Ready for a big step? Adopting a dog is a real and tangible way to completely transform a life – both theirs and yours. 

According to local reports, there’s no better time. After a surge of pet adoptions during the height of the pandemic, shelters in Vancouver are now seeing a sharp drop-off in interest. They are scrambling to find homes for thousands of critters in need. Prospective dog parents are urged to evaluate their lives and their compatibility with a new canine friend. As we all know, pet ownership is a ton of responsibility and should not be entered into lightly. But for those of you prepared to welcome a fresh, furry face in your family, here is a breakdown of shelters in the Vancouver area who’d be happy to help you complete your family. 

Adopt a Dog

Via the City of Vancouver

Coming as a welcomed surprise, the City of Vancouver actually hosts an ‘Adopt a pet’ page in the Home, Property, and Development section of their website. They partner with pro-adoption shelters and encourage interested parties to peruse their pups on PetFinder before contacting them via email for a visit. Their kennels are not open for drop-ins to avoid distressing the dogs. An appointment must be made ahead of time. Prices are helpfully listed clearly on the page. It’s $316 for ‘Regular’ Dogs (Adult dogs with no major health issues) and $97 for Senior Dogs and Dogs with ongoing medical conditions. They also support the adoption of many other animals, such as budgies, lovebirds, rabbits, gerbils, and ferrets, open for visitation by appointment. 

BC SPCA Vancouver Branch 

The BC SPCA is a loved and respected pillar of the local adoption community. The SPCA website hosts dozens of dogs in the Vancouver area, ranging from puppies to senior sweeties. Filter by Breed, Weight, Age, Sex, Compatability, and Location to refine your search. If you think you’ve found your perfect pup, you can submit an application for review by the SPCA staff. Note that visitation is only available to successful applicants, so make sure you’ve double and triple-checked before you hit submit.

Adopt a Dog

Loved at Last Dog Rescue 

This organization is a local, registered non-profit composed entirely of compassionate and hard-working volunteers. Loved at Last specializes in overseas rescues and collaborates with shelters in the Middle East, China, South Korea, Mexico, Bali, India, and the US. As these are international adoptions, prices are a bit higher and range from $500 – $800, plus minor fees associated with travelling the dogs through customs. However, when looking at the provided list of expenses (flights, crates, vaccines, deworming etc..) that are covered by Loved at Last, their adoption fee seems really quite reasonable. Scroll their roster of adoptable pups. Or, apply under ‘Generic’ to be matched with a soon-to-be rescued pooch. Submit an application and cross your fingers. 


This super-stylish, hashtag-happy rescue serves the PNW, namely Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Seattle, and Montreal. FUR BAE’s origins start in Doha, Qatar, where its founder Laura volunteered in shelters. She found hundreds of dogs in need and brought them over to the many prospective pet parents waiting in the Northwest. Their website hosts a beautiful array of pups looking for their permanent spot by your side. Prices trend upwards slightly, with $1000 for international dogs and domestic dogs under 5 years, and $500 for any dogs over 5 years. But considering the inclusion of costs for flights and around-the-clock care, it’s more than understandable. 

Adopt a Dog

Home at Last Dog Rescue

Based in the BC Lower Mainland, Home at Last is a fairly new organization run by dog-loving volunteers and generous donations. Unlike some legacy shelters, this organization does not have a physical location. Instead, pups are placed in temporary foster families until their perfect match is found. If you’re a first-time dog owner, fostering could be a great option to assess your compatibility with pet ownership before making the real commitment. Check out their available furry friends, and if adoption feels too big a leap, consider fostering. Whatever your prerogative, Home at Last is open for applications (although they are admittedly rigorous and selective!)

Becoming a forever family to a rescued dog is not feasible for everyone. Long working hours, health, children, other pets, and small living space are all valuable things to consider when deciding on whether adoption is right for you. If you’ve evaluated the long-term reality of dog ownership and have come up uncertain, fostering might be more your speed. Or, consider a much-appreciated donation to one of the above shelters. Remember that dogs are living beings, and many have suffered traumas before rescue, so there will be rainy days among the sunshine and rainbows. Familiarize yourself with the 3-3-3 Rule when it comes to dog adoption, so you can be prepared to weather any storm that may come your way.

Adopt a Dog