Researchers have found that owning a pet is good for people’s physical and mental health. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies. Meanwhile, adults who have pets are less likely to develop anxiety or depression.

Unfortunately, not all pet stores are created equal. Some work with puppy mills or kitten mills. These are places where animals are bred and raised in unsanitary or otherwise deplorable conditions. Animals from such places often have health or behavioral problems. To avoid this, be attentive when choosing your next pet. In this article, you will find more information on 8 of the most widespread adoption centers and events in the US. One of them might just be in your area.

Pet Adoption Centers and Events to Consider

1. Petco Pet Adoption

Petco, which has been in business for around 50 years, sells animal supplies like bedding, food, and toys. They also provide services like grooming and dog training. Petco also sells exotic pets like rodents, birds, fish and reptiles. Petco works with local animal shelters to place dogs and cats. Some stores will keep a few cats on site. So, many will hold pet adoption events during specific weekends. The Petco website includes a Store Locator to help people find the Petco nearest them.

In 1999, Petco established the Petco Foundation, which focuses on pet adoption and health care. It holds adoption events at area Petco stores at least once a month. The Foundation’s website does list the pets they have available.

2. Adopt a describes itself as the largest non-profit pet adoption website in North America. It enables prospective pet owners to locate animals, animal shelters and rescue organizations in their area. It also allows people to choose specific dog or cat breeds. Somebody who has their heart set on a Labrador Retriever or a Siamese will therefore probably be able to find one easily. also helps people find small, mammalian exotic pets like sugar gliders or ferrets. can help people rehome pets they can no longer keep. Its website contains lots of information on pet care, most of which is under the tag Pet Care & Health.

3. Humane Society

The Humane Society of the United States began life in 1954 as an offshoot of the much older American Humane Association. After major disagreements between the members caused the Association to split into two groups. Since then, it has become the largest animal protection organization in the US.

As such, its members rescue animals from abusive situations. The Humane Society and another animal welfare group called Maddie’s Fund run the Shelter Pet Project to help people locate dogs, cats or animal shelters in their area.


Petfinder is another website that helps people find pets and animal shelters. It includes a directory of 14,000 shelters in the US, Mexico, and Canada. In addition to dogs and cats, it provides information about exotic pets like birds, rabbits, and horses. Although Petfinder will list many animals by breed, the organization admits that many of them are mixes.

Petfinder also provides information about various dog and cat breeds, as well as details on adopting different kinds of exotic pets. Their article on horse care, for example, advises that a horse can live for 35 years. During that time, it will eat roughly 20 pounds of food a day. Also, it will need to have its hooves trimmed every six or eight weeks.

5. Petsmart

Like Petco, Petsmart is a pet supply store that works with local organizations to get dogs and cats adopted. It maintains a website called that lists 200,000 animals up for adoption, and some of them are exotic pets. helps people find available pets near them.

Petsmart holds nation-wide adoption events on given weekends. It also provides services like pet hotels and dog grooming.

6. AKC Rescue Network

AKC stands for American Kennel Club. The organization describes itself as America’s largest network of dog rescue groups. It’s a new initiative; the AKC established it in 2013. It serves as an umbrella organization for dog rescue groups that work with any of 160 breeds. Volunteers foster dogs at their homes until the dogs get permanent homes.

The Network lists the dog rescue groups by breed in alphabetical order. The lists can be surprisingly long. For example, there are dozens of groups devoted to Basset Hounds, so they are listed by state. The rescue groups’ information typically includes a website, phone number and occasionally a contact person.

dog and kitten

7. Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue

The Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue, which has its headquarter in Wisconsin, was established in 1999. Like the AKC Rescue Network, it is staffed by volunteers who foster the animals in their homes. They can foster up to 100 cats at once. People who want to adopt a cat need to fill an application. If the Rescue accepts the application, they then invite the applicant to visit the cat.

The Rescue’s website includes information describing over a dozen breeds and some of their needs. The Rescue warns that pet owners are more likely to surrender Persians or Himalayans than other breeds. While these cats have sweet dispositions, they also require far more care than other cats. They have the longest fur of all the breeds and are also prone to certain health issues.

8. helps people track down offices run by county governments – including animal shelters. The shelters are organized by state, so it’s a simple matter of clicking on the name of the relevant state and county. The animal shelters will be listed alphabetically. The information will include the shelter’s address, phone number and hours.

Getting Your Pet

There are many ways to locate an animal shelter, rescue group or adoption event. As can be seen, some organizations work with exotic pets or pedigreed animals. Many of the groups’ websites will answer the questions, Are there pet adoption events near me? Can I find shelters for pet adoption near me? Different shelters and rescue groups have different procedures and rules for pet adoption.

Have you used any of the above groups for pet adoption? What was your experience like?

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