To commemorate International Homeless Animal Day, we decided to collect some of the most heart-breaking (and heart-warming) dog rescue stories we’ve ever seen and put them all in one place.

Animal shelters and rescue centers around the world have put countless volunteer hours into helping abused and homeless animals like these find loving homes. Animals on the street, especially if they are of a showier breed that needs regular hygienic care, lead very difficult lives. This day is a great opportunity to donate to your nearest animal shelter/rescue center and, if you’re looking for a new furry companion, to adopt a pet that needs your love and care.

Rasta

This poor guy was found in the streets of Montreal looking so filthy that it was hard to tell that he was actually a dog. He could barely move underneath all his matted hair. But look how charming he seems after his cleanup! (Image credits: Quebec Society for Protection Of Animals)

Miley

Miley was found living in a trash pile, severely injured and barely able to walk. Now Miley is happy and healthy, living in a new home with her new family. (Image credits: Frank Bruynbroek)

Kenzi

Kenzi came to Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin & San Antonio from San Antonio as an abuse/neglect case. Her transformation shows what some tender loving care and soothing baths. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Ellen

Trio Animal Foundation went and picked up a clump of matted fur from an open access shelter.  The fur on poor Ellen’s legs was so heavy that it was starting to rip out at the root. 2 pounds of it was shaved away. Now this 2-year-old girl is ready for her new life to begin. (Image credits: Trio Animal Foundation)

Dolly

One woman spotted this little poodle eating from a trash can in Los Angeles. She reached out to Hope For Paws, which helped the little girl become fluffy and charming again, removing 10 pounds of fur from the 15-pound pooch. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Theo

Theo’s owners moved away and left the poor creature to live on the streets, where he spent about a year until Hope For Paws came to rescue him. (Image credits: Annie Hart)

Little Betty

Little Betty was abandoned by her owners. Once ashamed by her appearance, she is now ready for a new home. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Woody

Woody was dumped on the streets after his owner passed away. He hid for months and wouldn’t let anyone near him. The rescuers soon realized that the dog was blind in one eye. Despite his fear, he surrendered to the rescuers’ gentle touch. (Image Credits: Hope For Paws)

Treasure

Treasure, a 2-year-old female purebred miniature poodle, was severely neglected before being spotted by a passing motorist who brought her to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society. Because of her matted, thick, and dirty hair, she couldn’t even walk anymore, until a visit to the vet made the beautiful Treasure emerge again. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Alana

Alana was surrendered to the shelter severely matted and dirty, hardly recognizable as a dog. To give vaccinations it was mandatory to shave her completely, which revealed her being much younger than initially thought. The sweet little dog found her forever home. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Boo

Boo was brought to the CARES Community Animal Rescue & Educational Shelter in Florida after being found on the side of the road, soaking wet and stinking of urine. After being cleaned up and groomed, she weighted only 2,8 pounds and looked adorable. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Iggy

This poor guy was found barely alive in Mexico with a horrible eye infection. Someone uploaded a picture of him to Facebook, sharing his story. People were touched and donated money to transport the guy into the U.S. and treat his injury. Now it is hard to keep Iggy still – all he wants is to run around and play with everyone. (Image credits: Eldad Hagar)

Vita

A man found Vita, starving and close to death, in a junkyard in the Los Angeles area. She weighed only 70 pounds. The rescuers spent months helping her rehabilitate with good veterinary care, grooming and a proper diet, and now she’s a new dog. (Image credits: onepicturesaves.com)

Cedar

Cedar was named after the Golf Course close to where he was waiting to be picked-up by someone. He was hairless from stress, with bones poking through his skin. Since then, Cedar has found a great home with good care, where he fits right in. (Image Credits: Paaws Antigua)

Olivia

This is Olivia on the day she was taken from an animal shelter by her current owner and one year after. What a difference a year makes. (Source: imgur)

Shrek

Shrek was found barely moving, with legs covered in sores and fur caked with mud. After his excess hair was removed and his wounds were cared for, he was discovered to be a 6-year-old malti-poo dog that had been raised at a puppy mill. Soon Shrek found a loving home. (Image Credits: Park Road Veterinary Clinic)

report