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Norwich Bulletin - 8/21/2005

PetFinder.com

Because there are just too many homeless animals in the world, most rescue organizations, like Helping Paws, cannot take in personal pets and limit themselves to abandoned, abused and neglected animals.

That leaves a whole group of pets and people out there who still need help. And so a wonderful website was born to not only help rescue organizations, but also to help individual people place their pets, find their perfect pet and/or locate their lost pet: www.petfinder.com.

A database of over 7,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the United States, Canada and Mexico are available instantly! That opens up a whole new world for the individual person looking for that perfect pet.

Helping Paws has had people drive from Ohio and Michigan, Maine and New Hampshire for a particular cat listed on Petfinder (while we are lucky enough to have our own website, we still belong to, and list our cats on petfinder). Petfinder makes it possible for an adopter to search for the pet that best matches his or her lifestyle and needs all over the country!

But Petfinder is so much more than an adoption site. They have their Classified sections, of course. Individuals and Rescue Organizations can post a free classified ad. These ads are split into categories: Lost or Found Pets, Pets Wanted or Adoptable Pets. The ads that individuals post are good for fourteen days.

Rescue Organizations are expected to keep their site up to date, removing pets as they are placed and adding new rescues as needed. Pets Found is a list of pets that good Samaritans find wandering and bring in. They are usually believed to be a pet rather than a feral or stray cat just wandering around.

To start with, people try to find the original owner and, if not able to, eventually these animals may end up on the Adoptable Pets list. Lost Pets are just that - a list of pets that are missing. Besides listing their lost pet locally, now people have the added bonus of listing on line.

And of course, the largest list would be the adoptable pets. A list of animals that, for whatever reason, cannot stay in their current homes. Some are families that must give up their pets, others have lost their humans through death, NS many are strays that people have rescued and are fostering themselves because the local organizations are full.

Besides these divisions, the website offers much more. There is a library to find out information on behavior, products, nutrition and a whole array of topics. There is a message board, chat rooms, contests, a store and a special kids site. They have monthly drawings, contests, photos of the month and so much more. Petfinder truly offers a wealth of information.

Rescue organizations must become members. They profile themselves and the general public can access the group's website through petfinder and find out what services they offer after you adopt. You can also find out where your local rescues are and volunteer! What a fantastic website and the best part? Petfinder is made up of animal oriented people, all volunteers, working together to maintain up to date lists of homeless animals and giving people more and more options as a way to find that perfect new pet through adoption.

Many people, who feel they cannot go into a shelter because they are looking for a particular pet and it makes them feel guilty if they don't take a pet home, can spend time finding exactly what they feel will fit into their home, guilt-free.

Petfinder is a great tool for everyone and has made a difference in the world of rescue. It has opened up the possibilities for animals to find the right home anywhere in the US. There are groups that will help relocate an animal from California to New York City and there are groups that will help fund the move.

There are groups that will help provide lost cost veterinary information and there are groups that specialize in elderly and special needs pets. You can find them all at www.petfinder.com. Check it out!

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