she was destined to be my girl. I had already decided I wanted an older dog, but when I saw her I instantly felt a connection. I knew we were meant to be together. When I met her at the adoption day, I couldn't imagine being with any other dog there, and I couldn't imagine leaving without her.


Adopted by Coldicott Family - Castro Valley, California - March 2012

We love Delnaz so very much!

She just visited a dog park for the first time and it went well. We put this off until now because she is shy around other dogs and I didn't want her to feel intimidated. She had a great time. We have socialized her around friends dogs and it is very fun and easy if there are just 1 or 2 other dogs. She has one best dog friend and they wrestle and play everytime (for the whole time) they are together. They both leave each other slobered and tired!


Adopted by Trish & Brian Schmidt - June 24, 2012 - Barrington, NJ, USA

On September 8th, 2011 our friend and companion of nearly 15 years, Harley passed away at home with us. When he first arrived in our home from an abandon litter he was so small he could sleep in my motorcycle helmet. But from that tiny bundle he would grow into a wonderful loving Sheppard mix. When he passed away, I swore I'd never get another dog. There was no way I could ever take the chance of feeling that sad again.

Fallon (Yakuza)


YAKUZA, Yalissa – named in honor of Farah Ravon - just threw in the LL's to make Fallon.
Fallon landed on US soil from Iran on December 10, 2011, at JFK Airport in New York. She was driven to PHL Airport in Philadelphia, PA by Sheyda Ardalan and met there for transport to Faithful Friends Animal Society in Wilmington, DE by Lou. Haley, my friend Lisa and I went to meet Fallon.


Adopted by Mark & Natalie - 19 Dec, 2012 - Tracy, California


I received a message from Ms. Azari in one of those beautiful spring days, (20th of Farvardin or April 10th). It said, “Seven helpless puppies, still breast feeding, were dropped off at the shelter in the middle of the night without any prior coordination. Do you know anyone who could help us with their care?”

Khanumche ( Now Kia )

Adopted by Sue & Greg Tully  on March 11, 2012 - Alameda, California


I like many bumper stickers.  I have to give credit when somebody expresses a message effectively in just one-to-six words.  Perhaps it is no coincidence that a few weeks ago I spotted, for the first time, the message “Who Rescued Who?”


Adopted by Brittany & Ellie - April 11, 2012 - Seattle, WA, USA


Hello, friends! My name is Cora (formerly known as Jube/Aida). I am writing to you from my very first road trip with my forever family. We are going to Colorado to visit Ellie's family and my new puppy cousin. Even though I can be nervous sometimes, I am always willing to go on a new adventure.

Lost ( now Lucy )

Adopted by Christine and Don, December 2011, Trenton, Onatario, Canada


Lucy's new Mom and Dad have done really well with her over the past few months. Lucy has gained confidence and is not afraid of things like when she arrived.

Ashley (Strider)

Adopted by Marianne & Family , October 2011, Perth, Ontario, Canada


In the end of October, 2011, I saw a picture of one of the most beautiful dogs that I have ever seen. I am not a stranger to beautiful animals given that I have had some of the rarest large/giant breeds on the planet. After losing one of my dogs, another awesome creature.

Kopol ( Polo )

Adopted by Amanda & Jason  Reynaert - Nov 14, 2011 - Ontario, Canada

Hello Friends, It's Kopol here.  

I'm so happy to be here in Canada with my new family! They changed my name to Polo. They were inspired from their recent trip to Venice Italy, and the fact that just like Marco Polo I travelled the world too!

Oprah ( Opal )

Adopted on Jan 08, 2012 - Archer Family 

When Opal first came to us on January 8, 2012, she was a very shy girl.  After the first month she adjusted to our schedule and routines beautifully. Nothing better than living with two old retired folks.


Fostered/Adopted on Nov 23, 2011 - Stephenie James - Vallejo, California


On November 23, 2011, I picked up Yasha in order to foster him over the long Thanksgiving holiday. By November 24 (Thanksgiving Day), I had decided to keep him.


Adopted on Jan 11, 2012 - Keihani Family - Tehran, Iran


Six year old Foxy is another one of Vafa's little guests who got lucky lately with efforts of Ms. Gandom Tadrissi.

Ms. Bahareh Pour-Ahmadi tells us how this union came about:

We had been thinking about getting a small dog for a while but didn't know what breed would suit our lifestyle.

Tobi ( Optimus )

Adopted by Mazloomi Family - Jan 1, 2012 - Vancouver, Canada


I was about 4-weeks old when I was dropped off at the shelter.  A very kind family (Khachatourians) offered to foster me while I get vaccinated. Within a few days of my arrival at their home, I was sick with Parvo.

Nazgol’s (now Myrtille)

Adopted by Schott Family - August 3, 2011 - Besance, France


This is the story of Nazgol who has touched us all and will always have a special place in our hearts

Charlie ( Niru )

Adopted by Kelly & Bobby Dorafshar,  Feb 6, 2011 - Los Angeles, CA


On the eve of Niru’s 1st birthday, aka “Charlie”, I am finally sitting down to write his adoption story.  As the founders of New Leash On Life Animal Rescue, a California based dog rescue, we value letters and pictures from our adopters, even 8 months later!

Emili (Lily)

Adopted by Palister Family - Oct 20, 2011- Vancouver, BC, Canada


On October 20, 2011, I made the first step in my journey to my forever home, flying from Iran to Vancouver with my brother Billy.I spent the first few weeks in a very foreign land with a temporary family.

Jenny (Juney)

Adopted by Zubin Mobedshahi - Morgan Hill, California - Sept 18, 2011


We had posted Jenny's picture and her story on our facebook page back in August 2010:Jenny is very kind and she seems to be a great protector! She was found with terrible scabs when they brought her here.


Adopted by Conyers Family  on June 29, 2011 – San Jose, CA


A few words from Marlee’s foster mom in Iran:
Marlee (then Nelly) came to us like a stuffed little cute toy, she was adorable, stubborn and full of character. She loved to play and friendly to everybody. She was a beautiful dog and everybody loved her.



Adopted by Dunham Family on Oct 20, 2011 - Vancouver, BC

On October 20, 2011, I flew all the way from Iran to Vancouver Canada to meet them.  At first I was really scared....of everything!   I didn’t want to come out of my kennel for a long time and when I did I was faced with stairs!  



Adopted by Dartnell Family -  August 27, 2011 - Belmont, CA  

Friends, do you remember the story of the mama dog and her puppies rescued by a kind gentleman (from Germany) in Amol near Caspian Sea? Leo is one of the lucky puppies who survived and made it all the way to Northern California , now living with his forever loving family.


Adopted by Barbara & Matt on June 11, 2011 - Pescadero, CA


We had been looking for a dog for several months when my husband Matt saw a sign for a dog adoption fair in Half Moon Bay.

Borna (now Bulleit)'s happy ending story

Adopted by Farrah and Matt (CA) August 23, 2011


When Bulleit was just a small puppy, he and his brothers were rescued by Vafa. Lucky for us, he soon arrived in America and we had the opportunity to meet him.


"Lucy was first fostered by Douraghy family on June 18, 2011 -- and adopted on July 31, 2011"


We had a dog who unfortunately got cancer and we were all very sad because the vet told us that the best thing to do was to say goodbye to her and put her to sleep. My two sisters and I were very sad and we could not forget her.

Bambi ( Bennie )

Adopted by Gretta - London, Ontario, Canada -  Oct 16, 2011 
Bennie (originally known as Bambi):


If it weren't for our dear friend and supporter Soheila - who for years have been helping local canada rescue groups with transport of the dogs, fostership and more - we would not have had the pleasure of meeting Vicky who helped us place Bambi (now Bennie) in his forever loving home.


Adopted by an Iranian family in Washington, DC area - Feb 27, 2011


If a by-passer looks through the windows of our house around ten a.m. she or he will witness my three year old son walking on his toes, holding a peanut butter sandwich over his head as a large black and white dog cruises next to him. Later in the afternoon the same dog will be chasing gently after my daughter and my son as they play tag.

Roxana ( Lily)

Adopted by Katie & Matt Allen-Goebel  on May 22, 2011 - San Pablo, California, USA


Lily has been with us now for about 3 months.  When she first arrived, Lily attempted to push around her older brother, Scooter, stealing his treats, not allowing him to lay on his bed.


Adopted by Siamack & Nasrin Yeganeh - March 29, 2011

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We feel so lucky to have adopted a puppy from Vafa Animal Shelter. It's hard to find the words to express the joy this little one has brought in to our lives.


Adopted by  Lei and Jacob Kraup -  June 18, 2011

nina 4

We have been following VAFA on Facebook for quite a while, as well as many other dog rescue groups.  After a recent move we finally felt ready to welcome a new member into our family. 


Adopted by: Katie Wilson - March 23, 2011

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I had thought about getting a second dog ever since moving from the city to rural Sonoma County.


Adopted by Mary Lester: April 16, 2011


A few lines from Mary:
Poonak is the sweetest dog ever.  She is gentle and good natured and she steals every heart that comes near her.


Mina Adopted April 19 2011 by Karen MontgomeryMina , happy Ending

You may have read the piece written a few months ago asking friends to help me rescue Mina.
This is the rest of the story.


Date of adoption: March 13, 2011 - Naghmeh Amini (Fereydoon Shahr, Mazandaran, Iran)


Hi. My name is Lucky. My savior angel gave me this name wishing me to be lucky and happy as long as I live.

On a hot Summer day in Tehran, I found refuge near a house. I was terribly tried and starved, and had been bitten by other dogs. I learned to steal the chickens' food to survive until one day the chickens noticed me and then the lady of the house caught me in the action. She was very surprised to see me.


Adopted by Amiri Family in Los Angeles, CA on Feb 5, 2011


I always wanted a dog. Loved B.C. since they are known for being so smart. I was desperate for a dog, preferably a black one. I was told by my dad about this rescue operation for Dogs in Iran and one Border collie being on his way to the States from Iran.

Hadook (Dook)

Adopted on 22 dec, 2010 by Ramos family and lives in Hayward, CA


Ms Azari wrote the following about our Hadook:

Hadook was found on a hot August day in Lavasan. His leg was broken, one eye was red and swollen, and his ear was soar. From the pain of his injuries he had been unable to move form the front of the house he had gotten to for a few days. Thank God the young girl that lived in the house called Vafa Shelter.


Date of adoption 8/31/10 - Dr Shabnam Balali-Edin and Mr Mark Edin


While visiting my mother in Iran this summer, VAFA Shelter asked if I would take a puppy to the USA for Shabnam, a VAFA supporter who wanted to adopt Darya. I agreed. They also asked if I could keep her for a few weeks as Shabnam couldn't take her right away. I also agreed to that. Darya was delivered to me the day before my departure. I would take her out for walks during the day since she was not house trained. She had a few accidents indoors, but was quick to learn that when we were outdoors, that was the place to go.


**Saachi moved to Connecticut on Dec 12, 2010 - Adopted by Sheyda Ardalan


Saachi is a white German Shepherd mix dog. She must have been very cute as a puppy and taken in by a family. By the time she was nine months old and still growing, they didn't want her anymore and abandoned her in the streets of Tehran.

Saachi was seen roaming the neighborhood of Shahrakeh Gharb in early September 2010 for two weeks.


Adopted on Dec 29, 2010 by Mr Alireza Shafayi & Julie


Most of you may remember my story when I was first featured.

I don't think I am more than six months old, as I just lost my first baby tooth.

Maryam and Neda who took care of me when I was first found called me Bijan.
Now that I live with new family in order for my name to rhyme with my sister, Julie, they call me Bijiou.


Adopted on Nov 23, 2010 by Mr & Mrs Saeedi


Bobby:  Our Gentle Giant

It is a quite an experience to adopt a dog! We always wanted to do that, feeling sort of guilty getting two pure bred dogs, where there are so many that needed home and family. We had a dalmation who grew old with us who we had to say goodbye to a while back and a young Viszla, Vida.

Chance AKA Langoon

Adopted on Oct 18, 2010 by Sebastian Family


I met Chance at Boston's Logan Airport on October 18th, 2010.I was excited to meet him but was astonished when I observed him walking. He was unable to walk a straight line and he persistently circled to his left.  Chance was unable to recognize or perceive objects in his right field of vision and he turned to the left in order to compensate.


Adopted Nov 24, 2010 by Zand Family


Dear Faranak,

I wanted to thank you and your organization for bringing Honey to us. 
We are extremely happy with her. She is very active, tough and all together a happy puppy. We are trying to potty train her. With accidents now and then, we are doing better every day. She is getting accustomed to the English language as well and understanding us all better every day.

Felfel ( Now Beny )

Adopted by Gelareh Hojjati on Nov 12, 2010


"True Love"
One night I was really down and didn't feel like being around any one. At 4AM, I opened Vafa's Facbook page in search of a pick me up.It was meant to be. Felfel's picture and story touched my heart deeply. I read it over and over. I decided to look into his status that day and I prayed that he was still available.


Adopted August 18th 2010 by Neda Abdoh


A lovely lady contacted me from Paris - inquiring about the procedures to adopt from Vafa -- as she had her eyes on Selina (Now Rotsi) -  By the time we spoke about the process and we finally found a traveler who was going to Paris from Tehran and offered to help, it took a good couple of months.

Murray was first featured in a group picture at the quarantine house -- along with Darya, Rocky (now Vafa) and Naani.One of our beautiful supporters asked about Darya and decided to adopt her.  When I talked to Ms Mahmoodi and asked her to get Darya ready, she was very happy--but at the same time, sad for Rexi as she said he is Darya's playmate and he'll be left behind, and will miss Darya.
My bad, I confused Rexi with Rocky--and showed Rocky's picture to Darya's suitor.  She really wanted to adopt Rexi but didn't have enough resources, so I reached out to our supporters, and thanks to Sarah Nowlin, Shirin Afshar, Sonia Vahedian, Atousa Salehi and Shirin Tehrani, we came up with enough funds to bring Rexi to her new family.
Now this is when we realized Darya's suitor really had her eyes on Rocky (now Vafa) and not Rexi ... well, we already had raised the funds for Rexi, so I was determined to bring him here.  I reached out to my network of friends, and a beautiful woman offered to foster Rexi until we find his forever loving home.  She and her daughter fell for Rexi within days, and that's when she saw the 'old soul' in this sweet puppy, and they decided to call him Budda.  Budda stayed with his foster family for about 4 week until we featured him as 'available dog for adoption'.  We got to show off Budda to several wonderful families.  Everyone who met him, fell in love with the little guy.  It was not very hard to spot the 'right' family for Budda--now Murray. Murray has fit in perfectly and is enjoying life as he so deserves.
We just received a lovely note from Murray's family -- and I'm happy to share it with you all.
What an amazing month it has been. Murray Rexy Pillow Buddah Gillum became an official member of our family on Sunday, October 3rd, and it’s tough to remember life without him.
Being part Border Collie, he herds us out of bed and down the hall every morning, so that we can take our walk and have breakfast together.
He has yet to meet a person, dog, cat, acorn, or squeaky toy he doesn’t like. He is so likable, that my father-in-law even refers to him as his “newest grandson, Murray.”
Murray, so far, has gone to the beach, camped, hiked and picked out a Halloween pumpkin. He will no doubt be the star of this year’s Christmas card, when he goes with us and our friends to pick out the perfect tree.
Murray enjoys learning new commands, and can now shake hands, wait, leave it, sit, lay down, etc.
This week, he enjoyed greeting costumed kids as they gathered candy door to door on Halloween evening. One little girl, who had met Murray on our walks but didn’t know where we lived, screamed, “Hey, that’s Murray, I LOVE HIM”.
That’s how we feel, too.
Thank you Vafa, and all of the Vafa supporters. Murray truly completes our family, and we are forever grateful that you made it possible for him to be in our lives.
Marty and Tina Gillum

Adopted Oct 3, 2010 by Tina & Marty Gillum


Murray was first featured in a group picture at the quarantine house -- along with Darya, Rocky (now Vafa) and Naani.One of our beautiful supporters asked about Darya and decided to adopt her.  When I talked to Ms Mahmoodi and asked her to get Darya ready, she was very happy--but at the same time, sad for Rexi as she said he is Darya's playmate and he'll be left behind, and will miss Darya.

Vafa- formerly known as Rocky
I found Rocky whimpering from being beat up. There were 7 to 8 people who had gathered around him, and were just looking. Apparently a few kids fed him some raw meat, which made him blost.
I took him to the vet, and he was given a shot and some pain meds and cream to put on his sores. I then brought him home and washed him with the shampoo the vet gave me. I put the meds on his sore and he went to sleep. He woke up a happy dog, and wouldn't stop playing with me. When I came home from work the next day, i took him and my own dog out to the park for a walk. They had a great time together. I then contacted Mrs EsnaAshari who introduced me to Ms Mahmoodi who is managing the house in Tehran for the injured dogs (like langoon) and puppies who still need to be vaccinated.
I know Rocky is in good hands. By the way I named him Rocky, because of his HUGE paws.
I pray for the day that we (the human race) would be as kind and honest, and these pure dogs.
Signed: Alireza Saadiani

Adopted Sept 8, 2010 by Mehrnoosh Nayak


I found Rocky whimpering from being beat up. There were 7 to 8 people who had gathered around him, and were just looking. Apparently a few kids fed him some raw meat, which made him blost.I took him to the vet, and he was given a shot and some pain meds and cream to put on his sores.

Daisy found her forever loving home with a wonderful American Family!
Here's a few lines from Daisy's mom, Cathy:
"As fate would have it my son and his wife Lori live next to the kind hearted and amazing Farah. Lori has been following the Vafa website for months and let me know the wonder of what happens there. In mid August we saw the sweetest little puppy named Daisy and read her very sad story
of abuse and neglect. I had been looking for a new pup to rescue for months and couldn’t seem to connect until Lori said “how about Daisy ?”
I quickly made a date to meet Farah and discuss details, we decided on foster to adopt being the most viable option. On Sunday 9/5/10 we made our trip to meet Daisy at SFO, a special thank you to the woman who kindly donated her airfare. Once we got her crate in the car we opened the door to meet her and give her some water. Upon looking into her sweet eyes there was no doubt about the mutual love that took us
over. My only reservation was how she would get along with my resident 2 year old dog, after a few challenging days I could see that it was gong to be ok and promptly let Farah know Daisy had found her forever loving home. I will be forever grateful for the Vafa Shelter for caring for her and would
like to offer a special thank you for everyone who communicated with me via Facebook and told me what kind of pup she was, all the comments about her were spot
on. She is loving and kind, very obedient and incredibly smart. It has been an awesome experience for me and my family and we are so thrilled to add Daisy to our fold.
I have rescued dogs all my life but Daisy and the Vafa shelter have taught me a new meaning of rescue and love for an animal, thank you for all you do!"

Adopted Sept 4, 2010 by Cathy & Don Straub

Daisy found her forever loving home with a wonderful American Family!

Here's a few lines from Daisy's mom, Cathy:

"As fate would have it my son and his wife Lori live next to the kind hearted and amazing Farah.

One of the
highlights of my recent trip to Iran was meeting Ms. Esna-ashari and
seeing Vafa animal shelter firsthand. If there is such a thing as God's
work on earth, then I truly believe she and her team are doing it.
Taking care of helpless and innocent creatures with love and compassion
is within all of us. However, very few of us indeed rise to the
occasion and do it so beautifully and with heartfelt interest. I am
honored to have met her and grateful to Lucky for bringing me to this
wonderful opportunity.
I went to Iran for a couple of weeks to
celebrate Norouz with my family after 18 years; and to be at my
brother's wedding. I found Lucky on March 26th while I was taking a
morning walk in Tehran. With the gyms being closed for the Iranian new
year, I decided the best way to keep active during my visit was to walk
around town and re-explore the familiar neighborhoods of my childhood.
Anyway, I had been walking for about 1.5 hours when I came across a
little furry thing on the corner of a sidewalk on one of the side
streets in Mirdamad and at first thought it was a dead cat. But, as I
was walking past the furry little thing, all of a sudden he lifted his
head and looked at me. I realized that it was a puppy, dirty and
malnutritioned, who had probably been stranded. I just froze and kept
on looking at him, wondering what I could or should do. He was clearly
not healthy and with the rainy season that Tehran was having, I knew he
would not survive more than a couple of days. I called my brother (who
resides in Tehran) and consulted with him. After determining that there
was indeed no way to find a vet at that time (Friday morning and in the
middle of the holiday season) he suggested that I bring him home with
me. As I walked around the corner, to see if I can find something to
wrap around the puppy to pick him up, he slowly got up and followed me.
He was so weak but he was still able to show the kind of affection that
only comes from a puppy. I had made up my mind. I took off my jacket,
wrapped it around him, picked him up, and started walking towards
Mohseni Square. There, I hailed down a cab. He stopped and said he
would take me home for free! He said he has his own dog and that he
knew it would be a long time before anyone else would stop for me. I
was so touched by his kindness and paid him well upon arrival (but it
took a lot of convincing on my part before he accepted the payment).
Once home, I called down for my brother who showed up with towels,
shampoo, and a loofah. I bathed lucky twice in the parking lot
bathroom. He was scared of the water but did not once get aggressive
towards me. My sister came down with food. Once the pup was dried up,
we were finally able to get him eating. The building caretaker - Rahim
(who is a refugee from Afghanistan) - agreed to help me with watching
the puppy - whom I named Lucky - until the next day when I took him to
the 24 hour Tehran Veterinary Hospital. There, he was put on IV and
given tests and shots. He was bathed. I barely made it home in time to
get ready for my brother's wedding that afternoon. The next day, I
took Lucky back for another hygiene bath. And then I called Vafa
Shelter to be greeted by the lovely Lida Esnaashari. A couple of days
later, my dad, mom, and I drove to Karaj with Lucky. I held him in my
arms the whole drive. I don't know how I managed to muster up the
ability to leave Lucky behind. Had he been healthier and given the
appropriate paperwork, I would have brought him back to the U.S. with
me. But for now, I feel comfortable knowing that he is in good hands,
being cared for, fed, cured, and loved at Vafa animal shelter. Maybe in
the near future, I will make a trip back to see my family again and
this time bring Lucky home with me...
I am grateful to Ms.
Esna-ashari for taking in Lucky and keeping him as an 'amanati' for me.
I feel so much respect and admiration for her that cannot be expressed
in words.
All my best,
His guardian angel who found him, has requested to adopt him. He is now in California

Adopted Aug 8, 2010 by Ara Serjoie


One of the highlights of my recent trip to Iran was meeting Ms. Esna-ashari and seeing Vafa animal shelter firsthand. If there is such a thing as God'swork on earth, then I truly believe she and her team are doing it. Taking care of helpless and innocent creatures with love and compassion is within all of us. However, very few of us indeed rise to the occasion and do it so beautifully and with heartfelt interest. I am honored to have met her and grateful to Lucky for bringing me to this wonderful opportunity.

When Shoko came to our shelter she was a cute little puppy who soon grew to be a beautiful 50 pound dog. She gained her name, Shoko, due to her chocolate milk color.
She was always very gentle mannered and never got involved in tackles with other dogs. And she was so tame that no one thought she could be a good guard dog. We often thought she would end up spending all her life here at the shelter.
As pictures of our dogs spread around the world on the Internet, a suitor in USA contacted us.
The primary preparations for her relocation got done quickly.
Shoko was bathed, and housebroken before her long journey to the US.
She accepted the leash and learned all the rules of a social life with people quickly.
Finally, on Wednesday March 24th of 2010 we took her the airport for her flight to her new home.
Now, Shoko lives in Oakland, California like the princess that she is with the angel who is giving her all the love she deserves. She has been able to impress and amaze every one with her ability to adapt to her new life, and connect with her loving guardian.
Shoko’s new mom sent us a note about her:
"She is the smartest, most intuitive dog ever!  And acrobatically very talented, a wonderful pouncer and bouncer.  A great guard dog.  The most well-mannered dog (without training!).  Not one house-breaking mistake since day one!  Social and friendly with other dogs, while maintaining healthy boundaries.  I call her Chocolat Vesper Street (Vesper for James Bond's girlfriend, Street because she will always have that in her; a combination of Lady & the Tramp)."

Adopted March 24th of 2010


When Shoko came to our shelter she was a cute little puppy who soon grew to be a beautiful 50 pound dog. She gained her name, Shoko, due to her chocolate milk color. She was always very gentle mannered and never got involved in tackles with other dogs.


Adopted July 2009 by Sheyda Ardalan, Tim Clarke and their son Bijhan Clarke

On my first visit to VAFA in late July of 2009, I noticed a puppy with his ears and tail cut off. He was very timid and when I approached him, he would run away.


I was able to pick him up after I cornered him but knew he was not comfortable. I knew right away that he had suffered a very cruel and painful beginning and decided to adopt him. Once I made my decision, the shelter and the veterinarians started working on getting his papers together. I named him Max because he reminded me of my sister's dog, Pax.