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SoCal's Best Animal Rescue Groups

Animal Rescue header Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond
(credit: Westie Rescue Of Orange County & Beyond)

Finding forever homes for abandoned animals is the heart and soul of an animal rescue group. They differ from animal shelters in that their rescued animals live with foster families until the perfect home is found and they usually only take cats and dogs. Adopting a dog or cat from a rescue group is a detailed process and usually includes a home visit or inspection and a play date with the prospective owner and pet to make sure everyone gets along.

Animal Rescue Westie photo km
(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond

9151 Atlantic Ave., #5006
Huntington Beach, CA 92615
(714) 960-1083

Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond specializes in West Highland terriers and there are usually just a few dogs up for adoption. The description of each dog is movie script-worthy and you'll find yourself rooting for these little guys and checking back to see if they've been adopted. Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond receives dogs from all over California and sometimes out of state.

Animal Rescue photo Much Love Animal Rescue
(credit: Much Love Animal Rescue)

Much Love Animal Rescue

P.O. Box 341721
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Much Love Animal Rescue takes in all breeds of cats and dogs, mostly from L.A. shelters that are just hours or days away from being euthanized. If you'd like to meet one of these furry friends, Much Love has weekend mobile adoptions in Santa Monica near the farmer's market on Sundays and at the Westfield Century City Mall the first and third Saturday of the month.

Related: Guide To Adopting A Dog From A Shelter

Animal Rescue photo The Ark Animal Rescue
(credit: The Ark Animal Rescue)

The Ark Animal Rescue

P.O. Box 4336
Mission Viejo, CA 92690
(949) 415-8227

The Ark rescues animals mainly from high-kill shelters in Southern California and lists them on pet adoption websites. They have regular weekend adoption events around Orange County and you can find the latest news and information on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Animal Rescue photo Karma Rescue
(credit: Karma Rescue)

Karma Rescue

1158 26th Street, Ste. 155 PMB
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Karma Rescue save dogs from high-kill shelters in Los Angeles and was voted Best Dog Adoption by LA Magazine in 2010. They have a calendar listing their weekend mobile adoptions in Westwood and West Hollywood and as almost all animal rescue groups, Karma Rescue is a non-profit staffed by volunteers. Their website has a thorough explanation of the adoption process and different ways that you can donate and volunteer.

Animal Rescue photo Hooves and Paws
(credit: Hooves And Paws)

Hooves and Paws

P.O. Box 1469
Littlerock, CA 93543
(661) 944-3740

Hooves and Paws is a no-kill animal rescue shelter that specializes in farm animals. Rescued pigs, horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats live at their sanctuary in Littlerock. They also have an organized field trip program for school kids and scouting groups where participants get a behind-the-scenes look at how the animals are cared for and a chance to pet them.

Kristi Marcelle is a travel writer and regular contributor at Ciao Bambino and CBS Los Angeles. She loves planning travel adventures with her family, a good glass of wine at the whining hour and the Green Bay Packers. Follow her on Twitter @kristimarcelle.

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