by Janine DeVault
If you’ve decided to add a new cat or dog to your family, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. There are seemingly endless places to find pets for adoption these days!
In this article, we’ll cover a selection of different options for where you can find your new pet, as well as tips to help you decide which one is best for you.
1. Local Animal Shelter
Local animal shelters are a wonderful option for finding pets for adoption. The pets in the shelter have either been found as strays or surrendered by their owners, and they’re looking for a fresh start. If you don’t have specific criteria for what you’re looking for in a pet, browsing the local animal shelter is a great idea.
Just remember: Pets in the shelter are often stressed or scared, so they may not be displaying the best version of their personality. If you see a pet that interests you, ask the shelter staff to bring them out of their kennel so you can visit in a private room.
Pets from animal shelters usually have much lower adoption fees than any of the other options you’ll find on this list. But remember, the most important thing is finding the right pet for your family.
2. Local Animal Rescue Organization
Animal rescue organizations often work with shelters to pull animals that they deem adoptable. They usually house animals in foster homes, though sometimes they have their own kennels.
Animal rescues charge higher fees than the animal shelter would, but they often work with pets to socialize them and train them before they’re adopted. Additionally, if you choose to adopt a pet that has been living in a foster home, you’ll be able to get all kinds of tips and advice from the foster parents.
Furthermore, pets from animal rescues tend to have the cost of vaccinations and sterilization included in the adoption fee.
3. Search Online
An online search is another great way to find pets for adoption. This is a good way to go if you have a specific idea of what you want in a pet but are still willing to go through a rescue organization. Websites like Petfinder and Adopt a Pet allow you to search pets that are available from rescues across the country. You can also narrow searches by age, breed and a myriad of other characteristics.
Ultimately, the adoption process will be handled through whichever organization the pet is a part of, but these search engines can certainly save you a lot of time.
4. Breed-Specific Rescue Organization
If there’s a particular breed you’re very fond of, a breed-specific rescue organization may be a good way for you to find your ideal pet. These organizations usually have a selection of purebred or mixed-breed animals that they’ve pulled from shelters, or been surrendered by owners, and they work to find ideal homes for them. Plus, when you adopt, you’ll have the support of a network of people who are experts in that breed.
If you’re looking for a purebred pet but aren’t willing to pay the breeder’s price, a breed-specific rescue may be your best bet.
Take It Slow
If you’re ready to start looking for your new four-legged family member, check out our Pawtner organizations and the animals they're helping in shelters across the country!
Janine DeVault is a pet care writer, animal rescue advocate and former celebrity dog walker. She lives in Mexico with her three rescue pets, Maia, Fozzy and Kesi.