We spend huge lumps of money looking for happiness—some sense of fulfillment—hoping it can be bought, achieved, consumed, or traveled to. What if the answer has been staring right at you, wagging its tail, twitching its whiskers, and sniffing the air with that mysteriously moist nose?

There aren’t many decisions in life as rewarding and life-changing as adopting a pet. Just think about it—you save a life and get a best friend for lifeBored Panda has compiled a list of newly adopted animal testimonials of the month, because nothing makes us so happy as these cutie pies settling into their brand new families.

More boosts for your happiness hormones—aka endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, we miss you guys!—await you at our previous wholesome rescue pet compilations herehere, and here. Also, scroll down to read Bored Panda’s interview with Kelly DiCicco, the manager at the ASPCA Adoption Center, about how animal adoption works in the US and what you need to know before making this decision.

#1

This Is Amy We Rescued Her On Valentine’s Day. She’s Been Living At The Shelter For Over A Year And No One Wanted Her Because She Has Weight Issues. But I Do As Well So We’re On A Diet Together. I’ll Post Updates Of Her Weight Loss Journey

This Is Amy We Rescued Her On Valentine’s Day. She’s Been Living At The Shelter For Over A Year And No One Wanted Her Because She Has Weight Issues. But I Do As Well So We’re On A Diet Together. I’ll Post Updates Of Her Weight Loss Journey

capri-sunnn Report

#2

We Rescued This Little Guy From The Streets. His Face Can Melt Hearts...

We Rescued This Little Guy From The Streets. His Face Can Melt Hearts...

MisterOrang Report

#3

This Is Aretha, A Rescue Cow. She Groomed My Legs With Her Tongue Then Fell Asleep. She’s A Good Girl

This Is Aretha, A Rescue Cow. She Groomed My Legs With Her Tongue Then Fell Asleep. She’s A Good Girl

jrvdol Report

Kelly DiCicco, the manager at the ASPCA Adoption Center, told Bored Panda that “approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter US animal shelters nationwide every year—3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats.” Fortunately, DiCicco has seen a tremendous improvement in the adoption rates around the country, but there are still millions of homeless animals at risk who need a safe and loving home.

If you’re about to adopt a four-legged friend, make sure that everyone in your family is on board. DiCicco said that “the first step when considering adoption is to make sure everyone in the household is ready for the responsibility.” Some of us worry that we might not connect with a shelter dog, but the manager at the ASPCA emphasizes that “these animals truly do have so much love to give.”

#4

Got A New Puppy And He Doesn’t Like Sleeping Alone. Came Downstairs To This

Got A New Puppy And He Doesn’t Like Sleeping Alone. Came Downstairs To This

reddit.com Report

#5

My Wife And I Were Warned About Adopting A Second Cat. Within A Few Days, The Older One (Brown) Was Snuggling, Grooming, And Spending Every Minute With Her.

My Wife And I Were Warned About Adopting A Second Cat. Within A Few Days, The Older One (Brown) Was Snuggling, Grooming, And Spending Every Minute With Her.

s_dandylion Report

#6

The Day I Adopted Her

The Day I Adopted Her

reddit.com Report

There are countless benefits of adopting a shelter animal, says Kelly DiCicco, from “freeing up space and resources for another animal in need” to “putting an end to cruel breeding facilities.”

For those who don’t know, puppy mills are factory-type breeding facilities that profit from large quantities of animals. The Humane Society of the United States claims that “animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result.”

They target unsuspecting consumers who shop for animals on the internet, at pet stores, or through ads. Turning to an animal shelter is the only safe way to get a canine or a feline friend without supporting this flawed practice.

#7

The Love Of A Rescue Dog

The Love Of A Rescue Dog

HunterSaysWhat Report

#8

This Is Milo The Rescue Kitty. She Is Blind So I Remind Her About 20 Times A Day Of How Beautiful She Is

This Is Milo The Rescue Kitty. She Is Blind So I Remind Her About 20 Times A Day Of How Beautiful She Is

ahegao_uwu_owo Report

#9

Couldn’t Decide A Name So I Just Kept Calling Her Little. So Meet Little!

Couldn’t Decide A Name So I Just Kept Calling Her Little. So Meet Little!

reddit.com Report

Most importantly, “Beyond just helping an animal in need, you’re giving your new pet an opportunity to find their voice; to be themselves and get a second chance to become a pet beyond the walls of a shelter.”

Remember that adopting a pet means a commitment for up to 15 years of your life. “Sometimes a match simply doesn’t work out, and that’s okay! Should it not work out, it’s recommended to try rehoming the animal with a friend or family member who may be a better match.” Kelly DiCicco explained that even if you can’t find someone within your network who is better equipped for your pet, you can always reach back out to the shelter and ask for their help. But you’ll never know if you never try!

#10

A Dog And His Best Friend. They Are Purrfect For Each Other. We Adopted The Dog, Then He Begged And Pleaded Till We Took In A Stray That Hangs Out Around Our Home. They Are Inseparable.

A Dog And His Best Friend. They Are Purrfect For Each Other. We Adopted The Dog, Then He Begged And Pleaded Till We Took In A Stray That Hangs Out Around Our Home. They Are Inseparable.

rage1978 Report

#11

Meet Lucy. Our 5 Year Old, Recently Adopted Spaz With A Zest For Life And A Need For Constant Belly Rubs. I Hope She Makes Someone Smile

Meet Lucy. Our 5 Year Old, Recently Adopted Spaz With A Zest For Life And A Need For Constant Belly Rubs. I Hope She Makes Someone Smile

u/sammy_sweets Report

#12

We Just Adopted This Little Guy Today! Say Hi To Nugget! (Or As I Like To Call Him: Dr. Robotnug)

We Just Adopted This Little Guy Today! Say Hi To Nugget! (Or As I Like To Call Him: Dr. Robotnug)

reddit.com Report

#13

My Cat Had Anxiety Issues, So We Adopted A Little Sister For Him

My Cat Had Anxiety Issues, So We Adopted A Little Sister For Him

lackingdaisiez Report

#14

Girlfriend And I Adopted A Puppy, Meet Scarlet Batdog

Girlfriend And I Adopted A Puppy, Meet Scarlet Batdog

cato11087 Report

#15

Adopted Her Today! Finally Peeking Out Of The Couch

Adopted Her Today! Finally Peeking Out Of The Couch

lipglosssed Report

#16

Everyone Meet My Tripawd Buddy!! All Healed Up And Living His Best Life!!

Everyone Meet My Tripawd Buddy!! All Healed Up And Living His Best Life!!

reddit.com Report

#17

My Ancient Rescue Pupper In His Trailer. He Is 13 And Goes Everywhere With Me, Even Out On The Bike.

My Ancient Rescue Pupper In His Trailer. He Is 13 And Goes Everywhere With Me, Even Out On The Bike.

reddit.com Report

#18

My Grandma Just Adopted Him

My Grandma Just Adopted Him

randokomando Report

#19

Our Rescue Pandora Has A Split Face And Majestic Eyes

Our Rescue Pandora Has A Split Face And Majestic Eyes

franklikethehotdog Report

#20

Met My Best Friend Yesterday And Brought Him Home!

Met My Best Friend Yesterday And Brought Him Home!

reddit.com Report

#21

Adopted This Majestic Floof Today

Adopted This Majestic Floof Today

ineffectivelyperfect Report

#22

We Adopted Him As A Pup Without Knowing Exactly What Mix He Was. Little Did We Know He Would Grow Up Into A Purebred Batdog.

We Adopted Him As A Pup Without Knowing Exactly What Mix He Was. Little Did We Know He Would Grow Up Into A Purebred Batdog.

reddit.com Report

#23

Adopted This Little Guy From A Shelter. He Ate A Ton Of Food And Made Himself Right At Home; I Think He Likes It Here

Adopted This Little Guy From A Shelter. He Ate A Ton Of Food And Made Himself Right At Home; I Think He Likes It Here

old_avi8or Report

#24

This Is Link! I Adopted Him 3 Days Ago From The Local Shelter. I Was Told He's A Golden Retriever Mix And I Can't Wait To See If He Gets Big Or Stays Small!

This Is Link! I Adopted Him 3 Days Ago From The Local Shelter. I Was Told He's A Golden Retriever Mix And I Can't Wait To See If He Gets Big Or Stays Small!

Lady_Larkin Report

#25

Been Wanting To Rescue A Dog For A While, And We Finally Found Our Good Boy!

Been Wanting To Rescue A Dog For A While, And We Finally Found Our Good Boy!

papershade94 Report

#26

Our Two Rescue Pups, Monty And Tuck

Our Two Rescue Pups, Monty And Tuck

reddit.com Report

#27

I Think My Sister's Rescue Cat Is Broken...

I Think My Sister's Rescue Cat Is Broken...

ms_spellbinder Report

#28

This Is Chet, A Foster Fail (We Adopted Him)

This Is Chet, A Foster Fail (We Adopted Him)

reddit.com Report

#29

My Wife And Adopted A Sick Puppy A Few Weeks Back, And After A Lot Of Love (And Food) He’s Getting Exponentially Cuter

My Wife And Adopted A Sick Puppy A Few Weeks Back, And After A Lot Of Love (And Food) He’s Getting Exponentially Cuter

MichaelScottsMom Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#30

When Your Foster Kittens Match Your Decor! Exhausted From Their First Day Exploring Their New Foster Home

When Your Foster Kittens Match Your Decor! Exhausted From Their First Day Exploring Their New Foster Home

reddit.com Report

#31

This Is My Rescue Baby, Lucy. She’s About 15 And The Absolute Love Of My Life

This Is My Rescue Baby, Lucy. She’s About 15 And The Absolute Love Of My Life

st3phh Report

#32

I'm Adopting A Chonky Boi!

I'm Adopting A Chonky Boi!

reddit.com Report

#33

Say Hello To Bubbles. Rescued As A Stray Kitten At One Month Old

Say Hello To Bubbles. Rescued As A Stray Kitten At One Month Old

bondben314 Report

#34

I Just Wanted To Show The World Of Reddit The Most Precious Thing In My World. My Rescue Kitty, Sunshine, Does This Whenever She Wants Belly Rubs. She's Chosen Me As Her Mommy. Hope She Adds Some Sunshine To Your Day. 😽☀️

I Just Wanted To Show The World Of Reddit The Most Precious Thing In My World. My Rescue Kitty, Sunshine, Does This Whenever She Wants Belly Rubs. She's Chosen Me As Her Mommy. Hope She Adds Some Sunshine To Your Day. 😽☀️

reddit.com Report

#35

My Brother’s New Pup, Baker.

My Brother’s New Pup, Baker.

reddit.com Report

#36

I’ve Wanted A Dog For About Ten Years But My Work Or Living Situations Were Never Right. Everything’s Lined Up Now And I’ve Got My Puppy. Just Wanted To Share My Little Dude!

I’ve Wanted A Dog For About Ten Years But My Work Or Living Situations Were Never Right. Everything’s Lined Up Now And I’ve Got My Puppy. Just Wanted To Share My Little Dude!

reddit.com Report

#37

We've Just Adopted These Girls From Our Local Shelter

We've Just Adopted These Girls From Our Local Shelter

reddit.com Report

#38

My Parent’s New Lab Puppy Likes To Stick Her Tongue Out At You

My Parent’s New Lab Puppy Likes To Stick Her Tongue Out At You

reddit.com Report

#39

Adopted Kipling A Day Before My Other Cat. You Might Say He's Very Social

Adopted Kipling A Day Before My Other Cat. You Might Say He's Very Social

7sterling Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#40

My Friend Keeps Sending Me Snaps Of Her New Adoption

My Friend Keeps Sending Me Snaps Of Her New Adoption

reddit.com Report

Note: this post originally had 82 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.