No-Kill Rescue Shelters for Dogs

Rescue shelters are divided into two types: those that practice euthanasia and those that don't. No-kill shelters, as the second type is called, are gaining popularity around the country because rescue groups don't want to put down animals in their care.

Finding a Shelter

If you support no-kill shelters, it's important to patronize them and refer friends to them because they have a capacity. Many groups begin to suffer because they have trouble adopting their pets and can't take on new ones. This limits money and turnover.

Because these groups don't euthanize pets, they may get to a point where they have no more space or resources. Thus, even if you can't adopt a new pet, consider fostering a pet or donating money.

To find a no-kill shelter in your area, look online. There are many nonprofit sites that keep a database of no-kill shelters by site. In addition, many rescue groups and breed-specific rescue groups are no-kill. Contact them and ask before contributing.

Fostering a Dog

Many no-kill shelters survive by using a vast network of foster families, who are willing to take dogs into their home until a permanent home can be found. This is a difficult job because it's easy to get attached to a dog, making it hard to give him up. In fact, many groups lose fosters because they adopt the dog they are fostering and can't take on another foster.

If you have two dogs or fewer, plenty of space and a desire to help, fostering a dog is perfect for you. Dogs that are especially difficult to find homes for include reactive or fearful dogs, senior dogs and larger dogs.

Many veterinarians also donate space and resources to no-kill shelters and rescue groups. If you are looking for a veterinarian, ask your favorite group which vet they recommend.

Surrendering a Dog

Many owners hope that if they need to give up their dogs, they can donate them to a no-kill shelter; however, most no-kill shelters are very selective due to limited resources.

Dogs that have shown any type of aggression or reactivity in the past or that show it during their temperament test may not be taken by a no-kill shelter because they can't be adopted without significant training. These dogs take up space that may be occupied by dogs without aggression and use up more resources in training costs.

Dogs that are more difficult to adopt also may not be taken in by rescue shelters. These include senior dogs, larger dogs and breeds that people tend not to adopt, such as pit bulls. If you're looking to surrender one of these dogs, your options may be limited.

Some no-kill rescue shelters offer a self-fostering option where they will list your dog on their website as long as you continue to foster the dog yourself. You also may have to pay a significant donation to surrender your dog.

No-kill rescue shelters do great work throughout the rescue community, but it isn't easy. Look online or ask dog-related businesses for no-kill shelters in your area and see if there's anything you can do to help.