Shelter Dogs – How To Find The Best Animal Shelters & Dog Adoption Facilities Near You

by Andrea

Adopting/Rescuing A Dog, Lost & Found Dogs, Volunteer Opportunities For Dog Lovers

shelter-dogsHave you heard?…

Dog adoption is the new black.

That’s right, it’s becoming more popular to adopt a dog from an animal shelter than to buy a dog from a pet store. (Finally!)

However, the different types of animal agencies that provide homes for dogs are often confused.

Hopefully, the following information will help you see where they differ.

We will also point you in the right direction and help you find the best places to safely adopt a dog in your area.

See why shelter dogs are the best dogs…


Types Of Animal Agencies

  • Animal control facilities (commonly referred to as dog pounds) catch stray and dangerous animals and provide temporary shelter for them. They also educate animal owners, spay and neuter pets, give animals vaccinations, and perform other veterinary care.
  • Animal rescue organizations place pets in adoption situations whenever possible. They strive to ensure that all pets go into safe and healthy homes.  They also provide pet foster care.  Many rescue organizations work specifically with one particular breed of dog. (Here are dog rescues by breed.)
  • Animal adoption centers are very much like rescue agencies, with the main focus of finding pets new homes. They also arrange foster pet parents when adoption is not immediately available.
  • Animal shelters house homeless animals that are lost, abandoned, or turned over because their owners can no longer keep them. They also help pet owners locate their lost animals.


Most of these animal agencies are run by volunteers and low-paid fulltime workers (especially at the not-for profit agencies).  Many rescue agencies and animal shelters work closely with veterinarians and hospitals. Some do their best to not kill the abandoned or un-adoptable pets, but  This is why you should consider adopting a dog before purchasing one  or even getting a free puppy locally.

By the way, boarding kennels are sometimes confused with animal shelters and rescue centers.  They are nothing of the sort.  A kennel or dog boarding facility is what you use when you want to go on vacation. Pet owners pay a daily fee to board their dogs where they will have a clean safe place to sleep and room to play during the day. Animal hospitals also provide pet boarding services, but my experience is that you do not want to take well animals to board in a place where there are sick animals — because you are likely to get sick animals back.

So… what would it take to get you to take home a shelter dog?  Here’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to adopt a dog.



photo via

Where To Safely Adopt Pets

The following organizations place adoptable animals in homes nationwide. Each of them enables you to search for dogs within your state:

There are hundreds more, but those are some of the best.

To find a local animal shelter in your area, check out the ASPCA Searchable Database or the HSUS State Directory. Another great resource is the Animal Shelter Directory.


More About Animal Shelters & Dog Adoption

5 Myths About Adopting Shelter Dogs

Dog: I Rescued A Human Today

Questions To Ask Animal Shelter Staff Before You Adopt

10 Mythbusting Realities About Shelter Dogs

7 Ways To Improve The Life Of Shelter Dogs

Reasons To Adopt A Dog From A Shelter Or Pet Rescue