If you would like to adopt a dog, or support one of the best dog rescues in Virginia through making a donation, below we’ve featured 10 of them.
1. Hope for Life Rescue (Virginia Beach)
Hope for Life Rescue is a nonprofit organization based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Founded in 2002, the team at Hope for Life Rescue cares for abandoned, neglected, or abused animals, as well as those with special needs. They provide veterinary care and love for each animal until they can be re-homed with the right people.
In 2018 alone, Hope for Life Rescue was responsible for saving over 700 animals. They are hoping to expand their facility and build a new sanctuary for all of the animals coming in – you can help by donating here. If you would like to adopt from Hope for Life Rescue, view their available dogs here.
2. Rainbow Animal Rescue (Norfolk)
Based in Norfolk, Virginia, Rainbow Animal Rescue is a nonprofit organization run by dedicated volunteers. They rescue unwanted or abandoned dogs and ensure that they are well cared for. Rainbow Animal Rescue does not have a shelter – all rescued dogs are placed with foster families until they are ready to be adopted into a permanent home.
Rainbow Animal Rescue was established in 2005 and seeks to educate the public regarding responsible pet ownership. When possible, all dogs are examined by a veterinarian, vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed/neutered prior to adoption. View the available dogs here, or visit this page to donate.
3. Richmond Ruff House (Richmond)
Richmond Ruff House is a dog rescue facility based in Richmond, Virginia. This nonprofit organization is run entirely by volunteers and relies solely on donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees. The organization was founded in 2015 and focuses on rescuing dogs from public shelters and animal control, as well as dogs who have to be surrendered.
The dogs are temporarily housed or fostered until their new permanent families can be found. If you’re interested in adopting, available dogs can be viewed here. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Richmond Ruff House, you can do so here.
4. Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond (Richmond)
Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization based in Richmond, Virginia. They focus solely on rescuing and re-homing Labrador Retrievers throughout Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
All dogs are given loving foster care, veterinary treatment, and rehabilitation prior to their adoption. The organization is responsible for rescuing over 100 Labradors each year and has grown to include over 100 volunteers. You can view the available Labradors here, or donate to Lab Rescue of Greater Richmond here.
5. Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (Alexandria)
The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation is based in Alexandria, Virginia, and helps neglected or homeless pets to find loving new families. The nonprofit organization was established in 2001 by former restaurant owners with a passion for animal care. In the last 20 years, over 40,000 homeless pets have been saved by the foundation, many from high-kill or over-crowded shelters.
Rescue animals are spayed/neutered prior to being listed for adoption. Available dogs can be viewed here, or you can attend one of the many weekend adoption events that Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation holds at local PetSmart and Petco stores. If you would like to donate to the organization, visit this page.
6. Rakki-Inu Akita Rescue (Virginia Beach)
Rakki-Inuu Akita Rescue is based in Virginia Beach and is a nonprofit organization that focuses on rescuing Akitas in Virginia, North Carolina, and certain areas of South Carolina. They provide support and education for Akita owners across the United States and are recognized by the Akita Club of America.
Most of the Akita dogs at Rakki-Inu Akita Rescue come from shelters after they are abandoned or surrendered by their owners. The dogs are then placed into foster care, receive medical treatment, are vaccinated, wormed, and spayed/neutered, and microchipped. View available Akitas here, or donate to the foundation here.
7. Go Rescue Pet Adoption Center (Norfolk)
Go Rescue Pet Adoption Center is an animal rescue organization based in Norfolk, Virginia. Founder Georgia Obenaus had been rescuing dogs for years prior to starting her official nonprofit organization, and in 2018 moved her facility to its current Norfolk location. To date, they have rescued over 1800 dogs.
If you’re interested in adopting through Go Rescue Pet Adoption Center, visit this page to learn more or schedule an appointment to meet a pooch. The center relies entirely on donations – you can donate supplies such as dry/canned dog food, cleaning supplies, paper towels, and more. Monetary donations can be made here.
8. Beacon of Hope (Richmond)
Beacon of Hope is a dog rescue based in Richmond, Virginia. They are an all-volunteer rescue organization focused on saving the lives of dogs in need. They offer foster care for animals they rescue until an appropriate, loving home is found. Co-founder and President Pam has almost a decade of experience in the dog rescue world and is heavily involved in the organization’s operations.
If you’re looking to adopt from Beacon of Hope, you can view available dogs here. You can also become involved with the organization by acting as a foster family – the organization provides food, veterinary care, and all other supplies while you care for and train the dog. You can also donate to Beacon of Hope here.
9. Homeward Trails Animal Rescue (Alexandria)
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. They rescue animals from people who can no longer care for them, or rural shelters with little income across Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. Founder Sue Bell started casually rescuing dogs from shelters and finding new homes for them in 2001 and has grown Homeward Trails into a much larger organization that has now rescued over 28,000 animals.
While awaiting adoption, many dogs are placed in foster care in the Washington DC area, and many others are located at their Virginia adoption center. Visit this page to view dogs both at the center and in foster care that are ready for adoption. If you’re interested in donating to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, you can do so 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.”