10 Best Maltese Rescues for Adoption (2024): Our Top 10 Picks!

Best Maltese rescue for adoption

If you’re looking to buy a Maltese companion, there are tons of reputable breeders in various localities that can guarantee you one.

However, if you’d rather provide a forever home to a dog without cashing out a huge chunk of money, then adoption would be a better option.

With that in mind, we have created a list of the best Maltese rescues you can turn to for assistance. On top of that, it includes a comprehensive review of each which will help in finding the most convenient and perfect fit for you. Let’s begin!

Most of the rescues in this list follow the same adoption process. If you want to ace your application, I suggest that you read our ultimate adoption guide which features key tips and techniques starting from choosing the breed to home introduction.

Top 10 Maltese Rescues to Find Malteses for Adoption

By conducting thorough research of the different rescues around the United States, we have created a shortlist of the most reputable institutions that have connected the perfect Maltese to their forever families. Here they are:

1. American Maltese Association Rescue (AMAR)

The American Maltese Association Rescue (AMAR) is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization that operates fully through various foster homes across the country. With that being said, AMAR is one of the rescues that can cater to adoptive families far and wide!

In 1995, the American Maltese Association, which is an American Kennel Club recognized breed club, decided to put up a national rescue organization devoted to housing, accepting, nurturing, and providing forever homes to unwanted or surrendered Maltese dogs across the country.

As we mentioned before, AMAR-volunteers are deeply passionate about ensuring that both the owners and their dogs form a healthy and long-lasting bond.

That is why they have a 9-step adoption process to ensure that you’ll have a perfect match. We’ve provided a short summary below for your reference:

  • Step 1: Submit a duly accomplished adoption application that can be accessed on their website.
  • Step 2: Initial evaluation of answers in the application together with matching dogs that would best fit your situation.
  • Step 3: Telephone interviews which can be done 1-2 times.
  • Step 4: Contacting your references.
  • Step 5: A home visit will be conducted.
  • Step 6: Your meet and greet with the rescue Maltese. This process requires the rescue pup to meet all household members to see if they get along.
  • Step 7: The rescue makes final remarks and makes a final decision based on the information gathered.
  • Step 8: Signing the adoption contract and payment of the adoption fee.
  • Step 9: The rescue Maltese is finally given to its new family.

American Maltese Association Rescue (AMAR) Information and Details:

2. Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue (SCMR) – Tennessee

If you’re living in the southern areas of the country, then you’re in luck. The Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue (SCMR) has established its center in Tennessee. Similarly, this is a non-profit organization run by volunteers who have full-time jobs.

They accept and house Malteses rescued from shelters found as strays or those who have been surrendered by their owners.

The SCMR is dedicated to ensuring that their rescues go to loving families with a peaceful and suitable environment; therefore, they have a few non-negotiables regarding adoptions.

One of which is that they do not allow adoptions for families with children less than 10 years old, for the reason that Malteses are toy dogs making them prone to injury.

Secondly, they don’t release rescues to owners with houses equipped with electric fences for safety issues.

If you want to adopt from their rescue, you can fill out their adoption application from their website. Note that they do not process applications that are incomplete so double check your forms before hitting submit!.

Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue (SCMR) Information and Details:

Male vs. Female Maltese: What’s the Difference?

3. Maltese Rescue California – California

This organization focuses mainly on providing a shelter and a home for Malteses in California. They mainly accept two kinds of rescues: those coming from California homes and those surrendered by their previous families.

To adopt a Maltese from their organization, you have to fill up their adoption application and wait for one of their adoption coordinators to contact you for a telephone interview.

Initially, they will give you information on the dog of your choice which can be found on their website. This will also be your opportunity to ask any questions about the process.

Once you pass both the phone and the application process, then a meet and greet will be scheduled as well as a home visit to ensure the rescue dog’s security.

The moment everything’s in check, you will be allowed to pay the adoption visit and take your rescue Maltese home!

Maltese Rescue California Information and Details:

  • Website: Maltese Rescue California
  • Address: 10520 Burned Oak Lane Escondido, CA 92026
  • Phone: +1 760-315-8770
  • Email: info@malteserescuecalifornia.org

4. Metropolitan Maltese Rescue (MetroMalts) – New York

In 1998, a company of Maltese lovers established this rescue group in New York City. Twenty-three years of rescuing and rehoming Maltese is a testament to MetroMalts’ reliability when it comes to “matchmaking” dogs to their forever homes.

To add more to their credentials, they are a proud member of New York’s Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Inc., a celebrated association of local shelters and rescue organizations that ensure a “no-kill” city.

One benefit of connecting with them is that they ensure their availability even after adoption should you have any queries about your pet! Among the different Maltese rescues on the list, this is one of the few that boasts post-adoption assistance.

To apply for adoption, the initial step would be to answer their questionnaire on their website. It is important to note that they don’t cater to adoptive homes located outside of the NYC tri-state area.

Metropolitan Maltese Rescue (MetroMalts) Information and Details:

5. Maltese Rescue of OKC – Oklahoma

Founded by Karolyn Lee, Maltese Rescue of OKC with the help of warm-hearted volunteers has connected numerous fur babies to their permanent families.

They are a persistent advocate of a “no-kill” state and that is their main motivation for accepting and nursing emotionally and physically abused Maltese.

They place rescue Malteses in foster homes while they wait for their life-long parents to ensure that they are nourished and pampered back to health and will be able to adjust to their new homes well.

The Maltese Rescue of OKC mainly operates on Facebook and is connected to petfinder, which means that they don’t have their own website.

So, to find them you can click on the link provided below or give them a tap on their Facebook page (Maltese Rescue of OKC). Besides, that is where they post available dogs for adoption.

To submit an application form, you just have to send an email to Karolyn and she’ll address your questions accordingly!.

Maltese Rescue of OKC Information and Details:

  • Website: Maltese Rescue of OKC
  • Address: P.O. Box 42471 Oklahoma City, OK 73123
  • Phone: 405-919-2239
  • Email: karolee4@att.net

Maltese Weight: Growth Curve and Average Weight

6. Lil’ Paws Maltese Rescue (LPMR) – Texas

LPMR is a community of Maltese-loving volunteers who invest their time, resources, and efforts to accept unwanted Maltese from kill-shelters and owners.

They particularly have a heart for Malteses who require medical attention or those that have developed health conditions that the original owners can no longer handle.

They have two unique terms when it comes to adoption. First is the “return to rescue” provision in their adoption contract that allows the adopting family to return the dog should they encounter situations that leave them unable to take care of their pet.

In addition to that, they also have a trial adoption wherein they will allow you to keep the dog in your accommodation for seven days to help you get a feel of how it will be like should you push through with the adoption.

Note that they require a person to be at least 21 years old to adopt, and they are limited to the Austin metro area.

Lil’ Paws Maltese Rescue (LPMR) Information and Details:

7. Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc. – Washington

Established in January 2001, the organization expected only 15 Maltese rescues in their first year. However, they were able to take in 35 and from then on, their rescues increased annually.

Now, they pride themselves on being the only Maltese rescue that accepts dogs across the country and even Canada.

 As it is one of the biggest organizations in this line of work, they hold a big picnic/fundraiser where Malteses and small dogs can come and socialize with other dogs and owners. Money raised from their events fund their quest to house more Malteses in loving families.

If you want to adopt with them, you must first duly accomplish an adoption application and mail it to them together with a non-refundable $10 adoption fee.

Northcentral Maltese Rescue, Inc. Information and Details:

8. RetroDoggy Rescue – Michigan

Formerly known as PetRealtorz, RetroDoggy Rescue is another non-profit rescue dedicated to finding lost and abandoned Maltese a life-long home.

This organization is headed by a compassionate realtor named Connie Kramer whose devotion made it possible for numerous pets to settle in with good families.

One of the things we love about RetroDoggy Rescue is that there are fewer hoops you have to go through in order to take home a lovely companion and that are an adoption fee, a home check, and vet references.

Although that sounds easy, altering is expected to occur after a reasonable period, they will also ask for a refundable deposit necessary during adoption but it will be returned once the proof is submitted.

However, know that there’s also a probationary period that comes with occasional home inspections for the first year of your fur baby at home.

For inquiries and applications, all you have to do is send them an email.

RetroDoggy Rescue Information and Details:

  • Website: RetroDoggy Rescue
  • Address: Commerce Township MI 48382
  • Phone: 248-366-8674
  • Email: petrealtors@gmail.com

9. Tiny Paws Rescue – Central and Southern New Jersey

Tiny Paws Rescue caters mainly to seven areas, Central and Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Delaware.

It’s foster-based and they take in small or toy dogs such as Maltese who have been neglected by their owners.

They are one of the main contacts of ACCT Philly (Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia) where some animals are dumped.

A special initiative of Tiny Paws Rescue is that they established a program called Gizzy’s Gift which is a hospice program for senior dogs with terminal illnesses or disabilities.

If you think you can take on the challenge of nurturing and caring for these precious dogs, then this is the place to go.

The adoption process vital for Tiny Paws is similar to the general process of most rescues. However, they highly encourage you to take a look and get to know the adoptable pet you would like in your home as this is the first question in their adoption application.

Tiny Paws Rescue Information and Details:

10. Arizona Small Dog Rescue – Arizona

Arizona Small Dog Rescue is a small organization dedicated to providing a shelter and connecting toy dog breeds to big hearts.

Their kennel is located in Phoenix Arizona and they allow visitors to drop by and check out adoptable animals thus their scope is pretty limited when it comes to areas that they can cater to.

One interesting thing about this rescue is that they conduct off-site adoption events in PetSmart Paradise Valley and PetSmart Arrowhead in association with PetSmart Charities and Petco Foundation.

So, if you don’t have time to visit their shelter in Hatcher Road then you can drop by their events at your convenience.

Should you be interested in adopting a Maltese from Arizona Small Dog Rescue, you can download an application form from their website, print it out and bring a hardcopy to the shelter after you’ve duly accomplished it.

Arizona Small Dog Information and Details:

  • Website: Arizona Small Dog
  • Address: 1102 W Hatcher Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85021
  • Phone: (602) 944-2440
  • Email: adopt@azsmalldog.org

Another thing that can help you significantly with your dog hunt is reading our ultimate dog adoption guide. This, alongside the rescue options from our directory will increase your chances of bringing home the dog you desire.

The Ultimate Guide to Dog Adoption: Process, What to Ask and Tips to Get Approved

Other Sources for Maltese Rescues or Shelters for Adoption

Rescue Maltese traveling in a car

If, despite looking through the top 10 lists, you couldn’t find what you’re looking for, here are some more references that you can check out!

  • Adopt-a-Pet – This site lists both cats and dogs from different shelters and rescues. Its layout is easy to understand and just like Petfinder, it can specify the search to your area and Maltese.
  • Petfinder – This is another pet adoption website that allows you to browse through a vast selection of pets up for adoption all over the country. They have filtering options that allow you to narrow down the list to Maltese.
  • Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) – ARL caters to and connects more than 16,000 animals every year. They have four adoption centers around Boston that you can tap to check for available Maltese.
  • Petango – This is a website that functions as a dating app wherein it matches you to the pet that you could love for its lifetime! They have already matched an impressive 9,610,838 pets to new owners. Who knows, maybe they can help you meet the Maltese pup for you.

RELATED: 10 Best Maltese Breeders (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Why Do People Put Malteses up for Adoption or in a Rescue?

Unfortunately, despite its lovable and irresistible appearance, some Malteses are still given up for adoption or are left in shelters by their owners for these reasons:

  • The family can no longer shoulder the pup’s maintenance costs or is having financial issues.
  • The pet owners may have had some personal problems they had to prioritize.
  • They’re moving to a new home that does not allow pets or simply cannot bring the Maltese with them to their new place of residence.
  • They no longer have time to attend to their dog.
  • The pet owner may be facing a lack of facilities such as the loss of a home.
  • The primary caretaker suffered an illness or even death.
  • The dog may have snapped at their children or other dogs.

Don’t let that last reason dissuade you. The Maltese breed is a gentle-mannered and affectionate breed, along with that is a playful character that makes it a perfect fit as a family dog.

Besides, rescues would never release aggressive dogs for adoption. Rest assured, rescue dogs undergo behavior modification training to help them adjust and prepare them for their forever home.

How Much Should It Cost to Adopt a Maltese?

Typically, breeders charge around heaping $1,000 – $4,000 for a Maltese puppy. Fortunately, you don’t have to go bankrupt just to have a furry companion by your side!

Adoption costs for Maltese are around $300 which is not only cost-effective but reasonable because this fee covers all of your dog’s care expenses.

To provide you with a reference, provided below is a breakdown of where this money goes:

ExpensesAverage Cost
Medical Exam $70 – $100
5-in-1 Vaccine $20
Rabies Vaccine$20
Microchip Insertion$16
Leash and Collar$30
Total$366 – $466

As illustrated in the table, the total cost of adopting a Maltese (more or less $300) is actually lower than the expenditures that the rescue organizations splashed out on the rescue dog while it was in their custody.

As if that’s not good enough, some of the fees listed above may even be deducted as they may have already been given to the dog by their previous owners.

How Much Does a Maltese Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

Is It Difficult to Adopt a Maltese From a Rescue?

Adopted Maltese dog playing with its owner

Among the different factors that rescues check and even double-check before they give you a dog, there are two that can make or break your application.

Firstly, it’s your preparedness to be a pet owner. Most if not all rescue organizations conduct a survey and a telephone interview as their initial assessments.

They ask questions about whether you’re usually away from home, what your plans are regarding exercising your dog, or if you’ve raised other animals in the past.

So, you would have better chances of being approved if you have thought about how your future Maltese will fit in your life beforehand.

In addition to that, they’re also deeply concerned about the environment you have in your house.

This includes the number of occupants in your household regardless of whether they’re two or four-legged, fencing, and pools. In fact, one of the common questions in adoption applications is if you have a pool or a yard.

Evidently, if some elements in your accommodation fail to meet their requirements, then your application will be rejected.

Aside from those mentioned above, organizations can’t neglect to keep a watchful eye over the owners and his or her housemates.

Even though they want nothing less than to provide a loving home for a rescue Maltese, they cannot neglect the health of their handlers.

If you or your housemates have allergies especially to dogs, then it’s unlikely for your application to be approved.

4 Tips for Getting Approved by a Rescue to Adopt a Maltese

Now that you’re convinced and ready to go, here are some tips to make your adoption a walk in the park.

Get to know your future pup

Although Malteses have a generally affectionate and clingy temperament, each dog still has its own personality.

For this reason, the majority of rescues actually insist that you visit your prospective family dog at least twice and spend a little time with them.

This will allow the dog to be more comfortable and used to your presence allowing for an easier transition into your home. Don’t worry, shelters will be more than willing to accommodate and guide you during these visits.

Prepare your house

As there will be home visits by the rescue volunteers or staff, it would be a great time to make a good impression and prepare in advance for the upcoming member of the family.

Make sure that your floors are clean with no food lying around. There should be no exposed wires or sharp items at the dog’s level. If you have a pool, make sure that you have plans on how to keep dogs safe and relay that to the inspector.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Rescues work closely with their dogs. In reality, they might even have lived with the pup you’re trying to take home.

That is why you should never be afraid to ask questions regarding its behavior, temperament, and the way it interacts with people in the family.

Adopt a patient mindset

Remember that when you take home a rescue Maltese, there might be some quirks and attitudes that your new dog might have brought with it from its previous experiences.

Although taking a rescue under your wing might take a little more compassion and patience from you, the results will be worth it.

To further convince you of how rewarding some patience and a load of love can be to both you and your new dog, here’s a video testimony from one of the rescues listed above.

Edie - rescued an hour before euthanasia - Please share her story on Facebook/Twitter/Blog/MySpace.

Final Thoughts: How Do I Know If I’ve Chosen the Right Maltese?

As with all relationships, it takes time, investment, and constant communication to figure things out. This also applies to you and your new pup!

As numerous rescues advise, you have to do your own research regarding your prospective dog to make sure you’re comfortable with their current traits.

Besides that, some rescues encourage meet and greets and home visits to gradually introduce you and your dog to its new environment. Not to worry, most volunteers are more than willing to assist you throughout the process and even after it.

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