Top 50 Charities of 2017

A quick search of pet charities will bring to light hundreds of organizations that are going out of their way to look after for the animals we love. From rescue shelters, to companion animals, to low-cost veterinary clinics, these charities are absolutely outstanding. Though we know that every charity deserves attention, we’ve rounded up 50 organizations that we feel deserve recognition for contributing to the lives of pets & pet owners. Take a look at our top 50 charities of 2017!

K9 Companions For Independence


Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Founded: 1975
Mission: Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.


Charleston Animal Society

Location: Charleston, SC
Founded: 1874
Mission: Since its founding, their mission has always stayed the same: The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1874, Charleston Animal Society became the first animal organization in South Carolina and one of the first in the Nation and has never turned their local animals away.


Location: Sacramento, CA
Founded: 1987
Mission: Founded in 1987, the mission of RedRover is to bring animals out of crisis and strengthen the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance, and education. RedRover accomplishes its mission by engaging volunteers and supporters, collaborating with others and maximizing the use of online technology.

Best Friends Animal Society

Location: Kanab, Utah
Mission: The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. They do this by helping end the killing in America’s animal shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation. They believe that by working together they can Save Them All.

The Humane Society of the United States

Location: Washington DC
Founded: 1954
Mission: The Humane Society and their affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and they professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. They are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. They are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.

GREY2K USA Worldwide

Location: Arlington, MA
Founded: 2001
Mission: Formed in 2001, GREY2K USA Worldwide is the largest greyhound protection organization in the world. As a non-profit entity, they work to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels. They also promote the rescue and adoption of greyhounds across the globe.

Spay n Save

Location: Longwood, FL
Founded: 2012
Mission: Since opening their doors in July 2012, Spay N Save has performed over 35,000 surgeries. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization their low-cost, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter clinic in Seminole County is dedicated to reaching throughout Central Florida to make spaying and neutering pets and neighborhood strays a possibility for everyone. They are not a full-service vet and do not provide any long-term medical treatment, rather, they are focused on reducing the overpopulation of homeless pets.

Dog Liberator Inc.

Founded: 2009
Mission: The Dog Liberator is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned dogs, primarily dogs from high-kill shelters and owners who can no longer care for them. By working with committed volunteers, local veterinarians, trainers, and foster homes, they are able to rescue hundreds of dogs every year. From June of 2009 to date, they have rescued, rehabilitated, spay/neutered, and re-homed over 700 dogs throughout the Southeast.

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

Location: Santa Paula, CA
Founded: 1996
Mission: Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula, California. Their mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

Guide Dogs of America

Location: Sylmar, CA
Founded: 1948
Mission: Guide Dogs of America is dedicated to its mission to provide guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada so that they may continue to pursue their goals with increased mobility and independence.

Alley Cat Allies

Location: Bethesda, MD
Founded: 1990
Mission: Alley Cat Allies is the national­ engine of change for cats. They are seen around the world as a global champion for the humane treatment of all cats.
They work toward a world where every cat is valued and protected and every community and shelter has policies and programs to save their lives.

Animal Defense League of Texas

Location: San Antonio, TX
Founded: 1943
Mission: Chartered in 1934, the Animal Defense League is a non-profit organization that is a true no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and cats. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for these animals by providing needed medical care, including spaying and neutering. Food, shelter, and safety are also provided – along with compassion and attention. While maintaining a healthy and loving facility, ADL consistently works to find the best possible home for each resident animal.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue

Location: Cotati, CA
Founded: 1979
Mission: The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF accomplishes this mission by filing high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm, providing free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes, supporting tough animal protection legislation and fighting legislation harmful to animals, and providing resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law.

Animal Rescue, Inc.

Founded: 1979
Mission: Since 1976, Animal Rescue, Inc. has been a refuge for homeless cats and dogs. They make a promise to any animal who comes through their gates: they will never be homeless again. They hope their residents will find a loving home with a lifelong companion or a loving family; but if they never find that home, they are welcomed into the ARI family. ARI is home to several hundred animals between their different locations.

Animal Welfare Association

Location: Voorhees, NJ
Mission: Animal Welfare Association (AWA),  a private, non-profit, 501(c)3 animal welfare organization, operates the oldest and largest low-cost spay/neuter clinic, adoption center and no-kill animal shelter in South Jersey. They do not receive funds from the government or national groups. They rely upon local donations to fund their life-saving programs. Through a variety of innovative programs including adoptions, veterinary services, pet therapy, trap-neuter-return and humane education, they strive to ensure that animal companionship is accessible to all. 

Can Do Canines

Location: New Hope, MN
Founded: 1989
Mission: Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs.

Dogs for the Deaf

Location: Central Point, Oregon
Founded: 1977
Mission: Their mission is to professionally train dogs to help people and enhance lives while maintaining a lifelong commitment to all dogs they rescue or breed and the people they serve.

East Bay SPCA

Location: California
Founded: 1874
Mission: The East Bay SPCA is committed to the welfare of cats and dogs in the communities they serve. They strive to eliminate animal cruelty, neglect and overpopulation by providing programs and education that support people and companion animals.

ECAD, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities

Location: Connecticut
Founded: 1995
Mission: East Coast Assistance Dogs was founded by Lu and Dale Picard. Prior to founding ECAD, Lu helped several business organizations in their startup efforts and gained experience in business and administration. When her father suffered a stroke, she saw how much he hated being dependent on her. She taught their family pet to help him rise from a chair and retrieve some items, and noticed that her dad actually became more active and less depressed than when all his help came from a human. Lu saw first hand how Service Dogs could change people’s lives, and in 1995 quit her full-time job to start ECAD. One year later, her husband Dale also gave up his own business to work full time for ECAD. Dale was self-employed for many years and developed skills and talents that he put to good use in helping Lu establish ECAD. He purchased land in Connecticut, constructed kennels and offices, and redesigned the house in which Lu, Dale, and their two daughters lived.

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation

Location: Connecticut
Founded: 1960
Mission: Charlie and Robbie Kaman’s intuitive knowledge of how German Shepherd dogs could help people who are legally blind live more normal lives was the genesis of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. Beginning in 1960, the work done by this innovative couple and ever-growing group of dedicated and tireless staff, volunteers and supporters has reached out and touched thousands of clients’ and family members’ lives. Today, Fidelco is an internationally-recognized leader in the guide dog industry. And the legacy of dedication and quality given to the organization by the Kamans will guide Fidelco for generations to come.


Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 2002
Mission: Furkids is the only animal rescue organization in metro Atlanta that allows children of all ages to volunteer.  Furkids volunteer programs are designed to restore the health and spirits of injured and homeless animals while providing healing opportunities for volunteers who are strengthened by the bond of love and care between humans and animals.

Last Chance for Animals

Location: California
Founded: 1988
Mission: Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention.  LCA believes that animals are highly sentient creatures who exist for their own reasons independent of their service to humans; they should not be made to suffer for the latter.  LCA opposes the use of animals in food and clothing.

HALO Animal Rescue

Location: Antioch, CA
Mission: We work to improve the lives of companion animals in East Contra Costa County through educational workshops, adoption events, and collaboration with other community groups.


Location: Denver, Colorado
Founded: 1989
Mission: Often, good Samaritans hesitate to take injured animals to veterinarians for fear that they will have to pay large vet bills. City and county animal shelters don’t have the facilities to provide an injured animal with the medical care it needs to recover. The shelters’ only option is to put the animal down after waiting the 7-10 days required to allow the owner to claim the animal. The MaxFund provides emergency care and a home for injured animals until the owner is located or a suitable home is found. This service is provided, without cost, to the caring person who notifies the MaxFund.


Location: San Francisco, California
Founded: 2007
Mission: Muttville is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the lives of senior dogs. On a local level, Muttville rescues senior dogs and finds them new homes or gives them hospice. On a global level, Muttville provides information about caring for older dogs and support for people who do. Through associations with shelters and other animal organizations, Muttville finds senior dogs that have been given up and are not likely to find adopted homes. Through outreach and networking, Muttville finds suitable new homes for these dogs. Muttville has its own cage-free facility, housing newly rescued senior dogs while they wait to be matched with foster homes.

Operation Kindness 

Location: Carrollton, TX
Mission: The mission of Operation Kindness is to care for homeless cats and dogs in a no-kill environment until each is adopted into responsible homes and to advocate humane values and behavior.

Northwest Organization for Animal Help

Location: Stanwood, WA
Founded: 2003
Mission: Northwest Organization for Animal Help (The NOAH Center) is dedicated to stopping the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable and treatable homeless dogs and cats. They are committed to high-quality spay and neuter programs available for low-income residents, family friendly pet adoptions, humane education and volunteer programs through their state-of-the-art facilities and Spay/Neuter Center.

PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

Location: Lynnwood, Washington
Founded: 1967
Mission: PAWS is a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people.

Paws With A Cause

Location: Wayland, MI
Founded: 1989
Mission: Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams through education and advocacy.

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Founded: 1925
Mission: The Mission of the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League of the Palm Beaches, Incorporated is to provide shelter to lost, homeless and unwanted animals, to provide spay and neuter and other medical services for companion animals, and to care for, protect, and find quality homes for homeless and neglected companion animals, to advocate animal welfare, community involvement and education to further the bond between people and animals.

Pets in Need

Location: Redwood City, CA
Founded: 1967
Mission: The mission of Pets In Need is to advance the no-kill movement, reduce pet homelessness, and find every dog and cat a loving home. They accomplish their mission by rescuing cats and dogs from public shelters in the Bay Area and beyond when they are in danger of being euthanized due to space or financial limitations.

Placer SPCA

Location: Roseville, CA
Founded: 1973
Mission: The mission of the Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Placer SPCA) is to enhance the lives of companion animals and support the human-animal bond.

Puppies Behind Bars

Location: New York, NY
Founded: 1997
Mission: Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement. Puppies enter prison at the age of eight weeks and live with their inmate puppy-raisers for approximately 24 months. As the puppies mature into well-loved, well-behaved dogs, their raisers learn what it means to contribute to society rather than take from it. PBB programs bring the love and healing of dogs to hundreds of individuals every year. The dogs bring hope and pride to their raisers, and independence and security to those they serve.

Save-A-Pet Adoption Center

Location: Grayslake, Illinois
Mission: Save-A-Pet is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and one of the largest no-kill cat and dog rescues in Lake County that operates a full-time adoption center. They provide a safe haven for abused, neglected, injured, lost, or animals that have escaped euthanasia. They will never put a limit on the amount of care they will provide for an animal and they never give up on them. Thus, Save-A-Pet offers rescued dogs and cats the greatest opportunity for a second chance. They take great pride in practicing Their no-kill mission and in stewarding their donors’ contributions; both of which have led to the successful adoption of over 61,000  dogs and cats.

Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals

Location: Kettering, Ohio
Founded: 1974
Mission: Their Mission is to promote the welfare and adoption of companion animals, and nurture loving, lifelong relationships between animals and people. To support their mission, SICSA offers numerous animal-centered programs and services for families and children.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Founded: 1866
Mission: The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.

Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)

Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Founded: 1991
Mission: ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each other’s lives. ARF strives to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home, where every lonely person has a companion animal, and where children learn to care.

Furry Friends Rescue

Location: Fremont, CA
Founded: 1998
Mission: Furry Friends Rescue (FFR) is an all-volunteer non-profit Bay Area companion animal rescue organization, comprised entirely of experienced volunteers who collectively have rescued thousands of companion animals and placed them in forever loving homes.

Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County

Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Founded: 2005
Mission: The AWLMC operates and maintains a no-kill cat shelter in Montgomery County, MD. Since 2005 they have completed 1,561 cat adoptions.

Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

Location: Tehachapi, CA
Mission: Marley’s Mutts is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, trains and re-homes death row dogs from Kern County’s high-kill animal shelters. In addition, they utilize the rescued dogs to transform people’s lives. Through the power of the human-canine bond, they empower dogs and people to live healthy, happy and productive lives.

Operation Paws for Homes

Location: Alexandria, VA
Mission: Operation Paws for Homes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation, and placement of dogs who have overcome great odds and deserve wonderful, caring forever homes. These dogs are rescued from overcrowded high kill shelters in the southern region of the United States, primarily shelters in South and North Carolina, as well as Virginia. They partner with local shelters as needed. They also rescue a few international dogs partnering with shelters and rescues in India and Turks & Caicos who rescue dogs from dangerous and deplorable conditions.

Cozy Cat Cottage

Location: Powell, Ohio
Mission: Cozy Cat Cottage Adoption Center is a non-profit, no-kill organization that provides refuge, aid and care for abandoned, injured, and/or abused felines. They are committed to providing shelter and care for these felines while attempting to find permanent, responsible, loving homes. They are dedicated to promoting respect and compassion for all animals through humane education and vigorously promoting spay and neuter to reduce the overpopulation of felines in central Ohio.


Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mission: FixNation is a non-profit organization committed to cats, and to supporting Trap-Neuter-Return. They provide a free, full-time spay/neuter clinic for cats (Wednesday-Saturday) with two full-time veterinarians capable of sterilizing as many as 100 cats per day.  They also provide low-cost, affordable spay/neuter services for tame pet cats. They loan out humane traps and equipment to the public free of charge, provide training on how to humanely trap feral cats and kittens, and offer guidance and information on long-term care and management for feral colonies. FixNation also partners with local humane pet stores and animal rescue organizations to facilitate the adoption of friendly strays and kittens.

Sanctuary for Senior Dogs

Location: Cleveland, OH
Mission: The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs’ mission is: To rescue senior dogs abandoned in shelter. To provide lifelong quality care for rescued senior dogs. To adopt appropriate dogs into loving, permanent homes. To develop programs that match senior dogs and senior people to their mutual benefit. To foster an awareness of their lifelong responsibility to their companion animals. To strengthen the bonds between humans and animals by teaching respect and compassion for all living things.

Dogs on Deployment

Location: Escondido, CA
Founded: 2011
Mission: Dogs on Deployment is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit providing a central network for military members to find volunteers willing to board their pets while they are deployed or have other service commitments, making them unable to temporarily care for their pets. No pet should ever be surrendered to a shelter due to a military commitment. DoD exists to help military members keep their pets by alleviating the need for pet relinquishment from military members due to the hardships of deployments.

Cat Network, Inc.

Location: Miami, FL
Founded: 1995
Mission: The Cat Network, Inc. (CN) is a 501(c)3, Florida not-for-profit corporation dedicated to humanely reducing cat overpopulation by educating the public about the need to sterilize their pets and strays; providing access to low-cost spay/neuter services for stray, homeless and abandoned cats; helping members in their efforts to place adoptable cats in loving homes; and advocating non-lethal population control and humane public policy.

K9s For Warriors

Location: Ponte Vedra, Florida
Founded: 2011
Mission: K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. Their program is unique, and no other organization operates quite like K9s For Warriors. Every warrior that walks through the door is family. They provide them with a service canine, equipment, training, certification, seminars, legal instruction, vet care, housing, home cooked meals, unconditional love and listening, and life-time of wrap-around services (including available life-long healthcare and food for their dogs).

Alley Cats and Angels

Location: Apex, NC
Founded: 2007
Mission: Alley Cats and Angels is an all-volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3), foster home-based cat rescue organization located in the Triangle, NC area. Alley Cats and Angels is dedicated to improving the lives of the stray, abandoned, and feral cats while reducing the overall number of homeless cats in the Triangle, NC area; they focus on the unwanted and forgotten felines.

For The Love Of Cats Inc

Location: Marco Island, FL
Founded: 2002
Mission: For the Love of Cats, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Marco Island, FL that is dedicated to saving the lives of abandoned cats and kittens in the community. They are a no-kill rescue group operating through the generous donations of the public since 2002.

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