Boston’s furry families are ever-growing, and finding the right fit should never be a struggle. With tens of thousands of dogs and cats in shelters every day, adopting rescue pet offers the whole family a chance to save a life while bringing unconditional love into your home. These shelters are the city’s best, offering fur babies and every associated service a family could hope for.

Foursquare Favorite: Northeast Animal Shelter
347 Highland Ave
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888
Read all the tips on Foursquare

Housed in a large, new building in Salem, Mass., Northeast Animal Shelter is one of the largest no-kill shelters in the country, and they keep all of their furry friends in a clean, healthy, and ethical environment. Medical services and a community resource room further their mission of humane education. Once you have your new furry friend, check out this list of the best dog-friendly places in Boston.


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City of Boston Animal Control Shelter and Adoption Center
26 Mahler Rd.
Roslindale, MA 02131
(617) 635-1800

Prices: $125 dogs/$75 cats
Hours: Tues ‒ 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Wed to Sat ‒ 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The adoption fee for cats/kittens and dogs/puppies includes a spay or neuter, deworming, physical exam, rabies and distemper vaccines, and a microchip. Dogs and puppies older than 6 months of age undergo a heartworm test and receive the first month’s heartworm pill as well. Cats and kittens undergo a leukemia test. New dog owners are issued a license for all Boston residents. Both puppies and kittens younger than 4 months of age may receive the remainder of their shots at the shelter. You will be required to fill out an application and sign a contract to adopt from the City of Boston. The 24- to 48-hour process is in place to ensure the most stable adoption for each pet and family.

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Scituate Animal Shelter
780 Chief Justice Cushing Highway
Scituate, MA 02066
(781) 544-4533

Prices: $90 to $325 dogs/$100 to $200 cats
Hours: Tues, Wed and Fri ‒ 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Thurs ‒ 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat ‒ 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Scituate Animal Shelter looks to adopt animals based on the best fit possible. It matches pets’ personalities with prospective families. The adoption fee includes a thorough medical screening, rabies and distemper vaccine, spay or neuter, and deworming. Cats and kittens are tested for leukemia, and dogs and puppies are tested for heartworm. Dogs are temperament-tested and each animal goes home with a bag of Science Diet kibble. The adoption process takes two to four days to ensure the best fit for each animal.

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Alliance for Animals
232 Silver St.
S. Boston, MA 02127
(617) 268-7800

Click here for adoption information
Hours: Sat and Sun ‒ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; call for a visit Mon to Fri

Alliance for Animals is Boston proper’s only no-kill shelter. It also offers a low-cost veterinary clinic. Alliance for Animals works within Boston communities to bring education and awareness to the plight of homeless animals, especially pit bull breeds. It has secured homes for more than 4,500 dogs and cats, and provided low-cost veterinary services for about 60,000 animals.

Related: Boston’s Best Bark-Worthy Pet Bakery

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Massachusetts Humane Society, Inc.
87 Wharf St.
E. Weymouth, MA 02189
(781) 335-1300

Prices: $225 dogs/$125 cats
Hours: Sat and Sun ‒ 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Call for a visit Mon through Fri

The Massachusetts Humane Society is a no-kill shelter that houses animals until a loving home is found. As with many Massachusetts shelters and rescues across the state, the Massachusetts Humane Society is at full capacity. It offers low-cost spay and neuter assistance and animal welfare education programs. Read about private adoptions, directly from owners to new families, offered exclusively on the society’s website and in the Patriot Ledger.

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Pets in Need
P.O. Box 123
Dracut, MA 01826
(978) 459-8700 or (617) 718-0943

Prices: $400 puppies/$300 dogs/$200 senior and special needs dogs/$165 kittens/$140 cats/$100 senior and special needs cats
Hours: Foster-based rescue. Call for more information.

Pets in Need is a no-kill, foster-based animal rescue with a huge soft spot for special needs pets. While it is a certified non-profit organization, it does not currently have a shelter location. This small operation functions entirely on the big hearts of foster parents. Pets in Need rescues animals from shelters that are overflowing and from other rescues that need additional help. All animals undergo a thorough medical examination before adoption.

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Nicole Adams resides on the South Shore of Massachusetts. She is a freelance writer specializing in animal welfare. Her work can be found at