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Anime and Manga
- In one episode of Doraemon, Doraemon helps Nobita secretly care for a box of puppies/kittens. After some time travel and thought process acceleration, the two returned to find that the dogs and cats became humanoid, gained the ability to talk, and built a sophisticated civilization with high technology. Apparently, the now-humanoid dogs and cats have decided to leave the Earth to another planet because they've predicted that the Earth will be facing a world-wide disaster.
- Massugu ni Ikou: In episode 4, Mametarou and Hanako come across a puppy in a box. They end up acting as Parental Substitutes until it is taken home by a girl.
- Sakamoto from Nichijou. Nano has no choice but to leave him behind when he first finds the cat in a box, only to find him again at home courtesy of the professor.
- Kicks off the plot of Nukoduke. In the first chapter, Yuuya found Kei and Sasame abandoned in a box on the street, and decided to adopt them.
- In the "Go West Young Meowth" episode of Pokémon, it's shown that Meowth was abandoned as a kitten in a nest. He grew up on the streets with no parents, gang, or trainer.
- This is the backstory for a Dex-Starr/Dexter, a cat that joins the Red Lanterns in Green Lantern. Dexter & his siblings are shown in a box labelled "FREE" on the day of Dexter's adoption. When his adopted owner is killed in a home invasion, Dexter is thrown into the street and nearly drowned by two thugs who throw him into the river - at which point he is recruited into the Red Lanterns and becomes Dex-Starr.
Film - Animated
- In the sequel to Balto, Balto and Jenna's puppies are given away in a box. One of them however doesn't get adopted because her looks betray her wolf-dog heritage.
- Inverted in Mr. Peabody & Sherman; the canine Peabody found the human Sherman as a baby inside a cardboard box in an alley.
- Oliver & Company opens with a box full of kittens being sold on a Manhattan sidewalk. All the kittens are sold except for one - our hero, Oliver - who is callously left in the box on the rain.
- In Rio, Blu the macaw was discovered by Linda in a box on the side of the road.
- In the first book of the All American Pups series, New Pup on the Block, the others meet Rosie when her box is tossed out of a moving car.
- Sphynx the cat from A Certain Magical Index was left in a box◊ and adopted by Index.
- Played for Laughs in My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. A little kitty is left in a box to get Saki Kawasaki's attention, but failed. Instead, Yukino Yukinoshita drops her coldness to stay in front of the box meowing with the kitty.
Film - Live Action
- This is Riley's backstory in Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. The boy he was bought as a present for didn't want him, so the parents left Riley in the gutter. Unlike many examples, Riley is not adopted by a kind passerby; he becomes a street dog with a deep distrust of humans.
- The children mobile game Little Kitten - My Favourite Cat is about a kitten abandoned in a box that gets into a house and is adopted, the game is about to pet and play with the kitty (called as Crumbs) in an interactive house.
- In We Bare Bears, when the bears are still cubs, they try to find a family by sitting in a cardboard box with "Free Bears" written on it.