• Announcements
  • Dog Friendly
  • Dog Parks
  • General Fluff
  • Health + Safety
  • How-To
  • Pet News
  • Adopt a Dog in DC: 7 Local Rescues to Consider

    by Andrew Borgschulte

    So you’ve decided to become a dog owner. First of all, congrats! Secondly, now there are a few decisions you will need to make, starting with where to find your pup. Let’s take a look at the top 7 rescues to adopt a dog in DC.

    A brown and white pit bull.

    City Dogs Rescue

    City Dogs has been around since 2011 and is a rescue organization, not a shelter. This means that dogs live with foster families while awaiting adoption. Your new best friend will already be used to living with humans and even children. It will help ease the transition and responsibility which is a huge plus!

    One thing to be aware of is their application process is a bit involved. It includes a long online application, reference checks and finally, a home visit.

    Humane Rescue Alliance

    In 2016 the Humane Rescue Alliance was established by merging two animal welfare organizations: the Washington Humane Society (WHS) and the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL).

    This publicly funded shelter takes in any animals that arrive, unlike some more selective rescue groups. This generally means there will be a LOT of options. It is crucial to ensure your new pet has all of their shots and you are aware of any prior illness or abuse. The application process is straightforward and affordable.

    Partnership for Animal Welfare

    This organization is a bit of a hybrid. As pets get adopted, they are transferred from local shelters into their network of foster homes and kennels. The process to adopt involves an application, a health check on the dog, a house check, and an interview.

    PAW is a non-profit organization and is committed to matching their animals with the best possible homes in the area.

    Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

    Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing homeless, neglected, and abandoned animals and finding them loving forever homes. A Lucky Dog is a fortunate animal who they were able to rescue from a high-kill shelter or from someone who needs to re-home his or her pet.

    Because Lucky Dog has no physical facility, they use a large network of foster homes to prepare the animals for adoption. Like many others on this list, there is a required application, vet check and home check.

    Homeward Trails Animal Rescue

    Homeward Trails finds homes for dogs rescued from low-income, rural animal shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them.

    Started in 2002, Homeward Trails not only facilitates adoptions from local shelters, but also supports a large network of foster care providers who take homeless dogs and cats into their homes, care for them, rehabilitate them when needed, and prepare them for their permanent adoptive homes.

    K-9 Lifesavers

    K-9 Lifesavers is a volunteer group that brings dogs from rural areas of North and South Carolina, West Virginia, and Georgia to the DC area. This is done mostly through adoption events every weekend.

    Staff will help to match potential owners with the right dog and also do a home visit. They also spay and neuter all dogs over 6 months. K-9 Lifesavers also serve as a support group by providing ongoing education and resources for the well-being of their dogs.

    Rural Dog Rescue

    Founded in 2011, Rural Dog Rescue works with several high-kill shelters in rural areas of Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. They also help dogs in need in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. 

    Their adoption process is designed to place each dog in the best home possible. They always look to ensure that you and your new dog are a great fit! Each dog is spayed or neutered, up-to-date on all core shots, microchipped, and is current on heartworm and flea & tick preventatives.

    A photo of a brown and white pit bull mix.

    Get Out and Adopt a Dog in DC!

    Now is the time to begin the adoption process and there are so many deserving dogs who would love a new, permanent home. If you’re are looking to adopt a dog in DC, this list will get you started in the right direction!

    Learn more about how our dog walking service can change the way you care for your dog!

    Sign up for a free walk

    We're expanding to your area next month! Sign up today for early access and exclusive discounts.

    This field is empty

    Must be a valid email

    Must be a valid zipcode

    Must be a valid phone number. Ex: (555) 555-5555

    Stories, Tips, & Free Giveaways for the Pet-Obsessed

    Like a Kong, we only fill our newsletter with the good stuff.