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.”
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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.
#1 Fishtopher The Cat Finds Forever Home After His Adoption Listing Went Viral
Image credits: kimjexziel
#2 Adopted The Cutest Stray I’ve Ever Met My BF Named Her Edith (Aka Edee)
Image credits: mackenzie1701
#3 Meet Leo And Luna! Even Though I Saved Them From A Sad Home They Have Ended Up Rescuing Me From Some Sad Days! #catsrule
Image credits: OrganicGinger69
#4 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
Image credits: ghostinthesn0w
#5 My Fiancé And I Decided To Adopt A New Kitten. Everyone Meet Larry!
Image credits: sassyshelbbs
#6 So Cute
Image credits: jehad_mamdoh
#7 I Knew Adopting A Kitten Would Be Kinda Cute, But I Had No Idea What I Was In For
Image credits: TurtlesAndBobcats
#8 I Adopted A Kitten With Three Legs And Lol
Image credits: popebologna
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#9 Recently Adopted This Lil’ Baby, She’s At 5 Weeks Old Now. My Small Hand For Scale
Image credits: Inuyashiki_
#10 Just Adopted This Smol Goblin! His Name Is Merin
Image credits: Lt-Cmdr-Data
#11 Meet Smeagol! We Found Her Outside In The Rain Clinging To Some Rocks
Image credits: voredsims
#12 Just Adopted This Absolute Cutie Cuddlebug! Everyone Meet Mika!
Image credits: CakeDaySenderella
#13 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
Image credits: Aaron123111
#14 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!
Image credits: Vaughn-De-Vile
#15 Just Adopted This Kitten Yesterday. Meet Chloe!
Image credits: lokidoki2727
#16 Meet Jade, My Newly Adopted 9 Year Old Fluff Ball
Image credits: Gordondel
#17 I Adopted Nova 2 Weeks Ago And She’s Definitely Made Herself At Home
Image credits: ILikeAdoDaChaCha
#18 Just Adopted Sylvester. He Is Showing Off His One Fang And Shredded Ears. He Has Feline AIDS And Is The Gentlest Boy
Image credits: JordanPromise
#19 Brought Home This Little Girl Today
Image credits: zombiefatcher
#20 Just Adopted This Cat Who Sits Up Like A Groundhog
Image credits: bcEOS70D
#21 Our Beautiful Rescue, Pashmi
Image credits: sudhu28
#22 Meet Nala! We Rescued This 14 Yo Beauty And She’s Absolutely Amazing
Image credits: Firehawksmom
#23 I Rescued This Kitten Outside Of My High School! Named Her Rocket Because I Found Her During A Paper Rocket Test
Image credits: SCGkitty
#24 Rescued A Barn Kitty From The Cold Yesterday
Image credits: Shronkydonk
#25 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
Image credits: ProfessionalDavidson
#26 My Wife And I Adopted These Two Sisters Recently, Aka They Chose Us At The Animal Shelter. Love Black Kitties
Image credits: Affectionate-Art-303
#27 I Went To Adopt 1 Dog
Image credits: slugger92
#28 Nala Was A Little Lonely, So I Adopted A Brother For Her. Meet Aurum
Image credits: Meraneus
#29 Dad Wanted To Get Mom A Puppy; She Rescued This Senior Citizen Instead. Allow Me To Introduce Mr. Kiss Kiss
Image credits: FiliKlepto
#30 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
Image credits: Vern_Mcnue_Fishing
#31 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!
Image credits: vampiric-midget
#32 Just Adopted A New Kitten. Decided To Name Him Koda After The Cub In Brother Bear. He Reminds Me Of A Mcflurry
Image credits: JoeCamRoberon
#33 Friend Just Adopted This Adorable Girl. Her Name Is Sadie
Image credits: pancakes4all
#34 We Named Him Doug! ?
Image credits: SuspiciousRacc00n
#35 From Stoic To Smiley
Image credits: Physical_Ad3997
#36 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
Image credits: WhatIsTheTeaToday
#37 Our Family Adopted A Cat Today. I Swear He’s Smiling
Image credits: minnimmolation
#38 We Adopted Frankie Today!
Image credits: blp_fz1
#39 Just Adopted These Brothers, They Seem To Be Waiting For Me To Do Something
Image credits: animabot
#40 Welcome To The Family. Adopted A Kitty
Image credits: Roselovescats
#41 I Recently Finished Chemo Treatment And Decided To Adopt A Husky! Say Hi To Loki!
Image credits: Idontlikeworms
#42 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
Image credits: impirepro06
#43 Our New Baby Girl
Image credits: budmanm3
#44 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
Image credits: samitarium
#45 From The Shelter To Leaving The Best Life!
Image credits: ChopperTheRescue
#46 Adopted My First Dog Ever Now I Work From Home. I Think This Means She’s Comfortable With Me
Image credits: burningisntfun
#47 Rescued The Goodest Of Good Boys Today. Meet Po!
Image credits: chenMD
#48 Rescued 3 Felons From The Side Of The Road This Past Weekend
Image credits: sprkt2120
#49 We Adopted A New Cat And She Has A Lil Heart On Her Foot
Image credits: turtletails
#50 Was Looking Around To Adopt A Bunny And Found This Derpy Looking Bunny
Image credits: Flying_Boat
#51 Local Rescue Group Just Adopted Out The Most Polite Looking Kitty!
Image credits: mrs-monroe
#52 My Sister Rescued A 5 Week Old Puppy. Meet Moxxi
Image credits: vaultdweller4ever
#53 Meet Herbbie. She’s 12 Weeks Old And We Adopted Her Today From A Rescue. She Was Found With Her Mum And Brother When She Was 1 Day Old. She Nearly Lost Her Life And Is Half The Size Of Her Brother. She Joins Us And Our 3 Black Cats
Image credits: MassiveDexterFanGirl
#54 Marble Cupcake Aka Murder Mittens Aka Thanksgiving Rescue … Is A Girl!
Image credits: risingsunandsoul
#55 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!!
Image credits: hehehehehehhhe
#56 Rescued A Dumpster Diving Kitten Last Night
Image credits: Sobotkafan
#57 Rescued This Cat From The Cold And It Looks Like He Has Claimed Me As His Owner
Image credits: Comfortable_Dark1626
#58 My Mom’s New Rescue Kitten, Jasper
Image credits: ChimpTang
#59 Living Her Best Post Shelter Life In Our Guest Room Which She Has Claimed As Her Room
Image credits: rustedchrome05
Image credits: hellovalpo
#61 Meet Traffic Cone (Taffy), Our Semi-Feral Baby Adopted From A Hoarding Case
Image credits: maltese_sheep
#62 Scared And Hissing Little Cat We Saved From The Pound. He Made So Much Progress In Just A Month
Image credits: Spinozaurr
Image credits: ErinWalkerLancaster
#64 Rescued This Little Girl From A Shelter. Cattle Dog X Maltese Named Mipha!
Image credits: NinetalesLoL
#65 Rescued Her From Being Eaten! Now She Cuddles Me No Matter What I Do
Image credits: Intelligent_Mood_272
#66 We Found The Best Stray
Image credits: kingtooth
#67 My Little Corgi Mix Rescue. All We Know Is Mom Was A Corgi, No Idea On Dad. Her Name Is Mavis
Image credits: Tj-Tengu
#68 Just Adopted This Void Yesterday. So Far His Favourite Place Is On Top Of My Printer
Image credits: legallydead2006
#69 Thelma And Louise Are The Last (Not So Small Anymore!) Foster Criminals. Bonnie And Clyde Got Adopted Today. Bittersweet
Image credits: cultureShocked5
#70 Adopted This Sheltie Mix After A Life On The Run In Ky
Image credits: HeritageSpanish
#71 Adopted A Black Kitten, Named Him Ryuk
Image credits: goth_eggz
#72 I Adopted A Kitten Two Days Ago, He’s Three And A Half Month Already But He Looks So Tiny Ttwtt
Image credits: Tokki_Shy_Tokki
#73 My New Polish Senior Bela – He Was In The Shelter For Years
Image credits: chailottie
#74 Adopted This Little Adorable A**hole Today
Image credits: kdm1998
#75 Adopted This Sweet Kitty. Her Life Before Was Very Hard But I’d Like To Think She’s Pretty Happy Now. (Peep The Smile)
Image credits: coravgarcia18
#76 I Guess I Got Adopted Today
Image credits: randomvariable10
#77 Foster Fail Meet Our New Adopted Girl Zora!
Image credits: atown805
#78 Adopted My First Ever Dawg
Image credits: Nnlp122
#79 I Was Adopted Yesterday By This Pretty Lady!
Image credits: spider_fly
#80 Winter Has Arrived A Tad Early…. Adopted This Weekend
Image credits: HammerfestNORD
#81 I Adopted The Cutest Little Guy This Week!
Image credits: dreaming_by_day
#82 This Is Sophia From Our Shelter. She’s Almost 10 Year Old And Today She Was Adopted!!! What A Great Day For Her
Image credits: sonia72quebec
#83 Just Adopted This Little Rascal. Say Hi To Booger
Image credits: MyAssAblaze
#84 I Just Adopted This Little Bundle Of Joy From The Humane Society
Image credits: ILikeAdoDaChaCha
#85 Adopted Her Today
Image credits: danvandamn
#86 Adopted Little Crow Last Night!
Image credits: awESOMEkward
#87 Kitten, I Found At Gas Station Has New Furever Home Thanks To Rescue Cats Fayetteville, Georgia
Image credits: OldGamerPapi
#88 My New Rescue Kitten Has Been Making Himself At Home
Image credits: dimomonster
#89 We Rescued A Sweet Little Orange Fluffball Last Weekend. It Looks Like She Likes Her New Home
Image credits: motu147
#90 Went To The Rescue – Met Somebody. Named Him Jackson. We Are Going To Have A Blast
Image credits: keeperofthedingo
#91 Adopted Curie Yesterday And She Won’t Stop Making Biscuits
Image credits: Applied_Mathematics
#92 Smol Rescue Baby
Image credits: iownsobad
#93 After Our Sudden Loss Of Our Sweet Boy, We Decided To Adopt This Little One. Meet Nala
Image credits: Breezyliv87
#94 My First Night Fostering Her. She Decided She Was Home So I Adopted Her. I’m Not A “Failure”. She Asked Me To Adopt Her
Image credits: Full_Conference_2175
#95 My Newly Adopted Babies. Now They Won’t Have To Go To The Animal Shelter
Image credits: LeftEyedAsmodeus
#96 Rescued Two Days Ago, 3 Months, Needs A Name!
Image credits: the_broke_trader
#97 I Adopted A Cat Today. He Already Has A Few Favourite Spots To Chill In. Everyone, Meet Mumbo
Image credits: Myrrany
#98 I Haven’t Had A Cat In 15 Years, But I Finally Buckled Down And Adopted This Baby, Say Hello To Mei!
Image credits: defucchi
#99 My Son Rescued A Very Illegally Tiny Smol Cat Today. My Grandcat
Image credits: GodFreesince2003
#100 Day Three Of Adopted Kitten. Purring So Loudly He Could Power A Car
Image credits: Revolutionary-Cold58
#101 Cute Little Void That My Wife Rescued
Image credits: i_am_zombie_76
#102 I Adopted A Senior Cat My First Wonder
Image credits: JR71160
#103 Our New Rescue… Meet Shrimp Smol Kitty, Big Attitude
Image credits: wander4lifer
#104 I Just Found This Cat On The Street And Adopted Him. I Would Like To Give Him A Name That Reminds Me Of The Sun. Any Suggestions?
Image credits: TangerineFirm1998
#105 Our New Adoption Yuki (Black) Is Learning Quickly From Hachi
Image credits: 433onrepeat
#106 In Spain They Say: Mas Bueno Que El Pan – Better Than Bread. That’s Him, Rescue Jack-Chi Charlie
Image credits: Admirable_Cucumber
#107 New Fosterdopt
Image credits: Happyhome35
#108 Picked Up From The Rescue A Little Over A Month Ago, She’s 13 Weeks Now And Likes To Eat Breakfast With Me. She’s My Best Buddy
Image credits: huewutm8
#109 Adopted This Sweet Rescue Boy Today ?
Image credits: xlivi4
#110 From Shelter Dog To Nightly Cuddles In The Pup-Ritto Blanket My Boy Blaq Jaq (Black Jack)
Image credits: Ender_bat
#111 Adopted This Hippo A Couple Days Ago. He’d Been At The Shelter The Second Longest. He Has A Perfect Temperment And I’m So Glad I Got Him!
Image credits: d6410
#112 Today, I Adopted My First Rescue Dog
Image credits: darkmaninperth
#113 Adopted This Guy Three Weeks Ago- Safe To Say He’s Settling In!
Image credits: alexet525
#114 What Have I Done? What Breed Is She? Adopted Last Week
Image credits: Cliffysdad1
#115 Jill Says Happy Thanksgiving!!
Image credits: Blynn025
#116 Our Beautiful Rescue, Pashmi