Often when we talk about dog rescues, we focus only on domestic organizations here in the U.S. and generally neglect to consider the efforts of global animal rescues.
There are many non-profit organizations and animal shelters all around the world that do an outstanding job saving and caring for animals. They also encourage people to provide these pets with a forever home.
Dog rescues and animal shelters have a lot of responsibilities and tons of work to do: they provide accommodation, food and water, veterinary and sterilization care for homeless animals. They train, re-train and rehabilitate unwanted and problematic dogs and cats. They also organize visits from future pet-owners-to-be for the pets they keep in the shelter. With all of that, many of them do not get the recognition they deserve.
This year, our Top Dog Tips Awards Program editorial team spent many hours researching the scene of international organizations to pick out 45 best dog rescues in the world. We wanted to acknowledge them for their work, dedication, accomplishments and the difference that they make around the globe.
Top Dog Tips Awards Program
The 45 World’s Best Dog Rescues of 2019
1. Compassion Without Borders
Compassion Without Borders was founded after founder Christi Payne saw first-hand the devastating conditions that street dogs in Mexico were living in. The organization, run by animal advocates and veterinarians now has a range of programs in place to aid Mexico’s homeless dog population as well as the dogs in some impoverished areas in the United States. Their programs include rescues, veterinary training, free veterinary wellness clinics, and humane euthanasia.
2. Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
Dedicated to helping the street dogs of Bulgaria, Rudozem Street Dog Rescue is a small family run rescue organization that has been providing for local homeless dogs since 2007. Bulgaria’s homeless dog population is plentiful and they face many horrors including being beaten to death, freezing to death, or starving. Rudozem takes in these street dogs and does what they can to rehome them or else they allow them to live on the rescue property.
3. Soi Dog Foundation
Based in Thailand, Soi Dog Foundation provides services to the homeless, abused, and neglected dogs of Thailand. One of their main focuses is to spay and neuter the homeless dogs and cats of Thailand in order to reduce the number of homeless animals in the future. Soi Dog Foundation also plays a major role in rescuing dogs from the unfathomable meat trade and provides veterinary attention to animals in need.
4. North Shore Animal League America
Location: New York
The North Shore Animal League America is a domestic rescue located in New York and is the world’s “largest, most comprehensive no-kill rescue and adoption organization.” Their efforts in the no-kill movement have saved many lives of homeless pets in America through public education programs as well as their rescue and rehabilitation efforts. As of 2019, the North Shore Animal League America works with 2,000 shelters across the world to provide for and rescue homeless animals.
5. K-9 Angels
Location: Romania / United Kingdom
Based out of the U.K. K-9 Angels works to help dogs in various situations, but they are perhaps best known for their work to help the more than 5,000 street dogs of Romania. Not only do these street dogs struggle to survive in terrible conditions, but they are often subjected to torture by locals. K-9 Angels help to rehome some of the many dogs they help, and provide spaying and neutering services, for the veterinary needs of the dogs, food for strays, and do what they can to improve the living conditions in local shelters to accommodate more dogs.
6. Bali Animal Welfare Association
A non-profit rescue based in Bali, Bali Animal Welfare Association is dedicated to creating a better life for animals living on the streets of Bali. Among the services they provide are 24-7 emergency services, street feeding, vaccination, sterilization and rehabilitation programs, a community education program, and foster and adoption services.
7. The Happy Animals Club
Location: The Philippines
Located in the Philippines, The Happy Animals Club isn’t a huge rescue organization, but it’s one that sparks motivation in animal lovers worldwide. Started by a 10-year-old boy named Ken out of the garage of his home, The Happy Animals Club has become a non-profit, no-kill shelter. It provides for hungry animals, animals in need of veterinary care, and animals that have been lost. By sharing his stories online, Ken has encouraged many animal lovers to donate to his organization and help him to help homeless pets.
8. The Perros Project
Based in Peru, The Perros Project is devoted to relieving the suffering of dogs in Peru in any way possible. This includes holding spay and neuter clinics designed to reduce future suffering by reducing the homeless animal population, holding community education programs, and improving the conditions of local animal shelters to better provide for local homeless dogs.
9. Susie’s Senior Dogs
Location: New York
Another domestic rescue organization based on social media platforms, Susie’s Senior Dogs is dedicated to helping a vastly overlooked segment of the homeless dog population – senior dogs. Susie’s Senior Dogs raises awareness of the homeless senior dog population and educates dog lovers on the joys of parenting a senior dog. Through their online fundraising efforts, Susie’s Senior Dogs helps to sponsor senior dogs in need, provide them with vet care and training, and do whatever it takes to make senior pups more adoptable!
10. Animal Aid Unlimited
Located in India, Animal Aid Unlimited is both a hospital and a shelter designed to provide for India’s homeless animal population. With more than 200 animals coming through their doors on a daily basis, the clinic provides veterinary care for homeless animals, keeping those that they can in their shelter. Those they are unable to house are returned back to where they were found after receiving care. Animal Aid Unlimited also holds vaccination programs and takes part in local emergency animal rescue efforts.
11. Ilioupolis Animal Welfare
Located in Greece, Ilioupolis Animal Welfare is a volunteer-based animal welfare union dedicated to taking in, rehabilitating, and rescuing stray animals. Ilioupolis efforts include a program to vaccinate and sterilize homeless animals, provide them with food, and promote their adoption once nursed back to health. With a large percentage of homeless dogs to care for and run solely on donations, Ilioupolis still manages to make a big local impact.
12. Sochi Dogs
Located in Sochi, Russia, Sochi Dogs are a non-profit organization who devote their efforts to improving life for stray dogs throughout Russia. Their efforts include a program to educate the local community about the humane treatment of dogs, a program to promote the adoption of stray dogs, and a sterilization program to help to reduce the homeless pet population.
13. ARC Vietnam (Animal Rescue & Care)
Located in Ho Chi Minh City, ARC Vietnam is a rescue organization devoted to helping to save and rescue animals that have been abandoned and abused throughout Ho Chi Minh City. ARC also provides trap and release programs, low-cost spay, and neuter services, and focus on community education. ARC also provides veterinary care when needed.
14. Tiko – das Tierschutzkompetenzzentrum
Located in Austria, Tiko is the most modern animal shelter that Austria has to offer and is so large that they can care for up to 500 animals! The shelter is dedicated to assisting animals from all walks of life, but a large portion of their residents are dogs. Tiko focuses their efforts on caring for homeless dogs, educating the local community, and encouraging others to take responsibility for their pets and the current pet overpopulation problem.
15. Mbwa Wa Africa Animal Rescue
Located in Arusha, Tanzania, Mbwa Wa Africa is a non-profit rescue dedicated to improving the lives of homeless dogs throughout Tanzania. Their program provides healthcare to homeless dogs in the area, runs rehabilitation programs for stray dogs, improving the local environment for homeless dogs, and finding homes for the many stray street dogs they work with on a daily basis.
16. Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary
Located in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, the Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary is an organization designed to provide vet care to local dogs, to care for the homeless pet population which is often horribly abused, to spay and neuter as many local animals as possible to reduce the homeless pet population, and to educate the community on responsible pet ownership.
17. Protect Me Albania
Location: Vlore, Albania
Protect Me Albania is the sole self-funded no-kill shelter in Albania and they are equipped to provide for 75 dogs. The dogs that they take in are abandoned or stray dogs and Protect Me Albania works with local veterinarians to spay and neuter animals. Additionally, Protect Me Albania funds local community education programs on responsible pet ownership and to bring awareness to the pet overpopulation program, to raise money for the dogs in their care, and to promote adoption of their rescued animals.
18. Dog Rescue Romania
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Located in Bucharest, Romania, Dog Rescue Romania began as a rescue that could take in just 50 animals. The rescue was inundated within months when Romania passed a law that allowed the mass killing of stray dogs. With a lot of hard work, Dog Rescue Romania is now in a new sanctuary that can house almost 800 stray dogs! In addition to providing shelter, Dog Rescue Romania staff also provide a mobile veterinary triage unit, spay and neuter homeless pets, promote pet adoption, feed stray animals, and run educational programs to improve the overall treatment of dogs in Romania.
19. Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO)
Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO) is an organization in Tanzania that dedicates their time to local spaying and neutering efforts in remote sections of the country. In addition to their sterilization campaigns, TAWESO also runs educational campaigns, fight for humane legislation, and work to save the lives of homeless animals on a daily basis.
20. Animal A.W.A.R.E. (Animal Welfare Association – Rescue/Education)
Founded in Guatemala, Animal A.W.A.R.E. is a non-profit and non-government organization that dedicates their efforts to promote the welfare and rescue of abused and abandoned animals in Guatemala. In addition to this Animal A.W.A.R.E. has a shelter which cares for hundreds of homeless animals and they promote spaying and neutering programs too. Community education is another valuable part of the A.W.A.R.E. program.
21. Furever Rescue Foster Home
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Based out of Cairo, Egypt, Furever Rescue Foster Home is a dog sanctuary dedicated to providing care and shelter to homeless, neglected, and abused animals in Cairo. There are many homeless and stray dogs in Cairo, many of whom are the target of cruelty and torture. Over 100 dogs stay at the Furever shelter at one time and the organization provides the veterinary care, food, and protection that the dogs need.
22. Amigos de Los Animales, Inc.
Location: Puerto Rico
Located out of Loiza, Puerto Rico, Amigos de Los Animales dedicate their time to rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting out the abused and abandoned animals of Loiza and the surrounding areas. Loiza is one of the most impoverished areas in Puerto Rico and Amigos de Los Animales works hard to decrease the homeless animal population by holding spay and neuter clinics, holding educational workshops and community programs, and even help to sponsor a 6-day Animal Control Officer-Cruelty Investigator certification course for Puerto Ricans.
23. Syrian Team for Animal Rescue
Location: Damascus, Syria
The Syrian Team for Animal Rescue or STAR is a younger rescue organization that works out of Damascus, Syria. Although they’re a newer organization, during their first year they managed to help approximately 400 animals in need! In the war-torn country of Syria, there are many injured, abused, and homeless dogs and cats that need assistance and STAR steps in to provide shelter and veterinary care to those animals. Once rehabilitated, the organization then works to find homes for the animals in their care.
24. The Bark Ark
Location: Prnjavor, Bosnia
Located in Prnjavor, Bosnia, The Bark Ark is a sanctuary for stray dogs throughout Prnjavor. Although they’re a smaller operation, The Bark Ark helps over 300 strays each year by providing medical care, shelter, operating spay and neuter programs, educating the community on the humane treatment of animals and proper pet care. When they’re not taking care of these programs, The Bark Ark also works tirelessly investigating cases of abuse and dog hunting in the area.
25. Bo Ai Animal Protection Centre of Guangyuan
Location: Guangyuan, China
The Bo Ai Animal Protection Centre of Guangyuan is a small animal rescue center in China that still manages to care for hundreds of cats and dogs. Bo Ai dedicates their time to fighting the dog meat industry and rescuing dogs from the dog meat trade. The founder of Bo Ai, Du Yufeng, works to promote awareness of the dog meat trade as she travels locally to rescue dogs and make government appeals to close businesses that are involved with the dog meat trade.
26. Kurdistan Organization for Animal Rights Protection
Location: Duhok, Iraq
Based out of Duhok, Iraq, the KOARP is the first Iraqi organization in history to have been given permission to build a shelter for stray animals. In addition to their shelter, KOARP works to protect local wildlife and wildlife habitats, they draft animal protection laws, and they operate spaying and neutering programs to control the homeless and stray animal population. A volunteer-funded organization KOARP helps to provide veterinary supplies and supervises various animal-centered facilities to ensure the fair treatment of animals.
27. Unidad de Proteccion Animal
Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the Unidad de Proteccion Animal is an animal welfare organization dedicated to helping rural and low-income communities in and around Santo Domingo. Unidad de Proteccion Animal work to promote animal welfare by providing spaying and neutering services, veterinary care, and safe shelter to local strays and homeless animals. U.P.A. also works to promote community education of fair and ethical treatment of animals while running vaccination clinics and mobile veterinary services.
28. SPCA Italia Protezione Animali
Location: Ardea, Italy
Based out of Ardea, Italy, the SPCA Italia Protezione Animali is a small organization that provides support and care for local stray, homeless, and abused animals. In addition to providing shelter and veterinary care for animals in need, the organization also works to educate the community in the ethical treatment of animals and to help rid the area of animal cruelty.
29. Red de Apoyo Canino
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Based in Caracas, Venezuela, Red de Apoyo Canino provides shelter and veterinary care for homeless and stray animals in Caracas. A well-established group, Red de Apoyo Canino helps some 11,000+ animals each year by providing safe shelter, veterinary care, running vaccination clinics, and promoting community education programs to support animal rights and further animal welfare efforts.
30. Dharamsala Animal Rescue
Location: Dharamsala, India
Dharamsala Animal Rescue in Dharamsala, India promotes stray and homeless animal health and rescue through a range of programs. In addition to providing care for some 17,000 stray dogs, the organization also works to spay and neuter and vaccinate all stray pets in the area and promote community education for the better treatment of animals.
31. Association Comme Chiens et Chats
Based out of Morocco, Association Comme Chiens et Chats is a small organization dedicated to animal welfare for animals in both France and Morocco. Although small, the organization still manages to care for around 200 animals each year. The association works to promote animal health locally by providing vaccinations, running spay and neuter clinics, and providing emergency veterinary care when needed. After providing care, animals are then fostered by local families before they are placed in their forever homes.
32. Velvet Hearts Foundation
Location: Veliko Tarnovo district of Bulgaria
Based out of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, the Velvet Hearts Foundation is dedicated to providing shelter to animals and finding adoptive homes for them. In addition, Velvet Hearts works to educate the community in the humane care of animals and also offers spay and neuter services to reduce the local stray population. Although a rather small organization, Velvet Hearts is making a big difference and soon hopes to move to a much larger facility.
33. Campaign Against Cruelty to Animals in Sierra Leone
Location: Sierra Leone
Based out of Sierra Leone, the Campaign Against Cruelty to Animals in Sierra Leone is an animal welfare organization that focuses the majority of their efforts on local education. In addition to carrying out local education programs, the organization also educates the community through radio shows, campaigns, and school programs. In addition, the Campaign Against Cruelty to Animals in Sierra Leone also work to provide food and veterinary care to local stray and homeless animals in the area.
34. SOS Gyvunai
SOS Gyvunai is a Lithuanian animal rescue society that is dedicated to providing for homeless dogs by giving them shelter, veterinary care, and food. Once healthy, the dogs are adopted out to their forever homes. The organization also works to educate the local community in animal welfare and how to properly care for their animals. Of all of the programs run by SOS Gyvunai, perhaps the most important is their spay and neuter program.
35. SPCA Israel, Ramat Gan & Vicinity
Location: Tel Aviv – Nachlat Itzhak
Based in Ramat Gan, the Israeli SPCA is a no-kill animal shelter providing shelter, veterinary care, and food for local abandoned and stray animals. One rehabilitated, the animals are then placed in forever homes. In addition to offering shelter to homeless animals, the organization also holds local awareness activities, community education programs, and they even provide scholarships and service programs for student volunteers.
36. Amethyst Dog Rescue
Location: Andalucia, Spain
Based in Andalucia, Spain, the non-profit Amethyst Dog Rescue team are dedicated to rescuing and assisting abandoned and neglected dogs that are in imminent danger and in need of veterinary care and shelter. The team of experienced dog-centered animal rescuers work with other organizations across Spain and primarily focus on the four essential stages of ensuring the pets are cared for and ready to find their new forever homes. All dogs brought into Amethyst will have their health checked, worm and flea preventatives administered and vaccinations done, and their blood tested.
37. Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Based in Okinawa, Japan, the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society was established to assist with the large number of stray and abandoned animals on the streets of Okinawa. The organization works to rescue abandoned and stray animals and to provide them with veterinary care. In addition, the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society supports local microchipping campaigns and sterilization campaigns, as well as educational programs. One of the most important programs by the organization, however, is their effort to hold pet owners who abandon their animals responsible for their actions.
38. Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Based out of Beirut, Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a rescue organization that has dedicated their efforts towards building an animal cruelty-free country. A major part of this campaign is achieved through local education programs and activism. The organization also works to rescue abandoned and stray animals and provide for them while finding them caring homes. When unable to home the animals, the organization also helps to control the overpopulation problem through trap, neuter and release programs. BETA doesn’t just work to help domesticated animals, however, they also work to put an end to the illegal wildlife trade in the country.
39. Associação dos Amigos dos Animais Abandonados da Moita
Location: Alhos Vedros, Portugal
The Association of Friends to the Abandoned Animals of Moita began as a volunteer organization and has since grown. The group works only off donations and manages to provide for some 300 dogs and 200 cats at their shelter. In addition to feeding the animals in their care, the organization also feeds a vast population of homeless and stray animals. It’s not just food, that the group provides, however, they also hold educational programs for the community to educate them about the importance of sterilization and the importance of adoption rather than purchasing pets.
Location: İstanbul, Turkey
BGD is based in Istanbul, Turkey and began with efforts to provide better care and services to animals at the largest city shelter. Through donations, the organization went on to become a non-profit group dedicated to community education as well as stray and homeless animal rescue. The group has also made great efforts to fight animal cruelty by advocating for animal rights laws.
41. Fundacion Amigos de Animales Boquete
Based out of Panama, the Fundacion Amigos de Animales Boquete is dedicated to providing low-cost sterilization to dogs and cats. The organization also works hard to spread awareness of animal welfare in the community. The group has also worked with local vet clinics to improve their facilities and to provide training and vet techniques from other sources. More recently, the organization has added an adoption section to their group which allows them to find adoptive homes to the animals that they take in and vet.
42. The Animal House
The Animal House Jamaica is a rescue organization that is dedicated to helping to provide for stray and abandoned animals in Jamaica. For over six years, the organization has been providing food, veterinary care, spay and neuter services, and shelter for homeless animals. Once the animals in their care have been provided for, the organization then works to find them forever homes.
43. PATA Manzanillo
Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
PATA Manzanillo is located in Manzanillo, Mexico and is dedicated to providing for the more than 16,000 homeless dogs and cats on the city streets. The organization plays a role in many local efforts for animal welfare including providing spay and neuter clinics, providing vet care when necessary, placing animals in foster homes, and helping to find their forever homes!
44. Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals
Location: Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine
Located in Kiev in the Ukraine, the Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals is an animal welfare society that spends a lot of time advocating for animal rights and teaching communities how to properly care for their animals. In addition to having a shelter, the organization also has a veterinary hospital and rehabilitation center which allows them to care for homeless and abandoned animals. The group also focuses on spay and neuter efforts to reduce the homeless animal population.
Based in the Bahamas, BAARK is a non-profit group dedicated to creating a more humane environment for homeless and abandoned dogs. Most of their efforts are directed towards rescuing and adopting out homeless animals as well as local spay and neuter efforts.
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