If you’re looking to adopt a new dog, you should look past the expensive breeders and the problematic pet stores to find a pup that’s looking for a forever home. A good pet rescue or shelter not only has plenty of animals who need love, but also a limited amount of room to care for all of those pets. For some, though, the biggest benefit of working with a shelter or rescue is the simple fact that it’s cheaper – for a small fraction of what you’d pay a breeder, you’ll get an amazing pet who is ready to come home with you.
This is, of course, easier when you’ve got a good rescue nearby. If you can’t find one in your area, you might be better off going online. Below are just a handful of the best online pet adoption sites that can help you find a new furry friend.
The Best Pet Adoption Websites
If you’ve ever thought about adopting a pet, you’ve probably run into PetFinder. While it might not be the original pet adoption website, it’s certainly one of the oldest and still the go-to site for most who want to adopt dogs. This website has a huge database of rescues and shelters across North America, giving you access to more pets than just about any other website. It’s also one of the most frequently updated websites, which means that you’ll get access to pets more frequently here than on most other sites.
Using the site is also very easy. You’ll enter all the information you can think of about the pet you want as well as your location. This pet adoption site will try to match you up with a suitable pet, and then you’ll get a chance to go out and meet him or her before you make a decision.
The former 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com website gives users access to shelters and agencies across North America, with a huge database that spans around 17,000 different organizations. This site is totally free and provides a great place for organizations to advertise their pets, which also gives users access to plenty of adoptable animals every day.
Finding a pet here is fairly simple, though it’s going to be up to you to do the legwork. You’ll type in your zip code and animal type, which will then give you access to photos of pets that might fit your criteria. If you find one you like, you’ll be able to get in contact with that animal’s shelter to find out more information.
When most people start looking for pets to adopt from a shelter, they think about the ASPCA. While the ASPCA has many in-person shelters, they also have a fantastic website that will allow you to find a great pet of your own. Their ‘Meet Your Match’ pet adoption service will actually match you up with a pet that’s compatible with both your lifestyle and your personality, a fantastic program that can really help you to find a great dog.
If you’re interested in the program, you can fill out a personality assessment and then get a list of pets that might be a good match for you. Once you get the list, you can go down to your local ASPCA to meet the pets face to face and decide if you want to adopt the dog yourself.
DogTime does a little bit of everything in the pet world. It’s probably best known for covering all things canine, but it actually also serves as a fantastic pet adoption hub. Not only does it give out great advice about adopting pets, but it also gives out resources to help users find dogs in their area that are ready to be adopted now.
Using this website is very straightforward. You can use a simple ‘finder’ tool to locate dogs in your area that are up for adoption, complete with pictures and personality profiles. If you’re ready to adopt, you can get in contact with the shelter through the contact information listed on the site so that you can set up a meeting.
Best Friends (also known as the Best Friends Animal Society) is one of the largest no-kill organizations in the United States. The organization’s goal is to eliminate animal homelessness, and one of the ways that it intends to do so is through a fantastic website that allows users from across the country to find animals that are ready to go to a forever home.
This is one of the easier sites to use. You’ll just enter in some location information and scroll through the pets that are available nearby. While the sanctuary itself is in Los Angeles, you might be surprised to find out that they’re able to transport pets virtually anywhere in the United States as long as there is a good home waiting for the new best friend.
This website is definitely one of the big standouts if only because it doesn’t work the same way as all of the other adoption sites. Instead of listing only those dogs who are available to adopt near you, it will show you a huge list of dogs that meet your criteria throughout the country. The goal of the site is to help match up willing pet owners with pets regardless of where they are, which can be both a huge benefit for those who are willing to travel for the perfect dog and an overwhelming problem for those who might feel stuck when they can’t find a nearby dog.
As you might imagine, there’s no need to put in a zipcode here. Instead, you’ll enter in your criteria for the dog that you’re looking to adopt, and then you’ll get a huge list of animals that fit your criteria. It’s a little overwhelming at first, but it’s one of the best ways to find precisely the type of dog that you want.
Dog’s Best Life
This giant online magazine will give you plenty of information about virtually anything to do with dogs. It makes sense, then, that it would also have some great information about how to go about adopting the dog that is right for you. The site works really well not only as a hub for adoptions but also as a place to find out more about everything from how to make your new pet feel comfortable to learn how to housebreak your new dog.
Finding a pet here does take a little effort, though. You’ll want to go to the section of the site that’s dedicated specifically to adoption so that you can follow the relevant links to get where you need to go.
The Animal Rescue Site
This website is part of the GreaterGood Project and has the goal of ensuring that homeless pets get a chance to be fed, cared for, and medicated. The site absolutely focuses on those animals that have gone through the worst of the worst, with a great deal of effort put into finding ways to keep those dogs who have been abandoned, abused, and trafficked safe and healthy.
While this site isn’t necessarily geared towards adopting pets, it is designed to ensure that you’ll be able to help some of those dogs who are in the most need. You’ll also be given the chance to sign petitions in order to support dog shelters and end animal cruelty, which can go a long way towards helping to make sure that there are fewer dogs alone on the street.
The Humane Society
Another major organization that does a lot of great work to help pets, The Humane Society not only rescues animals and places them, but it ensures that there are laws in place to prevent animal cruelty and to prevent animals from being abandoned in the first place. With that said, though, the organization also spends an awful lot of time helping to place animals in new homes.
Adopting a pet through the website means participating in The Shelter Pet Project. You’ll simply go on the site, pick a type of pet that you’d like to adopt, and then use your zip code to find a rescue organization or shelter that has that kind of pet available. From there, you’ll click on pet photos to learn more about the animals and to get in contact with the local organization that is currently housing that animal.
PetSmart is probably best known for being a pet supply store, but it also has a huge charitable arm as well. The company’s charity is focused on helping to find homes for abandoned pets, and it has managed to do so with over eight million animals so far. With a huge amount of effort put into the charity each year, it’s no surprise that Pet Smart would also have a great online program for adoptions.
One of the great things about this site is that it is relatively easy to use. Simply enter in your location information and you’ll find information about pets that are nearby. You’ll be able to choose the type of dog as well as its gender, breed, and age, so you’ll be able to get matched quickly with the perfect pet for your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best pet adoption site?
There are honestly many great pet adoption websites out there. Whether you want to go with an organization like the ASPCA or Humane Society or you’re more interested in an online database like that from Pet Finder, you’ll be sure to find the perfect pet for your home.
2. Can I buy a pet online?
You can definitely find a good pet adoption site online. Most of these sites will give you the information to contact a local pet rescue or shelter, which will then help you to find the perfect dog. Note, though, that few sites are going to let you adopt a dog without first meeting him or her.
3. Where can I find dogs online?
You can find dogs online through many websites. Not only are there great websites that might be run by local charities or shelters, but you can also use sites like Pet Finder to find out more information about where to adopt pets near you.
4. What is the best dog rescue?
There are too many dogs rescues out there to answer this question. The truth, though, that any rescue that focuses on caring for dogs while still understanding its limits is definitely a rescue worth supporting.