Millions of animals are sitting in America’s shelters waiting to be adopted, with some waiting for years before the right family comes along. Factors like age, physical ability and personality can result in some people viewing animals as less adoptable, but these “invisible” dogs and cats are just as deserving of a living home as any other animal. Sometimes it’s the people who need rescuing, and their entire lives changed for the better by opening their home and their hearts to an animal in need.

These stories will inspire you by showing that even when things seem hopeless, happiness is usually waiting just around the corner.

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1. An All-Around Win

How These 5 Animals Beat the Odds and Ended up with the Best Life EverBARCS Animal Shelter/Facebook
 

When a person walks into a shelter with the intent of adopting a dog who has been waiting a long time or is “not as adoptable” as others, it becomes a dream come true – and a reason to celebrate! This is exactly what happened when Ronnie Stanley of the Baltimore Ravens visited BARCS, a no-kill shelter in Baltimore, with his girlfriend and one of his teammates. After meeting a few different pups, they decided to adopt Winter. Her first six years of life were pretty rough, but Winter finally has a family all her own where she will experience nothing but love. Talk about a happy ending!

2. A Second Chance

 
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Little Chance was hit by a car and left by the side of the road, the accident leaving him unable to use his back legs. He was set to be euthanized until the amazing folks at San Antonio Pets Alive decided to give him a second chance. Michael, who also uses a wheelchair, instantly fell in love with Chance and decided to adopt him. Now this duo spends their days going on fun adventures together. They were even featured in a commercial for Kleenex, where Michael said, “I knew his struggles as well as mine and I knew that we could overcome these obstacles together.” All the feels. All of them.

3. The Dog Who Saved His Human

 

Sometimes, humans and animals save each other. Eric was told by his doctors that he would die in five years if he didn’t change his lifestyle and lose weight. He was devastated and worked to seek help. It was his nutritionist who gave him the idea to adopt a dog. After visiting the Humane Society of Silicon Valley he found Peety, an older dog who also needed to lose some weight. The two began walking together and the end result was incredible. Peety has since passed away, but the inspiring story of how he changed his human’s life will live on forever.

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4. Life Outside the Cage

How These 5 Animals Beat the Odds and Ended up with the Best Life Ever
Miley Cyrus/Facebook
 

Beagles are used in research labs because of their docile demeanor. It’s horrible to think of animals being used for experimentation, but luckily groups like The Beagle Freedom Project are working to put an end to this cruel practice. The organization rescues former lab animals to give them a second chance and helps spread the word about animal testing. Barbie is one of the beagles who was given a new life thanks to BF. This tiny and adorable beagle captured the heart of Miley Cyrus, who has a mission of her own to raise awareness about animal testing. From sitting a cold cage, alone and scared, to jet-setting across the world with an awesome mom. What a life!

5. The Misunderstood Kitty

How These 5 Animals Beat the Odds and Ended up with the Best Life Ever
 

 

Five. That’s the number of foster homes Kitty the cat had before she was finally adopted. We know most cats are pretty mischievous by nature, but this girl was a bit too much for some to handle. Kitty spent her days being sent from one foster home to the next, but eventually, someone came along who appreciated her mischievous ways. Kitty is now living the good life in New York and even has her own Instagram account where you can follow her crazy antics.

Create Your Own Happy Ending

Each day, people all around the world are choosing to adopt – and giving deserving animals the best life ever. When you choose to adopt, you’re giving a homeless pet the opportunity to have a great life. So, what are you waiting for?

Lead image source: Brian Kelly/Flickr