Inviting a furry friend into your home can be an exciting thing, especially when you’re giving your pet a second chance at a happy life. 

According to the Humane Society, adopting from a local shelter is not only beneficial to you and the pet you choose, but it helps the whole community by preventing overcrowding and allowing more animals to be taken in and cared for while they await their forever home. I’ve done extensive research on local groups and found some great ethical shelters right here in Lincoln that you can feel good about adopting from. 

The Cat House

If you’re looking to bring home a friendly feline, The Cat House is an excellent place to adopt from. For the last 23 years, this no-kill shelter has been taking in cats from all over the Lincoln area and providing them with a safe home until they find a permanent, loving owner to care for them. 

This shelter is completely staffed by volunteers who are committed to helping better these animals’ lives. According to The Cat House website, they are caring for an average of 150 cats at any given time and do their best to put all of the pets in cozy spaces that aren’t restricting and uncomfortable. 

To adopt a cat or kitten, an adoption application must be filled out on their website. Then, a volunteer will call to do an interview. Those who fill out the applications can come meet the animals available for adoption.

Dolly’s Legacy Animal Rescue

Dolly, the dog that inspired this rescue group, was saved from an abusive environment by Kerri Kelly, the director of the organization, at 11 years old. When she passed away a couple years later, Kelly knew she wanted to honor Dolly’s life. On Aug. 9, 2013 — what would have been her 14th birthday — Dolly’s Legacy Rescue was founded.

Fostering both dogs and cats, this all-volunteer rescue group works to save animals from overcrowded shelters that are on the verge of being put down. The pets are taken into loving foster homes where they are cared for, treated and nurtured back to health. After they are made healthy again, they continue to be cared for until they find a new lifelong home.

To adopt a cat or dog, an adoption application must first be filled out on their website, similar to The Cat House. They work hard to match interested parties with a pet and are thorough in their adoption process because they want to ensure the animals never have to be rescued again.

Capital Humane Society

Founded in 1902 under the name Lancaster County Humane Society, the Capital Humane Society has evolved greatly over time. Their goals, however, have remained the same. This organization — which shelters dogs, cats, rodents and birds — seeks to care for pets without a home and educate people on how to responsibly look after their animals. 

Not only do they provide pets with a safe, loving home until they find a permanent place, but they also offer classes and events such as animal training and their annual Holiday Run that promotes animal welfare. Additionally, they have many great resources on their website with useful information for taking care of an animal at all stages of its life.  

Due to the pandemic, all adoptions are by appointment only. To set up an appointment, call them at (402) 441-4488 ext. one during their business hours.

Brave Animal Rescue

This nonprofit group was founded in 2020 by local animal rights advocates. They are currently helping through rescuing animals from shelters with high kill rates, saving orphaned kittens, assisting in trap-neuter-return efforts locally and helping those that aren’t able to continue caring for their pets. 

This organization is completely operated by volunteers who have a passion for animals. The dogs, cats, puppies and kittens being taken in are placed in foster homes until the right owner comes along.

In order to adopt from this group, an application must be filled out on their website. Then, a time can be set up to meet the pet and see whether or not it’s a good match. If it’s decided that it’s a good match by both parties, the furry friend can be taken home that day.

Nebraska No Kill Canine Rescue

For the last 11 years, Nebraska No Kill Canine Rescue has worked to provide a foster-based no-kill option for all dogs. This group is staffed by volunteers who are willing to open up their homes to these animals and give them a safe and loving space to live until they find a great new home. 

Additionally, the organization partners with the Capital Humane Society and other local rescue groups and city pounds. They specialize in hard-to-place dogs that have been neglected and struggled to find good, permanent owners.

The adoption process at Nebraska No Kill Canine Rescue starts with an online application. Within a few days, a volunteer calls to go over the application and talk more about the dog of interest. After that, references are checked and a home visit is scheduled to ensure the home is suitable for the pet. A meet and greet can then be arranged. If it’s a good fit, an adoption contract can be signed.