50 Soul-Healing Rescue Pet Pics To Make You Smile (May Edition)

It’s the beginning of yet another month and you know perfectly well what that means! We at Bored Panda have wrapped up a new collection of the most heartwarming photos of rescue pets floating online to share with you all. After all, around 6.3 million animals enter shelters any given year in the US alone. And while approximately 4.1 million get taken in, every single one of our four-legged companions deserves a chance at a loving home.

So let’s kick off the summer on the right foot by taking a moment to applaud the heroes who opened up their hearts and provided these goofballs with comfy beds, nutritious meals, and loving families. Luckily for us, the rescuers didn’t waste a second sharing pictures of their newly adopted adorable kittens, fluffy puppies, or other neglected souls celebrating their new forever home.

So continue scrolling to enjoy the images and upvote the ones that made you smile the widest! After you’re done, there are a lot more soul-soothing pics to catch up with, so be sure to check out our earlier pieces on this feature: April, March, and February.

To learn more about pet adoption and the key factors people should consider before welcoming a dog or cat into their home, we reached out to Clare Hemington, a cat behaviorist and owner of Honeysuckle Cat Toys which has twice been voted as Best Cat Toy in the UK. When it comes to rescuing an animal, she explained that you should do everything in your power to avoid saying, “If only I had known that before I went ahead.”

“Many of the potential pitfalls that come with pet ownership can be avoided by preparation,” she told Bored Panda. “So, if you think you might be interested in pet adoption, it’s important to do research to ensure you will be a suitable owner and choose the pet that’s right for you.”

According to Sally Chamberlain, a UK-based clinical animal behaviorist, founder of Karma Paws Pet Careand author of Power Of The Purr, time and money are often the biggest issues someone might have when taking this big step. “A lot of commitment is required when adopting an animal because they will need you to spend a lot of time with them, especially at first, when they are getting used to you and their new living environment,” she told us.

“Money is also another major consideration,” Chamberlain added. “Along with veterinary bills comes the cost of food, toys, beds and other resources and enrichment items that an animal will need. Pet insurance will be another expense, and hiring a pet sitter or other pet care option when you go on holiday.”

Of course, you should also be mindful of the species you want to take on so you can meet their needs and understand whether your home is suitable for them to stay happy and healthy. “For instance, do [you] have enough space for a lively dog, including a garden for them to play in and go to the toilet?” Another thing that you should take into account (and a very important one!) is that a lot of patience will be required.” It can take a long time to build a bond with an animal, especially if they have come from a difficult situation and find it hard to trust humans,” Chamberlain added.

After all, the feeling of adopting a four-legged companion and providing a ‘furever’ home to them is extremely rewarding, but this decision should not be taken lightly. “Pets can bring so much joy over many years, but it’s also important to remember that pet ownership can involve not-so-joyful chores such as cleaning out litter trays, picking up dog poop and braving all weathers to take your dog for a walk ,” Hemington noted.

It’s no secret that preparing to take on a new companion is far from an easy task. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by all the worries coming into your head, Chamberlain suggested making a checklist about what you can offer the rescued animal. “If you live in a small apartment with no outdoor space, then it may not be ideal to adopt an energetic young dog but an older cat that is used to an indoor lifestyle might be comfortable living in that kind of environment,” she explained how you should think about your home and your lifestyle.

So when it comes to caring for our furry friends, the responsibilities go way beyond filling up the bowls with water and food. After all, animal welfare always needs to come first, Chamberlain argued. “Animals can become ill and need medical care, and they also have constant needs that have to be met on a regular basis, such as a reliable routine, food, water, flea and worm treatments, grooming, a safe place to sleep and enrichment such as play and going for a walk, amongst many other things.” Even when you check every box on the list, you should think about the emotional factor as well. “Not many animals will outlive us, and we have to be prepared to make difficult decisions towards the end of their lives,” the clinical animal behaviorist said.

The temptation to adopt a pet the second you step foot in the shelter can go through the roof, but it’s crucial to think deeply about the expectations you have for this relationship before making any long-lasting decisions. Hemington told us that, unfortunately, rescue pets don’t always come with background information about their upbringing and how they react in different situations, so they might not meet your criteria.

“If you are acquiring a pet from a rescue center, be sure to find out as much as possible, including the reasons for them being relinquished. This is especially important if you have young children,” the cat behaviorist said. Plus, Chamberlain added that reputable charities will also carry out an interview with potential adopters to ensure they can offer a suitable home and are ready for the commitment.

However, she would strongly advise against looking on social media or unknown websites to adopt an animal. “There is a high risk of that animal either being very ill or having serious behavioral problems, whether or not it is ‘free to a good home’ or the seller is asking for money. If they do have problems, there will be no support network and the seller will no doubt have disappeared and no longer be contactable once the unwitting adopter finds out why the pet was no longer wanted.”

Hemington stressed that the most important thing is to understand the species-specific needs of your rescue pet. “Although we might think of our pets as babies in furry coats, they are very different to us humans!” She noted that another consideration is whether you already have a pet at home. “This could be a particular issue for cats who by nature are territorial and might not want to share their territory with a newcomer!”

But also, let’s not forget about the golden oldie pets, Hemington said. “They still have so much to offer, and you won’t have to worry about them ruining your soft furnishings or presenting you with live, or half-eaten wildlife. They are usually just looking for a warm bed and a safe haven in which they can live out the rest of their days.”

Rescue pets are these little creatures that have been through a lot, so once you provide them a new loving home, their fate is in your hands. “As a general rule, it can take around three weeks for a new cat or dog to feel safe in their new home and around another three months or so for their true character to shine through as they begin to feel more comfortable,” Chamberlain explained . “It can take a long time but once they are settled in and learn that they can trust you, a rescue animal can make an amazing companion, even if they’ve had a rough start in life,” she concluded.

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