The desire to protect dogs and other animals runs strong in Minnesota. A rich network of animal rescue organizations, founded and funded by committed volunteers, has brought countless animals to loving homes. Dog Rescue Minnesota ( has a compilation of a number of organizations, including groups devoted to specific breeds and nonprofits that help find homes for cats and other pets.

Secondhand Hounds is one of the larger rescue organizations in the Twin Cities. In its first decade, the nonprofit has saved more than 18,000 dogs and cats. It finds foster homes and funds safe shelter, veterinary care and daily necessities for animals at risk (secondhand­

Grey Face Rescue & Retirement takes in dogs age 7 or older, who are often more difficult to place. Based in St. Cloud, the group funds veterinary care, surgeries and dental treatments before seeking new homes. "When we can take care of their medical needs, we have good success in getting them adopted," said founder Bethie Gondeck. "There are many benefits to senior dogs. They're already potty-trained and have their manners. You can really see their personalities" (greyfaceres­

Red Lake Rosie's Rescue focuses on companion animals on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. In addition to finding foster and permanent homes for dogs and cats, the nonprofit works to reduce overpopulation, malnutrition and disease through educational outreach and spaying, neutering and vaccination clinics (

Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue: Some owners of large, expensive Great Danes find that they are more than they bargained for. When a Great Dane is surrendered or a rescue organization takes one in, the UMGDR is often alerted. The organization also operates a Great Dane sanctuary (

Home for Life takes in animals that aren't considered adoptable. They are old, shy, disabled or have a problematic behavioral history related to abuse and neglect, so they are often candidates for euthanasia. Home for Life operates a sanctuary where those dogs and cats can live out their lives, cared for and in comfort (

Kevyn Burger