25 U.S. Pet Rescue Organizations That Are Doing An Amazingly Noble Job

Top U.S. Pet Rescue Associations

Pet rescue associations are one of the unsung heroes of the modern society.

So many animal lives have been needlessly lost simply because there is no one to look after them.

This is where pet rescue associations come into the picture.

They find pets that are in need of care, rescue them and take them under their wing.

Pet rescue associations usually go beyond just ‘rescuing’ the pets.

They also offer behavioral training programs, medicinal care, educational programs for people among other facilities.

Perhaps their most important task is to find foster families for stray pets that willing take them in and treat them with the compassion, care, kindness and love that they richly deserve.

They are similar to pet shelters with the only difference being that they do not always have a physical facility like shelters, but instead rely on a network of foster homes.

Pet rescue associations have been doing some great work, particularly in the United States of America.

Using the empirical data available on the website of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, we see that there are about 6.5 million companion animals that enter U.S animal shelters throughout the country every year.

Of the aforesaid figure of 6.5 million, just a shade above half of them are dogs (the rest being cats).

Thanks in no small part to the incredible work done by pet rescue associations, the number of dogs and cats entering shelters across the length and breadth of the country each year has gone down from about 7.2 million in 2011.

The decline in dogs alone was about 0.6 million in the said time period.

Moreover, there has been a decline in the number of dogs and cats euthanized in US shelters from 2.6 million in 2011 to 1.5 million at this point in time.

Clearly, pet rescue associations are doing God’s work by adopting animals and also returning animals to their owners.

Let us now look at the top pet rescue associations.

1. Save-a-Pet, Lake County, Illinois

Save-A-Pet is a non-profit organization that is one of the biggest no-kill dog and cat rescues in Lake Country. It is a full-time adoption center that provides a home for those animals which have been mistreated, injured, abused, lost or in need of rescue for whatsoever reason. Its impeccable care gives rescued pets a new lease of life. Save-A-Pete’s no-kill motto resonates with the voices of the animal welfare community at large. Such noble ideas, beliefs, actions coupled with generous contributions from donors has led to the successful adoption of almost 45,000 dogs and cats.

2. Search Dogs Foundation, Santa Paula, CA

Founded in 1996, Search Dogs Foundation is one of the more unique pet rescue associations in that it strives to make use of dogs in need of shelter to strengthen the disaster response in America. In a nutshell, it takes shelter dogs and provides them with a caring home. Following this, the dogs are trained to serve as emergency response dogs. In other words, these dogs are the first-responders in disasters, whether natural or man-made, where finding and rescuing people trapped under debris and ruins is of paramount importance.

3. The London Sanctuary, Florida

Founded in 2010, the London Sanctuary’s pertinent goal is to provide a safe place for elderly and unwanted dogs (particularly Dalmations). It is also open to taking other large to medium-sized breeds that are at risk, in as much and available space and funds permit. Hounds of all kinds are at high risk in northeast Florida; therefore, special consideration is given to them.

4. Underdog Rescue, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Founded in 2000, Underdog Rescue and Placement was created in order to help dogs and cats which were often overlooked by other rescuers and shelters. The term “underdog” is an eponym drawn from the body's name.

5. Pets For Vets

Pets for vets is essentially something that combines compassion for animals with compassion for those serving in the military. Being a veteran is one of the most unforgiving, thankless, yet noble jobs known to mankind. The nature of the job is such that it causes stress, anxiety, emotional upheaval, depression and the ilk. Medical studies have suggested that companion animals can help alleviate all these symptoms. In a nutshell, the Pets for Vets program is committed to supporting veterans and providing a new lease of life to shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with men and women who served in the military. It is the perfect example of a win-win situation.

6. Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, New York

Founded in 1986, Farm Sanctuary’s primary aim is to battle the abuses of factory farming. In addition, it wishes to instil an awareness and understanding among farm animals in one and all. Having rescued thousands and thousands of animals at Sanctuaries in New York, Northern California and Los Angeles, Farm Sanctuary is America’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization at this point of time.

7. Stray From the Heart, New York

Stray from the heart has become one of the best animal shelters in New York City since the time it was founded in 2000. From rescue to rehabilitation to finding new homes, it does it all and does it well!

8. 4 Paws for Ability, Xenia, OH

4 Paws for Ability is a non-profit organization which seeks to pair quality service dogs with disabled children and veterans. It helps with animal rescue and has educational programs to raise awareness about the use of service dogs in public places.

9. Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Cotati, California

Founded in 1979 with a mission to protect animal lives and advance their interests through the legal route, the Animal Legal Defense Fund focuses on filing lawsuits which are hard-hitting. The ALDF can take credit for changes to America’s legal system with respect to rights of animals. That there are stringent anti-cruelty laws in place today is largely down to ALDF’s steadfast commitment to providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases.

10. Welcome Home Dog Rescue, Buena Park, California

True to its name, Welcome Home Dog Rescue is one of the best dog rescue associations in not just California but all of the United States. It strives to make a difference in the lives of dogs which have experienced neglect, abuse and cruelty. Rescue and adoption services are the main focus. In its short 4-year old history, Welcome Home Dog Rescue has welcomed and rescued innumerable dogs.

11. World Society for the Protection of Animals (worldwide)

With a mission to create a better world where animal welfare is of significance and animal cruelty ceases to exist, the World Society for the Protection of Animals has been protecting animals across the globe since its inception in 1981. It has prevented rabies in several 3rd world countries and also prevented dogs from being used as food in myriad places. With a presence in 50 countries, it comes as no surprise that the World Society for the Protection of animals has seen incredible success.

12. PugSavers, Northern California

PugSavers has come a long way since its inception in 2002. With its stated mission to rescue any pug or pug mix, it strives to provide health care and treatment for all dogs which go to their rescue. In addition, PugSavers raises awareness by participating in advocacy for pugs as well as educating the common man about the breed. It also collaborates with other organizations that share values.

13. PetSmart Charities, North America

The essence of a pet rescue association is to provide a loving home for every pet to last a lifetime. This is exactly what PetSmart Charities does. It is a non-profit organization which seeks to improve the welfare of homeless pets across North America, working in tandem with other welfare groups across U.S and Canada. It also provides spaying and neutering services in order to reduce the number of homeless strays on the streets. With adoption centers which exceed 1,300 across North America, PetSmart Charities also helps to rescue pets.

14. Old Dog Haven (ODH), Western Washington

Founded in 2004, ODH takes homeless dogs into foster homes and helps with the placement of senior dogs. It also aids pet owners find new, loving homes for their senior dogs through a process of referrals and through their websites. In the 13 years since its inception, Old Dog Haven has established itself as a premier dog welfare organizations by using a network of foster homes to provide a safe home for abandoned senior dogs.

15. DC SIR, Washington

DC SIR is a pet rescue association in every sense of the word. It is a not-for-profit network of foster homes located in the Washington, DC area. Its network comprises entirely of volunteers and its stated mission is to rescue, foster and train abandoned and homeless stray shubainus and other mixed breeds. It holds adoptable events on a monthly that interested adopters can attend.

16. Toronto Humane Society, Toronto

The Toronto Humane Society is steadfastly dedicated to the promotion of humane care and protection of every animal. It seeks to stamp out cruelty and suffering from the lives of animals. Its total adoptions to date has surpassed 2200 and its total intake is almost 3050. Its incredible spaying, neutering, vaccination and educational programs have given rise to an ambitious 5 year strategic plan -- up until 2022 where 5 essential bare minimum freedoms will have been codified for animals: freedom from pain and disease, freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from distress and freedom to express behaviors that promote wellness.

17. Animal Ark Rescue, Columbus, Georgia

With a mission to create and maintain a No-Kill community in Columbus, Georgia, Animal Ark Rescue was founded in 2011 with the primary aim to reduce the euthanasia rate in Columbus GA. The organization’s tireless dedication and commitment over 6 years have paid off. The euthanasia rate in Columbus GA is the lowest it has ever been at 10 percent last year in 2016.

18. Seer Farms, New Jersey

Seer farms is a “people-centered animal sanctuary”, a social services organization that strives to provide animal care, resources and support for pet-owning families in need. In short, it provides a buffer to families who need time to reset their lives by taking care of the animals for as long as needed. Since its inception in 2008, Seer Farms has always had a unique perspective on animals and their people. If you are looking for a safe haven that provides the lifeline of time, kindness, understanding and compassion to families in need and their pets, then Seer Farms is one of your best bets.

19. Dog Is My CoPilot, Inc. (DIMC), Arizona

Since its inception in 2012, DIMC has saved thousands of animal lives by working with a supportive Board to fly animals from the areas in the country where they are not wanted to areas of the United States where they are needed. The best part is that DIMV does not charge the animal welfare organizations for whom it flies; the planes fly on the might of public donations! With anywhere between 40 to 200 animal passengers per flight, DIMC increases the likelihood of pets being adopted and preventing euthanasia.

20. Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet (GAfSP), Gatesville, TX

GAfSP is a national military and veteran support organization comprising entirely of volunteers to assist veterans, wounded warriors and active duty service members and their pets through myriad assistance programs. The most important of these programs is the Pet Foster Home Program which, has a two-fold purpose of assisting active duty service members and veterans in certain situations with foster homes in GAfSP’s network, and the Military pet Assistance Fund for assisting homeless veterans with vet care expenses and pet boarding expenses.


21. Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation (SARF), Waynesville, NC

Inspired by the sad demise of a German Shepherd named Sarge which fell victim to euthanization just before help arrived, Sarege’s Animal Rescue Foundation is dedicated to providing animal control and public safety. Since its inception in 2005, SARF has rescued a great number of adoptable animals for adoption. Additionally, it transports them to no-kill shelters. Spraying, neutering, vet services are readily available.

22. Friends for Life, Houston

Founded in 2002, Friends for Life is a non-profit organization that offers a no-kill alternative in Houston. It envisages a time in the near future when no animal shall have to die merely for want of a loving home. It emphasizes that shelters are guardians and protectors of animals and must shoulder this responsibility in the best manner possible.

23. Detroit Dog Rescue, Detroit

With its noble mission to open the first no-kill shelter in Detroit, Detroit Dog Rescue is a not-for-profit organization which is dedicated to educating people and raising awareness of the homeless and stray animals of Detroit. It is estimated that there are a staggering 50,000 of them running amok on the streets, without about 90 percent of those picked up by the Animal Control Officers being euthanized. Despite its limited resources and funds, DDR remains steadfastly committed to help bring about a change.

24. Save Our Scruff, Toronto

Save Our Scroff is a non-profit organization that is committed to rescuing dogs and helping them find safe and loving homes through education, advocacy and adoption. It takes in dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds. It works closely with committed volunteers, vets, foster homes and trainers to rescue dogs.

25. Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus, Norther Illinois

With the primary purpose of rescuing animals in dire straits and placing them in the care of loving homes, IDRP has pushed the envelope in terms of educating the common man about the Doberman. Spaying, neutering, and vaccination are carried out.


As you guys can see, there are many great associations that are working really hard in providing a warm and friendly environment for our four-legged friends.

If you find these worth sharing and if you want to help in spreading the word, please don’t hesitate to share them with your friends.

Who knows maybe a pet can be saved by a mere click of a button from you.

About the Author Sam Cummings

Hey world! Sam here! I am a writer and a blogger, with keen interest in pets, dogs especially. Writing about those creatures make time melt like an ice cube in a desert! Dogs are just unbelievably amazing!

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