Photos Of Shelter Dogs As They Realize They’re Being Adopted Will Melt Your Heart

Is there any greater joy than knowing that you’re loved and wanted? It’s one of the best feelings ever, and especially so for a pup that’s lived in a shelter. You’re about to meet some lucky dogs that were plucked from shelters or rescues and taken in by loving people. These touching photos were taken right at the moment that the pets realized that they were going to be adopted by their new parents. Who knows, you might just be inspired to give a sweet shelter pup its furrever home after seeing these. We say do it! Help spread the love!

That New-Home Glow

You’d almost think this picture was photoshopped. This pup with his big grin looks too happy to be real! But this is indeed a real dog, expressing overwhelming happiness about going home with his new human companion.

Smiles like this are contagious. Guess what? So is the kind of love that a shelter dog can bring you. If you’ve ever been on the fence about bringing a dog in need into your family, just take a look at this ear-to-ear grin.

You Mean I Get To Run Around In This Fun Green Stuff All Day?!

For a dog that’s been in a shelter for any considerable amount of time, just getting to play outside in the grass can be a pretty big deal. This totally adorable little pup seems to know that he’s hit the “new home jackpot” with this pretty backyard.

He looks so happy to be playing outdoors that he might just pick some flowers to give his new parents as a thank you for adopting him!

First Day Home

Reddit user Thebrookesterr was kind enough to share this precious memory of her dog on his very first day at his new home. This pup has manners — just check out the way he chose to thank his new pal.

We think a doggy kiss is the best kind of ‘thank you’ there is. Thebrookesterr is certainly lucky to have found this pooch, and we hope they’ve been enjoying life together ever since this firt day.

Yes, Maya, You’ve Been Adopted!

It’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers are such popular dogs. Just look at the huge smile as one such pup realizes that she’s just been adopted. That is an expression of pure joy!

This young Golden is called Maya, as we can tell by the pretty pink nametag she received when she was adopted. She’s sporting a matching tongue, collar, and tag. There’s no better way to start life with your new family than that!

Deer Or Dog? It’s Up For Discussion

She is one big baby! Imgur user Groovebird was kind enough to let everyone enjoy the special moment when he brought his new pup home for the first time. He captioned the photo, “Still not sure if we adopted a deer or a dog.”

“She likes to sit on my lap and give kisses. As you can see on my face, I didn’t expect she was going to do it while taking the photo.” We think she just couldn’t hold back anymore and needed to thank her new human parent ASAP — whether there was a camera around or not.

Pure Joy

You know what would be a good name for this Chihuahua? “Joy,” because that’s the expression she’s wearing on her sweet little face. That’s not just an everyday smile, that’s the extra special look that you might get when hearing the news that you’ve finally been adopted.

We’re absolutely loving the little Burberry collar, too, even though it looks like it might be a while before the pup grows into it. Here’s to a life of love and luxury, little one. Cheers!

That’s The Friendliest Guard Dog We’ve Ever Seen

It might be hard to believe that the person who adopted this German Shephard mix wanted the pup to be a guard dog! Redditor Promt69 wrote, “My uncle adopted this former Russian guard dog. He warned me not to get too close.” Ha!

The dog is clearly just a big snuggle bunny that’s overjoyed to be meeting his new dad’s nephew. This case is another example of why it can be so rewarding to adopt an older dog – they are usually so full of love to give!

Why Should Young Pups Have All The Fun?

We love stories about older dogs getting adopted! Reddit user LonelyVelociraptor posted about their family’s newest member with the caption, “Adopted this old man from the shelter today. Reddit, meet Max.” Well, hello Max!

So many times, senior dogs are overlooked for younger and more playful pups. But older dogs have just as much love to offer and can be even more grateful for a new home than puppies. Just look at Max’s face. You can see the love and gratitude there.


Shhhh, don’t wake the sleeping baby! This tuckered-out pup certainly deserves to take a nice long nap on the floor now that he’s been adopted and gotten to check out his new home.

That’s the face of a dog who is super content and happy with his new living situation. It’s so sweet the way his new family has even covered him with a snuggly blanket to make sure that he’s comfy and relaxed.

Lucky Luna

This adorable little Australian Shepherd/Border Collie rescue puppy is named Luna. Her human parents document her life on Instagram, to the delight of Luna’s 1,400+ fans. This particular photo was posted as a tribute to her adoption anniversary!

“One year ago we spontaneously got this little nugget and it was the best decision we ever made. Her sassy attitude and wiggly butt make us laugh every day. Happy adoption day Luna!” reads the caption. Luna was so contently snuggled in her dad’s arms after hearing the good news that she fell right asleep.

The Comfort Of A Sleepy Car Ride

So many puppies seem to fall asleep as they’re heading home from the shelter. It seems kind of strange at first until you think about how relieved they must be to know they have a safe furrever home now. That kind of comfort is bound to put a doggy to sleep, especially if they’ve been in a shelter for a while!

When this dog wakes up, he’s going to see his new home and start a brand-new life with the caring people who adopted him.

Look What A Day Can Do

In a subreddit thread called “Before N After Adoption,” a user shared a photo of his newly-adopted dog. The caption read, “What a difference one day makes. Meet Jackson!”

It’s truly hard to believe that these photos were taken just one day apart but it just goes to show what a difference being adopted can mean to a dog. Shelters do the best they can with their resources, but the love of a furrever home and family is something they’re not always able to provide.

When A Smile Says It All

Let’s all let out a collective “awwwwwww” at this dog’s smiling face! This precious little baby is simply over the moon that she was chosen to go home with her new human friends, and she wants the whole world to know.

You can bet that the pup’s rescuers knew they had made the right decision in adopting this cutie pie when she flashed her million-dollar grin. That is the look of love, embodied in one photo.

Now That’s An Expressive Side-Tongue

You might not know this, but a lot of dogs use their tongues to express themselves. A tongue that’s hanging out of the mouth and off to one side (I call that “side-tongue”) usually means that the dog is super relaxed.

And who wouldn’t be relaxed knowing that they’re leaving the shelter life for a furrever home with awesome new parents? This pup has it made in the shade and he knows it. Congratulations, buddy!

One Tuckered Out Pup

Here’s a Reddit post that will make your day. User Potato_hygienist put up this lovable photo of his new puppy. “My wife and I just adopted our first dog. Meet Pixel! Say ‘Hello’, everyone! Dogs are family :),” he wrote. Smiley face included.

It’s obvious that Pixel just wore himself out running around in the grass. That tired but happy look is the result of knowing that he’s now home with his awesome new family!

Picnic With The New Parents

Well, happy adoption day to this playful pup! How excited does he look to know that he’s finally got a new home to call his own? He’s all smiles as he hams it up for the camera.

If you’re looking for a new addition to your family, it’s well worth a visit to your animal local shelter. There are so many sweet dogs out there like this one, that are just looking for a loving home. Who knows, you might just find your new best friend there.

Rodrigo Is A Molto Felice (Very Happy) Dog!

Rodrigo the miniature bull terrier is sure one happy shelter story. He was rescued by a kind-hearted couple in Italy, and he now lives an adventurous life that’s documented on Instagram. He has almost 10,000 followers!

Here’s Rodrigo on the day he found out he had a furrever home. His new parents wrote, MINI-BULL RESCUED from a SPANISH SHELTER now living in Milan Italy, Born on 6Jan2015.” Today, Rodrigo spends his days traveling and napping.

From Street Life To Sofa Selfies

You’d never guess by looking at this happy, relaxed dog that she was living on the streets shortly before the picture was taken. But that’s exactly the case. A Reddit user named sampants23 posted this pic and said, “Another Redditor found this dog on the street. I adopted her. I think she’s happy now.” Yes, we would say so!

You can just tell that the dog knows that she’s found a terrific place to spend the rest of her years. She’s right at home already. We’re so happy to see this special memory.

That First Car Ride Together

We love that so many new pet parents take photos of their sweet babies as they head home together for the first time. It’s such an important moment for everyone involved, and these early photos are going to be treasured forever.

This chocolate lab looks almost like he can’t believe he just got adopted. He’s happy all right, but good news like this can take a while to set in. Enjoy this moment, pup. We’re so thrilled for you!

Check Out The Smile On Booker

Redditor NaJ88 shared a photo of their rescue doggie coming home right after being adopted. “For my cake day, I’d like to share the very first picture I ever took of Booker… This was the car ride home,” the post read.

We can’t think of a happier birthday treat than celebrating that special moment when you get to bring your new best friend home with you, and NaJ88 seems to agree, writing “I think I was smiling wider than he was that day.” Booker sure is a cutie!

Thrilled To Be On The Move

This little doggo looks like a child that just opened the present that they wanted for Christmas. It’s looking at its new owner with so much joy that we wish we could see what happened when they finally made it home!

We’re sure that this dog is just loving being in its new basket! It looks so cozy, and it must be quite the upgrade from its bed in the shelter. It’s going to have its mind blown when it gets home and realizes that they get a new bed all to themselves!

Adopted And Healthy!

This reddit user’s dog is named Cody, and she was extremely sick when her owner adopted her. Luckily, her owner was able to give her the best care around and now Cody is fit as a fiddle!

We’re so happy that Cody was adopted even though she was sick because she probably wouldn’t have made it otherwise! If you can’t tell by the look on her face, it’s clear that Cody is thrilled to have not only been adopted but to be healthy again too!

Sleeping Beauty

This little dog named Koolie was just three months old when she was adopted. This picture was taken on the way home from the shelter. While some dogs may be very nervous on their first drive home, Koolie looks so peaceful sleeping in the back seat.

We’re sure that when Koolie finally made it home, she spent her time checking out all of the different parts of the house for the best napping spot possible. We hope she found her favorite one!

Rocko Is Happy To Be Outside

This good boy is named Rocko, and this is his first time being outside after being adopted from a shelter. We’re happy that Rocko’s owner was able to snap a picture at this exact moment because Rocko looks like he’s excited to be home while also saying thank you to his new owner.

It’s either that, or he realized that his neighbors also have a dog. Hopefully they do, that way Rocko can make some friends to help him assimilate to his new home.

Hoop Dreams

Sometimes, getting adopted can be exhausting work. They get so excited meeting their new family, driving home, and if they’re lucky, getting a puppachino from Starbucks. All of this excitement and activity can wear a dog out, especially if they’re a puppy,

It might be so exhausting that they fall asleep as soon as they get back to their new home. But that’s okay. They’ll have plenty of time to explore their new surroundings once they wake up.

First Adventure

This is Duncan, he just got adopted and is now on his first real hike with his new family. Just when you thought this dog couldn’t get any cuter, they put that adorable banana on him to let everyone know that not only is he cute, he’s adventurous as well.

If it’s the owner taking the picture, that’s the look of pure love on Duncan’s face. Not only did his owner adopt him, but he’s getting outside to explore the world and get some much needed exercise.

Nice And Toasty

This little pup named Charlie just got adopted and is taking advantage of being situation. He must know that he has his owners wrapped around his fingers, so he’s going to get as comfortable as possible.

Charlie must be feeling pretty grateful at this moment because it’s rare that he had this kind of treatment before he was adopted. If that were my dog, I probably would have taken hundreds of pictures of this exact moment because it’s too cute to pass up on.

Pure Bliss

Not only did this dog get adopted, but they’re learning the benefits of having a loving owner. This dog probably was waiting for this moment long before it was adopted and now it’s finally happy.

Clearly, they’re loving every second of it, and they’ll probably be bothering their owner for moments like this for the rest of its life. We’re just happy that this dog is getting the treatment it deserves because getting to your new home isn’t always this relaxing.

High-Five For Getting Adopted!

This nine-month-old pup is named Nook, and he sure is happy to be running around freely in his new backyard. He’s so happy that he even decided to give his owner a high-five just to show his appreciation.

He better be careful rolling around in the grass or else he won’t be that white for much longer! We just hope that Nook’s owner adopts another dog and names it Cranny, that would be too much cuteness to handle!

Now That’s A Smile

We’re not sure if this little guy is happy that he got adopted or proud that he managed to destroy that entire ball. We’re willing to bet that it is both. Either way, you can’t help but smile at his little floppy ear or by how such a small dog can look so proud and confident.

The only question here is why did this dog ever need to be adopted? He’s so cute that certainly, anyone would want to call him theirs.

Flower Power!

This dog was so thrilled to be adopted that its new owners even gave it a flower crown to wear. Next stop Coachella for this adopted pup! This dog is so memorable that we’re surprised that nobody has made a meme out of it yet.

We’re so glad that it found its way to a loving home, because this dog looks way to energetic and happy to ever be in an adoption shelter. We hope that this dog is getting all of the exercise and activity that it needs!

I Love You Already

It looks like this newly adopted dog found his new favorite member of the family. Not all adopted dogs would be so eager to lean on a stranger and take a nap on their owner on the way home.

But not this dog, he’s already comfortable with his new family and is trying to take a quick nap before he spends the rest of its day checking out his new home. We’re sure the family is equally as happy as the dog to add a new member to their family.

They Picked Me!

This dog couldn’t be more excited to be going home with his new family. He’s so thrilled that he just had to put his paws in the air to let everybody know. Maybe he’s just saying goodbye to the people at the shelter for helping him find the perfect home.

If a dog did this to me after I adopted him, I’d know that was the right dog for me. The look on that dog’s face makes us wish that we could just give him some love too!

New Best Friends

The reddit user’s local animal shelter holds an annual dog adoption day in a public park. This older woman decided to pick out a dog for herself and both don’t look like they could be any happier. This dog looks like her new owner is exactly what she’s been waiting for.

We’re sure this proud new owner will shower this little dog with love and probably pamper it as much as she can. That dog’s like if about to do an entire one-hundred-and-eighty degree turnaround.

New Favorite Spot

This girl adopted this dog from the pound and it rested its head on her shoulder like that for the whole way home. it’s safe to say that this will be that dog’s new favorite spot for the foreseeable future.

While it may be cute now, it might become difficult to see if driving when that dog grows up. But even then, it will still be cute no matter how big this adorable little puppy gets.

All Smiles

This little guy was just adopted and it looks like the happiest dog on the planet. It’s being held, the sun is shining, and it has a new home, what could be better? Well, we guess the only thing that could make this moment better is if the new owner had some treats in her pocket.

But then again, maybe she does! It’s moments like this that help you realize how genuinely happy these dogs are to be adopted by people that want to love and take care of them.

Can’t Believe She Got Adopted

Sometimes, when you’re happy beyond belief, all you can do is smile. That’s exactly what happened with this dog named Toffee on the day she was adopted. Once she hopped in the car, it appears that she knew exactly what was happening and was ecstatic about it.

If she’s this happy about getting in the car, we can’t imagine how she’s going to react when she gets to her new home. She’s probably going to be smiling like this for the next few days.

Ready To Go Home!

This woman sent a picture to her husband of the dog she just adopted and he had to share it with the Internet. I don’t know about you, but that looks like a dog that’s ready to be taken to their forever home.

Who wouldn’t want to adopt this cute little guy with those blue eyes and floppy ears? It’s amazing that he needed to be rescued to begin with. We’re sure he’s happy now, along with the husband that was surprised with this beautiful new puppy.

Driving Long Distance For A New Friend

This woman drove 12 hours through forest fires to the other side of the providence in order to adopt Phoenix from the animal rescue group KAAP. While that may sound like a lot of work, it’s obvious that Phoenix appreciated her efforts.

That look on her face must be well-worth all of that driving. Now, they’ll have a lot of time to bond on their way home, hopefully they can stop for some hikes along the way!

Pippa Found A Home After 107 Days

This dog named Pippa was waiting in a shelter to be adopted for 107 days. When this family read that, they decided to give Pippa a home so that she didn’t have to be there for 108 days. The dog looks like it’s loving laying in the grass with its new owner.

Pippa is even smiling and looks like she’about to give her owner a kiss. We’re so happy that Pippa didn’t have to be without a family for a day longer and hope all is well.