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Paws to Consider: Shelters and Resources for Pet Lovers in the Capital Region   Tags: animal rescue, animal shelters, cats, dogs, frederick county, montgomery county, no-kill shelter, pet adoption, pet care, pets, prince george's county, washington dc  

Paws to Consider is an online LibGuide and print resource for those in the Capital Region wishing to adopt a cat or dog as well as current pet owners.
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Paws to Consider

Paws to Consider is an online LibGuide and print resource for those in the Capital Region wishing to adopt a cat or dog as well as current pet owners. The purpose of this guide is to provide links to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations in the Washington area as well as bibliography and links to online and print resources about pet care.

¿Hablas español?

Paws to Consider este sitio proporciona información para propietarios de mascotas en Washington D.C. y áreas aledañas.

Para más información sobre adopción o entrega de animales, simplemente haz click en la liga, en la parte superior de esta página, que describe dónde vives.

How this guide is organized:

You will find tabs at the top of the page corresponding with Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's County in Maryland and with Washington, DC. You will also find tabs for General Resources on adoption in the Capital Region and pet care, Pets and the Fair Housing Act, and Helping Feral Cats.

Each county/district page contains an interactive map of shelters and rescues, a listing of Shelters and Rescue organizations, and Downloads of relevant documents, forms, and publications.

¿Cómo está organizada esta guía:

Usted encontrará ligas en la parte superior de la página correspondiente con Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's County en Maryland y con Washington, DC. Usted también encontrará las fichas de Recursos Generales en materia de adopción en la Región Capital y el cuidado de mascotas, mascotas y la Ley de Vivienda Justa, y Ayudar gatos salvajes.

Cada página del condado / distrito contiene un mapa interactivo de los refugios y los rescates, una lista de refugios y organizaciones de rescate, y descargas de los documentos pertinentes, formularios y publicaciones.


Golden RetrieverFrequently-Asked Questions:

What is the difference between a shelter and a rescue group?

An animal shelter has a physical location or facility where dogs and cats available for adoption are housed.

A rescue group is an organization that helps find new homes for cats, dogs, and other animals. Rescue groups are usually run by volunteers who often "foster" the animals in their own homes and usually do not have a designated facility for animals.

What is a no-kill shelter?

If you surrender your animal to a shelter, you should verify that it is a no-kill shelter. A no-kill shelter or rescue organization does not euthanize cats or dogs in the shelter unless an animal has an incurable illness or poses a danger to humans or other animals.  According to the Humane Society of the United States Shelter Pet Project, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually in animal shelters simply because there is not enough space or resources to care for an animal. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy conducted the Shelter Statistics Survey in 1994 through 1997. Of the shelters reporting in the study, in 1997 alone, 56.4% of dogs and 71% of cats that entered the shelter were euthanized. Only a quarter of the dogs and cats entering the shelter in that year found adoptive homes.

Where should I adopt a pet?

If you are looking to adopt a cat or dog, you are likely to find a wonderful furry friend at any one of the shelters or rescue organizations in the Capital Region. Most organizations charge a modest adoption fee which often includes vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery.

Playing KittenI can no longer keep my pet. What should I do?

There are many reasons why pet owners give up a cat or dog, due to owner illness, pet behavioral issues, moving to a new home where pets aren't permitted, or for lack of financial resources. Here are some points to consider before deciding to re-home or surrender your pet:

  • Many senior citizens and persons with disabilities are told to give up their pet when moving into rental housing where pets are forbidden. But do you know that federal laws allow these individuals to keep their animals if pet owners can show that pets are beneficial to their emotional well-being.The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can help pet owners with questions about these laws.
  • Behavioral problems (such as barking for dogs and urine marking for cats) may be caused by an underlying health issue that can be easily fixed by consulting a veterinarian or modifying the animal's home environment.
  • In tough economic times, some owners may have difficulty paying for pet food and veterinary care. Yet animal rescue groups and shelters can advise owners on where to find low-cost veterinary services. There are also food programs for pets such as the Maryland SPCA's Kibble Connection Frederick County Humane Society's Emergency Pet Food Bank.
  • If you must re-home your pet, talk to family, friends and co-workers and let them know you are seeking a new home for your animal.  Your local veterinarian may also know of potential adoptive families. Also, try posting your pet to MDSPCA's rehoming program.
  • Always check with a shelter or rescue organization before surrendering a cat or dog. Some municipal shelters accept animals only from that city or county. Other rescue organizations can help pet owners find new homes for their pets.

Whatever you decide to do, never leave or abandon an animal to fend for itself.We realize that there are situations where owners can no longer keep a pet. Finding a new home for a pet is not always easy or quick, but by seeking the help of shelters and rescue organizations, you can find a good home for your friend.


Downloads and Contact Info.

Contact Information:


Phone: 301-910-1008


This resource was put together by Rebeccah Baker, Jaime Mears, Elizabeth Tobey, and Julia Wheeler as a class project for LBSC602: Serving Information Needs, taught by Professor Mary Choquette at the University of Maryland, Shady Grove campus, in fall 2013.

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(Note: Not all information from LibGuide included in print brochure due to limited space).


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