While many pets have a loving home, some are mistreated and end up in a shelter. Luckily, that just gives them a chance to find a new owner who will care for them properly.
In a 2017-2018 survey, it was found that around 68% of households were home to at least one pet. That equates to roughly 85 million families, and it signifies that the United States is a nation of animal lovers. Unfortunately, while these animals might have homes across the US, that doesn’t mean they’re all treated with love and respect.
Plenty of pets are mistreated by their owners, with some even the victims of physical violence. In households where domestic abuse is an issue, animals usually bear some of the brunt. Some of these pets don’t end up surviving their injuries, while others find themselves abandoned or left in shelters. Fortunately, that’s not always the end of their story.
Plenty of these animals end up being adopted and given a new lease of life thanks to their loving owners. They might be traumatized by their past, but most of them learn to make the most of their second chance. It just goes to show that it’s never too late to turn someone’s life around.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most dogs don’t enjoy being in shelters. These places aren’t exactly known for being glamorous, what with their concrete walls and empty rooms.
While the staff there do all they can to make their lives better, there’s only so much time they can devote to one animal.
That’s why getting adopted makes such a huge difference. Suddenly, these poor pooches have a comfortable new home where love is always on the menu. This adorable pooch is clear proof of that. He hasn’t been able to stop smiling since his owner brought him home.
Rescued from a gutter
When some animals get abandoned, they’re not old enough to survive on the streets.
They’re only infants that have no idea how to fend for themselves, so their days are sadly numbered. Fortunately, this little guy was found before he met an unfortunate end.
He was only two weeks old when he was discovered in a gutter and given a proper home. No animal that young should ever be forced to care for themselves. Luckily, this kind owner has since made up for their traumatic past by treating them like royalty. The feline certainly seems far happier than they did before.
Hungry for love
Abuse comes in many different forms. While some animals are the victims of physical violence, others are tortured through psychological means.
For this poor pooch, starvation was the biggest issue. When the SPCA rescued them, they were barely skin and bones.
The dog was on the verge of being euthanized because of their poor quality of life. However, one of the workers thankfully came to their rescue. She brought the animal home with her and nursed her back to full health. Evidently, she did an incredible job because all traces of this canine’s horrific past are nowhere to be found.
The only survivor
Not every owner is happy when they discover that their pet is pregnant. They don’t want the stress of dealing with an entire litter, so once the babies arrive, they abandon them.
It’s heartbreaking stuff, and it makes you wonder why these people would even get a pet in the first place.
Luckily, this kitten survived their ordeal. They were the only one of their litter to still be alive when they were discovered, although they were barely holding on. The poor cat was blind, hungry, and desperate for love, making them incredibly vulnerable. Now, though, it’s an entirely different story.
Saved from the farm
Cats and dogs aren’t the only animals that have to be rescued. There have been many cases of hens getting saved after mistreatment in battery farms.
These places are famous for their poor conditions which see thousands of animals crammed in together to save money.
Love and care aren’t high on the list at these farms where the only thing that really matters is what the livestock can produce. Fortunately, while hens might be put through hell when they’re here, recovery is definitely possible. All it takes is for someone with a loving heart to put them and their health first.
No longer alone
This dog wasn’t in a great way when they were discovered several years ago. Apparently, the animal’s previous owner had abandoned them in a park with the assumption that they wouldn’t survive for long.
If someone hadn’t come along to rescue them, they probably would have passed away scared and alone out there.
However, intervention came at the perfect time. The canine was discovered and nursed back to health, resulting in the beaming figure you see here. They might not have had the best start in life, but their new owner is determined to fill the rest of their days with happiness.
From out of the flames
Those eyes tell you that this kitten has seen some things in their life. Even now that they’re in a loving home, they still look traumatized by what happened.
To be honest, we can’t blame them. When the feline was rescued, they’d been set on fire at just four weeks old.
The animal was lucky to still be alive, although they weren’t in great shape. Other kittens probably wouldn’t have survived something like this, but this cat had more strength than anyone anticipated. They managed to make it out the other side, and now they’re living the good life with their owner.
Sleeping in style
What a difference a few years can make. Once upon a time, this dog was sleeping on hard floors waiting for someone to love them.
Although the shelter was undoubtedly a step up from where they’d been before, it still wasn’t the best. Thankfully, someone eventually came along and realized that this pooch was the one for them.
All they wanted was to give the animal a comfortable life, and that’s exactly what they got. Now, instead of sleeping on the floor, they get a whole bed to themselves. Well, that’s how he sees it at least. His owner might not agree.
Nursed back to health
If a Customers and Border Protection agent hadn’t discovered this horse when they did, starvation probably would have gotten the best of the animal.
They were incredibly weak and unable to even reach a bale of hay that was just out of reach.
Their foal had already passed away, and it seemed sure that she would meet the same fate. However, after being brought to an animal shelter, she defied all odds. Plenty of love and care helped her return to full health, and she found a loving new home shortly after. It’s nice to know that happy endings really do exist.
Hit by a car
Unlike dogs, cats tend to spend most of their time out of the house. They’re usually free to come and go as they please, something which can occasionally put them in harm’s way.
That’s certainly what happened to this poor feline who found themselves on the wrong side of a car.
According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, 5.4 million cats are struck by vehicles in the US every year. Sadly, a lot of these animals succumb to their injuries, but some are lucky enough to be rescued. This fortunate feline was, and all the accident cost them was their eye.
Happier than ever
Animals might not convey emotions as clearly as humans do, but these two pictures show a clear difference between happy and sad.
This poor pooch clearly wasn’t happy in the shelter. Those big eyes and downturned ears were a clear signal they wanted out, especially when standing with their paws on the fence.
They were desperate for someone to offer them a home and prove that life was worth living. Thankfully, that’s precisely their new owner did. Now, they can’t stop beaming as they go out for walks and enjoy the love and affection that they deserved from day one.
Out of the rain
It’s rare that a kitten actually survives when they’ve been abandoned. They haven’t yet learned how to be independent, and they’re not strong enough to find themselves food.
That’s why many of them pass away before someone comes to rescue them.
Fortunately, that wasn’t the fate that befell this cute kitty. She may have been cold, wet, and hungry, but she was still fighting on when she was found in the street. A little bit of TLC and plenty of attention from her new owner soon erased all the trauma from her past. Now, she’s on top of the world.
Oil spills occur far too frequently for our liking, and they significantly endanger the health of local wildlife.
This substance has a disastrous effect on a bird’s feathers, matting them and leaving the animals vulnerable. Things are made even worse by ingestion of the oil, which can damage internal organs and cause loss of life.
Thankfully, whenever there’s a spill, plenty of volunteers do what they can to help these creatures before it’s too late. As you can see from this pelican, their intervention can make a big difference. If only that were enough to stop the disasters happening in the first place.
Too young for this
It’s always heartbreaking seeing such young animals in shelters. These poor creatures should be spending their early days getting to know a loving owner, not sitting in a cage hoping someone will pick them.
It’s even worse when you consider how they ended up in there in the first place.
The thought that someone could abuse and abandon a puppy or kitten is too upsetting to think about. Luckily, this pooch seems to be loving their life now they’re out of the shelter. They might not be able to forget the past, but at least they have a future to look forward to.
Willing to trust
When animals are abandoned, they sometimes find it difficult to trust people.
All that time out on the street can harden them because they’re forced to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, that can work against them if they end up being rescued.
If an animal doesn’t want to be near humans, then no-one’s going to be willing to adopt them. However, this isn’t the case for all strays. Some still have love in their hearts when they’re rescued, and they’re willing to give their new owner the benefit of the doubt. That’s clearly what this furry feline has done after being adopted.
A new outlook on life
The picture on the left was taken the day the dog was found on the street, and their face says it all. The downcast stare and the look of complete misery show an animal that’s been beaten by their experience as a stray.
Thankfully, whatever trauma they suffered in the past wasn’t enough to defeat them completely.
After just a week of being loved by their new owner, they already found the strength to smile again. It’s amazing how quickly an animals outlook on life can change once someone shows them some love. It makes us grateful for everyone who adopts rescues.
Freed from the circus
For a long time, circuses were popular for showcasing animals doing some incredible tricks. Unfortunately, as time has gone on, people have realized that there’s a horrifying backstory to these amazing feats.
Many animals performing in these shows were forced to impress audiences because they faced horrific punishments if they failed.
That, coupled with poor living conditions, meant their lives usually weren’t worth living. Thankfully, rescue efforts have changed that for some lucky animals. This tiger has come a long way since getting out of the circus business, and it makes us happy knowing these creatures can still have a good life.
They can’t be silenced
Some animals are more vocal than others. For instance, certain dogs will bark at everything they see, while others will only do it in extreme circumstances.
Cats are just the same, although it seems that not everyone is a fan of their meowing.
This feline was apparently abandoned because they wouldn’t be quiet, something which their new owner has come to love. While we can understand being frustrated when your pet won’t tone it down, that doesn’t justify abandoning them. Plus, if they’re meowing a lot, then that probably means they want something. Animals typically make noises for a reason.
This poor pooch had certainly seen better days when they were rescued. Although the animal was still able to smile, there wasn’t much for them to be happy about.
They’d been so starved of food that there was barely anything left of them.
Their bones were showing all over their body, and there wasn’t much fur to cover them up. Thankfully, now the dog has a new owner, they never miss a meal. Every feeding has shown them that they’re loved, and it’s helped them return to a much healthier size. Starvation is something they’ll never have to worry about again.
Traumatized by the past
Another animal that was in a bad way when they were rescued, this cat is certainly faring much better since being adopted.
Their fur has grown back, and it’s as soft and fluffy as it should be, rather than being matted and dirty. Although the feline doesn’t look too happy, we can’t say we’re that surprised.
Considering the condition they were in before, they obviously experienced a lot of trauma in the past. That’s not something they can necessarily get over quickly, no matter how much their new owner loves them. Hopefully, though, they’ll learn to smile again in time.
Attacked by their own kind
While most animals who suffer abuse do so at the hands of humans, that’s not always the case. This cockatiel’s nasty injuries came courtesy of other birds who attacked them when they were just a baby.
Apparently, they were one of the only survivors of the attack which saw many of their siblings fall prey to their own kind.
Thankfully, they were rescued just in time and given the opportunity to heal. Although some of the marks won’t ever go away, the cockatiel appears to have recovered remarkably well. Whether they’ll be able to trust birds ever again is unclear, though.
They’re a package deal
Companionship is something that a lot of dogs don’t tend to have when they’re in a shelter.
That isolation can make the experience harder to deal with, which is why we’re glad these two had each other. Even when times were tough, they could always lean on each other and remember that they weren’t alone.
They shared a special bond together, and that was obviously something this owner didn’t want to destroy. So, rather than choosing just one of the dogs to take home, they decided to adopt both. As the second picture clearly shows, they made the right decision.
When animals are forced to live on the street, they have to find inventive ways to keep themselves alive. For this kitten, that involved sleeping in car engines.
Although it was dangerous, it was somewhere they could stay warm when it was cold and wet outside.
Fortunately, they no longer have to put their life at risk when it comes to nap time. Now, they have a companion to cuddle them while they catch some z’s. It’s a vast improvement from their previous sleeping arrangement, and one we imagine they’re incredibly grateful for. After all, it’s changed their life forever.
Right place, right time
Being so thin, this dog didn’t stand much chance of survival when they were a stray. Thankfully, they had enough strength to stumble across the right place, and from there, their luck turned around.
They were found at a donkey rescue center where the owner offered them some food and a place to sleep.
Considering the woman devoted her time to caring for animals, she could hardly turn her back on this dog. Of course, her sister was better suited to look after the stray, which is why she had the canine flown over to her place in the Netherlands. Look at her now!
Foxes are friends
Foxes are animals we’re typically accustomed to living in the wild, but not all of them can look after themselves. Some get attacked or used for fur farming, and it’s only with human intervention that they’re able to survive.
This cute creature is just one of the many foxes that are cared for by Mikayla Raines, a kind-hearted woman who founded the non-profit organization SaveAFox.
She devotes her time to rescuing these animals and giving them the happy life they deserve. Her efforts have been so successful that she’s now in the process of establishing a second rescue center in Florida.
While that other kitten may have coped okay sleeping in car engines, the same couldn’t be said for this feline.
The cat was unfortunate enough to still be in the car when the owner drove away in it, leaving the animal trapped and badly burned. Fortunately, while the incident might have been traumatizing, it wasn’t life-threatening.
Someone managed to rescue the animal and get them to safety, allowing for an almost-full recovery. Although the poor pet lost their ear, at least they lived to tell the tale. Plus, they managed to find a new forever home out of their ordeal.
A mother in need
Being a starving stray is hard enough without a litter of puppies to look after. This pooch couldn’t have gone on much longer in their condition, especially with so many little ones to look after.
Thankfully, some rescuers found her on the side of a highway and got the family the help they needed.
All the puppies survived their ordeal and were adopted, and their mom was just as fortunate. However, it took her over a year to recover from what happened. Problems like heartworm and mange caused some issues, but thankfully, they didn’t stop her from finding a loving home.
Treated in time
It’s incredible the effect that a bit of love and affection can have on an animal. This poor kitten was in poor health when they were rescued, and they looked like they’d been living rough for a long time.
The cat was suffering from an upper respiratory infection that could have cost them their life, although thankfully it didn’t come to that.
Veterinarians were able to treat the creature in time and nurse them back to health. Now, the traumatic times are far behind them. They have a happy home with their new owner, and nothing is going to change that.
A life behind bars
It’s not merely tigers that are expected to put on shows for cheap amusement. Bears receive the same treatment too, and the effect it has on them is heartbreaking.
This poor creature started out life performing tricks at a zoo before it was shut down for animal welfare violations.
However, rather than being released, the animal was kept locked in a cage for the next few decades. It was only a few years ago that PETA found them and brought them to a sanctuary, something which made a massive difference to their life. This is them after hibernating for the first time.
Found in the trash
No dog should ever have to seek refuge in a trash pile. Sadly, that’s exactly what this pooch did before they were rescued.
The animal was injured to the point that they could barely walk, so they were stuck fending for themselves amongst the garbage.
That could have easily been the end of their story, but fortunately, someone soon came to their rescue. Now, they have a proper home where people love and feed them all the time. This has done wonders for the animal’s health, with their fur no longer missing and their ability to walk back to normal.
Fighting for attention
It can be hard to get the attention you need when there are others around all vying for the same thing.
That’s something this poor cat struggled with when they were younger because they lived in a house with 40 other felines. It was impossible for them to all be properly cared for, so some fell to the wayside.
Luckily, while things might have been bad then, they’re a lot better now. The animal’s loving nature helped them win over a new owner, and they’ve been thriving ever since the adoption. This cat doesn’t have to fight for attention anymore.
When this pooch was first discovered, people didn’t even realize that they were a dog. With all that matted fur, it certainly didn’t look like any canine that they’d seen before.
Fortunately, after taking a closer look, the rescuers soon noticed that there was a dog beneath all that dirt and hair.
It took a long time to reveal the animal back at the shelter, and the creature wasn’t a massive fan of the razor used to shave them. However, once the ordeal was over, they were appreciative of their new look. They didn’t look like a pile of garbage anymore!
The mystery goo
Whenever there’s talk of a substance spill in the ocean, the contaminant is usually oil.
However, that’s not always the case as evidenced by the spill in San Francisco Bay in 2015. Officials weren’t entirely sure what the liquid was, referring to it as “mystery goo.”
While they might have been unclear about the spillage, though, that didn’t mean it wasn’t still a danger to the wildlife. Just as with oil, the substance affected their feathers and hindered their waterproofing abilities, putting them in great danger. Luckily, Bird Rescue stepped up and helped out hundreds of the animals who’d been affected.
Welcome to the family
It’s not easy finding food when you live on the streets. This kitten certainly didn’t have much luck feeding herself, which is why she was desperate for help.
She was practically begging for people to feed her, and thankfully, someone gave her what she wanted.
However, they didn’t merely offer her something to eat. Instead, they took her home and raised her as their own. There was no way the owner could leave her out on the street, especially when she was so young and fragile. They had plenty of room in their house – and their heart – for a new addition.
Racking up the air miles
Some people are so dedicated to housing rescue animals that they’ll fly them across the world just so they can have a good home.
That’s what happened with this adorable pup. They were originally found in Romania but soon hopped on a plane to the UK when a loving home became available.
Considering the pain they’d experienced before their rescue, we doubt the dog was too upset about moving to a new country. Relocating to the UK was a chance for them to have a fresh start and live a happy life filled with lots of bow ties and treats.
The difference a year makes
Things weren’t looking too good for this kitten when they were found in the middle of the road. They’d been badly injured, with their face showing some particularly bad damage.
However, it was nothing that a bit of R&R and plenty of love couldn’t fix. After just one year, there was no sign that the cat had ever been through any trauma.
They were happy, healthy, and their eye was back to normal. This was no doubt great news for the animal’s new owner who’d taken the kitten in when no-one else would. Here’s hoping they enjoy many amazing years together.