Dog Adoption And Rescue In Winston-Salem: Find Your Best Friend

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The amount of dogs that wait in shelters for that moment when someone looks their way, catches their eye, and makes a connection is staggering. Rescue organizations do their best to remove dogs that have reached the end of their time at the shelters and are due to be euthanized, but not all of them can be saved. Many loving, friendly, trusting dogs are put down for no other reason than lack of space. Yet puppy mills, pet stores, and breeders still thrive.

Here are groups that strive to change the bleak picture above. You can do your part too.

Dogs Barley and his sister Lily, both brown, meet for the first time in a yard with a lawn and mulch. They are both looking at each other
Barley and his sister Lily meet for the first time
Photo by Michelle Schenker for, © Cover Story Media, Inc 2023

Forsyth County Animal Shelter

Forsyth County Animal Shelter manages dog intake, care, sheltering, adoptions, and fostering. The Sheriff’s Department brings stray and neglected animals to the shelter, and people turn animals in. They are held as long as possible, as adoption is the shelter’s primary goal. For instance, a dog was recently adopted who had been there for three months.

Forsyth Humane Society

New Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic 2024

The Forsyth Humane Society will open a new low-cost Spay/Neuter & Wellness Center at 725 Waughtown Street in Winston-Salem next year. They hope to remove the financial barriers, provide affordable health care, and promote responsible pet ownership with this cutting-edge facility and its experienced, compassionate staff. Consider donating to the Forsyth Humane Society to help them continue their work.

Forsyth Humane Society strives to provide a safe and welcoming environment and makes every effort to improve the lives of animals. They prioritize spay/neuter and assist people in finding resources. Besides adoption and fostering, they encourage those surrendering pets to reconsider or at least attempt to rehome, and they offer help finding lost pets.

AARF, Animal Adoption And Rescue Foundation

The Winston-Salem AARF exterior of the building. It is blue with a large open porch and white railings. It has a blue double front door, four windows across the front, and three peaked windows on the roof.
The Winston Salem AARF Building
Photo by Michelle Schenker for, © Cover Story Media, Inc 2023

AARF, Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation, is a no-kill non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to finding loving homes for dogs and cats. They provide rescue, foster care, veterinary service, and adoption to homeless, abandoned, surrendered, and sick animals. They will even accept difficult-to-adopt cats or dogs.

  • 302 Thurston Street, Winston-Salem, NC
  • 336-768-7387
  • AARF Website

Godbey Creek Canine Rescue

Godbey Creek Canine Rescue wants to change your thoughts on animal shelters, especially theirs. They are a kind, considerate rescue shelter that has placed over 400 dogs in loving forever homes. Serving the communities of Mocksville, Winston-Salem, and the surrounding areas, they work with each dog to teach them basic training and new skills, socialize them, and let them enjoy their 52-acre site.

Gram Rescue Ranch

Gram Rescue Ranch is a non-profit animal rescue organization in Winston-Salem that, for almost 15 years, has pulled up to six dogs at a time from local animal control facilities just before euthanasia dates. They have also taken in many owner surrenders. In addition, they have worked with an advocacy group to see the “No Tethering Allowed” ordinance accomplished and Animal Control placed under the direction and authority of the Forsyth Sheriff’s Department for greater enforcement.

What Can You Do?

Spay or Neuter

First and foremost – spay or neuter your dog! I heard someone state they felt bad doing that to their dog. That is the most ridiculous thing ever. Your dog wants to be loved, cared for, played with, and have your unlimited attention and snuggles. It does not care if it is spayed or neutered. And spayed and neutered dogs live longer and healthier lives.


Forsyth County Animal Shelter and Forsyth Humane Society need volunteers, as do the organizations listed here. If you can’t volunteer your time, they all have wish lists and can always use towels, pet beds, and more.


Foster if you can. It doesn’t matter if you already have a pet, are retired, or live in an apartment. None of those things preclude you from fostering. By fostering, you are not making a life-long commitment, but you remove a dog from a shelter while it is waiting for a forever home.


Knowing that you are making a commitment to the life of the dog is essential before you rescue. You don’t adopt because you love puppies. You adopt because you want to watch that puppy grow into your best friend. Dogs become a part of the family, and like other family members, they deserve love, care, and consideration for their whole life. The love you get in return is heart-filling.


If you have been thinking about getting a dog, go to the shelter or contact one of these groups and do it. There is nothing better than a rescued dog. The love and loyalty they have is overwhelming. If you’re retired and lonely and feel a young dog would be too much for you, many senior dogs would love to be your companion. Why spend your evenings alone when you could share them with a friend?

A Walk In The Park

Nothing is nicer than walking your dog in one of our beautiful parks. While most require your dog to be on a leash, there are a few dog parks where they can run loose. Take a look at Winston-Salem area parks to see where you can go.

Do you have a shelter or rescue dog? Tell us about them in the comments.

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