March 13, 2009

Petfinder – 12 Million Adoptions Since 1995


Petfinder is an awesome site, not just because it’s well implemented and has an enormous amount of pet listings (it’s part of the Discovery brand, so it has major backing) but instead because it provides such a valuable public service. Everyone knows there is an overwhelming number of dogs and cats in shelters who never find a home – Petfinder is the place where people can find pets of every breed and in virtually every location throughout the country. Better yet, Petfinder isn’t limited to our canine and feline friends but also includes horses, reptiles, pigs, rodents, and so on. You can also search by owner and list found pets as well, so if you’ve lost a pet, this is the perfect site to both place a “lost listing” and determine if someone in your neighborhood has already found your pet.

The site does not include animals from pet stores or breeders because Petfinder would prefer you consider adopting a pet in need versus buying animals from for-profit entities. In addition to helping find great pets, there are forums, training tools, and breed research – basically everything you need to answer your questions before, during, and after an adoption. It’s the internet at its best: not necessarily in terms of design and functionality, but the service it provides would have been impossible before the web.

Practical Uses:

  • Browse the listings of pets in your neighborhood to find the perfect companion
  • Find local adoption agencies so you can visit animals in person or make a charitable contribution
  • List your own pet for adoption
  • Post information about a dog or cat that’s gone missing in your neighborhood
  • Learn how to keep your new Whippet mix happy and healthy

Insider Tips:

  • Go to the fun center: Petfinder isn’t just a pet adoption site, it’s a fully-functioning animal lover/pet owner site as well
  • Check back often: new animals and breeds are added daily
  • Join the community forum which is one of the better pet resources on the web
  • Check out the training videos (very helpful, step-by-step information)

What we liked:

  • It’s free (both for the pet adopters and adoptees)
  • It’s an incredibly noble and useful service – before the internet, many of these animals wouldn’t have found a home
  • A wealth of information beyond simply adoption listings for animals

What we didn’t like:

  • There could be clickable links for breeds within searches, so you could learn about each breed if you’re unsure of its particular characteristics
  • The design is a bit dated and doesn’t take advantage of many newer browsing features like inline popup image previews


Company Info:

  • Launched: 1996
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: New York, NY
  • Founded by: Betsy Saul and Jared Saul
  • Web site:


  • Free

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