Rescue stories are amazing not only because of the animals that are saved and the humans who help save them, but also because of the incredible transformation the animals go through on their way to recovery.

Truly, it’s remarkable to see a starving, neglected, or abused animal turn into his/her healthy, energetic, and happy self again. It’s equally awe-inspiring to think that one being, who has suffered so terribly, still has such a will to live.

There’s just so much to admire about animals, and learn from them too. (If you haven’t heard the news, research finally admits that they’re just as smart as us, if not smarter in many instances!)

We’ll leave it to you to decide what lessons to learn from these amazing horses below, who were all rescued from dire situations and finally found a loving place to call home. Before you watch, you might want to grab a tissue box, because some of the transformations may just bring you to tears (tears of joy, that is!).

1. Nineteen Tennessee walking horses are removed from abuse and given a second chance by the Humane Society of the United States

2. A family of horses is reunited after a rescue by the Grace Foundation of Northern California involving 70 horses who suffered severe neglect on a ranch

3. Horse Bobby McGee runs free on a family ranch in Colorado after being rescued from a New Jersey horse slaughter auction

4. Gandalf the pony is restored to life after his rescue from starvation by the Heart of Phoenix Equine Horse Rescue

5. Sixteen starving horses find a new home at Hillside Animal Sanctuary after being stranded for days in a flooded field


Image source: Mattias / Flickr