Adopting a dog is a big deal! If you're thinking about adding a new member to your family and giving a dog a second chance at life, Orlando has quite a few awesome shelters that have a plethora of dogs. In addition to adoptions, many of these shelters and organizations are also in need of volunteers and foster homes.
Below, we've compiled 21 of the best dog rescues in Orlando and given a bit of a description for each one. It's our hope that you'll be able to use this information to find the right dog shelter near you and give a dog their forever home!
This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. There are so many more rescues and organizations in and around Orlando that we couldn't possibly list them all out!
Orange County Animal Services
A large shelter that receives about 50 animals every day, OCAS is the only open admission shelter in Orange County. This means that they never turn away an animal, even taking in those with poor health or temperament. Focusing on the protection of both citizens and animals, it offers a wide array of different services and programs, ranging from volunteering and fostering to spaying and neutering.
Location: 2769 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando takes in about 8,000 homeless cats and dogs yearly, and provides medical care to many more than that. Not only does Pet Alliance find homes for their dogs in an average of 8 days, but they also develop innovative programs to help keep people and pets together. Community events, advanced veterinary care, and humane work makes the Pet Alliance a great place to turn to if you're looking to adopt or volunteer.
Location: 2727 Conroy Road, Orlando, FL 32839
This non-profit rescue is dedicated to saving hard-to-place large dogs from being put down. They work to rescue and rehabilitate dogs and find them a safe and loving home before they get placed in a forever home. Barkie's Legacy may not be the largest rescue, but they do everything in their power to rescue and find homes for all larger dogs that they come across.
Location: Ocoee, Florida
Greyhound Pets of America
This chapter of the National Greyhound Pets of America organization works to find homes for ex-racing Greyhounds and educate the population about this breed of dog. Their kennel houses 35 Greyhounds searching for a forever home, and they've placed thousands of Greyhounds over the years. GPA never likes to turn away a Greyhound, so they're constantly looking for families willing to adopt and volunteers wanting to help out.
Location: 1260 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd, Longwood, FL 32750
A New Beginning Pet Rescue
A non-profit, foster home-based pet rescue, A New Beginning has been in business since mid-2001 and has placed over 13,000 pets in new homes. This rescue is very personal and caring, making it a great place to go to to adopt a new dog.
Location: 380 S. SR 434, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
A foster-based rescue, Animal Advocates focuses on saving animals from high kill shelters and euthanasia lists. They also work to secure animals from homes that can no longer provide for them. Because there is no kennel that the dogs stay in, they're able to be evaluated in a variety of settings to better understand their personality. In addition to this, Animal Advocates puts a lot of effort into responsible pet ownership education.
Location: Sanford, Florida
Big Dog Ranch Rescue
This is the largest no-kill dog rescue in the Southeastern part of the United States. At any given time, they house, cage free, 500 dogs that have come to them through a variety of sources. The state-of-the-art facility works to mentally rehabilitate the dogs in addition to keeping them physically healthy. Big Dog Ranch Rescue also hopes to be a leader in the animal welfare movement through innovative rescue practices and exceptional education.
Location: 14444 Okeechobee Blvd, Loxahatchee, FL 33470
Rescuing Animals in Need
A wholesome rescue that's dedicated to rescuing dogs from shelters, individuals that can't care for them anymore, and dogs living as strays. Not only do they protect, socialize, and care for all animals that they bring in, but they're sure to provide them with a plethora of love. This rescue has quite a few dogs in house, and they're also constantly seeking out foster homes to help expand their intake capabilities.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Seminole County Animal Services
Seminole County's animal services division does so much more than animal control. They actively take in lost pets, house dozens of pets ready for adoption, and lead educational programs to improve animal welfare. Either visit them to adopt a dog, attend one of their many events, or volunteer your time to care for their wide selection of pups seeking homes.
Location: 232 Eslinger Way, Sanford, Fl 32773
Orlando Bully Rescue
Focusing on pit bully, the Orlando Bully Rescue does some amazing things for this widely and unjustly-criticized breed of dog. It was originally organized to help educate and advocate on behalf of all dogs that fall under the "bully" umbrella. In addition to their great education, this rescue works to make sure every dog is properly socialized and cared for before being placed in a foster or adoptive home.
Location: Longwood, Florida
Poodle and Pooch Rescue
This rescue states that they take in the "leftovers" from animal control. Whether the dog isn't wanted because it's older, has medical problems, or was abused, they're dedicated to giving them a second chance at life. Every dog lives with a foster family, meaning that it's given special love and care until the day it finds its forever home. In just over 10 years, Poodle and Pooch Rescue has saved over 3,800 dogs.
Location: Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida, 32806 Orlando
Florida Little Dog Rescue Group
As the name suggests, this rescue focuses on rescuing smaller dogs from all over the state of Florida, but they're all fostered in the Orlando area. Every dog that's brought in is tested for medical conditions and properly treated before being placed with a foster family. When you adopt a dog from this rescue, you know you'll be bringing home a sweet dog that'll make a great addition to your family.
Location: St. Cloud, Florida
A smaller rescue that holds only 16 dogs at a time, Senior Houndsabound focuses on older Basset hounds and beagles that don't have a home. While some dogs are surrendered or rescued, most come with an existing medical or behavioral issue. Because of this, adoptions from this rescue are quite rare, as they mostly focus on being a sanctuary for older dogs. However, they absolutely need donations and support to keep things going.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Lovey Loaves Sanctuary
This nonprofit rescue has a very special focus -- dogs that were dealt difficult circumstances. The dogs that they take in are amputees, blind/deaf, and just suffering from some medical problem. The dogs here receive special rehabilitation and love to ensure that they're properly cared for before being placed in a foster or forever home.
Location: Orlando, Florida
Puppy Pleasers Rescue
As the name suggests, this rescue focuses largely on rescuing puppies from shelters or the streets. They believe that it's important to rescue these dogs now so that they can experience a full life of love and happiness. Puppy Pleasers also works to prevent overpopulation by requiring the spay and neutering of their animals. Additionally, they make sure that all adopters are aware of how to prevent the spread of dangerous canine diseases.
Location: 1450 Citrus Oaks Ave, Gotha, Fl 34734
Heidi's Legacy Florida All Breed Rescue
A very well-established rescue that's been around since 2002, Heidi's Legacy puts a huge emphasis on the well-being of their dogs. When new dogs are taken in, they're quarantined and analyzed to make sure that their immediate needs, both medical and social, are being met. After that, the dogs are either passed on to a loving foster home or adopted into a home that will give them a second chance.
Location: Lithia, Florida
While Dolly's Foundation isn't so much a rescue, they still do amazing things for the Central Florida dog owner community. This foundation is dedicated to providing free spay and neuter services to families in need, in addition to assisting them with general pet care on a case-by-case basis. Since early 2011, Dolly's Foundation has drastically reduced the amount of dogs in Central Florida shelters by going straight to the source of the problem. If you're looking to volunteer or donate to an organization, this is one that will do a lot of good with a little help.
Location: Geneva, Florida
Rescuing Unwanted Friendly Fidos (RUFF)
An excellent nonprofit dedicated to rehabilitating and caring for animals that were abandoned or living in poor conditions. In addition to their adoptions, RUFF sponsors public health programs to educate the public on responsible pet ownership. The prevention of overpopulation is one of their large focuses.
Location: Brooksville, Florida
Sniffing Snouts Pit Bull Rescue
Thankfully there's a plethora of pit bull rescues, and this is one of the best ones. Sniffing Snouts is working to reduce the massive euthanasia rate of pit bulls by preventing overpopulation and educating the public about this phenomenal breed of dog. Every dog that enters their care is properly cared for medically and socially before being placed with a forever home.
Location: Winter Park, Florida
Osceola County Animal Services
This department of the Osceola County government is funded by county taxes and supplemented by generous donations of the community. In return, they do everything that they can to take in every animal that they receive and rehabilitate them in hopes of finding them a forever home. Not only do they take in abandoned animals, but they work to educate the public and encourage families to keep their pets.
Location: 3910 Old Canoe Creek Road, St. Cloud, Florida 34769
Lady Luck Animal Rescue
Lady Luck Animal Rescue has quite a fitting name, as any abandoned animal that finds their way into this rescue is quite lucky indeed! All new intakes are given immediate health screenings and treatments before they're carefully matched with a family that filled out an extensive adoption application. It's quite clear that this rescue legitimately cares about every animal that passes through their doors.
Location: Lake Worth, Florida