Shelter Inspiration

8 Mission Based Animal Shelters Doing Amazing Work

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Michelle Fournier

There are more than fourteen thousand (14k) animal rescues and shelters in the US dedicated to saving the lives of precious animals, working tirelessly every day to save, rehabilitate and re-home as many pets as humanly possible. Every. Single. Day.

Though all share the common desire to “save them all”, many are rooted in a core principle or specific dedicated mission which has helped them define their “Why” and it determines the way in which they operate on a day-to-day basis. Be it saving senior pets, breed based advocacy, species based or simply an ethos that binds a specific shelter community together, there are a number of incredible mission based shelters who are doing incredible work. These organizations have dug deep, committed to laser like focus on a specific mission and used that mission as inspiration to the commitment of the overall animal welfare. 

Some amazing animal shelters who have found their “Why” :

Dallas Animal Services ~ The third largest dog and cat intake shelter in the country, Dallas Animal Services is rooted in their mission of being the largest shelter in the nation with a sustainable live release rate above 90%. Their newly rolled out Dallas 90 community outreach campaign is designed to engage the community in this lifesaving vision and supports this goal by providing potential adopters the ability to complete the entire adoption through intuitive, approachable technology. (

Cat Adoption Team ~ CAT, as it is widely known, is the largest cat shelter in the PNW, adopting out more than 3500 cats annually. Committed to their belief in the humane and loving treatment of all felines, CAT participates in a Fear Free curriculum which provides an educational program to both pet professionals and pet lovers, highlighting the tools needed in order to best care for both the physical and emotional well-being of that pet. (

Pet Network Humane Society ~ Pet Network Humane Society was founded out of love and necessity, a true community led, grassroots movement designed to “foster compassion and respect for all living things and to perpetuate the human | animal bond.” The Pet Network Humane Society Shelter opened in 2000, and from the physical structure now carries on their work of saving as many pets as possible from euthanasia, and connecting those abandoned animals with loving families. There is a widely held community ethos that the more love we provide animals, the more love we get back. (

SPCA of Northern Nevada ~ The mission of the SPCA of Northern Nevada is simple and powerful, “We truly believe there is a person for every animal.” The non-profit believes in creating families and had rounded out more than 20,000 since 1998 with successful pet placements. (

Palm Valley Animal Society ~ Firmly planted on the path of becoming a no-kill shelter, as defined by having a 90%+ live release rate, Palm Valley Animal Society proudly accepts all stray and surrendered pets, without exception. Once under the care of PVAS, which happens to be one of the largest intake facilities in the country, every animal enjoys compassionate lifesaving care, and a comfortable space until they are connected with their families. (

Heaven on Earth Society for Animals ~ Rescue Never Stops. Dedicated to saving the lives of stray cats and kittens in the greater Los Angeles area and primarily receiving cats and kittens from overcrowded municipal shelters, Heaven on Earth Society for Animals has a diligent process to match the cat or kitten with just the right family which has proudly resulted in return rates far lower than the national average. For those who don’t get connected to families, Heaven on Earth becomes their permanent home. (

Maryland SPCA ~ One of the longest running animal shelters in the US, Maryland SPCA was founded in 1869 on the mission that every animal deserves to be treated with compassion and care. The shelter makes good on that mission every day with a 95% live release rate, as they allow pets to stay as long as they need in order to find the right loving home to move on to.  (

Nuzzles & Co Adoption Center ~ Founded in 1990 in Summit County Utah, this no kill organization has homed over 20,000 pets. Dedicated to the mission to protect animals and provide a loving nurturing welcoming place to get healthy. Nuzzles doesn’t simply focus on the nurturing of the pets but also in providing humans the wisdom to support the connection of the fact that better treatment of animals leads to human benefit. “As our animals get a second chance at life and finding loving homes, they give back 100-fold when we put love first we come together as a community and grow stronger as a society.”

It's important to note that though we have highlighted some, the incredible work of ALL shelter leadership, volunteers, supporters and community is critical to successfully delivering on the collective greater mission of "Saving Them All". 

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