What's a Good Shelter and Rescue?

Rescues and shelters focus on saving the lives of homeless dogs across the country. And with all the dogs in shelters and rescues, we highly encourage you to consider adoption.

You might not realize that you can find a dog with the characteristics you want in a shelter or rescue. For example, if you have your eye on a particular breed, there are lots of great rescue organizations that specialize by breed and will even help transport a dog to you from different parts of the country. Adoption might also make sense for you because of the cost of getting a dog from a breeder or because your lifestyle is better suited to an adult dog than to a puppy.

Regardless of your preferences, you should always feel confident that the people you’re dealing with have your and your new dog’s best interests at heart. At Good Dog, our goal is to make sure you connect with organizations that do everything they can to ensure the well-being of their dogs.

Adopting from a shelter or rescue typically means you’ll be welcoming a new canine family member who is spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. You might not know the breed or history of your new dog, but you will have a dog who is very happy to call you their best friend.

There are certain standards of care that all rescue organizations should meet. Good Dog is committed to ensuring that each shelter and rescue featured on our site meets the following criteria:

Commitment to Animal Care

All of our recognized organizations must prioritize the welfare of the animals in their care, including animals in foster homes or at other offsite locations. Responsible daily care includes a clean living environment, food, water, daily enrichment and shelter. Many of the organizations on Good Dog go above and beyond these basic standards to ensure that their dogs are healthy, happy and prepared for success in their new homes. All Good Shelters and Rescues are based in the United States and must be in compliance with local laws and regulations related to animal sheltering.

Want to know more? Read our Shelter and Rescue Code of Ethics, which details the minimum standard of care we require all shelters and rescues agree to abide by to become part of our community.

Commitment to Ending Pet Homelessness

We believe that every dog deserves a loving home and we’ve seen firsthand the joy dogs bring to those around them. By supporting responsible dog ownership and sources who put the needs of their dogs first, we’ll help put an end to inhumane, unethical and deceptive practices in the dog world.

All of the rescues and shelters on Good Dog are committed to ending pet homelessness by supporting adoption, spay and neuter as well as programs around intake prevention. Commitment to these important issues means fewer dogs in shelters and more happy dogs on couches in loving homes.

Commitment to Transparent Practices

Our goal is to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about where to get your new furry friend. Transparency around practices helps hold organizations accountable and gives adopters the information necessary to make their own choices.

Every shelter and rescue recognized on Good Dog is also in good standing with GuideStar Charity Check so you can rest assured that you are adopting your new family member from an organization that is transparent about their programs and results, financials and operations.

We also make sure that every rescue and shelter we partner with is an approved 501(c)(3) public charity or municipal shelter.