Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat or Pet in Boston, MA

Are you thinking about adding a new furbaby to your family? We can help with that! Check out the best places to adopt a pet in Boston.

According to the ASPCA, there are about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats who enter animal shelters and pet rescues every year. And although pet adoption is becoming more and more popular, only about half of these animals actually get adopted.

If you're not sure about pet adoption because the idea of a purebred cat or dog sounds nicer or more prestigious, give mixed breed pets another thought. Mixed breeds are actually less likely to have the same hereditary issues that purebreds deal with. This is because crossing different breeds helps "breed out" those hereditary issues.

Ok, are you convinced now? At least convinced enough to give pet adoption a try? Because there are tons of wonderful, sweet pets looking for a caring, loving home—just like yours! But where do you start?

A great place to look is PetFinder.com. It is a search engine for animals at pet shelters and rescues. You can actually search for the age, gender, and breed mix you're looking for. And it will show you all of the animals near you that fit within your desired requirements. And based on the information that each shelter and rescue gives, you will see pictures of the cat or dog, plus a description of their personality and any special needs they might have.

If you're ready to check out some of the pet shelters, animal rescues, and adoption centers near you, look through the list below. We've found the top shelters, rescues, and pet adoption centers in Boston.

Once you have a new pet in the family, you'll want to have a reliable;e pet care provider you can count on to care for your new family member. Need to find great local pet care professionals? Click here for the best cat sitters, dog walkers, and pet sitters in Boston, MA. And if you're looking for other pet care advice or fun dog-friendly activities to do in Boston, check out the other articles on the blog at LocalPetCare.com.

Where to adopt a pet in Boston

Boston Humane Societies, Animal Rescues, and Animal Shelters:

  1. Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts
  2. Animal Rescue League of Boston
  3. Boston Animal Care and Control Shelter
  4. Broken Tail Rescue Cat Adoption Center
  5. Ellen Gifford Shelter
  6. Forever Home Rescue New England
  7. Medfield Animal Shelter
  8. MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center
  9. Pet Haven Animal Hospital
  10. PetSmart
  11. Quincy Animal Shelter

Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts

The Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts aims to find forever homes for all of their rescued homeless animals. They offer dog training and have fundraisers to help pay for the care of all their current animals. Their goal is to not only find new, loving homes for their dogs and cats, but also to help educate pet parents on healthy pet care. They have placed over 7,000 animals into new "fur-ever" homes since 2009.

Animal Rescue League of Boston

The Animal Rescue League of Boston has animals of all kinds. And they strive to keep all of their animals safe and healthy. Their mission is to be "an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes." They provide adoption services, dog training, medical care, and community programs.

Boston Animal Care and Control Shelter

The Boston Animal Care and Control Shelter has officers who "inspect licensed animal kennels, veterinarian hospitals, pet groomers, and special animal exhibitions. They also investigate cases of animal abuse." In addition to enforcing animal safety laws, the city of Boston has its own animal shelter that is staffed by full-time veterinarians. This shelter is located in Roslindale.

Happy dog in Boston Shelter

Broken Tail Rescue Cat Adoption Center

Broken Tail Rescue Cat Adoption Center says, "We work closely with local animal controls, animal shelters, and other rescue groups to help find dogs, cats, and other small animals loving, happy homes." Their animals are all examined by vets, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered before they become someone's new furbaby. And if you're willing to donate or volunteer, they are always looking for more help to care for these animals.

Ellen Gifford Shelter

The Ellen Gifford Shelter is said to be America's first free-roam, no-kill shelter. Their motto is that this is "their home until they're home." They let cats roam free to play, nap in the sunshine, and they make sure each kitten gets plenty of love and attention. The Ellen Gifford Shelter makes sure that until these cats find their new forever homes, they will be happy and healthy feeling right at home here.

Forever Home Rescue New England

At Forever Home Rescue New England, you can either adopt a pet, or you can choose to temporarily foster one until they find their new home. All of their dogs get spayed or neutered, as well as vaccinated. Their mission statement is: "We rescue dogs from bad situations and place them in loving homes!" And they are always looking for good volunteers and helpful donations to keep their rescue going.

Adopting a dog outside in Boston

Medfield Animal Shelter

This shelter is currently accepting new pets, including owner surrenders. "The Medfield Animal Shelter's mission is to rescue lost or abandoned animals and provide for their comfort and safety until they are reunited with their owners or placed in new homes." Medfield is a no-kill shelter that is committed to ending overpopulation by spaying and neutering all of the animals that come into their care. And they sponsor a low-cost spay and neuter clinic specifically for cats once a month at their shelter, plus two other feral cat clinics. Medfield takes care of dogs, cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, gerbils, birds, hamsters, and more! You can help them take care of these animals with donations, or by volunteering.

MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center

The MSPCA has a community outreach program that "provides affordable and accessible animal care resources to families in underserved communities." They also offer things like a virtual summer camp, a fitness challenge, and programs for kids. And in addition to pet adoption, you can foster a pet, volunteer at the shelter, or you can even "sponsor a cage" to help pay for the expenses of taking care of these animals.

Pet Haven Animal Hospital

The Pet Haven Animal Hospital offers complete veterinary services to pets in Watertown and the surrounding areas. They are "committed to providing quality care at every stage of your pet's life." From routine care to surgeries, dental, and diagnostics—they can care for your pet's every need. They work with multiple local animal shelters and rescues to help provide medical care for homeless animals and to help them find their new forever home.

Couple adopting a puppy in Boston

Quincy Animal Shelter

Quincy Animal Shelter's mission is "to advocate for animals by providing safety until home placement of those in our care" is found. They also offer and promote spay and neuter programs to help control pet overpopulation. This will help with one of the main problems that cause pets to end up in shelters. They also pride themselves in being an educational resource for pet parents in learning the best practices for healthy pet care.

Adopt a Pet in Boston

This list of animal shelters and rescues is just some of the places in Boston trying to help homeless animals find their new forever home. These pets didn't ask to be in this situation, but they desperately need loving families to take them in and care for them. And it's exciting to see all of the extra steps the Boston animal shelters and rescues are taking to help control pet overpopulation and to help educate pet parents, so they can successfully take care of their little furbabies.


Adopt a pet in Boston today!

Now that you've got all the info, it's time to find your new best friend!

At Local Pet Care, we're here to help you find not only the best places to adopt in Boston, but also the best dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and pet care pros! With all of these resources, you will be set up for pet-parenting success!

Find a pet sitter in Boston

For more great articles about dog-friendly activities and pet-parenting advice, check out the Blog at LocalPetCare.com.

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