Every day, shelter volunteers save lives. They give hope to animals who have been abused and abandoned but don’t often get the credit they deserve. On Instagram and Facebook, these volunteers share the life stories of the puppies they meet – from being abandoned in Puerto Rico to finding true love later in life. Here are the real stories of these adorable shelter pups, shared from the people who take care of them every single day.
Mizuki Is On His Way To Recovery At DC Shiba Inu Rescue
Mizuki was surrendered because of severe allergies, and her owners just weren’t equipped to take care of such a special girl. The poor pup was suffering from fur loss because her allergies were so severe. Thankfully, she was taken in by the DC Siba Inu Rescue, who aren’t short on love and TLC.
Upon entering the rescue home, Mizuki was given a warm bath, some yummy boiled chicken and bone broth. She spent the rest of her night cuddled up in bed. Despite the fact that the rescue were told she needed a muzzle for baths and nail trims, Mizuki was actually calm as a cucumber thanks to their reward-based training.
Nook Nook Was Rescued Two Days Before Death
Adorable Pitbull Nook Nook had an unfortunate past life as a fighting dog, but he was completely deaf which made him a poor fighter. His deafness also made him a poor candidate for breeding, so his previous owners brought him to the pound. Nook Nook had just two days to live before he would be euthanized when Peanuts Pit Bull Rescue in Colorado picked him up. He lived there for six months before he was adopted by shelter volunteer Ariel Dehart, who described him as a big lap dog.
Nook Nook is so smart that he was able to learn sight commands to offset his deafness, and now he’s living a happy doggo life filled with lots of love. The left photo is Nook Nook before he found his forever home, and the right picture is him basking in his newfound freedom.
Graycie Was So Afraid She Refused To Eat, But Then Something Amazing Happened
Granite Hills Animal Care
Poor Graycie was terrified when she was brought into Granite Hills Animal Care. The little pup was so scared and weak that she was steps away from being put down because of the pain she was in – she was emaciated, dehydrated, hypothermic and suffered from a painful prolapse.
Her brave vet Dr. Andy Mathis refused to give up on her despite the fact that she would not eat. He climbed into her cage to keep her company and coaxed her to eat breakfast. Those love-filled breakfasts have helped Graycie come out of her shell and she’s making a lot of progress. She’s gained weight and is living proof that a little love goes a long way.
Ohana Means Family. Family Means No One Gets Left Behind
Trio Animal Shelter
Antler the dog is a doting mama with a couple of pups, but that doesn’t mean they’re biologically hers. This sweet snap shared by Trio Animal Shelter shows a very tired Antler. Why is she so sleepy? Because being a mom is hard work – and she’s got a brand new kid under her roof. Little Possum, who appears to have some husky blood in him, curled right up to the sleepy mom. According to the shelter staff, “her momma instincts kicked right in.” She’s been treating the puppy as her own and is undeniably a very, very good girl.
Keep reading to meet the pound dog who can run a 10K!
Bobby Got A Festive Christmas Sweater When His Family Abandoned Him
Bobby was just one year old when his family abandoned him a couple weeks before Christmas – a time when you’re supposed to hold onto those you love. The terrier mix was depressed, but to cheer him up, volunteers at the shelter dressed him in a snazzy green sweater. As sharp as he looked, his festive digs didn’t help him get adopted, and by the time February rolled around his time at the shelter was running out.
Thankfully, the media took wind of Bobby’s story and eventually the sweet pup got adopted by Paola Mariaca, who took him on as a therapy dog. She described him as a “very sweet and gentle calm baby” who’s “enjoying all the attention.”
Deaf Shelter Pup Walter Found Friendship With A Deaf Child
Pasadena Humane Society
Walter had trouble finding a home because of his disability – he was deaf. Fortunately, that’s exactly the type of pup that Julia Vasquez needed for support. The deaf girl formed an unbelievable strong bond with the cuddly puppy who was adopted from the Pasadena Humane Society.
The California-based rescue center admitted that “Walter is Julia’s best friend” and the pair do everything together. Walter helps Julia with her homework and Julia helps teach Walter sign language. Both friends were born deaf, proving that there’s a match for anyone and everyone.
These Two Mangy, Abandoned Pups Comforted Each Other In The Shelter
Washington Humane Society
Three pit bull pups were brought into the Washington Humane Society after being severely neglected by their owners. Two of the three, Klondike and Haagen Dazs, became inseparable. The puppies, who suffered from a terrible but treatable case of mange, curled up together and offered each other comfort. Throughout the healing process, Haagen Dazs managed to find a forever home. Klondike and the third puppy continue to be fostered until they’re nursed back to tip-top health, but none of the three pups are stuck inside of a shelter. Instead, they spend their days filled with love. This adorable photo was shared by staff at the Washington Humane Society shortly after the dogs were brought in.
This Poor, Hurt Pup Found A Friend In Another Shelter Dog
Paws and Claws Clinic
Sammie was in bad shape when he was brought into Paws and Claws Clinic. The pup was believed to have been shot and dragged by a car. He had gaping wounds and was almost dead when he was found in the street.
As soon as Sammie was brought into the shelter, a fellow shelter pup came to his aid. Simon heard Sammie crying, his ears perked up and he rushed to be at Sammie’s side. The pair has been friends ever since and Sammie managed to pull through thanks to the excellent vets at Paws and Claws.
Doris Is Going To Have One Big Baby
This certified Good Girl is Doris, a shelter pup at Animal House Rescue and Grooming. The adorable mother hasn’t found her forever home, but she has gone through an amazing milestone. Doris has a baby, who was around four weeks old at the time this photo was posted to Instagram.
No one is sure what breed Spud is, but his name is very fitting. Doesn’t he look like a little chubby potato? It’s thought that spud will quickly outgrow his petite mama. For now, he still enjoys cuddling up to her side and having playtime with the shelter staff.
Natalie Got A Break From The Shelter In A Snow-Filled Hike
Photo: Jenna Donelia
This adorable pup named Natalie was one of 34 dogs who got a break from the kennel at their shelter. Rescue volunteer Jenna Donelia took Natalie out for a few hours as part of the monthly City Dogs Cleveland hike. Donelia described Natalie as a “full-figured gal” and admitted her hefty size was the reason they were one of the last people and dog pairs on the course.
Despite being built for “comfort, not speed,” Natalie still enjoyed the hike and wagged her tail as she smelled all the smells in the great outdoors.
Brooks Is A Chubby Boy In A Tie
Brooks was brought into Franklin County Dog Shelter years ago and was desperately looking for a forever home. He spent most of his early life in a shelter. Thankfully, the adorable pup was adopted around Christmas in 2014 when he was eight months old. He weighed a tiny nine pounds, and has since blossomed into what his owners describe as a “chunky boy.”
The happy pup is now 22 pounds strong and about four years old. His demeanor is ultra-loving, and he adores a good snuggle. Brooks is chill in every respect of the word and doesn’t at all mind dressing up in dapper ties and waving around his silly, little tongue.
Max Overcame His Abuse And Now Leads A Happy, Care-free Pup Life
Max’s story is a sad one. He was taken to the Franklin County Dog Shelter before he was even one year old. It’s suspected that he spent his very first year being abused by a previous male owner. The pup was adopted when he was 10 months old in 2014, and his life as massively turned around. Max is obsessed with his owner and does everything with her – from napping and snuggling to camping and kayaking. This pup loves the outdoors and is always down for an adventure.
“I cannot imagine life without this goofball,” his new owner admitted after adopting him while she was still in law school. Just look at Max’s happy tongue and adorable neck chub!
York Is A Champion Racer Who Found A Forever Home
City Dogs Cleveland
York is not your average pit. City Dogs Cleveland describes him as a motivator. The puppy has run a 10k and has a number of medals and races under his belt. He is the ultimate companion for a runner, but he’s also not always a tough go-getter. York is described as having a soft side. He’s insecure and needs reassurance from his parents. Before getting adopted, York spent most of his time walking on hiking trails with volunteer staff and jogging. He also found a friend in a senior dog who helped him chill out from his action-packed journeys outside of the shelter.
Nena Has Hip Dysplasia But Doesn’t Let It Keep Her From Being Awesome
Nena may have hip dysplasia, but the rescue puppy isn’t letting it bring her down. In this snap, Nena is hamming it up for the cameras and showing off her cuteness while a rescue volunteer gives her a little cuddle. Despite her injury, Nena is one of the dogs who managed to join a guided group walk for Austin Animal Center’s 1Dog1Hour segment. Basically, she’s not just your average shelter pup, she’s a full-fledged star.
Austin Animal Center frequently waves adoption fees during special events like their SXSW knock off Dog By Dog West.
Lucy Found A Forever Home After Her Foster Fell In Love
Lucy was picked up by Hello Kiro Rescue after the owner fell in love – all it took was a single tail wag. Lucy is a rather hyper pup who buzzes around with a crazy amount of energy. She loves to play and her foster mom took her out for a walk, then retired with her to the kennel. While there, Lucy was a little nervous about all the barks, but her foster mom knew it wouldn’t be long until she found a forever home. Three hours later, Lucy was out the door with her brand new parents. Much like her foster mom, her adoptive forever home fell instantly in love.
Wyatt Enjoyed Some Time In The Snow
Sweet little Wyatt is living in the Franklin County Dog Shelter, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t having a wonderful time. The mutt likely has some Ridgeback and Shepherd in his adorable mix, and his rambunctious attitude makes everyone who meets him fall in love. Instagram commenter Picturethelove admitted she got to walk the pup and he was “so cute!” We have to agree!
Volunteer worker and Instagram user Allison0210 snapped a few sweet pictures of the pup frolicking in the Ohio snow, and he looked happier than ever. Even if Wyatt hasn’t found his forever home, he’s not sweating it too hard and enjoying his time with the doting staff at Franklin County.
Earmuffs Wants Nothing More Than Some Tummy Rubs
Earmuffs the dog may not have found a forever home yet, but he’s really enjoying the cuddles given by the volunteer staff at City Dogs Cleveland. In this snap by a shelter volunteer, Earmuffs is enjoying a good, old-fashioned tummy rub.
The loveable pup is just a year and a half old. His favorite things including snuggling and learning new tricks (who doesn’t enjoy getting a snack for holding out their paw?). He got his name because of the markings on his ears. It looks like he’s always got on a pair of black earmuffs!
Beethoven Perked Up When He Met His Foster Mom
Poor Beethoven found himself homeless before he was brought into the Dogs of Del Norte County shelter in Anaheim, California. No one ever came to claim this senior-aged dog, and the shelter admitted the environment was massively stressful for him. He appeared to be abandoned and showed major sign of depression. To make matter worse, Beethoven had some health problems. The dog had a growth removed from his leg and some dental issues. He stayed beneath his blanket for hours, like he had lost the will to live. But then he found some hope.
Beethoven met his foster mom, who planned to take care of the sweet boy while he recovered from surgery. The pup perked right up and jumped into his foster mom’s truck. Let’s just hope his final years are filled with cuddles and joy.
Nutella Is As Sweet As Her Name
Nutella was just rescued by Stray From The Heart. This adorable dog is, unfortunately, facing some not-so-adorable health issues. The five-year-old pup has adorable curly fur but her skin was neglected for a very long time. Nutella found her way to foster care where she’ll be getting some extra TLC to heal her skin condition. She’s on her way to recovery and looking for a loving home. Who wouldn’t want to cuddle that curly, cute fur?
Mike Went From Abandoned In Puerto Rico To Spoiled Boy
Mike was rescued by New York Bully Crew after being found in Puerto Rico in a place that’s known for abandoning pit bulls. The poor pup was infested with ticks and fleas. His eyes were swollen and his skin was in terrible condition. He needed some extra TLC to get well quickly.
Mike has since fully recovered and found his forever home. His favorite things include riding around with his dad on the back of the family golf cart. As his adopted mother would say, Mike is a “spoiled boy,” but a good one nonetheless.
This dog’s name is Emmy. Emmy got rescued from Home2Home Rescue non-profit shelter in the UK. The owner saved three dogs including Emmy and said she is the most photogenic.
Her owner says, “It’s near impossible to take a bad photo of her, as she always stares soulfully into the camera. Here she is posing with her toy monkey.” As Emmy looks into the lens of this camera, it is the proof she is adorable.
Peachy Is Doing Peachy
This is Peachy from the CAWS. CAWS is a no-kill volunteer and foster-based organization whose aim is to help animals in the community. Some time went by after Peachy was adopted and CAWS issued an update.
The Instagram account said, “We heard from Peachy’s adopters this week. She is doing wonderfully in her new home and is being spoiled rotten. They said she is very easy and patient pet.” Hearing positive news about adopted pets is fantastic.
Hear Dino Roar
Meet Dino, the pup from the Animal League Shelter. The North Shore Animal League is the worlds largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization. With over 100 thousand followers on Instagram, they are sure to attract a lot of potential clients who are willing to adopt. They have an adorable plea for this dog Dino.
The Animal League Instagram wrote, “My name is Dino, come hear me roar! I’m a six-year-old Pekingese mix, and I can’t wait to discover my new family and home! Won’t you visit me today? Who’s going to turn that down?
Tucker The Excited
This little guy’s name is Tucker. He is from the Humane Society of North Western Pennsylvania (NWPA). Over there, they take the pets on a weekly “Finding Furever Families” segment, and Tucker is always eager for this.
NWPA wrote on their Instagram, “Tucker is available for Adoption at the Humane Society of NWPA. Tucker was excited to visit for our weekly Finding Furever Families segment.” Hopefully, Tucker finds his forever family sooner rather than later.
Easter Pets In The Flesh
Pets are fun during the holidays. They can bring an added element to any holiday celebrations. This cat is from the Bryant Animal Control and Adoption Center where they service the Bryant Community. They celebrate Easter a bit different here.
“The shelter animals are celebrating Easter by putting out their basket for all the Easter buns to fill!, the Instagram account wrote. “The cattos are hoping for new beds, and hidey holes and the doggos are asking for yummy treats.”
Feline Friday With Mustafa
The Humane Society always comes up with smart marketing tactics, so they can help their homeless pets obtain a home. The Humane Society of Pinellas does a Feline Friday hashtag on Instagram to bring attention to their cats. This cat above is Mustafa.
“Happy #FelineFriday from Mustafa, a handsome 4-year-old tabby who is looking for his purrfect match,” the Instagram revealed. “If you want a sweet, big-headed fellow – come meet your new BFF.”
Blind But Not Defeated
It’s even harder for a homeless pet to obtain adoption if he or she has any problems. Luckily, some kind-hearted humans don’t mind these issues and love the pet through good and bad times. An update was given on this little fellow after she was adopted.
“She is very loved and cared for, but she is now fully blind and becoming deaf,” the Instagram reported. “She has another dog that visits often who has become her eyes and ears. She couldn’t have ended up with a better adoptive family.”
Meow Monday With Stormie
The Humane Society of Pinellas is back with another clever hashtag for their cats. The hashtag they used for this cat is #MeowMonday. They’ve got to come up with these things to help these cats who deserve a nice to home get to their destination.
“Happy #MeowMonday from 5-year-old Stormi,” The Humane Society wrote. “This pretty girl is going to be a great addition to a home with or without other cats. She is laid back, easy going and ready to be matched.”
Jeffrey Is A Good Pupp
An excellent image of a puppy is gold. It can be the difference between the puppy getting adopted or staying in the shelter. This adorable photograph of Jeffrey ensures that he will be adopted soon if he hasn’t already.
“Life as a #shelterpet can be ruff, but this guy, Jeffery from Fetching Apparel does [a] tremendous amount of good for me and all my friends,” The Instagram post wrote. A dog that does a lot of work and has an adorable face is a sure keeper.
A Valentines Doggo
Is there anything better than having someone you love on Valentine’s day and a new dog? The answer to that is probably no, and the Animal Welfare League of Trumbull knew this when marketing this cute dog, Jagger.
“Roses are red, violets are blue,” The Welfare Instagram started. “This Valentine’s Day, take me home with you!! Jagger is a 3-year-old Shar-pei/Rott mix. He weighs around 50 lbs and is black/tan. He is a very happy boy! That tail never stops wagging!” Looks like you’ve got yourself a winner by choosing Jagger.
Peach Finds Her Home
It’s a good day when a dog finds their new home. Both the family and center where the pet comes from are in good spirits. After nurturing the dogs without homes for so long and to finally see them get a caring home is a blessing.
“Drum roll, please!!!! Today Peach got ADOPTED!!!!! She found a wonderful family who just adores her,” the Instagram account wrote. “After nearly 6 months with this girl I am going to miss her terribly but she finally has her forever home she deserves.”
The Most Trained German Shephard
Say hello to Victoria from Big Dog Rescue (BDR) located in Northern California. The dogs at that shelter were at risk of being euthanized in kill shelters before they get brought to Big Dog Rescue. Thankfully, they got Victoria.
The Instagram account shed some light on this pup: “She’s the most trained pup at BDR, she’s great with all size dogs, people, and maybe even cats! Anyone in the Bay Area looking for a German Shepherd or just a good big dog, check her out!
Fluffy Little Tita
This dog and the previous one are from the same shelter in Northern California. Both are looking for a friendly enough owner to come and adopt them. You can call her Tita, and she’s very mature.
“She’s soooo sweet and fluffy, and doesn’t look or act her age at all! If you’re in SF and looking for a dog, check her out,” the account wrote. It sounds like there is a lot of love waiting to get received after adopting Tita.
The Marshmallow Manatee
Felicity is from A Purposeful Rescue located in Los Angeles. It is a non-profit whose mission is to save dogs in LA with and has a strong focus on prevention and outreach. They develop close relationships with their dogs.
The Instagram account said: “I am obsessed with this marshmallow manatee and if we had the space for another dog, I’d adopt her in a heartbeat. She’s so smushy and has the sweetest face! If you’re in LA please check her out!”
It’s Hard Out Here For A Cat
According to the National Geographic, most people prefer dogs to have as pets. 52 percent of pet owners have dogs and only 21 percent have cats. This is why it is so important for cats to be adopted! Above you see Souvenir from the Humane Society.
The Lincoln County Humane Society commented on Souvenir with a post saying: “Did you know that Souvenir has been waiting a whole year to find a home?! After finding her way to LCHS the poor girl has been to 3 different foster homes through no fault of her own and she wants to make her next move her last!”
Helping With Laundry
This little guy is from All Dogs Matter. Their mission is to rescue and rehome dogs in and around London. They are small but good at what they do. Ted the Bichon got saved from All Dogs Matter.
The Instagram post wrote, “Ted the Bichon Frise loves helping with the laundry!” A dog that can help with this tedious task a dog worth saving and the new owner of this guy is a lucky human.
Don’t Let The Face Fool You
One cardinal rule is to never judge a book by its cover. A photographer for animals who enter shelters set up an Instagram showcasing pets that have yet to be adopted. The account highlighted Benny.
“Don’t let Benny’s grouchy face put you off, he’s an absolute sweetheart,” the account wrote. ” He’s ready for some summer fun with a very lucky family. Could it be yours?” That’s a nice pitch and paired with a fantastic photograph.
Looking Cute Is A Bonus
We mentioned earlier how many people prefer cats. With the market for cats being so rough, it’s a big help if they take adorable pictures like this one above. It makes turning them down that much harder.
“Sweetness is just hanging out looking ultra cute and cuddly today in her temporary humble abode,” the Instagram account wrote. “She is just waiting for the door to open to reveal a human seeking a snuggle bug! She is very sweet if you couldn’t guess by her name.”
The Look Of Love
The Animal Welfare Association was founded in 1948 and offers pet clinic services, humane education, pet adoption, and a lot more. They had this cute dog on their hands and it’s crazy he wasn’t adopted immediately.
The Animal Welfare account said: “What a pretty guy! Benji, a 3yo Australian cattle dog mix, is looking for love and an active family. He loves toys, bones, and people! He’d be best in a home with kids 10 and up because sometimes he’s jumpy.”
The Big Softie
Once again, you can’t judge a book, but it’s cover. Some pet owners prefer not to adopt bigger and older dogs because they like to raise them from a puppy. The Animal Welfare League tells you this dog is an excellent choice.
The Animal Welfare League said, “Addie may be a big dog, but that doesn’t mean she’s still not a softie! She is a 7-year-old, black/brindle/white Pit/lab mix. She is strong, but very well trained. She can be frightened of storms, but just wants some love and comforting.”