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The best pet adoption and foster centers in NYC

Save a cuddly creature in need and find your new best friend at these shelters and adoption centers around the city

Photograph: Stacey Axelrod/ASPCA
In the past year, Gothamites have adopted, sheltered or rescued more than 22,000 pets. Some pups have gone on to star in Broadway shows and certain felines are known in their neighborhood as famous bodega cats. Before you think about buying your next dog, cat, bird—or even snake—head to one of these pet adoption centers to find your next family addition staring back at you with those sad puppy-dog eyes (I mean, how can you resist?). Who knows, maybe you'll even meet the ultimate New York dog.

RECOMMENDED: Pets guide to NYC


This century-old pet-welfare organization functions like a dating service but for the four-legged. In-house matchmakers use information about your lifestyle to figure out your ideal partner. Every member of the household, including dogs, must be present to meet your new furry friend before adoption.­ (Cats are exempt, because moving them can be traumatic.)

Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC)

BARC—get it? (Hee.) This no-kill shelter is no joke: To be considered, potential adopters need to fill out an application and provide two references and a copy of their apartment management company’s pet policy.

Sean Casey Animal Rescue

Dogs and cats are great and all, but they’re a bit basic for such a diverse city. Where’s the love for birds and lizardy things? Luckily, this Brooklyn spot rescues small mammals and exotic pets, including a wide variety of snakes. Yesss.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

As the western hemisphere’s oldest animal-protection organization, the ASPCA has found homes for dozens of generations of NYC critters. Most cats three years and older are free (mature felines make better lap-dwellers), and fostering is also available.

Bobbi and the Strays

Roberta “Bobbi” Giordano started this Queens no-kill shelter after witnessing the hit-and-run death of a dog. Her nonprofit attempts to save animals slated for death in kill shelters and helps special-needs pets.

Rabbit Rescue & Rehab

Listen up, bunny lovers: Rabbit House volunteers are dedicated to both finding homes for abandoned rabbits and educating their new owners, with tutorials on how to spot good hay and other helpful tips.


Marcy Davis
Marcy Davis

I have adopted several fantastic cats from 2000 Spays and Neuters over the last few years. The charity works very hard to match up the right animal or animals with its forever home, and often helps out with any initial medical expenses to ensure that adopters and foster families are bringing healthy, loving cat into their homes. I know the charity is also looking for volunteers to help trap, foster and show these cats at Petco on the Upper West Side twice a week. .


If you are in Queens, you can check out Bobbi and the Strays Adoption Center: 71-03 80th Street, Glendale, NY 11385 (718) 326-6070. They also have a shelter in Freeport LI.


Check out Sean Casey Animal or Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens...adoption fees are $200/dog or puppy and $100/cat or kitten. All pets are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and adopters get a free exam at a participating vet plus an offer for a free month of pet health insurance. Open every day 11-7 at 153 E. 3 St in Brooklyn (directions on website)


I adopted my dog from a rescue organization called Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue in Queens. They rescue mainly cocker spaniels but sometimes have other breeds too. They save so many dogs that are on the euth lists! They are always looking for people to adopt or foster dogs so they can keep saving more. They're on Facebook and Twitter (@NYCockerRescue), or you can visit their website at I highly recommend them.


Hey guys, You forgot a shelter! Animal Haven is down in Soho (Centre St just south of Broome) and is always looking for potential adopters and especially volunteers!