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These adorable shelter pets are eager to prove that adopting is the way to go.

When you're ready to get a pet, why not make adoption your first choice?

These adorable shelter pets are eager to prove that adopting is the way to go.
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Ad Council + The Shelter Pet Project

There are tons of reasons to adopt when you're looking for a pet.

Before you make your decision, though, these adopted pets would like to weigh in.

Image courtesy of Lucky and Doxie, via Angela Maria/Instagram.


Did you know that if just 10% of the families who plan to get pets in the next year choose to adopt, all the dogs and cats currently entering shelters will have homes? You could help make a big difference!

And if that's not enough to convince you, why don't you hear what the adopted pet community has to say? Lots of pets are adopted through The Shelter Pet Project, which is a joint effort between The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund, J. Walter Thompson New York, and The Ad Council to make shelters and rescue groups the first place that potential pet-owners turn to when looking to add a friend to their family.

When the rescue pets heard what The Shelter Pet Project was doing, they wanted to help. They even made a video! Watch:

Yup, shelter pets are definitely social media-savvy.

GIF courtesy of Meatball via David Minkin/Instragram.

And ready to hang out with you, whether you want to stay in all day...

Image courtesy of Harvey/Instagram.

...and all night...

Image courtesy of Ruby via Barbara Davis/Instagram.

...or if you want to hit the town!

Image courtesy of Andy the Pomeranian/Instagram.

Want a beach bud? Your rescue pup is by your side:

Image courtesy of Jelly the Frenchie/Instagram.

Or perhaps you'd rather be on the water?

Image courtesy of Bea and Emmylou via Leeann McCollum/Instagram.

Or you can stay on land and stretch out in the sun!

GIF courtesy of Barry via Emma White Turle/Instagram.

How about a gardening buddy?

Photo courtesy of Bonnie.

Or a dinner date:

Photo courtesy of Holly/Kellyanne Lark.

You'll always have a buddy to keep you from getting bored:

Image courtesy of Butters McGillicuddy/Instagram.

GIF courtesy of Ella/Instagram.

...or to make a gloomy day a little brighter.

Photo courtesy of Henry.

Even if you already have pets, why not consider adding an adopted pet to the family? Many adopted pets are eager to make friends!

Image courtesy of Chowder, Buddy, and Jackson via Elise/Instagram.

"Most pets end up homeless through no fault of their own ... meaning shelters and rescue groups are full of wonderful, family-ready pets," writes Kenny Lamberti, acting vice president of the companion animals department at The Humane Society of the United States in an email.

Rescue pets are every bit as cuddly, lovable, and ready to fit into your home as any animal out there.  And, says Lamberti, "whether you want a dog, cat, rabbit, parakeet or hamster, shelters often have the best selection of animals anywhere."

See for yourself: Use The Shelter Pet Project's site to find adoptable dogs and cats or shelters near you and see who's out there looking for a new home. (And even if you're not ready to adopt, lots of shelters need fosters and volunteers, so there are plenty of ways to help out.)

Image courtesy of Cali and Oscar/Instagram.

Pretty soon, you could be snuggling with an adopted pet of your own!

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less