Best 10 Dog Rescues in Ohio

Just under a million animals that are placed in shelters are lost pets that eventually get returned to their rightful homes each year. As often as animals are reunited with their owners, twice as many are left lingering in shelters awaiting a new home. When homes can’t be found in time, many of these sweet animals are put to sleep because of overcrowding.

If you are considering adding a new pet to your family, we suggest adopting one from a shelter to help save a life.

We have collected a helpful list of the top 10 dog rescue shelters in Ohio state that just might be housing your next furry best friend.

Top 10 Dog Rescue & Shelters in Ohio

Jack Russell Terrier

Adopting me will be Terrier-iffic. 

Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center in Columbus, OH

Location Type: Shelter
Designation: Government
Fees: Varies
Address: 4340 Tamarack Blvd, Columbus, OH 43229
Tel: (614) 525-3647
Email: adoptions@franklincountyohio.gov

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location rescues stray and abandoned dogs and places them up for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: You must visit the shelter in person to view available animals. Fill out an application on-site and provide your valid id, adoption fee, and relevant references.

Dogs available for adoption can be viewed here.

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton in Dayton, OH

Established: 1902
Location Type: Shelter
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $45 - $300 depending on animal type.
Address: 1661 Nicholas Rd Dayton, OH 45417
Tel: (937) 268-7387
Email: front_desk@hsdayton.org

Serving the Montgomery county primarily, all animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location rescues animals from kill shelters, high-capacity shelters, and owner surrenders. After rehab, offers them for adoption. 

Adoption Requirements: Select from the available animals on their website and then fill out an application. A meet and greet visit will be scheduled after your application is vetted. You must be 18 to adopt. Here's a link to the pet dogs available for adoption.

Secondhand Mutts Dog Rescue in Ohio in Cleveland, OH

Established: 2006
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $200-$350
Tel: (216) 664-9660
Email: adoption@secondhandmutts.org

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location takes dogs from high kill rates and at-risk shelters, rehabs, and then offers those dogs for adoption. Some owner-release dogs are accepted.

Adoption Requirements: Select a dog from the available choices online, or you can place a general application. Once your application is reviewed you will need to meet the dog. References are required and checked. If you have current pets, vet references are required. There is a two-week trial period with the pet in your home before the adoption is final. Here's a link to their adoption application for more information and available pets for adoption in Cleveland, OH. 

Toledo Animal Rescue in Toledo,OH

Established: 1927
Location Type: Shelter & Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $200 -$450
Address: 640 Wyman St Toledo OH 43609
Tel: 419-382-1130
Email: info@toledoanimalrescue.org

At Toledo's oldest no-kill shelter, all animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location offers care and adoptions of abused, neglected, and abandoned animals. They also accept owner surrenders.

Adoption Requirements: View the available animals on their website, or visit in person and then fill out an application. Once approved you will get a date and time to pick up the animal. You must be 18 to adopt. Here's a link to their adoption application if you're ready to adopt a pet dog at this rescue shelter in Toledo, OH.

Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue, Inc. in Cincinnati, OH

Established: 2006
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: Varies
Tel: (513) 655-6843
Email: info@louieslegacy.org

At this non-profit and no-kill rescue group serving Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, all animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location rescues dogs from shelters as well as those that are abandoned. They are offered for adoption. 

Adoption Requirements: Check out the available dogs on their social page or website and then fill out an application. A meet and greet visit will be scheduled after your phone interview. You must be 21, and an in-home visit is required. Here's a link to their adoption application to learn more about the adoption process.

Canine Collective Ohio Dog Rescue in Plain City, OH

Established: 2009
Location Type: Shelter
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: Varies
Address: 11144 US 42N Plain City, OH 4306
Tel: (614) 800-1712
Email: info@caninecollective.org

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered if not pregnant, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs, rescues dogs from at-risk or high kill rate shelters, and rescues dogs from hoarders. These dogs are available for adoption.

Adoption Requirements: Fill out an application online for pre-approval and then look for a dog that will fit with your family. A meet and greet visit will be scheduled after your phone interview. Approved applications are valid for 6 months. Click here to view their adoptable dogs.

Doberman Underground Rescue in Ohio in Aurora, OH

Established: 2015
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $250-$400
Tel: (330) 382-6496
Email: dobermanunderground@gmail.com

Serving West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Indiana, all animals offered for adoption at this rescue group will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. You will also get a starter pack of food and medication. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location rescues Doberman and other dogs that have medical complications and finds them forever homes or fosters. They also accept owner surrenders and healthy Dobermans.

Adoption Requirements: Fill out an application online once you see a dog that you are interested in. Provide your vet references if available. A home visit will be scheduled after your phone interview, and then you will be able to meet the dogs available for adoption. All current pets must be spayed or neutered. Click here for available dogs for adoption. 

Dogs Unlimited Rescue Ohio in Solon, OH

Established: 2010
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $400-$500
Address: 33095 Bainbridge Rd. Solon, OH 44139
Email: adopt@dogsunlimitedrescue.org

Located in Pepper Pike, OH all animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location rescues dogs from shelters, accepts owner surrenders as well as helps those who are abandoned due to medical needs. They also offer dog food banks and low-cost care support.

Adoption Requirements: Fill out an application online once you see a dog that you are interested in on the site. A home visit will be scheduled to review compatibility. Once the visit is completed and the application is chosen, the adoption will be finalized.

Sanctuary For Senior Dogs in Cleveland, OH

Established: 2000
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: $65 for senior adopters, $125 for all others.
Address: PO Box 609054, Cleveland, OH 44109
Tel: 216-485-9233
Email: seniordogs@aol.com

Serving the Cleveland area and NE Ohio, all animals offered for adoption at this animal sanctuary will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Services Offered: This location accepts owner-released dogs and offers dogs for adoption. They also offer medical care when needed for the senior dogs in their care.

Adoption Requirements: Find a dog on the site and then request an application. Once you fill it out with your references, return it via email. An interview will be arranged along with a meet and greet, and an in-home visit. Once approved, you can take home your senior dog. Click here for available senior dogs for adoption. 

Maumee Valley Save-A-Pet in Toledo, OH

Established: 1977
Location Type: Foster Based Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit
Fees: Varies.
Address: 5250 Hill Ave, Toledo, OH 43615
Tel: 419-537-9663
Email: mvsap@att.net

All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for parasites, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee. This rescue group serves Northeast Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

Services Offered: This location rescues dogs & cats and offers them for adoption. They also offer low-cost spay and neutering.

Adoption Requirements: Check out the available animals on their website and then fill out an application. A meet and greet visit will be scheduled after your application is vetted. You must be 18 to adopt.

Smiling volunteers with a labrador at a dog rescue and shelter group

You did it: you decided to commit to the life-saving work of rescuing a dog.

How Long Does it Take a Rescue Dog to Adjust to a New Home?

Rescue dogs often come from abusive homes or have lived on the streets for quite some time. As a result, it can take some time before they trust new people or feel comfortable in new surroundings. Dogs that adopted out of animal rescues are generally rehabilitated and cared for prior to being offered to the public. 

This is the first step on the dog's path to a forever home. Only animals that are safe to be around people are offered for adoption, but there is often shyness and trepidation that takes much longer to overcome.

Dogs also have inbred behaviors such as foraging, exploring, and even being playful. Don’t be surprised if your new adopted pet is found in the oddest locations as they learn the layout of their new home. 

Playing in your home should be expected, rescue dogs are given a lot of freedom in shelters and foster homes to help them recover from their past traumas. When they move to your home they are not immediately aware of your rules and where it is OK to play and where they need to be careful.

On average it will take a rescue dog between two weeks and a month to adjust to its new home and new owners. During this time, it is important to be patient with the dog as it learns new routines, habits, surroundings, and house rules. 

Rescue dogs may behave in a subdued manner and stay mostly to themselves until they feel safe in their new surroundings. 

Rescue dogs are just as loving and loyal as any other pet once they come out of their shell. As you interact with your new pet and learn their likes and habits, they will also learn yours.

In no time, you will see that both your rescue dog and your family will have come to adjust perfectly with each other.

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