Adopting a pet is an important decision and it shouldn’t be something you rush into. But it’s so rewarding. After all, you’re saving more than one life — by taking an animal home, you’re not only giving them a second chance at life but you’re also freeing up space so the rescue organization can help another critter.
According to some estimates, around 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 810,000 are returned to their owners, 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted, and 920,000 are euthanized.
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It’s worth mentioning that the number of dogs and cats euthanized in American shelters annually has declined from roughly 2.6 million in 2011 but I think we agree it should be even lower. Way, way lower.
Each month, we at Bored Panda accentuate the difference a loving family makes for an abandoned or mistreated animal by celebrating the ones that opened their doors and hearts to those who needed love and care the most. Continue scrolling to check out September’s edition and catch up on the series if you’ve fallen behind: August, July, June.
#1 Today We Adopted This Gorgeous Little Hedgehog
Image credits: the_real_fhqwhgads
#2 I Just Adopted This Senior Lady! She’s The First Cat I’ve Ever Had And She’s Also The Sweetest One I’ve Ever Known. Senior Cat Appreciation!
Image credits: Soup_God_
#3 Originally Was Going To Adopt 2 Of These Guys. Turns Out Three Times The Charm. We Got All The Siblings Together! They’re Super Close And We Didn’t Want To Leave The Sister Out
Image credits: NoLongerARedditor
#4 Adopted My First Void This Week, Isn’t She A Beaut?
Image credits: brass_butt0ns
#5 Left Was From 5 Days Ago Before I Adopted Him. Right Was Earlier Today. I Am So Lucky I Adopted Him, He’s The Sweetest Most Caring Cat And I’m Thankful To Have Him
Image credits: audreybrookee
#6 Katara – Purebred Mutt, Rescued And Adopted In Montreal. Of Course, We’re The Lucky Ones
Image credits: Saint_Bond
#7 My New Cat’s Reaction To Her Forever Home
Image credits: we-are-the-foxes
#8 I Still Can’t Believe I Was Lucky Enough To Be The One To Adopt Her
Image credits: DonSmo
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#9 Our 2 Newly Adopted Kittens
Image credits: djaylange
#10 Adopted A Pupper, She Mlems When She’s Asleep
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#11 How To Adopt A Hooman
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#12 Myself (Middle) My Brother (Left) And My Best Friend (Right) With Our Puppy Siblings We Just Adopted
Image credits: snmnc123
#13 In A Span Of Two Days We Adopted This Baby And Got Engaged
Image credits: 42069Nicebro
#14 This Is Beowulf. Turns Out Beowulf Is Actually A Girl And Now Needs A New Name. Any Ideas?
Image credits: wcollins260
#15 Just Got Her, Need Help Finding A Name. I Like Mushroom, But My Mom Doesn’t
Image credits: KattMann00
#16 Just Adopted These Two Sweet Brothers. Our 2.5 Year Old Son Chose The Names… Meet T-Rex And Cardboard
Image credits: patallcats
#17 Adopted These Two, Meeting Them On Thursday For The First Time
Image credits: nattarbox
#18 Adopted A Kitten Today! Her Name Is Loki, She Is Super Scared, But Too Cute
Image credits: Wauwaiiiiiii
#19 This Is The Fourth Stray Kitten I Find Near My House. They Keep Coming And I Keep Adopting Them. Am I Cursed?
Image credits: microdipodops
#20 Just Adopted This Big Baby, My Very First Standard Issue Cat. He Even Came Pre-Derpped!
Image credits: ferretherapy
#21 My Teenager Lost Her Beloved 13-Year Old Ginger Rescue Kitty Last Year To Cancer. We Recently Adopted A 3-Year Old Creamsicle. I Think They’re Both Gonna Be Just Fine
Image credits: AlaskaGirlinGeorgia
#22 Illegaly Smol Cat That Adopted Us Yesterday
Image credits: chrumocka
#23 My Newly Adopted Boy Angus Looking Quite Dapper!
Image credits: TotoroTortoise
#24 This Old Boy Thinks We Adopted The New Kitten Just For Him
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#25 Look At This Perfect Little Bean I Just Adopted
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#26 Doctor Doom Enjoying Her First Nap In Her Forever Home After Her Stint At The Shelter
Image credits: Pliosaurs
#27 Are Blind, 9 Year Old, Recently Adopted Boys Cute? I Sure Think So
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#28 Poe & Kylo First Day Of Kylo’s Adoption vs. One Week After Adoption
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#29 My Feral Baby I Adopted From My Backyard
Image credits: SnooaLipa
#30 Just Adopted This Precious Girl From A Family That Don’t Want To Take Care Of Her. She’s Supposedly 6 Months, But Shes Soooo Huge
Image credits: robertpoebukowski
#31 Adopted This Little Guy The Other Day, He’s A Complete Sweetheart
Image credits: Lucybeatrice
#32 Just Adopted A 13 Week Old Kitten, And His Big Brother (3 Year Old Golden) Is Taking His New Role Very Seriously
Image credits: SteRaeSal
#33 Just Adopted Her And I Think She’s Fitting Right In
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#34 Meet Pearl, We Just Adopted Her
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#35 Just Adopted. Her Name Is Minette
Image credits: infinitelymany
#36 Adopted Him Today, He Loves Cuddling
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#37 Drove Five Hours To Adopt This Sweet Girl, Mocha. She Was Saved From Being Thrown Out Of A Moving Car. She Is The Most Gentle And Affectionate Little Girl And Will Be So Loved!
Image credits: somebodyimpressme
#38 We Adopted This Lil Guy Yesterday & He Gives Me The Warmest Fuzzies. Home At Last!
Image credits: freezings
#39 Adopted My Boy And My Cat Finally Accepted Him. Can You Tell That He’s Happy?
Image credits: SewerWolf666
#40 Name Suggestions For Our Newly Adopted Pup? As Well As Breed Guesses? He’s About 5 Months
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#41 Friend Asked If I Could Adopt A Stray, But My Dog Ended Up Doing The Adopting
Image credits: Wambo_Jambo
#42 Meet Aspen. Just Adopted Her And She’s An Absolute Sweetheart
Image credits: AlanaAraya
#43 This Is Hank. He A Stray I’m Caring For. He Slept Where My Husky Used To Sleep And Gave Me The Same Look My Husky Had, And I Think He’s Gonna Be Mine Now
Image credits: orange_picture
#44 Found This Little Girl On The Street And We Are Adopting Her. Her Hair Is All Matted And She Has Some Skin Issues And I Look Forward To Posting Her Transformation Pictures. Does She Look Like A Jenny Or Millie?
Image credits: blakey1414
#45 Adopted These Babies Yesterday, They Are Really Scared And Are Hiding In Their Cozy
Image credits: TheGamingBaba
#46 Recently Adopted These Two Dingleberries. They’re Not Related But Get Along Quite Well
Image credits: yuribotcake
#47 Just Adopted This Little Buddy, Got Returned 2 Times, 3rd And Final Home Now! He Still Needs A Name!
Image credits: kitt_katt_99
#48 This Is Henry, The Newest Member Of Our Family
Image credits: DisasterScoutMaster
#49 When We First Adopted Our Dog A Few Weeks Ago vs. Today. He A Thick Boy Now!
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#50 We Have Adopted Our First Daughter Yesterday
Image credits: WyidealizowanyIdeal
#51 Cute Girl We Adopted… She Is Being A Little Sunshine In Our Lives
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#52 Newly Adopted Kittens. Tom And Jerry
Image credits: Candid_Arm1065
#53 My Cousin Just Adopted This Little Pup. Meet Lulu!
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#54 Adopted A Cat Today
Image credits: StomachJazz
#55 We Adopted Nala!
Image credits: Lestessa
#56 Meet My New 13 Day Old Pup. I Haven’t Named Him Though. Suggestions Are Welcome. He’s A Stray And I Adopt Strays
Image credits: thelonelyone215
#57 I’m So Glad We Adopted Them Together
Image credits: growup_andblowaway
#58 Went To Adopt One Cat, Came Out With Bonded Sisters
Image credits: Lifeofsage
#59 Adopted Her On Sunday From A Hectic Household. This Is Us After An Hour In Her Forever Home
Image credits: Leilavdm