The 48 Best Places to Adopt a Fur Baby in WNY

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Photo x SPCA serving Erie County


Updated September 2020

Late nights snuggling on the couch, long walks on the beach, good morning kisses. No we’re not talking about ~*~DaTiNg~*~, we’re talking about fur babies! (!!!!) If you’re like us, you love animals more than you like* (*tolerate) most humans…and you’re not apologizing for it. “I ain’t sorry” – Beyonce.

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Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences probably ever. Not only do pets give us unconditional love and affection, they literally jump for joy when they see you. Like, every single time. Like, even when you just went down to the basement for 2 minutes. It’s actually amazing how pure and sweet pets are, and lucky for us Western New Yorkers once you’re ready to take on the responsibility of owning a pet there’s a ton of great places to adopt!


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Adoptable cat from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter

Whenever you get a pet you have to be very, very, very, VERY cautious of where you go. Sadly there are a lot of places that may seem legit/nice/normal/not evil but actually are. If you want to know more about why you should avoid buying pets from pet stores, breeders, and puppy mills, we highly recommend you read this, this, or any of these.

Shelters and rescue groups are organizations who take in unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray pets with the goal of helping them find their forever homes. There are currently an estimated 7.6 MILLION pets in American animal shelters, and each year approximately 2.7 MILLION healthy, adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized simply due to overcrowding in shelters 🙁

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Photo x SPCA serving Erie County

Rescue animals make great pets for infinite reasons. Here are 5 quick facts about animals in shelters and rescues:

  1. Pets in animal shelters/rescues come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds (including purebreds) – there’s truly a fur baby for everyone!
  2. It costs between $0 – ~$350 to adopt a shelter/rescue pet, and they often come with all of their shots and fixes
  3. Most shelter/rescue pets end up abandoned due to no fault of their own. Some are strays, some are rescued from bad situations, some had owners who are moving and can’t take them along, some had owners who have passed away, the list goes on and on. And they all just want a place to call their own~
  4. Many shelter/rescue pets are already house trained (and sometimes trick-trained!), and you get a chance to meet/interact/play with them before taking them home!
  5. When you adopt a shelter/rescue pet, you’re actually saving 2 lives – the pet you adopt and another pet who can now be taken in thanks to the new opening 🙂

And this is only the tip of the iceberg – the benefits of adopting a shelter/rescue pet are limitless. The limit does not exist. If you wanna know more, including how adopting a rescue pet helps your overall health (yes srsly), read some of these articles here.


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Adoptable dog from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter

In Western New York we have a ton of shelters and rescue groups who go above and beyond to help out both local fur babies and those across the country to give them a second chance at having a loving home. So where can you find rescues and shelters in WNY? Basically all over. Here’s a comprehensive list of every shelter and rescue organization in the Buffalo-Niagara area! #adoptdontshop

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The love of Lauren’s life, Coco, adopted from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter in March 2013



Learn more about everything you need to know before adopting a pet here

If you know of a rescue that’s not on this list let us know! Send an email with the shelter/rescue’s name, website, *AND* Facebook link to


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