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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

DC PAWS Rescue

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: DC PAWS Rescue saves stray, neglected, unwanted and abused animals from animal control facilities and places them in safe, supportive and loving foster and adoptive homes in the Washington, DC and surrounding areas. We believe there is more to rescue than placing shelter animals into forever homes. We believe that rescue should support the people who support the rescue, and support the needs of the dogs and cats on their journey to a forever home. We are committed to: providing the best possible standard of care for the animals we rescue; providing all animals we rescue with the necessary tools to succeed, both medical and behavioral; educating adopters, fosters, and volunteers about the benefits of science-based, humane, force-free training methods, and committing wholly to the exclusive use of such training practices for the dogs and cats in our care; treating all volunteers, fosters and adopters with respect, compassion and courtesy; providing our fosters, volunteers and adopters with the necessary tools and training to succeed; and educating the public about responsible pet guardianship, the benefits of adopting, and the needs of animals in high-kill animal control facilities.

Target demographics: homeless animals from underfunded, overcrowded shelters in rural shelters and the rescuers, adopters and volunteers who care about them

Geographic areas served: the Washington, DC Metro area

Programs: adoption, transport, spay/neuter, and education workshops

Community Stories

78 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

We gad a great experience with DC Paws, first as fosters and then eventually as adopters. They have a clear process for vetting both their fosters and adoptees. I would definitely recommend them for folks interested in either roles.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These folks rescued a handsome hound dog. It’s hard to place a howler in the city. Ultimately, they went all the way to California to find the right fit for this handsome boy and he is now on a ranch with another dog enjoying the good life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC PAWS is a great organization to foster through. I have fostered for multiple organizations in the area and none of them support fosters like PAWS does. The leaders are organized, communicative, and want the best for volunteers and animals. The dogs are rescued from around the east coast: Carolinas, DC, Virginia, and MD. The organization does a great job helping the animals who are in need and to find forever homes.

I would recommend fostering or volunteering to anyone passionate and interested in animal rescues.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love being a foster for dc paws! Truly caring and a great organization to be a part of.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws has been great ever since I started volunteering as a cat foster last year! They are always organized, prepared, and up front about any extra care an animal might need. This sets up the foster for success and ultimately finds the cats the right home as soon as possible. I highly recommend them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very proactive, reasonable, efficient in all their dealings. They are very responsive and are always available to help their fosters in need. Most important is the animal’s welfare and they take all steps to ensure the cat/dog’s health and safety come first.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We fostered and adopted 2 kittens. We were so pleased with DCPAWS that we fostered another cat recently. We hope to continue fostering rescued animals with DCRescue.

J Diego A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws is a small scrappy organization run by kind and dedicated leaders. I've loved working with them. Fostering has given me a chance to learn a lot about dogs, test-drive the concept of adopting which I will one day do, and mitigate some of the loneliness of quarantine.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC PAWS is a wonderful organization that saves the lives of dogs and cats every day. I truly applaud their work and am excited to see the continued fruits of their very dedicated labor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered for about 2 years now. It’s a great rescue whose main focus is the animals! It’s organized, professional and they provide great training as well as support for anyone helping. I’ve enjoyed working with everyone and the animals coming into this rescue are treated with care and much love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws has such a passion for finding animals their forever homes. I was lucky enough to witness the incredible work the staff do from trainings to transport to making sure every animal has a foster lined up. Plus the animals are beyond adorable and deserving of love, so it makes volunteering that much more rewarding. I hope to foster with DC Paws again in the near future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with DC Paws as a foster and have loved the opportunity foster animals and to save lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My girlfriend and I signed up to be dog fosters. The approval process went smoothly and we received helpful communication throughout. Once we began fostering the dog, Kate and our adoption coordinator Cindy were very active in making sure we had everything we needed for the dog. The whole process was great and we really have nothing negative to say about it. We ended up falling in love with our girl and adopting her which was also a smooth process. Can't recommend DC PAWS enough!

Katherine B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I fostered with DC Paws and was really grateful for their support and impressed by the thought and attention they give to each to all the animals and people that come through their rescue. I was matched with dogs to foster on two separate occasions--both times DC PAWS worked with me at the beginning to make sure the dogs were the right fit for my space, lifestyle, and experience level. I received as much information as they had about the dogs before I picked them up and whenever I encountered any problems with the pups (ear infections and such), the rescue was prompt (within minutes) to respond to my outreach and advise how to best to get them feeling better. I never felt over my head or alone in the process of fostering and was so appreciative for their guidance. My dogs only stayed with me 2 weeks, and were all adopted smoothly to great owners. Still today, they even pass along updates every now and again from the owners of my fosters. Now that I've adopted my own dog, I am not currently fostering with DC Paws, though will consider volunteering more in the future. This org is great, even though their network is wide, they still foster a tight-nit community of people passionate about pets and empower them to help find dogs and cats in desperate need of shelter, love, and care, a forever home.

Sarah Elisabeth B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopted my wonderful cat through DC PAWS! They were easy to work with, and I’m so happy they helped me find Rudy!

Molly E.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

DC Paws really goes above and beyond to support their dogs and cats, both while being fostered and once they are adopted. They worked tirelessly to ensure each animal is set up to succeed and has a chance at a good life. I started as a volunteer foster with a challenging cat, and they provided me so much support to help him transition to my house and overcome the trauma of his previous owners. He also had unique medical challenges, which they made sure got addressed. With their support, he blossomed into the most wonderful cat --so much so that I fell in love and ended up adopting him! DC Paws was there every step of the way, and it was clear to me how committed they are to saving these animals. Strongly recommend!

eddiesmom

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Most animal rescues do commendable work. DC PAWS goes above and beyond to know the animals, know the adoptive setting and make the best match. Also, they truly value and respect every volunteer.

Me: volunteer x 4 yrs
fostered 5 dogs
adopted 1 sweet mutt

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws rescues pets from high-kill shelters and works to find loving homes for them. As a volunteer, I have seen the effort expended in matching these pets with the right adopters. And... I adopted my own sweet mutt from DC Paws!

Client Served

Rating: 5

DC Paws went all out helping with our dog. Staff very caring and knowledgeable!

Malusa R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my beautiful and sweet Sandy in 2016. She is beyond a member of our family and I couldn’t imagine our lives without her. Thank you so much for finding a member of our family. ❤️❤️

Client Served

Rating: 5

We decided to adopt two kittens. DC Paws was prompt getting back to us after we submitted a adoption form. Check our vets and reference. Screening was on zoom. Adopted Finn (Zeke) and Zorro a week later. Foster did a great job with them, very social, potty trained, clean and healthy! Highly recommend.

GiGi M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my sweet Binx (aka Janet) from DC Paws. It was a very good experience. It takes time but that is a good thing. I wouldn’t want any animal going to someone that wouldn’t be a good and responsible owner.

Hope R.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my cat (Oliver, fka JB) from DC Paws in February 2019 and I can't recommend them highly enough. Every part of the screening process went smoothly, the meet and greet went well, and they have a supportive community for "alumni." When I took Oliver to his first vet visit, the vet was extremely impressed at how good DC Paws' records were. This organization makes a tremendously positive impact and adopting my cat through them was one of the best decisions i've ever made.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We had a great experience volunteering with DC Paws, everyone was so helpful and appreciative of our time. Since then I have recommended the rescue to a number of my friends when looking for a dog or cat to adopt.

Tako K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great network of people dedicated to have these dogs and cats transported locally and from South Carolina to a loving home!

Judy Pender R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recently adopted our little guy through DC Paws. They do fabulous work and ensure all of the animals go to great homes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted these sweet girls from DC Paws earlier this year. My second adoption. Their foster mom, Lizzy, was incredibly great and continues to be. She and Kate Viar are knowledgeable and continue to offer great support and resources to care for every animal that passes through DC Paws. This was my second time going back to DC Paws to adopt and I really love working with them and appreciate all they do.

Kaavya K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kate and the team at DC Paws do a wonderful job and absolutely dedicated to finding their rescues good and secure fosters and future homes. Their dedication and tireless work is astounding and I have enjoyed being part of this organization.

Aubrie M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent months applying for dogs through various agencies. I actually applied for a dog with DC Paws that ended up getting adopted before my application was submitted. However DC Paws quickly reached out to me with another dog that was just what I was looking for. This was all in March of 2020, so at the beginning of things shutting down, and they were quick, informative and very helpful through the whole process. They were open with me about what they did or didn’t know about my dog and I have not had any surprises with her. She is the sweetest, goofiest, and most lovable and I am so grateful for DC Paws.

Meg R.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog Hugo from DC PAWS rescue in October 2020! The adoption coordinator (Thanks Anna!) and Hugo's foster (Thanks Aimee!) responded to our application quickly and were transparent about the adoption process & expectations as well as the dog's background & condition. Even though most of the process was virtual due to COVID-19, I still feel like they went out of their way to help us make an informed decision and we felt prepared to take Hugo home. We were given a lot of informational materials and, after adoption, they followed up to make sure everything was going well!

It is clear that their number one priority is finding a good family for each of their adoptable animals as well as finding a good fit for each prospective adopter. We've loved having Hugo in our home and we will definitely adoption from DC PAWS again!

Tyrone J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing group of people that go above and beyond to help animals. Its easy to help cute little pups, but I've seen this group save dogs that other rescues thought had too many "issues" and would be a problem getting adopted. DC Paws saved them and contributed to happy, loving families. Top notch.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great volunteers helped me get a great dog. I described the type I was looking for — small, non shedding, had to get along with my current dog. Adopted a fantastic dog direct from transport. And we lived happily ever after.

Tiffany C.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a foster with dc paws and they really go above and beyond to take care of as many animals as possible. But it's not just quantity over quality for dc paws-- they really think about what the animal needs in their new home and are so good about making sure the new forever home isn't just the first one that comes along but is really a perfect fit.

ryangoodell

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws goes the extra mile when it comes to rescuing animals. From the top down, one of the best animal rescues I’ve ever dealt with.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The sheer effort DC Paws puts into rescuing helpless animals is second to none. From strays and unclaimed pets to animals trapped in domestic situations, the team bends over backwards to save as many animals as they can.
The adoption process is unlike anything I’ve seen before and ensures the animals are going to a family that is the perfect fit for them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An exceptional organization filling the hole that exists in animal rescue right now -- pulling animals from rural shelters that would otherwise be forced to make really hard choices.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed helping out DC PAWS Rescue by helping to process foster applications. The rescue is organized and each foster pet arriving comes with their own medical folder, crate, martingale collars for dogs, etc. etc. This organization truly loves all these foster animals coming into their care and treats them as if they were their own pet.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws is nimble and resilient. It is 100% volunteer and foster based rescue that moves mountains. It is incredible the dedication and hard work from DC Paws that goes into rescuing cats and dogs from the DMV area and further south by partnering with shelters that are at capacity to find them forever homes. They are a wonderful rescue to volunteer with and after 4+ years of working with them they are a great organization to support and learn from.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This 100% volunteer run and organized rescue does incredible every single day rescuing cats and dogs from overcrowded shelters, getting them health, trained, and loved to move on to their forever homes. For such a small organization, they have a large impact. It's one of the few rescues that has events that are metro accessible which makes them a great place to volunteer long term.

Client Served

Rating: 5

DC Paws is a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers who care deeply for homeless dogs and cats. What sets them apart from many other rescues is their passion for animals who are not as easy to adopt out--senior dogs and cats, for example. DC Paws works with fosters and adopters to ensure every animal ends up in the right home and provides training resources, recommendations, and ongoing support to create a happily ever after ending for every animal the organization adopts out.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful rescue run by people with such big hearts! This small but mighty local rescue doesn't turn down "difficult" animals such as those who are older or have medical conditions. The volunteers who run the rescue are extremely well organized and work hard to make sure the adoption is a perfect match for each specific dog/cat--and the adopter(s)! The adoption process is very transparent, and the adoption coordinators provide great advice on helping animal adjust to their new homes. I couldn't recommend DC Paws highly enough if you are looking to add a dog or cat to your family.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

DC paws makes sure each family is thoroughly vetted and animals are in their perfect forever home

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with DC PAWS for two years and there are no words to explain how lovely my experience has been. This organization has changed my life for the better while allowing me to make animals’ lives better! From the first day, the director, Kate, was welcoming and you can see her passion for saving animals. Her passion is reflected by the great work this organization does. I love DC PAWS and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

Anna B.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been fostering and now adopting with DC Paws for the last 6 months and it has absolute changed my life for the better. Now only it is incredibly fun to foster, but I’ve never felt so fulfilled. I even have a sweet little kitten to call my own while continuing to foster dogs and cats that need a chance at a better life in DC. This organization goes above and beyond the necessary and commits to each animal for their entire lives. DC Paws will support you each step of the way both as adopters and foster families. I can’t recommend this organization enough. Please consider fostering or adopting through DC Paws. They give each animal a chance at the best, happiest life possible.

Jordan N.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I help with other rescues but recently joined DC Paws Rescue which has been fun and rewarding. Enjoy doing the foster apps and transports when I’m available. Lovely group of people and lucky dogs and cats that get rescued by this organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We recently adopted our pup here and are very happy. The rescue did a great job through the adoption process and his Adoption coordinator and Foster Mom were both very responsive and helpful. We are so glad that they saved this little guy from a high-kill shelter and brought him to DC for us to adopt!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fostering dogs with dcpawsrescue since april of this year and am currently fostering my third dog. The first two dogs were both adopted out to good families as dcpaws does a very good job of honestly presenting the animals on their site and at adoption events so prospective adopters can pick an animal that suits their family and lifestyle. Although fostering can have challenges dcpaws has been very good at responding to any problems that have occurred and fostering continues to be a rewarding experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with DC Paws is such a rewarding experience. Helping dogs and cats get adopted to their forever homes makes you feel so good, and seeing the looks on the families' faces is heartwarming. Kate runs the org in her "spare time" and does a great job managing all the volunteers and goings on in the org.

Erin R.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing group of caring and dedicated animal lovers. As an all-foster animal rescue, it truly takes a village to help these pups and kitties transition into safe and loving forever homes.

DCPAWS saves pets from euthanasia in South Carolina and PG County Maryland and places them into volunteer foster homes until they find forever homes. Every person I have met in my time with the organization cares so so much about every animal, especially for their medical and long-term care. But beyond that, everyone is always so willing to help each other! Any time I have questions, someone is always quick to hold my hand and answer my queries.

I would absolutely recommend this organization to volunteers, donors, and adopters alike!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC PAWS really goes above and beyond in and outside of our immediate community to reach and serve animals who have no other place to turn. They fill a void that many other shelters cannot by rescuing breeds that are banned in certain locales and provide a solution to overcrowded shelters by housing animals in foster homes. Those are the reasons that I support this particular organization with my time as a volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A very dedicated group of volunteers, these folks are a small but mighty foster-based rescue organization.

Megan V.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with this rescue, they do a great job!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to my first transport event and DC PAWS did a wonderful job! All the volunteers had clear roles and were able to contribute, the dogs and cats were treated like the angels they are, and the fosters and adopters were well vetted and educated on animal care so that the animals would be safe and happy in their new homes. What a wonderful organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing rescue organization, that is foster-based and full of loving, kind, caring folks who give so much to run this organization that focuses on animals first.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fostering with DC Paw for several months, and they are great to work with. They are responsive and proactive and do their best to save dogs and cats and place them in the perfect forever home. Great network!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love DC Paws Rescue! I started as a volunteer and became a foster. Now I am an adopter!! My dog, Moose, is a rescue from an overcrowded shelter in SC. DC Paws Rescue brought him up here and the rest is history.

Suzanne I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first time volunteering with an animal rescue, and they have been above and beyond great. Unlike other volunteer groups I've worked with, they're incredibly organized, down to the detail with medication dosage for the animals and full packets for information for when they arrive. All of volunteers and coordinators are responsive, so friendly, and generous with their knowledge. And the foster orientation was so thorough, I felt like I was ready to jump in after I took it.

The dogs and cats that are brought to DC Paws for adoption really are lucky to fall into right hands to find them forever homes.

Lee M.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at an adoption event with DC Paws showed me the direct impact this organization has on animals, families, and the area. How wonderful it is that animals in need of some TLC are given foster owners and kept warm and safe until they are adopted for good, thus ensuring a wonderful experience for each lucky family that encounters these doggos and cats. DC Paws makes the District and surrounding areas a better place to live.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

DC Paws is the little rescue that could. All rescues are brought up from the Carolinas in overwhelmed rural shelters. Volunteers drive up to drop off animals in the DMV area that then get fostered right off transport into wonderful temporary homes. They are then training and cared for until they find their forever home which is so valuable. Each family and pet are painstakingly matched to make sure it truly is a forever home on both sides.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws is the little rescue that could. Started only a few years ago to address a need to support overcapacity shelters in North and South Carolina, DC Paws has utilized the animal friendly DMV network to foster and adopt out these dogs and cats. Animals are transported every few weeks up to the DMV area. With weekly adoption events, ongoing home visits, adoption coordination, a lot happens! It's a smaller organization that needs every volunteer it can get and you can be as involved as you like. There are opportunities to help once a month, every weekend or even during the week to help with home visits for potential adopters. If you prefer online support, there's plenty to do there as well with creating weekly newsletters, online marketing, and vetting adopters and volunteers. It's great that there is so much flexibility and training involved in the rescue and the main founders go above and beyond to help the animals in need. It's a great place to start volunteering across the DMV area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws is well run rescue. They work hard to give their volunteers and adopters the most supportive network possible. Not only do they care about saving dogs, but they also make sure you are getting all you need to provide for your new fur baby.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws Rescue is a great organization, I have fostered 16 pups and had one foster fail with my new fur baby Sadie. Sadie is such a sweet cat. The ladies and guys are truely committed in finding homes for these wonderful fur babies who just what a chance to a good loving life. Luv that I chose to volunteer with this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws does so ,much with so little. Run by volunteers, DC Paws puts all its financial resources into saving the lives of animals. Pulling primarily from rural shelters in SC (but also stepping in for local DC-area shelters), DC Paws makes a big difference. The rescue works with its fosters and adopters to find the best families for loving dogs and cats - and this is an area where I've seen big improvement over the few years I've been involved with them. Thanks, DC Paws, for the great work you!

Claire S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Paws is a fantastic rescue organization that deeply cares about their animals. They save animals that otherwise have no chance of survival, and give them the chance they need to live the happy lives they deserve!

Megan C.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love being a foster with DC Paws Rescue. The organization is committed to providing loving homes for animals in need. Their leadership is committed to transparency and doing what is best for each animal.

I have been fostering with DC Paws for three years and I tell everyone how rewarding it has been to know that I have been able to save the lives of so many animals.

For every animal you foster, you save two lives--the life of your foster and the life of the one who takes their place in their respective shelter.

Connie K.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great nonprofit! Have really enjoyed working with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An incredible organization which pulls animals from the highest risk shelters and places them in carefully vetted forever homes!

Eva L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for DC Paws off and on for the last three years. The level of dedication, care, and passion is just phenomenal with this organization. They are committed to the welfare of each and every animal which is apparent through the volunteering, fostering, and adopting processes. I have loved working with this group and look forward to future events.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great rescue with great people! I've had positive experiences throughout.