Another month, another list of rescue pets. We at Bored Panda have made it our monthly tradition to visit the subreddit r/BeforeNAfterAdoption, and it's incredibly sweet to see that people continue to open their doors and hearts to neglected shelter animals that deserve a second chance at life.
Best Friends Animal Society estimates that 5.4 million cats and dogs entered US shelters in 2019 (52% of them were dogs and 48% were cats). 79% of these animals were saved. And while it breaks my heart that 625,000 cats and dogs were killed, we've come a long way since 2014, when as many as 4 million animals were killed in American shelters and the national save rate was just 50%.
Yes, we can and should do better. But these photos prove we're getting there!
This Stray Cat Was Hit By A Car, Had A Broken Jaw And Arm. Doctors Did Surgery But Had To Remove Most Of Her Teeth. She Recovered Fully And Has A Goofy Smile Now. One Of The Surgeons Adopted Her Straight From The Clinic And Named Her Duchess The Miracle Cat
Temma Martin, Public Relations Manager at Best Friends Animal Society, told Bored Panda that people indeed stepped up to foster at an incredible rate immediately after things shut down in mid-March of last year.
"24PetWatch is a shelter management software developed to support shelter and animal care operations, which has been tracking total aggregate numbers for the 1,200 organizations that use their database to show the impact of the rate of change since COVID across all organizations. According to their data, they saw a 93% increase in animals going to foster during the first week after the shutdowns began (March 14-20, 2020), compared to the week prior," Martin said.
Went To Adopt A Kitten Yesterday And Her Sister Started Crying For Her As Soon As They Were Separated. So Now I Have Two Kittens. Best Decision Ever!
Eventually, adoptions and fosters leveled off as the weeks and months of COVID and 2020 wore on but it still ended up being a good year for pet fostering and adoption.
"The conflicting reports about how it compared to the prior year need some explanation and are the result of comparing total numbers of adoptions and pets in foster, year over year vs. looking at the percentage adopted or fostered compared to the number available in shelters."
"Here's the explanation: While there are certainly many cases of groups that have seen higher actual numbers of adoptions and fosters since the beginning of the pandemic, the national stats sources that organizations use show a slightly more complex picture," Martin explained.
Actual (raw) numbers of adoptions are down from 2019. However, the rate of adoptions as a percentage of intake is up. This means that thankfully because there was a lower intake—fewer animals entered shelters in 2020—so there were fewer animals that needed to be adopted as well.
But the percentage of animals adopted in relation to the number available was higher than in 2019.
"According to 24PetWatch, shelter populations were down dramatically in 2020 (as compared to 2019), so there were fewer animals to adopt," Martin said. "Adoptions (in raw numbers) were nearly 20% lower in 2020, but as a percent of animals in the sheltering system, they were over 4 percentage points higher than in 2019."
"Like adoptions, foster rates (as a percentage of the shelter population) were higher in 2020 by nearly 6 points (but lower in the raw number of animals fostered by about 3%)," Martin added. "Increases in fostering were more significant for cats than dogs, although rates for both increased."
This Lucky Little Lady Was Found Abandoned In The Middle Of The Road At Just A Few Weeks Old. She Was Missing One Eye And The Other Was So Severely Infected That It Had To Be Removed. After Nursing Her Back To Health, She Was Too Amazing To Put Up For Adoption. So, Meet Smishy!
I Just Adopted My First Pet! This Is Kisa, She Is My Emotional Support Animal My BF And I Discovered She’s A Naturally Cuddly Kitty Who Loves Pets! In Only 3 Days She’s Made Her Own Little Nap Spot On My Bed, And We Chill While I Do Homework. She’s Also Beautiful To Boot!
Many animal shelters and rescue organizations were closed to the public due to the pandemic. Best Friends' Lifesaving Centers were no exception. But they adapted and began doing more virtual work and amplified to many that solving pet homelessness won't happen only inside a building.
"One of the biggest changes that happened almost instantly, is virtual adoptions, where potential adopters meet adoptable pets and their foster parents along with an adoption specialist through video chats," Martin said. "This pivot happened not only for Best Friends, but for shelters and rescue groups across the country."
Since I Adopted Her She Has Been Hiding Under The Couch And Today She Came To Me For The First Time After Two Weeks
It Took 3 Months, But Our Rescue Boy Has Learned That Beds Are Safe And Comfy. After 5 Years Alone In An Outdoor Concrete Run, It's Beautiful To See Him So Relaxed
After A Decade In A Shelter, A Rescue Dog Named Wiggles Finally Has A Home
Interestingly, many groups report even greater success with virtual adoptions than traditional ones. Martin said this might be due to pets showing 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."
Plus, foster parents 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.
Been Telling Myself The Only Way To Keep Them Together Is To Just Adopt Them Myself. It’s Not My Fault. I Have No Choice
I Volunteer For A Cat Shelter And This Kitten Was Dropped Off By A Woman Who Said Her Neighbors Were Trying To Kill Him Because They Didn't Like Black Cats. After Being Treated For An Abscess On His Leg Caused By A Bb, I've Adopted Him So He Can Derp His Life Away In Comfort And Safety
"One of the silver linings of the pandemic is how a transformational vision for animal sheltering that many, such as Best Friends, have been practicing and piloting is accelerating and become widespread. When the pandemic first hit, animal shelters called on their communities for support and those communities stepped up to be part of the solution on a level we have never seen before. For example, shelters saw unprecedented numbers of people sign up to foster. Some shelters completely emptied their kennels for the first time ever."
Martin believes that this new vision of community-supported sheltering is something that will last long after the pandemic is over.
Might Have Adopted A Seal Instead Of A Puppo
He’s 12 Years Old And I’m Hoping To Make His Golden Years Brighter By Adopting Him. Reddit, Meet Charlie!
This Is Nazuka, We Rescued Him A Couple Hours Ago. He Used To Live Under A Broke Down Car, We Adopted Him And He's Now My Husband's First Dog
Also, remember that you can help shelter animals even if you can't adopt one just yet. Not only that, you can contribute to keeping animals out of shelters in the first place.
"People can help shelters directly by volunteering, if they have opportunities available, donating, and spreading the word. And certainly foster a pet, even if you can't adopt one yet," Martin said.
We Officially Ended Our Foster And Now We're His Forever Home!
Went To My Local Shelter To Adopt A Cat And This Lovebug Ran Up To Sit In My Lap. She Was Found On A City Sidewalk Giving Birth Months Ago. Her Kittens Have Since Been Adopted But This Mama Cat Has Been Living At The Shelter. She Arrived At My Apartment Today And Has Already Made Herself At Home
I’ve Been Dreaming Of Adopting A Velvet Hippo For Years. The Perfect Girl Was Surrendered At My Hospital And Now She’s All Mine
Also, you can check into supporting programs that help people keep their pets at home, like pet food pantries, which may be operated by shelters or by human food banks. "Since last year, everyone's lives have been upended by the pandemic, but a heartbreaking number of people in every community have also been devastated financially during this difficult time," Martin said.
"Many pet owners who were gainfully employed before the pandemic may now wonder from week to week how they'll buy the next bag of dog or cat food to care for and keep their pets safely at home. Sometimes a bag of pet food makes all the difference between keeping a dog or cat at home, or someone having to make the agonizing decision to relinquish their pet to a shelter."
Our Foster Puppy When We Told Her We Were Adopting Her
Tried To Adopt One Loaf, Ended Up With Twin Loaves
Rescued My Neighbor's Chicken A Few Weeks Back, Now She Comes Knocking On My Door Every Morning To Gossip
Additionally, check into other resources that help pets and people to see if there's anything else you can do. There are resources available in many communities, from temporary housing for displaced pets, to pet food pantries, to free and low-cost spay and neuter and veterinary care. Martin said that other community-supported options might include reaching out to friends and family on social media, your veterinarian, or apps like Next Door.
"Know the power of neighbors helping neighbors. Helping people find needed resources or even providing temporary foster care for the pets of neighbors in crisis can help keep their pets from being relinquished to shelters as they get back on their feet. Here's a link about forming a neighborhood network."
My First Ever Pet Besides A Goldfish, Everyone Meet Pluto. I Rescued Her From An Animal Shelter
So Apparently My Brother Adopted A Stray Cat And When I Came To Visit, He Introduced Himself Before I Could Get Into The House!
From Stray To Foster To Forever Home. I Think She Likes It Here
Martin pointed out that fefore last year’s stay-at-home orders confined pee, many would-be pet parents across the country may have felt they didn’t have the time or weren’t home enough to foster or adopt an animal. But a lot has changed since then. For so many people who are now working remotely from home, it seems there’s no better time to welcome a furry friend into their lives.
"This has been 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."
Just Helped My Boss Adopt A Puppy
Statler, A Rescued 33 Year Old Indian Flying Fox Here At Bat World Sanctuary, Has Been Getting Some Crazy Social Media Attention Lately! He Sends His Love And Appreciation
I Found This Little Guy Yelling Alone In The Scrapyard, After A Clean Up And A Trip To The Vets To Check For A Microchip, I Can Finally Say I’ve Adopted My First Kitten! Welcome Arthur
"Many first-time fosters or adopters who have been working from home during the pandemic have realized how easy it is to care for a pet, and that they really do have time to have a pet around, even after they go back to work," Martin said.
"By now people have undoubtedly discovered the secret reality of what dogs and cats really do all day. Whether there are people around or not, they mostly sleep, with a bit of eating and playing mixed in--all things that they can do just as easily without human companionship. Plenty of people work full-time jobs and provide loving homes to foster or adopted pets."