An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Animal Shelters: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about animal shelters?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to animal shelters. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about animal shelters.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about animal shelters, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog to popular sellers like I Want a Dog.

We hope this list of kids books about animal shelters can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

Share this list
Add to list
Mr. Scruff
Written & illustrated by Simon James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A sweetly silly story of a little boy and a dog who make an unlikely (but perhaps perfect) pair.

Everyone knows that owners and their dogs belong together in a unique way. Polly belongs to Molly, Eric belongs to Derek, Berry belongs to Terry. But poor Mr. Scruff, alone in the rescue shelter, doesn’t belong to anyone. Then a boy named Jim walks in, and they seem to get along. Jim and Mr. Scruff don’t look anything alike, and their names certainly don’t rhyme, but they may end up belonging to each other just the same. From author-illustrator Simon James comes a warm, winning story about friendship and finding a home.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$16.99
Used $16.99
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Gem
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Action and adventure with high stakes and a happy ending – and dogs!<p></p><p>Gem is a golden retriever puppy who loves to dig. She gets adopted out to a handful of would-be forever families, but no matter how much she wants to please her new people, she can’t keep herself from digging up the roses…and the lawn…and the couch cushions…anything that’s remotely diggable. Over and over she is returned to the shelter, unwanted and heartbroken. </p><p>The folks at the Sterling Center recognize Gem’s flaw as an asset. A dog this driven could really shine in a disaster! But soon after she arrives at the training facility, Gem gets sick…<i>really</i> sick. Will she recover and stay healthy enough to save lives?</p>

Buy book
$6.99
Bookshop
$5.94
Amazon
$6.99
Used $6.99
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Piper Morgan to the Rescue
Written by Stephanie Faris & illustrated by Lucy Fleming
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series. <p/>Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy–especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!

Buy book
$5.99
Bookshop
$5.09
Amazon
$5.99
Used $5.99
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog
Written & illustrated by Lisa Papp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this companion to the award-winning Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, Madeline Finn finds a way to help more dogs and read more stories. <br>Madeline Finn asks her mother for a puppy every single day. Finally, Mom says yes, and Madeline Finn chooses Star, one of the puppies born to Mrs. Dimple’s dog Bonnie. Then Mrs. Dimple tells Madeline Finn about animal shelters–a place many other pets come from. After a visit to their local shelter, Madeline Finn has some questions. Does anyone play with the shelter dogs, or snuggle with them, or read to them? Questions lead to answers, and ideas, and soon Madeline Finn and her human and animal community discover that there are lots of ways for small people to make a big difference.<br>Author-illustrator Lisa Papp offers a heartwarming exploration of life in an animal shelter in this inspiring and endearing book for young readers eager to help their communities.

Buy book
$17.95
Bookshop
$15.26
Amazon
$14.60
Used $9.39
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Paws for a Cause
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
The third book in a sweet and funny Branches series about a pug and his human, told from the pug's POV!
Buy book
$4.99
Bookshop
$4.24
Amazon
$4.99
Used $4.99
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Marion and the Secret Letter - Taking a turn caring for the class pet hamster, Marion is devastated when the hamster goes missing and she receives an anonymous letter in her locker with clues leading to a mysterious scavenger hunt.

  • Liz Learns a Lesson - Liz is excited for a fun summer with The Critter Club, but will summer school ruin her plans?

  • Ellie the Flower Girl - Read on for the next Critter Club book: Liz’s night at the museum.

  • Ellie and the Good-Luck Pig, Volume 10 - The Critter Club cares for a precocious pig that might just be giving Ellie good luck in the tenth book of the Critter Club series. <p/>When The Critter Club takes in an abandoned pig named Plum, the girls are really excited. They’ve never had a pig at the club before! They love learning how to take care of Plum. And they especially love watching Ms. Sullivan’s dog, Rufus, interact with the pig. But no one is happier about the club’s guest than Ellie. <p/>Soon after Plum arrives, Ellie starts having some unusually good luck. She does really well on a test for her least favorite subject; she aces an audition for a play at a local theater; and she wins a prize at school! Ellie is sure that Plum is bringing her good luck. So when the rest of the girls tell Ellie that they’ve found someone to adopt the pig, Ellie knows she should be excited…but she’s not. Will Ellie’s good luck turn bad once Plum leaves? <p/>With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!

Add to list
Found Dogs
Written & illustrated by Erica Sirotich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

For fans of Sandra Boynton’s Doggies and Karent Katz’s Counting Kisses, this adorable rhyming and counting book tallies up all the dogs at the shelter, and then counts backward as the pups are adopted—a perfect fit for every preschooler’s library.

Babies and toddlers will delight in counting up each wriggly, wraggly rescue pup and then counting back down as each doggie is adopted. A bright, bouncy rhyme, jubilant art, and scads of adorable dogs will have wee ones giggling for more.

These patient pound dogs. Now they’re family! Found dogs.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$10.96
Used $1.61
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble
Written & illustrated by Nick Bruel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

There’s terrible news in the neighborhood next to Kitty’s! A conflict there is growing worse and worse. It started as an argument and has now turned into a full-fledged fight. Worst of all: The cat shelter has been destroyed. Kitty’s family decides it’s time to do something to help. They have an idea to foster as many displaced kittens as possible. Kitty won’t mind, right? Well . . . not exactly. Kitty does seem to mind. She minds A LOT. Will our favorite bad-tempered friend learn to share her space, her food, and GASP! her toys? Find out in Kitten Trouble, this hilarious and poignant addition to the Bad Kitty series from bestselling author and illustrator Nick Bruel.

Buy book
$6.99
Bookshop
$5.94
Amazon
$6.47
Used $1.36
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
Felipe and Claudette
Written & illustrated by Mark Teague
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Felipe and Claudette are the only animals left at the pet shelter. Who would ever adopt pets like them?
Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.49
Used $3.49
Prices as of Apr 12
Add to list
I Want a Dog
Written & illustrated by Jon Agee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A girl seeks her perfect pet at a wonderfully unusual animal shelter in this comical read-aloud by the award-winning creator of Life on Mars The Copley County Animal Shelter has an aardvark, a lizard, a goose, a weasel, and plenty more. But do they have a puppy? The girl with her wagon is ready to adopt a dog—not an aardvark, lizard, or goose! Can the shelter manager help her to find her perfect pet?

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.89
Used $4.58
Prices as of Apr 12

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.