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8 Best Dachshund Rescues in the U.S.

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Dachshunds have a place in the hearts of so many dog lovers. In German, “dachshund” means “badger hound,” and while these pups were once bred to hunt wild game, they’re now more likely to burrow into some couch cuddles. The American Kennel Club refers to the breed as “clever, lively, and courageous,” but there are still many of these exceptional dogs that don’t have a home for a variety of reasons. Dedicated Dachshund rescues have cropped up to answer the call, specializing in their breed-specific care and thoroughly overseeing their adoption. The incredible news is that there are dozens of these Dachshund rescue locations across the United States, and even more abroad. 

The humble wiener dog can be standard or miniature and come in three coat types: smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. They have been the four-legged companion of choice for famous pet owners ranging from artistic icons Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol to actors John Wayne and Mary Tyler Moore. William Randolph Hearst famously had ramps installed at Hearst Castle for his prized pup Helen; when she passed, he published an obituary for her in a 1942 issue of Time Magazine.

From the first Olympic mascot at the 1972 games to Britain’s first successfully cloned dog in 2014, Dachshunds (often called “doxies”) are not only part of our culture, but also preferred pets who (in the right environment) will make lifelong companions. If you’re considering Doxie adoption, get informed and familiarize yourself with our list of top Dachshund adoption and rescue organizations. 

Why Are Dachshund Rescues Important?

Any pet rescue operation is important, simply because domesticated animals are a vulnerable population and cannot speak up for themselves. But Dachshund-specific rescues specialize in this beloved breed because they have their own set of needs and considerations. 

For one, long-and-low Dachshunds are susceptible to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which affects the breed disproportionately and can result in expensive back surgery if not avoided. Dachshunds’ short legs are actually what predispose them to this degenerative disc disease, not their length.  

Doxies also come with breed-specific behavioral concerns that indicate these dogs are not an ideal match for every household. Jenell Rangan, president of Oregon Dachshund Rescue for more than 30 years, explains that since Dachshunds are close to the ground, they find small children to be intimidating and should probably not be in a household with very young kids. “Doxies require special handling; they are extremely loyal to family and therefore can be selective, overly protective and reactive,” she says. “They really are a unique and very special breed, but they are not for every family.”

Visiting a Doxie rescue center can help ensure that you are educated about their unique charms and quirks before fostering or adopting. “Breed-specific rescues are important as they are skilled and familiar with the dachshund’s character [and] the breed development, and knowledgeable about the breed’s behavior and traits,” Rangan explains. “Also, Dachshund-specific rescues are a prime location to find any Dachshunds that are available in your area.”

8 Best Dachshund Rescues in the U.S.

Luckily for these loveable hotdogs and the pet parents who covet them, there are Dachshund rescues all across the country, including in Hawaii and Alaska. From the East to the West Coast with some significant states in between, we’ve rounded up eight of the best, most comprehensive Dachshund rescue and adoption agencies in the country. 

Dachshund Adoption Rescue and Education, Inc. (DARE)


Promoting wiener dog love through rescue and adoption, the Tampa based Dachshund Adoption Rescue and Education (DARE) nonprofit serves the entire state of Florida. The organization’s mission is to provide education about animal cruelty and puppy mills while rescuing/rehoming displaced or unwanted Dachshunds and Dachshund mixes. Since 2003, more than 3,000 Doxies have been rescued through this mission. 

The program is hinged on temporary foster homes prior to permanent forever home placement. DARE is also involved in its community, hosting fundraising events around central Florida, including its annual Dox-a-Palooza. Their online eBay and Mercari stores are stocked with all the Doxie merch you could want, and 100 percent of proceeds go to a vetting fund for their dogs. 

Oregon Dachshund, Inc. 

Portland, Oregon; Washington; California

Oregon Dachshund is a foster-based rescue serving multiple states on the West Coast — not just Oregon. In operation since 1985, the nonprofit and no-kill facility serves special needs, senior, and bonded Dachshunds and Dachshund mixes. The rescue specializes in deaf and blind Doxies, affected by a recessive gene known as “double dapple.”

Oregon Dachshund rescues about two to three dogs each day and adopts out Dachshunds at a rate of six to 15 each month. “We rehome 100 percent of our surrenders,” says Jenell Rangan, president of the organization. “They are all adopted, or, as we call them, ‘foster failures,’ when the foster family decides to adopt. Our fosters are essential to our success.” 

Midwest Dachshund Rescue

Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin

This Indiana-based dachshund rescue and nonprofit was founded in 2003 and primarily serves Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and other Midwest states as needed. Midwest Dachshund is a foster-and-adoption organization, relying on volunteers and foster families to care for these canines until permanent placement is available. 

Through partnering with local shelters, vets, and Doxie advocates, Midwest Dachshund Rescue is committed to finding forever homes for these fur babies. According to their website, more than 260 Dachshunds were rescued by the nonprofit in the past year. A tab on the site called “Success Stories” is a heartwarming collection of many of the Dachshunds who have found loving homes and their owners’ passionate testimonials. 

Dachshund Rescue, Education, Awareness, Mentoring (DREAM)


Founded in 2005, this nonprofit is dedicated to finding a loving home for every dachshund in the state of Georgia. In addition to rescue, rehabilitation, fostering, and adoption, DREAM works to educate the public about responsible dog ownership. According to their website, “We want to have a deep, direct impact in a limited geographic area, rather than a small impact in a large geographical area.” And they have done just that, with more than 30 foster homes and over 1,600 Dachshunds rescued. DREAM is entirely volunteer based, and all doxies live in vetted foster homes until adoption. Like any nonprofit on this list, a donation to this dachshund rescue is fully tax deductible. 

Dachshund Rescue of Bucks County & NJ

Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware

The tristate area is densely populated with humans, and if any of them are looking to help dachshunds, this is an incredible place to start. Centered around popular Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and the state of New Jersey, this rescue has been in operation since 1984. Still, there is no central structure to the organization: all work is conducted in the private homes of volunteers, so appointments are necessary. 

In addition to its namesakes, this nonprofit serves Dachshunds in the surrounding states of New York, Maryland, and Delaware. Candidates at the dachshund rescue range from 6 months to 21 years, and volunteers believe that each dog is equally deserving of a loving home. Any preexisting medical conditions are fully disclosed prior to foster or adoption. 

Denver Dachshunds Rescue and Transport (DDRT)


This Colorado-based rescue is a nonprofit that serves Dachshunds and other small breeds nationwide. The organization was founded by Jamie Robertson after she was asked to help a friend’s neighbor with a surrendered Dachshund — as it turns out, one who was abused and neglected. This incident inspired Robertson to put in the work to create the official nonprofit in 2013. 

Over a decade later, DDRT has helped to place more than 1,000 dogs. In-person meet-and-greets are occasionally held and listed on the nonprofit’s events calendar. A bi-weekly sponsored bingo game in Aurora helps to fund the organization’s efforts. Among the sweet pups listed for adoption when we checked the the DDRT website are a bonded Dachshund and Chihuahua pair named Squeekers and Sampson. 

Southern California Dachshund Relief, Inc.

California; Reno, Nevada; Arizona

Spanning the massive state of California, as well as the city of Reno, Nevada, and now Arizona, the nonprofit Southern California Dachshund Relief (SCDR) has its work cut out. Since 1994, the organization has rescued more than 5,000 Dachshunds and used its resources to help other rescue dogs, as well. Providing transportation, medical care, foster home placement, and more, SCDR is primarily led by its volunteer network in conjunction with its director and CFO, Dena and Dawn.

Like most Dachshund rescues on this list, adoptions are thorough and require the primary adopter to be 21 years or older, fill out an application, provide three references, and be subject to discretionary home checks. The FAQ portion of the SCDR website includes some very thorough advice about Dachshund-specific concerns and is a great resource for Doxie parents or potential adopters. 

Dachshund Rescue Education and Adoption Mission (DREAM)


Founded in 2013, the Dachshund Rescue, Education and Adoption Mission has a fitting acronym: DREAM (not to be confused with the Georgia rescue). This Houston-based nonprofit is dedicated to rescuing abandoned Dachshunds of all ages and rehoming dachshunds whose owners can no longer care for them. Volunteers work closely with area veterinarians to ensure the dog’s health before placing them into loving foster homes — with the eventual goal of a permanent placement. 

Adoptable Doxies on the DREAM website can be sorted by criteria, including age (less than a year, 1 to 2 years, young adult, adult, and senior). Senior Dachshunds make up a large percentage of surrenders, and DREAM specializes in “senior to senior” adoptions, pairing dogs 10 years or older with adults over the age of 65 for a reduced adoption fee.

Dachshund Adoption: Tips and Things to Consider

Beyond being pretty darn adorable, there are plenty of things to love about the loyal dachshund.  “Dachshunds are fun dogs,” says Rangan. “They love to snuggle and share a blanket with you.” 

Still, they are a breed that requires lots of attention and a safe environment to thrive. Be sure to review these considerations before deciding to adopt a Doxie. 

Weight matters. Dachshunds require you to monitor their diet and exercise; being overweight drastically increases their chance of developing IVDD and needing medical intervention.

Dachshunds can be velcro dogs. Doxies are affectionate companions and become very attached to their owners; male Dachshunds are generally considered to be needier than female Dachshunds, but both can suffer from separation anxiety.

They’re smarter than the average pup. Doxies are extremely smart dogs and learn quickly (they are especially food motivated).

The more the (mostly) merrier. Dachshunds are pack driven; having more than one is better for their socialization. However, male Doxies can be alphas, and some agencies won’t adopt out two dogs of the same sex unless they have been raised together.

Be aware of barking and biting. Alert watchdogs, some Dachshunds are known to bark excessively in an effort to “protect” you from perceived threats like the mail carrier

They may be prone to biting if they feel threatened.

They’ll stick around awhile. Dachshunds can live a long time; according to the American Kennel Club, two of the Guinness World Record-holding oldest dogs have been Dachshunds, and a third was a Dachshund mix. Doxies live to be 12 to 15 years, on average.