12 Best Dog Rescues in Texas

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Adopting a dog is a great way to have a pet and help one out. Whether you are searching for small dogs or large dogs for adoption, this post on the best dog rescues in Texas is sure to help you out.

Quick note here: Rescues can run shelters too, and the key thing here is that they all rely on private funding and donations only, so it is even more critical that we help them out!

Dog rescues are not listed in any particular order. Check out other excellent dog rescues in other states here.

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Dear Dog Owner

1. PAWS Shelter of Central Texas


  • Kyle Campus – 500 FM 150 East, Kyle, TX 78640
  • Dripping Springs Campus – 2965 FM 165, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

PAWS Shelter of Central Texas (PAWS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Kyle, Texas that provides care and affection to homeless, abandoned, and abused animals in Central Texas.

They are a no-kill shelter dedicated to giving animals a second chance!

Companion animals at PAWS receive medical care, care, and love for as long as it takes them to find a loving home.

While the challenges are numerous, they are able to make a difference in the way our four-legged friends are treated and, as a result, make the world a more compassionate place for all with the aid of your donations and grants.

Their efforts include providing owner surrender services as well as rescuing animals from municipal shelters, providing all required veterinary treatment to each animal in their care, tackle the pet overpopulation dilemma by performing spay and neuter surgeries on our adoptable animals, among several other initiatives.

2. Operation Kindness

Location: 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrollton, Texas 75006

In 1976, a group of volunteers devised a strategy to see their dream come true: to build a life-saving sanctuary for abandoned animals with nowhere else to go.

Their concept was simple: homeless pets should be treated with kindness.

The purpose of this dedicated organization of animal lovers was to offer homeless animals with shelter, medical care, and food while also working hard to find them loving, responsible homes.

Operation Kindness began by operating out of the homes of volunteers.

Operation Kindness took over a veterinarian clinic at 117 North Garland Avenue in Garland in the summer of 1976.

They then moved the shelter to a retail facility at 1029 Trend in Carrollton in November 1988.

Later on, they relocated the shelter to 3201 Earhart Drive in Carrollton in 1999, where it is still located today.

In April 2018, the shelter began renovations and expansions to their adoption facility and animal hospital in order to save more animals. The Rees-Jones Foundation Medical Wing was dedicated to Operation Kindness in March 2020, and the rest of the building was completed in July 2021.

3. Humane Society Central Texas

Location: 2032 Circle Road, Waco, Texas 76706

The non-profit rescue partners are vital to their attempts to save lives!

They rescue animals from shelters and place them in loving homes, allowing them to dedicate more attention to the animals who remain.

Some of their rescue partners accept animals that are heartworm positive or have serious medical or behavioral challenges that make placement difficult.

As you may expect, this is a huge benefit!

Some animals in this shelter require a little additional care and attention, especially if they have medical or behavioral difficulties, or if they have just been forgotten and have spent a long time at the shelter.

Foster families take in these animals and work with them to help them become more adoptable.

Every week, foster families meet with the HSCTX Foster Family Liaison and share their foster animals on social media and at events to assist them to find them a home as soon as possible.

A foster animal can stay in their foster home for anywhere from three days to three months.

You can contact them if you wish to take part!

4. Houston Pets Alive

Location: 2800 Antoine Drive, Suite 2854, Houston, TX 77092 (mailing address)

In Houston, there are two open-intake shelters and 1.2 million stray animals.

To improve life outcomes, HPA collaborates with local municipal shelters and pounds as well as BARC and Harris County Animal Shelters.

By collaborating with animal welfare partners, they lessen euthanasia, pet homelessness, and animal suffering in the Houston region while serving as a safety net for local government shelters and impound facilities and animals in need.

Through outreach, education, and accessible care, they enable the community to share in their vision of a future where every cat and dog has a loving home.

5. Heart of Texas SPCA

Location: 28730 IH 10 West, Exit 546, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX 78015

The facility’s capacity is restricted as a developing no-kill shelter in a congested metropolis.

They are not funded by the city, but they try their best to serve the community and assist the animals in any way they can.

They also have a small team, so it may take a few days for them to respond if you call, so emailing is preferable.

When phoning, leave a message, but if the problem is urgent, dial 311.

They are after all a small organization, so be patient with them!

As a no-kill organization:

  • Pets are not euthanized at a no-kill shelter due to space constraints or their appearance.
  • Giving unloved pets a second shot at happiness and protecting the lives of those who would otherwise be discarded
  • All pets available for adoption are microchipped to guarantee that they can be found if they go missing.
  • All shelter pets are surgically spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted animals and help them live long, healthy lives.
  • All of the animals available for adoption have been completely immunized.
  • Assist in educating the public about proper pet care and providing information for individuals who have questions.
  • Rehabilitate and treat dogs who have been harmed by abuse, neglect, or injury.

6. Central Texas SPCA

Location: 909 S. Bagdad Road, Leander, TX 78641

The Central Texas SPCA is a tiny non-profit animal rescue organization.

They do not accept stray animals or owner surrenders because they are not a public drop-off location.

They pull dogs and cats from high-kill shelters into its shelter to save them from euthanasia.

CTSPCA provides them with a one-of-a-kind home-like refuge that includes roomy indoor condominiums for the cats, size-appropriate crates for the dogs, outdoor kennels, and off-leash play areas for the dogs.

They have been committed to providing customized, force-free, 1:1 care and attention to each and every one of their rescued animals for over 30 years to guarantee they’re healthy and well-adjusted before being adopted.

The adoption procedure is instructive and enjoyable, and their staff is friendly.

7. Texas Humane Heroes

Location: 10930 E Crystal Falls Pkwy, Leander, TX 78641

Texas Humane Heroes is a no-kill, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with adoption centers in Leander and Killeen, Texas, that was founded in 1979.

They rescue dogs and cats from overcrowded shelters where they are frequently euthanized due to a lack of room or serious medical issues.

In 2019, the organization found loving homes for 3,113 dogs and cats, rescued animals from more than 57 shelters across the state, and spayed and neutered over 5,000 animals.

Texas Humane Heroes provides low-cost spay/neuter clinics and low-cost immunization clinics to the community in Leander and Killeen, advancing their aim to promote equal access to important medical care. To learn more, please visit their page on low-cost clinics!

8. Animal Defense League of Texas

Location: 210 Tuleta Dr, San Antonio, TX 78212

The Animal Defense League of Texas accepts rescued cats and dogs and provides them with medical care, feeding, and shelter in a secure, live-release facility until they are adopted by their permanent families.

They promote truly responsible pet ownership via community education and empowerment.

The League, which is funded by donations and guided by a volunteer board, offers programs and services that promote the link between people and animals.

The group is the foremost voice for dogs and cats in need through grassroots activism, education, and rescue.

Here are their key services:

  • Animals are sheltered regardless of their condition when they arrive.
  • The sanctuary provides complete medical care to the animals in its care.
  • All resident animals are treated by a full-time veterinarian and his crew.
  • Low-income families’ pets are eligible for a spay/neuter program.
  • Humane education programs in schools and the community as a whole.
  • The Animal Defense League uses active adoption services to locate homes for all of the animals it takes in.

9. God’s Dogs Rescue

Location: Von Ormy, TX 78073

Their physical address is in Von Ormy, Texas, where they have 5 fenced acres for the dogs to run and play in, as well as large exercise and rehabilitation enclosures.

Their rescue dogs are socialized with other animals and people, coming and going in a healthy country atmosphere, as their own pets include horses and cats.

The dogs are only available for viewing by appointment.

The team makes every effort to return a dog if it does not work out in your house, but due to the large number of animals looking for homes, they may be unable to do so.

They will, however, make every effort to find another suitable adopter for any of their rescues if they are unable to rehome the dog or cat.

10. Charming Pet Rescue

Location: 8430 Flint Rock Dr, Boerne, TX 78006

Charming Pet Rescue is located in Fair Oaks Ranch, just outside of San Antonio, and houses its rescue canines.

The organization is dedicated to rescuing homeless, abandoned, and high-kill shelter dogs.

The group rehabilitates the animals and places them in new homes once they have been rescued.

Charming Pet Rescue has the vision to save as many pets as possible and place over 1,000 canines in loving homes each year.

You can donate to the group here if you want to help.

If you’re looking for a dog to adopt, you may visit their website or arrange to visit the facility.

11. SARA Sanctuary

Location: 1050 Rawhide Rd, Seguin, TX 78155

(text provided by Tracy from SARA)

SARA stands for Society For Animal Rescue & Adoption.

Founded in 1996, SARA has grown into one of the largest sanctuaries in the world, with no fewer than 650 animals in our care at any given time.​

When outside adoption is not possible, our animals live at the sanctuary for the duration of their natural lives.

Euthanasia is only employed in the true sense of the word: when an animal is suffering with no chance for recovery.

No animal is ever killed for convenience.​

Our slogan has always been “Unconditional Life” and by that we mean that SARA seeks to save as many animals as possible regardless of species, special health needs, or temperament.

12. Texas Scottie Rescue Fund

Texas Scottie Rescue Fund, Inc. was established in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

North Texas Scottie Rescue (NTSR), San Antonio Area Scottie Westie Rescue (SAASWR), West Texas Scottie Rescue (WTSR), and Westie & Scottie Rescue Houston’s primary goal is to provide veterinary care for Special Needs Rescue Scotties in the care of their Texas Rescue affiliates: North Texas Scottie Rescue (NTSR), San Antonio Area Scottie Westie Rescue (SAASWR), West Texas Scottie Rescue (WTSR), and Westi (WSRH).

TSRF gives these four organizations additional money, promotes their Rescue dogs and activities, and gathers adoption applications for them.

The promotion of Scottish Terrier Rescue in Texas and nationwide, as well as education about the Scottish Terrier and proper ownership, are vital goals.

The Texas Scottie Rescue Foundation does not handle Scottie rescues, but it does raise cash for Scottie rescue initiatives in Texas. You can help many Scottish Terrier Rescues find their permanent homes with your generous donations!


Other Dog Rescues in Texas Worth Mentioning

There are several other dog rescues in Texas that are in need of your help, but unfortunately, we are unable to cover every single one of them.

Through online reviews and friends’ recommendations, here are a few more you can visit and support:

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

no more bad dog breaths banner