47 Shelter Dogs That Need Forever Homes in 2020
These adorable dogs are looking for their forever families. Welcome one of them into your home before the new year for lots of love—and licks.
The heartbreaking reasons these pups don’t have forever homes
Some of these sweet dogs ended up in a shelter after tragically suffering abuse at the hands of the humans who were supposed to protect them. Some were abandoned by their families when they moved to another home. And others have no history that we know of because they were strays. But what they all have in common is a desire for a fresh start in a loving and nurturing forever home…with you. Check out these adorable dogs who are all available to adopt right now—and welcome one into your family to reap these 15 surprising benefits of adopting a shelter dog.
My name is Ellie, and I would love to tell you a little bit about myself. I can be shy when I meet new people, but I warm up quickly to people who are gentle with me. I love to run and play, but I’d also enjoy chilling out on the couch and binge-watching your favorite shows with you. And here’s something a little extra special—I love toys (what dog doesn’t?), but I know the difference between my toys and human toys. Visit me at the SPCA of Texas! Warming up to new pet parents may take a little time, and it’s just one of many things shelters dog wish you knew.
Looking for a gentle and easygoing kind of pup who’s chill with kids and adults? That’s me! My name is Bexar, and right now, the good people at the SPCA of Texas are taking care of me. I love my humans, but I can get a little shy with new people. What I don’t love all that much is other cats and dogs, but that just means more one-on-one cuddle time with you! Oh, and I’ve nailed down a whole bunch of commands, including “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “down,” “heel,” and “fetch.” But wait—there’s more! I love car rides, and I have impeccable leash manners when we’re out on a walk. If things don’t work out with us, check out these other 18 dog breeds that are great with kids.
Aloha! I’m Kaori, a three-year-old gray and white hound mix. I prefer the company of humans over other dogs, and I swoon when you shower me with lots of love and snuggles. In return, you will have my heart forever. I’m into leisurely walks and some playtime outside. The Kauai Humane Society says that while I do prefer humans over furry friends, I would consider a furry roommate as long as it is mellow and respectful of my space—but I draw the line at cats. No cats, please! Just so you know, these are the pet combinations that are most likely to hate each other.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? I’d certainly be willing to give it a try. But wait—where are my manners? Let me introduce myself: I’m Isaac, a handsome and distinguished Labrador/Retriever mix who’s about to celebrate his 11th birthday. I could run with the best of ’em in my early years, but these days, I prefer leisurely walks, lounging on the couch with my favorite humans, and lots of cuddles. I’d love to spend the rest of my days with a caring family. If you fit the bill, come visit me at the Kauai Humane Society and let’s talk! And make sure to check out these 14 reasons you should consider adopting an older dog like me.
Check out these puppy-dog eyes. Are you in love yet? I know, I’m shameless, but I’m just looking for the right human and trying to put myself out there! My name is Cardi, and the kind people at the Kauai Humane Society say I’m as lovely as I look—sweet, social, fun, and curious. Oh, and did I mention that I love to run and play? I really, really do, so hopefully, we can get a lot of exercise together. By the way, here’s how much exercise your dog really needs.
My name is Margo, and I’m ready to be adored. That may sound kind of forward, but let’s put all our cards on the table, shall we? If you’re looking for a pup to love, I’m your gal! I love my humans, and I like other dogs, too—as long as they have good manners. As for me, I’m silly and playful, and I love running around the yard. Let’s meet at the Kauai Animal Shelter and see if we’re a perfect match.
I’m Marty, and I’m ready to settle down in the United States! Can you believe it? I used to be a street dog in Russia, but now I’m with the good people at the Scituate Animal Shelter in Massachusetts. I came to the States with my pet parent in search of a better life, but my owner was forced to move and couldn’t take me along. I’m still a pup with a bundle of energy and curiosity, and if I’m being honest, I could probably stand to learn a few puppy manners. I’ve heard that puppy classes are great for socialization. Here’s how you can find the best dog obedience training school.
Hello, I’m Katie. Even though I’m a hound dog, I’m really not into chasing down scents. I’m kind of a homebody. It would be ever so nice if I could live in a house with a pet parent who works from home. I mean, wouldn’t it be great to have a coworker like me keeping your feet warm at your desk all day? The good people at the Scituate Animal Shelter say I’m still pretty shy, and that may turn people off when they come to visit me. But honestly, once I get to know that special someone, I’m incredibly affectionate and sweet. Here are 8 signs your dog really does trust you.
Pardon my honesty, but I’m an adorable cupcake, don’t you think? I’m Luna, a Chihuahua and Yorkie mix, and the Scituate Animal Shelter wants you to know I was one of three dogs surrendered because my elderly owner couldn’t care for my furry pet siblings and me anymore. That was a shock for us, but you can’t keep a pup like me down! I might be a little nervous when we first meet, but I warm up quickly. I’d love to go for long walks with you and hop into your lap for snuggles when we get back home. Trust us: You need to see these 30 funny dog photos.
They call me Ray, and I would love for you to be my ray of sunshine. I’m looking for brighter days, that’s for sure. The Scituate Animal Shelter found me in an area where many people keep dogs for hunting and, unfortunately, frequently in situations of extreme neglect. I still remember my early days at the shelter. I was very frightened of people and would just lay down in terror when any of the volunteers approached me. I know I’m in a safe and nurturing place now, and I allow people to pet me and take me for walks. I’d love for my next walk to be to a forever home. By the way, did you hear about the man who adopts only “unadoptable” animals—and now has 21 pets?
Hey, I’m Steven, and I’m kind of a big deal around the Scituate Animal Shelter because I’m one of those “fancy” hybrid breeds that usually don’t wind up in a shelter. You see, I’m a Puggle, the delightful mix of a Pug and a Beagle! Talk about a fun-loving combo! Because I was found on the street as a stray, my history is a mystery. I’m probably around 2 years old, and I’m a wee-bit shy after what I’ve been through. Just give me a little time and a whole lot of love, and we’ll be the best of pals forever! When your pet goes missing, it is traumatic. Follow these steps to find your fur baby faster.
I’m Henry, and I know, my brindle coat is quite captivating. People tell me that all the time. But there’s more to me than my good looks. I’m a happy and playful guy, and I love other dogs, too! The workers at the Ohio SPCA and Humane Society say I’m a Mastiff mix, and as you might already know, Mastiffs are known for being mellow yet protective of their families. Check out these other big dog breeds with big hearts.
Longing to find an all-around great dog? Your search is over with me, Lucky. The Ohio SPCA and Humane Society say the only reason I ended up in the shelter is because my pet parents were moving and couldn’t take me along. Here’s what I have to give you—sweetness beyond measure (that includes kisses and nuzzles and bedtime cuddles), fun playtime (wait till you see my zoomies!), and an outgoing personality (we can make new friends together). I don’t get why pit bull mixes like myself often get a bad rap. All dogs, just like all people, are individuals. Don’t miss these pit bull “facts” that are totally wrong.
Hey, there. I’m Sampson, and just like my namesake, I’m a pillar of strength. I mean, just look at my muscular, athletic body! I love to get exercise every day—and love it even more when I have room to roam. That said, I’m totally down with walking on a leash, too. But hey, I’m more than a jock. Beneath all those muscles is a big heart that’s percolating with love and happiness. So, if you’d like some serious snuggle muzzles and warm cuddles, then you should hit me up at the Ohio SPCA and Humane Society. Do you know these 30 fun facts about dogs?
Happy New Year! My name is Apollo, and I would love to be part of your “new year, new you” resolutions. We could go for walks or play fetch in the snow! One of my favorite things to do is play with a rope tug, so I wouldn’t mind that for a gift (hint, hint). I even have some basic commands memorized and will show you when you visit the Ohio SPCA and Humane Society. Trust me—you’ll be amazed! Even though I’m not small, I do fancy myself as a lap dog. After all, it gets me closer to you for snuggle time! This is the real power of adoption.
I’m Goldie. Could you please adopt me? The Ohio SPCA and Humane Society rescued me from living conditions that weren’t ideal (and that’s putting it nicely). Despite those deplorable conditions, I’m still a very sweet girl. I love hanging out with other animals, walking on the leash, and playing with toys! I’ll totally do zoomies and hop in your lap if you get these really cool things on every dog’s Petco wish list.
Mister and Misses
I’m Mister, and this is Misses. Yep, you read that right. We’re newlyweds searching for a loving forever home together! I’m an active dude who enjoys going for a long walk or run in the park. Misses is my “Queen of Chonk.” And no, she isn’t offended by that—she is living her truth and loving it. Eating food and being a couch potato are her two favorite things in life! I love how she gets humans’ attention by rolling on her back and wagging her tail for belly rubs. Because we are so in love, we would want to be your only pets. Oops, I almost forgot to mention that we’re being presented by the Best Friends Adoption Center in Atlanta. Come by to see us!
I’m so pleased to meet you today. My name is Cherish, and I’m an absolute angel. I am not camera-shy, and I love being the center of attention during my photoshoots. Just look at how photogenic I am! Just so you know, though, I am blind and diabetic. The Best Friends Animal Society of Los Angeles is currently tending to my medical needs and showering me with love, but nothing beats the healing powers of a loving home and extra TLC! Whether or not you can adopt a dog right now, consider donating to a shelter. These are 18 things animal shelters desperately need right now.
Oh, I see what’s happening here. You got locked into my big, soulful eyes, didn’t you? It happens all the time. Let me introduce myself. I’m Nas, and if you can break away from my gaze, you’ll find I’m more than just a handsome face. I’m a happy and energetic guy looking for a loving forever home. While I wait for that new home, I’m hanging out at the Best Friends of New York boarding facility. A trainer has been working with me to teach me some new skills, and I must say, I’m kickin’ it and can’t wait to show you my tricks.
I may look serious in some of my pictures, but that’s just because I know how to mug for the camera. Do you see me smizing? Tyra would be proud. Anyway, I’m Keanu, and I’m a bit of a goofball. According to my human friends at Best Friends in New York, I’m super affectionate, playful, and eager to please—and they’re totally right! I’d love to share my toys with you! Also, in case you were wondering, here’s what your dog’s tail is trying to tell you.
Hi! I’m Breck. I know that I look like a big, brave guy…and I am. It’s just that I need to get to know you a little bit before getting fully comfortable and showing you my big heart. As the people at Best Friends in New York know, I’m a big mush once I love and trust you, and then, I can’t get enough snuggles. I’d like to meet you and your family a few times before we commit. That’s good advice, anyway, don’t you think?
The name on my dog tag is Chance. How ’bout giving me a second chance at a forever home? The Animal Rescue League of Iowa placed me in a foster home, and the transformation has surprised even me! I was nervous and shy before, but the comfort and security of a real home sure make a difference. I’m a fan of playing ball, getting belly rubs, and taking naps, especially if I can curl up next to my humans while doing so. I’m eager to continue my progress in a forever home with a pet parent who has the time, love, and patience for me. Animals can’t tell you exactly how they’re feeling, but these are the 10 silent signs a dog is depressed.
Shadow and Roxy
I’m Shadow, and I have a question for you: Do you know what true friendship looks like? I do, and that’s why I love hanging out with my buddy Roxy so much. We’re just two BFFs looking to be placed in a loving home together. And you’d be lucky to have us because we are a whole lot of fun! Sure, we’re a pair that loves to play with each other, but we’d totally love to expand our group to include you, too! Come meet us at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, and let’s talk over a walk! Check out these 17 adorable animal friendships that will fill your heart with happiness.
Cashew and Pecan
How cool is the Animal Rescue League of Iowa? The pups are so great here that a bunch of us have formed lasting bonds. That’s the case with me, Cashew, and my best friend, Pecan. We’re both American bulldogs, we’re both young (she’s 3, I’m 1), we’re both a little shy but super sweet, and we both absolutely love running and playing—especially with each other. We definitely have a lot in common, including one more thing: We’d love to snuggle up in a forever home with you! If you think this is adorable, you’ll also appreciate these other remarkable animal friendships.
Hiya, I’m Tez. I’ve been living the shelter life at the SPCA Florida for almost a year now. It’s not that it’s a bad place—after all, I get plenty of food there, and the staff dotes on me—but there’s no place like home, am I right? A real home would be so awesome! I often daydream about it. We could go for walks. I could show off my athletic prowess on agility courses. And at night, we could wind down on the sofa with a good book or movie. Will you make my dream come true?
Let’s play! I’m Bubba. Tug-of-war is the most pawsome game ever—don’t you agree? I know how to sit, and I’m ready to learn more. I’m working on my leash-walking skills and getting better with them every day. Hey, I can’t help that I’m curious and want to explore everything I see and smell. I’m just a young pup, after all, full of potential! How about this? I promise to give you lots of hugs and kisses and be your forever companion if you take me home with you. Let’s make this happen. Call my people at the SPCA Florida today! Then, check out these 15 dog training secrets you need to know.
Don’t you just love my ears? I realize they’re just ears, but people seem to go gaga over them. As for me—the name’s Milton, by the way—I’m just trying to tell you that I’m alert and wondering if you want to play. I love to play. In fact, it’s totally my favorite thing in the whole, wide world! I’m also kind of excited a lot of the time, but that’s just because I really like making new human and canine friends and can’t wait to see what adventures we can go on together. I’m at the SPCA Florida right now, and I’d love to meet you! Before we take our first road trip, make sure you have these 15 items every dog owner needs in their car.
Yep, my name’s Superman, and I realize that’s a lot to live up to, but let’s just say that my former owners got that right. I’m faster than a speeding bullet, and I can leap tall buildings in a single bound! OK, maybe that’s a tiny bit of an exaggeration, but the workers at SPCA Florida will attest to the fact that I sure do love bouncing around the yard. I’ve got the energy to spare, and I never say no to a human who wants to play. I’m also super social, so you’ll always have a great companion and conversation starter when I’m around.
I’m Koko, and I’m a meatball enthusiast. There, I got that out of the way. We all have our guilty pleasures, right? I’m currently living with a foster family via the Maryland SPCA. My foster parents have a lot of good things to say about me—it makes me blush! They say I’m a calm dude indoors and that I’ve aced a lot of the “good boy” manners like “sit,” “stay,” and “wait.” As far as social skills, I got high marks there, too! I love people and other dogs, and I’m an enthusiastic snuggler. Find out about the 11 dog superpowers humans wish they had.
Hi! I’m Sailor, a pretty pup with a big heart. I’ve lived with older kids, and I love ’em. I also like other dogs, but they sometimes get a little intimidated by my roughhousing and high energy. I’d love a canine sibling—but one that would be super patient with me as I figure all this out! If you think you’d be the perfect pet parent to help me out with that, pop by the Maryland SPCA and let’s discuss!
I may be tiny, but I’ve got a big personality. I am a Chihuahua, after all. My name is Tirsa, and I’ve also got lots of love to give—to the right family. What would that look like to me? A single owner who’s hopelessly devoted to me or a couple without children. Dog siblings are cool, as long as they’re my size or smaller. I’m not a big fan of big dogs. (Sorry, just being honest!) I had some medical problems when I landed at the Maryland SPCA, but they’ve taken care of all that and even sent me to a nice foster home while I wait for my furever home. Might that furever home be with you? If your pet is prone to anxiety, here are some tips for calming an anxious dog without medication.
Oh, my gosh—I’m so darn cute! You’re looking at me, Ava! I am a Pointer/Labrador puppy with an energetic and curious outlook on life. I’m ready to explore the world with you, but we can get started in your neighborhood first. We could go for walks or explore the trails. Maybe you have a nice yard to play in—or even a backyard that has been transformed into a pet paradise. That would be so cool, but really, I’m up for anything. I don’t even mind sharing my love with furry siblings; plus, I could learn a lot from them, I’m sure. I have so much sweetness to unleash on you, so make sure to stop by the Tullahoma Animal Shelter in Tennessee to meet me!
Hiya! I’m Cheezit, and the good people at the Animal Farm Foundation say I’m nacho average girl. Ask them and they’ll also tell you that I’m quite fondue of playing with toys and cozying up in your lap. I’ll even chase out the munsters under your bed. No curds about it: I’m going to melt your heart with my fun-loving and easygoing nature. Forgive all the cheese puns, but I’m really trying to get your attention here. I just want a forever family to spend my days (and nights) with. Half the fun of getting a new puppy is coming up with a name. These are the best cute pet names for 2020.
Well, hello there. I’m David and pleased as punch to make your acquaintance. Why don’t you sit with me on the front porch and tell me about your day? We can watch the people and the cars go by, and I’ll roll over for a belly rub every now and then. My belly is as soft as my heart. I wouldn’t mind if you invited some friends and their dogs over, too. I love my doggy friends and humans at the Animal Farm Foundation, but I’d love to have a real home with an amazing family. No pet lover will want to miss these before-and-after dog-adoption photos that will melt your heart.
How ya doin’? I’m Walker, a two-year-old German Shepherd mix listed with Grateful Dogs Rescue in San Francisco. I’ve made a lot of progress in a short time. It’s probably because I’m a smart guy. You see, the trainers here discovered that I love exploring with my nose. I know what you’re thinking: Don’t all dogs like to sniff and explore? Well, sure, but my trainer thinks I have a special skill set for Nosework (a sport where dogs track a specific odor or odors and find the source). It would be so awesome to continue my sniff-sleuthing skills in a foster or forever home with a pet parent committed to continuing my training.
Please stop scrolling! You’re about to read more me, Feather, and I’m going to blow your mind! For starters, Grateful Dogs Rescue says I’m a bit of an overachiever when it comes to training and learning new things. I master things quickly, and I’m eager to learn more. You’ll be proud to hang out with me. I walk around the pet-food store calmly. Some dogs lose their minds in those stores, but not me. I’ve got first-class doggy manners. I love meeting people and have a lot of fun at my daily dog playgroup. But enough about me—let’s talk about becoming a family! By the way, this is the very best diet for dogs, according to vets.
Good day! My name is Sunny and wouldn’t you know it—I love the California sun! My sunny disposition was hard-fought. I was in pretty bad shape with some medical issues when I came first to the shelter. I was so depressed then, and I just laid on the floor in defeat. Thankfully, the folks at Grateful Dogs Rescue knew my dark days weren’t forever. They fixed me up, and I’m now living with a kind foster family who encourages me to open my heart in my own time. These days, I’m feeling optimistic about my future. I just need a forever home so I can embark on the rest of my journey.
Woof’s up? I’m the fantastic and adorable Wendy, and I’m being presented by Secondhand Hounds in Minnesota. I’m a fun girl who enjoys a playful frolic in the backyard. Sometimes, I even ring a bell to let you know that I want to go out and do my business. I’m smitten with cuddles and the cutesy kisses, and when it’s time to chill, I absolutely love to curl up into a cozy little ball on your lap or under a blanket with you. Here’s what your dog really wants from you.
Cuddles here! Secondhand Hounds thinks I should wear a badge that says, “I bounce and dance for people and food!” I love people so much! My foster mom thinks it’s so cute that I follow her around the house to get the scoop on what’s going on. I know there’s a pet parent out there who’s looking for her “shadow,” and hey, that could be me! I’ll be hopelessly devoted to you, and in all honesty, I’d rather not be away from you and home alone for too long. And a big FYI: Here’s how much time it’s OK to leave a dog home alone.
Hey, I’m Albie, and I have no awareness when it comes to personal space. Translation: Even at 48 pounds, I think I’m a lapdog. But that’s kind of great because you know lapdogs are super affectionate and lovey-dovey. Now that we have that out of the way, here are a few of my other finer qualities: I’m an alert watchdog, and I like to look out the window and see what’s happening in the neighborhood. You don’t have to pay for my services, but I do accept belly rubs. I’ve got no issues with my crate, and I sometimes nap in it. I’m rather bright and know a lot of basic cues, too. I’ll show you some when we meet at Secondhand Hounds!
Pleased to meet you! My name is Flower, and I’m blossoming with the help of Secondhand Hounds and my foster parents. My foster family is helping me hone my skills by teaching me new tricks. It’s not hard for me to master them because I have German Shepherd genes running through my blood. We’re known for being wicked smart and for being leaders. I’m also always up for a car ride or a walk, and lately, I’ve been learning to snuggle and flop on the floor for a good belly rub. Maybe we can pack up the car and visit one of these 12 pet-friendly national parks together.
Let me catch my breath, and I’ll tell you a little about myself. OK, whew. My name is Saucy, and I go crazy for Cocoa Puffs. Just kidding—I actually go crazy for stuffy toys! My foster mom says I’m a hoot to watch when I throw them to myself. I also love chasing tennis balls; that’s why I was out of breath earlier. I bet I’d also love these 14 puzzle toys for dogs so that I don’t ever get bored. In all seriousness, my life sure has changed. I came to Secondhand Hounds from Animal Control—pregnant, underweight, and scared. My foster family has given me hope for a brighter future. So, how ’bout it? Are you ready for a little “sauce” in your life?
I’m Cola, and I have a confession to make: I’m a little on the shy and reserved side. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be cuddly and affectionate with you and the rest of my new family. I’m currently living in a foster home via the Oregon Humane Society. It’s a great setup for me because the other dogs in my foster home are showing me the ropes, and I’m getting braver every day! A forever home with a dog sibling will help boost my confidence. For now, I like to call the shots when it comes to meeting new people. But there’s no doubt about it—I’ll reach my full potential with lots of love, patience, and time! Don’t miss these 13 reasons behind your dog’s weird behavior.
What’s shaking? I’m Jarvis, and I would love to meet you and my future dog sibling. That’s right—when you visit me at the shelter, you can bring your dog to meet me. You see, I’m the sweet and sensitive type. I’m aware that’s a good thing, but to reach my full potential, I need a dash of confidence; the Oregon Humane Society says that a dog sibling can mentor me. I walk nicely on a leash, so my new sibling and I can go on walks with you and have a group snuggle fest when we get back home! Before you take me or any of us home, make sure you know these 20 things you’re probably doing that veterinarians wouldn’t so that all is well with us from the start!