‘Invisible’ Shelters – Is There One In Your Community?

Male labbie available at Putnam #25345

Many shelters have a way of upping their presence on social media.  They may have paid staffers who maintain a Facebook or Twitter page.  But what about the shelters we don’t know about, who don’t have the luxury of an extra set of hands and do all they can just to keep the cages clean and the animals fed?

This ShelterMe writer reached out to find shelters like those, and found it akin to finding the needle in a haystack.  How do you find something in social media that isn’t on social media? Quite the dilemma.  But here are a few shelters who ShelterMe was able to find!


Animal Control of West Florida, in Chipley, has a small group of volunteers, Friends of the Chipley Animals, the Chipley Angels Rescue Team.  The Friends tells ShelterMe that there is NO staff available to help cross-post on social media.  The shelter manager does take photos, but, according to the Friends, must ‘do it on her own time.’  Everything else is left to the band of dedicated volunteers.


Luz, an adoptable 3YO bulldogx at Chipley, good w/ dogs and on leash!

This shelter is desperate for assistance with photographing and cross-posting their animals. Volunteers do it all, including ‘Angel’ Sue Bruce, who, for years, has been setting up transports through email correspondence.  This shelter is located at 686 Highway 90, Chipley, FL 32428; their phone is 850-638-2082, email is acowf@att.net.  Here is a link to the animals currently available, and to their Facebook page.


Another shelter in need of help is Putnam County Animal Services, located in Palatka, Florida.  This is a very rural shelter, sitting at the end of a road behind a landfill. Here is a Petfinder link to the animals currently available at this shelter. Others are listed here on Facebook, like the male labbie featured above, who can be found on this link.  Bulldogs and pitties are no longer rescue only at this shelter and are available for adoption to the public!


Fine Felines available at Putnam!
Fine Felines available at Putnam!


Putnam has no physical visibility to the public, with almost no foot traffic. A band of volunteers, the Friends of Putnam County Animal Services, found on this link, would welcome any help you can provide with photos, crossposting, etc.  This shelter is located at 174 County Landfill Road, Palatka, FL 32177.  Their phone is 386-329-0396;, if you call, press 1 after you get the automated message.  Their email is  Animalcontrol@putnam-fl.com.  Please contact them if you’re a rescue looking to become a rescue partner.


Faith, 1YO adoptable feline at Walton County Animal Control, part of a 2-for-1 special on cats!


For years, William Wise, the Director of Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, GA, has also been the shelter photographer, showcasing the animals on Waltonpets.net.  This shelter is assisted with posting photos by the Friends of Walton County Animal Control, an all-volunteer group, found on this link.


This small shelter intakes approximately 200 animals a month.  All the pets at this shelter, who can be seen here or here, can be adopted for just $40, which includes, among other things, vaccinations and deworming. Walton is located at  1411 S. Madison Ave, Monroe, GA 30655, by phone at (770) 267-1322, or by email at wcanimal@co.walton.ga.us.


New York

New York’s Mt. Vernon Animal Shelter, located at 600 Garden Ave. in Mt. Vernon, NY 10550, also has a volunteer-run website, Furbabies of the Mt. Vernon Animal Shelter, who actively posts photos of adoptables. Their animals can also be seen here on Adopt-A-Pet as well as  on Petfinder.

So it looks like these animals have a lot of help – right?  The problem: the shelter is only open three to four hours each day.  11-3 for cats, 11-2 for dogs. That doesn’t give the animals much time to be seen by potential adopters.  And the shelter itself is very small, with only 36 runs – so their time in the shelter is limited as well.

Boo, deaf puppy waiting at Mt. Vernon for a year!
Boo, deaf puppy waiting at Mt. Vernon for a year!

Luckily, they do have extremely dedicated volunteers, who never give up on animals such as Boo, a deaf pittie who came to the shelter 365 days ago, and is still available on this link! Also, some of their cats are showcased at the local Petsmart in Pelham. Mt.Vernon’s phone number is (914) 665-2444.


If you’re in the community that is served by these smaller municipal shelters, or know of one in your area, please contact them and, if you can, offer to post photos of the shelter residents in groups to which you may belong, on Instagram, on Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, etc. Help create a presence for them on Facebook.

ShelterMe.tv invites readers to add to this list to ensure that the animals who come through the door have a way of getting out; that it opens both ways.  If you’re so inclined, share this story, and maybe, just maybe, it will reach the person who can help.

It’s just a small thing, but could pay off in a really big way.


If you liked that, try this ShelterMe.tv episode: Take My Picture!

Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she’s covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She’s always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the ShelterMe.tv family!


  1. Elaine says:

    Any groups or shelters that need help in the San Francisco area?

  2. Dean Anderson says:

    Great article Lisa. Thanks for your advocacy on behalf of homeless companion animals and the exposure that these smaller rescues in primarily rural areas so desperately need. Note that many of the larger breed-specific rescues like Lab Rescue of Florida and Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida have no paid staff. Adoption Fees are considered donations to the 501c3 IRS Approved Charities that many of these rescues are. These and other donations are used primarily to pay significantly discounted vet expenses and rescued animals are housed, fed and rehabbed in volunteers’ homes until they are adopted.

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Thanks Dean! much appreciated. Here’s the page links, in case any readers are looking for a labbie http://www.labradorrescue.net/ or a Golden: http://www.grrmf.org/ Both of these well-respected rescues have been helping dogs for many many years.

  3. Angel says:

    Putnam county shelter no longer requires bulldogs and pitties to be pulled by rescues. The email addresses below won’t work anymore either. This is the best email for them now animalcontrol@putnam-fl.com. Also if you call their number press 1 after you get the automation.

    “Bulldogs and pitties are rescue only at this shelter; please contact crazvaliaeff@putnamsheriff.org or animal.services@putnamsheriff.org to become a rescue partner!”

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Thanks for the email updates. I had to go by what I was given in my most recent email from them. Can bulldogs and pitties be adopted out to residents of Putnam county?

      1. Angel says:

        yes. they have been for about a year now.

        1. Lisa Blanck says:

          changes made! Thanks, and that makes me very happy about the changes to the shelter.

  4. Connie says:

    Great article. We have pulled from both Chipley and Putnam which have much more visibility than many in our state. Mostly due tk the dedicated volunteers they both have. Baker County Animal Control has no foot traffic, no Facebook or internet presence, no volunteers, just my rescue going in there taking occasional pictures, and keeping up with the 2 employees by phone to know what they have and try to network on their behalf. That is a truly invisible facility (also behind a landfill).

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Connie – Is this the shelter in Macclenny, FL? I’m happy to include it in the next update with the shelters who I’m made aware of! I just friended the Friends Of Baker County Animal Control. I tried to click on the link for the website listed on that FB page, but it’s broken 🙁 http://www.bakercountyfl.org/animal/ Also, the site says “Pictures on this page are the property of their owners and are NOT to be shared beyond Facebook!” so i’d want to be sure I can include any photos of adoptables in my followup story, without ruffling any feathers.

  5. Liz says:

    I created a Facebook page to specifically promote Pit Bull-type dogs in my county and event the next county over. I also volunteer at a shelter in the next county over, almost an hours drive (one-way). People always ask me why I volunteer there because of how far away it is from me…they had a need. I photograph the animals there and make adoption special fliers for them, blog about them, post on Facebook and other social media outlets as well. It just takes one person to make a big difference for the animals at a shelter!

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Liz, feel free to send me a Friend Request on FB, and i’ll be happy to help xpost for the shelter on Pibble pages on which I’m already a member (and there are quite a few!) You’ll know my page by all the dogposts….

      1. Liz says:

        Oh, thank you so much!! That would be great!

  6. Liz says:

    Great article! Shared.

    Just a note: it’s Ensure, not Insure. 🙂

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Thanks! Tweaked!

  7. Kathleen Dahl says:

    I would love to speak with you over the phone to tell you how complicated are poor City of Renton has gotten after severing ties with Seattle Humane Society. Renton Animal Control is only 2 people for a whole city and they are attempting to do handoffs to rescues without an actual shelter except for short-term 3-day holds which is outside even in the winter weather only at this point. This times perfectly amidst an uneducated community who has only heard to vote for a “new shelter,” no remember it’s only for 3 Day holds, and the general community does not completely understand this is short-changing our animals at this point instead of using viable sources we already could tap into. There are no current services offered getting vaccinations and even instances that animal control is even letting animals out down the street, saying they will simply return to their homes and even asking veterinarians to put down viably healthy animals which Vets are refusing to do and rehoming them themselves. Please consider at least talking to me to hopefully helping not only our community but educating our city.

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Kathleen – Please check your email!

  8. Susanne Tolbert says:

    Franklin Animal Shelter in Louisburg NC. Very small and underfunded shelter. I’d would be forever grateful if this shelter could receive recognition and help.

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      Thank you, Susanne! I will be doing a follow-up and will include this shelter, along with others that people let me know about.

Comments are closed.