Best 5 Dog Rescues in Missouri, MO & Dogs Shelters (2023)

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 Missouri dog rescue & shelters with an adoption guide.

Top 5 Dog Rescues & Shelters in Missouri, MO

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) Castaway Animals Rescue Effort

​Castaway Animals Rescue Effort, otherwise known as C.A.R.E., is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals. Established in 1992, C.A.R.E. has saved over 25,000 lives and They are still counting. From their humble grassroots beginnings, They have grown into southwest Missouri’s largest no-kill shelter. Operations are still overseen by founder and director, Melissa Sartin. Her compassion for all living creatures drives the organization forward.

Everyday They strive to ease the pain that victims of neglect and abuse endure, offering safety and hope, and finding them the homes they so richly deserve. They are proud to work alongside government agencies and other nonprofits making a difference in the lives of the animals They care so deeply about. Together They serve as a voice for those who cannot speak.

The Adoption Center gives guests the opportunity to meet some of their animals offering a one-on-one experience prior to adoption. Their sanctuary near Aurora is reserved for animals who may need some extra time to fully recover and become ready for adoption. They also house their rescued farm animals at this location. Their unadoptable animals reside at their sanctuary as well, each spending their days with cageless freedom, their nights in warm beds, and receiving lots of love and individual attention.

​C.A.R.E. relies solely on the kindness and donations of the public to care for their animals. They are neither city- nor state-funded and all donations are tax deductible. They rescue approximately 1,000 animals a year, including dogs, cats, small mammals, horses, pigs and more. Your donations change the lives of so many animals who would otherwise not have a chance.

Castaway Animals Rescue Effort Information and Details:


  • Mailing Address: 1328A W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807, United States
  • Website:
  • Phone: +14178756565
Dog Rescues & Shelters

2) Stray Rescue

They rescue the abandoned, beaten, bred, fought, injured, terrified, defeated & betrayed. The minute they arrive, they look in their eyes & promise them ALL the second chance they deserve for health, home, commitment & love, no matter the time or cost.

Stray Rescue of St. Louis Information and Details:


Dog Rescues & Shelters

3) The Nevada Animal Shelter

The Nevada Animal Shelter is the local city shelter. They take in animals from the City of Nevada and try to find their people or find them new homes.
The Nevada Animal Shelter is a place for the lost or surrendered pets of The City of Nevada, to find warmth, food, fresh water, love and attention.
All animals adopted out from the shelter will be spayed or neutered, have had vaccines, worming, flea/tick medication, will be microchipped, and will be heartworm tested if over the age of 1 year. They try to keep an updated Adoptable Pets Album with their most current pets.

The Nevada Animal Shelter Information and Details:


Dog Rescues & Shelters

4) Rescue One

Rescue One is a 501(c)3 licensed group of volunteers dedicated to the rescue and betterment of the lives of animals in their community.

Rescue One is a licensed NO KILL, 501c3, foster based rescue located in Springfield, MO. All of the animals in their care live in foster homes until a forever home can be found.. They rescue without regard to breed, age, or ease of placement. Their goal is to not only rescue animals in need but to also educate people on responsible pet ownership.

Rescue One Information and Details:


Dog Rescues & Shelters

5) Open Door Animal Sanctuary

Open Door Animal Sanctuary is one of the area’s largest no-kill animal shelters. Since their founding in 1975, they have provided hope, help and healing to tens of thousands of animals.

They serve the community by taking in stray, homeless and otherwise unwanted cats and dogs. Each day, they provide shelter, food, medical care and most of all LOVE to 350 animals. Many of the precious angels who arrive at Open Door recognize for the first time in their lives that there can be love and trust in the world. Every animal that comes to them has a home and a second chance at life.

They have a lifetime return policy which means if a family can no longer care for a cat or dog that was adopted from them, it must be returned to their sanctuary.

Open Door Animal Sanctuary Information and Details:


  • Address: 6065 Duda Rd, House Springs, MO 63051, United States
  • Website:
  • Phone: +16366713643

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.

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.

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 Rescues & Shelters

Check Out Our Dog Breeders Page :


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.


  • Jessica Vanclap

    Passionate about animals, but also about health, I did not hesitate for long in choosing my studies. Veterinary assistant by training, I worked in a veterinary clinic for several years. I then made the choice to share my knowledge and experiences by joining the training team of a school of Veterinary Assistant and Grooming.