Animals, just like humans, need a second chance. Whether they have been lost, abandoned, or given up, the critters people meet at shelters are all unwanted and helpless. Until we adopt them.

You can't make many choices that feel as rewarding as saving a life. And it's not just you who's reaping the benefits of finding a new best friend. Rescuing a pet also frees up shelter space so more animals can get the care they need, and, most importantly, someone very miserable becomes very, very, very happy.

Just like in February and January, Bored Panda has compiled a list of pictures that feature newly adopted animals of the month. From kitties and pups to bunnies and horses, the smiles on these rescue boys and girls definitely prove they couldn't be happier they've finally found their forever homes.

#1

Adopted Coco The Ginger And Came Back A Week Later To Get Her Brother Tux As We Couldn't Bare To Leave Him Behind. They Are The Best Of Friends!

Adopted Coco The Ginger And Came Back A Week Later To Get Her Brother Tux As We Couldn't Bare To Leave Him Behind. They Are The Best Of Friends!

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"By adopting an animal in need – no matter the species, breed, or size – you may be saving that animal’s life as well as freeing up valuable shelter space and resources for other animals in need," Kelly DiCicco, Manager, Adoptions Promotions at the ASPCA Adoption Center told Bored Panda. "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 in order to make matches that are a good fit."

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 according to ASPCA estimates, the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011. If you want to contribute to lowering these numbers and rescue an animal, you can find general adoption tips or a local shelter in your area at ASPCA.

#2

Wife Wanted A Cat. I Said No, So We Compromised And Got A One Eyed Cat

Wife Wanted A Cat. I Said No, So We Compromised And Got A One Eyed Cat

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DiCicco encourages those who are seriously interested in taking home a new pet to keep an open mind and heart when visiting a shelter or rescue as they may walk out with a pet they’d never considered before, like a senior animal or even those of a different breed, size or species. "When it comes to choosing which pet to adopt, prospective adopters should feel comfortable asking plenty of questions and lean on shelter staff for guidance, as every shelter has a unique population of animals and no one knows them like the people who work with them every day," Kelly said. "Plus, shelter staff have expertise in making successful matches and can help prospective adopters decide whether an animal is a good personality and lifestyle fit. They also consider each animal’s background and energy level, as well as how the animal might get along with other people and pets in the home."

#3

Harvey’s Skinny Body Was Found Abandoned In A Ditch, Soaking Wet, And Dotted With Cigarette Burns. He Was Infested With Fleas, Anemic, And Starving. One Look At His Little Face And I Knew Had To Adopt Him. Fast Forward 5 Years, He’s Now A Confident, Happy, Healthy Boi With A Career In Modelling

Harvey’s Skinny Body Was Found Abandoned In A Ditch, Soaking Wet, And Dotted With Cigarette Burns. He Was Infested With Fleas, Anemic, And Starving. One Look At His Little Face And I Knew Had To Adopt Him. Fast Forward 5 Years, He’s Now A Confident, Happy, Healthy Boi With A Career In Modelling

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However, the coronavirus pandemic that is currently ravaging our world is also putting an immense strain on shelters all over the US. "Because this is an unprecedented and ever-changing situation, each shelter is facing unique challenges specific to its communities," DiCicco explained. "Many shelters are facing reduced staff and volunteer support, which is putting animals in desperate need of temporary or permanent sheltering outside the four walls of typical adoption centers and shelters."

For example, Sarah Bhimani, a spokesperson for Animal Humane Society, told Bored Panda that the organization has made the difficult decision to temporarily close all four of their shelters to the public through May 2 and only provide limited services, such as accepting surrendered/stray animals, providing limited veterinary services, and continuing humane investigations. "As our shelters were scheduled to close, we saw an outpouring of support from our community and experienced some record days of adoptions. The majority of remaining animals are being cared for by foster volunteers until the shelters reopen, and a small group of staff are caring for animals that must stay at the shelter for medical or behavioral reasons."

#4

Lots Of Strange Things Happening In The World Lately. Adopted This Rescue Kitty Today To Help Make Both Our Lives Better

Lots Of Strange Things Happening In The World Lately. Adopted This Rescue Kitty Today To Help Make Both Our Lives Better

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But with everything going on in the world right now, Bhimani reassured that animals in need are not forgotten. "We’re still here to help the most vulnerable animals in our community, and we encourage others to get involved too at animalhumanesociety.org"

One of the ways people can help during these difficult times is fostering. "[It] can give you the opportunity to single-handedly change an animal’s life for the better and is a rewarding experience for those who choose to become caregivers," DiCicco said. "There’s no place like a loving home to get a dog or cat used to the sights, sounds, and experiences that will set them up for a successful future adoption."

#5

I Didn’t Know Cats Could Have Such A Wide Range Of Emotion Until I Adopted Leonardo Dicatprio

I Didn’t Know Cats Could Have Such A Wide Range Of Emotion Until I Adopted Leonardo Dicatprio

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#6

Shelter Dog Cannot Contain Her Excitement About Getting Adopted

Shelter Dog Cannot Contain Her Excitement About Getting Adopted

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#7

My GF Wanted To Adopt A Kitten, I Said Not Now. As Compromise Here's The Kitten

My GF Wanted To Adopt A Kitten, I Said Not Now. As Compromise Here's The Kitten

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#8

My Grandmother (87) With Her Newly Adopted Senior Peanut (14) On Their Way Home From Foster Care Today

My Grandmother (87) With Her Newly Adopted Senior Peanut (14) On Their Way Home From Foster Care Today

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#9

Just Adopted This Handsome Boy Yesterday

Just Adopted This Handsome Boy Yesterday

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#10

I Think I Adopted A Vampire

I Think I Adopted A Vampire

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#11

I Adopted 2 Kittens Last Week. After Many Days Of Not Seeing Them, I Woke Up To This Today

I Adopted 2 Kittens Last Week. After Many Days Of Not Seeing Them, I Woke Up To This Today

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#12

Can’t Have Kids, So I Adopted

Can’t Have Kids, So I Adopted

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#13

Just Adopted Cotton! Her Favourite Hobbies Are Cosplaying As Plants And Taking Naps In Random Places

Just Adopted Cotton! Her Favourite Hobbies Are Cosplaying As Plants And Taking Naps In Random Places

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#14

My Mom Adopted An Outdoor Cat After It Gave Birth To Some Kittens And Wanted To Give It Some Shelter

My Mom Adopted An Outdoor Cat After It Gave Birth To Some Kittens And Wanted To Give It Some Shelter

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#15

Found Him On A Beach In Russia. Brought Him Back Home To The States. He Adopted Me

Found Him On A Beach In Russia. Brought Him Back Home To The States. He Adopted Me

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#16

3 Years Ago I Adopted This Old Guy. Today He’s 14 And Doing Better Than Ever!

3 Years Ago I Adopted This Old Guy. Today He’s 14 And Doing Better Than Ever!

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#17

This Good Boi Showed Up One Year Ago Tonight. He Rescued Us As Much As He Was Rescued

This Good Boi Showed Up One Year Ago Tonight. He Rescued Us As Much As He Was Rescued

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#18

Adopted My “End Of The World” Team Yesterday. Shelters Are Struggling And I Was Lonely Anyway

Adopted My “End Of The World” Team Yesterday. Shelters Are Struggling And I Was Lonely Anyway

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#19

Signing Over The Adoption Papers Today For My New Baby, Moo. Any And All Tips And Advice Are Welcome!

Signing Over The Adoption Papers Today For My New Baby, Moo. Any And All Tips And Advice Are Welcome!

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#20

My Rescue Boy Strawberry Flashing His Beautiful (Don't Tell Him Otherwise) Camera Ready Smile

My Rescue Boy Strawberry Flashing His Beautiful (Don't Tell Him Otherwise) Camera Ready Smile

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#21

Just Adopted This Sweet Girl. Best Decision I’ve Made In A While

Just Adopted This Sweet Girl. Best Decision I’ve Made In A While

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See Also on Bored Panda
#22

Chewy, The Recently Adopted Unit From The Nebraska Humane Society

Chewy, The Recently Adopted Unit From The Nebraska Humane Society

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#23

Today I Rescued This Littly Beauty, She Drive With Me For 1,5 Hours Like This. I Think She Knows Shes Going To Her Forever Home

Today I Rescued This Littly Beauty, She Drive With Me For 1,5 Hours Like This. I Think She Knows Shes Going To Her Forever Home

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#24

My Brother's Rescues, Addie & Chase

My Brother's Rescues, Addie & Chase

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#25

Please Keep This Boy In Your Thoughts Tomorrow, He's Meeting His Potential Adoption Family!

Please Keep This Boy In Your Thoughts Tomorrow, He's Meeting His Potential Adoption Family!

Moose was adopted and gets to live with an older couple who will have tons of time to spend with him and a lake to take him out on!

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#26

Saw These Two Boys Up For Adoption At The Local Pet Supply Store. Their Names Are Honda And Civic

Saw These Two Boys Up For Adoption At The Local Pet Supply Store. Their Names Are Honda And Civic

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#27

Sonny Is A Rescue From A Bad Owner. He Has A Lot Of Health Problems But He’s Very Proud Of His Remaining Tooth!

Sonny Is A Rescue From A Bad Owner. He Has A Lot Of Health Problems But He’s Very Proud Of His Remaining Tooth!

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#28

Adoption Day! 9 Yr Old Good Boy Zak, We’re Gonna Make Sure Your Last Years Are Your Best❤️

Adoption Day! 9 Yr Old Good Boy Zak, We’re Gonna Make Sure Your Last Years Are Your Best❤️

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#29

My Little Rescue, Lilith, Got To Play Outside For The First Time Today!

My Little Rescue, Lilith, Got To Play Outside For The First Time Today!

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#30

We Have Adopted Bud

We Have Adopted Bud

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#31

Last Week Was The Purrrfect Time To Adopt A Kitten. She Sends You Teeny Kisses

Last Week Was The Purrrfect Time To Adopt A Kitten. She Sends You Teeny Kisses

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See Also on Bored Panda
#32

Reddit, Meet Finn! He’s Making Social Distancing A Little Easier :)

Reddit, Meet Finn! He’s Making Social Distancing A Little Easier :)

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#33

Just Adopted My First Rats Last Week. It’s So Great Seeing Them Come Out Of Their Shells

Just Adopted My First Rats Last Week. It’s So Great Seeing Them Come Out Of Their Shells

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#34

Two Years After Adoption And Still Getting Floofier By The Day

Two Years After Adoption And Still Getting Floofier By The Day

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#35

My Friends Recently Adopted Pup

My Friends Recently Adopted Pup

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#36

Our Newly Adopted Incorgnito (We Think Corgi/Cavalier King Charles). Meet Riley!

Our Newly Adopted Incorgnito (We Think Corgi/Cavalier King Charles). Meet Riley!

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#37

I Adopted This Handsome Boy A Week Ago... Look At That Beautifully Executed Front Curl!

I Adopted This Handsome Boy A Week Ago... Look At That Beautifully Executed Front Curl!

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#38

The Nypd Rescued This Large Bunny!

The Nypd Rescued This Large Bunny!

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#39

Our Newly Adopted Dog “Mello” Hides Under The Table

Our Newly Adopted Dog “Mello” Hides Under The Table

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#40

Just Adopted This Pupper From A Shelter, Although This Is Cute I'm Teaching Her Not To Jump On Counters

Just Adopted This Pupper From A Shelter, Although This Is Cute I'm Teaching Her Not To Jump On Counters

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Note: this post originally had 107 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.