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How to Help Shelters and Rescues

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At Petfinder, we are committed to helping every adoptable pet find a home. And recentlyshelters and rescues have seen huge increase in the number of pets in need of homes and could use help more than ever. Even if you can’t adopt a new pet, there are still plenty of ways you can support homeless animals—and the groups that care for them. 


Adopt a Pet

It’s as true today as it always has been. Adopting a new dog or cat is one of the best ways to help homeless pets. Search for an available dog, cat, rabbit, and more near you. Or let us help you find your match by completing our adopter profileIf you find a pet that looks just perfect for you, click on “Introduce Me” on a pet’s profile or contact the organization directly to begin an application. 


Foster a Dog or Cat

Fostering a dog or cat is another great way to help your local shelter or rescue. And if you have the space and time to temporarily bring a pet into your home, now is a good time to do it.  Fostering allows homeless pets to adapt to living in a home and improves their chances of getting adopted. Plus, many animal organizations cover all the costs of fostering! Interested in learning more?  

  • Search Petfinder for available pets now. When you find a pet that you are interested in fostering or adopting, use the “Introduce Me” button to reach out directly to the organization. 
  • is compiling a list of shelters and rescues looking for foster families and matching those groups with volunteers from the national community.  
  • Sign up to be an emergency foster and you may help save a pet’s life—not to mention bring a little extra joy into yours. 

If you have questions about fostering a dog or cat in need, feel free to check out our  frequently asked questions about fostering a pet. 


Give to Animal Organizations in Need

One of the fastest and simplest ways to help homeless pets is to donate to your local shelter or rescue. Visit your local animal shelter’s website to see if you can donate online or  find animal rescue groups and shelters near you. If your local organization cannot directly take a donation, The Petfinder Foundation can help to identify and distribute funds to adoption organizations that need it most, and you can donate to them directly.  

If you can’t donate funds at this time, consider giving product or supplies. Animal organizations are always looking for blankets, leashes, old towels, and more to help care for the animals. Some may even have lists of the items they need most. Just reach out to your local shelter and see if they have a wish list online.  

Just know, however you can help, the organizations and pets will be grateful! 

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