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About 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, 3.1 million are dogs. Each year, a total of 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized, which results in 390,000 dog deaths.

A few of these forgotten canines are lucky to get a second chance in life with their new forever families. Probably one of the most emotionally intense experiences is witnessing these poor animals undergo incredible transformations after they are rescued.

It’s not just that they finally get much-needed medical care, are given shelter and food, but are healed by love from the inside out.

Below we wrapped up some of the most touching and inspiring examples of dogs before and after rescue that are likely to make us shed a tear or two, and remind us that love is the strongest force on our planet.

#1

I Found A Dog In The Jungle

I Found A Dog In The Jungle

A week ago, I was hiking the rainforest on the volcano Mount Meru, next to where I live. In the middle of the rainforest, I found a puppy. The puppy was too weak to move, and its tiny ribs and backbone poked against my fingers. I got her a blanket, soft food, water, and a bath. After 12 hours of sleep, a tiny, but very skinny puppy headed to the vet. She weighed only 2.5 kg.
A week has gone by, and I have a friend for life. She's gaining weight and strength by the day. Her name is Koda. Short for Kodama - the forest spirits in Princess Mononoke.

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#2

The First Time I Saw Norkis, He Was In Bad Shape. He Had Owners Who Said That Dog Was Old, Sick, And Waiting For His Time. I Wanted To Rescue Him And Give Him A Good Life

The First Time I Saw Norkis, He Was In Bad Shape. He Had Owners Who Said That Dog Was Old, Sick, And Waiting For His Time. I Wanted To Rescue Him And Give Him A Good Life

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Spirited7Wolf
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Heavens to Betsy, I can’t believe people do this to animals. In the before pictures, he didn’t even look like a dog! 😞

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#3

Forever Grateful For Those Who Rescued My Guy. Before vs. After

Forever Grateful For Those Who Rescued My Guy. Before vs. After

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LittleWombat
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My first dog was a chow from the humane society and this just hits me in all the feels

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Bored Panda reached out to this animal rescuer who runs the Home of Well-Loved Strays non-profit organization based in Floridablanca, Philippines.

“My partner and I are an LGBT couple. We've been rescuing cats and dogs since 2015. Currently, we have 20 dogs and 30+ cats,” the rescuer told us. She explained that they were living in metropolitan Manila and supported the animals on their own until Covid happened. “We got flooded in November 2020 and so we moved to the countryside.”

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#4

Jess's Transformation. She Was A Stray, Emaciated, Had A Ringworm Infection On Her Eyebrow, And Was 34 Lbs When We Found Her. May 2021 vs. August 2022

Jess's Transformation. She Was A Stray, Emaciated, Had A Ringworm Infection On Her Eyebrow, And Was 34 Lbs When We Found Her. May 2021 vs. August 2022

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#5

Kodiak's Before vs. After. He Had Mange And Was Malnourished. Once We Got Him On The Right Meds, His Hair Grew Back So Fluffy

Kodiak's Before vs. After. He Had Mange And Was Malnourished. Once We Got Him On The Right Meds, His Hair Grew Back So Fluffy

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He looks so, so much happier in the second picture. Look at that smile <3

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#6

This Is My Sweet Girl, Queenie. We Rescued Her At 16, And She Crossed The Rainbow Bridge At The Age Of 17. Rest In Peace, Baby Q

This Is My Sweet Girl, Queenie. We Rescued Her At 16, And She Crossed The Rainbow Bridge At The Age Of 17. Rest In Peace, Baby Q

We suspect her previous home stopped feeding her due to being incontinent and going through so many diapers. That's why she was so lethargic and underweight. She had doubled her weight by the time she passed away. It was remarkable to see her bounce back like that. And her sassy attitude, my goodness, I loved that about her.

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Red PANda (she/they)
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank you for loving this dog and giving them a great life even though you knew you would have a limited time with them.

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The non-profit founder said that there are so many stray cats and dogs in the Philippines. “Some people do horrendous acts on them - throw hot water on mating cats on the roof, dump kittens near the river, shoo away dogs looking for food or eat dog meat,” she said.

Moreover, it is a common practice to tie dogs in front of houses as guards. “The locals catch strays and euthanize them. These things are the reason we decided to rescue.” The rescuer said that they prioritize adult cats or dogs that need immediate help, or kittens.

#7

This Dog Is Competing For "Top Shelter Dog Makeover," And I'm So Emotional Right Now. Before vs. After

This Dog Is Competing For "Top Shelter Dog Makeover," And I'm So Emotional Right Now. Before vs. After

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#8

Before vs. After I Found Her. She Really Wants To Heal

Before vs. After I Found Her. She Really Wants To Heal

I'm lathering her with virgin coconut oil before and after the bath. She's sleeping all the time and taking antibiotics. Her hair is still not that long, and there are still bald spots on the body and half of her face, but she's healing.

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She's made progress, and that's great. Thank you for taking care of her.

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#9

When I Found Fred On The Side Of The Road, He Was Skittish, Neurotic, And Sweet As He Could Be. One Month Later, He's Still All Those Things, But Now He's Fat Too

When I Found Fred On The Side Of The Road, He Was Skittish, Neurotic, And Sweet As He Could Be. One Month Later, He's Still All Those Things, But Now He's Fat Too

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In the Philippines, the population of strays is very high. “The local government still catches strays, impounds them, then euthanizes them. But some organizations are actively offering free or low-cost neutering and spraying. Very few local governments work in partnership with them. There are also some cat groups who take care of strays in certain areas.”

#10

Bodhi When Local Organization Found Him vs. This Morning

Bodhi When Local Organization Found Him vs. This Morning

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poor thing, this is one of the worst cases of mange I've ever seen. It looks like he lost his eye because of it, if you look at the fist picture.

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#11

We Are Trying To Give This Baby The Best Life. We're Still Working Through Her Issues, But Her Indomitable Spirit Keeps Us Going. She's My Role Model. Before vs. After

We Are Trying To Give This Baby The Best Life. We're Still Working Through Her Issues, But Her Indomitable Spirit Keeps Us Going. She's My Role Model. Before vs. After

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#12

This Dog Was Dying In A Shelter, And My Boyfriend Was Going Through Depression Due To His Cancer. Today My Boyfriend Beat Cancer, And She Is Our New Family Member

This Dog Was Dying In A Shelter, And My Boyfriend Was Going Through Depression Due To His Cancer. Today My Boyfriend Beat Cancer, And She Is Our New Family Member

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Red PANda (she/they)
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeahhhh!!!! F*** cancer! (Sorry for the language but cancer has taken so many people dear to me and I hate it)

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Sadly, the chances of rescued animals finding a new home are extremely low. “The shelters are overly full and do not take in strays anymore. Most people still prefer animals with a breed,” the rescuer explained. She hopes that more people in the Philippines will give a chance to their local dogs without breeds and that their government will offer more free spaying and neutering programs.

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#13

Wrinkles The Dog I Rescued. Look At Him Now With His Forever Parents

Wrinkles The Dog I Rescued. Look At Him Now With His Forever Parents

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wonder if his adoptive parents changed his name, or kept it. I like Wrinkles but it doesn't fit after that wonderful transformation.

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#14

Today Marks 8 Months Of Our First Meeting. We Love You, Ekko. Before vs. After

Today Marks 8 Months Of Our First Meeting. We Love You, Ekko. Before vs. After

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#15

I Found Him On This Day In 2016. He Had Mange, A Skin Infection, And Was Severely Dehydrated. After A Few Days, His Condition Improved, And I Could Take Him Home

I Found Him On This Day In 2016. He Had Mange, A Skin Infection, And Was Severely Dehydrated. After A Few Days, His Condition Improved, And I Could Take Him Home

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#16

Bruno, My Beloved Fighter

Bruno, My Beloved Fighter

This is my dog, Bruno. An animal shelter rescued him from a place where he had no contact with the sun, couldn't pee, and ate spoiled food. When Bruno got better, I adopted him. I love him very much, and he means the world to me.

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope whoever did that to him dies a slow and miserable death. It is beyond me how people can do this to an animal and think it's alright. The pain and suffering you put that animal through makes you deserving of 100x that pain. Pieces of s**t. I'm so, so glad he was rescued and now he is living the life he deserves.

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#17

Before And After Of Toby That We Adopted Last Week. He Was Found In Texcoco And Is Blind In One Eye. After Some Care And Love, He's Really Bounced Back

Before And After Of Toby That We Adopted Last Week. He Was Found In Texcoco And Is Blind In One Eye. After Some Care And Love, He's Really Bounced Back

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#18

Booduk's 1st Day When I Found Her In A Trash Pile vs. 3 Months Later

Booduk's 1st Day When I Found Her In A Trash Pile vs. 3 Months Later

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#19

Joker Was A Bait Dog For I Don't Know How Long. It Amazes Me That From The Moment I Met Him, All He Needed Was Love To Heal

Joker Was A Bait Dog For I Don't Know How Long. It Amazes Me That From The Moment I Met Him, All He Needed Was Love To Heal

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#20

I Found Her Like This, And Now She Looks Way Better. Before vs. Now

I Found Her Like This, And Now She Looks Way Better. Before vs. Now

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

From OP: "The rescue said that she was in such bad shape when I found her that she would’ve died in short time..." I'm so happy she found you. She looks so happy

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#21

I Rescued This Sweet Girl Before Her Euthanization. I Wasn't Going To Get Her Because I Was Still Mourning My Dog, But I Couldn't Stop Thinking About Her

I Rescued This Sweet Girl Before Her Euthanization. I Wasn't Going To Get Her Because I Was Still Mourning My Dog, But I Couldn't Stop Thinking About Her

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Red PANda (she/they)
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Again, look at the body language on the dog. You can really tell what a difference a safe home with a loving family makes.

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#22

A Family Surrendered This Baby Who Had Him For 8.5 Years. It Took Him Some Time To Open Up, And Now He's So Much More Confident

A Family Surrendered This Baby Who Had Him For 8.5 Years. It Took Him Some Time To Open Up, And Now He's So Much More Confident

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#23

This Baby With A Target On Her Head. Before vs. After

This Baby With A Target On Her Head. Before vs. After

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Whoever did that needs a target put on their back and put in a shooting range.

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#24

My Wife And I Saw A Post About Her And Her Puppies Needing A Foster Home

My Wife And I Saw A Post About Her And Her Puppies Needing A Foster Home

She gave everything she had to those babies. When we picked her up, she was just over 40 pounds. She's now a comfortable 62-pound dog. Most of the pups were adopted out of State, but the rescue had a get-together, and she got to see some.

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She's a good mama, and you're a good person. Thank you for taking her in and making sure her pups were taken care of.

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#25

From Being Underweight, Covered In Mange, And Fearful Of Humans To The Happiest Little Boy At The Dog Park

From Being Underweight, Covered In Mange, And Fearful Of Humans To The Happiest Little Boy At The Dog Park

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Reminds me of a chihuahua I had years ago, named Cocoa. She was abused for years by her previous owners, and was scared of anyone for a while, but she was the sweetest dog ever and loved to cuddle with you.

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#26

This Is Brisket. The First Time We Saw Him, He Had A Terrible Flea Allergy And Lost Fur. Despite That, We Still Took Him Home The Next Day After Meeting Him

This Is Brisket. The First Time We Saw Him, He Had A Terrible Flea Allergy And Lost Fur. Despite That, We Still Took Him Home The Next Day After Meeting Him

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#27

Meet Grendel. She Wandered Into My Campsite 5 Years Ago. Now We Have A Home, And She's Fat And Happy

Meet Grendel. She Wandered Into My Campsite 5 Years Ago. Now We Have A Home, And She's Fat And Happy

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#28

Before vs. After Victoria Was Rescued. She Was Malnourished, With Mange And Extreme Fear And Separation Anxiety. A Year Later, She's Happily Adopted And Healthy

Before vs. After Victoria Was Rescued. She Was Malnourished, With Mange And Extreme Fear And Separation Anxiety. A Year Later, She's Happily Adopted And Healthy

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#29

Before And After. This Is Foster Dog Wendy. She Was Rescued Off The Streets 3 Months Ago And Will Be Adopted This Week

Before And After. This Is Foster Dog Wendy. She Was Rescued Off The Streets 3 Months Ago And Will Be Adopted This Week

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#30

This Is Chef. He Was Rescued Outside KFC In Antigua Two Years Ago. He's Finally Found His Forever Home In Calgary, Canada

This Is Chef. He Was Rescued Outside KFC In Antigua Two Years Ago. He's Finally Found His Forever Home In Calgary, Canada

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#31

This Poor Dog Was Rescued From The Chinese Dog Meat Traders. Before vs. After

This Poor Dog Was Rescued From The Chinese Dog Meat Traders. Before vs. After

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Heather Resatz
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's a special place in hell for those who abuse or neglect dogs .. and a whole other area for those who eat dogs .. jeez

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#32

Ronnie Was Starving, Shot With BB Pellets, And Heartworm Positive. Now She's Our Beloved Darling, Goofy Princess. I've Never Had A Sweeter Dog

Ronnie Was Starving, Shot With BB Pellets, And Heartworm Positive. Now She's Our Beloved Darling, Goofy Princess. I've Never Had A Sweeter Dog

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Loverboy
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poor baby even had puppies. I'm having so many mixed feelings about this list, I've never wanted to kill more people in my life but I'm happy these dogs are being cared for.

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#33

This Is Rimosa. She's A 3-Year-Old Blue Nose Pitbull Terrier That I Rescued About 9 Weeks Ago

This Is Rimosa. She's A 3-Year-Old Blue Nose Pitbull Terrier That I Rescued About 9 Weeks Ago

She's recovering well and will start heartworm treatment soon. She is the sweetest girl ever. The top picture was taken on the first day I had her. The bottom was a few days ago, right after she got spayed.

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#34

Before vs. After. She Lived In The Jungle Behind An Orphanage In Mexico With A Pack Of Strays, And Now She's Our Sweetheart, Chonky Princess, That We Love

Before vs. After. She Lived In The Jungle Behind An Orphanage In Mexico With A Pack Of Strays, And Now She's Our Sweetheart, Chonky Princess, That We Love

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#35

Honey, My Foster Puppy. We Found Her Starving On The Street With Urine Stains. We Think She Was In A Crate And Starved. But Now She's Gorgeous And Happy

Honey, My Foster Puppy. We Found Her Starving On The Street With Urine Stains. We Think She Was In A Crate And Starved. But Now She's Gorgeous And Happy

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#36

Before vs. After. When I Got My Baby, She Was Stinky, Raggedy, And Scared, But Now She Is Beautiful

Before vs. After. When I Got My Baby, She Was Stinky, Raggedy, And Scared, But Now She Is Beautiful

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Red PANda (she/they)
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10 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a transformation! She looks like she’s living her best life :)

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#37

Before And After I Rescued My Mini-Poodle From Being Euthanized

Before And After I Rescued My Mini-Poodle From Being Euthanized

I pull senior and geriatric dogs from shelters to give them a final home and resting place. When I was going to pull a blind chihuahua, I saw this fluff ball and couldn't say no. She had lost much of her fur, had a rat tail, and had skin issues. She smelled horrific. She could barely move or walk and was listed as a special needs dog. Found out she had a thyroid issue after a vet visit, and after being on thyroid meds for 4-months, her tail is now fluffy, and she's like a fast-moving potato. All it took was a medication that cost me $5 a month to save her. 

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#38

I Found This Beautiful Dog Eight Months Ago. Before vs. After

I Found This Beautiful Dog Eight Months Ago. Before vs. After

She was in a critical state, covered in mange, infected with leishmaniasis, and one of her legs was injured and had worms inside. It wasn't a pretty sight.

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Rebelliousslug
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She knew you were there to save her the moment she met you! Look at that smile despite the pain she must have been in

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#39

Happy Ending For This Adorable Dog Who Was Rescued From An Abusive Situation. Before vs. After

Happy Ending For This Adorable Dog Who Was Rescued From An Abusive Situation. Before vs. After

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Rebelliousslug
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That skin looks horribly painful. So glad the pup found a better life

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#40

I Found Victor In A Box On The Side Of The Road And Didn't Have Any Mobility In His Back Legs. 2 Years Later, He Has A Wheelchair And Can Walk Very Wobbly

I Found Victor In A Box On The Side Of The Road And Didn't Have Any Mobility In His Back Legs. 2 Years Later, He Has A Wheelchair And Can Walk Very Wobbly

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#41

I Just Wanted To Show Off My Moochie, My Pride, And Joy. He Was Used In A Puppy Mill As A Stud For Five Years While Also Being Starved. Before vs. After

I Just Wanted To Show Off My Moochie, My Pride, And Joy. He Was Used In A Puppy Mill As A Stud For Five Years While Also Being Starved. Before vs. After

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#42

Before And After Of The Foster We Have Taken In

Before And After Of The Foster We Have Taken In

She was abused horribly by her owner. When we got her, she was scared of men and kids, but not any longer. Enjoy this transformation because it's miraculous. 

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#44

Freddy Before And After

Freddy Before And After

Seven years ago, I brought home a new foster dog, who was fresh out of surgery for a broken leg and was quite malnourished. I fell in love and adopted him. We did a lot of physical therapy together to get him to walk comfortably again.

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#45

I Rescued This Very Good Boy, Arnold. He Looks So Handsome In His Sweater

I Rescued This Very Good Boy, Arnold. He Looks So Handsome In His Sweater

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#46

Willow Was The Runt Of Her Litter, Dumped In A Box By The Road, And Was Scheduled For Euthanizia. Now We're Best Friends And Birthday Buddies

Willow Was The Runt Of Her Litter, Dumped In A Box By The Road, And Was Scheduled For Euthanizia. Now We're Best Friends And Birthday Buddies

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Red PANda (she/they)
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10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Such a pretty dog! I don’t get why people think they need to abandon the runts of the litter. Usually they grow up to be amazing and sweet dogs.

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#47

A 10-Week-Old Puppy Was Surrendered To Me For Having Seizures. Now He's Improved So Much With Good Nutrition And Lots Of Vet Visits

A 10-Week-Old Puppy Was Surrendered To Me For Having Seizures. Now He's Improved So Much With Good Nutrition And Lots Of Vet Visits

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#48

From Scared Of Everything To A Cuddly Dog. When We Got Him, He Was Unsocialized, So We Had To Start From Square One With Him In All Aspects

From Scared Of Everything To A Cuddly Dog. When We Got Him, He Was Unsocialized, So We Had To Start From Square One With Him In All Aspects

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#49

Before And After The Rescue

Before And After The Rescue

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#50

How It Started vs. How It's Going

How It Started vs. How It's Going

Gureum (the Korean word for cloud) is the pup on the top right. She and other puppies were rescued from a dog meat restaurant. I decided to adopt her a few days after we met.

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