Pets: Finding No Kill Shelters Quickly

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Hi All,

After Windsurffers's recent rescue and care of several very young kittens, I thought it might be helpful to maintain a reference list of no kill shelters around the country. Whiterose provided a link that identifies no kill shelters by state. Thanks so much :)

I don't know how often that link is updated. After Wind had posted her link about the kittens, I contacted an Ohio State Vet student who so graciously returned my inquiry via email! I just found her name and email on a paper she had jointly published (found on the web) and she was so kind to answer my question about no kill shelters in Columbus.

Anyway, the place she recommended was not identified on the link Whiterose had. So, to make a long story short, I thought it would be nice to keep a list here in the Pet Forum of known shelters around the country that are no kill shelters.

If you are aware of one in your area and it is NOT on the link of no kill shelters, PLEASE add it to our list. This can be so helpful when we unexpectedly find ourselves in a rescue situation.

Here's the no kill link provided by Whiterose --

Here's the contact information for another no kill shelter in Columbus, OH.

Pets Without Parents Columbus
1967 W Henderson Rd
Columbus, OH

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Morph, you have done a great service by starting this thread, I know it will save a lot of lives. Thank you.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

For people looking for an animal, many of the breed clubs in dogs (maybe cat clubs do this, too), have rescue programs where they pick up dogs of their specific breed from area shelters, and from owners that no longer can keep thier pet for whatever reason, and treat(if necessary) and neuter the animal before placing it in a home. I know the Afghan Club of Chicago has a wonderful rescue program. At their yearly show they have a Parade of Rescues, where people who have taken in rescued dogs get to show them off and have their stories told. It can be very emotional at times to hear of thier lives before rescue.

New Iberia, LA(Zone 9a)

What about here in New Iberia,La. it has Human Society at Troy St.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

No-Kill shelters have made a commitment not to kill any of the animals entrusted to them for care. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Humane Society has made no such commitment. If you click on the hyperlink above, you can see which shelters in Louisiana are no-kill.

This message was edited Tuesday, Oct 22nd 4:45 PM

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9a)

Morph, maybe these links will help, did a quick search and came up with these.

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Thanks, FLSuncoast! Yes, these are great links, too. I noticed that they do list some of the breed specific rescues as well which is what Momcat had mentioned. I think those can be VERY helpful as the breed specific programs know and care so much about their particular rescue breed.

Thanks again, FLSuncoast!

(Zone 5a)

Morph the Pet's Without Parents is a joke and no better than the Humane Society. I called them and they told me that they weren't taking any other cats. It seems like every agency I have called here says the same thing.
But the good news is that a pet store did take them after I took them to the vet and had them treated with eye and worm medicine. The only thing the Humane Society wanted to do was put them to sleep.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

I'm bumping this thread back to the top because people might need it. Also, I want to add a no-kill dog shelter that just opened in La Plata County, Colorado called Annie's Orphans. Here's the link Please note, it's only for dogs.

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

In our local dog shows, there is always a section of dog rescue groups with specific breeds. Our local Humane Society just went through a major staff change and seem to be doing more efforts in finding homes for the 4 foots. I am glad that Angel Wish has been started, they are getting my money from my baked stuff this year.

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Whiterose, I saw your post on Dave's Garden forum ~ good idea! It led me here and I've already bookmarked many of the urls above. So thank you for that. :)!

I just wanted to let you know that all Humane Society orgs may not be the same. The one here in Austin will only euthanize in cases of suffering or agressiveness. I looked at the list of no-kill shelters at the url you gave above and the Austin one's on it! I'm so glad! And I doulbe-checked it just in case it had changed it's policy, but it seems to still be the same: Is this true or do you know something that will let me know that they're blowing smoke up our skirts? I ask that in all honesty and without sarcasm of any kind :) as I've heard of atleast one group of people (that have since been closed down) that was accepting animals, promising no-kill and all sorts of happy things, and then selling them for research! OMG!! I don't know where it was or exactly when, but I remember seeing an "expose" about that on a tv show like Dateline, for what that's worth. :) Which makes me open to the possibility that there's a fox in the henhouse with the Humane Society.

Thank you in advance for letting me know of your experiences, Whiterose! :)!

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Hey, Wingnut! Unfortunately, there is big money in selling animals to laboratories and one of the scams such underhanded people use is to advertise themselves as operators of no-kill shelters. Short of lengthy and costly investigative work, there is no way to know absolutely, 100% positively, that a given shelter is what it says it is -- but reputation and years in business are some safeguards. I don't know anything specific about the shelter in Austin, but if it's on the list of no-kill shelters, it's probably fine. If it's legally affiliated with the Humane Society, that's a further assurance. All Humane Society shelters are not created equal -- yours seems to be very good and ours in Durango is not -- but at least there is some understanding of the groundrules when you're dealing with a large national organization. It's not a guarantee, but there are so few laws enforced governing animal rights and welfare that it's at least a partial safeguard. I hope that Dave does start a forum for listing references such as these.

Thank you for this post, Wingnut. I always like to hear about good animal shelters, especially the no-kill kind! There are lots of humane shelters across our country, and there are getting to be more. According to a news report I heard a few years ago, there was an ordinance passed in San Francisco which states that none of the shelters in that city can kill animals -- wow, a no-kill city, sure wish that would catch on! So, while Durango is still in the dark ages when it comes to animals, it does my heart good to hear about more enlightened places like Austin. Thank you! :D

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

WOW! A no-kill CITY? That's awesome!! I hope it catches on, too!! Thank you for your answer, too, Whiterose ~ makes me feel better! I've always heard of the one in Austin being nothing but good.

I have another question for you if you don't mind. My little town is growing by leaps and bounds and I can see that there will be a need for an animal shelter in the future. I have a few acres on the backside of the ranch that I've been kinda' keeping aside for future community service type things ~ battered women's shelter, public ball fields and maybe an animal shelter are three of the ideas rattling around in my head. My ranch is pretty much centrally located in the growth area out here (I can see "downtown Spicewood" being along the little road at my front gate). Also, a new elementary school will be built on 35 acres I sold the ISD this year that borders this acreage, so it would be the perfect place for these types of things. I just hope it's enough room for them.

Anyway, do you know of any place I can start researching on just how to do this? It will be atleast a few years before it's really needed, so it's not time for me to start rallying the troups and getting serious. I've just been pondering and sending out a couple e-mails to other shelters so far, testing the water is all. But while we're on the subject... Thanks! :)

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Wingnut, God bless you for wanting to use part of your land to help humans and critters! It sounds like a wonderful plan, and one that you will find lots of support for -- especially divine support. Here's a good place to find some ideas about starting an animal shelter

When you are ready to implement your idea, the best place to start your research would be in the area of local zoning regulations, building codes, home business regulations, and those sorts of things. Then I would plan a shelter that would not only conform to those laws at the time of building, but would allow for expansion in accordance with the local regulations.

I would be cautious about asking local shelters (especially for-profit organizations) for input initially, because they might see your shelter as a threat and steer you in some strange directions. Of course, it's also possible that they would view your shelter as a welcome addition to the community and give you good advice, but just keep your ears open for hidden agendas. Shelters in your region, but not in your actual town, as well as shelters in other areas of the country (such as some of the ones mentioned in the no-kill shelter list) might be the best places to contact, initially.

That said -- at some point, it would be advisable for you to contact local humane organizations, both for public relations purposes, and to ensure their good will toward your own shelter; the people in charge would also be able to tell you what types of animals they serve and the sorts of problems they encounter in their work, which would impact your own planning. You might want to specialize in animals whose needs are not being met already (or in the best ways), or you might decide to provide a more generalized service to accommodate overload in existing local shelters. Snoop around, ask questions, and when you're ready -- pounce, LOL!

God bless you, and thank you for having a heart as big as the great state you live in!

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Wing, it just occurred to me that your place would be perfect for providing a home for rescued farm animals. Here's a great link, if you want to see a wonderful example of that type of shelter

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Here's a link to a wonderful shelter that serves many kinds of animals At least on my browser, links I paste into edited posts never work, which is why there are now three posts from me in a row, LOL.

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Wingnut, here is a link to a local organization in my town that is indeed a no kill shelter. They have been here for years and are growing fast. They have a great program and many of the pets are in foster homes during the week and then brought to the building on weekends when the adoptions are most likely to occur. I'm sure they would have helpful information for you if you pursue this particular avenue!

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Oh, thank you, Whiterose! Lots of great info at those links and in your ideas. The first link went to a "page not found" message at the ASPCA website ~ I snooped and found a page called "Want to start an animal shelter?" ~ was that the link you were directing me to? Good one! The other two worked fine!

Yes, I thought the shelter here would take in farm animals, too ~ they can just overflow into my acreage and barn so we can use all the money we get for the cat/dog type facility. I really don't foresee too many farm animals as the county already has a system set up for that, but there are always a few that slip through the cracks.

Speaking of the county, I'm buds with the local county commisioner. I've thrown a couple of these ideas at him and he's offered to help me any way he can. As a matter of fact, he's already started the buzz in the county library system to get us a library out here (that will be on other acreage of mine near the entrance to the school and kind of in conjunction with it). He lives just up the road from me so has a vested interest in all these things. I'm so lucky to have him in my corner. I've been making lists of people I know who would be great at running these things ~ have got quite a list already (I live in a WONDERFUL little town! :). I'm best at begging for money ;), so that will be my niche I imagine.

One lady who has expressed an interest in and has the skills to be a big part of the women's shelter thought it would be a good idea to put the women's shelter and animal shelter close together to allow the women to help care for the animals ~ kind of a two-way therapy thing. Sounds good to me! If we could have a couple volunteers who would do the icky jobs like cleanup of pens, I think it would be great for the women ~ some unconditonal love. And great for the animals ~ SOMEONE to love them, if even for a little while 'til they find permanent "someones". Isn't that a neat idea?!

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Oh, Morph! Cool link! You know, foster homes would be a big help as I'm not sure if the room I have is big enough for all the things I'm thinking of. If we could get a few people to take in foster animals, it would free up space at the main shelter ~ great idea! Thanks again, Morph!

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Glad I could help. Also, I love your idea about having the pets near a women's shelter! Pets and their healing effects are amazing. That combination sounds like a wonderful combination to me.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Wing, every one of your ideas and statements is right-on and if I could jump through the screen and give you a big (((hug))), I would! I love all of your ideas about how your shelter might operate, how it would dovetail with the local animal shelter, and how it would work with the women's shelter, and how each facet of that network would benefit every other. YES, it's wonderful to have people in your corner, especially those who can give you a real "leg up," when the time comes. I salute you (imaginary glass of champagne lifted in air) and wish you every success, and I know beyond any doubt that it will happen, when you get ready to do it!

Morph, thank you for providing a link to that shelter. It was wonderful of you to start this thread, and I know so many people and animals will benefit from it.

P.S. Yes, Wing, the "Want to Start an Animal Shelter?" page on the ASPCA website was the one I tried to send -- see what I mean about me and links? I'm starting to get a sick feeling of dread in my stomach every time I cut and paste!

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks again, y'all! You two are so sweet. *Blush* And hugs right back atchya, Whiterose! LOL!

PS: The other two links worked great! And the first one did get me to the ASPCA site, there was probably just a glitch there. :)!!

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Bless your heart for saying it was probably a glitch, Wing, but I tested the link again and got the same message you did -- forunately, there was a "Home" button and a navigation bar on the "page not found" page, so it wasn't a dead end. I don't get it. But all's well that ends well, am glad you snooped around the site and found that page! Am thankful that the other two links worked fine.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Dave has just opened the G.I.A. (Gardening Information Archive) to replies, whereas before it was locked. I asked him to add this thread to that forum, so that we can continue adding resources to our list of no-kill shelters, which would mean that people who don't ordinarily come to the Pet Forum would still be able to find no-kill shelters where they live.

I don't know if Dave plans to move specific threads to the G.I.A., and in so doing remove them from their existing forums, or if he will duplicate them. Either way, it's exciting that lots of concentrated information will be made available to the DG community through the new forum.

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Whiterose, I'm glad you explained about adding replies to threads in the GIA. I was getting worried since I had a recently archived thread onto which I still wanted to add information. I'm not even sure where to look to find the GIA.

I commend you on your fine toast to Wingnut and I am also holding an imaginary glass of champagne lifted high :) If I were anywhere near, I would want to volunteer to help.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Morph, the Gardening Information Archive is now listed with the rest of the forums and you can add it to your DG homepage through the "Preferences" link on your homepage menu.

I think the GIA name might be a bit confusing, since (as I understand it) the GIA will contain archival material and resource info on a host of subjects besides gardening; for example, the GIA currently includes a thread concerning how to make hyperlinks. I don't know how Dave will ultimately implement it. I have no clue about what might be involved in the programming, either. The DG Search feature would probably take people to the information they're after, but I'm not sure how many people would ever think to enter "no kill shelter" into the search engine of a site devoted to gardening. So...there'll be some things to work out.

YES, Morph, I would volunteer to help Wing out, too! If I had money, nothing would make me happier than to endow her. As it is, the imaginary champagne will have to do, LOL -- I can "see" your raised glass, Morph!

This message was edited Monday, Nov 18th 8:51 PM

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Thank you both for your votes of confidence. Warms my heart right up. :) I wish y'all lived closer, too ~ I would love to have you two as volunteers!

I'm glad Dave might be moving this thread to the GIA. Not only can you find info on no-kill shelters, but a little about starting one! The first link you gave Whiterose has some excellent advice, specifically to think twice about it. It won't be all fun and games, by far. If we do this, then I know for a fact that Kenny and I will be up there more than we like cleaning pens and feeding animals. That's something you have to be committed to do or don't even think about opening a shelter.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

You're so right, Wingnut. It's pretty much a 24/7 type of commitment. That's one of the reasons why your idea of allowing the women in the women's shelter to help care for the animals is really a good one -- it would be tremendously beneficial to the women, the animals, and you and Kenny. But it really is a big project to take on, with a lot of facets to it. I know that if it's supposed to happen, God will move you to do it and show you how, when, and with whom.

(I'm not posting a link, so I might as well edit, LOL!) Another thing that occurs to me is that you might consider renting (at a very low rate) some portion of your land to an organization or group of people who want to operate a shelter, but don't have the kind of start-up money they would ordinarily need to get going; since it's your land, you could stipulate the kinds of things you do and do not want happening at the shelter, and be able to keep an eye on it without having to work yourselves silly and never be able to leave home.

This message was edited Monday, Nov 18th 10:36 PM

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the GIA explanation, Whiterose! Hopefully the threads in the GIA are searchable by advanced search engines (i.e. Google) like the rest of the content at DGs. If so, I would think our thread here would pop-up for someone searching for a no kill shelter. Not that someone couldn't come here to DGs and search for it, but I've usually had best luck searching DGs with just one key word. If I put in more than one word, I get a lot more threads to search through and I get a little frustrated.

Yes, Wingnut, it would take a huge commitment. I've had so many people tell me that I would be a perfect candidate for opening a kennel. But, that's pretty much a 365 day job unless you've really got GREAT help.

I'm sure that whatever decision you make will benefit your community. Even the fact that you've held aside land for the purpose of benefiting everyone is so honorable! Do keep us posted on which avenue you pursue :)

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Morph, thank you for explaining how that search might work on Google -- I hadn't even thought about its advanced search engine finding this thread. Never let it be said that I don't think locally, LOL!

El Sobrante, CA(Zone 9b)

Wait - wait - While the concept of a No-Kill-City (San Francisco, mentioned above) is very sexy in the press ... let's be clear and honest. San Francisco SPCA ( will not euthanize animals FOR CAGE SPACE. They also don't take animals from the public or provide the city/county animal control. They only accept what they deem adoptable animals into their program. They are committed to not euthanizing *those* animals.

They are a GREAT organization - make no mistake - but the propoganda does not exactly paint an accurate picture.

And then there's the San Francisco Animal Care & Control - the city/county organization. ( They are, literally, next door. They take animals that come to them from the public, strays, impounds, etc. They euthanize animals daily like most animal control agencies do. The SF SPCA has an adoption contract with them - they review the available animals and take what they deem adoptable. The rest stay at SFACC until they are adopted, rescued, or euthanized.

San Francisco's agencies are finally working cooperatively, and successfully saving more animals, euthanizing less. But let's be realistic: While no kill is a terrific *ideal*, it is not truly possible while there are still unspayed/unneutered dogs and cats out there in (and out of) the hands of irresponsible humans.

Rescue your next pet.
Have a friend.
For life.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Butchpoodle, thank you so much for this information! All I knew about the San Francisco situation was what was reported in our newspaper a couple of years ago. Your detailed clarifications are much appreciated.

Dayton, OH(Zone 5a)

Yes, nice to know the real truth ~ thanks for explanation, Butchpoodle!

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Here's a link to a list of no-kill shelters for literally all types of animals On the page that appears, match the letter codes for species with the letters next to the sanctuary names.

Before I moved, I volunteered at a no-kill shelter in Kinnelon, NJ called Tri-Boro Animal Rescue, Inc. They were part of a 3-no kill unit. There is also a no-kill cat shelter in Pompton Lakes, NJ called P.A.T.C.H.

We adopted a wonderful tri-color Collie from Tri-Boro. After we moved to NC, Mr. Lucky went to the great dog meadow in the sky. We then found WWW.COLLIERESCUE.NET over in Winston-Salem, and brought home two of the prettiest little sable girls you ever saw. Anyway, Collie Rescue is a no-kill, with all the dogs being fostered in various homes (they're always looking for volunteers!). If you check their website, you'll see they have a pretty strict criteria for adoption. You'll also see some wonderful Collies looking for homes.

I'm sure Jean, who runs Collie Rescue, would be more than willing to help anyone who is interested in doing the same kind of work no matter where they live. She's a wonderful lady with a huge heart.

Durango, CO(Zone 6a)

Thank you so much for this wonderful information, Queeniebirdd!

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