Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter US animal shelters every year. (Of those, around 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.)

And while the numbers sound huge, they're actually getting small. According to some estimates, the number of dogs and cats entering shelters in the country annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011.

Also, roughly 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year and 810,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners.

To illustrate what difference a second chance at life and a loving home can make to a critter, we at Bored Panda are continuing our monthly installment, sharing the most adorable rescue pet photos we find on the internet.

Continue scrolling to enjoy the images and when you're done, make sure that you're up to date with the series here: December, November, and October.

#1

This Man Was Forced To Give His Dog To The Humane Society Due To Undergoing Lengthy Hospital Stay. This Nurse Found Out And Immediately Went To The Shelter And Adopted His Dog. She Brings Him To Visit Daily And Will Return Him As Soon As The Man Is Released!

This Man Was Forced To Give His Dog To The Humane Society Due To Undergoing Lengthy Hospital Stay. This Nurse Found Out And Immediately Went To The Shelter And Adopted His Dog. She Brings Him To Visit Daily And Will Return Him As Soon As The Man Is Released!

Sensitive-Ad-8403 Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This woman deserves a medal. What a sweetheart.

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#2

Good Guy Adopts An Old Timer So He Doesn’t Have To Die Alone

Good Guy Adopts An Old Timer So He Doesn’t Have To Die Alone

asianj1m Report

Since we have already slid into our comfy sweaters, hoodies, and jackets, it's worth talking about animals getting through winter as well.

To learn more about how they do it, we contacted PDSA, the UK's leading vet charity. If anyone can tell us about animals' well-being, it's these folks. Every year, the dedicated teams at the organization's 48 hospitals work tirelessly to provide 2.7 million veterinary treatments, including 440,000 preventative treatments. This helps over 470,000 much-loved pets and brings peace of mind to 300,000 owners.

"Unlike our own pets, stray animals may struggle to find shelter from cold and rainy weather in the winter," PDSA Vet Lynne James told Bored Panda. "They may also struggle to find enough food and water to keep them healthy."

#3

Meet Finley. He Followed Me Home On A Night I Was Sad And Feeling Especially Lonely. Then He Walked Right Inside Like He Owned My House. (I Did Check For A Chip And Officially Adopted Him From His Feral Cat Agency.) Everyone Says He Chose Me.

Meet Finley. He Followed Me Home On A Night I Was Sad And Feeling Especially Lonely. Then He Walked Right Inside Like He Owned My House. (I Did Check For A Chip And Officially Adopted Him From His Feral Cat Agency.) Everyone Says He Chose Me.

tonysnark325 Report

Jonathan
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You don't choose your cat, your cat chooses you

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#4

This Cecil. I Adopted Him Through The Starbucks Drive Thru. The Customer Showed Me A Passenger Seat Full Of Kittens And Said “Do You Want A Kitten?” And I Said “Absolutely I Do”. I Took The Kitten, Put Him In My Apron Pocket, And Asked To Go Home Early. Cecil Is Now Six

This Cecil. I Adopted Him Through The Starbucks Drive Thru. The Customer Showed Me A Passenger Seat Full Of Kittens And Said “Do You Want A Kitten?” And I Said “Absolutely I Do”. I Took The Kitten, Put Him In My Apron Pocket, And Asked To Go Home Early. Cecil Is Now Six

Ok_Flow_8679 Report

#5

Bartolito The Day He Was Rescued vs. ~3 Weeks~ Later

Bartolito The Day He Was Rescued vs. ~3 Weeks~ Later

casslomb Report

Rough weather and the additional challenges that it brings also aren't helping anyone. James said that, "Cats and dogs can't catch colds from humans (and we can't catch colds from them), but they can suffer from different infections that cause similar symptoms."

"For cats, a runny nose and sneezing could be signs of 'cat flu,' a condition which can involve several different cat-specific viruses. Cat flu can make your cat feel generally unwell and there may be other signs such as ulcers on the tongue or eye problems."

#6

Before & After Adoption; Our Lovely Princess, Kimchi

Before & After Adoption; Our Lovely Princess, Kimchi

gabrielapintican Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

God Bless you for giving this girl a better life. May you have many wonderful years together.

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#7

My Black Kitten I Adopted Last Week Looks Like She Has “White Eyeliner” On Her Eyes

My Black Kitten I Adopted Last Week Looks Like She Has “White Eyeliner” On Her Eyes

Valkrya Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I keep scrolling back to this photo. Those eyes !

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#8

My Friend Just Adopted An 18 Year Old Cat Named Cat

My Friend Just Adopted An 18 Year Old Cat Named Cat

KeyserSozeWearsPrada Report

"Kennel cough is a very contagious respiratory disease in dogs that causes a high-pitched cough that can be made worse by activity," the vet explained. "Most dogs don't feel generally unwell with kennel cough but some can get a runny nose or weepy eyes and they can go off their food."

Training your eye to recognize these signs can serve as a valuable tool to in maintaining your little companion's well-being. "Although not life-threatening, it is important to get your pets treated. Kennel cough may go away on its own but if dogs are still coughing after a few days then owners should seek veterinary advice. Coughing, sneezing and a runny nose can sometimes be caused by more serious issues and so it is a good idea to speak to your vet if you are concerned."

#9

I Think I Accidentally Adopted A Dragon. She Thinks It's Her Job To Hoard And Guard Anything Shiny

I Think I Accidentally Adopted A Dragon. She Thinks It's Her Job To Hoard And Guard Anything Shiny

madiswanrh Report

#10

Rescued Is Horrific Condition Severely Emaciated With Wide Open Sores On Her Back Legs This Girl Has Been Adopted And Is Living Her Best Life

Rescued Is Horrific Condition Severely Emaciated With Wide Open Sores On Her Back Legs This Girl Has Been Adopted And Is Living Her Best Life

Keeper-Of-The-Cosmos Report

#11

4 Y/O Rescue And His 5 M/O Best Bud. Totally Inseparable Since Day 1

4 Y/O Rescue And His 5 M/O Best Bud. Totally Inseparable Since Day 1

MasudiCat Report

“After seeing a vet, who will prescribe any necessary medication and check nothing more serious is going on, pets should have a quiet, warm and comfy place where they can rest and recover," Lynne James said.

"Owners should encourage their pets to eat and drink, especially if they are unwell. For cats suffering from cat flu, owners can place them in a very steamy room like the bathroom to help to clear out their noses a few times a day. Dogs with kennel cough should be kept calm as barking and excitement can make their cough worse. They should also be kept away from other dogs until they are no longer coughing."

As in many areas, prevention goes a long way in ensuring your pet's health. “Cats and dogs should have yearly vaccinations, which will help prevent or lessen the symptoms of diseases like cat flu and kennel cough," James added.

"It is important to know that kennel cough can be caught wherever dogs congregate such as parks or at training classes - not just kennels!"

#12

A Sicko Tied A Rock To This Dog & Threw Him On A Frozen River. Dog Is Rescued & Found A Good Home

A Sicko Tied A Rock To This Dog & Threw Him On A Frozen River. Dog Is Rescued & Found A Good Home

wichocdlowmer Report

#13

Meet The New Rescues: Lulu, Luna, And Nana

Meet The New Rescues: Lulu, Luna, And Nana

limashy Report

#14

Found This Absolute Unit Living Underneath A Pallet At Work

Found This Absolute Unit Living Underneath A Pallet At Work

day_wave Report

#15

I've Applied To Adopt This Stray, One-Eyed Fiv Cat

I've Applied To Adopt This Stray, One-Eyed Fiv Cat

Shorse_rider Report

#16

Since Adopting This Sweet Boy 2 Weeks Ago, Our Lives Have Been Exponentially Better

Since Adopting This Sweet Boy 2 Weeks Ago, Our Lives Have Been Exponentially Better

Jingleberri Report

#17

He Finally Trusts Me Enough To Sleep In My Hands

He Finally Trusts Me Enough To Sleep In My Hands

RebeccaDeVille Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When a bird trusts you, you are blessed

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#18

My Foster's Adoption Profile Has Zero Views After A Week.... Why Does Nobody Want Her??

My Foster's Adoption Profile Has Zero Views After A Week.... Why Does Nobody Want Her??

Kitty_casserole Report

#19

Brick Got Adopted!!!

Brick Got Adopted!!!

MARLeague Report

#20

Rescued From A Shelter Where He Was Scheduled For Euthanasia. Now He Is My Happy, Snuggly Best Friend. My Sweet Boy, Macaroni

Rescued From A Shelter Where He Was Scheduled For Euthanasia. Now He Is My Happy, Snuggly Best Friend. My Sweet Boy, Macaroni

Kimmie6602 Report

#21

This Is Juniper, A Super Happy Rescue Fox!

This Is Juniper, A Super Happy Rescue Fox!

IAmABunnyToo Report

#22

When I Adopted Her, I Made It My Aim To See This Smile As Often As Possible

When I Adopted Her, I Made It My Aim To See This Smile As Often As Possible

tim_durgan Report

CatGirl
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh God, I'd love to have that smile every day

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#23

Vet Told Us The Stray We Adopted Wasn’t Pregnant, So This Was Quite The Surprise Last Night!

Vet Told Us The Stray We Adopted Wasn’t Pregnant, So This Was Quite The Surprise Last Night!

shanemente52 Report

#24

Just Adopted These Bonded Babies Thursday… Crying

Just Adopted These Bonded Babies Thursday… Crying

kayes15 Report

#25

Chonky Cat Mister Weighs 30 Pounds And Available To Adopt From Michigan Humane

Chonky Cat Mister Weighs 30 Pounds And Available To Adopt From Michigan Humane

KoreanAbdul-Jabbar Report

#26

His Name Is Zorba, He Has Behavioral Issues Due To Abandonment And Bad Shelter Experience, I Adopted Him. He's Coming Home Today

His Name Is Zorba, He Has Behavioral Issues Due To Abandonment And Bad Shelter Experience, I Adopted Him. He's Coming Home Today

SHybrid Report

#27

One Of My Saddest Beginning Rescue Cases. This Senior Declawed Girl Was Living In A Hotel Storm Drain Starving. As Soon As I Got The Call, I Rushed There. She Had To Be Sedated And Shaved, As Seen In The Before Photo Due To Matting. She Was So Thin.

One Of My Saddest Beginning Rescue Cases. This Senior Declawed Girl Was Living In A Hotel Storm Drain Starving. As Soon As I Got The Call, I Rushed There. She Had To Be Sedated And Shaved, As Seen In The Before Photo Due To Matting. She Was So Thin.

Hoperosaliex Report

#28

The Power Of Rescue! I Rescue Animals.this Is Pearl The Day I Got Her, And Her Today In Her Forever Home!

The Power Of Rescue! I Rescue Animals.this Is Pearl The Day I Got Her, And Her Today In Her Forever Home!

Hoperosaliex Report

#29

Just Rescued This Handsome Man. His Name Is Appa

Just Rescued This Handsome Man. His Name Is Appa

Urfavhonky Report

#30

His Adoption Fee Was Discounted Because He Only Has 3 Legs

His Adoption Fee Was Discounted Because He Only Has 3 Legs

thebaldingqueen Report

#31

Adopted 2 Pups From The Spca And Caught Them Holding Paws Comforting Each Other

Adopted 2 Pups From The Spca And Caught Them Holding Paws Comforting Each Other

wcslater Report

#32

My Bonus Mom Rescued A Pirate Pitty So Her Other Pitty Could Have A Friend. Meet Remy!

My Bonus Mom Rescued A Pirate Pitty So Her Other Pitty Could Have A Friend. Meet Remy!

Money_Box Report

#33

Just Adopted These Two Partners In Crime

Just Adopted These Two Partners In Crime

CutieToTop Report

#34

Rescued This Handsome Yelly Void After He’d Been Coming To My Door For Two Weeks (Getting Him Checked For A Microchip At The Vet)

Rescued This Handsome Yelly Void After He’d Been Coming To My Door For Two Weeks (Getting Him Checked For A Microchip At The Vet)

alilbitobsessed Report

#35

Lemon Before And After Adoption

Lemon Before And After Adoption

thelensguru Report

#36

My Husband Developed A Fever And Our Rescue Lab Mix Daisy, Won’t Leave His Side. She’s Even Been Sleeping With Her Head On His Head

My Husband Developed A Fever And Our Rescue Lab Mix Daisy, Won’t Leave His Side. She’s Even Been Sleeping With Her Head On His Head

B00KW0RM214 Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Our pets are so comforting. They always seem to know when we need them close by.

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#37

Less Than 24 Hours After I Found Her Getting Into My Trash.. Brought This Pretty Girl To The Vet, And We're Adopting Her. Shadow Says Hello!

Less Than 24 Hours After I Found Her Getting Into My Trash.. Brought This Pretty Girl To The Vet, And We're Adopting Her. Shadow Says Hello!

CarnalMaze Report

#38

My GF Got Toby For $5 At A Rescue. Best $5 Ever Spent

My GF Got Toby For $5 At A Rescue. Best $5 Ever Spent

jordan12611 Report

#39

My Wife And I Adopted These Two Goobers In 2020. Sienna (Back) And Miho.

My Wife And I Adopted These Two Goobers In 2020. Sienna (Back) And Miho.

Inside-Plantain4868 Report

#40

After A Year Of Feeding, Spoiling And Small Cautious Head Pats, She Has Finally Adopted Me. Help Me Name This Sweet Thing

After A Year Of Feeding, Spoiling And Small Cautious Head Pats, She Has Finally Adopted Me. Help Me Name This Sweet Thing

Sufficient_Ad_907 Report

#41

My Old Man Brody, Rescued Him After Being Returned 2 Times. He Must Have Been Waiting For Me Because He’s Been The Best Dog. We Have Been Threw A Lot Together, He’s My Rock And Loves Wearing Hats!

My Old Man Brody, Rescued Him After Being Returned 2 Times. He Must Have Been Waiting For Me Because He’s Been The Best Dog. We Have Been Threw A Lot Together, He’s My Rock And Loves Wearing Hats!

CrystalAckerman Report

#42

One Of The Two Cats We've Adopted, It Was Her First Time Outside

One Of The Two Cats We've Adopted, It Was Her First Time Outside

gothmuffin69 Report

CatGirl
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She showing the grass who de BAWSS

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#43

Sumi(Tabby) & Waka. Adopted Together And They Were Golden. We Sadly Lost Waka A Year Ago And This Was The Best Picture Of Them Together

Sumi(Tabby) & Waka. Adopted Together And They Were Golden. We Sadly Lost Waka A Year Ago And This Was The Best Picture Of Them Together

nszki777 Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You could almost hear their purring. RIP sweet kitty.

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#44

Just Adopted My First Hippo. He Gets Compliments On How Good He Looks From Strangers On Every Walk

Just Adopted My First Hippo. He Gets Compliments On How Good He Looks From Strangers On Every Walk

toilet_commentary Report

#45

Adopted Little Miss Freya Last Weekend. 1.3 Lbs Of Love

Adopted Little Miss Freya Last Weekend. 1.3 Lbs Of Love

EvergreenSasquatch Report

#46

Before And After 2 Years Of Being Rescued

Before And After 2 Years Of Being Rescued

sheva0210 Report

#47

My Wife Just Rescued This Baby Tonight. She’d Been Outside For A Few Days In Sub Zero Temps, Abandoned By Our Old Neighbors And We Weren’t Sure She’d Make It Another Night. Glad To Bring Her In And Warm Her Up!

My Wife Just Rescued This Baby Tonight. She’d Been Outside For A Few Days In Sub Zero Temps, Abandoned By Our Old Neighbors And We Weren’t Sure She’d Make It Another Night. Glad To Bring Her In And Warm Her Up!

ifoundmyruth Report

TheOne
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm so very happy she found you. What horrible people to abandon their cat.

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#48

The Day Before Adoption And 11 Months Later 1 More Month Until Gotcha Day

The Day Before Adoption And 11 Months Later 1 More Month Until Gotcha Day

manicprisoner Report

#49

BF And I Adopted This Sweet Girl Last Week From A Coworker Who Had To Rehome Her! Meet Kali Our Wonderful 9 Month Old Chocolate Lab!

BF And I Adopted This Sweet Girl Last Week From A Coworker Who Had To Rehome Her! Meet Kali Our Wonderful 9 Month Old Chocolate Lab!

kfenton5 Report

#50

Rescued This Poor Fella From A Neglect Situation Last Night. Hoping I Can Bring Him Back To Good Health!

Rescued This Poor Fella From A Neglect Situation Last Night. Hoping I Can Bring Him Back To Good Health!

SubjectMystery Report

Vortex Lazer
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Awe, being a huge reptile fan, I hope he gets well soon! That puppy-like eye is something to live for.

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#51

My Rescue Girl Who Was “Likely Never Going To Be Able To Trust”

My Rescue Girl Who Was “Likely Never Going To Be Able To Trust”

bp2bp22 Report

#52

Senior Rescue Has No Teeth So She Can Be A Messy Eater!

Senior Rescue Has No Teeth So She Can Be A Messy Eater!

the-missing-sock- Report

#54

Just Adopted This Sleepy Girl!

Just Adopted This Sleepy Girl!

GreatScot4224 Report

Yettichild
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Zzzzzzzzzzz. That's what I should be doing right now instead of looking at all the cute pets, it's 1 am.

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#55

His Name Is Zsasz, He Was A Semi Feral Rescue And Now A Love Sponge

His Name Is Zsasz, He Was A Semi Feral Rescue And Now A Love Sponge

pandapower- Report

Francis
Community Member
10 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

love sponge= he absorbs the love and gives it back when squeezed (pls don't squeeze too hard)

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#56

This Is Fin. Fin Is A Rescue. The First Pic Is The Night He Was Found, And The Second Is From A Few Months Ago. I’d Say He Got The Golden Ticket

This Is Fin. Fin Is A Rescue. The First Pic Is The Night He Was Found, And The Second Is From A Few Months Ago. I’d Say He Got The Golden Ticket

Maybe_Asleep Report

#57

My Rescue Boy Bear. He Was In A Shelter For Almost A Year. He’s The Friendliest Dog Ever, Wonderful With My Grandkids And A Giant Lap Hound

My Rescue Boy Bear. He Was In A Shelter For Almost A Year. He’s The Friendliest Dog Ever, Wonderful With My Grandkids And A Giant Lap Hound

Jacksonibanez Report

#58

Her Name Is Baby, Vets Think She Is ~19 Yrs Old. She’s A Rescue And Loves To Be Held And Has One Tooth. Baby New Year!

Her Name Is Baby, Vets Think She Is ~19 Yrs Old. She’s A Rescue And Loves To Be Held And Has One Tooth. Baby New Year!