We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their animal adoption stories. Here are a few of the heartwarming and inspiring responses.
I adopted an orange tabby, Rowdy, who is a wonderful kitty. The night I brought him home, there was a small fire in the basement of our house. My roommate and I both slept through the alarms and the smoke was really filling the house. I only woke up because Rowdy was prancing over my bed and patting at me until he woke me up. He was the only thing I grabbed when we evacuated the house.
Submitted by Jessica Chi, Facebook
2. Bam Bam
I have schizophrenia that is more intense at night, and my hallucinations make it extremely difficult to sleep, and it affects me daily. When I first met Bam Bam in the shelter, I would have never guessed how dependent on him I would grow to be. He sleeps nestled between my stomach and thighs, and feeling his warm body brings me so much comfort that I can now sleep through the night most of the time. I can't sleep without him anymore!
Submitted by laurenpratt1997
I rescued my dog Rigby a few weeks after I'd been hospitalized for PTSD, anxiety, panic disorder and being major depressive. Upon meeting him with my parents the first thing he did was look at my parents, then look at me and walk over and nestle into my arms. He didn't move from that spot until it was time to go. Fast forward a few months to when I was having a really bad week and at a moment of weakness was at the point of taking my own life. Rigby ran up to me and started nuzzling me and licking me almost as if he knew what was about to happen. I saved my dog from a humane society, but my dog saved my life.
Submitted by katiea45c59c720
I was really depressed and lonely and honestly incredibly irresponsible when I was 21. I would drink and party all the time and I was just not happy with my life at all. Then in April of 2014 I got my dog, Lilo. I became so much more responsible because I had someone who depended on me for everything. She loves me so much and it's honestly the best feeling in the whole world. She's my child. My entire life changed for the better after getting her.
Submitted by alexxxhamp
A guy I used to date worked on his parents almond farm where they found this pit bull wandering around. He brought her to my house, and she blended in well with the family so I decided to keep her. Little did I know though that soon I would lose the hearing in my left ear permanently. When I did lose my hearing she provided emotional support and showed a talent for working like a service animal. We trained her and got her certified and now Sierra is not only my best friend but my pit bull guardian angel.
Submitted by Emily Cole, Facebook
I moved across the country and the only person I knew was my boyfriend. He was working a 9 to 5, and I hadn't found a job yet, so I spent hours alone in our small, dim apartment. One day, I went to the shelter and a teeny tiny little dog jumped into my lap and wagged her little tail while looking up at me with her big brown eyes. I brought her home and we've been inseparable ever since.
Submitted by Molly Nelson, Facebook
7. Naomi's Pup
We rescued our little German Spitz, but she really rescued us. Her separation anxiety forced me to slow down on the crazy work hours. Her need for walks helped me lose over 12kgs. Her constant moulting taught me to not be so anal about my house. And her constant love and affection and fluffy cuddles showed me what true unconditional love is.
Submitted by naomis48ca9ddf0
8. Amanda's Kitten
When I was five, my parents took me to a cat rescue where I promptly picked out the nastiest, meanest kitten that has possibly existed. The rescue called her "Bitch Kitten," but I loved her and her terrible personality more than anything else in the world. After my sexual assault at age 12, I wanted to die. My cat was literally the only reason I didn't do it, because I knew no one else could love and take care of her the way I could. Forcing myself to get up each day and care for her slowly helped me escape the spiral of internal destruction that was my mind. It let me tell my family I still needed help and got me to a better place mentally. I don't think I would be here making this post today if I hadn't had her in my life.
Submitted by amandah4cccf5671
9. Jess' Puppy
We adopted a puppy who was so sick, the vets told us we could either put her to sleep or try to treat her on the very slim chance she would survive. We chose to treat, and I had never been so invested in any creature (even myself) living before. She showed me that fighting to live, and life itself, is important.
Submitted by messofjesss
I got my first dog that was "mine" when I was 19 in college and was moving into my first apartment. At the time and for years prior I struggled with depression. Living on my own for the first time was scary and kind of stressful but having Alex to come home to made it better. More importantly, she gave me a reason to live when depression and suicidal thoughts were overwhelming. Knowing that Alex depended on me and that if I wasn't there to take care of her no one would be very well may have saved my life, and for that I will always owe her.
Submitted by sarahg4aea2457c
My husband (then boyfriend) and I adopted our first dog, Dakota, a few months after moving in together. Because of her, I think it forced us to work through arguments faster and more effectively, and made us work through any problems whereas without her we may have given up.
Submitted by jesst4c052dda8
At 21, I dropped out of college to deal with a family crisis. The veterinarian I worked for began fostering a little kitten at the clinic. He'd follow me everywhere while I was working until I would pick him up, and then he'd purr and snuggle in my neck. I eventually adopted him and named him Forrest. Forrest filled me up with the love and comfort I so desperately needed during that dark time. It broke my heart when he died of cancer only 4 years later. In those 4 years, I got married and moved into a little house. It was like Forrest was put in my life just to see me through until I had a family and a home again. I wish he was still with me to enjoy these better times.
Submitted by Justine Fitting, Facebook
13. Halley's Kitten
Adopted a kitten for my birthday - she's the love of my life and I love her more everyday. She teaches me to be less stressed about life and enjoy the little things, like a good cardboard box or a piece of string.
Submitted by halleys48489a091
I have suffered from chronic neuropathic pain from back surgery for 2 years now. I adopted Wero my cat who had been at the shelter for almost two years. Adopting him was the best choice; he curls up with me and purrs during the worst moments of my pain. Having to take care of him helps me deal with my pain. Even though he was an adult, it feels like I've had him since he was a little kitten.
Submitted by lauraelimone
My Italian Greyhound, Mario, rescued me right after I had finished having cancer treatment 12 years ago. I had almost given up by that point. I felt like I was done fighting, I was done being positive. But because I knew that he was waiting for me (I applied for him through rescue and they were holding him until I was done), I fought on, and have been cancer free since!
Submitted by Jen Fox-Williams, Facebook