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5 Best Animal Shelters in Portland

5 Best Animal Shelters in Portland

How we picked


We chose animal shelters that can offer a comprehensive list of care services for different animals living in the Portland community.

Facility Design and Capacity

We identified care facilities that provide a comfortable space and conducive design for animals.

We also checked the resources they have necessary to meet the needs of every animal admitted to their shelter. 


We assessed the accessibility of their services and location. We also checked their website and reviewed whether the important information about their services is readily available to their clients.

Quality of Service

This is determined by the level of professionalism, promptness, and responsiveness shown by the employees to prospective animal adopters and to the rescued animals as well.

1. Oregon Humane Society 

Oregon Humane Society Homepage

Services Offered: Dog Training Classes, Puppy Socialization Classes, Pet Adoptions

Address: 1067 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland OR 97211, United States


Contact No.: (503) 285-7722

Opening Hours:  Mondays to Sundays 10 AM to 7 PM

Total Reviews5/5
Score Consistency4/5
Facility Design and Capacity5/5
Accessibility 4/5
Quality of Service4/5


  • Provides free and low-cost spay and neuter surgeries
  • Accepts all kinds of pets


  • Longer waiting period
  • Limited time for decision-making for adoption

Oregon Humane Society (OHS) is likely the most established and experienced animal shelter in our list.

Having been established in 1868, OHS is proudly Northwest’s oldest and largest animal welfare organization. 

Through the years, OHS has earned a reputation for providing the highest quality of care and comfort to lost and rescued animals in the community.

We love that they specialize in adoption, animal rescue and investigation, behavior training, animal owner education, and medical care.

What we like best about them is that their medical team provides free and low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for pets owned by low-income families.

We think this is especially beneficial to animal owners who are on a tight budget but nevertheless plan to monitor their pets’ reproductive health. 

Next, we appreciate that this animal shelter doesn’t discriminate what type of animals or breeds of animals to accept inside their facility.

They’re ready to accommodate every pet that comes to their doors, including even those who are severely ill or dangerously aggressive. 

In fact, they provide animal training and socialization classes to monitor behavioral changes of the admitted animals in their shelter before they become available for adoption.

This is perfect for adopters who are first-time pet owners, as this service assures that they’re only given well-trained and interactive animals.

However, we don’t appreciate that they impose longer waiting periods and that interested pet parents are only given limited time to make the decision to adopt. 

We understand that adopting a pet is a serious commitment, and so this can be discouraging especially for those who want to take their time before deciding to adopt and choosing who to adopt.

In any case, Oregon Humane Society is the best choice if you’re looking for an animal shelter that gives pets a great chance at finding their new homes.

2. Animal Aid Inc.

Animal Aid Inc. Homepage

Services Offered: Rescue Program, Shelter and Foster Program

Address:  5335 SW 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97221, United State


Contact No.: (503) 292-6628

Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 11 AM to 4 PM

Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency5/5
Facility Design and Capacity5/5
Accessibility 5/5
Quality of Service4/5


  • Comprehensive foster and shelter program
  • Offers animal care supply


  • Strict adoption application process

Through decades of experience, Animal Aide Inc. prides itself in providing the highest quality of care and love to the cats of Portland.

To start, we love that their shelter is entirely free-roam. This means that cats are free to explore the great outdoors but are still safe inside the shelter’s perimeters, within their fenced yard.

Animal Aid’s care programs are also great. They provide several suites for cats who have special needs, such as dietary restrictions, medical needs, or behavioral needs.

We believe their personalized programs will excite cat lovers who are meticulous in choosing the right pet to adopt. 

On top of these programs, the animal shelter has also collaborated with local veterinarians, behaviorists, and trainers. This ensures that cats who come to their facility will be taken care of regardless of the peculiar circumstances they might be in.

We also want to highlight their facility design.

We love that their place is spacious and well-equipped. Cats can freely stroll around their big rooms, which are all secured with adequate medical equipment in cases of emergency.

However, we don’t appreciate that they have a strict adoption process. 

In fact, they deny cat adoption for those who have just moved into Portland even if they’re completely capable and ready to take care of a new cat.

To be honest, we don’t really see the sense behind this policy. We think it’s frustrating for those who’ve always been close with cats but just happened to be new in Portland.

Overall, if you’re looking for an animal shelter that specializes in cat fostering and sheltering, Animal Aid Inc. still makes a great choice. 

3. Family Dogs New Life Shelter 

Family Dogs New Life Shelter Homepage

Services Offered: Animal Rescue, Rehoming, Vaccinations, Matchmaking Program

Address: 9101 SE Stanley Ave, Portland, OR 97206, United States


Contact No.: (50) 771-5596

Opening Hours: Mondays to Wednesdays 12 PM to 7 PM, Saturdays 11 AM to 6 PM, and Sundays 12 PM to 6 PM

Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency4/5
Facility Design and Capacity4.5/5
Accessibility 5/5
Quality of Service5/5


  • Offers matchmaking program
  • Easy adoption process


  • Doesn’t return calls and emails immediately

Family Dogs New Life Shelter is another experienced animal shelter in Portland.  They specialize in fostering and sheltering dogs.

This animal shelter prides itself on being a “no-kill dog shelter.” They’re dedicated to rescuing and rehoming dogs in need regardless of age, breed, or history.

We love that they shelter dogs who have been rejected by other shelters and those that other shelters consider unadoptable.

But what we like best about them is their Matchmaking Program. They make sure that any would-be adopters are compatible with their dogs

This means that adopters aren’t allowed to just walk through their facility and “pick a pet.” To be clear, they give adopters a chance to spend time with their chosen dog before they let you adopt them.

We think this matchmaking feature is beneficial for the prospective adopter and for the dogs as well. 

This allows future fur parents to play and interact with the dogs all day long by taking them to daycare or dog parks. 

This service is also good for the dogs, as interacting with their prospective adopters develops their behavior around them and ultimately establishes compatibility with them.

Next, we also want to commend their professionalism for two things.

First, their staff is friendly and helpful. They assist adopters through the application process and are very patient in answering clients’ questions.

Second, the staff also provides necessary background information to make adopters familiar with the dog they’re adopting.

These services are perfect for dog lovers who are meticulous about adoption and still demand a stress-free process.

But we don’t appreciate that they take too much time to respond to calls and emails. This can be frustrating for clients who prefer virtual transactions

In any case, Family Dogs New Life Shelter is the best in helping you find the right dog for you.

4. Oregon Dachshund Rescue, Inc. 

Oregon Dachshund Rescue, Inc. Homepage

Services Offered: Animal Rescue, Adoption, Full Vetting, Spaying, Neutering and Fostering

Address: Portland, OR 97282 Brooklyn, Southeast Portland


Contact No.: (503) 313-3220

Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency5/5
Facility Design and Capacity4/5
Accessibility 5/5
Quality of Service5/5


  • Operating 24 hours
  • Conducts visitation from time to time


  • Strict adoption policies
  • Adoption is exclusive to Portland locals

What we like best about Oregon Dachshund Rescue, Inc. is their focused and hands-on services in rescuing dachshunds in Portland.

They rescue and care for the dogs that have been abused, neglected, injured, disabled, or surrendered for euthanasia.

They do these by providing for both the physical and emotional needs of the rescued animals. In fact, the animal shelter provides full vetting, spaying, neutering, and fostering services.

We also appreciate that their staff takes the extra step in helping adopters find their new dachshund family member. The team maintains a relationship with adopters and readily offers advice or support when requested.

Another feature that we love about them is their regular home visitations where they visit adopted dogs and check on them from time to time.

We think this is a good follow-through that also saves the adopters time and effort.

This service is perfect for first-time adopters who need extra assistance in caring for their pets but might not have the luxury of time to take their dogs to the facility. 

We also love that they operate 24 hours as opposed to other animal shelters. This service is great for addressing urgent medical assistance, especially for dogs who might need it during wee hours.

However, we don’t appreciate that they have strict criteria for choosing prospective adopters. They also don’t promptly respond to client calls and emails.

In our research, we found that they require the adopters to be locals in Portland. This can be a little exclusive and discriminating for Portland guests who are looking to adopt a dachshund.

Nevertheless, Oregon Dachshund Rescue, Inc. is the best choice for you if you love dachshunds!

5. Portland Animal Welfare Team 

Portland Animal Welfare Team Homepage

Services Offered: Veterinary care, Vaccinations, Parasite Control, Spay/neuter 

Address: 1718 NE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97220, United States


Contact No.: (503) 206-6033

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursdays 10 AM to 3 PM 

Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency5/5
Facility Design and Capacity5/5
Accessibility 4/5
Quality of Service5/5


  • In partnership with a licensed veterinarian
  • Free veterinary care
  • Has several offices


  • Only provides services to the pets of the homeless
  • Closed to the public one week per quarter

For us, Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team is the most pro-poor animal shelter.

We say this because they’re the only organization that provides an animal shelter to pet owners that are homeless or living in extreme poverty.

We appreciate that their services are accessible and convenient to pet owners in need. Only persons without a home qualify for their services.

They also provide free veterinary care to all kinds of pets. Again, the only qualification is that pet owners must prove they are financially challenged. 

We think this simple pre-qualification process saves clients the time and effort of preparing several documents before their application for adoption can be approved.

We also want to commend their quality of service for two things.

First, they appoint an expert veterinarian that leads their medical team for animals that have special cases and require expert medical attention.

Second, they provide a comprehensive list of care services. These include spay/neuter, basic exams, parasite control, vaccinations, supplies, and limited surgeries.

We also love that they have several offices around the Portland community. With this, pet owners can choose which clinic to visit and still get the same quality of service.

However, we don’t appreciate that they don’t offer online appointments, which leaves clients with no choice but to bring themselves and their pets to the facility. This can be frustrating for those who need urgent assistance and prefer a stress-free transaction. 

In any case, if you’re looking for an animal shelter that provides excellent care to pet owners short on resources, the PAW team is ready to help you. 

FAQs on Animal Shelters Portland

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