A Guide to Local Animal Advocacy

By Alexie Rendon – March 1, 2022

Helping the world one pup at a time through love, advocacy or shelter adoption is a great way to give a furry friend a home. Before adopting a pet, you need to be prepared and do research before making any type of commitment. 

Here are Austin-area dog rescues and services that might be able to help your process.

Gold Ribbon Rescue

Two golden retrievers.

Gold Ribbon Rescue (GRR), is a nonprofit dedicated to bettering the lives of Golden Retrievers through rescuing, providing shelter and locating forever homes for those in need. Additionally, GRR aims to educate the community on responsible dog ownership. 

Even if you are not looking to adopt, GRR encourages those who love dogs to get involved through volunteering. Volunteers assist with tasks such as conducting phone interviews for prospective adopters, transporting dogs and fundraising efforts.

If you’re interested in fostering, GRR is always in need of families to provide a loving and comfortable space for dogs awaiting adoption. The organization has experienced a sudden increase in dogs who have special medical and behavioral needs. 

Classic Canines

A dog.

While puppies are typically the hot commodity when looking to adopt a dog, Classic Canines asks you to consider an elderly dog as an addition to the family. 

Each year, many elderly dogs become homeless due to changes in their home environment or an owner’s death. The change is especially traumatic for these dogs as they are usually losing their lifelong home. 

Classic Canines is not a direct adoption service but rather a group promoting advocacy for the adoption of senior dogs as shelter life can be traumatic for them. They hope families will first check with the shelter for a list of senior dogs in need of a home. 

They also advocate for adoption centers that actually rescue dogs from the Austin area rather than importing dogs from rural shelters. Taking in dogs from far shelters minimizes resources that could go toward dogs here in Austin. 

You can support Classic Canines by giving a monetary donation, which goes directly toward providing medical care and treatment to elderly dogs so they can be placed on adoption lists. 

Austin Pets Alive!

Dog with two legs in a tutu.

Austin Pets Alive! (APA) is a local nonprofit and animal shelter dedicated to caring for and finding homes for animals in need. In 2020, APA had 10,974 adoptions and placed 13,858 animals in foster homes. 

Volunteer opportunities at APA range from traditional duties such as shelter functions, medical care and events to more modern duties such as helping out with social media through promoting virtual foster. Typically, virtual fosters are animals that have been in the shelter for long periods of time. You can use your platform to help the marketing team promote these animals and help them find their way to a home. 

While APA does work to provide a supportive and comfortable shelter environment, shelters are not the same as a home. Foster families are always a need. You can help animals at APA by giving your time and love to provide a temporary, stable home away from shelter life.  

Abby’s Little Friends: Central Texas Dog Adoptions

Riley the dog.

Though Abby’s Little Friends: Central Texas Dog Adoptions did not originally start in Texas,  strays across Central Texas have a lot to be thankful for since the organization expanded from Florida. 

Abby’s Little Friends is unique in the way that they do not operate as a facility or kennel shelter. Rescues are given medical attention and then sent to be cared for by a foster family. The family will then take note of behaviors that may need addressing to find their best fit. 

This nonprofit not only takes care of the dog but also their new family. The website is full of resources for things such as behavior techniques, good training habits and pet healthcare tips.

Austin Animal Center

Injured dog with cast.

According to their website, Austin Animal Center has provided shelter to more than 16,000 animals annually. The center accepts strays and owner-surrendered animals no matter their age, medical needs or breed. 

Austin Animal Services provides shelter, fostering and eventually adoption for animals in need. However, signing the adoption papers is only the first step for pet owners. Community members are invited to take classes hosted by Austin Animal Center on topics such as “responsible pet ownership” or “rabies awareness and bite prevention.” 

Additionally, Austin Animal Center offers pet owners the opportunity to have their animals spayed or neutered at a low cost as well as a service to help pet owners locate their lost animals. 

Get involved in the life-saving mission of Austin Animal Services by becoming a volunteer or by considering adoption.


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