These animals all got a rough start in life, but were rescued by humans with big hearts.
Keep your tissues ready as you see how grateful these sweet creatures can be.
1. Indi the orphaned kangaroo
Indi is one of the residents of The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. Whatever these rescue workers are doing, they’re doing it right, because Indi isn’t the only kangaroo there who hugs the staff on a daily basis.
2. Corporal Nobby Nobbs
This little fella is was 12 years old and completely deaf when he was finally adopted after living in a garage in Texas. Despite years of neglect, when Karyn Poplin of Kitty Adventure Rescue League and Sanctuary came across Nobbs, he immediately bonded with his rescuer and couldn’t stop being affectionate.
3. Radish the piglet
This poor piglet lept from a factory farm truck and was saved by a kind family after sustaining injuries such as a broken jaw. His rescuers got him the care he needed and he’s now in a loving forever home.
4. Juniper the lion
It does look like Juniper is giving more than a friendly maul in this photo, but the grateful beast is actually planting hugs and kisses on his rescuer, Ana Julia Torres. Torres rescued the lion from a life of abuse and malnutrition in a traveling circus.
5. Bella the squirrel
In 2009, Brantley Harrison found a squirrel that had been attacked by an owl. After caring for her for 5 months, she released Bella outside. Despite being happy back out in nature, Bella visited the family every day for 8 years!
6. An orphaned gorilla
Patrick Karabaranga is a warden at the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He made a new friend when he showed compassion to an adolescent gorilla whose parents had just been shot by poachers. The two are now pals and play together at the park.
7. Benji the bobcat
This bobcat was found by a compassionate little boy who couldn’t stop thinking about the animals caught up in wildfires in the western US. When George came home with a rescued bobcat, his parents let him take care of it and the two are now inseparable.
8. Hallie Greer
A family driving down a highway in West Virginia saw a kitten get hit. Instead of leaving it on the side of the road, they scooped her up and took her to the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee, a rescue group in Charleston. The rescuers named her Hallie Greer because she was picked up at the Hal Greer exit in Huntington. Little Hallie is now in a forever home, which was easy to find since the grateful kitten wouldn’t stop purring and being affectionate with the staff who helped nurse her back to health.
9. A grateful canine
It’s pretty rare for a pet to enjoy a trip to the vet, but this pup clearly knows who to thank for making him feel all better. It’s all in a day’s work for vets and their technicians.
Duke and his owner were trapped in a flood during a storm in Texas. Duke’s owner was able to hang onto him while calling 911 and it’s clear that the dog knew who put their life on the line to save them both. The dog immediately ran to the firefighter who saved him upon hitting dry land, lavishing him with kisses.
11. John the orphaned fawn
Imgur user Amscolie is a wildlife rehabber who took in a sick fawn. The little guy came with a selenium deficiency and muscle disease and could barely walk. Amscloie got him healthy again and named him after John Wayne. He even let the little fawn star in his engagement photos.
12. A thankful swan
Swans aren’t known for being all that sweet, but this one is all too happy to show affection to the man who nursed her back to health and returned her to her home in England.
13. Norwegian deer
After being saved from hunters years ago, this deer came to the home of its rescuers twice a day every day to enjoy a snack of bread.
14. Marvin the rescue dog
It’s pretty clear from this photo that both Marvin and his owner are happy in each other’s company.
15. Jiquitaia the jaguar
When Brazilian soldiers found a small, wounded jaguar in the forest, they decided to take him in and get him healthy. Now Jiquitaia is part of the troop and loves playing with his comrades.
16. Rademenesa the nurse cat
Rademenesa was 2 months old when she showed up at a shelter with respiratory inflammation. After being treated, the cat became an assistant to the veterinary team and can now be found comforting other shelter animals who are going through treatment. Incredible!
17. Jake the Fire Pibble
After saving this pitbull from a burning home, this firefighter adopted the injured dog who was abandoned at the vet by his owner. Now Jake is an honorary member of the team.
18. Emma the moose
Emma will never forget the man who rescued her. She returns to his home every day to play with him.
19. Nora the rescue dog
Nora survived an abusive home in her puppy years and remains scared of people to this day. The only person she allows around her is her family’s toddler, Archie. The two are now inseparable and enjoy taking naps together.
20. Jimbo the bear
Now that’s a bear hug! Jimbo is a 22-year-old Kodiak bear who lives with 11 other rescue bears on the 100-acre Orphaned Wildlife Center in Otisville, New York. The couple who runs the center consider Jimbo a son and raised him from a tiny cub into the 1,400lb gentle giant he is today.
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