Rutherford County Humane Society

Rutherfordton, North Carolina

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About Rutherford County Humane Society

Rutherford County Humane Society in Rutherfordton, North Carolina was founded in 1979. This no-kill, non-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers through a foster care based program. Their mission is to significantly improve the lives of unwanted and neglected animals while decreasing the size of that population through three initiatives:

  • Spay/neuter programs
  • Volunteer foster homes
  • Outreach and education

Being a foster-based animal rescue, they're always in need of new foster carers. With more foster carers, more pets can be rescued and re-homed! Rutherford County Humane Society covers all the expenses for the foster carer, so all you need to supply is love. If you're interested, get in touch and let them know you're available to help save more lives.

Considering adoption from Rutherford County Humane Society? Keep reading below for more information on their process and fees.

Contact Info

PO Box 998
(828) 286-0222

Hours of Operation

By appointment

Adoption Process

Rutherford County Humane Society has many different pets waiting for permanent homes. Here's their adoption process:

  1. View the pets and their profiles on the society's website or PetFinder.
  2. Complete an adoption application. Forms can be found below.
  3. After your application is approved, a volunteer will contact you regarding payment of adoption fees and to arrange delivery if you wish to go ahead with the adoption. Rutherford County Humane Society is located in western North Carolina. Optional transport is available weekly.
  4. If you live in the Rutherford County area, please contact the society directly to learn more about their process.

Please be aware of the following:

  • For pets under 4 months of age, you're responsible for continuing their basic distemper vaccine and kitten deworming at 3-week intervals. They'll need to have their rabies vaccine done at 4 months of age.
  • As per the adoption contract, you need to have your pet spayed or neutered at the earliest recommended date by your vet. For out-of-state adopters, once you provide proof that your pet has been altered, you'll be reimbursed the amount Rutherford County Humane Society would've paid to perform the surgery in Rutherford County, NC. For pets staying near Rutherford County, the spay/neuter surgery will be done at specified local vets free of charge.

Should you wish to adopt a pet from you can complete an application form below:

  • Adoption Application - Dogs
  • Adoption Application - Cats

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at Rutherford County Humane Society are as follows:


  • Adults/Puppies: $125

Your dog adoption fee covers spay/neuter, DHPP and rabies vaccination, flea/tick treatment, heartworm testing, deworming, and microchipping.


  • Adults/Kittens: $30-$100

Your cat adoption fee covers spay/neuter surgery, PVR and rabies vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, ear mite treatment, and deworming.

Adoption Process & Fees

Our writing team is hard at work researching this shelter's adoption process and fees, so this page will be updated soon!

In the meantime, here's some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

Why Rescue A Shelter Dog?

Because shelter dogs are full of love!

Is it because they know you saved them and love you harder for it?

I can't say for certain, but yes.

Jokes aside, there are three things all shelter dogs need to thrive in their new home:

  1. Love
  2. Patient
  3. Training

Older shelter dogs, generally 1+ years old, may have experienced a lot of trauma, which often results in one of 8 common behavioral issues:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Aggression toward people & pets
  3. Resource guarding
  4. Destructive behavior
  5. Housetraining regression
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Leash reactivity & barrier-related aggression
  8. Constant whining

These issues are correctable! Your dog isn't broken, they're just damaged. You can fix them with enough love, patience, and a good training plan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding good dog trainers can be hard. Like everything else, dog training is moving only. but there are great online dog trainers that are proven to work and can help get your new pup on the right path.

Animal Shelter vs Humane Society vs Rescue: What's the Difference?

You can learn a lot about an animal welfare organization just by looking at their name.

Animal Shelters

  • Most Animal Shelters are city or county-run organizations, often operated by the local Animal Control department, that manage strays and handle owner surrenders.
  • They usually have kennel facilities you can visit to adopt animals, and they usually have less stringent adoption requirements, lower adoption fees, and same-day adoptions (because their goal is to get animals out of the shelter).
  • Unfortunately, they usually know very little about each animal, including their true personalities and any behavioral problems.

Humane Societies

  • Most Humane Societies are non-profit organizations, many of which are no-kill shelters.
  • Some (but not all) are affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States.
  • They exist to improve animal welfare in the local community and often partner with city or county-run Animal Shelters that often euthanize animals due to capacity restraints.
  • They usually have kennel facilities, sometimes at multiple locations, and usually offer other services to the community such as low-cost spay/neuter clinics, community education programs, and more.
  • They may also have some animals in foster care.
  • There's a lot of variation in process and fees among Humane Societies, but they usually have really good websites that detail everything for you.


  • Most Rescues are foster-based organizations that don't have physical facilities.
  • They usually have websites and contact emails, but not all of them have phone numbers.
  • Because they don't have a physical facility, you need to view animals in their foster network online, usually on their website but sometimes on their member pages on either PetFinder or Adopt-a-Pet.
  • If you see an animal you'd like to meet, contact the rescue using the process listed on their website or via email. They'll help you through the application process and set up a time for you to meet the animal at the foster's home.
  • Adopting from a rescue generally is the most expensive option here and takes the longest, but you get an animal that's been cared for in a loving home environment and their foster can tell you a lot about their personality.

6 Tips to Improve Your Adoption Experience

Adoption processes vary drastically from organization to organization, but here are some general tips that apply in most instances. Note that we'll use the term "shelters" here for simplicity but it includes all types of rescue organizations.

  1. See an animal online that you'd like to meet? Call the shelter before your visit to make sure the animal is still available. This especially applies for puppies, which are adopted out quickly.
  2. Usually, you'll need to get some paperwork in order: a photo ID, vaccination/medical records for any pets you currently have, possibly your vet's contact info and a couple of personal references, and (for renters) proof you're allowed to have a pet (copy of your lease or your landlord's contact info).
  3. If you need to provide contact info for your vet, let your vet know ahead of time. Otherwise, they may not release your information.
  4. Many shelters require your current dogs to meet adoptive dogs. Your current dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. Some shelters require you to schedule a home visit to ensure a suitable living environment for the new animal.
  6. Adoption fees may seem excessive, but they're actually amazing values. Truthfully, caring for a pet is expensive. Most adoption fees include required medical care to get the animal ready for their new home including (but not limited to) spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, general vet exams, flea/tick treatment, deworming, heartworm testing/treatment for dogs, and feline leukemia and feline AIDS testing/treatment for cats. In general, your adoption fee is less than the cost of this care, so you're saving money in addition to your new animal's life!

If you have any questions about adopting an animal (what you'll need, what to expect, etc.) feel free to contact the PetLists team!

For more information about what's included in your adoption fee, or any other questions about the adoption process, reach out to
Rutherford County Humane Society
North Carolina
directly using the contact info above.

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Other Shelters in

North Carolina

Curious about other shelters? Here's 6 more. You can also browse all
animal shelters in
North Carolina

You can also go back to our listing of all 50 states to find shelters elsewhere in the US.
All information on this page is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge. If you spot an error, please contact us using our contact form.
Note: Hours of operation and other information on this page are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic.