Accurate data from US shelters and rescue groups is difficult to obtain because they do not have a central reporting system. Plus, most states don’t require sharing the numbers at all. But according to some estimates, there can be as many as 6.5 million dogs and cats entering shelters every year. That’s a lot. However, keep in mind that this figure is down from 20+ million in 1973.
With the public’s support, animal welfare organizations have done a great deal for critters all around the country. So as a thank you to everyone involved, we at Bored Panda continue our series, sharing wholesome pictures of adopted pets who got another chance at life.
Continue scrolling to check out this month’s selection, and if you need to catch up, here are the ones we released in July, June, and May.
Below, you will also find the conversation I had with Sarah Bhimani of Animal Humane Society (AHS), which provides direct care and services to help nearly 100,000 animals in need across Minnesota.
#1 My Newly Adopted Kitten. Meet Misa!
Image credits: tonari_no_midori
#2 We Adopted A Horse That Was Going To Be Slaughtered. This Is My 2 Year Old Braiding Her Hair And Singing To Her While She Eats
Image credits: RepairmanJacked
When an animal enters a shelter, it has to get used to this (hopefully) temporary stop. The transition can be difficult. Sarah Bhimani, the Internal Communications and Content Producer at AHS, told Bored Panda that an animal’s response to the shelter environment is very individual and varies.
“One challenge we see is that for some animals, the shelter can be an overwhelming place – lots of new smells and sounds, other animals, new people, etc,” she explained. “We have different strategies to help these animals be comfortable, including housing them in offices (which tend to be quieter and away from other animals), extra enrichment (toys, treats, time with staff and volunteers), and occasionally prescribing anti-anxiety medication.”
#3 Before And After Being Adopted. Meet Our New Boy Louie
Image credits: Pomegranate_Tree
#4 Hi Meet Salem! Adopted Friday The 13th! He Likes To Stick His Tongue Out At You
Image credits: Agile_Fuel5729
#5 My Partner Didn’t Want To Get A Cat, Then A Stray Adopted Us. He Fell In Love Pretty Quick
Image credits: morgybear94
Bhimani said that having so many animals come through AHS facilities also means that “some dogs or cats may catch a respiratory infection (similar to the common cold in humans) while in the shelter (commonly referred to as kennel cough in dogs and upper respiratory infection, or URI, in cats).”
The good thing is that the Animal Humane Society has effective protocols in place to treat animals who develop a respiratory infection and to prevent other animals from catching it.
#6 This Is Pudding, I Adopted Him – He Has No Teeth So Keeping His Tongue In Is Hard…
Image credits: Cheesyulcer
#7 Just Adopted These Love Bugs And Now I’m Never Leaving The House
Image credits: TRON-ALIVE
#8 This Tiny Beast Just Came Home With Me Today
Image credits: ucla5566
When you adopt a pet, the amount of time and energy it will take for the animal to settle in can also vary. But Bhimani provided some general tips that can help both of you:
- Before you bring your pet home (or before you leave the shelter), be sure to have all the necessary supplies you’ll need, including litter and litterbox, food and food/water bowls, collar and leash, toys, etc. Many of these supplies may be available for purchase from the shelter.
#9 Adopted Roy A Week Ago. I’m His Third Owner And He Had Been In The Shelter Since Last October. They Warned Me It Might Take Some Time For Him To Warm Up To Me
Image credits: hamscratch
#10 This Is Felix. He’s Fiv+ And I Knew He Had Low Adoption Chances. Bringing Him Home Was The Best Decision Ever
Image credits: teddoboi
#11 Two Weeks After Adopting Him, Van Gogh Finally Feels Comfortable Enough To Show Us His Preferred Way To Sit
Image credits: Bowling5Soup
- Designate a room in your home as a “sanctuary space” for your new pet. While it’s tempting to want to give your pet the run of the house right away, it can be overwhelming for your pet. This is especially important if you have already other pets in the home or young children. This room should be set up with your pet’s food, water, bed, toys, litterbox, etc. Let your pet stay in this room for about a week to acclimate to their new surroundings and get used to you and the family. Always supervise interactions between pets and children and teach children how to properly interact with your new pet.
- If after a week your pet seems comfortable, you can let them explore other areas of your home. For dogs, it’s helpful to keep a leash on them while introducing them to the rest of the house so you can easily redirect them if they try jumping on or playing with something they shouldn’t.
#12 I Adopted A Kitten For My Cat. It’s Going Well
Image credits: LizagnaG
#13 I Adopted A 12 Yo Cat Named George And I Love Him So Much!!! My Real Life Toothless
Image credits: ThePicard_2893
#14 Adopted This Baby Yesterday, Her Name Is Shiva And She Loves To Nap
Image credits: nikushka21b
As you can see from the pictures, dogs and cats aren’t the only ones that need help.
“It depends on the shelter, but here at Animal Humane Society, for example, we also care for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, gerbils, mice, rats, small birds, chinchillas, degus, and hedgehogs,” Bhimani added.
To read about adoption and other ways you can contribute to the well-being of animals, visit animalhumanesociety.org.
#15 This Feral Kitten We Just Adopted
Image credits: jfdirfn
#16 We Named Her Vixie, After The Fox And The Hound. We Have No Idea What Breed She Is Because We Adopted From The Shelter
Image credits: hereforthe_swizzle
#17 My Newly Adopted Cosmo! He Has Black Galaxy Eyes
Image credits: jennthemermaid
#18 Adopted 14 Week Old Brothers. Everyone Meet Pancakes And Waffles! They Love To Snuggle You Or Eachother
Image credits: clyptric
#19 Our Newly Adopted Sweet Shy Girl
Image credits: js8082
#20 I Just Adopted This Senior Lady! She’s The First Cat I’ve Ever Had And She’s Also The Sweetest One I’ve Ever Known Senior Cat Appreciation!
Image credits: Soup_God_
#21 Found A Pregnant Momma Outside In The 100°f+ Texas Heat On Saturday
Needless to say this sweet momma found a new home for the next few months while she gives birth and I raise the little ones up for adoption. Neighbors thankfully have been helping too and have connections for the lil ones.
Image credits: BreakingThoseCankles
#22 I Adopted Otto, An 8 Year Old Boston Terrier From The Shelter Last Week. This Was His Face When He Saw His New Home For The First Time
Image credits: StupidSexxxyFlanders
#23 My Very 1st Foster Puppy, Wendy
Image credits: NarcolepticCrafter
#24 This Little Guy
Image credits: bleedingreen13
#25 In A Span Of Two Days We Adopted This Baby And Got Engaged
Image credits: 42069Nicebro
#26 I’ve Never Had A Kitty Before! Meet Bug!
Image credits: baileykristine
#27 We Adopted A Dog A Few Weeks Ago And The Cat Is Finally Ready To Hate Him Up Close
Image credits: evolvedtwig
#28 We Just Adopted 75lbs Of Cuddles!
Image credits: MrPavlovic
#29 After 28 Years Of Not Having A Dog, I Finally Adopted My First Puppy. Say Hi To Rhett!
Image credits: pandatitties
#30 Just Adopted This Precious Little Man. Desperate For Name Ideas!!
Image credits: cosmic8bit
#31 Adopted This Void 3 Days Ago. Meet Bagheera
Image credits: shnozdog
#32 Meet Buddy
Image credits: GoldenGirlJSB
#33 My Foster Dog (Soon To Be Adopted By Me) Got Neutered On Tuesday. He Was Miserable In The Hard Plastic Cone, So My Friend Got Him This Soft Flower Cone, He’s So Happy Now
Image credits: bleacher13
#34 I Adopted This Little 4lb Boy Yesterday! Meet Binx!
Image credits: faithunknown
#35 Last Weekend My Girlfriend Witnessed A Drink Driver Roll Their Car. The Puppy Was Ejected From The Vehicle, She Saved Him. Yesterday, I Adopted Him
The dog was not chipped, or collared. When animal services received the puppy from law enforcement they gave the owner a week to claim and prove ownership. The owner called highway patrol was given all the info they would need. But they never followed through with connecting with animal services at all. Thus surrendering the puppy to the system. I visited him almost daily until I could adopt him.
Image credits: lorenteryl
#36 I Told Dante He Was Adopted Once And This Was His Reaction
Image credits: jvela1
#37 We Recently Adopted A Marble Loaf In Our Bakery. Her Sister Is A Burnt Pumpernickel
Image credits: LeChatNoir04
#38 Just Adopted This Doge From The Pound- I Think She’s Good Luck
Image credits: Jenevastorm
#39 Adopted This Cutie A Week Ago And So Far She’s Been A Devil Child But My Family Loves Her
Image credits: ConsoleLogin
#40 I Adopted These Two Old Babies (11!) Yesterday
Image credits: KweenLauTheDestroyer
#41 My Son Has Wanted A Cat For A Long Time, And Asked Me If He Could Get One If He Paid For The Adoption And Monthly Expenses
He’s had his job for almost a year, so we went to the shelter and found a kitten! Welcome to the family, Jester.
Image credits: Pandorologist
#42 Best Decision Ever To Adopt Both Brothers
Image credits: Gammachan
#43 My Adopted Feral, Who Refuses To Let Me Pat Her But Loves Being Tucked Into The Laundry Basket
Image credits: maskerdenrd
#44 I’ve Been Thinking Of Getting A Kitty For A While This’ll Be My First Time Adopting
Went to the shelter with the thought that I was just there to look around and get a feel and was greeted by the sweetest boy ever who just wanted pets and love. I’m going tmrw to adopt him.
Image credits: blushieeeee
#45 Adopted From The Nearest Shelter
Image credits: wbobbyw
#46 I Adopted This Little Guy Yesterday Morning. He Slept Glued To My Side And Follows Me Everywhere. Even To The Bathroom
Image credits: FrrriskyWhiskey
#47 Name My Bun! We Just Adopted Him Out Of A Bad Situation And Need A Name
Image credits: Annchen_popannchen
#48 Just Adopted This Little Nugget. She Needs A Name
Image credits: Big-Nibble
#49 Today, We Adopted A Kitty Rescued Off The Streets 3 Days Ago
Image credits: Work_n_Depression
#50 My Family Just Adopted This Beautiful Little Girl, And We Cant Think Of Any Names… Any Suggestions?
Image credits: yaboiyotam