Contrary to popular belief, instead of cats and dogs, the first American animal activists focused mostly on horses, working tirelessly to protect the welfare of animals who were a key mode of transportation.

Then, on April 14, 1869, Caroline Earle White and a group of women established what's now considered the first American animal shelter, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. In addition to horses, its mission expanded "to provide as soon as possible, a refuge for lost and homeless dogs, where they could be kept until homes could be found for them, or they be otherwise disposed of."

It marked a turning point. The notion of a shelter, or even a municipal pound, as a place where you could go and find a pet, according to historian Bernie Unti, really took hold in the latter part of the 19th century and then has grown steadily ever since.

So to celebrate how far we've come, we at Bored Panda are continuing our monthly series, and have compiled the sweetest pet adoption photos we could find. Continue scrolling to check them out and in case you've missed our earlier publications, we kindly invite you to catch up: October, September, and August.

For everyone who is thinking of (or has just) invited a new critter into their home, we also had a chat about making the transition as smooth as possible with the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom. You'll find it spread in between the images.

#1

Beagle Puppy Cuddles Up To The Rescuer Who Saved Him From Euthanasia. Nice Dog Rescue Story Heard From Franklin County Shelter And Adoption Center In Ohio

Beagle Puppy Cuddles Up To The Rescuer Who Saved Him From Euthanasia. Nice Dog Rescue Story Heard From Franklin County Shelter And Adoption Center In Ohio

ProfessionalDavidson Report

Jo Davies
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This needs to go no 1. Everything about this is the best!

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#2

8 Month Old Abused Retriever Mix. Scared And Sad. Brought Her Home. She Barely Moved. Was Scared To Even Walk Around The House. Lowers Head When You Reach To Pet Her. Couple Days Later With A Little Love And A Stubborn Beagle That Kept Bugging Her To Play And She’s A New Happy Dog Running Wide Open

8 Month Old Abused Retriever Mix. Scared And Sad. Brought Her Home. She Barely Moved. Was Scared To Even Walk Around The House. Lowers Head When You Reach To Pet Her. Couple Days Later With A Little Love And A Stubborn Beagle That Kept Bugging Her To Play And She’s A New Happy Dog Running Wide Open

impirepro06 Report

"Getting a pet is a very exciting time, but choosing a pet and making sure you are able to provide everything they need can feel overwhelming!" PDSA Vet Nurse Shauna Spooner told Bored Panda.

"And there are so many pets to choose from – dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, or smaller pets like hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, and chinchillas."

#3

Adopted The Cutest Stray I’ve Ever Met My BF Named Her Edith (Aka Edee)

Adopted The Cutest Stray I’ve Ever Met My BF Named Her Edith (Aka Edee)

mackenzie1701 Report

#4

I Recently Finished Chemo Treatment And Decided To Adopt A Husky! Say Hi To Loki!

I Recently Finished Chemo Treatment And Decided To Adopt A Husky! Say Hi To Loki!

Idontlikeworms Report

#5

Fishtopher The Cat Finds Forever Home After His Adoption Listing Went Viral

Fishtopher The Cat Finds Forever Home After His Adoption Listing Went Viral

kimjexziel Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He's só adorable, i want him, and to be fair there is 99.999% chances of me wanting all the cats on this thread...

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"Firstly, how much do you know about the pet that you want? [The UK is a country] of animal lovers – our 2022 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report found that 52 percent of [local adults] own a pet."

However, Spooner highlighted that raising an animal can be a different experience from the one we like to imagine. "Research as much as you can about the species and breed of pet you want, and make sure you know all about The 5 Welfare Needs that every pet needs to be healthy and happy."

"Talk to people who already own that particular pet for their real-life experiences, and get advice from a vet," she added.

#6

Meet Jade, My Newly Adopted 9 Year Old Fluff Ball

Meet Jade, My Newly Adopted 9 Year Old Fluff Ball

Gordondel Report

#7

Meet Leo And Luna! Even Though I Saved Them From A Sad Home They Have Ended Up Rescuing Me From Some Sad Days! #catsrule

Meet Leo And Luna! Even Though I Saved Them From A Sad Home They Have Ended Up Rescuing Me From Some Sad Days! #catsrule

OrganicGinger69 Report

#8

I Went To Adopt 1 Dog

I Went To Adopt 1 Dog

slugger92 Report

#9

This Is Bubble. We Adopted Him Knowing He Was Feral And Probably Would Never Go Near Us! 3 Days In And We Are Already Getting Contact

This Is Bubble. We Adopted Him Knowing He Was Feral And Probably Would Never Go Near Us! 3 Days In And We Are Already Getting Contact

Aaron123111 Report

Lori T Wisconsin
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good job! Never give up; it can take some time, but it's totally worth it!

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When deciding which pet is right for you and your lifestyle, Spooner said you should think of P.E.T.S. – place, exercise, time, and spend.

Let's start with place. "All pets need space to run and play, but dogs in particular need regular access to safe and secure outdoor areas," she explained. "Many cats also enjoy being able to exercise outside, and rabbits and guinea pigs need access to a large run or a garden to be happy and healthy."

#10

From Stoic To Smiley

From Stoic To Smiley

Physical_Ad3997 Report

Dani M
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love post like this. Every dog deserves love and happiness.... reminds me of my own shelter dog

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#11

Lola

Lola

ErinWalkerLancaster Report

Jan Rosier
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Glad to see her skinproblems cleared. Such a cutie.

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#12

Just Adopted This Cat Who Sits Up Like A Groundhog

Just Adopted This Cat Who Sits Up Like A Groundhog

bcEOS70D Report

Libstak
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wait till he does it at 3am while staring at the wall....then we will see how cute you think it is....ok, mine all did that and after i got my racing heart in control it was still cute.

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#13

This Handsome Man Was Thrown From A Car Window And Luckily Someone Found Him, I Saw His Adoption Post And Was The First To Inquire. Meet Sushi!

This Handsome Man Was Thrown From A Car Window And Luckily Someone Found Him, I Saw His Adoption Post And Was The First To Inquire. Meet Sushi!

vampiric-midget Report

Lori T Wisconsin
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mean people suck. Thank you for adopting this sweetheart.

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Next, exercise. "Dogs enjoy regular walks, and playing off the lead whenever it is safe for them to do so. The amount of exercise a dog will need depends on their age, size, breed, and health," the vet nurse pointed out, adding that all pets enjoy fun games and to keep themselves active, but for smaller pets, you can easily do this in your house.

#14

Meet Smeagol! We Found Her Outside In The Rain Clinging To Some Rocks

Meet Smeagol! We Found Her Outside In The Rain Clinging To Some Rocks

voredsims Report

#15

Rescued A Barn Kitty From The Cold Yesterday

Rescued A Barn Kitty From The Cold Yesterday

Shronkydonk Report

Jules
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well done. Give it lots of love, poor wee thing ❤️

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#16

Dad Wanted To Get Mom A Puppy; She Rescued This Senior Citizen Instead. Allow Me To Introduce Mr. Kiss Kiss

Dad Wanted To Get Mom A Puppy; She Rescued This Senior Citizen Instead. Allow Me To Introduce Mr. Kiss Kiss

FiliKlepto Report

#17

Just Adopted Sylvester. He Is Showing Off His One Fang And Shredded Ears. He Has Feline AIDS And Is The Gentlest Boy

Just Adopted Sylvester. He Is Showing Off His One Fang And Shredded Ears. He Has Feline AIDS And Is The Gentlest Boy

JordanPromise Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

FIV+, be very carefull with his mouth, they are very pron to gum infections. I Lost my Mateus to kidney faliure caused because of the FIV.

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Moving on, we have time. "Pets are generally sociable and dogs especially love your company. It's really important that they aren’t left alone for longer than four hours, as dogs can become lonely, anxious, and distressed," Spooner said.

"Each type of pet will have different requirements; walks, training, playtime, feeding, cleaning their home and equipment, grooming, and visits to the vet might take more time than you think."

#18

My Wife And I Adopted These Two Sisters Recently, Aka They Chose Us At The Animal Shelter. Love Black Kitties

My Wife And I Adopted These Two Sisters Recently, Aka They Chose Us At The Animal Shelter. Love Black Kitties

Affectionate-Art-303 Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Be afraid, be very afraid, just look at those eyes, plotting your accidental Demise, the only thing delaying the plan, is the fact that they cant Open the food cans lol ( they are frikking adorable and i Also want them )

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#19

An Update To My Update: Sir Remi Remington And His Mustache Won Me Over. I Couldn’t Part With Him After Fostering Him As A Bottle Feeder And Because He Fit In So Well With The Family. I Officially Adopted Him

An Update To My Update: Sir Remi Remington And His Mustache Won Me Over. I Couldn’t Part With Him After Fostering Him As A Bottle Feeder And Because He Fit In So Well With The Family. I Officially Adopted Him

WhatIsTheTeaToday Report

#20

Our Family Adopted A Cat Today. I Swear He’s Smiling

Our Family Adopted A Cat Today. I Swear He’s Smiling

minnimmolation Report

#21

I Knew Adopting A Kitten Would Be Kinda Cute, But I Had No Idea What I Was In For

 I Knew Adopting A Kitten Would Be Kinda Cute, But I Had No Idea What I Was In For

TurtlesAndBobcats Report

Headless Roach
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The kitty is so obviously comfy in this pic!

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Lastly, spend. And it's not just the initial cost of getting a new pet that you need. There are also ongoing and unplanned expenses that will drain your wallet.

"Food, equipment, toys, flea and worm treatments, pet insurance, replacing a chewed-up bed, or unexpected vet bills, it all adds up significantly over the lifetime of your pet, especially as they get older or if they develop health problems," Spooner said.

#23

Meet Nala! We Rescued This 14 Yo Beauty And She’s Absolutely Amazing

Meet Nala! We Rescued This 14 Yo Beauty And She’s Absolutely Amazing

Firehawksmom Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like when Nala was rescued, her coat was matted and had to be shaved down. She should be a beautiful floof once it grows back in.

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#24

I Rescued This Kitten Outside Of My High School! Named Her Rocket Because I Found Her During A Paper Rocket Test

I Rescued This Kitten Outside Of My High School! Named Her Rocket Because I Found Her During A Paper Rocket Test

SCGkitty Report

#25

Meet My Newly Adopted Cat Benson! He Was Neutered As An Adult Right Before I Adopted Him So He Has The Cutest Tom Cat Cheeks! His Eyes Are Also So Beautiful!!

Meet My Newly Adopted Cat Benson! He Was Neutered As An Adult Right Before I Adopted Him So He Has The Cutest Tom Cat Cheeks! His Eyes Are Also So Beautiful!!

hehehehehehhhe Report

#26

So Cute

So Cute

jehad_mamdoh Report

#27

Rescued This Cat From The Cold And It Looks Like He Has Claimed Me As His Owner

Rescued This Cat From The Cold And It Looks Like He Has Claimed Me As His Owner

Comfortable_Dark1626 Report

#28

Carson Spent Two Years At The Rescue - He Was Too Shy/Nervous For Everyone. Their Loss. They’ll Never Know What They Missed Out On

Carson Spent Two Years At The Rescue - He Was Too Shy/Nervous For Everyone. Their Loss. They’ll Never Know What They Missed Out On

samitarium Report

Janina Prado
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's the bestest smile on the bestest boi!!

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#29

My Fiancé And I Decided To Adopt A New Kitten. Everyone Meet Larry!

My Fiancé And I Decided To Adopt A New Kitten. Everyone Meet Larry!

sassyshelbbs Report

#30

Friend Just Adopted This Adorable Girl. Her Name Is Sadie

Friend Just Adopted This Adorable Girl. Her Name Is Sadie

pancakes4all Report

#31

Was Looking Around To Adopt A Bunny And Found This Derpy Looking Bunny

Was Looking Around To Adopt A Bunny And Found This Derpy Looking Bunny

Flying_Boat Report

#32

I Was Adopted Yesterday By This Pretty Lady!

I Was Adopted Yesterday By This Pretty Lady!

spider_fly Report

karl briggs
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Reminds me of that Aerosmith song "Lady looks like a dude" haha.

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#33

Just Adopted These Brothers, They Seem To Be Waiting For Me To Do Something

Just Adopted These Brothers, They Seem To Be Waiting For Me To Do Something

animabot Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Feed usssss, feeeeeeed usssss, ( use the voice of the aliens in " independence day " for added drama ) lol

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#34

Our Beautiful Rescue, Pashmi

Our Beautiful Rescue, Pashmi

sudhu28 Report

#35

Went To The Rescue - Met Somebody. Named Him Jackson. We Are Going To Have A Blast

Went To The Rescue - Met Somebody. Named Him Jackson. We Are Going To Have A Blast

keeperofthedingo Report

#36

Welcome To The Family. Adopted A Kitty

Welcome To The Family. Adopted A Kitty

Roselovescats Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

With a built-in parent or older sibling who loves them already!

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#37

Decided To Give The Cat My Fiancé And I Adopted Some Tuna For Thanksgiving. He Then Went Into What We Affectionately Call Goblin Mode. Safe To Say He Enjoyed It!

Decided To Give The Cat My Fiancé And I Adopted Some Tuna For Thanksgiving. He Then Went Into What We Affectionately Call Goblin Mode. Safe To Say He Enjoyed It!

Vaughn-De-Vile Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We always give our cats and dog pieces of turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas. They love it, and always go into their own little turkey comas with big smiles on their faces. My husband and I do the same.

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#38

Our New Baby Girl

Our New Baby Girl

budmanm3 Report

irishgoatgirl
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So adorable! My fingers hurt from upvoting all of these!

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#39

Nala Was A Little Lonely, So I Adopted A Brother For Her. Meet Aurum

Nala Was A Little Lonely, So I Adopted A Brother For Her. Meet Aurum

Meraneus Report

Ent Hugger
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and name him george! er i mean aurum!

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#40

Another Rescue, Crazy Lady Thought She Could Keep Kittens In A Tiny Cage Without Food Or Water. 5 Of Them Made It, This One's Name Is Marsha Marsha Marsha

Another Rescue, Crazy Lady Thought She Could Keep Kittens In A Tiny Cage Without Food Or Water. 5 Of Them Made It, This One's Name Is Marsha Marsha Marsha

Vern_Mcnue_Fishing Report

#41

Just Adopted This Kitten Yesterday. Meet Chloe!

Just Adopted This Kitten Yesterday. Meet Chloe!

lokidoki2727 Report

#42

Rescued A Dumpster Diving Kitten Last Night

Rescued A Dumpster Diving Kitten Last Night

Sobotkafan Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like they’re either purebred or have quite a bit of Siamese or Himalayan in them. They’re already beautiful, and once you get them healthy and happy, they will be breathtaking.

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#43

Rescued Her From Being Eaten! Now She Cuddles Me No Matter What I Do

Rescued Her From Being Eaten! Now She Cuddles Me No Matter What I Do

Intelligent_Mood_272 Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#45

Scared And Hissing Little Cat We Saved From The Pound. He Made So Much Progress In Just A Month

Scared And Hissing Little Cat We Saved From The Pound. He Made So Much Progress In Just A Month

Spinozaurr Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He just had to check you out first, and be sure you weren’t going to hurt him. He looks satisfied that you passed his test!

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#46

Adopted Name Alfalfa, We Call Him Alfie. Nearly 3 Years Old And He’s Just A Little Smol Boy That Shouts All Of The Time

Adopted Name Alfalfa, We Call Him Alfie. Nearly 3 Years Old And He’s Just A Little Smol Boy That Shouts All Of The Time

ghostinthesn0w Report

#47

Just Adopted A New Kitten. Decided To Name Him Koda After The Cub In Brother Bear. He Reminds Me Of A Mcflurry

Just Adopted A New Kitten. Decided To Name Him Koda After The Cub In Brother Bear. He Reminds Me Of A Mcflurry

JoeCamRoberon Report

#48

Just Adopted This Smol Goblin! His Name Is Merin

Just Adopted This Smol Goblin! His Name Is Merin

Lt-Cmdr-Data Report

#49

I Adopted A Kitten With Three Legs And Lol

I Adopted A Kitten With Three Legs And Lol

popebologna Report

#50

Adopted A Black Kitten, Named Him Ryuk

Adopted A Black Kitten, Named Him Ryuk

goth_eggz Report

Note: this post originally had 115 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.