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Are you looking for dogs for adoption in Ontario, Canada?
Way back in 2004. Yowzers! That’s 19 years ago. Almost 2 decades! Well, way back in 2004 I started visiting shelters and rescues to find my first puppy.
PetFinder.com is a great resource for finding dogs, cats, and other pets for adoption.
However, PetFinder does not have an easy resource for finding dog adoption organizations in Canada (at least we couldn’t find it).
So, we decided to put together this list of adoptable dog rescues and shelters by Canadian Province.
Below are all of the organizations in Ontario from which you can adopt a dog.
Please continue on to each individual organization’s website by clicking on their name to see dogs they have available for adoption or to learn more about the organization and their mission.
Adopting is a great way of bringing home a dog in need of a loving home.
Consider checking with the organizations in your area on a weekly basis if you’re looking for a specific breed before you decide to go out and buy a puppy from a breeder.
You know what they say – ‘Adopt Before You Shop!’
Dogs For Adoption In Ontario
|A Dog’s Best Friend||Oshawa|
|A Dog’s Dream Rescue||Oakville||905-617-0427|
|AARF – Animal Angel Rescue Foundation||Stoney Creek|
|Action Volunteers for Animals – Hamilton||Hamilton||905-383-2416|
|Adopt-A-Pet Pet Rescue Lucknow||Lucknow||519-528-3045|
|After The Track Greyhound Adoption||Stouffville|
|Ajax Pet Care Rescue||Ajax||905-428-8160|
|All Breed Canine Rescue||St. Thomas|
|Alliston & District Humane Society||Everett||705-458-9038|
|Animal Adoptions of Flamborough, Inc.||Waterdown||905-689-7801|
|Animal Aide of St.Thomas-Elgin||St. Thomas||51-9633-3788|
|Animal Assistance Society of the Niagara Region||St. Catharines||905-322-6429|
|Animal Care Centre Lobo||Ilderton||519-666-1632|
|Animal Love Foundation||London||16-787-3862|
|Animalert Pet Adoptions||London||519-642-7732|
|Animal Rescue Foundation (A.R.F)||London||Contact|
|Arnprior and District Humane Society||Arnprior||613-623-0916|
|Barks and Meows Rescue||Duart||226-881-1490|
|Basset Hound Rescue of Ontario||Toronto|
|Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services||Oxford Station||613-725-4279|
|Blue Collared Canines||Dunnville||289-673-1018|
|Boston Terrier Rescue Canada||Arnprior|
|Bow Wow Rescue||Clinton|
|Bullies In Need||Navan|
|Burlington Animal Shelter||Burlington||905-335-3030|
|Burlington Humane Society formerly Animal Aid||Burlington||905-637-7325|
|Caledon Animal Shelter||Caledon||905-857-5208 ext 21|
|Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport||Toronto||877-783-7333|
|Canadian Dachshund Rescue, Ontario||Toronto|
|Canine Connect a Care||London|
|Chow Rescue Ontario||Tillsonburg||519-688-5449|
|City of Mississauga Animal Services||Mississauga||905-896-5864|
|City of Toronto Animal Services East Region||Toronto||416-338-7539|
|City of Toronto Animal Services North Region||Toronto||416-338-8723|
|City of Toronto Animal Services South Region||Toronto||416-338-6668|
|City of Toronto Animal Services West Region||Toronto||416-338-6271|
|Clarington Animal Shelter||Bowmanville||905-623-7651|
|Danes in Distress||Cambridge||519-279-4549|
|Dog Tales||King City||905-713-1887|
|Etobicoke Humane Society||Toronto||416-249-6100|
|Fetch And Releash||Contact|
|For the Animals||Scarborough||416-750-3048|
|Freedom Dog Rescue||Ottawa||Contact|
|Friends of Abandoned Pets||Ottawa||613-729-9820|
|Friends of Forsaken Animals||Sunderland||905-852-4286|
|Gananoque and District Humane Society||Gananoque||613-382-1512|
|Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue||Ontario||Contact|
|Georgian Triangle Humane Society||Collingwood||705-445-5204|
|Georgina Animal Shelter and Adoption Centre||Keswick||800-898-8606|
|Grand River All Breed Rescue||Cambridge||Contact|
|Great Dane Angels||Magnetawan||705-387-1744|
|Grey Bruce Animal Shelter||Owen Sound||519-372-1911|
|Guelph Humane Society||Guelph||519-824-3091|
|Happy Tails Rescue||585-396-4590|
|HART – Highland Animal Relief Team||Bancroft|
|Helping Paws Rescue||Vienna||519-773-5094|
|Homeward Bound Rescue||York||Contact|
|It Takes A Village Dog Rescue||South Eastern Ontario||Contact|
|Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Ontario (JRTRO)||Toronto||Contact|
|Kingston Animal Rescue||Kingston||Contact|
|Kismutt Small Dog Rescue||St. Marys||Contact|
|Labrador Retriever Adoption Service (Lab Rescue)||Oakville||289-997-5227|
|Lincoln County Humane Society||St. Catharines||905-682-0767|
|London Animal Care Centre||London||519-685-1330|
|Love for Life||Burlington||905-331-6228|
|Minpinerie Dog Rescue Group||Ottawa||613-733-6277|
|Mississauga Humane Society||Mississauga||905-271-0883|
|Muskoka Animal Rescue Volunteer Group||Huntsville||705-224-0112|
|Navan Animal Rescue Corporation||Navan||613-834-7005|
|Niagara Action For Animals||St. Catharines||905-682-4970|
|Niagara Dog Rescue||Oakville||Contact|
|Nickquenum Dog Adoptions||Guelph|
|Northumberland Humane Society||Port Hope||905-885-4131|
|Ottawa Dog Rescue||Ottawa||Contact|
|Paws Of The North||Northern Ontario||Contact|
|Paws Across The Water||Erin||Contact|
|Pickering Animal Services||Pickering||905-683-7575|
|Pomeranian and Small Breed Rescue||Hamilton||Contact|
|Pound Dog Rescue||Drumbo||Contact|
|Precious Paws Rescue Dog Rescue||Barrie|
|Project Jessie / Animal Alliance of Canada||Caledon||519-940-4712|
|Pugalug Pug Rescue||Toronto||416-901-6854|
|Ramara Township Canine Control||Brechin||705-623-7295|
|Rat Terrier Rescue Canada||Scarborough|
|Sato Saved End of the Line Dog Rescue and Rehabilitation||Brantford||519-720-8755|
|Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary||Pickering||905-649-8282|
|Shelter of Hope Animal Services||Cobourg||905-885-7808|
|Siber Rescue Ontario||Aurora||905-713-1531|
|Simcoe and District Humane Society||Simcoe||519-428-9161|
|Sit With Me Shelter Dog Rescue||Ottawa||Contact|
|Snookie’s Little Rescue||Toronto||416-388-6487|
|SOAR (Southern Ontario Animal Rescue)||Brampton||905-450-5992|
|SOS Quebec Ontario Dog Rescue||Toronto|
|Southern Ontario Sheltie Rescue (SOS Rescue)||Toronto|
|Speaking of Dogs Rescue||Toronto||416-444-4190|
|Springer Rescue of Ontario||Port Hope||Contact|
|St.Thomas City Animal Services||St. Thomas||519-631-7430|
|Standard Poodle and All Breed Rescue||Bowmanville|
|Tails from Greece Rescue||Toronto|
|Take Me Home||Mississauga|
|The Animal Guardian Society||Oshawa||905-263-8247|
|The Animal Rescue Foundation of Ontario||London|
|The Dog Rescuers, Inc.||Oakville||416-567-6249|
|Thunder Dog Rescue||Thunder Bay||807-622- 6523|
|Tiny Paws Dog Rescue Canada||Toronto||800-774-8315|
|Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control Centre||Port Perry||905-985-9547|
|Weimaraner Assoc of Canada||Calgary||403-668-1607|
|Westminster Pet Sanctuary||Ottawa|
Tips For Adopting A Dog From The Shelter
As a kid we adopted our family dogs, Maffy and Ralphie from the animal shelter. We also adopted our first dog as a responsible adult from the animal shelter.
Here are a few tips we learned along the way.
- Get the supplies for your new dog. We put together a checklist including the supplies you’ll need for your new puppy.
- Bring a friend or family member to help transport your dog home. If you don’t have anyone to help you then bring a crate so your dog won’t be jumping on you while you try to drive.
- Find out what they’re feeding your puppy and feed the same. Going to a new home is stressful and your dog will often have some stomach problems (diarrhea). If you feed the same food then you can be assured changing foods didn’t cause the upset stomach.
- Setup an appointment with your veterinarian. You want to make sure your new dog is happy and healthy as well as start her on her vaccinations series.
- Take it easy the first couple days home. Let your new dog get used to her new home and environment. The move to a new home is stressful and again you don’t want to cause any unwanted stomach or behavior problems.
Those are a few quick tips off the top of my head. Hopefully, they’re helpful for your new dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Websites For Adopting A Dog?
We found Linus using PetFinder.com. We do see dogs listed for adoption in Canada but PetFinder.com did not have a list of shelters and rescues (that we could find).
I’m putting together this resource that will have a map of Canada and the United States including a list of all the shelters and rescues by state and province.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Get A Dog?
Let me be clear. A free dog is not actually free. You have to consider all of the expenses after the purchase price of your dog including vaccinations, wellness checkup, flea meds, heartworm meds, food, toys, the list goes on and on.
Check out this list of how much a puppy costs to see all the other expenses of dog ownership.
In our experience the cheapest way to get a dog is through a rescue. Why? Because they will cover a lot of the initial costs.
Let’s take the example of puppies we fostered for Cuddly Canines. The initial cost for adopters was $300 but that included microchipping, two rounds of vaccinations, deworming, initial wellness check with the vet, and dog toys.
The puppies from the Cuddly Canines rescue are well taken care of by fosters and in good health when they go to their new homes.
On the other hand our experience with the shelter was quite different. The initial cost for Linus was $37 which included microchipping, first round of vaccinations, and dog toys.
However, Linus was infested with fleas and mites, lethargic, sickly, and we later found out he had Giardia.
Linus’ initial cost of $37 was very cheap. However, after our first vet appointment I believe we had paid close to $1,000 for this puppy. No longer cheap.
What Say You
Adopting a dog is a life changing event. Make sure you do your research starting by contacting a few of the rescues or shelters on our list of dog adoptions in Ontario.
I wish you the best on your journey with your new canine pal.
Tell us a little about how the search is going.
Did you adopt a dog yet?
What kind of dog did you bring home?
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Top Picks For Our Puppies
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
- BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.
Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.