115 Soul-Healing Pics Of Adopted Pets And Their Owners, Showing The Joy Of Giving A Second Chance (December Edition)

Whether it be a puppy or a pony, all of us have dreamt of having a pet at least once in our lives. One of the two is a little easier to care for and if the pup is big enough, one can pretend to ride it as though it were a horse. If you’re a cat, lizard, snake, or rodent person, no worries—all furry and not so fluffy creatures are welcome here!

Welcome, dear readers, to a post that is wholesome like no other, full of delightfully cute pets of all shapes and sizes. But they’re not just any ordinary pets, mind you! These little darlings have either just been adopted or their owners have shared a picture of their adoption from a few years back.

We also had the opportunity to speak with Murad Kirdar, the Public Relations Officer at Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, who was very kind to answer some of our questions regarding pet adoption during the holiday period, so make sure you stick around for that!

As you’re scrolling through, please remember to upvote your favorites and leave some comments for good measure! If you can’t seem to get enough, you’re in luck as Bored Panda has done quite a few of these compilations, so you are more than welcome to scope out the adorable pets from July and August. But now let’s get into it!

More info: Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society | Instagram

#1 The Shelter Made A Rule That These Siblings Had To Be Adopted Together Because They Were Inseparable. They Sleep Like This Every Night

Image credits: HappyJacket3113

As Christmas is just behind us and masses of wrapping paper are headed towards the recycling plants, we can sit back and enjoy the gifts that we received. Half of the chocolate Santas that I got are gone, destroyed, with the rest awaiting their fate to be dunked into some hot coffee and monched on head first.

But as the rest of my sweets dissipate, there are those gifts that will last decades or a full lifetime. Getting a pet for the holiday season may be a dream come true for a lot of kids and adults alike. Truly, is there anything better than your new best friend entering your life at a time of festive joy, fairy lights, and silly music? Whelp, there’s definitely things to consider beforehand.

Murad Kirdar, the Public Relations Officer at Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, believes that adopting a living creature should be a decision that is never taken lightly. “It would help if you always thought twice, three times and maybe four times before adopting any animal,” he told Bored Panda. “Dogs and cats can live up to 17 to 20 years. Caring for another living creature is a lifelong commitment, not an impulse decision.”

#2 My Friend Wanted To Adopt An Older Dog From The Shelter, Meet Toby!

Image credits: morrisonw0

#3 I Just Found This Little Girl At Work. I’m Pretty Sure This Means I’m Adopted

Image credits: Ironclad2nd

When it comes to pets being gifted for Christmas, Murad believes that this is one gift that should not be on the wishlist. “I am a firm believer that a pet should never be a gift,” he said. “The pet parent should be able to choose the personality of the pet they are best matched with. For example, you wouldn’t want a toy poodle if you are a hiker.” 

Though, if the person has been dreaming of a pet, it may be a good idea to get a little bit more creative without actually choosing the pet for them. “Instead of ‘gifting’ an animal, I suggest wrapping up some dog toys or cat bowls, then bringing that person to a shelter or rescue and letting them pick out the animal they choose,” Murad advised.

#4 Adopted This Lil Dude Yesterday. He's Been In A Shelter For His Whole Life And He Looks Pretty Happy To Go To His First Home

Image credits: DogsAreeFamily

#5 Meet Rancher, From Mississippi, Who Got Adopted Last Night And Experienced His First Snow Day In Maine This Morning!

Image credits: crmck26

#6 We Adopted This Senior Gent, Rigsy, Today! (10 Year Old Collie X Spitz)

Image credits: chrisjfinlay

There are many considerations one should take into account when adopting a pet, and it seems that those oftentimes get ignored. “When you adopt, it’s a commitment, period,” Murad said. “Too many people still bring home an animal because ‘it's cute.’ But did they think long-term?” The expenses and the time that it takes to train a pet often get ignored.

Furthermore, certain issues such as household members being allergic or not wanting to help take care of the animal need to be considered. Pets will always need companionship and training, so if one is unprepared to provide either, maybe having pets isn’t for them. Throughout his years of working with animals, Murad has come to the conclusion that the most successful adoptions are the “ones that are planned, and the person has done their homework on the animal.”

#7 Just Adopted My First Kitty! Meet Freya. She Has Settled In Quickly

Image credits: NiceGuyWillis

#8 Who Rescued Who? I Have Never In My Life Met A Creature More Loving Than This One

Image credits: xlostinimaginationx

#9 This Man Was Forced To Surrender His Dog To The Humane Society Due To A Long Hospital Stay. A Nurse Found Out About This And Immediately Went To The Shelter And Adopted The Dog. She Brought Him To Visit Daily And Returned Him As Soon As The Man Was Released!

Image credits: Clb2U

There are some positives for adopting a new family member during the holidays. Most importantly—Adopting a pet saves a life and makes more room at the shelter for an animal in need of a warm bed. Plus, with everyone on vacation from school and work, the family has extra time at home to get to know and train the new pet, easing the transition of adoption.

The ASPCA highly encourages folks to adopt during the holidays. Their study conducted in 2013 revealed that there’s no harm in giving an animal as a gift, as long as it’s done right. They found that adopting a pet during the holidays has no negative effect on emotional attachment and 86% of pets adopted during the holidays remained in the home.

However, we cannot ignore the other side of the same coin. A dog is for life, not for Christmas. Sadly, the excitement of owning a pet sometimes overshadows the reality of the responsibilities said pets bring with them. It’s not as easy to fix an “oopsie” of adopting a pet that you can’t really take care of, so better not to make these mistakes to begin with, as it’s the animal that will suffer the most.

#10 Just Adopted A Hemingway Polydactyl Kitten... Meet Hammy!

Image credits: auntiechrist23

#11 Dozer Got A Sister For Christmas!

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#12 Just Adopted This Little Guy, He’s Got Battle Damage From His Time On Brooklyn Streets

Image credits: Mikafino2

Dogs bond with their humans and may not understand why that bond was suddenly broken, says Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, service chief of community practice at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Additionally, dogs thrive with routine, she says. Entering a shelter for the first time, adoption, acclimation to a new home, and relinquishment to the shelter again can be disorienting for the animal.

As Adrian Burder, Chief Executive for Dogs Trust, said: “Dogs Trust take in thousands of much-loved dogs from heartbroken owners who sadly find themselves unable to continue to care for their dogs due to unavoidable changes in their circumstances, so it’s particularly hard for staff when they see [...] dogs handed in simply because their owners bought them on a whim and consider them little more than toys to be discarded when the novelty wears off.”

But if after all this, you still think that adopting a new pet for Christmas is the right choice for you, veterinarians Bronwyn Orr and Mark Westman have some tips and advice for you. If adopting a pet for a child, remember the parent is ultimately responsible for the pet. Consider adopting an older cat (eight years and over) or a middle-aged dog (five to eight years of age), as they are the hardest to re-home and, thus, spend the longest time in the shelter.

#13 Today I Decided To Adopt A Kitten. Watch Him Play With The Leaf. So Cute

Image credits: Edmotix

#14 Meet Rosie, My Rescue Pup

Image credits: Stoneytreehugger

#15 I Just Adopted Her From The Shelter To Honor The Ones I Lost This Year. She Was On The List To Not Make It Out

Image credits: Hoperosaliex

Christmas decorations and ornaments such as tinsel and Christmas tree hangings can be ingested by the pet by accident, so be aware of that. Dogs also can get very sick with pancreatitis after consuming a fatty meal, so no feeding leftover Christmas ham or sausages. Or chocolate—pups and chocolate don’t mix.

December is an incredibly chaotic month, full of festivities, loud noise and lots of people walking in and out of the home, which can be overwhelming for a new pet. Just this alone may deter one from adopting right in the middle of the holiday season, and perhaps keeping the special occasion for the New Year. 

Lots of things to consider and for good measure—we’re speaking about live animals! A bundle of joy, and a bundle of responsibility; one rarely goes without the other. We’re very grateful to Murad for all the insight he shared with us. If you’d like to check out and help support the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, I’ll leave links to their social media here and their website here.

As you continue to scroll through this lovely list, don’t forget to upvote your favorites and leave some comments. I wish you a wonderful New Year and hope to see you in the next one!

#16 Bunny (12ish) Was Afraid For The First Four Hours After Her Adoption. She Came Out Screaming When She Heard The Fridge Close, Threw Herself Down, And Hasn't Been Quiet Or Left Me Alone Since

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#17 What It Feels Like To Be The Last In The Litter To Be Adopted

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#18 For My 5th Cake Day, I Present Our Sweet Lily, Our Latest Adoption. She Will Only Put Up With Being Dressed Up By Our Granddaughter, Who Is Clearly Her Favorite!

Image credits: Birdlady42

#19 Found Her Behind A Trash Bin. Meet My Awesome Little Rescue Kitty Coco

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#20 My New Rescue Loki

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#21 This Is Mace Our 1.5 Year Old Rescue American Staffy X. Caught Him Winking In His Bow Tie!

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#22 Our Newly Adopted Little Guy - Boots

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#23 We Adopted Three Cats: One Is Chill And Friendly, One Is Shy, And Then There's This One

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#24 My Newly Adopted Kitten Only Lies Like This On Me At Night. It Melts My Heart

Image credits: TurtlesAndBobcats

#25 Our Newly Adopted Scaredy Cat, Hiding Out In Our Grocery Shelf

Image credits: TastyEdits_Video

#26 Rescued A 5 Month Old Stray Over The Weekend. Meet Bruno! He's Still Nervous And Hides From Us But He's Getting Better

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#27 Our Oldest Rescue Looking After Our Youngest

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#28 Rescued Screech Owlets

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#29 Rescued This Handsome Gentleman, And Rocky Loves Staring At The Christmas Lights

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#30 My 10 Year Old Cat Was Lonely, So I Adopted A Kitten For Him. I Think He's Pretty Happy About It

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#31 Meet Kylo, My Newly Adopted Pitty Mix!

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#32 A Picture Of The Pup Who Rescued Me

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#33 Adopted This Guy From The Humane Society. Happiest Christmas Ever!

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#34 Was Making A Video W My Newly Adopted Dog To Show My Friends And Caught This Face

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#35 My Little Girl Is Very Much In Love With Our New Rescue!

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#36 My Rescued Kitty Is So Grateful

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#37 My Rescue Gracie, Making Herself Comfortable

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#38 My Shelter Rescue Wants To Say Hello!

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#39 Just Adopted Sylvester. He Is Showing Off His One Fang And Shredded Ears. He Has Feline Aids And Is The Gentlest Boy

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#40 Montucky, My New Little Cold Snack. Adoption Complete

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#41 This Is Pod's Reaction To Being Told, He Was In Fact, Adopted!!

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#42 Newly Adopted Old Cat Found The Cuddly Pup

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#43 My Adopted Babies

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#44 My Sister In Laws Rescue Doggo Has A New Favourite Seat............ My Shoulder

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#45 Our Romanian Rescue, Her Name Is Bellerophon But We Call Her Bella For Short. She Is Approximately 50% Ear

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#46 Spooky Is A Stray Selkirk Rex Kitten With Health Issues Surrendered To The Hospital Who We Are Adopting For Christmas

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#47 She's A Shelter Rescue, And She's A Little Spicy, So We're Calling Her Sriracha

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#48 You Guys!!! This Is Smokey! We Adopted Him Yesterday And I Love Him So Much!

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#49 Meet Hamlet… We Just Adopted This 3 Y/O With A Big Head

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#50 I Think Our Rescue Kitty Is Adapting Well To The Kids

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#51 My New Rescue Dog Is Still In The Stage Where She Feels It's For The Best That She Accompany Me Everywhere. No Exceptions. (Pic Taken From Tub)

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#52 My Little Rescue

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#53 Just Adopted This Little Guy Last Week. Meet Duke Smellington!

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#54 My Wife Volunteers At Our County Humane Society So We Adopted This Bonded Pair. Meet Oliver & Doug

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#55 Newly Adopted Brothers, Settling In Well!

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#56 A Week After Adoption. (From A Shy Pupper To A Smiley And Comfy Pupper)

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#57 Newly Adopted, Already Derping

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#58 This Pup Is Cozied Up And Ready For Her First Night Home After Being Adopted!

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#59 This Little Guy Adopted Me

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#60 Honey. My Adopted Husky Posing For The New Phone Pic

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#61 Sometimes We Get Great News From People Who Adopted Cats From Our Shelter. This Is Pepper (Back) And His New Friend Pasta. When I Saw This Picture Of Her, Calm And Happy, It Made My Day. She Was So Shy At Shelter

Image credits: sonia72quebec

#62 Newly Adopted American Foxhound Mix

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#63 Just Adopted A New Dog

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#64 England Football Team Adopt Dave The Cat From Qatar

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#65 Havanese Mix Rescue

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#66 Roachathy James On Safari! Rescued This Sweet Little Paralyzed Kitten From Reddit - Love These Special Needs Babies!

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#67 Three Rescued 2 Pound Foster Pups

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#68 Our Newly Adopted Kitten Is Enjoying His Sunlit Window Bed

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#69 Welcome To Your New Home, Luke!

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#70 Adopted A Young Pup. Our Old Girl Passed From Cancer Earlier This Year And This Little One Has Been Such A Joy In Our Lives

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#71 Meet Anubis, The Rescued Stray From Behind Our Funeral Home

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#72 Rescued This 10yo Beauty And I Am So In Love With Her!!!

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#73 This Senior Rescue Came In For A Bath Before Being Transported To His New Home. I Hope It’s The Best One, Bud!

Image credits: expertdogsnuggler

#74 First Time Cat Owner Adopted Two 7 Mo Old Brothers Today! Everyone Meet Eddie And Dusty Bun!

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#75 My Adopted Daughters Gamora And Nebula Actually Love Each Other A Great Deal

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#76 Meet My Latest Rescue, Umbra. My Sister Found Her And I Adopted Her

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#77 Lost Kitten We Adopted At Work (We’re Able To Find Him Good Home)

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#78 My New Kitty Felicia

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#79 Adopted This Little Man In Need Of A Good Brush

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#80 Mittens The Black Cat, Fiv+ Feral Rescue

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#81 Pudu Rescued By The Chilean Police

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#82 My Cat Wilson A Week After We Rescued Him. He’s Now Four And Long And Stinky

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#83 This Is My Rescue Hazel. She’s Getting Her Final Puppy Shots

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#84 Rescued Fawn And Her New Family

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#85 Happy Holidays From Our Foster Kittens!

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#86 Just Adopted This Cool Little Guy!

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#87 I Adopted A Rescued Kitten She’s 200 Grams And A Month And A Half Old. I’m Scared She’s Underweight Though. She’s The Size Of My Hand

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#88 Recently Adopted A Kitten Addie , And I Think We Are Family Now

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#89 Adopted A Cat!

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#90 Just Adopted This Handsome Boy - Meet Chaplin!

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#91 Meet My Newly Adopted 10 Year Old, Jacob

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#92 My Step-Daughter Adopted A Cat With Thumbs. She Needs Help With A Name

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#93 Adopted Two Kittens Wednesday Night. This Morning Found They Have Figured Out The Closet

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#94 Just Got My First Rescue, Everyone Say Hi To Cookie!

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#95 Christmas Day Rescue

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#96 Newly Adopted

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#97 There Aren’t A Lot Of Reptiles Here But This Girl Is Too Precious. Rescued From A Former Friend And Now An Absolute Sweetheart

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#98 My First Dog, His Name's Jerry, Rescued Him From A Construction Site. Any Advice?

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#99 Our Rescue Girl Finally Made It To Her Forever Home!

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#100 This Is Cereza. She Was Rescued From A Dumpster

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#101 I Was Just Adopted Today, Now Im Going To New Home

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#102 Our Training Director Karen And Her Wife Jolene Adopted Betsy

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#103 Never Felt The Urge To Adopt A Stray Cat Up Until I Saw This Guy

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#104 Recently Adopted Gogurt, He's Making Himself Right At Home

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#105 Our Latest Adoption: Punch! (Punjimitai In My Native Language Means Cotton Candy And That Somehow Became Punch)

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#106 I Made An Advent Calendar For My Newly Adopted Kittens!

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#107 Rescue Lizards First Experience Of The Outside World, Look At That Face

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#108 This Is Mouser. I Rescued Him From The Feed Mill I Work At And Have Determined He Was Dropped Off Out There

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#109 Picked Up Our New Rescue Baby Today

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#110 Newly Adopted

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#111 Callie, A Beautiful 1yo Calico We Adopted On Saturday, Already Right At Home

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#112 Just Adopted The Softest Kitty Ever

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#113 Adopted This Little Man Today... His Name Is Sir Pipi

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#114 Adopted A Very Smol Fluffy One!

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#115 Just Brought This Sweet Baby Home. Meet Lola

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#116 Meet Wilbur The Little Rescue! I Know, I Should Be On The Sofa But I Don’t Care Rn Just Look At Him

#117 This Is My Rescue Cat Thomas. He’s Been Afraid Of Literally Everything (Including Plastic Bags) Since We Got Him But Today I Came Home To Him Sitting In This Bag

#118 My Pet Duck Sundae Accidentally Flew Into A Blackberry Patch And My Neighbour Rescued Her. She Was So Happy To Be Saved And Jumped Right Inside My Coat For Safety

#119 Zoe, Our Border Collie X Newfoundland. 8 Month Old Rescue. She's Adjusting So Well!

#120 Adopted This Completely Lovely Torpedo Cat This Week…

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