There's not much in life that's more rewarding than giving a good home to a dog in need of rescue. Taking in an animal who has suffered through a difficult life and showering it with love and attention can be a life-changing experience for the owner, as well as the adopted pet. Here are 20 pictures of dogs before and after adoption that will tug at your heartstrings and have you itching to make a trip to your local shelter.
1. Flaca (Pictured Above)
Flaca was abandoned by his owner in Costa Rica and when she was found, was just 2 or 3 days away from death. She was severely underweight ("Flaca" means skinny) and suffered from mange, parasites, and other ailments. Today, she's healthy, happy, and completely unrecognizable from her before photo!
Charlie wasn't eating and was often unresponsive when he was first rescued. After a year with his forever family, he's one of the happiest dogs you'll ever see.
When Ruby's owner found her, she was bald and down to 39 lbs. Now? She's happy and healthy at 65 lbs.
Daxter was underweight, with bad cases of mange and alopecia and had fleas and uncontrolled allergies when his owner adopted him. After just three months in his loving new home, he gained 12 pounds and grew back all of his hair.
Amy was 9 years old and not in the best shape when she was adopted. Six months later, she was a fluffy ball of happy, healthy cuteness.
In just one year, Cooper went from a sad puppy in need of a lot of love to the happy, carefree dog on the right.
7. Little Buddy
Reddit user poonda1 describes this adorable pup as "my little buddy" in a set of before and after pictures taken a year and a half (and also a lifetime) apart.
These pictures of Gypsy were taken one year apart. The pictures on the top show the shape she was in when she was adopted and, on the bottom, you get a glimpse at the happier pup she is these days.
Eloise's owner says no one wanted to adopt her because of her mange, pictured on the left. After just three months of treatment and lots of love, though, Eloise looks as perfect on the outside as she is on the inside.
Jack's owner wrote on Imgur that he was "just a street dog covered in foxtails" when he was rescued. After a year in a happy home, he has a beautiful coat and and even more beautiful smile.
11. Angus Bodangus
Angus's owner shared these side-by-side picture of him before and after being adopted by a wonderful, loving family.
Sawyer's owner wrote on Reddit that he had more than 50 ticks on him when we was rescued. Now, his coat is shiny and healthy.
Blanche looked less than happy when she was rescued from the side of a road in Georgia last year, but she's found her happiness again now with her new family.
An Imgur user shared these before and after pictures of Jano, an Argentinian street dog.
Spaghetti was literally skin and bone when he was rescued, but today he's the picture of dog health.
You could see Sadie's entire skeleton in the before picture posted to Imgur. But after finding a good family to care for her, she looks like a whole new dog.
When Lionel was rescued at 8 years old, he had spent his life in a breeding facility and suffered from arthritis that made it difficult for him to walk. His new owners got him the medicine he needs and now, a year later, he can walk and run and enjoy life as a dog.
Poppy looked sad and unable to trust humans when he was adopted, but after a year with his new family, he was a picture of happiness.
19. Mr. B
Mr B. was 14 and deaf when he was found napping by a highway and rescued. The pictures above show his progress from day 1 to two months and then four months with his foster family.
Jake was just a puppy when we was rescued from a burning shed. He survived the ordeal, but came out of it with burns over 75% of his body. When his owners had to give him up because they couldn't afford his medical bills, the Hanahan Fire Department (home of the firefighters who saved him from the fire) adopted him and he quickly became the department's mascot. Now, he travels with the firefighters to schools to teach children about fire safety!
Main image courtesy of Sharyn Evron