Summer Shelter Tour

July 18, 2023

We are headed out on a summer shelter tour in less than two weeks. This time we’re visiting shelters in West Virginia and Kentucky, and also visiting Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter to check out the progress of Operation Hot Dogs.

Visiting shelters is the basis of everything we do at Who Will Let the Dogs Out. We’ve been to well over 100 shelters and rescues in 12 states. We visit to meet the staff and the animals, learn their story and their specific challenges, and look for ways we (and YOU) can help.

During our visit, Nancy will take hundreds of pictures and I will take pages of notes. We want to tell their story well and shine a light on what they are doing.

We’ll often do a live video on Facebook and/or Instagram, meet/share the longest stay dog/s, and sometimes set them up with an enrichment tool like peanut butter boards.

Beyond that, we bring donations of items that too often fall outside the shelter budgets. Items like dewormers, flea/tick treatments, long-lasting chew bones, soft/high-value treats, tough-chewer toys, puppy food, kitten formula, pill pockets (and cheese whiz), martingale collars & high quality leashes (thanks Max & Neo!), plus items they ask for specifically before our visit.

The cost of those donations easily consumes a third of our budget each year. If you’d like to help us offset those costs, you can shop our Amazon Wishlist or make a donation to our shelter tour fund.

While at the shelters, we share ideas we’ve seen that worked at other shelters and write down new ideas we find at the shelter we’re visiting. All of those ideas can be found in our ever-evolving (thanks to rockstar volunteer Vera) Resource Guide on the website. The RG has ideas for fundraising, grants, enrichment activities, volunteer programs, community engagement, shelter practices, foster care, and more. One of our long-term goals is to publish the guide in print and pdf format to make it more easily accessible.

Following our visit, our grants advisor, Nicole (a professional grant writer who volunteers her time with us) will reach out to each shelter and offer her guidance and ideas for potential grants. We also assign one of our volunteer shelter liaisons to the shelter. The SL will monitor the shelter’s activities, normally via social media, and let us know how things are going, great ideas they come up with we can share, and when they need help.

You can see all of our shelter partners (or nearly all as a few are still being added to the new site) on our website here.

Here is our tour schedule that begins July 31:

Mon July 31 Lewis-Upshur Animal Control (Buckhannon, WV)

Tues Aug 1 Anderson County Animal Care & Control (Lawrenceburg, KY)

Wed Aug 2 Leitchfield Animal Shelter (Leitchfield, KY)

Thurs Aug 3 Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter (Corinth, MS)

Fri Aug 4 McCracken County Humane Society (Paducuh, KY)

Sat Aug 5 Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter (Huntington, WV)

[the tour sometimes grows as we get closer and even while on the road, but we’ll announce additional visits on our social media]

While we’re out on tour, we would love your support. Please follow/comment/share our social media posts (links below). We’ll be sharing pictures, stories, videos every day, taking you with us inside the shelters we visit.

Our mission is to raise awareness and resources for shelter dogs and the heroes who fight for them. We believe there are solutions that can enable us to let all the dogs out. One every tour we meet inspiriting people who are giving everything to help the animals in their care. I’m always humbled by the work they do- which goes mostly unnoticed by the majority of people in this country, and sometimes in their community. We travel to the shelters, so the heroes we meet there will know that people all over this country value their efforts and want to help them save lives.

Sometimes what we all need more than anything is to know we aren’t alone in our efforts. That what we are doing matters. Come along with us on this tour and help us let the dogs out.

Here’s how YOU can help:

Shop our Amazon wishlist.

Donate to the shelter tour fund.

Follow/comment/share on our Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok channels.

Share this blog post with others who care (and subscribe to it if you haven’t already).

Volunteering with us.

Suggest other shelters that could benefit from a visit from WWLDO (we are putting together a fall tour to AL, MS, and LA).

Together we CAN #letthedogsout.

Until each one has a home,


If you want to learn more, be sure to subscribe to this blog. And help us spread the word by sharing this post with others. Visit our website to learn more.

You can also help raise awareness by following/commenting/sharing us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, and the Who Will Let the Dogs Out podcast.

Learn more about what is happening in our southern shelters and rescues in the book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (Pegasus Books, 2020). It’s the story of a challenging foster dog who inspired me to travel south to find out where all the dogs were coming from. It tells the story of how Who Will Let the Dogs Out began. Find it anywhere books are sold. A portion of the proceeds of every book sold go to help unwanted animals in the south.

For more information on any of our projects, to talk about rescue in your neck of the woods, or become a WWLDO volunteer, please email or

And for links to everything WWLDO check out our Linktree.

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