The Top 20 Dog Shelters in the United States

Dog shelters offer a respite for animals who have no other place to go. They fulfill a vital need in society because of the large numbers of dogs who for one reason or another, find themselves homeless. The majority of animals in these shelters are there because they were found roaming the streets or perhaps their original owners passed away or could no longer care for them. It is a heartbreaking situation for the animals who are not at fault for their circumstances.

Not all of these facilities offer humane accommodations for the animals that are in their care. Many are overcrowded and lack the staff and financial resources to provide the necessary care. If you are considering adopting a dog or if you find yourself in the position of needing to place a dog in their care, it’s important to choose one that has been highly rated as being a no-kill center. In addition, the facility should have a reputation for being caring, providing the essential needs of the animals within its walls, and have an excellent record for providing adoptions.

Here are the top 20 dog shelters in the United States which meet this criteria.

Gateway Pet Guardians, St. Louis, MO

Gateway Pet Guardians has a rating of 5 out of 5. The organization rescues both stray dogs and cats from within the local community. They are a nonprofit that depends on volunteers and donations for the services that they provide. They provide shelter, food and rehabilitation for animals through foster homes where some of the animals stay until they are adopted by their new owners. Gateway offers a virtual adoption process which makes it easier for prospective pet owners to find their ideal pet.

You can visit their website here:

Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue, San Diego, CA

Labradors and Friends is a dog rescue group that has dedicated their operation to rescuing labrador retrievers along with mixed labrador breed dogs. They serve Northers, Central and Southern California. The organization was founded in 2007 and is composed of a group of all volunteers who are experienced in working with the labrador breed. They work to keep labradors out of local shelters and to place them in loving homes. They take the dogs into their own homes to save them from a grim fate.

You can visit their website at:

“A Home Away” Pet Boarding and Rescue, Greenfield, IN

This small independent shelter is open to animals of all types. Their goal is to improve the lives of animals and their owners. They charge fees for their services, but they are professional dog trainers as well as providing shelter services for homeless dogs. They have several rescue dogs which they have worked with to overcome behavioral issues. These rehabilitatied pets are up for adoption. Each adoptee is fully vaccinated, neutered and family ready. The facility has been given a 5 out of 5 star rating for excellence.

You can reach them by calling: 765-565-1502.

Carbon County Animal Shelter, Nesquehoning, PA

The Carbon County Animal Shelter is run by Carbon County. The facility rescues homeless dogs and prepares them for adooption by loving families. They accept abandoned, stray and unwanted dogs in their care, until they are adopted by approved homes that have passed the application for adoption process. They have been given a rating of 4.7 out of 5 for excellence. The shelter has been in existence for more than 20 years.

You can visit their Facebook page or call 570-325-4828 for more information about adopting a pet or placing a pet in their care.

Fortunate Pooches and Lab Rescue, Palatine, IL

This shelter is a Lab rescue and it is operated by an all- volunteer team who love labrador retrievers and want to make a difference for them. They rescue dogs from animal shelters to prevent euthanization. They transport the dogs to their facility. The dogs receive medical examinations and treatment if needed. They are socialized, spayed or neutered and microchipped. After the dog is adoption ready, it is advertised. There is an application process for the adoption to ensure that the adopting family is qualified to provide a safe and loving environment for the dog.

You can visit their website at: or call at: 773-318-2239 for more information.

Pine Valley Shih Tzu Rescue, Philadelphia, PA

Pine VAlley Shih Tzue Rescue is certified as a no kill shelter that rescues dogs who have been abused, abandoned, or who are homeless. Behavioral issues that can be rehabilitated are addressed in order to prepare the pets for adoption readiness. The organization depends on foster homes to house the pets until their are ready for their new families. It is the goal of the group to place each dog with an appropriate and loving home.

You can visit their website at: or call them at: 610-220-1755 for more information.

Outer Banks SPCA/Dare County Animal Shelter, Manteo, NC

Outer Bans SPCA/Dare County Animal shelter was rated by 2 dog owners. One gave a negative review and the other gave a perfect score for a total of 3 out of 5. This shelter is charged with offering temporary housing for dogs who are unwanted, lost or stray within the county. They offer pets for adoption by families who are capable of providing them with a loving and caring environment.

They may be reached by calling: 252-475-5998 or by visiting their website at: for more information.

Bullies 2 the Rescue, Indian Trail, NC

Bullies 2 the Rescue is ran and operated by the “Bulldoggers” group which is active throughout the United States. This large group of pet lovers has a passion for English Bulldogs. Their home base is in North Carolina, but their are a large national group. They take in bulldogs who are in need of homes. They operate on the basis of volunteerism and donations. They provide food, shelter, medical treatment and rehabilitation for bulldogs who are in need of social conditioning and training. They prepare each dog for their forever homes to qualified adoptive homes.

You can reach them by calling: 704-882-1525 or you can visit their website at:

Angels of Gaston Animal Rescue, Dallas, NC

This is a small rescue operation that goes into the Gaston County Animal Shelter to retrieve dogs and cats and save them from euthanization They ensure that each animal in their care receives a medical examination, vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchipping. Their pets are housed in foster hoes until their are adopted into loving homes. In the foster homes, the animals receive socialization and obedience training. This includes potty training and learning simple commands. The animals are adoption ready before they are adopted out to qualified and loving homes.

You can reach them by calling: 704-460-7533 for more information.

Front Range German Shepherd Rescue, Denver, CO

This dog rescue is a small group that is composed of all volunteers who love German Shepherd breed dogs. They offer temporary foster homes for dogs that are in need until the animals are matched with compatible owners who will give them a safe and loving home. The organization is non-profit and there is a screening process involved for all prospective pet adoptions. A lot of time and effort goes into preparing each pet for its new forever home.

You can learn more about Front Range German Shepherd Rescue at:

Greyhound Adoption of Ohio, Chagrin Falls, OH

Greyhound Adoption of Ohio is the state’s largest greyhound adoption center. It is also the oldest. The facility opened its doors in 1993 and the staff realized that there weren’t many greyhounds in teh state. The team works together to increase the population of greyhounds in the state and facilitates adoptions of these amazing pets. They prepare the dogs who were formerly used as racing dogs for their new homes.

If you want to learn more about adopting a greyhound or if you have a dog that you want to give them, you can learn more about them by visiting their website at: or call the at: 800-269-1148 for more information.

Reach Out Rescue, NFP, Oak Lawn, IL

Reach Out Rescue is a not profit, state licensed dog and cat rescue. They organize foster homes for the rescue animals that are in their care. They depend upon volunteers who work together to provide foster homes and conditioning for unwanted animals until they are placed with their new forever homes.

You can find out more about this shelter organization by visiting their website at:, or by calling the at: 708-582-7671 for more information.

HCPHES Veterinary Public Health, Houston, TX

HCPHES is an animal shelter that offers a variety of services for animals and community members. They offer licensing microchipping services, rabies vaccinations, reporting of issues with animals and shelter services for pets who are awaiting adoption by loving homes.

For more information you can visit their website at: or call them at: 281-999-3191 for more information.

Barktown Rescue, Bardstown, KY

Barktown Rescue offers assistance for dogs that are housed in shelters as well as being the first resort before placing an animal in a shelter. Their goal is to save animals and prevent euthanization by placing them in loving foster hoes until they are placed with adoptive families. They give dogs of all types a second chance at life. They have successfully rescued more than 600 dogs in the last 12 months.

You can learn more about them by visiting their website at: or call 502-833-2275 for more information.

LoveyLoaves, Orlando, FL

LovelyLoaves is a shelter for dogs who are in need of rehabilitation. The organization depends upon volunteer workers and donations for funding. The outreach attempts to reunite lost and found pets with their original owners. If you are missing a pet in this area, this shelter is the place to contact first. The group also offers education to raise pet owner awareness so the pet/owner relationship will be satisfactory for both parties.

You can learn more about this shelter by visiting their website at: or call them at: 407-446-2245 for more information.

German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, Newport Beach, CA

GSROC is a charity organization of nonprofit status that is dedicated to the rescue, rehab and rehoming of German Shepherd Dogs of purebred origin. They provide shelter for this breed of dog that has no other place to go. The facility operates on an all volunteer basis with private donations financing their operation. They place the dogs that they have for adoption in foster homes as well as in private boarding facilities until they are adopted into compatible and loving forever homes.

You can visit their website at: or call at: 714-974-7762 for more information.

For the Luv of Paws, Golden Valley, AZ

For the Luv of Paws is a no-kill animal rescue that provides sanctuary services for animals in Mohave County, AZ. They are nonprofit and offer a shelter for dogs and cats who have no other place to go. They offer adoption services, but if an animal is not adoptable, they care for them for the rest of their lives.

For more information, you can visit their website at: or call at: 928-897-7304 for more information.

Standing Proud Pit Bull Rescue, Mesa, AZ

Standing Proud Pit Bull Rescue Center is a nonprofit organization that specializes on pit bull rescue, rehabilitation and adoption into compatible homes. They also provide education about the breed in an attempt to dispel the myths that have been circulated about the breed. They accept pit bulls and pit bull mixes as their preference for sheltering, but the facility refuses to turn down any animal that is in need of shelter and food. They operate from donations which are tax deductible.

To find out more about this shelter, you can visit their website at: or call them at: 602-791-5917.

Happy Tails Happy Homes, Bellingham, WA

Happy Tails Happy Homes is a no kill shelter that is dedicated to the welfare and protection of animals. They do not operate out of a building, but they organize foster homes for dogs and cats in need of a home. Animals are housed in the homes of volunteers until suitable homes are found for them. The organization’s volunteers seek to find the best matches for the adoptions of the pets that they are currently sheltering.

For more information, visit their website at: or call: 360-209-4450.

Multnomah County Animal Services, Portland, OR

The Multnomah County Animal Services is a member of the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP. They are one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the Portland metro area. Their goal is to reduce the numbers of animals that are euthanized. They have a ninety percent success rate for saving dogs and are working on raising the numbers for cats. The shelters provide help for animals who are in need and release the pets to a variety of top notch rescue groups and private foster homes in addition to offering adoption services.

For more information, visit their website at:



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