Adoption FAQs

We’re thrilled to be able to offer a integration right here on Project PAWS where you can search a database of over 250,000 adoptable pets who are looking for their furever home!

Before you go searching, we thought we’d help answer some frequently asked questions about using

Can I save my search or be notified when new pets become available?

To use the notification by email, use the ‘saved search’ feature. After you perform a search, you’ll see a button with a bell icon directly to the right of your search results. If you’d like to be notified by mail when pets matching your criteria are posted on the site, you should click this bell button to set up the alert. You can always go back and manage your saved searches by creating a login and account.

A question that comes up a lot is if the pet you saw on Petfinder is still available for adoption and/or how often is Petfinder updated?

Each of the 11,000 shelter and rescue groups in the network are responsible for updating their pet listings. To learn more about a specific pet, you should contact the shelter or rescue directly. You can find their contact information by heading to the Pet Profile page and clicking the ‘Ask About’ button.

How do I adopt a pet I see on Does contacting the shelter or rescue group RESERVE the pet I’m interested in adopting? How do I meet the pet I’m interested in adopting?

Once you find a pet you are interested in you’ll want to contact the shelter or rescue to meet him (or her). Go the Pet Profile page by clicking the pet’s pictures or name on the search results page which will take you to a more detailed page. Click ‘Ask About’ to directly contact the shelter or rescue to inquire further.

Submitting an inquiry does NOT reserve a pet or guarantee that the pet will still be available. For more information about the status or availability of a pet, you will need to contact the shelter or rescue. Their contact info is located on the pet’s profile page.

What happens after I click the ‘Ask About’ button? How will I know if I am approved and/or how long will it take to hear back from the adoption group?

Once you click the ‘Ask About’ button, the shelter or rescue will be sent your information. It is then up to the shelter or rescue to contact you (you may also reach out to the shelter to follow up – remember, they are mostly volunteers with lots of pets to care for). This means that depending on the shelter or rescue, you may hear quickly…or it may take a few days. Again, if you are really interested, don’t hesitate to follow up!!

Contacting the shelter or rescue does NOT put the pet on hold or guarantee that you’ll be able to adopt the pet you inquired about. For status inquiries, contact the shelter directly.

Am I applying to adopt through Petfinder? How will I know if I’ve been approved? How long does the process take?

Petfinder is the network which allows you to see all of the adoptable pets available at shelters and rescues. You will be adopting through the shelter or rescue advertising the pet. It is then up to them to decide whether you are a match for that pet.

After submitting the adoption inquiry, the shelter or rescue will contact you directly. You may also reach out to them directly to follow up. The process varies from shelter to shelter.

What are the requirements for adopting a pet? Will there be an adoption fee?

Petfinder itself does not dictate to rescues or shelters on policy, adoption requirements or fees. If you are interested in a specific pet, it is up to you to contact the shelter for this information.

A word about adoption fees…

Adoption fees may seem high to you, but take into consideration that these fees cover the medical care of the animal while they wait for their new homes. This includes food, transportation costs, medical care and usually, a microchip.

The money acts as a donation to help support the organization as a whole as well allowing the group to continue its rescue efforts welcoming in new rescues to rehome.

For further information regarding rescues and shelters on, please visit: Petfinder FAQs.

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