In the list below, we’ve selected 10 of the best dog rescues in California and have provided overviews of their activities.
1. Pacific Pups Rescue (Los Angeles)
Pacific Pups Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue organization located in Los Angeles, CA. They are funded solely by private donations and rely on a dedicated team of volunteers to help with adoption events, animal care, and to act as foster parents for rescued dogs.
If you’re interested in adopting from Pacific Pups Rescue, you will need to first fill in an adoption form on their website. Once your adoption application is approved, someone will visit your home to conduct a check prior to adoption. View adoptable dogs (and cats) here, or visit this page to make a donation to Pacific Pups Rescue.
2. Second Chance Dog Rescue (San Diego)
Second Chance Dog Rescue is a large nonprofit animal rescue organization based in San Diego, CA. They are dedicated to rescuing homeless dogs across the city and finding loving new homes for them. Second Chance Dog Rescue does not have a shelter – all animals are placed into foster care once rescued, until they can be adopted.
If you are interested in adopting from Second Chance Dog Rescue, you can either attend one of their public adoption events or schedule a meet-and-greet with the dog and their foster family. View available dogs here, or visit this page to donate to Second Chance Dog Rescue.
3. Family Dog Rescue (San Francisco)
Family Dog Rescue is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, CA. They facilitate the rescue of dogs of any breed, background, and temperament from the streets of Mexico and overcrowded shelters in California. All animals receive care and medical treatment, undergo a behavior assessment, and are placed in foster care prior to being adopted.
Family Dog Rescue has been operating since 2010 and has rescued thousands of dogs in the last decade. View dogs that are available for adoption here, or donate to Family Dog Rescue here.
4. WOOF Animal Rescue (San Jose)
WOOF Animal Rescue is a nonprofit organization that is committed to saving animals and matching them up with loving families so that everybody wins. The organization is completely run by volunteers and dependent on donations to continue their work. The team at WOOF rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and provides medical attention and training when required prior to listing these animals for adoption.
Rescued dogs are placed in foster care until they can be adopted. Adoption fees cover food, transportation, and medical costs during the dog’s time in foster care. Prior to adoption, dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for fleas, ticks, and worms, and microchipped. View adoptable dogs here, or donate to WOOF Animal Rescue here.
5. Animal Rescue of Fresno (Fresno)
Animal Rescue of Fresno has been rescuing dogs since 1998. This nonprofit, volunteer-based organization is based in Fresno and rescues abandoned dogs throughout California. The organization receives no government funding and relies on private donations and community support to function.
There are many ways in which you can help Animal Rescue of Fresno. Firstly, you can make a donation by clicking on the “donation” button on the top right of this page. In addition, you can also donate items such as newspapers, towels, canned dog food, cleaning supplies, dog toys, crates, leashes, and more. Of course, you can also help by adopting – view the available dogs here.
6. Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving abandoned and neglected German Shepherd Dogs from high-kill shelters. Typically, they have around 80 dogs at any one time, all waiting to be adopted into their perfect home.
Prior to adoption, all dogs are spayed/neutered, up to date with vaccinations, and microchipped. During 2018, 984 dogs came into Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles, and 923 dogs were placed in loving homes. View available dogs here, or visit this page to donate to Westside German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles.
7. The Animal Pad (San Diego)
The Animal Pad is a rescue organization based in San Diego, CA. The Animal Pad rescues dogs from southern California and Mexico and places them in loving homes for a second chance at life. They have saved hundreds of happy dogs since being founded in 2010.
The Animal Pad has many rescued puppies and dogs available for adoption – you can view them here. Being a nonprofit organization, The Animal Pad relies on donations to keep rescuing dogs – visit this page to make a contribution.
8. Muttville Senior Dog Rescue (San Francisco)
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, CA. The organization was founded in 2007 by Sherri Franklin, who first began her rescue mission from her own home. She was able to rescue 27 dogs in that first year and has since grown the organization into a highly successful group that rescues around 1000 dogs each year.
Muttville has a cage-free rescue facility, an on-site veterinary suite, and a hospice program. They focus on rescuing older dogs from shelters across California and further afield. You can view their adoptable dogs here, or make a donation to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue here.
9. Love and Second Chances (San Jose/NorCal)
Love and Second Chances is a rescue organization based in San Jose and greater northern California. They rescue dogs of all breeds, ages, and temperaments and give second chances to abused or neglected dogs.
Prior to adoption, all dogs have up to date vaccinations, are dewormed, spayed/neutered, and microchipped. You can view adoptable dogs here, or visit this page to make a donation to Love and Second Chances.
10. Fresno Bully Rescue (Fresno)
Fresno Bully Rescue is a nonprofit dog rescue organization based in Fresno, CA. This volunteer-led, no-kill rescue organization prioritizes the rescue and care of so-called “bully breeds”, including American pit bull terriers, American bulldogs, and American Staffordshire terriers. Their facility has over 45 dogs at any one time, with many other dogs being housed with foster families until they can be adopted.
As well as rescuing dogs, Fresno Bully Rescue prioritizes community education to spread knowledge about illegal dogfighting. They also offer mental and physical rehabilitation to dogs in their care. View adoptable dogs here, or visit this page to donate to Fresno Bully Rescue.
“Emily is an avid writer and dog lover who usually prefers the company of pets over people. Based in Los Angeles, when not stuck in traffic she spends her days reading in the sunshine, relaxing at the beach, or planning her next adventure.”