Many people know about craigslist as a way of finding pets online, however there is another website that offers even more pets needing homes, that site is Petfinder.com.
What separates Petfinder from other sites, such as craigslist, is that Petfinder lists pets that are available for adoption from animal shelters rather than private individuals.
Craigslist and other such sites are not always safe, sometimes they offer pets for free but then ask for a shipping fee, the person wanting them pet willingly sends the money but no pet ever arrives, it was all a scam.
Because Petfinder only lists pets in registered non-profit animal shelters there are no such scam opportunities.
Petfinder has over 300,000 pet listings from over 13,000 animal shelters in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Their listings are mostly cats and dogs, but they also list birds, exotic pets, small caged pets, horses, and even livestock.
Petfinder is free to use and easy to use too. They have a search feature so users can search for specific types of pets within their area or they can search for animal shelters in their area, noting that not all animal shelters have registered with Petfinder so there still may be other shelters near to that person. Also not every shelter keeps their list of adoptable pets updated regularly so an interested person should consider visiting the shelter directly too.
Once a person finds a pet they are interested in it is up to them to contact the animal shelter where that pet is being kept and they can apply for adoption. Each animal shelter has its own adoption policy and adoption fees. Just as with adopting a child, pet adoption involves an application process. Typically you need to either own your own home or have landlord approval. If applying to adopt a dog you may need to have a fenced yard or dog run.
Every year Petfinder has a week dedicated to helping find homes for pets that are considered to be harder to adopt. Petfinder calls this Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week, and for 2012, the week is September 17 to 23. Pets considered to be less adoptable include black pets, FIV positive cats, pit bull dogs, pets with special needs (deaf, blind, and so forth), pets who are different (missing an eye or leg), older pets, as well as those that are not cats or dogs.
Anyone who is considering getting a new pet should check Petfinder before looking on other “pet for sale” websites because in most cases the pet they are adopting could be at risk for being euthanized if it does not find a home.