A toddler’s love for a foster puppy shines through in letters to adopters

A toddler's love for a foster puppy shines through in letters to adopters 81 logo

When a puppy named Maggie arrived in New York from Louisiana ready to be adopted, she arrived with her medical records, photos, and several lovely letters of recommendation, written by a 6-year-old boy.

Roman Duncan, who recently turned 7, joined the pit bull mix as her family hosted her for the holidays and new year’s at their home in Louisiana. She knew they were helping her missing ex by giving her a temporary home until she was old enough to be adopted.

Meanwhile, he and his younger brother, Wyatt, enjoyed spending time with Maggie and snuggling with her.

Maggie sleeps next to Wyatt and Roman Duncan.
Maggie sleeps next to Wyatt and Roman Duncan. Courtesy of North Shore Animal League America

When it came time for Maggie to be transported from Louisiana to North Shore Animal League America’s adoption center in Port Washington, New York, Roman wrote letters to her prospective adopters detailing all the reasons why she is “the best dog I could ask for.” “, like being cute and potty trained, as well as loving to fetch, other dogs, kids, and hugs (spelled poignantly: “cutelleyes”).

Roman Duncan wanted Maggie's new family to know how special she is.
Roman Duncan wanted Maggie’s new family to know how special she is.Courtesy of North Shore Animal League America

Roman then slipped his notes and some photos of Maggie into his paperwork for his trip to New York, a trip he shared with around 50 other adoptable pets, including puppies, kittens, dogs and cats in a professional animal transport truck.

Karla Agostinello, director of the rescue team of League of Animals of the North Coast of AmericaShe was surprised when she opened Maggie’s file and found the notes and drawings.

“I was so moved,” she said TODAY. “It’s hard (for foster homes) to put animals on the truck. So I get a lot of letters from adults, but from children, not many. That’s why it touched my heart so much.”

Roman Duncan and his brother slipped notes and photos of Maggie into their paperwork when it was time for her to go to New York to be adopted.
Roman Duncan and his brother slipped notes and photos of Maggie into their paperwork when it was time for her to go to New York to be adopted.Courtesy of North Shore Animal League America

Maggie has since been adopted into a loving forever home by people who were also touched by Roman’s letters. Agostinello is working to connect Roman with Maggie’s new family so he can learn about the wonderful work he did for her in helping save her life through foster care.

“She’s doing great,” he said. “Her time with this family was very beneficial to her.”

By taking Maggie in, the Duncan family helped prepare her for adoption.
By taking Maggie in, the Duncan family helped prepare her for adoption.Courtesy of North Shore Animal League America

Animal care volunteers are vitally important in helping to prevent animals from being euthanized in shelters due to lack of space. They also prepare pets for life in a home.

Since 2019, 755 animals have been fostered and adopted through the North Shore Animal League America, a nonprofit rescue organization founded in 1944, according to Jenna Martiello Jan, manager of foster care for the organization.

She said there is always a need for fosters, and she hopes more people across the country will volunteer to foster pets in the busy months ahead.

“Foster families are very important because they are the pet’s first stop: the first family. They are instilling a foundation of love and care,” she told TODAY.

Maggie received a lot of love while being taken in by Roman Duncan and his family.
Maggie received a lot of love while being taken in by Roman Duncan and his family.Courtesy of North Shore Animal League America

She said Roman’s parents did “exactly the right thing” by telling their children that they would only house Maggie temporarily.

“You definitely have to set the expectation even before you bring the animal home: ‘We won’t keep this animal, but we can do it again and you can love another animal,'” he said. “I always tell host families: ‘Goodbye is the goal.’ … They are doing a lot of good.”

Raising pets can help children learn responsibility and compassion, as Roman’s poignant letters clearly demonstrate, he noted. The non-profit organization also has a “Mutt-i-grees” program in classrooms to help cultivate pet care.

“The impact that animals have on children is honestly incredible,” he said.

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