About Us

Secondhand Hounds is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue in Minnesota. Founded in July of 2009, our many volunteers have made a positive impact on the lives of many dogs and cats in our community. Our organization provides safe shelter, proper veterinary care and daily necessities for animals at risk, while working hard to find each a permanent, loving home! Please explore our website or contact us to learn more information about Secondhand Hounds.


Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2019


Our Mission

We Rescue Animals. We Commit to Our Animals through Adoption, Rehabilitation, and Hospice Care. We Inspire Change.

Help Us Give More Second Chances

Secondhand Hounds rescues dogs from kill shelters around the Midwest and from owners who can no longer provide care for their dogs. We rescue cats from local shelters and owners who can no longer provide care for their cats. Please help support us today by donating, fostering, or volunteering.

Our Core Values

  1. Compassionate
  2. Solution Oriented
  3. Open Minded
  4. Service Minded
  5. Reliable

Our Proven Process

Secondhand Hounds has a process to assist all animals in need.  In our experience, we need to have a repeatable, scalable program in order to further our mission and save lives.  See below for more information on the steps we take in our rescue efforts!

Each year, millions of animals pass through high kill shelters throughout the U.S. – many do not make it out alive.

Secondhand Hounds has relationships with many of these shelters in an attempt to lower the euthanasia rates around our country.

We also take animals from local impounds, surrender clinics across the Midwest, and from owners who can no longer care for their animals.

Once an animal is selected by our Foster Coordinators, they get to Secondhand Hounds’ Minnetonka location in one of two ways.  Some are transported to us by numerous volunteers who each drive (or fly!) a 2-3 hour leg of a long journey.  Others are picked up by one of our volunteers, either in our vanimal or their own vehicle, depending on how many animals are coming.


The animals arrive at Secondhand Hounds and immediately get baths (if needed), intake vetting (including microchips, vaccines and preventatives), and a photo shoot!  This process is called intake and every single animals goes through it upon arrival.

We are a foster-based organization!  After intake, fosters come to the office and pick up their foster animals along with all the supplies they may need for the foster animal. We provide all the necessary supplies, including food, crates, bowls, leashes, toys and much more!  Many of these supplies are donated by generous people who make a difference!


After arriving at their foster home, SHH animals learn how to be good family members!  During this time, they will also have any necessary veterinary appointments at the Secondhand Hounds Veterinary Center. All of our animals are spayed/neutered, brought up to date on vaccines, and microchipped prior to adoption.  This is for the well-being and health of our animals, and also to allow their adopters to enjoy their new best friend without worrying about medical needs.

Our Foster Coordinators list our animals for adoption when they are behaviorally and medically ready for find their forever homes.  They are listed on our adoptable dog and adoptable cat pages, where they can receive up to 5 applications before being removed from the website.  The fosters write biographies that describe the animals’ personality and needs – allowing us to find the very best fit!


Our Adoption Coordinators review each application.  When an approved application from through, our Adoption Coordinators forward it on to the applicable foster home.  If the application looks like a good fit, the foster reached out to the applicant to discuss the animal further.

If the initial communication goes well, the foster schedules a meet and greet with the applicant!  This can take place at the foster’s home, the applicant’s home or a neutral location like a pet store.  The meet and greet is a good time to see how the applicants and their family (including other pets) interact with the foster animal.


If the foster and the applicant both agree that it is a good fit, our Adoption Coordinators schedule a home visit and veterinary check on the other animals in the applicant’s home.  Home visits allow Secondhand Hounds to make sure the home is a stable, safe environment for our animals.

Once the home visit is approved, our Adoption Coordinators send out paperwork for finalize the adoption, as well as payment instructions.  Our team signs off on the paperwork first, confirming that all veterinary care is completed.  Then our foster signs the adoption agreement with information about the animal.  Finally, the adopter signs the agreement!


When all the paperwork is complete, and the full adoption fee is paid, the foster and adopter can arrange the transfer!  The adoption is complete and concept the animal is in their new home, our foster can take in another animal in desperate need of a foster home – and the process starts over again!

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