Since National Hugging Day is Jan. 21, we asked our friends from shelters and rescues across the country for pictures of their adoptable pets being hugged! Our favorite photos, below, come from groups that received photography equipment grants and training through the One Picture Saves a Life program.
1. Walking shelter dogs during the winter in East Hanover, N.J., can be frigid, but Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter volunteer Kathy Wieczorek warms it up by fitting in snuggle time with Sky. The shelter saved this 2-year-old Chihuahua, who was born with one “baby eye” that’s smaller than the other, from an overcrowded shelter in the South, and now all she wants is to be in her own home. (Learn more about adopting Sky.)
2. Chicago Cat Rescue saved Edelweiss and her brother around Christmas, when the young kittens were wandering outside an abandoned apartment building in freezing temperatures. Foster mom and Chicago Cat Rescue founder Julie Adams says little Edelweiss loves playing with her sparkly pink toy, chasing her brother and getting as many cuddles as she can. (Learn more about adopting Edelweiss.)
3. After dutifully nursing her litter of puppies in foster care, Bella, a 3-year-old Beagle, is back with The Animal Foundation of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. Since she has finished the work of raising little ones, this small, sweet and now-spayed girl would love to relax in a home of her own. (Learn more about adopting Bella by contacting The Animal Foundation.)
4. Having only three legs doesn’t slow down Huggie Bear, who’s waiting for his forever home at Victoria Trap Neuter Return in Victoria, Tex. He came to the organization with a badly mangled leg that had been caught in a car’s fan belt. Now he’s healed and is ready to begin his life with a family! (Learn about adopting Huggie Bear.)
5. A strikingly handsome Dalmatian and Australian Cattle Dog Mix, 1-year-old Jude loves to give hugs, “hold hands” and dance! Jude’s caretakers at In the Arms of Angels in Tucson, Ariz., say this social boy adores playing with people and other dogs. Watch out come bath time — he’ll jump into the shower with you if you give him the chance! (Learn about adopting Jude.)
6. Not only is 10-month-old Roman agreeable with kids, dogs and other cats, his caretakers at Lifeline for Pets in Monrovia, Calif., say this handsome heart breaker likes to cuddle, too. (Learn about adopting Roman, a truly move-in ready cat!)
7. Seven-year-old Olive endured a rough past, and she has the scars to prove it. One of eight dogs who were transferred to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson from a Missouri dog-fighting raid, only Olive was suspected of being used for fighting. Olive is sweet as can be with people, but she needs to be an only dog. Olive is searching for the chance to enjoy her senior years on the couch and prove to everyone that she’s a lover — not a fighter. (Learn more about adopting Olive by contacting the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.)