If you’re looking for a compilation of the best dog rescues in Upstate NY, continue reading to learn about 9 of them.
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1. Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue (Buffalo)
The Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue is a volunteer-run non-profit rescue organization that first opened their doors in 2003. Based in Buffalo, NY, they adopt dogs to anywhere within 100 miles of Rochester or Buffalo. If you’re looking for a smaller breed, they have a great range of rescued dogs such as terriers, boxers, chihuahuas, and of course pugs.
Prior to adoption, all dogs are spayed/neutered (as long as they are old enough), vaccinated, heartworm tested, and tested for parasites. If you’re interested in adopting, you can view the available dogs here and complete an application online. Alternatively, click here to donate to the Buffalo Pug and Small Breed Rescue.
Homeward Bound Dog Rescue of New York is a non-profit, volunteer-led organization. They don’t have a shelter or a facility – each of their rescued dogs lives in foster homes in upstate NY. Fosters get to know the dogs they are caring for, which means they usually have a good idea of their temperament and the sort of home that would suit them when they are ready to be adopted.
Based in Albany, Homeward Bound Dog Rescue of New York only adopts dogs to those living within 40 miles of Albany. A majority of their rescued dogs are taken from high-kill shelters, with some also being surrendered by their owners or rescued from puppy mills. View their available dogs here, or donate to Homeward Bound Dog Rescue of New York here.
3. Paws for the Cause Rescue (Utica)
Based in Utica, NY, Paws for the Cause Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of dogs in need. A majority of their dogs are rescued from overcrowded, high-kill shelters where they are at risk of being put down. Paws for the Cause Rescue pulls these dogs from shelters, cares for them, gives them medical treatment, and rehabilitates them until they can be adopted into loving forever homes.
As well as rescuing and adopting dogs, Paws for the Cause Rescue also provides public education regarding responsible pet ownership, and assists individuals in the community with problems or concerns regarding animals. If you’re interested in adopting, you can view their available dogs here. You can also donate to Paws for the Cause Rescue on this page.
4. Awesome Paws Rescue (Buffalo)
Awesome Paws Rescue is a Buffalo-based animal rescue organization in upstate New York. They are a foster-based organization that primarily rescues dogs from overcrowded shelters in southern states. They organize for rescued dogs to be transported from states in the south up to Buffalo, where they are placed with loving foster families who can facilitate their rehabilitation.
Because all dogs are in foster care, there isn’t a shelter or facility you can visit to view the animals. Instead, fill out an application online and see if the team has any suggestions for a dog that will suit your lifestyle and personality. You can also view their available dogs here to see if anyone catches your eye. If you can’t adopt but would like to help out, consider donating to Awesome Paws Rescue.
5. Pause 4 All Paws Animal Rescue (Little Falls)
Pause 4 All Paws is a non-profit animal rescue organization run entirely by volunteers. Based in Little Falls, NY, Pause 4 All Paws provides much more than just animal adoption services. They offer community education relating to responsible pet ownership, they reunite lost pets with their owners, support spay/neuter surgeries, and help low-income families keep their pets.
All rescued animals are temporarily placed in caring foster homes. Before being listed for adoption, dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and assessed by a veterinarian. View their available pets here, or donate to Pause 4 All Paws here.
6. Animal Protective Foundation (Albany)
The Animal Protective Foundation is an Albany-based animal rescue that was first founded in 1931. They rescue stray, neglected, or owner-relinquished dogs and cats regardless of their age, breed, or medical needs, and provides care for a staggering 5,000 animals per year. Rescued dogs are examined by a veterinarian, vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms, and given a safe place to sleep.
Rescued dogs undergo behavioral examinations so that they can be placed in a home that is a good match for them. Prior to adoption, dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, tested for heartworm, dewormed, treated for fleas, and microchipped. If you’re interested in adopting, you can view their available dogs here. You can also donate to the Animal Protective Foundation here.
7. Helping Hounds Dog Rescue (Syracuse)
Helping Hounds Dog Rescue was founded in 2009 in upstate New York. Based in Syracuse, NY, this non-profit organization rescues dogs from overcrowded shelters and cares for them until a loving, permanent home can be found. Each year, the organization re-homes more than 1,700 lucky dogs.
Prior to adoption, all dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, heartworm tested and treated if necessary, de-wormed, and microchipped. Available dogs can be viewed here. The organization received no government funding and relies heavily on volunteers and contributions – you can help by donating to Helping Hounds Dog Rescue here.
8. Grrowls NY (Syracuse)
If you think that a Golden Retriever might be the dog for you, consider adopting from the team at Grrowls NY. Based in Syracuse, NY, this rescue organization receives dogs from overcrowded shelters (some of which were strays roaming the street) or from owners who are no longer able to care for them. All dogs are spayed or neutered once rescued (age permitting) and vaccinated.
Rescued dogs are not kept in a shelter – they are placed in foster care for at least two weeks so that their temperament can be evaluated and any behavioral issues are identified. Grrowls NY does not list available Golden Retrievers on their website, but you can learn more about the adoption process here. The organization relies on donations and fundraising events – contribute to Grrowls NY here.
9. Furever Friends Dog Rescue of WNY (Buffalo)
Furever Friends Dog Rescue of WNY was founded by a group of friends and dog lovers in 2012. They started by making trips to Ohio to rescue adult breeder dogs from sad lives in cages at puppy mills. To date, they have saved over 2000 dogs and found loving homes for them. They also work hard to educate the public on the issues regarding puppy mills and the disadvantages of purchasing pet store puppies.
Rescued dogs are cared for in foster homes until they are ready for adoption. They are spayed/neutered and given medical care. If you’re interested in adopting, the available dogs can be viewed here. If no dogs are currently listed, keep checking back – more arrive regularly. You can also donate to Furever Friends here.
“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.”