According to ASPCA, an astonishing 6.3 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year in the US. Each year, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized (390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats). The numbers are so heartbreaking, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that many of the perfectly cute little animals don’t ever get their second chance in this life.
Luckily, however, more and more people are willing to give these lost furry souls their love and care, and bring them back to their forever family. So this post is a celebration of the rescued canines who, thanks to their loving owners, blossomed into these fun, cute, active, and smart woofers and pooches.
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Thanks to Reddit’s wholesome corner known as r/BeforeNAfterAdoption, we prepared you an incredible collection of dog pics before and after they were adopted. The results are breathtaking and they give us hope that whatever happens, we are all going to be alright in this often chaotic world.
#1 This Is Lenore Before And After Being Rescued ! After Receiving Lots Of Love & Tlc, Lenore Does Not Even Look Like The Same Dog Anymore
Image credits: pawsnpurrs
Adopting a rescue dog is a rewarding experience for both pup and owner. It’s an opportunity to give a dog a second chance at happiness, but it can teach you a lot about love, forgiveness, and loyalty. But this rewarding experience doesn’t come without challenges of its own, and there are some things every prospective dog owner should consider before becoming a forever family.
Joe Nutkins, accredited dog trainer, shared a couple of useful tips on how to welcome a rescue dog into your home. First off, when adopting a pooch, you have to get ready to make them feel safe and comfortable in the new environment they are coming into but don’t know anything about yet.
#2 Named Her Possum Due To The Tail Situation, But Not Sure That Applies Anymore
Image credits: bulletproofshadow
#3 My Brother’s Dog, Ricky, Before ‘N After Adoption. He Cleans Up Nicely!
Image credits: ChiefWolfy
#4 Our Little Rescue, Less Than 6 Months After Being Saved
Image credits: mkedwall
Dogs in rescue centers usually have a well-scheduled routine, where they get used to having their own space for meals and for resting. Nutkins’ advice is to “Ensure that you have provided some areas that will be quiet, secure, and away from busy thoroughfares such as the hallway so that your new shelter dog will be able to have a chance to rest.”
Secondly, it’s important that the dog has a room or a designated space that is ‘theirs’ so that they do not feel overwhelmed by their new home and can retreat there at any time. According to Nutkins, “having too much space can put pressure on a dog to be aware of what is happening in all areas. By closing off doors and giving your new shelter dog just a couple of rooms, they can focus on the smaller environment better, and this can lower their stress.”
#5 Always Hard To Believe These Two Pups Are The Same Dog! What A Few Years And A Lot Of Love Can Do
Image credits: daggershard1
#6 Meet My Norkis
Image credits: thehowsph
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#7 From A Scarred And Infected Street Pup To A Handsome Wind Blown Pack Leader
Image credits: couchcrush
And third, as an adoptive dog owner, you have to be patient. Remember that most rescue dogs have gone through more than any other dog in their lives, and some of those experiences have stayed with them. They can be more shy, hesitant, and nervous. Adjusting to the new family is likely to take time, and therefore you shouldn’t expect immediate results, Nutkins explained. No matter how hard the beginning might be, it shouldn’t scare potential dog owners away from rescuing a dog.
#8 Lolita The Boonie From Guam – Saved From The Streets And Loved Back To Health
Image credits: BoonieFlightProject
#9 The Day We Met vs. 2 Months Later
Image credits: squeeeezeme
#10 My Girl, Before And After Adoption. 1st Pic At The Shelter As A Stray Pup, 2nd After Being With Me For A Year And A Half
Image credits: wildsouldog
Adopting a dog with special needs or an elderly dog may be more tricky. Although older dogs deserve love and care just like younger pets do, many people feel reluctant to adopt a senior woofer for various reasons. They include anything from veterinary costs to the fact that you will have shorter time together than if you would have adopted a puppy.
There are some more things to know about taking care of elderly dogs, so we reached out to Lori Bierbrier, the Senior Medical Director in Community Medicine at ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Bierbrier explained that dogs begin to show visible age-related changes at about seven to 12 years of age. “The most common sign that your dog is aging is a decreased activity level. Some of this is part of normal transition from being a young puppy to being an adult. But, it can also be associated with osteoarthritis and other degenerative changes. There are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes, too.”
#11 Gizmo After A Little Bit Of Love
Image credits: mrscatmom98
#12 Sylvi After I Saved Her In China (10/2017), And Her Well-Deserved Life In The USA Now
Image credits: existensialmisery
#13 Dachshund/Chihuahua Rescued Sept 3rd
Image credits: Kemistys
According to the senior medical director at ASPCA, some of these may be unavoidable while others can be managed with appropriate diet and exercise. “When feeding your older dog, the main objective should be to maintain health and optimum body weight, slow development of chronic disease and minimize diseases that may already be present.”
#14 From In The Shelter And Scared Last Wednesday To Forever Home And Happy. Meet Paisley
Image credits: Gimpster1899
#15 My Myanmar Village Dog Before And After Adoption
Image credits: Its_Fal
#16 A Year Later
Image credits: emarcomd
Moreover, as your dog ages, health issues may arise, including deterioration of skin and coat, loss of muscle mass, more frequent intestinal problems, arthritis, obesity, dental problems and decreased ability to fight off infection.
“When dogs are growing older, they may not show outward signs that we normally associate with pain like whimpering or crying. Sometimes an animal will continue to eat or drink in spite of pain or disorientation. Some physiological and behavioral signs that your pet might be experiencing pain include excessive panting or gasping for breath, reclusiveness, reluctance to move and food pickiness,” Bierbrier explained.
#17 From The Streets Of Qatar To The Great White North. Happy 3 Months On Canadian Soil To My Amazing Boys!
Image credits: olive111
#18 Before And After 2 Years Of Being Rescued
Image credits: sheva0210
#19 Changeover Happened After Lots Of Love, Food And Water. Meet Apollo
Image credits: pistolpanos
The most important thing you can do for your elderly pet, just like any adopted pet, really, is to minimize any pain or distress they are experiencing. Bierbrier suggests consulting with your veterinarian and treating any health problems, since undiagnosed issues can cause discomfort and rapid deterioration.
Moreover, you will have to surround your pet with their favorite things, like a warm blanket or special squeaky toy. “Since pressure sores can develop in pets with limited mobility, it’s also essential to provide a warm sleeping spot with plenty of cushioning.”
#20 From Being Abandoned And Chained Up In Romania To A Happy, Healthy And Sun-Loving Sweetheart
Image credits: LikesPhotoshop
#21 Sophie, Age 6, A Puppy Mill Rescue When I Adopted Her vs. Her A Year And A Half Later Full Of Fluff And Mischief
Image credits: holysh*tapigeon
#22 Luna Has Been With Us For 6 Months Now! She Was So Dirty, Matted, Scared/Angry, And In A Lot Of Pain From An Injury And Abuse
Those first few months were admittedly difficult, but she is now such a silly, sweet, confident girl and it just makes me so happy for her!
Image credits: GypseboQ
Another thing to consider before taking a senior dog to your forever home is that some older pets may develop incontinence or the loss of bladder control. Bierbrier reminds owners to be sure to check your furry friend regularly for any wetness or soiling. “If your pet needs help getting up to urinate or defecate, you can purchase a sling or use a large towel to wrap under their body and assist them.”
“It is also important to maintain a consistent diet as older animals are more prone to stomach upset from a change in food. That being said, if your dog needs something extra special in their food to keep them excited to eat, be sure to consult with your veterinarian for recommendations of safe items to add,” she explained.
#23 I Adopted This Terrified Shaggy Dog A Week After She Had Her Leg Amputated In April 2021
Now she’s full of life, love, and doesn’t let being a tripod limit her
Image credits: fanclub4snails
#24 Georgia, A 5 Y/O Golden Retriever Rescued From A Puppy Mill Associated With The Dog Meat Trade
Image credits: Which-Leave1
#25 My Husband And I Rescued Little Bowie Off The Streets Of Guam. He Was Covering In Ticks And Burs And His Back Leg Was Broken Presumably From Being Hit By A Car. And He Was Only 2 Months Old! Now, He’s 6 Months Old And Lives In Hawaii With 6 Humans That Adore Him. Rescue Is Beautiful.
Image credits: Lou0714
Animals, just like people, need time to adjust to new routines and changes, especially if their mobility may decrease as they age. Bierbrier argues that you can help your pet by being patient and giving them time to get acquainted with their new normal. “Depending on what challenges your pet might be facing as they age, there are many steps to make your home safer and more comfortable. Remove any wires and other items from the floor that could cause your pet to fall or trip.”
She also suggests moving plants and fragile objects to a safe area that is out of reach for your dog. “Create a safe space in your home for your pet to be away from any additional stressors,” Bierbrier concluded.
#26 June, 2017. At The Shelter. To Less Than A Year Ago. It’s My Favorite Photo Of Him. He Has Uveodermatologic Syndrome
He no longer has eyes, actually! We had them removed about 3 years ago due to a great deal of issues. It just felt like a necessary decision to improve his quality of life.
Image credits: VestaJinxx
#27 From Scared Puppy To A Handsome Boy Living His Best Life
Image credits: hardtofindninja
#28 Peach & Chubbs Are A Bonded Senior Pair From The Home Of An Elderly Woman Who Passed Away In Late 2020
Because Of Their Age, And The Fact That They Had To Be Adopted Together, They Weren’t Popular At The Rescue. Until We Came Along
Image credits: tastemebakes
#29 Adopted Last Week. From Pound Pup To Pampered Pooch. Chloe Bear
Image credits: melberries
#30 Dumped At The Shelter On The Brink Of Starvation With Five Puppies, And A Chest Full Of Bb Pellets
Now She’s My Gentle Goofy Girl Who Likes To Tie Herself Up In Knots On The Sofa And Sticks Her Tongue Out When She’s Happy
Image credits: Gingertumericlemon
#31 King Louie Was Surrendered On Saturday After A Year Of No Grooming. Very Nice Glow Up Since Being In Our Home
Image credits: dwightsredshoes
#32 This Is Rosie Before And After Adoption. She Turned Out To Be A Majestic Beauty
Image credits: tallbabycogs
#33 Shelter Photo vs. 2 Months At Home With Us Best Decision We Ever Made. We Love You Moon!
Image credits: doctorlinguini
#34 Our Sweet Boy Before & After We Adopted Him
Image credits: dquillx
#35 I Am So Unbelievably Lucky To Have Him
Image credits: OverConclusionall
#36 One Of My Newly Rescued Stray Puppies
Still Not Adopted, But At Least Saved From The Misery He Lived In, Me Being His Foster Mom! I Just Wanted To Share His Adorable Face In Hope Your Positive Energy Will Maybe Help Him Find A Forever Home Soon!
Image credits: airesiss
#37 Nora Went From Neglected And Starving To Getting Fussed Over 24/7
Image credits: Lutzbug
#38 1 Year Later, From Being Abandoned In A Park In Georgia To Becoming My Absolute Best Friend, Thank You To Whoever Left Her
Image credits: pippitypopp
#39 Five Years Since Adoption!
Image credits: Missing_my_kitty
#40 Yesterday Made One Year With This Boy- From A Skinny Stressed Out Mess To Just A Mess
Image credits: Llama_Pinata
#41 Our Senior Girl 6 Months Into Her Retirement
Image credits: starlitesiren
#42 Panko After Almost 8 Months!
Image credits: Besiuk
#43 The Day I Picked Her Up, A Few Days Later, And A Few Years Later!
Image credits: djdoublee
#44 Brought Our Little Bean Home In A Chinese Take Away Box After Her Eye Ruptured Due To Infection. She Celebrated Her First Birthday Last November!
Image credits: tordy1996
#45 Teddy Was In A Shelter Before I Started Fostering Him
He Came Full Of Ticks And Scars, 9 Months Later, He’s A Bundle Of Joy Thats Been Adopted In Canada And Will Soon Go There
Image credits: Somelebguy989
#46 His First Week At Home, Alert While Eating And Completely Relaxed A Year Later
Image credits: chillychinchillada
#47 My Sweet Baby. Her Adoption Pic vs. Now
Image credits: -shylo-
#48 My Sister’s First Dog, Boone!
Image credits: Insemzandtaya
#49 Iris Was Found As A Starving And Terrified Stray Wandering With Her 6 Pups In Rural Virginia
Image credits: harleysnoodles
#50 I Promise These Are The Same Dog. Far Left Is A Picture I Took In The Shelter In Bvi
Third photo in the collage is when she was in Florida. The pool pic is an update her adopters sent to our rescue… even my jaw dropped to the ground when I saw what an absolute miracle her glow up was!
Image credits: gkpetrescue
#51 We Got Harpo From A Shelter
He Had Been Rescued With A Embedded Collar And Was Very Under Weight. This Month Is His 7 Year Rescue Anniversary!
Image credits: Fickle-Gas6855
#52 Olly Had Significant Anxiety As A Puppy. Now He’s A Happy Farm Dog
Image credits: lustforlifelizard
#53 Gotcha Day 11/9/19 And Few A Weeks Ago
Poor Guy Had A Very Nasty Bite Wound Hiding The Funk On His Head
Image credits: Suspicious_Design_29
#54 A Year Ago I Posted The First Two Pictures Which Were A Week Difference From Removing This Sweet Girl From A House Of Neglect. A Year Later Now And Wanted To Check In And Show You That She Is Thriving!
Image credits: psychotic_misfit
#55 My Egyptian Street Dog When I Picked Her Up And Now
Image credits: Mindless_Chemical_19
#56 9 Months Later!
Image credits: BuguyaBriarLeigh
#57 This Is Poochie Before And After Adoption. The Goodest Boy
Image credits: DeltaSteps
#58 I Adopted Igor Exactly 1 Year Ago! It’s Been So Amazing Seeing Him Slowly Change Over Time To Become The Dog He Is Now – Here’s To Some More Wonderful Years Together!
Image credits: colasinas
#59 Our Foster Dog, A Neglect Case, Has Been With Us Almost Two Weeks And Has Put On 20 Pounds. He Is The Most Incredible Dog
Image credits: raspberrysupreme
#60 Before: Scared, Timid, Tired Teen Mom. After: The Best, Most Fun Loving Adventure Doggo Ever! Two Year Gotcha Day Coming Up In April
Image credits: bk0529
#61 When I Picked Up Kovu And His Two Siblings At 5 Weeks Old And Brought Them To Our Rescue, They Were Skinny, Wormy, Covered In Fleas
Now he is almost 5 months old and was adopted into the perfect family! Oh and they named him Doug!
Image credits: itwasalwaysace
#62 Lexi, The Day Found And A Year Later
Image credits: 4_looloo
#63 Ivy’s 4 Year Glow Up – From Anxious Pup Found On The Streets Of Socal, To Happy Farm Dog
Image credits: spooktoberforever
#64 Another One We Rescued Was Kiara! She Was The Sleepiest!
Image credits: itwasalwaysace
#65 The First Photo Was From The Shelter. Some Tender Love And Care Later And Here She Is Enjoying The Texas Bluebonnets With Her Family
Image credits: reddit.com
#66 10 Years Since I Saw Lucy’s Adoption Photo On The Left And Scooped Her Up At The Shelter. She’s Been My Adventure Buddy And Snuggly Companion Ever Since
Image credits: woocee
#67 Meet Tom! 7 Months Post-Adoption And We’re Going Strong!
Image credits: middlie
#68 The Difference That 2 Years Makes. Happy Belated Gotcha Day Marley!
Image credits: kittyandmarley
#69 Xena When We Rescued Her From Her Monster Owner And Her Progress In A Bit
We Know That It Would Be A Long Battle For All Of Us As Well As Xena But We Will Never Forsake Her Again… We Will Do Our Best To Shower Her With Love And Medical Attention She Needs
Image credits: [deleted]
#70 From Parvo To Pawfect Mcfly Turned 4 Today
Image credits: Glen_Myers
#71 Nervous To Nested With Her Loving Older Brother (Also A Rescue)
Image credits: compositionmaven
#72 Today Is 1 Year After Her First Time On The Couch, And The Scared, Dirty And Underweight Dog I Got Out Of A Snare Is Almost Unrecognizable
Image credits: thelifeofpies