There’s no denying that we live in a world full of pets. Whether you’re a cat enthusiast or a proud dog mom or dad—America loves our pets. According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), only 23% of dogs and 31% of cats are obtained from an animal shelter or humane society. Here’s 15 incredibly heart-warming adoption pictures that are sure to open your mind to adopting a humane society pet and 15 reasons to give your local shelter a chance.

 

15. Many shelter pets receive training and socialization before adoption to help make the transition to their new family easier.

Suns out…tongues out. The humans did not get the memo.

 

14. Not only do they give unconditional love, but studies show that pets help to lower stress for their companions!

Good Vibes ONLY! #goodvibetribe

 

13. You aren’t only saving one life, but two. By adopting a shelter or rescue animal, you are making room for another animal to also be saved.

This first time cat mom and dad are so proud of their new family member.

 

12. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness.

Cuddle Party! Not. Moving. Ever.

 

11. Your adoption fee or generous donation, goes directly to helping save other animals. Without you, the shelter could not continue helping other dogs and cats in need.

What’s better than one person to snuggle? TWO people to snuggle!

 

10.You’re sending a message. When you proudly tell others you chose to rescue an animal, you’re sending a message that individuals can take effective action to save lives and support their community by adopting a pet.

Would you mind framing this photo for me? This is my good side.

 

9. Many shelters provide ongoing support in the form of training classes, behavioral support information, or a form of communication with different adoption counselors. While most shelter pets do not have any major health or behavioral problems, if something does come up, you can always contact the shelter for support.

Wonder if we have any blonde wigs in here. Gotta convince them I’m one of the kids.

 

8. Pets keep you moving! Their energy is contagious and they’ll love to follow you down the beach, up a hill, or any adventure you’re down for. They’ll love being your workout buddy and won’t complain!

I’m ready for my dog-stagram.

 

7. Your little buddy will love and appreciate you forever. Don’t we all need that?

Hold me close, and don’t let me go.

 

6. Children can be taught valuable life skills through pet ownership, like responsibility and empathy. Pets also make loving companions for kids and are a wonderful addition to any family.

This is my human. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.

 

5. Our staff is trained and dedicated to helping you find THE ONE. Whether you’re an experienced pet parent or a first-time adopter, we will support you each step of the way. Adoption is FUN and we’re here to make sure you and your new buddy enjoy it!

I saved Heather, and Heather saved me.

 

4. It is said that we don’t pick our pets, they pick us. That’s a bond that can’t be broken!

Best friends? More like SOULMATES!

 

3. There are pets of all shapes and sizes, so you’ll have MANY choices to choose from.

You smile, I smile.

 

2. Owning a pet has been proven to decrease stress, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, which all have noticeable effects on the cardiovascular system. Your heart will thank you!

SNUGGLES?! I am SO down.

 

1. You are giving an animal a second chance at happiness.

Puppy. Dog. Eyes. For. Days.

 

#TeamHumaneSociety yet? Head on over to jaxhumane.org/adopt to view all of our adoptable pets! #GenerosityBreedsJOY #adoptjaxpets

Peanut Butter—a timid mixed breed with a brindle coat, came to the Jacksonville Humane Society from another shelter. When he arrived he was very anxious in his new surroundings. He had trouble walking on his leash and was uncertain about meeting new people. Our behavior team quickly got together and figured out how to help Peanut Butter be the loving confident dog, they knew he could be.

Throughout his time at JHS, Peanut Butter interacted with different staff members and volunteers. Our team was determined to find him a family, so we began working with him on his people skills with lots of yummy treats! When it came to other dogs, Peanut Butter was very scared at first. But as time went on and he got comfortable with JHS, we noticed that he started to mingle with other dogs in playgroup rather than running away.

Peanut Butter learned very quickly that the staff and volunteers here at JHS have some of the best treats. Peanut Butter was rewarded for good social behavior and every time he walked on his leash. Some of his favorite treats the staff noticed were bacon strips and ironically, peanut butter.

One afternoon, after playing in the yard with one of our volunteers, Peanut Butter was drinking his water when he noticed two new prospective parents. He was still somewhat shy, but these prospective parents noticed something in Peanut Butter — hope.

Peanut Butter was adopted and as soon as he was brought into his new environment, he thrived! He quickly adapted to this change and was even ready to start posing for pictures. It was like watching a completely different dog. His family decided with a new life and a new dog, it was time for a new name. Peanut Butter transformed to Reese and is pawsitively loving his family.

While the process was slow, every day the staff and volunteers noticed progress. The love and patience they gave provided Peanut Butter with a second chance at happiness. The support of our donors and the community helps to ensure that every dog and cat that comes to JHS gets the love and attention they need to be the best pet they can be.

Here at JHS, we have a wonderful behavior team that is not only for our pets, but yours as well! Do you need some guidance or have a behavior concern? Make sure you visit our website, , for more information. You’ll find resources, a behavior library, training schedules, and contact information to help guide you and your pet through your journey.