Without an undeniable doubt, we can all agree that dogs are man’s best friend. They are always there for us, know when we are sad, try to cheer us up and protect us from anything they consider to be dangerous. As of 2019, 49% of American households have a pet dog; which means there are more than 90 million dogs in the US alone. While some people prefer to get their four legged friends from pet stores, the rest consider adoption as a viable solution to a mounting problem. Not only does adoption help local shelters maintain balance, but they also help our best friends to find a loving home. Today, we have gathered 10 before and after pictures of adoption, that shows just how amazing they can be.
1. First day of adoption vs. 4 months after. Just shows the wonders of adoption within a single picture.
Did you know that there are more homeless animals than people on our planet? Not only that, studies show that dogs suffer from vagrancy just as much as humans do. In fact, according to volunteer organization DoSomething.org, there are five homeless animals on the street for every one homeless human. While working with a pet shop or a breeder might seem ideal to get a new friend, adopting one from your local shelter will help solve one of the biggest problems we face today. Not only is adopting a cheaper alternative, you would end up with a best friend for life, who would be thankful for everything you do.
2. This beagle was left out and ignored for so long that he started developing trust issues. He was so afraid that he wouldn’t allow anyone to pet him and always sat alone in his cage. After being adopted, he turned out to be the ultimate cuddle bug.
There is a common misconception that all shelter dogs suffer from behavioral issues. While some dogs do suffer from behavioral issues, not all of them were given up because of that. In fact, studies show that the majority of shelter dogs are given up either due to circumstances out of their control; such as owners’ allergies or because the owner had to change houses and the new landlord did not allow pets. Another common misconception is that all shelter animals are on their last leg. A research published in the Macedonian Veterinary Review found that, in 2013, the average age of a shelter dog was under two years old, proving that there are dogs of all ages available for adoption.
3. This is Cayde, who worked on a farm for over 8 years. His previous owner decided that he was of no more help, so, he abandoned him in a shelter. When he was adopted, he was underweight, and covered in embedded grass seeds. The new owners loved and took care of him for over 2 years, and this is the result.
Dogs are used by farmers and herders to help them move large numbers of livestock effectively and efficiently. There are many breeds that are better with sheep, others better with cattle, and some work many species of herd animals. This poor little trooper however, was discarded by his previous owner once he was no longer useful. The new owners however, took good care of him and provided him with the love and cuddles he deserves.
4. From being found walking together on the side of a highway to a new home, bath and haircuts.
This is Mario and Luigi. They were found walking by themselves on the side of a busy highway. According to the owner, he had no intentions of adopting a pet but after spending a few minutes with them, he fell in love. The image on the right was taken a month after they were both rescued and it clearly shows the difference.
According to ASPCA, more than 6.5 million animals are sent to animal shelters every year. Of the 6.5 million animals that enter animal shelters nationwide every year, only 3.2 million of those are adopted. About 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 620,000 are dogs and only 90,000 are cats. (source)
5. From sad, lonely eyes to those happy puppy dog eyes. 6 months ago vs. today!
This is Sammy, 6 months ago vs. today. Sammy not only has a great reason to smile now, she has a fur-ever home! Today, even though millions of dogs are still without homes, there are fewer dogs in shelters now than there were before. According to ASPCA, there were 7.2 million animals in shelters in 2011, meaning that shelters nationwide have seen an overall decrease of about 10%. (source)
6. Two photos taken an hour apart. Before and after adoption.
Despite the decrease in number of dogs arriving at shelters, a recent study showed that people continue to buy dogs from breeders instead of adopting them. The ASPCA reports that 34% of dogs are obtained from breeders, whereas just 23% are adopted from animal shelters or humane societies. While some people claim that the reason for not adopting through shelters is because the dog might have some underlying health condition, which is in fact a misconception.
According to Kenny Lamberti, vice president of companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States, “the vast majority of dogs that would come from a shelter are evaluated for behavior and health”. Not only do shelters pay close attention to their health, they do so in such a manner that they are more thorough than most breeders and pet shops.
7. From a small cage at an adoption event to a king-sized bed with her own hooman.
This is Hera. According to her owner, she was a sad, shy little girl, at an adoption event. After adoption and five months of love, she turned out to be a sweet cuddle bug. Studies show that shelter dogs are extremely unique, not just in character, but as whole. According to one study of over 900 pups published in PLoS ONE, the average shelter mutt is a mix of three different breeds!
8. This is Ripley at around 6 months in Iran and again at around 1 year in her forever home in the United States.
When you adopt a pup, not only do you save them, they in turn save you. One study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida found that having a pet dog around allows young ones to better cope with stress, setting them up for success in the future. Other studies also found that having pet dogs can help reduce blood pressure levels, and some forms of allergies. (source)
9. After being picked up by animal control for misbehavior to being adopted and becoming a best friend.
In a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research revealed that shelter dogs are “more socially driven to gaze and interact with humans” compared to pet dogs. Like humans, dogs are also skilled at using human social signals such as pointing at a target, gaze, visual direction of attention, and facial emotional cues.
10. When she was first adopted, Dakota was shy and always hiding behind a table. This is her after graduating Advanced Class, 6 months later!
If these pictures aren’t enough to make you rethink adoption, then nothing else will. According to the Mosby Foundation, a nonprofit that helps care for injured and abandoned animals, only 1 out of every 10 dogs born ever gets placed in a permanent, loving home. (source)