Partner Shelters & Rescues

We believe by visiting shelters and rescues in person, we get to know the people and the situations firsthand. We are better able to understand the challenges they face, and the resources they need to face them. This is why we endorse them as organizations worthy of your time, attention, and donations. And till date, we have visited 83 Shelters and Rescues and covered 13 states across Southern US!

Learn more about our experiences at each organization, to appreciate each unique organization and meet the heroes and the animals they are working to save. Be sure to read the blog post linked to each listing of the shelters and rescues that we have visited.

You’ll also note where we have provided updates. Leadership and situations change, and not always for the better. You’ll also read about several that are not doing enough with what they are given. We leave it up to you as to whether they are worthy of your donations.

Who Will Let the Dogs Out is in the process of assigning ‘Shelter Liaisons’ to each of the organizations we visit so that we can stay updated regarding their situation and offer help when we can. If you’d like to be a Shelter Liaison, we’d love to have you. Click here to fill our our volunteer application or email us.

We do our best to keep this page updated, but if you experience any links that don’t work or if you are one of these shelters/rescues that would like your entry updated, please email



Brindlee Mountain Animal Rescue


Private non-profit rescue run by a remarkable woman who specializes in Great Dane’s but rescues all kinds. Read about our visit here.

HAWS (Helping Animals Without Shelter)


HAWS is a volunteer based group that assists dogs in the Huntsville area who live outside 24/7 by installing trolley systems and pens, providing items like dog houses, bedding, and food, and educating and assisting owners with veterinary care and spay/neuter services. Read about our day with HAWS here.


Humane Society of Chilton County


The Chilton County shelter is a bright spot in the center of Alabama with a dedicated staff saving every adoptable animal. Read about our visit here.


SHARK (Safe Haven Animal Rescue Kennel)


SHARK is the volunteer group that effectively runs the Henry County/Abbeyville City shelter and animal control. When the county and city decided to shut down their shelters, SHARK stepped up to fill the gap. Located in the wiregrass corner of Alabama, it’s current director is Dave Rice, a 76-year-old disabled veteran. They run the shelter that takes in over a thousand dogs a year completely on donations and sends all their dogs out through rescue. Read about our visit with SHARK here.

donate through paypal

mailing address: P.O. Box 126, Abbeville, Alabama 36310


Walker County Humane and Adoption Center

Jasper, AL

Walker County Shelter is supported by RUFF (Rescuers United For Furbabies), a foster-based rescue that works hard to find rescue placement for the shelter animals. Read about our visit here.


A Second Chance Rescue Puppies and Kittens

Royal Palm Beach

A Second Chance Rescue moves 1000 animals, primarily puppies and kittens from Alabama (mostly) to south Florida to be adopted. They also save some medical needs dogs/cats, plus take their custom transport/veterinary van to hurricane ravaged areas. Read about our visit here.

Big Dog Ranch


Big Dog Ranch is a nonprofit rescue founded by Lauree Simmons that rescues as many as 5000 dogs a year. The animals are not kept in individual kennels, but in bunk rooms and participate in play groups in their four enormous outdoor spaces. This innovative private shelter is saving all kinds of dogs from the south and all over the world. They have first-class veterinary care, a program to train dogs for veterans, community education programs, a world-class facility, and over a thousand volunteers. Read about our visit here.

Danny & Ron’s Rescue

Wellington (and Camden, South Carolina)

Danny and Ron’s Rescue is a private nonprofit that saves dogs from all over the south. Dogs are housed primarily in their South Carolina home (yes home – not shelter), but Danny and Ron bring busloads of adoptable dogs with them to the Florida horseshow world where they find first-class homes. Read about our visit here.

Furry Friends Adoption Clinic and Ranch


Furry Friends is a private nonprofit that has been rescuing animals in Florida and beyond for 40 years. Their Jupiter location includes an adoption center and a veterinary clinic. They are expanding operations to include a ranch and a mobile veterinary clinic that will enable them to save even more animals. Read about our visit here.

Live Oak City Animal Control

Live Oak

Live Oak is a small public animal control facility that has a history of killing a lot of animals, thankfully, they have a new shelter manager/ACO at the helm who is committed to saving every adoptable animal.

pitbull in polk county Florida

Polk County Bully Project


Polk County Bully Project is a private nonprofit rescue shelter saving dogs primarily from the Polk County Public Shelter where every pitbull who lands there will be killed unless pulled by a rescue (they cannot be adopted out locally). Polk County is the number one county in Florida and number four in the nation for killing dogs. Read about our visit.

Putnam County Animal Control


Putnam County Animal Control is an open intake publicly funded shelter that works hard to save all their adoptable dogs (and cats), but they struggle with a high volume of stray and surrendered animals and never enough space or resources. Read about our visit here.

Redland Dog Sanctuary


The Sanctuary is a last stop for a lot of dogs in Redland. Junior works with rescues and shelters all over south Florida, taking in dogs who need rehabilitation or a safe place to ‘reset’. Click here to read about our visit with Junior at the Sanctuary.

Redland Rockpit Abandoned Dog Project


The Redland Rockpit Abandoned Dog Project rescues, rehabilitates, and adopts out as many dogs as they can, but the numbers are so large that they also maintain a dozen or more feeding stations all over the Redland area to feed the strays and feral dogs, many of whom are dumped their by the owners. The southernmost tip of Florida has become a dumping ground and this organization works to raise awareness of the situation and help as many dogs as they can. They also work with the Felix-Verela High School Veterinary Science Magnet program whose students care for and train some of their dogs. Read about our visit at Felix-Varela High here.

Read about our time with Redland Rockpits Abandoned Dog Project here.


Fannin County Animal Control

Blue Ridge

Fannin County is a small animal control facility doing a lot with the little they have thanks to a caring ACO and a dedicated part-time rescue coordinator. Read about our visit here.

Heard County Animal Control


Heard County Animal Control is a small shelter on the campus of the County Police barracks. They have a long history of killing dogs, but thanks to one dedicated volunteer they are currently saving all the adoptable animals mainly through rescue transports. Read about our visit here.

Humane Society of Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge, GA

HSBR is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports the animals and community of Blue Ridge. They are an intentional shelter that is expanding its reach and impact. Read about our visit here.

Paws Furever Home


Paws Furever Home is both a dog rescue and a cat sanctuary. They rescue animals from the surrounding counties (that do not have shelters) and within their community. They also work to solve the problem through advocacy work with the Georgia Pet Coalition and with a planned Spay/Neuter Mobile clinic. Read about our visit here.

PAWS of Floyd County


PAWS (Public Animal Welfare Services) is a large, brand-new facility that houses both Animal Control and Animal Care under the same roof and leadership. The committed staff are working hard to save as many animals as they can, while also advocating for better animal laws and struggling to increase community support and involvement. Read about our visit here.


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Camp Jean

Frankfort, KY

Camp Jean is a private, nonprofit shelter that sets an incredible example of how well sheltering can be done. It quite literally feels like ‘camp.’ They pull dogs who are at risk from local shelters and pounds, many with medical or behavioral issues that need more time than an average public shelter or pound can give them.

Read about our visit at Camp Jean here.

The Fix Foundation (and Simpson County Animal Shelter)


The Fix Foundation is a nonprofit spay/neuter clinic that provides surgeries and shot clinics for Simpson County, local rescues, plus all of the animals housed at the shelter next door. They are changing the story in Simpson County Kentucky. Read about our visit here.

Kentucky Saving Them Together

A foster-based rescue saving dogs (and puppies) all over Kentucky, assisting with spay/neuter, and advocating for animals in need. Read about our visit here.

Paws 4 the Cause-18

Paws 4 the Cause

Lexington, KY

Paws 4 the Cause rescues dogs all along the I-75 corridor from Cincinnati to the Tennessee border. They specialize in the hardest of luck cases, bringing them to their downtown shelter for assessment, veterinary care, and immediate placement in foster care before adopting them out or transferring them to rescue. They are in teh midst of renovating their building to include expanded kennels, a spay/neuter clinic, and community space to bring together people of all ages and all walks of life to help the animals.

You can read about our visit with Remy and Paws 4 the Cause here.


corinth dog on house photo by Nancy SlatteryCorinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter

Corinth, MS

Corinth-Alcorn is the only shelter for six counties in the northeast corner of Mississippi. They are chronically overcrowded in their dangerously outdated building whose roof is covered in blue tarps. Committed to becoming a no-kill shelter, the staff at Corinth-Alcorn saves every animal they can and utilizes every possible space, but without a new shelter building they are fighting a losing battle. Read about our visit here and listen to the podcast about our visit here.


Horn Lake Animal Shelter

Horn Lake

Just south of Memphis, TN, Horn Lake struggles with a large population of not just unwanted pit bulls, but heartworm positive dogs. Despite those obstacles, the remarkable staff utilize play groups/ socialization, rescue, and determination to save every animal they can. Read about our visit here.

Friends of Horn Lake

(like many municipal shelters, if you want your donation to go to Horn Lake, it must go via a third party otherwise it may very well end up in the general fund and not help the animals)


Midsouth Animal Welfare Foundation

Corinth, MS

Midsouth focuses on local low-cost spay/neuter, moving puppies out of the south, and tackling rescues with serious medical needs. They provide veterinary care, foster homes, and transport to rescues out of the area. Midsouth is fairly close to the Ripley Market, a flea market that sells puppies and dogs once a month flooding the are with unvaccinated, unaltered, ‘purebred’ animals with a variety of health issues.

UPDATE: Meredith is no longer working with Midsouth Animal Welfare Foundation.

Read about our visit with Midsouth here and listen to our experience at the Ripley Market here.


Mississippi Animal Rescue League


MARL is an open-intake shelter in Jackson, Mississippi that takes in over 10,000 animals a year and destroys about 80% of them per the policies established by their board. We are including them on this list because this shelter needs more help than any other place we’ve visited, but so far we have not figured out how we can help change their entrenched habits so that they could embrace new programs and policies that could save lives. Read about our visit here and PLEASE refrain from offering judgment. Instead, help us find solutions. We remain convinced that change only comes after awareness. Listen to our podcast about MARL here.



Hayti Dog Pound

Hayti, MO

This dog pound has a hard history of killing every dog that landed in its pound, but there is hope in Hayti now with new advocates working hard to change that history. Read about our visit here. Sadly, Dave is no longer working for the city, so the fate of the many stray dogs in Hayti is unknown at this point.



Anson County Animal Shelter


Anson County shelter is a small but mighty shelter working hard (and creatively) to save dogs just an hour outside Charlotte. Read about our visit to Anson here.

Gaston Animal Care and Enforcement

Gastonia, NC

This public shelter handles as many as 3500 animals a year. With 14 animal control officers, and a full staff, headed by a veterinarian, they offer first class care. They are a success story of how a publicly funded county-run shelter can successfully turn its story around. Read about our visit here.


Lenoir County SPCA


Lenior is a small shelter in one of the poorest towns in North Carolina that is holding its own thanks to the heroic efforts of staff and their volunteer rescue coordinator, Helen. Click here to read about our first visit to Lenoir and here to read about our second.

UPDATE: Helen is no longer working with Lenoir SPCA, so we cannot vouch for the situation there.

shelter friend parvo pupsA Shelter Friend


A Shelter Friend saves dogs from Bladen County Animal Shelter and moves them out through rescues, many times pulling the dogs (and cats) out on the day before their time is up. Click here to read about our visit to A Shelter Friend




Abbeville County Shelter

Abbeville, SC

Abbeville is a small brand new shelter that replaced the wretched Abbeville City Shelter (an ancient cement block building without proper heat or air conditioning or public access that was finally destroyed).  Abbeville’s well-qualified director is striving to create a progressive shelter that can not just save animals but be a resource for its community.



Amazon Wishlist


Anderson County PAWS


PAWS is a bright shining example of how shelters can save dogs and be a resource for their community and other shelters. Read about our visits with this outstanding shelter here and here.



Humane Society of Greenwood


Greenwood is blessed with a new, modern shelter to replace the desperate place where too many dogs died. The continue to work to become a no-kill shelter in a challenging part of our country. Read about our visit to Greenwood here. Our volunteer visited a second time, read about that visit here.



Newberry County Animal Shelter:


Newberry County is a large county-run facility in South Carolina with 48 kennels that are almost always full. While they do as much as they can to prevent it, they do find it necessary to kill dogs who remain at the facility too long to make space for new dogs coming in.

My post inspired by our visit to Newberry County.



Amazon Wishlist



Oconee Humane Society


Oconee is a high volume, open intake shelter where the Humane Society works VERY hard to save dogs and to be a resource for their community. Read about our first visit to Oconoee here. Our volunteer team visited a second time, you can read about that visit here.



All4s-44All 4s Rescue League


This amazing group spends their days on the streets of Memphis offering dog houses, food, spay/neuter, and when necessary, rescue, to animals living their lives on chains outdoors. Read about our visit here.



Amazon Wishlist

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Animal Harbor


Animal Harbor is a private nonprofit shelter saving dogs in the Franklin County area, including pulling dogs from Franklin County Animal Control. It is a progressive shelter with excellent leadership, staff, volunteer programs, foster programs, and rescue connections. Read about our visit here.

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Animal Rescue Corps


Animal Rescue Corps is an ‘army’ of volunteers all over the country who step in to help in the case of natural and manmade disasters (hurricanes, hoarding cases, etc.) to assist law enforcement to provide shelter, medical treatment, behavior assessments, and ultimately rescue placement for all kinds of animals. Read about our visit here and listen to our podcast about that visit here.



Amazon Wishlist

Bedford County Animal Control


Bedford County Animal Control is a public managed-intake facility that handles approximately 1200 animals a year with a spay/neuter surgery on site which a local vet uses to help get more animals spayed/neutered before they leave the shelter. Most of their animals leave through rescue, but about a quarter are adopted out locally.

Read about our visit to Bedford County here.


Facebook page

CASA (Charlie’s Angels Saving Animals)


CASA is in the (nonprofit) business of saving animals via transport. Twice weekly they gather animals from overcrowded, underfunded shelters, rescues, and dog pounds all over middle and western Tennessee and bring them to their site for vaccines and health certificates to prepare them for travel. Then the dogs are moved to out-of-state rescues via plane and/or vans. CASA saves 250 animals a month and does not charge receiving rescues for their services. They are dependent on donations. Read about our CASA (and their remarkable founder Laura Prechel) here.



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Cheatham County Animal Control


Cheatham County Animal Control is an open intake, public shelter doing impossible things with an impossibly small budget in a rural county in Tennessee. They have excellent leadership, innovative programs, and a volunteer program that is a model for other shelters. A remarkable independent 501c3 group, SCAMP (Saving Cheatham Animals Mission Pawsable) started by Cheatham volunteers directly helps the shelter, and is a model for how private citizens can raise funds to help a public shelter.
Read about our 2019 visit to Cheatham here, and our most recent visit to Cheatham to learn about SCAMP here.



Amazon wishlist


Franklin County Animal Control


Franklin County Animal Control is a publicly funded, open intake shelter that is sometimes forced to ‘euthanize for space’. Thanks to the efforts of their dedicated Animal Control Officer, Heather, they save as many animals as they can through rescue connections. Read about our 2019 visit here, and our most recent visit in 2021 here.


Halfway Home Animal Rescue


Halfway Home Animal Rescue (featured in our short documentary, Amber’s Halfway Home) saved thousands of animals every year, pulling from the pounds in western Tennessee. In many cases, they are a dog’s only chance at making it out of a dog pound alive. Read about our visit here.




Amazon Wishlist


Maury County Animal Shelter


The shelter continues to improve as it works to be a no-kill shelter and a resource for its community. Read about our first visit to Maury here and our second to the shelter nine months later here.


Paws2Care-Dyersburg-31Paws to Care


Paws to Care works to save dogs from the Dyersburg-Dyer County Animal Shelter helping to take them from at 90% kill rate in 2017 to no-kill status this year. They focus on moving dogs out via rescues, local spay/neuter, and a new TNR cat program. Read about our visit here.



Amazon Wishlist


Rural Animal Rescue Effort (RARE)


RARE was founded and is currently run by a remarkable woman who not only handles the adoptions and houses many of the animals at her home, but travels all over western Tennessee saving animals who are weeks, if not days, away from dying from neglect in dog pounds. She truly is a life-saving hero for many, many dogs.  Read about my heartbreaking visit with Trisha to the Huntingdon Dog Pound here.




Amazon wishlist


Red Fern Animal Shelter


Red Fern is a private non-profit animal shelter started by two sisters to do the work their county wasn’t doing — saving animals abandoned, neglected, and/or unwanted in Weakley County, TN. Now, in their sixties, Anne and Kim care for as many as 70 dogs and over 140 cats.

You can read about our visit to Red Fern (and Huntingdon Dog pound) here.

They can use ‘pretty much anything’ and I’ve been bugging them to create an Amazon wishlist, but you can send donations to:
Red Fern Animal Shelter, 1487 Miles Rd.,Dresden, TN. 38225



Scamp (Saving Cheatham Animals Mission Pawsible)

Cheatham County

SCAMP is a 501c3 organization that raises money to directly help the animals at Cheatham County Animal Shelter. SCAMP provides immediate help by purchasing needed supplies, veterinary services, and pretty much anything outside the budget that a shelter would have to requisition the county government to obtain. Read about our visit with SCAMP here.




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Margaret’s Saving Grace Bully Rescue

Front Royal

MSGBR saves the hardest to save dogs — pit bulls. They often choose to rescue dogs with medical issues and in desperate circumstances. You can read about our visit with them here.



You can donate directly via the website or mail donations to:

Margaret’s Saving Grace Bully Rescue
115 Chester St
Front Royal, Virginia 22630

Page County Animal Shelter


This small municipal shelter is doing great things and saving all the adoptable animals in their care on a tiny budget through great efforts. Read about my visit here (combined with visit to Warren County shelter).

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Paws of SWVA (South West Virginia)

Wise County

Paws of SWVA’s mission is to keep animals out of the Wise County Shelter through foster homes, adoptions, and spay/neuter transports. Read about our visit with Paws here.

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Scott County Animal Shelter/Scott County Humane Society

Gate City

Scott County Shelter budget only includes food, nothing else. Everything else, including medical treatment, dewormers, and flea/tick treatment must be purchased by volunteers or donated. The budget also does not pay for an employee to come in on the weekends, so once again, the remarkable volunteers of the Scott County Humane Society volunteer their time to clean kennels and care and feed the dogs.

Read about our visit to Scott County in this post.


Tappahannock/Essex County Animal Shelter


Tappahannock/Essex County Animal Shelter (TECAS) is a small, county-owned facility which opened in 2008. They are a ‘kill shelter’ but do their very best (which presently is best described as ‘no-kill’ thanks to the leadership of one remarkable woman) to minimize the need to euthanize animals unnecessarily.

​There are pictures and more information from my visit to TECAS in this post.

Donations to TECAS can be sent to: TECAS c/o Ellen Shifflett 202 South Church Lane Tappahannock, VA 22560

Humane Society of Warren County

Front Royal

A public animal shelter that is working to save all the animals in their county and offering low-cost spay/neuter services. Read about my visit here. (Note: Since that visit, the shelter has opened a spay/neuter clinic that is offering spay/neuter and basic vaccine services at a reasonable rate.)


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Saving Webster Dogs


Saving Webster Dogs is a nonprofit rescue that is effectively the county shelter. They save hundreds of dogs, mostly discarded failed hunting dogs. Read about our visit here.

You can donate via paypal ( or by mail:
Saving Webster Dogs, c/o Rose Cochran, 168 foxfire Lane, Cowen WV 26206.