Pennsylvania Among the Best States to Adopt a Dog

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Dogs are man’s best friend, and sometimes after a bad beat a man needs a best friend.

So, decided to take a break from PA online casino coverage to look into the states with the most dog rescues per square mile. used data from to find the number of dog rescue groups and adoption agencies in every state. Then, we ranked each state by how many rescue organizations they had per square mile.

States with Most Dog Rescues per Square Mile

Here is a cultural story with statistics you won’t find on any Pennsylvania sports betting app.

RankState# Dog Rescue GroupsRescues per Sq. Mile
1Rhode Island920.059551165
3New Jersey3480.039896453
7New Hampshire1090.011658801
11North Carolina4580.00850998
16New York4050.007423704
17South Carolina2340.007307821
23West Virginia1120.004622361


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Closer Look at Our Rankings

Rhode Island came in first because it’s not much bigger than a St. Bernard, but Pennsylvania came in at No. 9, thanks to 435 dog rescue groups across the state.

And Pennsylvanians love their dogs. According to, the state of 12 million people has nearly 5 million dog owners, a number this writer is viewing quite skeptically. It’s probably more accurate that 5 million dogs are owned in Pennsylvania. says that the best way for Pennsylvanians to adopt a dog is to start locally. The site offers a list of high-rate shelters across the Keystone State, or it recommends searching online for “[your city] dog rescue.” Other options are websites like and, which collect listings from various shelters.

Over the past three years, nearly 70,000 dogs and cats were saved each year in Pennsylvania, thanks to shelters, rescue groups and animal lovers. But that still meant that around 4,000 dogs and cats were euthanized. The goal is to drastically reduce that number with the “No-Kill 2025” initiative.

Since 1965, Pennsylvania has had a state dog and it’s the Great Dane. According to research by Spot, a pet insurance company, Pennsylvania’s favorite breed of dogs are Labradors, followed by German shepherds and Golden retrievers.

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Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of

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