By Tiana Nelson
Lately I’ve had a lot of friends reach out to me and ask me how they can find the animal they are looking for in a shelter.
True, with hundreds of shelters, breed rescues, and foster programs in Colorado (and most communities), it can be hard to know where to start. And certainly, no one expects that you visit dozens of places on your own time.
Enter PetFinder.com! This is probably one of my favorite partnership ideas of all time because this is a website that does only good.
PetFinder.com pulls all of the animals on rescue websites across the country into one place and makes the information searchable by location, type of animal, animal behavior and age, human preferences, and more.
Let’s say you’re looking for a young or newborn Belgian Shepherd Laekenois (although I had never heard of the breed, they are gorgeous dogs). In searching for this exotic and rare breed, you also want this Belgian Shepard Laekenois to be a female, to be a dog that will like your kids, and to get along with your family cats.
On PetFinder.com, you can narrow your search on any or all of these criteria, and if you do so, you’ll find Sissy just might be the perfect pup for you!
PetFinder.com pulls together more than 12,000 rescue organizations across the country and is a bank of more than 215,000 animals in search of forever homes. That number of homeless animals is a staggering number, and while it doesn’t even come close to accounting for all of the homeless animals in our country, it is so indicative of the importance of adopting animals.
In fact, you truly can find any type of dog up for adoption and this site is proof. Plus, not only is rescuing an animal good karma, but another perk of adoption is that you can get a great dog and spend much, much, much less than you would if you purchased that animal from a breeder or store.
* The most expensive dog ever sold was a Tibetan Mastiff, sold for $1.5 million in March 2011 … there are nine Tibetan Mastiffs listed on PetFinder.com that are available for adoption, ranging from $100-200 in adoption fees.
* Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the second most expensive dog breed, and range from $1,000 to $14,000 from breeders … there are 189 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels available for adoption on PetFinder.com.
* Samoyed are the third most expensive breed, ranging from $4,000-$11,000 per dog … there are 87 purebred and mixed breed Samoyed dogs on PetFinder.com.
What I love most about this site is truly the awareness it creates.
On PetFinder.com alone, there are 175,000 dogs to search through — dogs of all breeds, ages, and temperaments. The site also educates visitors, providing information about all dog breeds on the site and sharing resources and articles to help prepare people for being pet owners, making it a great place to send people in your life that aren’t sure what they are looking for in a pet.
So, next time someone mentions they are looking for a new pet, encourage them to adopt and to use PetFinder.com as a research tool.
And, if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy just checking out the amazing animals in your area and maybe try to find them a good home or two.
Tiana Nelson is the president and COO of PawsCo a 501(c)3 animal welfare organization based in Denver, Colorado.