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Dog Adoption: 19 Before and After Photos That Will Melt Your Heart

From heartbreaking to heartwarming, these rescue dog transformations are undeniably the most affirming images you will see today.

SherlockCourtesy Richard McSweeney


Sherlock is a cattle dog that was only 11 months old when his owner surrendered him to the Scituate Animal Shelter. The owner said he didn't have time for him and that no matter what he fed the grossly underweight dog, he never gained weight. After the shelter performed extensive medicals tests that turned up nothing, and Sherlock actually gained multiple pounds in just a few days, it was clear to the shelter he had been starved. Sherlock attended puppy classes and other activities to socialize him. Within six weeks, he was adopted and lives with a loving family with other pets. Don't miss these other stories of rescue dogs finding their forever homes.

MunchkinCourtesy Richard McSweeney


Munchkin was one of five filthy dogs removed from an animal hoarding situation. Her hair was so badly matted from a lack of grooming that her hind legs had atrophied and couldn't move fully. After she was rescued, Munchkin had physical therapy to help her regain the use of her hind legs. She was adopted by a volunteer who works at Scituate Animal Shelter and is now a beloved ambassador for the shelter. Here's what you need to know before adopting a rescue dog.

RoxyCourtesy Kalee Dillard


Roxy was dubbed too "frou-frou" for the farm she lived at, so her owner dropped her off at a shelter. She was matted with leaves and dirt and an itchy skin condition that caused a lot of scratching. There, a newlywed couple adopted her and were pleasantly surprised at just how much joy and happiness her sweet disposition has brought them. They consider her their first child and adore her sweet cuddles and playful attitude. Here are some of the things shelter dogs wish you knew.

LolaCourtesy Stephanie Bell


Lola lived with 45 other small dogs at a puppy mill operation. Lola was quite a sight when she came to the Lexington Humane Society. Her hair had to be shaved to manage the mange and fleas, and her eyes were dull and lifeless. But behind those eyes lied a sassy and energetic dog personality waiting to emerge. She had a difficult time socializing at first, but now she is thriving and loving life with her new pet parent and two Chihuahua sisters. Don't miss these dog training secrets that help your pup socialize.

ShannonCourtesy PetConnect Rescue


Shannon was brought into the shelter with a mysterious wound that later was found to be lighter fluid poured on her back. As horrifying as that is, Shannon's story has a happy ending. PetConnect Rescue placed her with an experienced foster family where she received boundless love and medical attention. Today, she is recovered from her injury and in a furever home where she is loved and well cared for. Her sunny disposition magically brightens the lives around her. Here are more superpowers that make dogs better than humans.

AfricaCourtesy PetConnect Rescue


Poor Africa. She was already in a shelter with serious hair loss and skin-care problems, and then that shelter lay in the path of Hurricane Irma (this is the real power of adoption.) The shelter reached out to PetConnect Rescue for help. Africa traveled to Washington, D.C. and was cared for by an experienced foster family until she was fully recovered. Today, she is being spoiled rotten in her new furever home. Know the benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

ReinaCourtesy Dianna Bari


Reina, a new mom, was found on the streets, fully-lactating with no puppies in sight. She was taken to a kill shelter but was saved by a caring person who also rescued two other dogs. She is loving life with her two sisters and is very protective and loving of her family members. She's known for her goofiness and loves attention so much that if the petting stops, she gently nudges the person for a little more lovin'. Since caring for your furbaby can be expensive, check out these money-saving tips for dog owners.

CleoCourtesy Jill Caren,


Cleo is super playful and a champ at snuggling, but she would never have been able to experience these simple pleasures if it weren't for her new family. Prior to being rescued, her life was filled with abuse and over-breeding. She had a strong fear aggression, but her foster family devoted a lot of time and attention and helped her cope with her fears. The foster family decided she was a perfect fit for their quiet home and adopted her. Her new family says she has an "old soul" and is filled with overflowing love that she shows in cozy snuggle sessions. Find out some of the reasons you should consider adopting an older dog.

DaffyCourtesy Secondhand Hounds Animal Rescue


Daffy spent the first seven years of his life living in a cage in a commercial breeding facility (aka, a puppy mill) in Missouri. The only time Daffy was touched by human hands was for feeding or breeding purposes. He never played outside in the sunshine or felt grass under his paws. When the facility no longer wanted him as a breeder, they surrendered him to a rescue. After nine months in foster care, he found a home with the help of Secondhand Hounds and has playtime in the sunshine with his two dog brothers and a kind parent that understood his traumatic past. But dogs like Daffy aren't the only ones who benefit from being rescued. These are the major health benefits of owning a pet.

KingsleyCourtesy Mary Pharris


Kingsley was a stray in Austin, Texas, when Small Chance Rescue foster parents took him in. He quickly melted their hearts and became a furever family member when they adopted him. They eventually made the move to New York City where Kingsley and his family delight in long walks and going to daycare with his dog friends. His Texas charm has won over everyone he comes into contact with. Here are the things animal shelters desperately need right now.

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