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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Find a Pet with a Mouse Click: Adopting Pets Online

Aug 30, 2012 07:09PM ● By Lee Walker

Many internet pet adoption services are linked with the nation’s largest animal welfare organizations and humane societies as well as thousands of animal rescue groups across the country.
 

We don’t need celebrities to make it fashionable, but some cause celebs like Drew Barrymore are reaching out to adopt pets online and letting others know how easy it is to find a four-legged soul mate via the Internet. Barrymore adopted a mixed-breed adult dog through 1-800-Save-a-Pet.com. It’s just one of many not-for-profit sites that offer those with minimal computer skills the opportunity to adopt a best friend or a “purrfectly” lovable sidekick with a friendly click of the mouse.

Adopting pets online isn’t new. The concept has been around for several years according Jim and Ilene Robertson of Naples, Florida. “Since 1996, we’ve adopted five Siamese cats through SiameseRescue.org,” says Ilene. First came Friday from Virginia, then littermates Cacey and Lumpy, also from Virginia. Next followed two more littermates from Zephyr Hills, Florida, dubbed The Emperor and Mickey Blue Eyes.”

Siamese Rescue requires an application with references, Ilene advises. “The agency told us that they prefer the right placement because there is nothing sadder than placing one and then having to take it back.”

Many Internet pet adoption services are linked with the nation’s largest animal welfare organizations and humane societies as well as thousands of animal rescue groups across the country. Such is the case for PETS911.com and PetFinder.com, where entering your zip or postal code will access listings for thousands of the area’s adoptable pets. Both sites offer visitors the opportunity to choose the closest shelter or rescue so that pet pickup is convenient.

Reviewing posted photos of available animals makes personalized pet selection fun. Clicking on the photo and then hitting “print” on the display screen makes pictures easy to print out and readily available for adoptive parents to proudly tout. Descriptions accompanying the photos include the animal’s age, gender, breed, color and disposition, with helpful comments like “I’m affectionate” or “walks on a leash.” This eliminates much of the guesswork and helps people make a good decision. Frequently sites report “Happy Tails” of heartwarming adoptions.

Most online services go beyond adoption, providing a wealth of advice on care, disaster preparedness, selecting a veterinarian, feeding, training, and even how to manage behavioral problems. A few, like Petfinder.com, facilitate emailing services among site users, so that adoptive pet owners can trade information and ask and answer personal questions about their pets.

Investing a few online hours to find an adoptable pet can be a potentially life enriching experience that leads to many happy hours of companionship and enjoyment. Don’t expect to pay for an animal through an online adoption service, but do expect to pay a fee for vet services such as blood tests, spaying or neutering, thorough exams, treatment for fleas ear mites and worms, and dental care.

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