About 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, roughly 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. The good news is that these numbers are a result of a steady decline—according to ASPCA estimates, there were approximately 7.2 million dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually around 2011. And while 710 thousand animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners, 3.2 million are adopted.
To help the latter figure grow even more, the subreddit r/BeforeNAfterAdoption urges people to share the amazing difference a loving family can make on an abandoned or mistreated animal. It has 360K members posting pictures that reveal the spectacular physical and mental transformations their adorable pets have gone through after leaving the shelter, and Bored Panda is ending this difficult year with some of the posts that went viral on the subreddit this December.
Frankie Was Born With Four Ears And An Eye Deformity But He’s Still Purrfect
The coronavirus pandemic has affected lots of American animal shelters. "Since it began, COVID-19 has put an immense amount of strain on animal shelters across the country. Because this is an ever-changing situation, each shelter is facing unique challenges specific to its community,” Adoptions Promotions Manager at the ASPCA, Kelly DiCicco, told Bored Panda in an earlier interview.
These Two Were Adopted 3 Years Apart From Different Cities. A DNA Test Revealed That They Are Long Lost Siblings!
Emptying cages in 2020 had been especially important because many shelters have reduced staffing due to social distancing requirements—which has meant reductions or limits to the number and types of services offered to the public. "Additionally, shelters have felt the financial impacts of the pandemic, with reduced donations and an inability to host in-person fundraising events, which often play a key role in annual fundraising efforts," DiCicco said.
The Day After My Cat Died, I Went To The Shelter And Told The Employee That I’d Adopt The Cat That Had Been There The Longest. She Said, “It’s An Older Black Cat... Are You Sure?” I Was Never So Sure Of Anything In My Life. Meet Dita Von Panzer
By adopting an animal in need – no matter the species, breed, or size – people are saving that animal's life as well as freeing up valuable shelter space and resources for other animals in need.
Also, a huge benefit of adopting animals from a shelter is that shelter staff know the animals well and can provide detailed information about an animal's history, medical needs, behavior, and temperament. They also consider a potential adopter's lifestyle, home environment, and the animal's potential compatibility with children and other animals in the home, helping the person to bring home the best match they can find.
To find out more about pet adoption, visit this helpful guide by the ASPCA.
As A Single Dad, I Had To Put My Foot Down And Tell My Seven Year Old Daughter That There Was No Way She Was Getting A Dog For Chanukah, No Matter How Much She Asked. Anyway, Meet Waffle
He Was A Rescue. A Runt. Probably Blind, Deaf, Won't Make It Very Long, They Told Me. Well, Happy 10th Birthday, Buddy
Old Man Ed's "I'm Getting Adopted!" Smile Is Both Handsome And Proud!
We Just Adopted The Most Snuggly, Beautiful, Chonk Of A Cat. Welcome Home, Bill
I Just Adopted Atticus This Weekend. He Was A Stray And They Told Me He's A Very Fearful Cat. I Slowly Introduced Him To My Closet With Some Food, A Bed I Warmed Up In The Dryer, And Some Pets When He Allowed. Just This Morning He Sat In My Lap And Purred
Within 2 Seconds Of Meeting The Cat I Was Adopting, She Climbed Onto My Shoulders
Dandy Had Part Of Her Face Shot Off (Before I Adopted Her). I Love Her Two Derpy Top Teeth
We Adopted A Kitten Last Month... We Now Have Nightly Ritual Of Checking The Fridge And Other Small Spaces To Make Sure He's Not Trapped Anywhere Before We Go To Bed
Adopted A Void Yesterday. Shelter Said She Didn't Like Laps. It's Been An Hour. Send Snacks
Went To The Shelter To Look At Dogs, They Didn’t Have Any There But Once This Lil Girl Saw Me She Started Pawing At Her Cage. Now I Have A New Forever Friend
I Just Adopted The Sweetest Kitten...her Name Is Olive And We’re In Love And We’re Gonna Run Away And Be Pirates Together
Just Look At This Little Tripod I Adopted
Society Says Black Cats Are Considered Less “Adoptable”. Society Is Wrong
I Adopted This Baby From The Dominican Republic 1 Month Ago- My Mom Didn't Believe Me That It Was The Same Dog. I Named Him Remi And He Suffered From Mange And Malnutrition, Not Anymore!
I Adopted 12 Year Old Brutus A Few Months Ago. He Is Sluggish, Stubborn, Gassy, Hogs The Bed And Drools So Much I Have Actually Slipped On My Kitchen Floor. And I'm Head Over Heels In Love With Him
Adopted A 16 Year Old Bird Named Banana Last Week And She Finally Trusts Me Enough To Perch On My Shoulder
She Was Rescued From A Colony Of 30 Feral Cats In NE Ontario. She Follows Me Around For Snuggles, And Will Snuggle Me For Hours. I Think This One's Gonna Be A Foster Fail...
Four Days Since Adoption And New Kitten Charlie Is Loving His Big Brother Tipsy
This Is Bonnie. She Is Happier To See The Food Aisle Than Just Recently Being Adopted
Jenny - My Parents’ New Rescue. Saved From A Life Of Being A Breeding Bitch. 5 Years Old, Doesn’t Know How To Play. Adopt, Dont Shop!
After 3 Long Months Of Trying To Get Her Trust. This Cutie Has Finally Adopted Me!!
Rescued A Couple Brothers This Weekend
Adopted Two "Undesirable Cats" At The Animal Shelter- A Very Scared Feral Kitten (Still Trying To Get A Good Face Pic) And The Fattest Cat In The Building- I Already Love Them So Much!
Our New Rescue Dog Patches. He Is Deaf And Would Have Been Put Down If We Didn't Adopt Him. He Is Now The Best Part Of Our Lives! I Have Cuter Photos If People Want To See!!!
Recently Adopted A Kitten, This Was A Pic Of Her First Night Home!
Our Recently Adopted Old Pup Is Enjoying His New Rocket Jammies
We Adopted A Retired Racing Greyhound That Was Too Afraid To Interact With Our Other Dog. A Few Months Later And They’re Over Here Smoochin
Adopted This Guy Last Month. He's Settled In Nicely
Exactly A Month Ago He Was A ‘Feral’ Cat Suffering From Multiple Infections. Today He’s My Little Old Gentleman In A Christmas Bow Tie. Merry Christmas And Happy Adoption, Gizmo!
Adopted These Two Little Beauties From The Animal Shelter. Say Hi To Loki And Thor
I Did Not Adopt This Dog. I Started Fostering Her And She Decided She Lives Here Now So I Guess She Does. Welcome To Your Forever Home Bellanova
Adopted Him From The Streets Today ... Welcome Buddy
Adopted Teddy For Christmas, Safe To Say She’s Pretty Happy About It
His Previous Owner Put Him Up For Adoption Because He Is So "Rude". This Is Him On His Second Day With Me
My Friend Asked Me If I Would Adopt A Puppy. Of Course I Said No. This Is My New Puppy
The Day I Adopted Lulu. She Was Slated To Be Euthanized The Following Week, But Through A Local Shelter I Was Able To Adopt Her In Time. I Love Her So Much
My GF Is A Vet Nurse And Often Brings Home Strays Handed In. She Said "It's Only Until She's Big Enough To Give Away"...
I Decided To Adopt Gus After Fostering Him Through His Heartworm Treatment. He Is Perfect
Found W/ No Tags, No Microchip & Adopted After Waiting Period At The Pound; He Is Now My Everything
This Is Kodi. He's A 4-Month-Old Rescue We Adopted. Not The Brightest Bulb On The Tree. Kind Of Cute Though
Note: this post originally had 90 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.