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Luna was added to our family after a Petfinder search.
Luna was added to our family after a Petfinder search.
K VanNess

Petfinder is a fabulous tool for anyone in search of a new pet.  This is a database that many shelters and rescue groups use for sharing their animals with potential adopters.  You can find photos, descriptions, and sometimes video of possible new family members.  

The really great thing about Petfinder is that you can search for specific types of pets; age, gender, size, breed, and species.   This means that if you know you want an adult, house trained, and low exercise small labrador or lab mix, you can search "small, adult, labrador retriever" with the check boxes in the left hand side. After entering your zip code and pressing the "Search" button, you will be given a listing of small adult labradors, with the results at the top of the page being closer to where you live than the dogs on the fourth page.   You can go through and look at the photos and read the descriptions and then contact the rescues about the dogs that may interest you.  

The most important thing to consider when looking on Petfinder is that you should be using additional dog adoption resources to help you make a choice. It's easy to fall in love with a cute dog or a sad story, but these animals may not always be best for your household.   Breed listings may be a best guess by the volunteer who puts in the data, and descriptions may  not be accurate.

Not all shelters list dogs on Petfinder, so be sure to check at your most local shelters throughout your search. 

Petfinder is always the first place I suggest people to look whether they are interested in a dog, ferret, or bird.  There are animals of almost any breed or age available and Petfinder is a great tool to help you add add to your family. 

In 2004 I started searching for a second dog. I wanted another golden, but had trouble finding a breeder that interested me.  Our family wanted a puppy, and not an adult dog.  A quick search on Petfinder showed a litter of golden retriever mix puppies at a small shelter just miles away from our home.  Luna has been in our family for five years and we compete in rally obedience and agility.  Not only has that Petfinder search resulted in a dog getting a home, but I have also spent several years volunteering at that shelter and seeing other dogs get a home.