The Many Ways to Adopt…


Did you know that Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding regions have a wide variety of options for adopting your next pet? Adopt Cincinnati’s primary focus is to promote the adoption of dogs and cats in our area, but the site also features resources for adopting other types of pets. Under the Directory of Rescues, you’ll also find rescues for small mammals (including guinea pigs, rabbits, and ferrets), horses, and even reptiles!

Adopt Cincinnati was launched in part because many people seem to be unaware of the variety of options for adoption beyond traditional animal shelters. Sure, most people are aware of their local county shelters, but many people are surprised to learn that Cincinnati has a number of no-kill shelters. Even fewer people are aware of rescue groups as well as the fact that purebred dogs can be adopted through some of these groups. The goal of Adopt Cincinnati is to raise awareness of the many choices for pet adoption.

We invite you to peruse the directories by navigating through the menu panel. Under Directory of Shelters, you will find listings of traditional and no-kill shelters. Under Directory of Rescues, you will find all-breed and breed-specific dog rescues as well as rescues for cats, small mammals, horses, and reptiles. While the site is called Adopt Cincinnati, we have compiled resources that extend beyond Cincinnati. If your shelter or rescue group is not listed, please contact us to be listed.

Thank you for your interest in pet adoption in Greater Cincinnati!


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Has Your Rescue Dog Been Blue Collar’d?

Have you ever wished that you could shout from the rooftops and let the world know just how great your rescue dog is? Thanks to Project Blue Collar, now you can!

PBCProject Blue Collar – Support the Underdog™ is a movement that aims to change the perception of shelter and rescue dogs. The Blue Collar is a symbol that publicly identifies a former rescue or shelter dog as an ambassador for pet adoption. Project Blue Collar began with a goal that people would meet dogs that have been Blue Collar’d and be inspired to rescue a homeless dog themselves.

Their business model is Buy One Give One – for each collar purchased, one is given to an animal shelter or rescue group to use as a fundraising opportunity for their organization. When you purchase a Blue Collar, not only are you helping to change the public perception of rescue and shelter dogs, you will also be helping a shelter or rescue group raise funds for their work.


To learn more about Project Blue Collar, please visit their website and Facebook page.

Images courtesy of and


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Dog Harnesses: How I Ditched the Pinch

For the first several years of life with my dog, I used a pinch (prong) collar when walking to control her pulling. A dog trainer recommended it after witnessing her unruly behavior in class (or rather my hapless attempts to control her). She had only been part of my family for a couple of months before we began training, and I was still learning, too. At the time, I wasn’t aware that a harness could help with behaviors like pulling. I have to admit, the pinch collar did work well to control my dog, and I learned to use it correctly so as not to cause her pain or prolonged discomfort. Still, I always felt a bit guilty about using it.

The leash clips to the chest area on this harness.

The leash clips to the chest area on this harness.

One of my favorite things about volunteering at an animal shelter (besides an abundance of happy tail wags and sloppy kisses!) is that I am always learning new things. At the shelter, I discovered the Easy Walk Harness, and it has changed the way my dog and I walk. It is slightly different from other types of harnesses. The primary difference is that the ring where you clip the leash is on the dog’s chest rather than on the back like typical harnesses. It is specially-designed so that, if the dog pulls, he pulls himself to the side. This feature is intended to deter the dog from pulling since he won’t enjoy being pulled to the side.

We're ready for a fun walk with NO pulling! Let's go!

We’re ready for a fun walk with NO pulling! Let’s go!

There are many styles of harnesses on the market, and only you can decide which harness, if any, is right for you and your dog. It is important to make sure that you are using a harness correctly and that it fits your dog properly. If you are interested in trying a harness, consult your local pet supply store, professional dog trainer, or your veterinarian for guidance on selection and correct use of a harness.

Happy Walking! 


Note: This is just my experience switching from a pinch collar to a harness, and I am not suggesting that people should not use pinch collars. I only seek to raise awareness of other options that are available to help us control our dogs. I have not received anything from the company that markets the Easy Walk Harness; I am simply a satisfied customer sharing my experience.


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Bark Bash to Celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2012

Mark your calendar for Bark Bash on Saturday, October 27th! Presented by Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue, ABC’s of Bullies, and Cincinnati Pit Crew, Bark Bash will celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2012. Held at VOA Park in West Chester, Ohio,  the event promises to be fun for families and their dogs (all leashed dogs are welcome). Most importantly, National Pit Bull Awareness Day strives to dispel the negative perception that many still hold about pit bulls while celebrating the virtues of these dogs.

There will be lots of fun activities at this year’s event. Be sure to visit the Kissing Booth, as I hear pitties love to give kisses! You also won’t want to miss these other highlights of the event:

Pet Supply Vendors
Butler County Sherriff’s K-9 Unit Demonstration
Pet Rescue Organizations
Local Community Organizations
Animal Behaviorists
Local Groomers and Day Care Providers
DJ and Live Music (all day)
Food Vendors
Halloween Costume Contest
Silent Auction and Raffle

Check out this activity which has got to be the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time! Your pittie can compete in a contest to become Pittie King or Queen of the day! If you think your dog has what it takes to earn the crown, here are the entry rules:

Share a photo of your pit bull on the National Pit Bull Awareness Day Cincinnati 2012 Facebook page. Be sure to include your dog’s name and sex. There is a $1.00 donation per entry (paypal to, please choose gift option). You may enter as many photos as you wish. The last day entries will be accepted is Oct. 7th, so you’ll need to hurry and get those entries submitted! Once all entries are received, the Bark Bash committee will select the top five males and females and will then have the public vote for the king and queen during the period of October 10-24th. Winners will be announced October 25th. The group requests that only pit bull-type dogs be entered. Good luck!

Make plans now to attend Bark Bash and show your support of the responsible pit bull community in Greater Cincinnati!

Saturday, October 27, 2012
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Voice of America Park – 7850 VOA Park Dr., West Chester, Ohio 45069
More information on the National Pit Bull Awareness Day Cincinnati 2012 Facebook page
Bark Bash Flyer


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Adopt Cincinnati’s New Flyer!

Check out Adopt Cincinnati’s new flyer! Please share with your friends and help us spread the message that there are so many wonderful options for adopting pets in Greater Cincinnati. Thank you!


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Helping Your Newly-Adopted Dog Succeed

Some people seem to think that dogs should “just know” how to behave. Many dogs learn quickly, but they do need some direction. It really doesn’t require a lot – some simple, basic commands are often enough to keep many undesirable behaviors at bay. For example, my dog was a bundle of energy when she was younger, and I have personally found the extended down-stay to be of infinite value in helping her calm down. For the offer of a treat, she happily stays in an extended down-stay, sometimes to the point of falling asleep!

Focused in a down-stay

The point of this post is not to offer specific training advice but rather to emphasize the concept of setting your dog up for success. If you create an environment for your dog that helps him behave as you wish, you and your dog will be much happier. For example, if you know your dog is a counter surfer, then don’t leave food on the counter when your dog is unattended in the kitchen. Simple as that!

Sitting pretty

My pup was also an enthusiastic jumper when she was younger. A jumping dog can often be redirected to a sitting position, although my experience is that does not always work if the dog gets super excited (like mine does). Something that has worked with her is to leash her when new guests first come into the house. This allows me to control my dog from jumping on guests while still allowing her to interact with them. Everyone is happy!

Instead of thinking, “Why isn’t my dog doing what I want?!” can you reframe the situation and see if there is anything you can do to help your dog succeed? A basic training class with a professional dog trainer can help you learn the skills needed to help your dog succeed. If you need assistance with training your dog, you should contact a professional dog trainer or your veterinarian for advice.


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The First Time I Met a Pit Bull

For a while now, I have wanted to write about my experience meeting a pit bull for the very first time. Now that the Cincinnati pit bull ban has been repealed, it seems like a perfect time to tell my story.

Having fun on a home visit

Several years ago, before I began volunteering with animals, I visited an animal shelter’s open house where I was considering volunteering. I was walking through the aisles of dogs, visiting each one, when I came upon a pit bull. Honestly, my first reaction was that of fear. I had never met a pit bull before this day, and my only impressions of them were ones formed based on stereotypes. Luckily, there was a volunteer nearby who told me that if I wanted to visit with any dog in the shelter, the pit bull was the sweetest one. I stood there a moment, sizing up the dog, and then decided I would visit with her. This dog was one of the sweetest dogs I had ever met until that point. She wagged and wagged and gave me endless kisses!

Getting some rest on a home visit

I am embarrassed to admit that I held the same stereotypes that many people do who have not had the opportunity to actually meet a pit bull. Based on media hype, I thought a pit bull was something to be feared. Was I wrong! Now that I have had the good fortune to volunteer with animals, I have met many pit bulls. And you know what? Each one has been as sweet as that first one. I credit that first dog with changing my perception. And I thank that volunteer for letting me know that the dog was friendly. It saddens me to think that I could have left the shelter, never to return, all because of a stereotype. I would never have discovered my love of working with shelter dogs or had the opportunity to get to know my little buddy (pictured) who I frequently brought home on overnight visits until he found his forever home. He was always a perfect house guest and a joy to be around.

The best part about home visits – snuggle time!

With the Cincinnati pit bull ban lifted, I hope that more pit bulls in our area will have a better chance to find responsible, loving, forever homes. If you have never met a pit bull and are interested, you should consider visiting an Adore-A-Bull adoption event. Adore-A-Bull is a local rescue group that serves the Cincinnati area and advocates for pit bulls. They will introduce you to their adoptable dogs and answer your questions about pit bulls. Please visit their website ( for information about their rescue group and adoption events.


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