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Overworked shelters take in millions of lost, stray, and abused animals every year. Luckily, people continue to open their doors and hearts to these misfits.

By adopting a pet rather than buying one, we not only give it a second chance at life but also free up valuable space and other resources that allow humane organizations to take in and help more critters.

Like every month, we at Bored Panda put together a list of heartwarming adoption photos to thank those who recently invited these neglected animals into their families, so continue scrolling and check out the images—it's impossible not to smile looking at them.

If you've fallen behind on the series, fire up our earlier collections and catch up: February, January, December.

#1

The First Picture After Adopting A Dog

The First Picture After Adopting A Dog

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#2

Went To Adopt A Kitten. Came Home With An Elderly Chihuahua With Kidney Problems, Asthma, Arthritis, And Bad Gas (And A Kitten)

Went To Adopt A Kitten. Came Home With An Elderly Chihuahua With Kidney Problems, Asthma, Arthritis, And Bad Gas (And A Kitten)

NotDrNick Report

When you rescue an animal, they need to adjust to their new surroundings just as much as you need to adapt to them. So if you just welcomed a dog or cat into your home, you're in luck! The experts at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) gave Bored Panda a few valuable tips that can help tremendously during this transitionary period. Let's begin with dogs.

"Owners should think about what their neighborhood and household are like ... and find ways to get their pup familiar with that type of life, getting creative with socializing them to the world in and outside the home," the ASPCA team explained.

#3

A Rescue From Ukraine. Her Name Is Bella

A Rescue From Ukraine. Her Name Is Bella

Get_Rich_SloQuick Report

#4

Finally Took A Photo Where Noodle Isn't Just A Black Smudge. Couldn't Be Happier

Finally Took A Photo Where Noodle Isn't Just A Black Smudge. Couldn't Be Happier

ArnoldSchnitzel Report

#5

I Volunteer At The Humane Society And Fell In Love With This Girl

I Volunteer At The Humane Society And Fell In Love With This Girl

I cried when I found out she had been adopted…two weeks later and she was returned for being “too lazy”. Took her straight home to her new couch where she is the cutest potato. Don’t know her name yet but just look at that face

TheJuliettest Report

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When socializing your puppy, you should always:

  • Introduce your pup to new experiences, objects, places, and people in a fun, positive way that allows your pup to feel safe. This is the best combination for building confidence;
  • Use treats and toys that your pup finds rewarding to help create positive associations;
  • Let your puppy decide when they want to engage and disengage. Never force them to investigate something that they’re uncertain about;
  • Be watchful of your puppy's body language to ensure they are enjoying themselves and recognize when they are not.
#7

Check Out The Cutie I'm Adopting! I'm So In Love

Check Out The Cutie I'm Adopting! I'm So In Love

Lunakittycat9 Report

#8

After Wanting One For 15 Years, My Wife Got To Finally Adopt A Cat Yesterday. This Is How I Just Found Them Together When I Went Upstairs To Check On The Cat

After Wanting One For 15 Years, My Wife Got To Finally Adopt A Cat Yesterday. This Is How I Just Found Them Together When I Went Upstairs To Check On The Cat

JephriB Report

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Some ideas for socializing your puppy include:

  • Lots of walks! Take your puppy for walks while maintaining a safe social distance. Mix up your routes, go out in all types of weather, and walk on different surfaces so your puppy continually experiences new things. At least six feet away, walk past other people and dogs, construction sites, trains, buses, cars, bikes, scooters, and strollers. Offer treats and playtime as you encounter new things and friends so your puppy learns to enjoy all of them;
  • Puppy Soundtracks: In the home, help your pup hear all the noises of a normal world like traffic, crowds, and other animals by playing free soundbites online. Turn them on right before your puppy enjoys mealtime, treats, or a fun play session. Start with the volume at a low level, increasing it just a little every day. You can also dance, sing, cheer and clap in your home so they get used to these experiences too. And, make sure to also get your pup used to the sounds of electrical appliances, washers, vacuum cleaners, and hair dryers typically used in your home.
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#9

Adopted This Happy Guy From The Shelter On Saturday. Meet Echo!

Adopted This Happy Guy From The Shelter On Saturday. Meet Echo!

jroses21 Report

#10

When My Dad Went To Adopt A Dog, He Decided To Dress To Impress

When My Dad Went To Adopt A Dog, He Decided To Dress To Impress

asianj1m Report

#11

This Is Grandma, A Toothless, Elderly Stray Who Was Brought To Our Clinic And My Coworker Adopted. She Comes To Work Every Day And Just Hangs Out Waiting For Snuggles

This Is Grandma, A Toothless, Elderly Stray Who Was Brought To Our Clinic And My Coworker Adopted. She Comes To Work Every Day And Just Hangs Out Waiting For Snuggles

reddit.com Report

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QueenRhye
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank her for adopting an twilight dog. Give her lots of love and affection to take with her.

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  • Stair and Elevator Training: Teach your puppy about climbing and descending stairs. If one is accessible to you, take your pup in the elevator and play a game of tug as you ride up and down.
  • Obstacle Courses: Create a fun obstacle course at home that gets your pup to walk on different surfaces, including uneven ground. Try to create surfaces of different temperatures and textures by using household materials such as aluminum foil, cardboard, paper/plastic bags, and more.
#12

Dog Abandoned For Being "Gay" Gets Adopted By A Gay Couple

Dog Abandoned For Being "Gay" Gets Adopted By A Gay Couple

vintagepop Report

#13

Adopting A Senior Disabled Dog Has Stolen My Heart

Adopting A Senior Disabled Dog Has Stolen My Heart

SonicSlice Report

#14

Adopted 13-Year Old Molly After 2 Years In The Shelter - She's A Sweetheart!

Adopted 13-Year Old Molly After 2 Years In The Shelter - She's A Sweetheart!

thaibeach Report

Staying active is key as boredom and excess energy are two common reasons for undesirable behavior in pets, the experts at ASPCA explained.

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While many families are still busy working and learning from home, it's important for dogs and cats to do the same!

In addition to physical exercise, there are many fun and free ways to give your new pet a mental workout from the comfort of your house. 

#15

My Elderly Neighbour Lost Her Long Time Dog This Winter, But She Has Adopted A Pup From The Local Shelter!

My Elderly Neighbour Lost Her Long Time Dog This Winter, But She Has Adopted A Pup From The Local Shelter!

Her name is Clover. She is the sweetest little floof nugget. I get to visit with her every day!!

Dayngerman Report

#16

Meet Snickers! Just A Beautiful Girl With A Crooked Smile!

Meet Snickers! Just A Beautiful Girl With A Crooked Smile!

alljoy4paws Report

For dogs:

  • Use a snuffle mat for offering treats/dry food or stuff a puzzle toy with yummy goodies like plain yogurt, peanut butter, or their meal for a fun, and delicious challenge that will keep your dog busy and mentally stimulated. Once your dog becomes a pro at using a puzzle toy, you can even try freezing the stuffed toy in advance so getting all the food out takes even more of your dog’s time. If you don't have a puzzle toy, use cardboard boxes (of all sizes), paper towel rolls, PVC pipes with holes drilled into the sides, or just plain old plastic jugs.
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#18

Meet Captain Waffles. I Pick Him Up From The Pound Tomorrow!

Meet Captain Waffles. I Pick Him Up From The Pound Tomorrow!

FlickFreaks Report

#19

From Stray To Adopted And Then Returned, Penelope Has Finally Found Her Forever Home And We Love Her To Pieces

From Stray To Adopted And Then Returned, Penelope Has Finally Found Her Forever Home And We Love Her To Pieces

f0ughttheg00dfight Report

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Michelle M
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My opinion: I think we shouldn't judge people who return adopted dogs, without understanding the reason. Returning the dogs, instead of abusing or neglecting them, for whatever reason, is a good act. Note, not every animal that gets adopted goes to a good home.

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#20

Joy Is Having An Adopted Puppy Fall Asleep On Your Chest On A Saturday Morning

Joy Is Having An Adopted Puppy Fall Asleep On Your Chest On A Saturday Morning

NeonWaterBeast Report

  • Set up a scavenger hunt so your pup can put their powerful nose to work. Hide treats around a room in partial view, or even in cardboard boxes, empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, or egg cartons, to be discovered. If you have a yard, simply toss your dog’s kibble in the grass for him to search for his meal.
  • Engage your dog in short, empowering, training exercises such as targeting your hand or a particular object or learning “sit”, “down” and “come. If your pup already knows the basics, look for trick training books or videos to learn more advanced skills like “spin” or “roll over.” If you want help with training, many professional dog trainers are offering virtual coaching.
#21

Just Adopted This Little Cutie, Meet Sally The 8 Week Old Sausage Dog Pup

Just Adopted This Little Cutie, Meet Sally The 8 Week Old Sausage Dog Pup

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#22

I Adopted This Kitty Yesterday! She’s A 10 Year Old Calico

I Adopted This Kitty Yesterday! She’s A 10 Year Old Calico

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#23

My TNR Ragnar. "He's To Feral For Adoption"

My TNR Ragnar. "He's To Feral For Adoption"

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Jaguarundi
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My girl had "behavioral issues", snarling/hissing/growling and was red tagged (24 hour hold for euthanasia). The attendant let me adopt her and she never leaves my side. She still snarls/hisses/growls, but, only at the floor, wall or ceiling. She's a goof!

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For cats:

  • Offer their meals or treats out of food puzzle toys.
  • Provide objects for them to explore, such as cardboard boxes, paper shopping bags (with the handles cut off), bottle caps, packing paper, and toys that encourage them to investigate various openings with their paws. 
#24

We Got Him From A Local Shelter

We Got Him From A Local Shelter

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Sergy Yeltsen
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Business in the front and party in the back? Either way, a majestic looking cat. Please post a photo when his coat grows back. :)

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#25

We Adopted Bosch 2 Weeks Ago, Kept Stealing The Kids Teddies So We Got Him His Own

We Adopted Bosch 2 Weeks Ago, Kept Stealing The Kids Teddies So We Got Him His Own

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kayla Mckee
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My rescue stole his sister's (my daughter's) pillow, blanket and stuffie the first day. We got him his own and for ten years he has had his own. If he gets tired of his then he steals sissy's and we know it is time to upgrade.

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  • Train your cat to learn useful behaviors and fun tricks, like “sit”, “come”, hand target, “shake” and fetch.
  • Position bird and squirrel feeders outside windows where your cat can observe animals coming and going during the day or even try playing videos of birds and squirrels on your tv, computer, or phone!
#27

Adopted This Sweetie Today

Adopted This Sweetie Today

Banana4monkey12 Report

#28

Meet Luna, I'm Finishing The Adoption Paperwork Tomorrow And Picking Her Up!

Meet Luna, I'm Finishing The Adoption Paperwork Tomorrow And Picking Her Up!

Lkzilian Report

#29

We Just Got This Little One. Her Name Is Minerva

We Just Got This Little One. Her Name Is Minerva

Wenddy05 Report

It's important to consider what your pet can do while they're spending time alone. As regular work and school routines are returning, your pet may be left confused (and lonely!) once everyone is rushing out the door instead of spending time inside.

Even while you and your family are home, prepare your pet by allowing them to spend comfortable time alone throughout the day. 

#30

Adopted Leo 3 Days Ago. He Finally Came Out From Hiding Under The Couch

Adopted Leo 3 Days Ago. He Finally Came Out From Hiding Under The Couch

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#31

Adopted This Sweet Bonded Pair On Saturday. Over The Past Five Months We Lost All 4 Of Our Senior Cats… These Two Are Sure Helping Heal Our Hearts

Adopted This Sweet Bonded Pair On Saturday. Over The Past Five Months We Lost All 4 Of Our Senior Cats… These Two Are Sure Helping Heal Our Hearts

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peace
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

so sorry for your loss. 💛 and lots of love with these 2 sweeties.

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#32

We Adopted This Darling Last Night, Her Litter Was Rescued From A New Mexico Reservation. Name Ideas?

We Adopted This Darling Last Night, Her Litter Was Rescued From A New Mexico Reservation. Name Ideas?

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kayla Mckee
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nemeres.....New Mexico reservation. Kind of like west Virginia did with cabway lingo

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Create a cozy, inviting place for your dog or cat to nap away from all the activity. You can also put on some soothing music or radio.

You can also offer your dog tasty chews to keep them busy—you can purchase all sorts of interesting and easily digestible chews online, such as bully sticks, tendons, tracheas, scapulas, and cheek rolls.

There are many free game apps for cats to play with on their own but you can also find plenty of battery-operated toys to keep them busy.

Again, remember that both dogs and cats will be entertained for some time with an interactive food-puzzle toy!

For more how-tos, guidelines, case studies, and other information, visit the ASPCA resource library.

#35

Just Adopted My First Cat, I Think He Likes It Here!

Just Adopted My First Cat, I Think He Likes It Here!

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#36

This Bb I Just Adopted Bears An Uncanny Resemblance To This Cat In A Portrait I Thrifted Years Ago!

This Bb I Just Adopted Bears An Uncanny Resemblance To This Cat In A Portrait I Thrifted Years Ago!

MistThePerfume Report

#37

Adopting Bonnie Was The Best Thing I’ve Done For Myself In A Long Time. Welcome Home Little One

Adopting Bonnie Was The Best Thing I’ve Done For Myself In A Long Time. Welcome Home Little One

SauronTheLastOG Report

#38

Adopted Two Kittens, Now They’re Best Friends. Meet Felix And Niko!

Adopted Two Kittens, Now They’re Best Friends. Meet Felix And Niko!

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#39

Adopted A New Dog Today. She Is Fitting In Perfectly Already

Adopted A New Dog Today. She Is Fitting In Perfectly Already

Emilyredwine Report

#40

This Is Téo, A New Friend At Our Cat Shelter

This Is Téo, A New Friend At Our Cat Shelter

His elderly owner didn’t like the fact that he loves to be on her keyboard…. Too playful for her. He’s such a sweet boy. Everyone wants to adopt him

sonia72quebec Report

Note: this post originally had 87 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.