All animals deserve a sheltered life. The luckiest are the ones who have homes with families–well-fed, well cared for and with space in the light. The not-so-lucky but still fortunate are those saved by animal shelters that protect helpless animals from abuse and abandonment. The shelters in this competition have done just that. The unlucky animals are the ones that have nothing but the streets, the dustbins and the dark. We wish we could round up all of the unlucky ones but we can't. We can round up a few, though. "It would be worth it if you could save only a few." said a friend.

It would be worth it we could save only one.
– Martha Grimes. Best in Shelter

Featured Today


Phoenix is a 2 to 3-year-old hound/setter mix (best guess). He came to us from a shelter from Richmond County, North Carolina. The owners dropped him off as they were moving. The owner hugged him, laughed and left him there. He was limping; his coat looked poor and had apparently been shot. A local rescuer was there during intake and took a video of him and reached out for help. When the vet saw Phoenix (his prior name was Ripper), he was able to dig out the bullet that had worked its way back to the surface.

There was a lot of nerve damage to his foot, where the bullet had lodged itself, and he probably was in excruciating pain, but Phoenix was friendly the entire time. Puppy Paws Rescue took over responsibility for his vet ...


Each shelter will choose two dogs to participate in the contest.
One animal will be featured on each day.

These are the Best in Shelter 2020 participating shelters.
Click on their logo for more details on each.


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  • First place prize: $35,000
    Second place prize: $20,000
    Third place prize: $10,000

    Participants who don’t win will still receive 2,000 for participating.

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