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Great Shelters

There's nothing like a good example, a role model, when it comes to helping people realize we don't have to be forced to accept "business as usual."

If you know about a shelter where director and staff have a passion for saving lives, where daily operations reflect compassion at every step, please let us know:

We look forward to the day this page has become the biggest on our site!

Top Three Shelters in the United States

These three No Kill shelters have been regarded by many animal welfare activists as the best in the country according to their standards of evaluation. All three are open admission, meaning they don't close their doors when their cages are full.

The Nevada Humane Society.

The SPCA of Tompkins County in Ithaca, NY is dedicated to preserving life, preventing animal cruelty and overpopulation and promoting responsible pet guardianship.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA in Charlottesville, VA contracts for animal control and sheltering in Charlottesville, VA. Historically it was the subject of relentless criticism for poor customer service, inadequate animal care, and unnecessary killing; but, after hiring a new director who embraced the No Kill paradigm, in 2006 the shelter saved over 90 percent of all dogs and cats even though the new director had NO prior shelter experience! Today this shelter remains committed to providing a safe haven for lost, abandoned, and homeless animals and placing them in loving homes.

Model Programs for Saving Homeless Animals

Best Friends Animal Society lists the following model city-wide and state-wide programs.

Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

New Hampshire

Tompkins County SPCA (also listed above)

No More Homeless Pets in Utah

Richmond SPCA

No More Homeless Pets in the Triad

Join the Best Friends Network!

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What does it take for a shelter to be featured as great on Shelter Reform?

When Shelter Reform learns of animal shelters that go beyond the call of moral duty in caring for animals, we want to do everything we can to acknowledge them in their labors.


Share your experience at a great animal shelter, whether it’s run by a city or by a private* (non-taxpayer-funded) organization

Please write us to tell us about good shelters you've dealt with and why they should be listed here:

*"Private" shelters exist where a privately owned and operated organization (as opposed to tax-funded) has responsibility for handling animal control, sheltering and/or adoptions for one or more municipalities. In some cases, intake of animals is necessarily a function of government, but cooperative partnerships with private groups (whether for-profit or non-profit) often make the animal care and adoption process more successful.