Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.
You know, it’s strange, there are a lot of dog rescues that promise to do the best they can for you and your pooch. Some even make promises like “we’ll find your puppy an amazing family!” — but do they really deliver? We decided to put together a list of the best dog rescues in Florida, so you can vet them quickly before deciding where you want to adopt your new family member.
Quick note here: The main difference between dog rescues and shelters is that rescues are typically privately run and funded through donations, while shelters are organized by local government.
Dog rescues are not listed in any particular order. Check out other excellent dog rescues in other states here.
- 1. Good Karma Pet Rescue
- 2. Humane Society of North Central Florida
- 3. Big Dog Ranch Rescue
- 4. Ayla's Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue
- 5. G.R.E.A.T Rescue of NE Florida
- 6. Paws4You Rescue
- 7. Gulf Coast Humane Society
- 8. Nate's Honor Animal Rescue
- 9. Alaqua Animal Refuge
- 10. Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
- 11. SPCA Tampa Bay
- 12. Poodle and Pooch Rescue of Florida
- Other Dog Rescues in Florida Worth Mentioning
Location: 3100 NW 19th Terrace, Pompano Beach, FL
As an animal rescue, Good Karma makes every effort to ensure that its acts are consistent with its name.
They don’t use shortcuts to make things simpler, save money, or expedite the placement of animals.
Their purpose was born out of a passion for animals and a desire to make a significant and positive difference in the lives of every animal in their care.
You are creating positive karma as an animal adopter by doing the right thing and saving a life.
Instead of buying a bred-to-order puppy or kitten from a breeder or a pet store, you’ve decided to help solve the problem of pet overpopulation by adopting a rescued animal.
Check them out now!
Location: 4205 NW 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32609
When the leaders of the Alachua County Humane Society, Gainesville Pet Rescue, and Helping Hands Pet Rescue decided to permanently join forces in 2018, the Humane Society of North Central Florida was born.
The organizations were able to efficiently streamline services for dogs and pet owners, eliminate any duplication of services, utilize their community’s resources, and increase the region’s lifesaving powers by merging to form the Humane Society of North Central Florida.
For more than 40 years, the founding organizations have been dedicated to supporting dogs in Alachua County.
The Humane Society of North Central Florida is a no-kill animal rescue center with a limited intake and is a registered non-profit organization
Its animals come from municipal shelters in North Central Florida that accept open-intake and/or managed admittance animals.
As a result, they get no support from the federal government and are not linked with any other state or national groups such as the Humane Society of the United States or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Location: 14444 Okeechobee Blvd, Loxahatchee Groves, FL 33470
Since its inception in 2008, Big Dog Ranch Rescue has saved the lives of almost 48,500 pets.
Every year, their objective is to save 5,000 dogs, heal them and put them with loving families, as well as to educate people about good dog care and the need for spaying and neutering.
Every component of their world-class, 33-acre facility was created with the goal of rescuing homeless and abandoned pets and providing loving, emotional, and medical care to thousands of dogs as they await their forever homes.
The attention to detail in every corner of the Big Dog Ranch Rescue Campus is unparalleled, from the state-of-the-art medical Intake and Quarantine Buildings, which are designed so that no rooms share air to minimize cross-contamination, to Puppy Land, which was created for pregnant Moms to give birth to their litters in a stress-free cabin with an attached play yard.
Location: 413 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue is a 501(c)(3) established in St. Augustine, Florida that promotes animal adoption, spay and neuter, and responsible care.
They maintain a 45-acre sanctuary where “unadoptable” animals can live out their lives in peace, love, and dignity, in addition to education, outreach, adoption, and fostering activities.
Thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized each year in Northeast and North Central Florida.
Homeless, abandoned, and abused animals are overcrowding shelters and animal control facilities which makes resolving these issues appear to be a difficult undertaking at best.
The majority of their animals are surrendered by their owners due to death, divorce, or other life circumstances. Other animals are brought into the program as a result of neglect or abandonment.
Show your support by adopting a pet or make a donation today!
Location: P.O. Box 600878, Jacksonville, FL 32260-0878
We are completely surprised and in awe of the remarkable improvement and success that G.R.E.A.T. Rescue of NE Florida, Inc. has achieved over the past 21 years as they enter their third decade of rescue.
Judi Brown, its former president (now vice president) and co-founder, can’t recall a time when she didn’t have a dog to smooch and hug, but it wasn’t until she and her husband, Reed, adopted Rhonda, their first Golden Retriever, in 1975, that she fully realized the total joy and love this amazing breed can provide.
She grew her Golden family as time passed; her professional career was winding down, and she began to make plans for her “days of leisure” ahead.
Judi combined her passion for Golden Retrievers with her experience working in non-profits to look into the potential of starting a Golden Retriever rescue in NE Florida, as there were none in the area.
This Rescue is made up of a group of volunteers whose primary purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome Golden Retrievers.
They are also affiliated with the Golden Retriever National Rescue Committee and a Best Friends Animal Society / No More Homeless Pets Network Partner.
Location: PO Box 561163, Miami, FL 33256-1163
PAWS4you Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit animal rescue organization situated in Miami, Florida that is run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations.
They have fulfilled the important need of sheltering, fostering, and placing dogs in the southern portion of Miami-Dade County for the past 11 years, providing life-saving treatments and using a variety of methods to find and keep animals in loving, long-term homes.
Here are some of the important roles they play:
- Rescuing dogs from euthanasia and abandonment
- Providing necessary medical care, like as spaying and neutering, immunizations, and emergency procedures
- Providing a safe haven/shelter with the ultimate purpose of placing dogs with loving families
- Educating the community in order to raise awareness of our purpose and increase the number of volunteers and donors
Here’s how you can help.
Location: 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, FL. 33916
The Gulf Coast Humane Society has been serving Southwest Florida for more than 60 years as a private non-profit 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization.
Their purpose is to provide humane care for surrendered animals by giving them a safe haven, medical attention, and the opportunity to find a new home.
Every year, they take in over 1,000 animals in need of loving homes.
All of the work they do to care for these animals is made possible by the generosity of folks in the community who are concerned about the welfare of homeless pets.
By lending them a helping hand, they can continue with their meaningful operations.
Location: 4951 Lorraine Road, Bradenton, Florida 34211
Since 2008, Nate’s has been dedicated to assisting dogs and cats in need of loving homes who have been neglected, abandoned, or mistreated.
They began as a small group of animal lovers operating out of a garage until Nathan “Nate” Benderson, a local developer with a passion for animals, heard about them and decided to join forces.
Nate supplied the vision and leadership that allowed Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue to get started.
They now save thousands of homeless and at-risk animals each year at their eight-acre no-kill shelter and adoption center on Lorraine Road, thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers and an amazingly supportive community.
Location: 914 Whitfield Road, Freeport, FL 32439
Alaqua Animal Refuge is a no-kill facility in Freeport, Florida that was formed in 2007.
It is located on a wide and idyllic 10-acre farm.
The refuge is roughly 20 minutes north of the Emerald Coast’s sugary white beaches, which are considered among the world’s most beautiful.
While many animals are fortunate to live among the beautiful blue-green gulf and enjoy the high quality of life that our region has to offer, thousands of animals are neglected and abused, or paddling along the edges of lonely streets, searching in vain for the owners who once loved but later abandoned them.
Alaqua has come a long way in all facets of its operations, with only a few staff members working to find permanent, loving homes for a handful of dogs, cats, and other animals when it first opened its doors.
The shelter, however, has since evolved and expanded into a sanctuary that can accommodate over 450 animals at any given time.
Alaqua has assisted in the adoption of tens of thousands of animals since its inception, with up to 100 adoptions done each month.
- 2800 County Home Rd, Sanford, FL 32773 (Shelter and clinic)
- 12050 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32817 (Clinic only)
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, founded in 1937 as the Orlando Humane Society, is one of the region’s oldest and largest animal welfare organizations, serving Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and parts of Brevard, Lake, and Volusia counties.
The Orlando Humane Society combined with the Humane Society of Seminole County in 2001 to form the SPCA of Central Florida, with animal welfare as its primary objective.
The SPCA of Central Florida changed leadership in 2014, with the goal of altering the region’s historic role of animal shelters by working outside the walls of the facilities to include the entire community in the responsibility of animal care.
Since then, the group has worked hard to ensure that pets have a happy and safe life.
The Pet Alliance now focuses exclusively on the health and well-being of dogs and cats in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola Counties.
They do good things for dogs and cats, as well as the people who love them, as the “go-to” experts in Greater Orlando.
Their mission is to provide compassionate and knowledgeable pet care, as well as to be leaders in animal care and veterinary medical innovation.
11. SPCA Tampa Bay
Location: 9099 130th Avenue North, Largo, Florida 33773
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Tampa Bay is Pinellas County’s sole non-profit animal welfare organization that operates an open-admission For-All animal shelter and veterinary center.
Every year, the SPCA Tampa Bay animal shelter in Largo takes in over 7,000 animals relinquished by their owners, as well as injured wildlife.
In addition, their St. Pete pet hospital offers dog and cat health care!
Dogs and cats, among other animals, are cared for by the SPCA Tampa Bay.
While at the facility, animals receive immunizations, medical attention, enrichment, and loving care.
Their adoptions team and volunteers work hard to match families with animals that fit their home, lifestyle, and personality.
Regardless of breed or size, every animal is treated with compassion.
You can check out the dogs up for adoption here.
Location: 1742 S Woodland Blvd. #428 DeLand, FL 32720
Poodle And Pooch Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing pets in desperate need.
They save the “leftovers” from animal control, the dogs that no one wants because they’re older, have been neglected, or require medical attention.
The “final” day of their old existence becomes the first day of their new one.
They provide them with the necessary veterinary treatment, a loving foster home, and, when they’re ready, they will be adopted by a loving family.
Because every dog stays with one of their foster families, they do not have a physical site.
Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to helping the dogs because they are all volunteers. Since 2008, they have rescued almost 5,500 dogs!
Other Dog Rescues in Florida Worth Mentioning
There are several other dog rescues in Florida that are in need of your help, but unfortunately, we are unable to cover every single one of them. Through online reviews and friends’ recommendations, here are 8 more you can visit and support:
- Abandoned Pet Rescue (Fort Lauderdale)
- Pet Pal Animal Shelter (St Petersburg)
- Pet Rescue by Judy (Sanford)
- Big Hearts For Big Dogs (Miami)
- Elizabeth’s Animal Rescue & Sanctuary/ E.A.R.S (Odessa)
- Doghouse Rescue Academy & Education Network (Fort Meyers, Central Florida)
- S.A.F.E Pet Rescue (St Augustine, Northeast Florida)
- The Akita Rescue Society of Florida (Jacksonville)