Massachusetts Among the Best States to Adopt a Dog

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

After the way the Celtics and Bruins finished their seasons, Massachusetts sports betting fans needed a best friend, so it’s no surprise many of them turned to dogs.

Because of that need for companionship when things get tough, decided to look into the states with the most dog rescues per square mile.

We used data from to find the number of dog rescue groups and adoption agencies in every state. Then, we ranked each state by how many rescue organizations they had per square mile.

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States with Most Dog Rescues per Square Mile

Here is a cultural story with statistics you won’t find on any Massachusetts sports betting apps.

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


Looking at the States at Top

Rhode Island came in first but it’s little, like the Chihuahua of states. Massachusetts came in a very respectable sixth place.

According to, almost 29% of Massachusetts residents own a dog – only 23.5% own cats. In the Boston area, dog ownership is about 26%. Massachusetts dog-lovers can only legally own four canines before they’re forced to get a kennel license. The average Massachusetts dog owner owns 1.4 dogs. says that the best way for Massachusetts residents to adopt a dog is to start locally. The site offers a list of high-rate shelters across the Bay State, or it recommends searching online for “[your city] dog rescue.” Other options are websites like and, which collect listings from various shelters.

The best time to look to adopt is in the spring and summer because rescue shelters tend to have more dogs then. Although you might be overwhelmed by a particular rescue’s puppy dog eyes, it’s smart to have a good idea going in whether you’re more of a big dog person or a little dog person. If you live in a Boston studio apartment, you probably should be a little dog person. Or perhaps consider fish.

Rescue dogs should be spayed/neutered and most shelters will perform that service before putting the dog up for adoption. But not always.

The cost of adopting a dog in Massachusetts can range from around $150 to close to $500, depending on the shelter and the dog. The adoption fees help keep the shelters running.

Like most states, Massachusetts’ favorite breed of dogs are Labradors, followed by German shepherds and Golden retrievers. For some reason, in the big city they’re also fond of Boston terriers.

Keep an eye out for for Massachusetts betting promos.


Howard Gensler
Howard Gensler
Journalist / Reporter

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the Massachusetts sports betting market for Before his focus on U.S. sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of

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