Pet Owners Share Their Heartwarming Adoption & Rescue Stories

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“Whoever declared that love at first sight doesn’t exist has never witnessed the purity of a puppy or looked deep into a puppy’s eyes. If they did, their lives would change considerably.” —Elizabeth Parker.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” —Josh Billings.

Attention all animal lovers! This article is about to induce a smitten feeling that may be hard to shake. Some people, namely those without pets, think that pets stay with their owners out of Stockholm Syndrome, but for those of us who have ever lived with an animal, we know that the love is mutual. These stories will bring hope to your heart and a tear to your eye. Here are some of the most heartwarming adoption stories told by the humans who gave these loving animals their fur-ever homes!

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50. My Purr-ever Love!

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I was standing outside in my front yard when a blue car slowly drove past and someone inside tossed out a small cat. I was so worried about the cat I didn’t get the license plate number. Being scared, he ran away from me. But later that day, I was sitting on my porch and here he comes. He got right in my lap, purred, and fell asleep. I noticed he was very skinny and had a few scratches. When he finally woke up, he went over to my front door and started pawing at it. He wanted inside.

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I let him in but kept him in a separate room from my other cat until I could get him to the vet to make sure he didn’t have anything contagious. He knew how to use the litter-box and I fed him small bits of food at a time since he was so skinny. Vet said he’d been half starved and abused. I had him vaccinated, neutered, and chipped. He’s now a little hyperactive ball of fully grown cat who always tries to take his sister’s food.

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49. The Miracle Kitten

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UPS guy found a half dead kitten under my mailbox. I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to make it, and did not want another cat, but I figured I’d take her to the vet and drop her off at the shelter. The vet said not to bother, that she wouldn’t make it through the weekend because she had flea anemia (where the fleas suck all the blood out) and was too weak for a blood transfusion. The vet said take her home, make her comfortable, let her die in a warm place.

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So I took her home. My dog fell in love with her. Carried her around, licked her clean, kept her warm. She hated it, but she was too weak to even move her tail. She would reach her paw back to pull her tail around her to stay warm. Anyway, she survived the weekend, and fifteen years later is a fat dictator, affectionately named Dear Leader, who rules the house with an iron fist. My dog was really the one who rescued her, I was just along for the ride.

48. SomeBunny deserves Love!

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I adopted my bunny Buster. His little sign said that he was different from his other friends and he needed a special home. I was so sad looking at his lonely, unhappy little face that I adopted him immediately. He was covered in bruises and bite-marks where his ex-owner had allowed him to be attacked by other rabbits and he was petrified of all humans, so I can only assume that the owner was rough with him too. He was so terrified that he literally sat in his open cage for 6-8 months without taking a step outside to explore. If you tried to pet him, he’d cower and start shaking. It was heartbreaking.

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So eventually, Buster moved with me into the house I share with my fiancé and our dog Popcorn. After a lot of gentle feeding and very cautious petting, he’s finally OK with us. He binkies all over the garden now, explores the house, puts his head down to be petted and has developed a strange and adorable friendship with the dog, who loves him. I’m just glad that I’ve been able to give him some happiness and love in his life. Poor little guy deserves it.

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47. One Special Meow-ment

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I was in the backseat of a friend’s car riding back to their apartment when I happened to notice what looked like a tiny stuffed calico cat sitting in the median; right on that little grass point before a turning lane starts. In the handful of seconds, I was looking at it as we passed it moved its head and I yelled out something along the lines of “KITTEN! STOP THE CAR!”. The friend driving stopped at the end of the turning lane and I bolted out of the car, stumbled and kicked off my flip flops (running in those is hard okay?), and sprinted barefoot over to the kitten. Scooped it up and hobbled back, I’d apparently ran over broken glass and ended up with a chunk in one of my feet. Brought it back with us, gave it a bath, cleaned out my foot, and started concocting plans to convince my mom to let me keep it. It fell asleep that night nestled between my shoulder and neck on the pillow.

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14 years later, she is still sleeping on my head and deriving great joy from curling up on anything black I own.

46. Puppy Love!

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She was born with a shortened, useless front leg. Whoever had her as a puppy threw her into a garbage bin to get rid of her. Someone found her and took her to the local pound in Winnipeg. They scheduled her to be euthanized. One of the pound workers saw her, and saw was a sweet dog she was. The worker volunteers for a local rescue and saved her. The rescue had her seen by a vet who was also an orthopedic surgeon. They removed her useless leg, rehabbed her with some wonderful volunteers, and we found her at her first adoption fair at a local pet-supply store. She walked over to me, and when I bent down to pet her, she snuggled right in against me and put her head on my knee. I was done! She’s been an awesome dog ever since! Missing the leg doesn’t impact her in the slightest. She runs like the wind, though she doesn’t corner well.

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She’s an absolute mush, loves tummy rubs, but at the same time, keeps a close eye on everything going on, and is very protective of the whole family.

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45. It was Hard but Totally Worth it!

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When I got my dog, she had been living in a pen with 5 other dogs eating her own crap to stay alive because the other dogs would not let her get any food. She had ehrlichia, roundworms, hookworms, whip-worms, giardia, and coccidia. Thank goodness she was too young to have heartworms. We saw her on craigslist and the ad just said that they didn’t want her and were going to take her to the humane society because she wasn’t the type of dog they wanted. We called the number and it turned out to be my husband’s NCOIC. He had planned on breeding her, so he could make a fighting dog, but she just wasn’t good enough stock and was too wimpy for that. Why he told us this, I don’t know.

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After months of medical treatment and about a year of behavioral treatment (it took me three months to get her to walk on a leash, she was just too terrified to even move for a long time), we finally got her almost up to speed. She is an awesome dog. She still gets really afraid of certain things, and some of those things, we don’t know she is afraid of until she encounters them, but overall, she has been totally awesome.

44. She deserves everything!

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I adopted my beagle Daisy several years ago because she has epilepsy and was going to be put down. She’d been bred to be a hunting dog and epilepsy meant she was “worthless”. I couldn’t stand to let that happen. It was rough at first because we had to figure out what her triggers are, what her medications and schedule should be and what her diet should be. She’d have cluster seizures that scared the hell out of me. I’d sit in my bathroom with her between my legs so she could thrash without hurting herself and I’d just cry and quietly talk to her to soothe her because she’d be so disoriented.

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I’ve had her for almost a decade now and she’s going strong. As long as we stay on top of the things she needs, she’s pretty much unstoppable. Seizures do still occasionally happen but it’s been years since she had a really bad one and I plan on keeping it like that. She costs more than other dogs because she needs medication, certain foods and regular check ups and it’s totally OK because I love her!

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43. She gives me a Purr-fect Comfort

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Came in to the warehouse I was volunteering at at the time and my supervisor boss guy was like “Hey do you want a cat? Because we finally caught the one that was living in the book stacks.” Rang my fiance who knows how much I’ve always wanted a cat, he said no, I brought her home anyway because no one else could take her and none of us could bear to send her to a pound. It was Friday and I figured by Monday I’d be so sick of the reality of caring for an animal that I wouldn’t mind surrendering her at the local vet’s and taking responsibility for her vaccination and whatever costs to make her adoptable.

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That was 3 years ago and the little one is still in my house eating my food and puking on my carpet. And I love her more than I thought I would ever love anything other than my partner. She wakes me from PTSD nightmares and cheers me up when I’m sad. Sure, I scoop her poop every day but she has paid me back a million times over in love.

42. The Survivor Kitten

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Pregnant cat came walking in my house on a nice day I had my door open. Never left. Had her kittens, all but one were healthy. This little one was extremely tiny, wouldn’t eat, others were mean to it, and its eyes were crusted shut. Syringe fed her every 2 1/2 hours, kept her in a sling on my stomach, wiped her eyes every time they crusted shut.

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Four years later Claire is alive, well, and very loving. After having her kittens grow up, the mama cat pushed out a window screen and left. Claire stayed.

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41. Wag of Love!

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Went to the pound with my step dad and we were going up to every kennel to greet each dog and get a feel for their demeanor. We saw several people go to one where they tried to greet the dog, but she stayed laying down. We when walked up, she jumped over to the door and started wagging her tail. After spending a couple minutes with her, we walked to see if there were any other dogs we might like, and she started whining. We pet her for another minute or so and tried to walk away again and again, she started whining. We went straight to the office and payed for her.

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We found out she was 9 months old. Sweetest and most loyal dog ever. She cried when the cat was away getting fixed and scared away many sketchy people with her bark. I miss her very much.

40. For the Love of a Parrot

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Someone showed me a picture of their “nasty” parrot, kept complaining about how it would always scream and bite them. In the photo I noticed it’s beak was cracked and knew right away they had abused him. I didn’t think twice, I said if you don’t want him I’ll take him, next day the bird was in my house biting and screaming but safe. Spent 3 months working daily with the bird, at first wearing gloves, treats in another pocket.

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After the first month, I gained his trust enough so that I could file his beak down (it was overgrown and had to be evened out). I was able to get the crack sealed with some super glue and it eventually grew out and disappeared. At the end of the 3 month period, he bonded with my daughter, he would give her love bites but never drew blood. Now he’s happy, gets to fly around the house every day, picks who he wants to play with, gives kisses, and is a completely different bird.

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39. Abused Dog Now in Happy Home

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About 10 years ago, I adopted a little dog. She was 3 years old and was rescued from a very abusive home. Her previous owner had kicked her and broke her ribs and never had her seen by a vet, her teeth were rotting out of her mouth and had never been groomed. She was a mess. I fell in love immediately.

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She is the sweetest dog. Always happy to see anyone who comes over by dancing and wagging her little ass around. Mostly she sleeps and likes to snuggle, she doesn’t bark or destroy anything. I don’t understand how people can be so cruel. She’s the most loyal and sweetest companion ever.

38. The Dog with Cattitude

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I adopted a shelter dog and it has been fantastic for me and my family. We had a very specific list of what we wanted (8+, small dog, had to be good with kids) and after a few months we found Ray. He’s clearly been abused in the past, and has trust issues with new people.

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After a few months of gentle exposure, training and rewards he’s getting over that and is the most loving dog I’ve ever seen. We joke that he thinks he’s a cat since hell climb in the keyboard if we use our laptops, and likes to sit on my shoulder while I’m on the couch. I don’t think he’ll ever get completely over his first 8 years but his next 8 will be very happy.

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37. Frustrations and Tears Paid Off!

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I adopted my dog from a lady that made a post online saying she couldn’t care for him. I begged my stepdad to drive with me the two hours to meet her. Turns out she was living in a car with three small children and the puppy was kept in a small carrier almost 24/7. He barked the entire time and growled when we held him but I knew I had to take him anyway. He was scary skinny, had fleas, was being fed super expired dog food, and had zero training. He was never socialized at all and would bark at everything all the time.

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We ended up in puppy school for 6 months. It took a lot of embarrassment and frustration and tears, but I now have the sweetest big guy that loves to snuggle and is so friendly with other animals. He also loves cats. I cannot imagine not having him.

36. Dogs leave Pawprints on our Hearts

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My friend who runs a pet rescue organization called me to ask if I would consider taking in an abused dog so she wouldn’t be put in a shelter. After hearing her story, I adopted her site unseen. This dog was abandoned at age 3 with a 13 week old human baby. The parents shoved the dog and baby in a futon and took off. They were rescued when neighbors complained about the baby crying for hours on end. The dog and baby were rescued and both survived. Turns out this dog went from being beaten, neglected, abandoned, to a shelter, to my home all in a week.

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She’s one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. Aside from being scared of loud noises and thunder, she seems to have completely forgotten her ‘past life’. She’s learned to love again and just loves all people and animals. It’s amazing how quickly animals can forgive and forget.

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35. The Motor Purring Cat

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I went to the pound, but it was so sad that I ended up leaving without getting a cat. I went by the local ASPCA the next day to check out their “Cat Room.” They had a really friendly cat who just crawled up onto my lap and demanded to be petted. I told the worker that “This is the one!” and she said that he had just been adopted the day before and was on his 24 hour hold period. I was so bummed and told her that I didn’t really meet another cat that I bonded with, so I would come back another day. She was like “wait! I think I know one you might like.” She took me in the back of the shelter, into what she called the “Welcome room” (basically a small room with cat trees, a fridge, and a sink). There was a little kitten there and a really big, fuzzy cat too. I sat down and the big guy came up to me, sat down just out of arms reach, and started purring (like a motor!). The worker told me that he wasn’t good at standing up for himself, and was bullied in the main cat room, so he lived in a separate room as the “Welcome cat” to the new cats coming in. I picked him up and he started to head-butt me. It was love.

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It’s been five years and he still purrs like a motor every morning next to my ear in anticipation for breakfast. I love that big guy.

34. Definitely the Man’s Best Friend

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I had taken a job that had me driving to different towns to our clients. One town (a reserve) had lots of stray dogs. I had just gotten enough stability to start thinking about getting a dog. This one just came right up to me, friendly as could be. Starving, skin and bones, frost on his ears, but friendly. I got him some food, but all he wanted was a friend. I came back each day with food and love for him, and about a week later, took him home. That was 7 years ago, he’s been my best friend ever since.

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Same town, I later met 2 other dogs who desperately needed help. These ones were very scared and it took a lot of patience to convince them I’m not like everyone else and won’t hurt them. One of them I worked with for almost 6 months before he’d let me touch him. I took them home too (about a year apart). All are very friendly, well-mannered dogs. Great with children, babies, you name it. I take them everywhere and spoil them rotten.

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33. Heart-Melting Gesture

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Previously my husband and I had a 180lb bullmastiff lady (and she was a lady!) that had been euthanized. We told ourselves that we were going to wait before getting another dog, but a month later we were at animal control looking at dogs. There was a litter of four 4-month old pit bull puppies. I played with them through the glass, then asked to go see them. They all had the same markings, but different colors: brindle, chocolate, fawn and blonde.

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I got on the floor with them, the chocolate one crawled into my lap, licked my hand, and fell asleep. I looked up at my husband, and I didn’t have to say a word. He just smiled and said, “I’ll go start the paperwork.” That was 8 years ago, and she’s still my baby girl.

32. They Hated the Most Lovable & Sweetest Dog

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Fourteen years ago, my husband was fresh out of the military, feeling out of sorts and trying to figure out what he would do with the rest of his life. He quickly found a job, and started going to the pound every day after work for a bit of comfort. There was an underweight dog there. She didn’t bark or come to the front of the cage like the other dogs. She stayed in the back, quietly watching. My husband put his name on the list, because he thought she was as broken and confused as he was, so they’d make a good pair. He was number 15 on the list, but he still went to the pound and sat outside her kennel, every day, for days. He was shocked when he found out he could take her home. How could 14 people reject her? It turned out, the complaints were that she was “too shy” and would not walk on a leash. She’d run away from a reserve, and apparently was semi-feral.

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She learned her basic commands within 2 weeks, and she did learn the leash. She has been unfailingly kind and gentle with children and has worked as my assistant, providing therapy for children with autism. She is friendly with all other animals, including cats and ducks. She has never walked past a rose bush without stopping for a nice, long sniff. She barks about once every other year. She couldn’t care less who walks into the house. She’s never chewed or damaged any property. She’s been, in short, the perfect dog for us. She’s done more for us than we could ever do for her, and we’re making sure her retirement years are as wonderful as we can possibly make them.

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31. The Bashful Henderson Story

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My mom goes around taking pictures of graves for an online registry thing, or something like that. I went with her one day and were walking down a row and I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle. When I fell I hit a rather large headstone from the 1920’s and it fell over. My mom and I tried real hard to stand it back up but it was way to heavy. While I was bent over this headstone, I saw a cat on the side of the road that had been hit but it moved. I limped as fast as I could to her side but it was to late, she’d been gone a while. What had moved was the tiny three-ish week old kitten we assume she’d been trying to transport across the street. He was hiding his face in his mom’s chest crying.

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I took that little ball of fluff home and named him Bashful (Because he hides his face and bashes his head into yours in the name of love.) Henderson (The last name of the guy who’s headstone I messed up. Figured it was the least I could do, he helped me find the tiny blob of mews.)

30. Imperfectly Purrfect

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We went to shelter and out of 5, there was only one left. I immediately decided he was the one after we picked him up and he clung to us. Unfortunately, he wasn’t medically cleared to leave because his back legs were wobbly. I cried the whole way home until we could pick him up 4 days later. So I brought him home and noticed his head was also wobbly. We were upset with the shelter because they didn’t tell us he had a neuro problem, we just thought his legs were wobbly because he was rescued from a place where all the animals were kept in cages all day. Turns out his cerebellum is impaired but it’s made him the best cat for us! He can’t jump very high so we can keep valuables away from him with no problem, he walks fine but falls over when he tries to itch himself, and he has the cutest little head twitch that the vet says is no problem, it just happens when he’s concentrating or stressed. He also can’t meow which I was sad about at first but realized he can’t wake us up at random times meowing. And he makes up for it by purring. He does wake us up still but only by purring super loud and walking on our faces, which is adorable.

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He really turned out to be the perfect cat in every way and we love him so much! I don’t even know if I would want a totally normal cat now because with his weak little legs we can trap him and make him cuddle because he’s not a cuddler. Seriously, best cat ever. Everyone who meets him says they’ve never met a funnier cat.

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29. Love at First Sight

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I was feeling depressed and going through a rough patch in my life. I wanted to go volunteer at the shelter near my house to maybe take my mind off my troubles and do some good. Well, they had enough volunteers and turned me away so instead I brought some food and blankets down to donate. I decided on a whim to go look through the kennels and see who was back there. I came along the cutest damn Beagle in the world.

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He was so excited to see me and when I got in the pen to play with him he was all over me. Sniffing my face and clothes, practically climbing into my arms! It was love at first sight. I signed the paperwork and took him home. He’s been my best friend ever since. Monday the 16th was actually the third anniversary of the day that I adopted him. Still one of the best days of my life.

28. Always have each other backs

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Adopted my dog at one year old. She was abused and left tied up behind a house. Severe separation anxiety but she is so loyal and so sweet. I’ve had her for 12 years. She has crushed door knobs and gone through doors trying to get out – had to get an indestructible crate for her. Now she gets to hang out in a 10×10 pen during the day and has 8 acres to run around in when I’m home. There were days I regretted adopting her. Her vet said 99% of people would relinquish ownership.

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She destroyed so much – but in times when I was really down, she was a really good reason to keep on going. The indestructible crate and realizing she had female spay incontinence really made our relationship better. We’ve always loved each other but she needed help. She’s my bestie and she is my shadow – she’s lying next to me on the couch right now, snoring. Gosh I love her.

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27. A Dog who loves a Cat Unconditionally

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I found Riley, my dumpster dog at a gas station. She was running around with another stray, darting in and out of traffic. We were able to catch her, but not her buddy. Riley was really emaciated. She was even pregnant, but you couldn’t tell at all. We found out when we took her in to get spayed. All the puppies were dead.

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Shortly after, and not so coincidentally, she adopted a stray kitten in our yard. She followed it around and tried to mother it, so we had a cat for several years before I had to give it up to my sister. Riley has actually been in really good health. She had very bad skin allergies we battled for a few years until we finally got her on the right food. She’s very well behaved. She is mellow, but loves to go hiking. She gets along well with other dogs, but she is always the most submissive, which isn’t a bad thing. I actually think that’s what makes her such a well behaved pup.

26. The Lovely Tripod

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One of my dogs is missing a leg. Something happened with his previous owners and he broke his front left leg. Instead of taking him to the vet, he stopped using it and it reset, broken. So when they finally decided they were bad dog parents and brought him to the pound, the most humane course of action was simply to remove it.

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When we met him in the pound he had just had his IV taken out from the surgery and was just this moppy, furry mess with shiny eyes. We adopted him on the spot. Dogs with missing limbs are actually pretty chill. They are independent, speedy and don’t need any extra care really. Tripods will develop joint problems later in life, much sooner than regular dogs, so it’s important that they stay at a healthy, low weight and get some glucosamine in their diets, and they can be a little clumsy (which is heartbreaking!) but they’re just regular dogs otherwise. So if you ever have the option to adopt a tripod, don’t think twice!!

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25. Two One-Eyed Adorable Kittens

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While living in Germany, my husband and I wanted to get a cat. We went to a local shelter and there was a lovely, scared tabby who had only one eye (it had been lost to disease). We named her Wink.

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A week later, the shelter called us and asked if we’d be willing to take another kitty who also had one eye (this one lost to an accident). Since she was black, we named her Blink. God, I love those girls.

24. Abused Cat Finally Learns to Love & Trust Again

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I had a cat with the same personality. A neighbor’s girlfriend dumped him and left her cat behind; one day I went outside and saw him kicking her cat while wearing his steel-capped work boots. I’m a small female and was not popular in the neighborhood so I didn’t confront him, but I did put wet food out.

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Within a week, she was skulking around under the house. I nabbed her, she tore me bloody for hours, but after she adjusted to being inside I was her favorite forever and ever. Everyone else she tried to eat, it was excellent.

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23. Actions Speaks Louder Than Words

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My mother adopted a dog who was blind in one eye, deaf as a post, and has a huge underbite because his jaw was severely broken when he was hit by a car (technically two – he got hit by one going one way, went across the road and got hit by another going the other way) and hadn’t set properly. He was also obsessed with water, ate pebbles because he’d been starving for so long, and weighed around 7kg when a dog his size was supposed to weigh 12.

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He bonded with her dog she already had who now acts as a sort of hearing dog. He follows him everywhere to make sure he’s not missing out. Since she got him last year, he put on about 6kg in three months, and loves nothing more than climbing onto people to get cuddles. He knows exactly one hand signal, which is an open palm to stop him nibbling when he gets over excited.

22. A Three-Legged Dog make us Happier

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My family are a halfway house for rescued Greyhounds & Salukis. When Tim turned up he’d just had his front Left leg removed due to being abused and abandoned, anyway he was a nervous wreck (obviously), the poor boy had no idea how to socialize with humans whatsoever. Always cowering, running out of rooms when you enter etc etc.

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He’s improved a lot still cowers when you stand over him and never runs over to say hi, but now he has his ‘method’ for asking for attention, he stands across your path and does these little hops with his back legs so that the side of his butt hits your leg. It’s the weirdest thing but you can’t help but love it.

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21. The Dog that Restored Our Friendship

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I had gotten into a huge fight with my best friend for some silly reason, we drifter apart. After maybe half a year of not talking we arranged a meeting to talk everything out. We met on a lawn next to a fancy hotel in the city center. As we were chatting and having a great time, a skinny young mutt came to us. She looked starved and sad. My friend offered her some cheap cookies and the dog never left our sight. Once we left the hotel lawn the dog followed us to a park, then took a huge dump in the middle of the street and she followed us to a hippy restaurant. The waitress got her some water and asked if the dog was ours. My friend said “I guess she is”, and then called her granny to come pick us up with the dog with her car. I named the dog Kafka and she lived with my friend for a half a year. Then my friend gave her to me, since I was dogless and she already had a bunch of pets. And that’s it.

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Ever since then Kafka is my best friend. The magic dog that kinda restored our friendship. Oh, and now she’s happy and a little chubby.

20. Flawed but Happy

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We adopted our cat, Puppy, who was a runt that was basically just thrown out with the trash. She was rescued and brought to a no-kill shelter, but she needed a lot of surgeries due to very major bladder infections, so anyone who adopted her would have to foot the bill for it. We decided to do it, despite not being particularly well-off financially at the time/right now, because she was the cat for us, period. It was expensive and took several surgeries, and she still has bladder issues so she ends up being a little incontinent, but she’s the sweetest cat I would have never been able to conceive of, and I can’t imagine our life without her.

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Other than her bladder, she’s perfectly happy and despite being 5 years old still plays like a kitten.

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19. My First True Love

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My dog is a Craigslist find. Totally malnourished, and he had such bad fleas that he had wounds and hairless patches all over from scratching. He was so underweight that the vet wouldn’t give him his vaccines yet. It took 3 months for me to get him to the minimum weight. He was surprisingly docile, which leads me to believe he wasn’t technically “abused,” just that his previous owner was unable to afford him. She was a pregnant teen that lived on her own in the low income part of town and already had a baby, 2 dogs, and like 4 cats.

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This was my first dog ever, and I really couldn’t have asked for a smarter, sweeter dog.

18. Bad Past with Happy Ending

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We used to have a neighbor that adopted a cat, but refused to let him inside for any amount of time. My SO and I would pet him and hang out with him any time he came around to our place. One day, he came by and had a friend with him… this fluffy, starving, skittish little girl cat. She was gorgeous and I instantly fell in love. We worked with her to get her to trust us so that she’d eat from us, and eventually she wanted tons of snuggles. That’s when we discovered that she’s also pregnant. We took her to a vet and the vet agreed that she was too malnourished and too young to safely give birth. She got spayed and they terminated her pregnancy at the same time, which still makes me sad but it was the best decision to make for her.

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She’s now three years old and a perfect, chubby little princess.

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17. A Dog Lover Will Always be a Dog Lover

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I have been adopted twice. Our first was a rescue from a little that had been dumped at the shelter when they were 8 weeks old. She was very much the runt of the litter and half the size of her siblings. I held her and she nuzzled in. We wanted to think about it first so walked around a bit. The dog started crying and crying and did not stop until she saw me again.

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Yeah, so we brought her home and had 14 amazing (and interesting years with her). I was heartbroken when she passed away and vowed: no dogs for at least a year, smaller, non shedding and trained. 2.5 months later I found myself at a different rescue watching this adorable and perfectly trained Heeler romp and play and lick my kids. When she finally tired out, she crawled into my lap and fell asleep. They tried to move her but she refused and enjoyed a nap. All my husband wanted was a dog and to be the favorite for once. If I only got one thing on my list (and sort of on the non shedding-she blowout twice a year) he got only one thing on his.. he has a dog. I remain the clear favorite.

16. His Big Sister is a Cat

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Years ago, I was staying at my mom’s house and noticed a stray kitten that was wandering into the backyard every now and then. It looked terrified and malnourished so I spent a week trying to coax it out with no success. Until finally, she came close to inspect my mom’s other adult cat. I stood motionless outside as they sniffed each other and when they were close enough I snatched up the kitten. It panicked and bit me of course but I was able to get her inside, clean her up, feed her, etc.

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Got her to a vet a couple weeks later and checked her up. 6 years later and she’s still with me, and is happy playing with my son. She’s my son’s big sister.

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15. For Meow and Forever

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Way back in the eighties when I was but a young lad still on the farm, I was walking around outside and I heard this faint meowing sound. Following the meowing, I found a wee fluffy kitten that a neighbor had abandoned on the side of the road.

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So I did what had to be done and brought her home. She loved licking our faces and purring loudly when we slept. She’s now 14 years old.

14. Giving a Loving Puppy A Forever Home

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Adopted a 12 year old terrier mix. I love this sweet boy. Sweetest soul. We adopted him 3 months ago. He has a seizure disorder, for which he takes medicines, and an old bladder (lots of extra outside potty breaks). NEVER overlook a dog because he needs a little extra care. This little guy is amazing and fun. He was so scared in the shelter cage but we gave him a chance, thank God, and he came around with us and our other dog.

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Three months now and we are family. I can’t imagine life without him.

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13. Worth More than Anything

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We adopted two shelter dogs, one over ten years ago, the other almost eight years ago. Both have been great with no major problems with temperament or genetic type health issues. Both were easy to train and friendly. Spent over a thousand on each after dealing with health problems they had acquired before we adopted them. One had severe skin mites plus allergies that took months, lots of money, three different vets, and ongoing treatments, but eventually healed up. Other one was adopted with kennel cough which progressed to serious pneumonia rapidly and was life threatening. Spent a lot to treat her and she had a very difficult time but she pulled through nicely and was the nicest easiest dog you could want.

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I’ll probably adopt another shelter dog eventually.

12. I saved her life but she gave us more

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My mom is a rural postal carrier and she was delivering mail to this house and noticed this one puppy kept getting skinnier and skinnier. The rest of the dogs were fine, it was like the owners didn’t care she wasn’t getting enough food. So finally she goes back after her day is done, knocks on the door and asks about the puppy. The owners tried denying everything and said the dog wasn’t theirs and wasn’t their responsibility because they didn’t want to get in trouble. She said okay, I’m taking her and brought her home. Tilly looked like she belonged in one of those animal abuse ads, all of her bones were poking out and she was extremely emaciated.

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She’s a happy dog now, but if my mom hadn’t taken her, she probably would have been dead within a week. I’m so happy that she’s part of our family, she brought so much love and happiness.

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11. Just in Time

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I saved this little guy a month ago. He was wandering near a very busy road in the daytime. (Hedgehogs only come out in the day if something is wrong) I notice him whilst I was driving, and quickly parked up. He was really out of it, and wasn’t even scared of me. I went to the closest house, and and asked for a box to put him in. I then went and took him to my local vet. Vets in the UK will take in poorly hedgehogs for free treatment, as they’re a protective species.

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He was found to have a bad in infection on his back leg. Which most certainly would have killed him if he hadn’t of been brought in for treatment. He stayed in the Vets for a couple of weeks, and now he’s a healthy hedgehog!

10. A Day Turned to Forever

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My husband and I were feeling the emptiness in our hearts that only a dog can fill. So we decided to start fostering with our local shelter. I told them that we could only take a dog for a night, but would love to give a dog a cage break, even for a short while. The first dog she showed us was a quiet, five month old puppy who was finishing up her treatment for her skin disease. We got her in the car and my husband just looked at me and said, “Can we keep her for a couple more nights? There was just something special about her.”

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A couple of nights turned into a week, and a week into 15 days when she was due back for her final dose of medication. When we got there, I asked the staff if it would be OK for us to adopt her since we fell in love with this lovely pup, she said absolutely! Since then, she has been a constant companion, our hiking buddy and our cuddle buddy, a lover of children and other dog friends, a source of laughter and entertainment.

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9. The Lick of Love

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One pit dog was taken to an animal hospital after being used as a bait dog for pit fighting. He needed a lot of surgery, and was deemed to be unadoptable because he was overly aggressive.

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But we thought differently. The big boy licked my face, and I suddenly fell in love. I said that there are no bad pit dogs, and this big one is the proof.

8. A Total PawryTail

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This dog was dumped at a veterinary clinic. His owner took him in due to supposed “aggression issues,” and decided to leave him there when he tested positive for heartworm. When I saw him, I fell in love. Then I found out that he was going to be put to sleep, having been so long at the clinic, and I didn’t want that to happen. So I kept him, named him Prince (I want to give him a Royal life), and do everything to treat all his health issues.

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Today, Prince is now healthy and very happy in his new home with me. He warms my heart and makes my day everyday!

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7. Every Dog Deserves Happiness

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She was on the table to be euthanized as she was delivering the last of her babies. APA contacted me asking me if I could foster her because they had to have foster homes set up before they took the rescues in. I said I would gladly take her in and brought Mama Dog and her brand new babies home. She weighed in at 5 pounds after delivering these babies and did not have any energy or milk to take care of them. My daughter and I fed the babies every hour. When the Mama Dog needed to go out to potty, I would have to carry her and when I would set her down she would shake herself and most times fall over from weakness. I would take her out on the porch and just her and I would sit and talk and she never left my side.

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I had never seen a dog so depressed as she was. She slowly gained weight and ten days after coming into my home surprisingly started producing milk for her babies. Every day she started gaining her confidence and happiness back and before I knew it she was flying around with my other dogs and playing and happy. Her and I had formed a fast friendship. She is now happy , healthy and beautiful. I am glad she came into my life and I am glad that I could help her regain her happiness.

6. A Dog that Changed My Life and Made Me Better

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I didn’t expect to get a new dog last year. Being the dog lover I am, I made my boyfriend go in with me. The minute we walked in the adoption center, I knew we weren’t leaving empty handed. The cage looked empty at first, until we got close and a very under weight terrified dog used all his might to crawl up and jump on the front gate. He was a 35 pound 4 year old chocolate lab mix.

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He’s the sweetest boy I’ve ever met. I gathered up what I had left of my graduation money and got ready to bring him home, no second thoughts. We connected right away. These dogs know you’re saving them and for that they dedicate the rest of their lives to please you. He’s taught me more than any other experiences in my entire life, from patience to forgiveness. He has some things that remind me that he does have a sad past but everyday I try my best to help him be as happy as he possibly can be! After bringing him into my own family I will adopt every dog in the future. He’s my bestfriend.

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5. Giving you the Best

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When this scared dog was found, he was in extremely frail condition, injured and starved and had been left abandoned with a rope tied around his neck. He was taken immediately to a rescue, and gained back the weight he lost. Now healthy, he went up for adoption. A friend called me to ask if I would consider taking in an abused dog, tells me the dog’s story, and decided to keep him without second thoughts.

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The moment we met, we bonded instantly, and my heart is so happy seeing this sweet guy. He changed my understanding of love and I began feeling how I would imagine a parent feels. I felt a responsibility to give him the best life a dog could possible have, and I can proudly say that keeping him was the best decision I ever made!

4. She Saved Me

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This little guy had arrived as a 3 month old street puppy at the humane society. After she had been adopted for a year, in the middle of the night, a friend had taken her from her owner’s house and dropped her at the pound because they couldn’t care for her anymore. She was adopted soon after that, only to return a month later when these owners were somewhat irresponsible claiming that she is not potty trained and doesn’t like cats.

We were lucky enough to come upon her on a Super Bowl Sunday when we were actually looking at another dog. Her sweet face, intense interest and kind demeanor had us and we took her some that day. Having her has done more than just made us happy. She has helped me with my sadness, anger and impatience and taught me how to love and laugh after I had a rough childhood. I am convinced I didn’t save her. She saved me.

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3. My Therapy Dog

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My love for dogs started during childhood. So when I entered adult life I wanted to start my little family by getting a dog. When we finally got our own place and I kept bugging my husband to go get a dog but it never happened. I remembered that PetSmart always had adoptions on Saturday’s so I started calling all sorts of PetSmart’s all over the valley. I told my husband that we were going to rush and get there as fast as we could, I was determined! When we got there the pet adoptions were still running. I asked the person in charge of adoptions to take out a few dogs and there was this cute little one who suddenly captured my heart. As she took her out of the kennel, this cutie calmly walked over to me and let me pet her face. She was so calm and I knew she was just what I needed. I took a risk and decided to take her home not knowing much about her history. When we drove home she quietly sat in the back. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised at how calm she was.

I have got to say that she is the best choice I’ve made in my adult life. I have severe anxiety and she knows when I’m anxious or upset. She will come up to me and cuddle to make sure I’m okay. With more training I would love for her to be my therapy dog. I go to my high stress work environment everyday just to make sure that she will always have a home with me. She is worth that and much more!

2. He Actually Love us Back

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My dad and I were driving home one day when he asked if I wanted to look at the dog pound just to go see all the pups and whatnot. We saw a beautiful little red doberman puppy and he just won our hearts. We were already ready to sign his papers making us the new owners but my dad saw a small pup about 20 pounds laying down in her kennel and not crying or barking like the other dogs. My dad took one look at her and she took one look at him. He was deadset on this one instead and the lady trying to sell these dogs in the like of kennels said you can have her for twenty dollars I just don’t want such a hound puppy to be put down for no reason tears building in her eyes. So for twenty dollars we had this little six month old two time foster return abused six month old puppy.

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The first month or two was rough! She hated me, hated my dad, hated other dogs and just about everyone else. So two and a half years later she is the best guard dog. And loving with my parents and I. If you’re on the fence about adopting please do! Let me tell you! There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you saved a life and its a little bit of work but trust me the way they love you and would give their life for you makes you extremely happy and proud of yourself for adopting from a shelter.

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1. Her time to be the Puppy and Loved

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A nice old man found a tiny little dog on a very dangerous highway even for drivers. This man took her home and ran ads in the paper and posted signs everywhere. About a month later, I got the little girl from a friend of mine. When I brought her home this poor little thing was so full of worms, her nails were so long they were curled in her paws and she walked in circles real bad. I thought she was either really sick or very old. I had never been around a kennel dog before. The first time I took her outside she was so afraid of the grass because she had never walked on it before. It made me cringe imagining her on the very busy highway afraid to get on the grass and braving the fast cars. I named her Chloe and took her to the vet. I figured even if she was sick or old and only had a year left of life, I was going to make it a very happy year for her. Most her teeth were gone and other than walking in circles, she seemed to love the attention. The vet said she was like 7 or maybe 8 years old and had been used only for breeding.

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I felt she had given birth to enough puppies in her life, it was now time for her to be a puppy. This little girl loved me so very much and was so easy to train to do anything. Her main goal all she wanted to do was to please me any way she could which she did every day. I had Chloe for a little over 3 years. One day, I walked outside and she lay there dead. She never ever went outside with out me nor did she ever ever leave my side. I guess she just knew that day that she was sick. I still love her very much and I’m glad she did get to enjoy the last few years of her life.

Marijean Grace

Marijean Grace

Spreading some good positive vibes!

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