Humans have the wonderful opportunity to change lives every single day. Sometimes it can be as simple as smiling at a stranger or helping someone carry their luggage up the subway stairs. Sometimes it’s dropping a dollar in the cup of a homeless person or volunteering at a food drive. And every time that someone chooses to adopt and not shop, they are changing lives, for one animal directly, and for hundreds of others indirectly. In the U.S., millions of animals spend their days at shelters. Some will get adopted mere weeks after arriving. Others will wait listlessly for years until someone decides to give them a second chance at life, or until the shelter decides that too much time has passed and they need to be put down.

When people choose to adopt, they are making a conscious decision to change the life of an animal, one that would otherwise be lonely and sad in a shelter. They are also making a point to not support pet shops and the cruel breeding mills that keep them running. By adopting and not “buying” a pet, they are not only demonstrating that the lives of shelter animals are important, but that other animals should not be exploited just for the sake of welcoming a companion animal into our homes.

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While having all of this in the back of the mind is gratifying when choosing to adopt, nothing beats seeing the happiness of a rescued animal in their new forever home.

Meet Rey, a rescue cat that was recently given a second chance by an Imgur user who randomly decided to stop by an animal shelter one day. 

This Rescued Cat Literally Can't Stop Smiling (PHOTOS)

The Imgur user shares that she had not necessarily been looking to adopt, but after seeing Rey, became smitten. This kitty’s adorable smile makes it easy to see how that would happen! 

This Rescued Cat Literally Can't Stop Smiling (PHOTOS)

“I brought her home and it’s been perfect ever since,” the user shares. Looks like the feeling is definitely mutual! 

This Rescued Cat Literally Can't Stop Smiling (PHOTOS)

Adopting a cat may not change the world, but this kitty never has to spend another night in a lonely kettle ever again. That alone is surely changing the world for this sweet kitten. 

This Rescued Cat Literally Can't Stop Smiling (PHOTOS)

 

 

 

Rey’s story illustrates the beauty of adoption perfectly. After all, if you decide to go to a pet shop to “buy a pet,” you are simply another customer. Meanwhile, if you go to the shelter, you truly are a hero for an animal. To learn more about why you should always adopt and not shop, click here.

All image source: strikelightmatchfire/Imgur