Best 5 Dog Rescues in Northern California & Shelters (2022)

Dog adoption is a beautiful thing. There are millions of pets in shelters and rescues waiting for forever homes. Adopting a dog can help homeless animals and set an excellent example for others.

Dog adoption isn’t suitable for everyone, and it’s not something you should get into lightly. Getting a dog is an important decision that will affect your life for many years. If you’ve decided dog adoption is for you, this is excellent news!

Bringing an adopted dog into your home should be a rewarding experience for you and your family. Before looking for your future best friend, arm yourself with the knowledge to navigate the world of dog adoption and make the best possible decision.

We’ve compiled a list of the top Northern California dog rescue & shelters with an adoption guide.

Top 5 Northern California Dog Rescues & Shelters

Adoption is an alternative that benefits everyone when it comes to acquiring a pet: the family, animal protection entities, and, of course, the dog itself

Shelters across the country house approximately eight million companion animals each year.  Yet, nearly 50% of them are euthanized due to the shelter’s lack of resources.

Dog Rescues & Shelters

1) High Sierra Animal Rescue

High Sierra Animal Rescue is a no-kill rescue that opened in May of 1999. They have 17 rescue kennels, 21 boarding kennels, and have placed over 4,500 animals into loving, permanent homes.

Animals that are taken into High Sierra Animal Rescue care receive love and attention from High Sierra Animal Rescue trained personnel, medical help as required based on their previous environment or living conditions, behavioral assessment, socialization, and obedience skills if needed, and a safe temporary home.

High Sierra Animal Rescue works with 16-20 dogs at a time and does a complete assessment as part of the screening process. They focus on how the animals react to their environment, children, other animals, and lifestyle. After the assessment is complete, they develop a plan and begin training. High Sierra Animal Rescue animals are not released for adoption until they have successfully completed this process.

Everyone associated with the facility is an animal lover and experienced animal professional or trained volunteer. Most of High Sierra Animal Rescue crew and board members have adopted animals from the rescue.​


High Sierra Animal Rescue Information and Details:

 

Dog Rescues & Shelters

2) Animal Care & Control San Francisco

San Francisco, Animal Care & Control is the City’s only open-admission animal shelter, taking in over 10,000 animals – of all species – each year.

The shelter’s doors are open to domestic and exotic animals and to wildlife whom have been abandoned, abused, or neglected, who are ill or injured, who are lost or stray, and who are in need of emergency care.

Animal Care & Control San Francisco is responsible for Animal Law Enforcement in San Francisco which is provided by the San Francisco Animal Care & Control team of animal care professionals aka “Animal Cops.” Animal Care & Control San Francisco shelter provides diverse services and support to and for both animals and people living in San Francisco including Dog Licenses and they are grateful to collaborate with the rescue, shelter & wildlife rehabilitation partners in both the advocacy for animal welfare and the provision of programs, services, and support that benefit animals and people locally, nationwide and internationally.


Animal Care & Control San Francisco Information and Details:

 

Dog Rescues & Shelters

3) The 1 Love Dog Rescue

Founded in 2013, 1 Love Dog Rescue is a non-profit on a mission to save dogs from overcrowded shelters or anyone who would do them harm. They have cared for and placed thousands of dogs into loving homes.

In addition to finding loving homes for displaced and abandoned dogs, they help to rehabilitate injured and handicapped dogs. From wheelchairs and emergency medical procedures to routine vaccinations and microchipping, 1 Love sees to the health and well-being of every dog.


The 1 Love Dog Rescue Information and Details:

 

Dog Rescues & Shelters

4) Wonder Dog Rescue

Wonder Dog’s current lifesaving mission is a synthesis of 30 years of rescue work. Wonder Dog Rescue founder began in dog rescue in 1990 and started a Boston Terrier rescue in San Francisco. As the organization grew, so also did Wonder Dog Rescue’s ability to help other dogs in need.

Today, Wonder Dog Rescue rescues all types of small dogs, from 6 weeks to 16 years! All of Wonder Dog Rescue dogs live in foster homes while awaiting adoption. There they are given the love and support they need to transition into their forever homes.

They also rescue dogs who are at the greatest risk of euthanasia in the shelters due to medical issues, both physical and emotional. While some of these dogs continue on to being adopted, many remain with them as foster/hospice, or hospice dogs… beloved dogs who need care and compassion at the end of their lives.


Wonder Dog Rescue Information and Details:

 

Dog Rescues & Shelters

5) Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary

Founded in 1993, Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary is an animal rescue group dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of homeless and abused animals throughout the Sacramento area. Needy animals are rescued, nurtured, and provided shelter and medical care (including spaying and neutering) before being placed in safe, loving, permanent homes. After adoption, Happy Tails animals may be returned at any time, no questions asked.

As an all-volunteer organization, Happy Tails is run by more than 200 dedicated volunteers. Assistance programs help the pets of elderly, homeless, and low-income individuals.


Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary Information and Details:

 

Dog Rescue & Shelter Online

We hope that one of the shelters listed above can help you find your future dog, but if for some reason that doesn’t happen you can always opt for different alternatives.

For this reason, we’ve added these alternative platforms. These platforms will help you connect with people who have dogs for sale or adoption near you. It can be a great alternative in looking for your future pup within the comfort of your home.

AKC Market Place

Finding trustworthy dog breeders, groomers, and trainers can be challenging. AKC Marketplace is your trusted resource to help make a lifetime of responsible dog ownership safe, happy, and healthy.

AKC Marketplace® is the only website that exclusively lists puppies from AKC-Registered litters, so you can choose a breeder with confidence.

https://marketplace.akc.org/

Adopt A Pet

If you want to give an abandoned puppy a second chance, a shelter is definitely the place to find a dog.

Adopt a pet is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website. They help over 21,000 animal shelters, humane societies, SPCAs, pet rescue groups, and pet adoption agencies advertise their homeless pets to millions of adopters a month, for free.

https://www.adoptapet.com/

Puppies for sale Today

Puppies Today has over a decade of experience, established in 2008. They pride themselves on connecting loving families with new furry friends and have happy customers all over the nation. They provide all of their customer’s puppy payment plans and health guarantees to ensure the best experience and peace of mind when adopting a puppy through their service.

DOG RESCUE

Check Out Our Dog Breeders Page :

DOG BREEDERS NEAR ME | PUPPIES FOR SALE

How much does it cost to adopt a dog?

Generally, it will cost around $50 to $150 for a dog – and because typically shelters and rescuers give pets medical treatment, you’ll save money on a medical examination; you’ll also likely save on spay or neuter surgery, which can cost around $50 to $300.

Aside from the puppy’s price, it would be best to consider the expenses that would come with it. For instance, you may want to get the essential things for your puppies like grooming tools, food, and shelter.

What kind of dog should you adopt?

If you have decided to adopt a dog, you may want a mixed breed dog. Or, you can have your heart set on a specific dog breed. It is possible to adopt purebred dogs from shelters and rescues if you plan ahead. However, if you’re not set on a particular breed, you should still have an idea of ​​the type of dog you want.

Consider age, size, care needs, health concerns, and activity level. Have your wishes in mind before you go looking. Better yet, create a list of dog characteristics that is divided into three areas:

  • What do you absolutely need in a dog: Do you have children, cats, or other dogs? The dog you adopt must be able to get along well with everyone in your home. Are you in an apartment or small house and need a small dog? Are you allergic to certain types of dogs and need a hypoallergenic breed? These are just some of the things to consider.
  • What you would like in a dog but can live without: Maybe you have a soft spot for a specific breed but will be happy with a mix of that breed. Maybe you want a dog with short hair, but don’t worry about a little extra grooming if you meet a big long-haired dog.
  • What is not acceptable to you: these are dealbreakers. What qualities would prevent you from even considering a certain dog? Dimension? Temperament? Maybe you have a fear or dislike for a certain dog breed. Perhaps you are renting out your home and have to meet specific rental requirements.

Write everything down and take the list with you. That way, when you go out and see all those cute faces, you will know where to start.

When not to adopt a dog

It is best to avoid adopting a dog in the following circumstances:

  • You are in the process of moving
  • You are remodeling or repairing your home
  • You are about to have a baby (it is usually best to have the baby and let life stabilize a bit before introducing a new dog)
  • It’s the holiday season ( dogs aren’t meant to be gifts and holidays are usually too hectic for a new dog)
  • You or someone in your family is going through other major life events (the new dog may be lost in the shuffle or be overwhelmed by chaos)

The Dog Adoption Process

Well done! You have found your new dog. Now is the time for formalities. Most organizations require an application before they can adopt. This is to prevent pets from falling into the wrong hands. While it may sound like an interrogation, these groups have policies in place for a reason. Fortunately, many people have no problem getting approval.

Some groups require a waiting period before bringing your new dog home, possibly due to a medical procedure that has been done. Some dogs may have a waiting list, so ask questions beforehand.

Find out what the adoption fee includes (vaccines, spay/neuter, etc.). Before signing the contract, learn what you expect from yourself and what the group will do to help you. If the dog is too young to be spayed or neutered, the contract will require it to do so in the future. Also, find out what happens if you can’t keep the dog.

Most organizations ask you to return the dog to them if you can no longer care for it (don’t give it away to someone else). Find out what is known about the dog’s history and what health problems, if any, were noted while the dog was in their care.

Final Thoughts

Remember, it can take a long time for a dog to adjust to a new home. You and your family will need time to adjust. You may notice that your new dog has behavioral problems, fears, phobias, or lacks training. If the adaptation period is long and complex, it’s a good idea to seek the assistance of a dog trainer or behaviorist.

You may need to consult more than one. Be patient and follow the advice of the experts. If you feel that you have genuinely exhausted your options, you may decide to give up on your new dog.

Remember to try to get your dog back to the place of adoption first. If this is not an option, you need to be responsible and find a good home for your dog. I hope you never have to be in this situation.