Our Mission


All over the south, dogs are waiting.


Some lucky dogs are in progressive shelters who have staff, resources, and community support that enable them to find homes for all of their adoptable dogs through local adoptions and outside rescues.

Some not-so-lucky dogs are in open intake, high-kill shelters that are routinely forced to ‘euthanize for space.’ Many of the people who work in these shelters work desperately to save every dog they can but are understaffed, underfunded, undersupported, and overwhelmed.

65260448_396719657857082_794631609037881344_nOther dogs are held in private shelters and rescues where remarkable people sacrifice time, energy, and many times their very livelihood struggling to care for dogs that their local government has failed. Instead of allowing dogs to perish, they care for them on their own property on their own dime, sometimes creating a legal nonprofit and gathering volunteer help, but many times just doing anything they can to save lives.

And then there are the dogs left behind at tiny municipal pounds in rural communities on back roads people rarely travel.

These dogs live in sparse conditions with few resources and no extras. They are held in chain-link kennels behind police stations, at the city dump, or in squat concrete buildings with no heat/AC until their owners come for them or they are destroyed to make room for new dogs that arrive. Their pictures are not on a shelter website or Petfinder. Rarely is there anyone working to address their physical, emotional or behavioral needs, let alone search for an adopter. Their only chance beyond being claimed by their owners is for a rescue worker to visit the pound and ‘pull’ them, transporting them to rescues sometimes several states away.

Who Will Let the Dogs Out (we affectionately call it Waldo) seeks to share the faces and stories of the forgotten dogs waiting to be let out, and to raise resources and awareness for the people who are working to save them.

We have no qualifications beyond open hearts and a belief that the problem has never been that people don’t care—it’s that people don’t know.

By traveling to these shelters, we hope to not only raise awareness but to inspire change.

If you’d like to help our mission, please spread the word. You can subscribe to our blog to follow our journey or find us on Facebook or Instagram. If you are moved to help individual shelters, you can find information about how to do that on the How You Can Help Page, and if you are a shelter or rescue, you can visit our shelter resource page with an updated list of organizations, grant opportunities, and other resources specifically for you.

And please, help us spread the word. Together, we can let the dogs out.