Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat, or Pet in Portland, OR

Ready for a new furry best friend? Trying to figure out where to adopt a pet in Portland? Check out the list below for the most popular Portland animal shelters, animal rescues, and humane societies.


Hey Portlanders… Do you love animals? Are you ready to get one of your very own? Or maybe you want to add another furball to your current furbaby pack. But where do you go to purchase a new pet? You can adopt a pet from any of the animal shelters, animal rescues, and humane societies near you.

Now before you start thinking about buying a purebred animal from a breeder, consider this: The ASPCA says there are about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats who enter animal shelters, humane societies, and pet rescues every year. And the sad part is that only half of these animals will actually be adopted into a new home. These animals are already alive and waiting for good, loving homes to take them in.

Another reason to consider adopting a pet rather than purchasing from a breeder is for their health. Mixed breeds are actually much less likely to have many of the hereditary health issues that purebreds deal with. This is because crossing different breeds helps “breed out” those hereditary issues. So if you get some random “mutt,” they might end up being the healthiest dog you’ll find.

Adopt a pet Portland

Now that you’ve decided on adopting, where do you start? A good place to check out online is PetFinder.com. They will show you the current pets available in all of the shelters and rescues in your area. And you can filter the list by gender, age, and even breed mix. Then you can see which pets fall into that category, a picture of them, and a description of their personality, plus any special needs they may have.

If you’re ready to go straight to the source, we’ve got a list below of the top places to adopt a pet in Portland. For all your local pet care needs, click here to find the best cat sitters, dog walkers, and pet sitters in Portland. And for tips on other pet parenting advice or ideas about dog-friendly activities to do in Portland, check out our other blogs on LocalPetCare.com. Now onto the list…

Portland Humane Societies, Animal Rescues, and Animal Shelters:


  1. Cat Adoption Team
  2. Clackamas Dogs Foundation
  3. Core Paws
  4. Lancaster Four Dog Rescue
  5. Northwest Parrot Rescue
  6. Oregon Humane Society
  7. Portland Animal Welfare Team
  8. Project POOCH, Inc.
  9. Wildhearts Rescue
  10. Von Dubinhaus Shepherds Rescue

Cat Adoption Team

The Cat Adoption Team in Portland, OR, is the biggest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. Their website says, “love, laughter, and companionship await you.” So if you’re a cat person, check this place out! You can adopt from there or foster a pet until they find their forever home. The Cat Adoption Team also offers veterinary services to its homeless cats. They even have their own clothing thrift store to help raise funds for the pets.

Clackamas Dogs Foundation

The Clackamas Dogs Foundation offers a spay and neuter financial assistance program to help control pet overpopulation. This significantly helps anyone in Clackamas County that is on government assistance to have their dog spayed or neutered when they wouldn’t otherwise have the financial ability to do so. Located in Clackamas County, this shelter is always ready and willing to help pet parents with pet food, shelter, finding lost dogs, or finding dogs a new home.

Core Paws

“We believe that every dog and cat – no matter their age, special need, or behavioral challenge – deserves a loving forever home.” Core Paws focuses on helping the hard-to-place animals find a new, loving home. They have helped over 600 homeless animals from 28 different states and 116 different animal shelters and rescues to find their new adoptive homes. And you can see all of their pets available for adoption on their website.

Adopt a Cat in Portland

Lancaster Four Dog Rescue

Lancaster Four Dog Rescue is a non-profit rescue organization that serves the Greater Portland/Vancouver area. They are a no-kill shelter that rescues animals from high-kill shelters. And they try to help educate their community about overpopulation and disease through spay and neuter practices and through vaccinations. You can adopt or foster animals from Lancaster Four Dog Rescue. And they are currently taking owner-surrendered pets as well.

Northwest Parrot Rescue

Are they looking for a parrot as a pet? Birds and other small animals can end up in tragic situations, just like many of the cats and dogs who wind up in rescues. So Northwest Parrot Rescue decided to save the birds! Not only do they need help from donations and volunteers, but they give back to their customers and their community as well. This rescue has a Parrots for Patriots program that pairs up veterans with companion parrots. And they’ve even created a helpful cookbook of healthy recipes for parrot parents to use.

Oregon Humane Society

The Oregon Humane Society “rescues, heals and adopts more than 11,000 pets each year.” They never put a limit on how long a cat, dog, or any other animal can stay at their shelter. They also provide education to their customers and community about healthy pet care. And they need the help of donations and volunteers to continue the good work they are doing.

Adopt a happy dog in Portland

Portland Animal Welfare Team

The P.A.W. Team provides essential veterinary care for more than 1,000 families in need every year in the Greater Portland area. This includes people living on the streets, in transitional shelters and government housing, and even for those who have temporary financial hardships and cannot afford appropriate veterinary care for their pets. “The Portland Animal Welfare Team saves lives, alleviates suffering, and keeps pets and people together by providing veterinary care to the pets of people experiencing houselessness or extreme poverty.” You can see their stats on their website about how much they have donated and helped others over the last few years. And they are only able to do this with the help of volunteers and donations coming in. They continuously work with other local pet hospitals and humane societies in their community.

Project POOCH, Inc.

“Project POOCH, Inc.® has successfully paired youths incarcerated at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon, with homeless shelter dogs since 1993.” With the help of professional trainers, this organization teaches the youths to groom dogs, train them, and eventually, help these dogs get adopted. The dogs are then trained and fully ready to be adopted by a new home. And the incarcerated youths now have new skills and a new job with which they can re-enter society and their communities. They learn self-confidence as well as compassion and respect for animals and all living beings. “Both youth and dogs experience unconditional love, often for the first time.”

Wildhearts Rescue

“We rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for animal companions with a focus on raising awareness about animal cruelty alongside the dog meat industry in Asia.” Not only does this organization care about finding new forever homes for homeless animals, but they care about standing up against the cruelty and use of dog meat in other countries. And they support other local farm animal rescues as well.

Adopt dogs in Portland

Von Dubinhaus Shepherds Rescue

Von Dubinhaus is a rescue shelter for German Shepherds. Paul, the owner and trainer, “specializes in aggression rehabilitation, for which he has a great passion. No dog is too much of a challenge for Paul, and he relishes the challenge of helping struggling dogs reach their potential and lead happy, well-balanced lives with their families.” This rescue dedicates itself to rehabilitating these pups to find their new forever homes and be safe, well-trained pets for their new owners.

Adopt a Pet in Portland

It’s incredible to see the extraordinary lengths some of these Portland animal shelters and rescues will go to ensure animals receive the best care possible and that pet parents are educated as thoroughly as possible. They have dedicated their lives to match you up with your future furbaby, so take some time to find out which pup will get to call your house and family their new forever home!

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