Before you adopt your little four-legged friend, you’ll need a lot of good information. There are many excellent organizations that are specialized in animal adoptions across the country. These are doing good work in telling people about how to adopt, how to care for adopted animals, and related concerns.

They’ll give you lots of important information you’ll be grateful for when the time comes to take home your new pet.

Here is a list of what I think are some of the most awesome, humane animal adoption organizations and resources. I’ve tried not to make this a list of adoption centers – I’m going to make such a list later. This is a list of nationwide organizations that will give you information and resources, and help you find pets you want to adopt. is one of North America’s non-profit pet adoption service

This is a huge non-profit online adoption resource that works out of Claremont, California. It’s not an animal center or an organization, but it’s a great place to find rescue groups and animal shelters near you that have pets up for adoption. You’d think, “hmm…it seems like a good place for irresponsible breeders to masquerade as rescuers.” But the website doesn’t allow listings by individuals. Check it out if you’re ready to adopt. Maybe you’ll find the perfect dog, cat, rabbit, horse, bird, reptile, farm animal or other small creature for you listed on the site.

Best Friends Animal Society


A nationwide animal rescue and advocacy organization

This is a huge non-profit 501 that specializes in animal rescue, spaying and neutering, and pet adoption around the country. They have a Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah and several societies in other cities that work to create no-kill animal shelters. They also offer lots of resources for owners of rescued or adopted pets, and general pet owners as well.


For over 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been running the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals.

Petfinder has helped more than 25 million pets find their families through adoption

This useful resource is not an organization. But it’s a useful online tool where you can find animals up for adoption near you. Just type in your location, the type of animal you’re looking for, breed, age, gender etc. You’ll be taken to info on adoption centers that have such animals up for adoption. You’ll also find loads of information on how to help volunteer and foster animals.

For the past 20 years, Petfinder has helped 25 million pets find their families through adoption.



 Pets-for-vets is our way of saying ‘Thank you!’ to our military veterans

If you’re a veteran looking for a lovely dog or other animals to live with you and keep you company, you can apply at Pets-for-Vets. They are a fantastic bunch of people who are pairing homeless animals with war veterans who need their company. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!


About 1.5 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. These animals can make excellent companion animals but never have that chance.

Sadly, there are alarming statistics of suicide, family abuse and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder facing veterans returning to civilian life after military duty.

Other resources:

American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

We work to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide

Of course, we all know about the ASPCA. It’s a non-profit that cares about preventing cruelty to animals. The ASPCA is one of the world’s largest such organizations. They work to enforce laws and also work to get animals better rights. They also give grants to other welfare organizations, carry out spaying and neutering, help with animal rescue. They run an adoption center and can provide advice on adoption.

Meanwhile, they’re also taking care of the bigger issues – how to shut down animal milling, dog fighting, bad habits like animal hoarding (which is what happens when people take on more animals than they can care for).

If animal cruelty really riles you up, you can donate to the ASPCA or volunteer with them for fundraising and other goals as well.

The Animal Rescue Site


We are tailored to address specific causes by raising awareness while providing tangible solutions

This is a fantastic website that is run and funded by the non-profit The Animal Rescue Site provides care and food to 8 million homeless animals and other needy animals around the world. In other words, these guys work to fund animal welfare efforts and adoptions around the world.


Over four million animals are put to death every year in the U.S. alone because they are abandoned and unwanted. Thank you for your caring online actions.


We are the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization

The Humane Society of the United States

These guys work on animal protection issues, whether it’s Alaskan wolves, “research” chimps or the restoration of USDA data about organized animal cruelty in zoos, research labs etc.

The Humane Society of the United States is an American nonprofit organization founded by journalist Fred Myers and Helen Jones, Larry Andrews, and Marcia Glaser in 1954, to address what they saw as animal-related cruelties of national scope, and to resolve animal welfare problems by applying strategies beyond the resources or abilities of local organizations.

We and our affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations.

International Animal Rescue

Saving animals from suffering around the world

International Animal Rescue is a global organization that rescue dogs, cats, macaques, howler monkeys, orangutans, slow lorises, India bears and other animals around the world. They also specialize in adoptions of these animals. Of course, this is a different kind of adoption. You can’t bring an Orangutan home unless you’re really dedicated and have space and skills to take care of it! But you can, for as little as a few pence a day, help the organization look after these animals all their lives.

As human populations expand, wildlife comes under increasing threat. By rescuing individual animals belonging to species like the orangutan and reintroducing them into protected areas in the wild, our work also plays a role in the conservation of the species as a whole.

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