Pooch Power: How Maryland Ranks Among Dog Adoption States

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Dogs are among the best companions you can have – just ask the 69 million Americans who are dog owners. In fact, across the country, more people are living with dogs than ever before. Pet ownership has seen a steady increase in a 30-year span measured, with the number of households owning some kind of a pet rising from 56% in 1988 to 67% in 2019.

As for Maryland, 48.6% of all households have a pet, with just over 30% of those having at least one dog. But where does the state rank among the best for dog adoption across the county?

BetMaryland.com took a break from reviewing Maryland sports betting apps to find out. Using data from RescueMe.org, we compiled a list of dog rescue groups and adoption agencies in each U.S. state. Then we ranked all the states based on how many rescue organizations they had per square mile.

States With Most Dog Rescues per Square Mile

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

Maryland In Top Five For Dog Adoption

Maryland ranks as the fifth best state for dog adoption, according to the RescueMe.org data, with residents welcoming 9,494 dogs into their homes in 2020 alone.

The largest shelter in the state is the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, also known by the very apt acronym “BARCS.” The rescue takes in over 10,000 animals each year.

Sadly, after the pandemic-related boost in pet ownership that ran from 2020 to 2021 – when 1 in 5 homes in America added a dog or a cat into the family – the number of animal surrenders has subsequently risen. With Americans economic prospects looking gloomy, and many people facing housing insecurity, BARCS hit a record high of 828 animals brought into the shelter this past January.

So, if you have space in your home and the means to provide for a furry friend, now might be a great time to adopt.

In the meantime, MarylandBets will keep bringing you the best Maryland sportsbook promos as well as sports coverage and lifestyle topics such as this one.


Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for BetMaryland.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with an actual Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.

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