9 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Rescue Pets

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. To celebrate, we rounded up some remarkable fan-submitted photos of adopted dogs (and cats) and paired them with nine important lessons rescue pets can teach us about life.

You might think that people are the ones who rescue the pets, but aren't the pets really rescuing us? Check out our photo gallery of these incredible rescue dogs and cats and you'll see what we mean.

Lessons Adopted Dogs and Cats Teach Us About Life

Rescue dog with three legs.

Live Life to the Fullest Every Day

Tre the rescued Husky mix has only three legs, but that doesn't stop the happy pup from running and playing with his forever family.

Rescue dog smiling.

A Smile Goes a Long Way

Andy, a rescued Shetland Sheepdog, was a breeding dog at a puppy mill and lived in a cage that was too small for him. Now he is all smiles because he lives with his forever family and gets to cuddle and play all day.

Rescue cat poses for camera.

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

Lacey, a shaded silver Persian, was badly neglected before her forever family found her on a specialty purebred cat rescue site.

Rescue dog laying in home.
Adversity Can Make You Stronger

Bella, a Great Dane, was rescued after being shot multiple times. Her owner, Bryanna Lemanski, says she is now "a foot warmer, a pillow for sick kids and protector of kids scared of monsters under the bed."

Rescue cat has no eyelids.

Be Proud of Who You Are

Oliver is a rescue cat who was born with no eyelids. Once he found his forever home, his new family helped him get several surgeries so his fur would not scratch his corneas.

Rescue dog helps with anxiety.
Helping Others Will Help You

Heisenberg is not only a rescue dog, but also a therapy dog for his owner. "He reads me like a book from cover to cover, and all he asks in return is to be loved. I love this crazy little dog to pieces; I don't know where I would be if I didn't have him in my life," owner Alice Quiles says.

Rescue dog with bow tie.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Rudolph, a rescued Golden Retriever-Shar-Pei mix, is a little different: His hind legs don't stretch out. He may not walk like other dogs, but he is not in pain and he knows that being different isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Rescue dog plays piano.

Be Open to Trying New Things

Gia, a rescue dog who has always been a fan of the arts, channels "Woofgang Mozarf" for her owners' entertainment pleasure. You can find a silly and entertaining pup just like Gia by visiting your local animal shelter or by browsing Petfinder.com.

Rescue dog lays in bed.

Family Is Family — No Matter What

Rossie the Chihuahua-Papillon mix means the world to her new family — and the fact that she was adopted means the world to us. An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year and need homes. If you want to bring home a new pet, consider adoption: It can change your life.

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