50 Heartwarming Photos Of Dogs Before And After Adoption That Prove Rescuing A Pet Is Life-Changing (New Pics)


We all love a great transformation story. Whether it’s someone turning their life around or working hard to get their health on track, we can’t help but root for an underdog. Especially when they're a literal dog.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the most heartwarming transformation photos of doggos who have been adopted into loving homes, from the Before N After Adoption subreddit, so all of you pandas can enjoy scrolling through these precious pics. Be sure to upvote all of the pups that melt your heart, and remember: adopt don't shop!

#1 Forever Grateful For Those Who Rescued My Guy!

Image credits: nipdeep

#2 Kodiak’s Before And After

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#3 I Shared Tala’s Story Just Over A Month Ago. But Forgive Me I Simply Had To Update You With Her Amazing Transformation In Just The Last Few Weeks, We Are Blown Away How Far She Has Come. Love, Care And A Safe Environment Goes A Long Way

Image credits: sproggs44

If you’ve ever adopted a pet yourself, you know how massive of an impact it can have on the animal's life and your own. Suddenly, you’ve got a new member of the family, and your little fur baby gets a new lease on life. When a dog is rescued, they may have some difficulties adjusting to their new home at first, but over time, they’ll be well-fed, well-groomed and right at home with their new, loving family. According to The Humane Society of the United States, about 4.1 million cats and dogs are adopted from shelters annually, which is wonderful. But at the same time, about 6.3 million companion animals enter US shelters every year.

While it might seem tempting to go and pick out the exact puppy you want from a breeder, it’s important to remember just how many precious and loving animals are just waiting in shelters, hoping to be rescued. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a breed you love. There are some breed-specific shelters around the country, housing Australian shepherds or Dobermans, for example. And when it comes to the most common canine breeds that find their way into shelters, the World Animal Foundation says pit bulls, labrador retrievers, German shepherds, dachshunds, chihuahuas, and boxers end up waiting to be adopted more than any other dogs.  

#4 One Year Later — Ronnie Went From Starving, Shot Up With Bb Pellets, And Heartworm Positive To Our Beloved, Darling, Goofy, Princess. I’ve Never Had A Sweeter Dog

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#5 Jess's Transformation, She Was A Stray When We Found Her. Vets Said She Had 1 Week To Live. - May 2021 vs. Aug 2022

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#6 With Love And Care, Everything Damaged Can Be Healed

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If this list teaches us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t judge a dog by its cover. Yes, we all want an adorable canine friend to snuggle up next to us and to become our new walking companion. But when it comes to adopting a pup from a rescue, we have to remember that they will likely undergo a huge transformation, mentally and physically, after being welcomed into a warm and loving home. If you take your dog home from the shelter and they have a hard time walking well on a leash, give them some time to get used to it. If they seem anxious and skittish or have separation anxiety, it’s very likely that their fears will lessen as they become more acquainted with you and their new surroundings. Dogs are sensitive, just like humans, and sometimes they just need some patience and TLC.

And when it comes to why we should all adopt instead of shop, perfectly explains one of the biggest problems with puppy mills and breeders. “Puppy mills and backyard breeders choose profit over animal welfare, their animals typically do not receive proper veterinary care. Animals may seem healthy at first but later show issues like congenital eye and hip defects, parasites or even the deadly Parvovirus.” These poor animals are often in overcrowded, unhygienic cages, they often suffer from malnutrition, and puppies are usually torn from their mothers far too early.

#7 Day 1 vs. Day 365

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#8 Not My Personal Dog, But One Close To My Heart. As One Of Our Regular Shelter Volunteers Said, "She's Come A Long Way From Kennel 47"

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#9 Kaze The Rescue Pup

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When there are millions of animals just patiently waiting in shelters to be rescued, there is no reason to resort to supporting a greedy and inhumane puppy mill. In fact, by adopting an animal from a shelter, you’re likely saving its life. According to the ASPCA, about 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized each year in the United States, as they can’t allow them to stay forever taking up spots from other animals. And if you can’t commit to permanently adopting a dog into your life, even fostering one for some time might save it from being put down, while simultaneously making room in the shelter for someone new. It’s heartbreaking to see all of the precious pets in need of a home, so if you’re looking to adopt, it’s definitely best to start checking all of the shelters near you first.  

#10 After Someone Dumped Her Out A Window, Covered In Over 30 Ticks, Mites, Missing Fur vs. Now & Beyond Healthy. We Kept Her Because We Wanted Her To Have A Good Life And She’s The Happiest, Most Loving Dog We’ve Ever Had. Our Billie Girl, Mixed Pup

Image credits: SchwiftyEmmmmy

#11 Before And After Adoption. Puppy That We Rescued In December 2021

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#12 Did We Give My Bebe Her Best Life? You Gosh Darn Right We Did!! We’re Still Working Through Her Issues But Her Indomitable Spirit Keeps Us Going. She’s My Role Model! Three Cheers For Qtip

Image credits: Dreadknot84

Personally, I’ve only had three dogs in my lifetime, who were all adopted from rescues, and I would never get a dog in any other way. Even if you think you’re picky when it comes to what breed you want or if it’s important to you that your dog is a purebred, there’s a great chance that you can find what you’re looking for in a shelter. Nowadays, most of them have websites that they’re constantly updating with photos and descriptions of each pet who comes in, and if you’re on the hunt for one specific breed, you can start searching for a shelter who specializes in keeping those doggos. Apparently, about 30% of all dogs up for adoption are purebreds, and they will most likely be healthy, as all dogs who enter the shelter system have to be up to date on their shots and must be spayed or neutered. Plus, a shelter animal will cost you much less than a pet you’ve bought specifically from a breeder.    

#13 We Got Sophie When She Was A 1 1/2 Yr Old Stray, Terrified Of Everything. She Ended Up Being The Sweetest, Calmest, Most Loving Dog I’ve Ever Met. She Lived To Be Almost 15 Years Old. Miss You Sweet Girl

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#14 My Boy Jake

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#15 I Posted Last Week About Our Rescue Pablito, Reddit’s Love Was Overwhelming For This Little Pup And I Wanted To Share With You All An Updated Happy Ending To His Story

Image credits: sproggs44

Just by scrolling through these photos, it becomes immediately clear that shelter animals always have the potential to be happy, healthy and enjoy a long life filled with joy and love. But as wonderful as having a new furry companion in your life can be, there are still some important factors to consider before becoming a dog parent. The decision to welcome a pet into your family should not be taken lightly, so if you’re planning on adopting a dog, be sure that you’ve considered the costs of food and veterinary care, who will take care of the dog during the day or when you’re working, and how they will fit in with your lifestyle. If you’re very active and go hiking every weekend, you might not be able to take a chihuahua along with you. If you have a teeny tiny apartment with no backyard, you’re probably not going to want a Great Dane.   

#16 My Buddy Chewie On The Day We Met In 2016 And A Few From The Past Few Years

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#17 I Adopted My First Dog Last Night. Her Name Is Ginger

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#18 Our 4th Anniversary Together!

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Once you’ve finally brought your beautiful shelter dog home, it’s important to be mindful that they’re going through a lot of changes, so their behavior might not be perfectly smooth from day one. Remember to do everything you can to help them settle in and feel at home as soon as possible. According to Alliance of Therapy Dogs, it’s recommended to first give your new family member a guided tour of your home. “Walk them around the yard and show them the main property. If there are any areas out of bounds to your pet, don’t take them there. Instead, walk them around the space where they will be living,” the ATD team writes. “Keeping your dog on a lead will make them feel calm and give them the chance to adjust to the new sights and smells in your home. Once you’ve been around your home, you could consider taking your dog to their safe space and then letting them off the lead.”   

#19 We Adopted Luna Last Week And She Had Her First Grooming Appointment Today. I'm Not Sure We Got The Same Dog Back

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#20 5 Months After Adoption vs. 8 Years After Adoption

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#21 Left Tied To A Lampost In The Middle Of The Night With A Broken Shoulder

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Prioritize making your dog feel safe in their new home. Give them a comfy bed in a more private corner of your house that they can retreat to if they start to feel overwhelmed. Instruct your family members not to disturb them when they’re laying there. Then slowly introduce the dog to the members of your family. Be gentle when making introductions and keep other pets or kids from being too loud or getting in the dog’s face. Then allow your pet some time to relax and unwind in their safe space. You can try to read their body language, but it can be hard to know for sure how they are feeling after meeting the family, so it’s best not to introduce too much at once.   

#22 This Gentleman Showed Up On Our Porch Right Before Christmas

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#23 My Sweet Cairo. We Rescued Him When He Was A Couple Months Old. Today He Crossed The Rainbow Bridge At The Age Of 14

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#24 Surrendered By His First Family At Age 4, Second Family At Age 9. Third Family's A Charm - It's Only Been A Year But You're Here Forever, Butter Bean

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Finally, Alliance of Therapy Dogs says you can start creating a routine with your new pet. “That means setting a time for when they eat, when they go for walks, and when the lights go out, and they get to go to sleep at night.” Knowing what to expect out of each day can help them feel relaxed and more comfortable, which is especially helpful for pets who have been abandoned or faced trauma in their former life. And always remember to be patient with them. “It might take them several weeks, or even longer, to fully settle into their new home,” the ATD team writes. “So, it would help if you tried to take things slow and celebrate small victories. Whether it’s a tail wag or the dog sleeping through the night, every accomplishment makes a difference in the long run.”

#25 Kafka Was In A Shelter In Poland For 6 Years And I Adopted Her 5 Months Ago. Best Decision Ever

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#26 From Scared Of Everything To A Cuddly Kitten Foster Brother

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#27 He Was Abandoned In The Road. Now Look At Him. He’s The Best!

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Is your heart feeling fuller from viewing these precious doggo pics, pandas? I’ve always been a dog person through and through, so these pictures have definitely hit home for me. Keep upvoting all of the photos that make you want to visit your local shelter and bring another pup home, and feel free to tell us all about your own canine-adoption experiences in the comments below. Then, if your heart is in need of even more uplifting doggo content, you can find Bored Panda’s last article featuring rescue dog transformations right here!

#28 Nemo, An Update To Our Rescue From His Adopter

Image credits: gkpetrescue

#29 She Hasn’t Been Adopted Yet But Just Look At Her Before And After Photos…i Found Her Like This And Just Look At What A Month Of Proper Love And Care Will Do!

Image credits: LA_babygirl

#30 From The Streets Of Yabacoa To Our Home!

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#31 Meet Dog: Our Street Rescued Dog That We Weren't Planning To Keep It (The Name Says It All Lol) And A Fighter! He Is In Treatment For Leishmaniasis Since September 2020, And Now He Is Ready To Take The Medicine That Can Decrease The Disease To Almost 0%, Since There's No Cure. He Is My Hero Boy!!

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#32 Millie. The Shelter Thought She Was A Senior Due To Her Teeth And Body Condition. Turns Out She Was Just Starving And Had Been Chewing On Rocks! She Had A Bladder Issue That Caused Her Trouble For A While But Once We Got That Fixed She Got Fat And Happy And Found A Forever Home

Image credits: gkpetrescue

#33 From Abandoned At The Shelter To The Most Spoiled Girl

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#34 My Beautiful Girl! Now vs. April 2022 When She Was Rescued

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#35 Before And After Adoption. Puppy That We Rescued From Industrial Park In 2021

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#36 This Is Stinky Rafa! He Was About 3 Months Old When He Was Found In A Landfill, We’ve Had Him 1.5 Years Now

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#37 Nervous Guy To Cuddly Dork

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#38 Bodhi When Found As A Stray vs. This Morning, 8 Weeks Later

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#39 Brought To The Emergency Vet After A Good Samaritan Watched Him Get Hit By A Car At 12 Weeks, Now An Absolutely Spoiled Rotten Boi

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#40 Today Marks 8 Months Of Our First Meeting, Thanks For Saving Us. We Love You Ekko!!

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#41 My Dad Rescued A Border Collie/Australian Shepherd Mix Last Year. Will Run 15+ Miles/Day While My Dad Bikes. He Is A Blessing

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#42 The Day My Husband Got Him From The Shelter And 2.5 Years Later

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#43 My Heart

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#44 This Girl Came Into My Work (Er Vet) 2 Years Ago As A Finder Surrender! Told My Husband I Needed Her In My Life And It Couldn’t Have Been More True

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#45 Milly, Truly A Remarkable Recovery/Story!

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#46 This Is Kobe. Sometimes I Wonder If He Ran Away Or Got Abandoned By Someone. But He Was Found Injured, Malnourished, Sick And Very Afraid Of Men Specifically

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#47 Found Chained To A Pole In A Trailer Park. She Had Been Living Like That For 2-3 Years. She Got A Second Chance At Life With Us

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#48 Five Months Since His Gotcha Day, He’s Come So Far And Started His Heartworm Treatment This Morning!

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#49 From Day 1 As A 5-Week Old Dumped In My Driveway To My Big 6-Month Old Best Boy

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#50 The Day Our Boy Came Home And 365 Days Later!

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