Best Pet Adoption Websites

In the last 10 years, pet adoption websites have exploded in popularity and are now the most common way for people to find their next best friend.

We believe in supporting local animal shelters, but for those who are short on time, using pet adoption websites can help you “match up” with your next pet in a more efficient way. You can be as specific or as general in your search as you like. Can you search your local area or are you willing to travel thousands of miles to find the perfect pet? The choice is yours!

How do these websites work, you ask? Private and public animal shelters (“kill” and “do not kill”), humane associations, rescue groups, and even veterinarians can list pets on several of these websites. Essential information such as species (cat, dog, rabbit, turtle, etc.), sex, breed, color, size, location, and even personality traits are included in each listing. If you have children, you can even “filter” your search to include only pets that have been shown to be good with children.

But how do you know which website to use? Aren’t they all the same? We have reviewed 10 of the top pet adoption websites and as you will see … the answer may surprise you!


“Adopt a pet” is a non-profit website that helps connect homeless pets with their future parents and is funded by Purina, the Petco Foundation and the pharmaceutical giant Bayer. Its home page contains a search engine that is simple and easy to use. You can enter your zip code (for North American searches only) and even select the distance you’re willing to search – up to 250 miles! If you select the “Advanced Search” option, you can specifically search for a pet with special needs or a bonded pair.


“Pet Finder” is one of the oldest and most widely used pet search websites in North America. You also have some of the more “options” available to search your pet database. You can search for basics like breed, gender, and location, but you can add additional information to your search, such as “house-trained,” “no nails,” and you can also define your home as “cats,” “dogs,” and / or “Small children”. One great feature that has been added recently is the volunteer pages. If you don’t want to add a pet to your home, but still want to help those in need, you can get information about volunteering with dogs or cats under the Shelters & Rescue tab.

3. The Shelter Pet Project

If you just want to adopt from a shelter, the Shelter Pet Project website is the place to start. It has an AMAZING feature where you can interact with a shelter pet online. You can choose from several cats and dogs, each with its own name and history. You can watch them walk, wag their tails, hear them bark or purr, and learn more about their personalities. The experience of interacting with these pets online can give you an idea of ​​how wonderful it can be to have a shelter pet in your life.

4. PetsMart Charities

PetsMart founded a large charity to help improve the lives of pets through sterilization and adoption programs. It also offers grants to help fund shelters and helps house shelters and rescue animals within its stores. This remarkable charity offers a small search engine that can help you find your next pet online. Better yet, you can stop by your local PetsMart during an adoption drive or see your adoptable cats in person.


The North Shores Animal League was founded in 1944 and has helped save more than one million pets in the New York-New Jersey area. It is an organization that does not kill and aims to rescue animals from overcrowded shelters. Their website is up to date and has a wealth of educational information for owners and prospective owners (such as the “Ask the Vet” and “Ask the Trainer” features), as well as a search engine to help you find your next plush companion. .


The Animal Foundation is a large adoption center (8 acre campus!) In Las Vegas, Nevada. They also work closely with PetsMart Charities to help find shelter pet homes. One of the coolest features of their website is that you can help fund shelters by donating around 70 cents a day. While all adoption websites want to empty shelters as quickly as possible, this one is doing its best to help care for the animals while they wait for their forever home.


Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center is one of the oldest in Long Island, New York. It sits on six wooded acres and is also home to an animal sanctuary. Their website doesn’t have a pet search engine, but it does have a custom set of photos for you to review. The dog and cat pages are full of beautiful pictures of pets waiting to be adopted. Click on a picture and you can get a glimpse of their personality and how they came to the rescue. You can donate through Paypal to help support a particular animal or schedule a personal visit.


The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a major organization in the United States that is committed to educating the public about population control (spay and neuter) and houses the Center for Animal Poison Control. . If you are interested in adoptions, of course they have an easy-to-use search engine for your NYC Shelter or your local shelter, all over the United States.


If you live in the greater Houston, Texas area, CAP is the place to go! They provide foster care, shelter, spay / neuter, veterinary care, and public education. You can search their website for dogs, cats, and small mammals. They also make it easy to find your adoption fee and requirements for adoption. It is recommended to review your requirements before doing a search for your next fur companion!

10. The Humane Society of the United States

HSUS has affiliated shelters across the country, and while it does not have a specific search engine, it recommends using the Shelter Pet Project website for your search. What it does offer for those thinking of adopting a pet is education on the basics of adoption. Click on their links and you won’t be disappointed!

The bottom line

Each of these websites offers a great service for homeless pets in need. These websites may have similar characteristics, but they are not all the same. Take a look at several of them, as many pets are listed with just one or two websites. Once you’ve found the pets you’re interested in, take the next step and contact the rescue group or shelter directly. They will be able to guide you from there.

Somewhere, a lucky pet is waiting for you, so start your search today!

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