It’s estimated that 625,000 adoptable dogs and cats were euthanized in the United States in 2019. There are simply too many animals coming into shelters and too few people considering adoption when looking for a pet.
But this gruesome number could be reduced dramatically. All it would take is two things: more responsible pet owners so that fewer critters end up in shelters in the first place and more people adopting pets instead of buying them.
When you adopt, you not only get a friend for life but you also open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.Continuing our tradition, we at We scrolled through the subreddit r/BeforeNAfterAdoption and hand-picked the most wholesome photos that were uploaded this month, showing adorable animals enjoying their second chance at life.
If you’re done with the selection but your heart craves more, check out our earlier rescue pet compilations: December, November, October.
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#1 The Shelter Made A Rule That These Siblings Had To Be Adopted Together Because They Were Inseparable. They Sleep Like This Every Night
Owning a companion animal such as a dog or a cat has benefits for good mental health, and has really helped people during the pandemic. After all, interactions with animals may help with depression and anxiety, particularly under stress-prone conditions (human-animal interactions may even improve peer-to-peer social relationships as well as enhance feelings of respect, trust, and empathy between people).
However, some researchers have been worrying that a dramatic increase in dog abandonment could potentially occur due to COVID-19 related health, economic, and social stresses as well as due to inconclusive reports of companion animals being potential COVID-19 carriers.
#2 Adopted A Cat But Left Her Brother So I Had To Go Back A Few Days Later And Get Him Too
#3 This My New Pupper Sanoi! She’s About 14 Weeks Old And Can’t Figure Out What To Do With Her Ears
Public Relations Manager at Best Friends Animal Society, Temma Martin, said there is now a silver lining when it comes to pets in shelters. “People have stepped up like never before to adopt and foster, both for Best Friends and for shelters across the country,” Martin told We.
“Shelters and rescue groups adapted quickly to continue saving lives through virtual adoptions, and many shelters report even greater success with virtual adoptions than traditional ones because pets show far better in foster homes than they do in kennels or cages. This offers adopters a chance to meet a dog or cat virtually, in a home or on a couch rather than in a shelter environment, and to see their true personality shine in a foster home.”
#4 Just Thought I’d Share My Blind Rescue Being Her Adorable Self
According to Martin, foster parents also have more first-hand knowledge of the animals and are able to participate directly in the virtual adoption process, sharing with potential adopters how the pets get along with other animals and family members, and their individual likes and dislikes, quirks, skills, and behaviors.
“For example, looking just at numbers from Best Friends’ Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City as an example, in 2020, through late December, nearly 5,000 animals were placed in foster homes, and 3,050 were adopted, compared to 2,740 foster placements and 2,514 adoptions in 2019.”
The good news is that these figures represent a broader situation as well. Martin highlighted that nationally, a remarkable number of COVID-19 cats and pandemic pups have been adopted from shelters and rescue groups since the virus took over our world. “According to shelter pet data sources, Shelter Animals Count and PetPoint, which receive shelter intake and outcome data from thousands of shelters across the country, at least a million pets have been adopted over the last eight months, and tens of thousands more are currently in foster homes.”
#5 Was Hesitant When The Shelter Said We Had To Get Two, Think I Understand Why Now
“It’s not surprising that so many people are looking to acquire a pet amid the [pandemic],” Martin added. “During this difficult time, our pets serve as companions, provide emotional support, help us cope with social isolation and—in the case of dogs—get us outside for exercise and fresh air.”
This is also a fantastic time to adopt because pets are just good for us. “Numerous studies have determined that the presence of pets is beneficial for our physical and mental health. The companionship of animals has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lessen depression and anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing.”
#6 Rescued Tiny Dog. No More Worries Little Guy. You Will Forever Be Warm Now
If you too have both the desire and the possibility to get a companion animal, Best Friends Animal Society encourages you to choose the adoption option by taking in a homeless pet from a local animal shelter or rescue group, rather than buying from a breeder, pet store or online retailer.
While there are many benefits of adopting, one of the most important is knowing that you’re saving a life. Purebreds, mutts, and cats—animals of all tails and paws lose their homes due to issues that are no fault of their own, like financial crisis, divorce, or a death in the family.
“These pets are waiting in shelters and rescue groups for someone to fall in love with them and take them home,” Martin said. “Adopted pets seem to know that they have been given a second chance, and they are most likely to repay their families with a lifetime of unconditional love. Adopters often express that their shelter and rescue pets show a dedication, love, and loyalty to their people that pets acquired from other sources simply can’t rival.”
#7 My Boyfriend Said Belle’s Different Colored Eyes Creeped Him Out When We Adopted Her, But I Think They Are Beautiful
#8 My Grandparents Adopted A Kitten And They Sent Me This Pic In The Mail
#9 How Our Rescue Pup Looks At My Husband
#10 We Adopted Two Kitties Last Week. We Got Them Home And Notice One Of Them Is Covered In Hearts. Seven And Counting. Here’s River, King Of Hearts
#11 My Wife And I Adopted Our First Dog Two Weeks Ago. Shelter Said He Was Skittish And Would Take A Long Time To Feel Safe And Comfortable With Us. That Has Not Been The Case At All. Wallace Is The Best, Derpiest Boy. He Definitely Feels At Home With Us
#12 Louis The Blind Dog Got Adopted Today!
#13 Everyone Say Hello To My Newly Adopted German Shepherd Tyson. Happiest Day Of My Life. In Our Culture, We Put A Flower Necklace As A Token Of Welcome
#14 I Adopted A Cat. He Is Currently Judging Your Life Choices
#15 Meet Our Mochi. We Found Her Inside A Tree At A Turkish Market. Tonight She Sleeps With Heating For The First Time
#16 Our Foster Puppy When We Told Her We Were Adopting Her
#17 Shelter Dog Is So Excited For His Adoption
#18 We May Have Adopted A Tiny Snow Leopard
#19 We Got A Puppy This Week From A Street Dog Rescue In Guadalajara. Meet Donatella!
#21 Wife Heard Meowing In The Bushes At The Gas Station. And Found. Lionel. Say Hi To The Newest Addition To Our Family
#22 Rescued Her From Snow
#23 Today We Adopted Toby, He Has Been In The Shelter For Nearly 6 Years. We Plan On Being His Furever Home!
#24 This Is Toby. I Found Him At Work Under Some Pallets During A Heavy Rain Storm. I Sat In The Rain For 40 Minutes To Gain His Trust To Come Out And Now He’s Home Safe And Happy
#25 Today My House Went From Zero Dogs To Eleven Dogs In The Span Of A Few Hours. Meet Emmy Lou And Her Pile Of 10 One Week-Old Puppies. Fostering Ftw!
#26 Salem Joined Our Family Yesterday. People Seem To Like Her Ears
#27 Rescued A 2 Year Old Doberman Today To Join My 3 Year Old Rescue Boxer. So Basically, Now I Have 2 Sets Of Disappointed Eyes That Would Like To Know Where I’ve Been And Why I Ever Thought It Was Ok To Leave The House!
#28 The Look Of This Cute Pittie After Being Rescued
#29 My Girlfriend And I Adopted A Senior Pitbull Mix That Wasn’t Getting Too Much Interest At The Shelter. We Don’t See Why, Because She Is A 57lbs Brick Of Love And Affection. Meet Tika
#30 We May Have Adopted A Large Frog
#31 Tried To Adopt One Loaf, Ended Up With Twin Loaves
#32 Adopted This Polite Boy
#33 Heard Crying In Our Backyard Friday Night And We Found Her
#34 This Is Tuna. Our New Member Of The Family
#35 I Rescued A Kitten During The Lockdown… And She Ended Up Rescuing Me
#36 Just Adopted A Kitten And My Baby Girl Was Not Very Aware Of The New Member Of The Family. This Is When They Met
#37 Picked Up A Rescue In Alabama, He’s Been Sleeping On My Arm All The Way To Florida. He’s So Content
#38 Meet Harlow! Adopted Yesterday And Already Working On Her Smile, It’s A Struggle Sometimes
#39 Today We Rescued Him From Drain Hole, Gave Him A Sweet Name
#40 Adopted This Boy On The Spot Today. His Name Is Stevie Wonder And He’s A Blind Cat Who Loves To Be Held And Scream
#41 My New-To-Me Rare Pupper, Jak-Jak! Just Brought This Sweet 12 Year Old Lab Home And He Is Already My Everything!
#42 My New Adopted Rescue Pup: Sunnymae!
#43 This Is Mia. I Adopted Her Yesterday And We’re Ready To Go Into 2021 Together
#44 Do You Think She’s Happy I Adopted Her?
#45 Half Lab Half Great Dane Rescue. Meet Ms Bailey
#46 I’m The Type Of Guy Who Never Wanted Cats, But I Promised My Girlfriend She’d Get One If She Moved To My Town… I’m Happy She Kept Me On My Promise. Meet Goku, My Buddy
#47 3 Month Adoption Update: Certified Cuddle Bug
#48 Adopted This Sweet 8 Y/O Named Bella! Wanted To Share Her Favorite Sleeping Position
#49 My Wife And I Taking This Rescue Pup To His Forever Home
#50 My Gorgeous Red Boy I Picked Up From The Shelter. Not Sure What Mix He Is