21 Pics That Show Why Rescue Dogs Rule

Photographed by David Cortes.
To say we're big on shopping is what could politely be called a big, fat "No, duh." We elevate shopping to more than just a hobby — to us, it's a full-time job and one we approach with the same diligence, research, and know-how as our actual careers. It's not just about clothes — we shop for every aspect of our lives with the same care and attention, from winter boots to cleaning supplies. We have one very notable exception: our furry friends.
When you're looking for a new addition to your family, we are very firmly in the camp of "adopt, don't shop." Rescuing a fur baby in need is one of the most amazing, beautiful things a person can do — and the unconditional love you will receive in return is more than enough of a reward.
In an effort to raise awareness about just how wonderful adopting a dog in need can be — and, let's be real, to give us an excuse to cuddle all day with cute pups — we teamed up with the geniuses at NYC's Paintbox manicure studio to showcase gorgeous winter nail art and some of the most lovable, happy pups we've ever had the pleasure of hanging with. Yes, you read that right: This is an entire slideshow devoted to nail art and rescue dogs. Happy holidays to you.
In the shots that follow, you'll meet seven beyond-adorable pups, hear from their owners about how they were rescued, see some pretty sick nail art, and learn how to do it at home. Or, if you're in NYC and more of the pay-someone-else-to-do-it-for-you type, you can just head over to Paintbox and get it for yourself — all of these designs are on its winter menu.
While we totally understand how seeing these pups at their most adorable could make you want to run off and pick one out today, we urge you to hold off. A dog is not a gift or an impulse buy. It's a living creature that wants nothing more than a safe home and a loving family to give it the care, adoration, and devotion it deserves and so desperately craves. While the impulse to get or give a dog this time of year is strong, it only contributes to shelter overcrowding as people realize they are not realistically equipped to care for an animal, or their intended recipient turns out not to want or be able to take care of a new pet. Those kinds of stories break our hearts, so we cannot ask you enough to carefully weigh the decision to have a dog.
However, if you've thought long and hard about adding a dog to your family and know you are ready to provide a stable and loving home, we've got you covered. All the dogs featured here have found loving homes, but check below to see some of our favorite rescue organizations and shelters. And, now, without further delay, adorable dogs and kick-ass nail art. Enjoy.
Refinery29's Favorite Rescue Organizations:

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