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Are you planning to adopt a new doggo? If so, you should look for the most reliable and trusted adoption centers. This is to guarantee the health of the pooch and the working conditions of the shelter. In this post, we listed 10 puppy adoption websites where you can give one lucky doggo a forever home.
But before we begin, you should know the difference between these two things:
Rescue vs. shelter
A rescue facility has a more involved and intensive screening process. They can have as many dogs up for adoption just as shelters, but they scrutinize every candidate who wishes to take home a pet. Also, rescue facilities will ensure that the person’s lifestyle and home are suitable for a specific dog.
Moreover, rescue facilities will charge a higher adoption fee since they provide vet checks for the dog. Aside from that, the dogs could be in a foster home and not in cold kennels like in shelters.
On the other hand, shelters have a lax adoption process. Most don’t screen applicants and allow them to take home a pup they want. Take note that shelters offer a temporary home for canines. When a specific time lapsed, the pets will be euthanized, depending on the facility’s rule.
Top 10 Puppy Adoption Websites
Topping our list of puppy adoption websites is the Adopt-a-Pet.com. This website operates in North America and currently has a network of 17,000 shelters and animal rescue facilities. They are promoting a no-kill nation and a recipient of the Maddie’s Fund, a charity that aims to help shelter dogs.
Take note that Adopt-a-Pet.com isn’t a shelter itself, but a network of shelters where you can search a pet you want to adopt. This allows you to see the nearest shelter in your area and the dogs up for adoption.
Moreover, the average adoption cost in Adopt-a-Pet shelters would be around $25 to $125, but it will vary widely per shelter.
Currently, Adopt-a-Pet is supported by Bayer, Purina, and Petco Foundation. When you search for a potential pet, you can indicate the age and breed that you want.
You can also try to look up a pup using Petfinder. Like Adopt-a-Pet, Petfinder is an online database of shelters and homes where you can look for a dog that’s up for adoption. Currently, they are operating within the United States, Mexico, and Canada with over 11,000 partner shelters and rescues. Also, Petfinder is one of the oldest pet adoption databases on the internet.
Every day, the system is being updated to list new dogs and other pets that are up for adoption. Take note that they only work with non-profit organizations. Once you find a pet of your choice, you can contact the specific shelter to discuss the adoption and visit the pup.
Also, you should note that Petfinder itself doesn’t control the adoption process. But like Adopt-a-Pet, you can filter your search based on the dog’s gender, size, breed, and location.
3. Best Friends Animal Society
The Best Friends Animal Society is a no-kill sanctuary that has been in operation for the past 30 years. They are helping rescue dogs get adopted while running other programs that will slash the number of pets that end up in shelters.
As a non-profit organization, they are accepting adoptions for over 1,600 pets in their own sanctuary in Kanab, UT. However, if you wish to adopt in a rescue or shelter near you, you can adopt from Best Friends Animal Society’s centers in Los Angeles, West L.A., Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and New York City.
For those who don’t have a dog breed or characteristics in mind, Best Friends Animal Society has a Dog Match tool. You can also visit their sanctuary to see the pups by yourself.
Take note that this organization screens applicants and in some cases may perform a home check to ensure that you are fit to take care of the dog.
Next, we have the ASPCA or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA was founded in North America and is the largest humane society in the country. They are a non-profit organization and have been in operation since 1866.
Currently, they offer adoptions for owners in Los Angeles and New York areas. You can visit their modern Adoption Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. For those in L.A., ASPCA can direct you to local Petco stores and foster homes to find a doggo you’d want to adopt.
Aside from that, ASPCA has the ‘Meet Your Match’ program where you can perform a pet match by filling out a form. The goal here is to match your personality, lifestyle, and preferences with the dogs up for adoption.
In addition, ASPCA also conducts fundraisers and awareness campaigns as one of the best puppy adoption websites.
5. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
The Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is a non-profit rescue organization. They save dogs from high-kill shelters all over North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Puerto Rico. They aim to give rescue dogs a forever home through their rigorous adoption process.
Once you have selected the dog you want to adopt through their online listing, you have to apply for adoption through their e-form. Make sure that you indicate the dog’s name.
After that, a volunteer from the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue will conduct a phone screening within 48 hours. If you got pre-approved, a rescue volunteer will perform a home visit to see your living situation, if you’re on rent and other things.
Overall, the adoption cost from the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue costs between $250 and $450, depending on the health and age of the pooch. By adopting through them, you’re saving the lives of pets that are due to be euthanized.
6. Big Dog Ranch Rescue
The Big Dog Ranch Rescue takes pride in their no-kill and a cage-free facility where dogs up for adoption can live freely. From 14 dogs, the rescue is now housing hundreds of dogs in their ranch. Currently, the ranch is located in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida.
Moreover, you can check their dogs online to decide on what breed, age, gender, and size you want to adopt. They have a pretty long list with breeds ranging from Labrador Mix to Pitbull Mix. If you’re interested to adopt, just fill out an application.
Currently, you can choose from over 100 puppies and over 500 dogs at a time. You can also visit the ranch to find the dog that you like.
Despite their intensive adoption process, the Big Dog Ranch Rescue will accept dogs back if the adoption didn’t work out. Still, you should avoid it as much as possible by picking the right dog.
The North Shore Animal League America was established back in 1944 and has saved over a million pets to date. They are a rescue organization with global rescue partners that help them save more dogs and give vulnerable pets a forever home.
If you want to adopt, they have a list of doggos on their website, mostly located in Port Washington, NY. Still, you can look up an adoptable dog near you by entering your zip code. You can also call them to schedule a visit to their rescue facility.
Annually, the Animal League places about 18,000 pets in forever homes. The next dog might be yours to adopt!
Dog Time has a listing of pets that are in need of a new home. Most are located in Los Angeles, but you can search for your location through their Petfinder-powered in-site tool. Once you find the pet that suits you, you can contact the shelter or rescue where the doggo is housed.
Also, you should be prepared for the application as many facilities will conduct an intensive background check to see if you’re equipped to raise the dog.
Aside from that, you can head to their Dog Matchup page to take the ‘Are You Ready’ quiz and to know which dog breed suits you best.
9. PetSmart Charities
PetSmart is quite a popular brand and is one of the leading funders of animal welfare in the U.S. They have over 4,000 partner entities that support their causes and the dogs in their care. Also, PetSmart has been operating for 25 years and has funded over $400 million worth of assistance to its partners in North America.
And if you want to adopt, they have adoption centers and partners all over the country. You can also attend adoption events, visit in-store adoptions near you.
Once you have chosen a dog you want to adopt, you’ll undergo an interview and paperwork so PetSmart can guarantee that you’re a responsible owner. Usually, it may take several days, but for those with a good background, they can take the dog home on the same day.
Lastly, you can check the Petango website. Since 2009, they have been placing pets to forever homes, with over 14,000 pets placed in 2019 alone. Currently, they have a list of pups and adult doggos that are up for adoption.
Take note that dogs are located in different shelters and rescues in varying areas. Make sure that you search for your zip code to see one nearest to your place. Also, the adoption process depends on the policies of the facility where the dog is housed.
Also, they have partnered with over 1,800 animal welfare organizations all over Canada and the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are dogs from the shelter free?
A: Sometimes, puppies from shelters can be adopted for free. But for some, the facility will charge a fee to recover the cost they shouldered for feeding the dog, vet checks, vaccinations, etc. Nevertheless, it should be a small fee that’s way cheaper than purchasing a puppy from a breeder.
Q: Do shelters really kill dogs?
A: If the shelter has a no-kill policy, it means that they don’t euthanize dogs, but they can’t accept more unless the ones in their care have been adopted. But in the case of a large number of shelters in the U.S., dogs and pups will be euthanized within a specific timeline. Also, some shelters choose to euthanize canines if they are heavily ill and have a hard-wired case of aggression. For no-kill rescues, you can check our list of puppy adoption websites above.
Q: Should you adopt from a kill shelter?
A: Yes, you can. But if you want to save two lives by adopting one, a no-kill shelter is the ideal choice. How? When you adopt a pup from a no-kill shelter, you’re freeing its slot, which can be occupied by a dog in a kill shelter. That way, you can give two dogs another chance in life.
Q: What happens to dogs that don’t get adopted?
A: If the dog is in a kill shelter, it will get euthanized after 72 hours if no one claimed or adopted it. But for dogs with a good breed and good health, some kill shelters may grant a stay execution, which extends the leeway for owners to claim their dog or for possible foster parents to adopt.
Q: Why should you adopt a pet instead of buying?
A: There’s been a long-standing argument about buying and adopting dogs. If you want to save a life, adopting is a noble choice. However, there’s no guarantee of the dog’s lineage, age, breed, and health like it does with a professional breeder.
Adopting a dog is one of the noblest things you can do. It saves a life, which salvages one innocent pooch from being put to sleep. With the help of the puppy adoption websites we listed here, we hope that you’ll find the furry friend you’re looking for.
Just remember that adopting is a big responsibility. Make sure that you are prepared to take on the demands of owning a canine. Through that, the dog won’t have to experience yet another heartbreak. What do you think of these dog adoption sites? Let us know your thoughts below!