How We Used Petfinder to Adopt

March 15, 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of Petfinder, an event celebrated with the Adopt the Internet Day that we wrote about last month. From now until March 15 we’ll be offering tips on using Petfinder (plus every day our Adoptable Pet of the Day highlights adoptable pets, often from Petfinder) but, first, we wanted to give you a personal look at how we have used Petfinder to adopt two dogs and one cat during the past four years.



Inca was was our first adoption using Petfinder. After the death four years ago of our sweet cat Elaine from heart disease, we searched Petfinder, looking through the listings for another long-haired cat. We’d never had an orange cat so we thought a long-haired, orange cat would be perfect and, as luck would have it, there was one at our local shelter according to Petfinder! It was a day or two later before we made it to the shelter and, by then, the orange cat was off to its forever family. It didn’t matter, though…we had fallen in love with a small black cat at the shelter; we brought her home that day and named her Inca.



A year later, our dear Australian Cattle Dog, Alby, died on New Year’s Eve of a heart attack on a routine vet visit. Our remaining dog, 14-year-old Yoda, was very lonesome so we started searching for a dog not long after. In early February, we found a young Australian Cattle Dog listed on Petfinder at a shelter about two hours from us. She looked identical to Alby; thinking this would be perfect, we headed down to the shelter…and soon saw that this dog was super high energy, way too energetic as a partner for a 14-year-old dog. While we were there, though, we fell in love with a quiet lab mix that we brought home that afternoon and named Irie. Irie was suffering from demodectic mange when we adopted her but, after some dips and loving care, she blossomed into the beauty she is today. She was the perfect match for Yoda and they were great buddies until Yoda’s death that fall.



Although Yoda and Irie were great buddies, we knew that Irie would love a more energetic friend to play with, too, so by August 2008 we were looking for a young playmate to join Yoda and Irie. We looked on Petfinder for puppies and soon found that our local shelter (where we’d adopted Inca) had some boxer puppies. We went in to visit eight-week-old puppies but, the next pen over, there was a six-month-old mixed breed dog that leaned against the fence as hard as she could while we played with the neighboring boxer puppies. As cute as those puppies were, they were no match for that mix of mixed breed dogs we brought home that afternoon and named Tiki.

Petfinder brought us to shelters where we found three furry family members who have added so, so much to our lives. Inca, Irie, and Tiki are each a perfect fit for our family. Although we didn’t adopt the animals that we’d originally seen on Petfinder, this site led us to the shelters and got us thinking about just what we wanted and needed in our family. (Maybe it’s a little like a dating site–you might not marry the first match you find but it gets you out looking!) We couldn’t be happier!


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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • What great stories. Thanks for sharing. We found our newest addition to the family, Gretel, on Petfinder. She was a beautiful pure bred dachshund puppy none the less! We contacted the rescue organization about her but then almost changed our minds because we weren’t sure it was a good time to make that kind of commitment. They loved our application/situation so much though that they went against their rules and held her until we decided. It wasn’t long before we decided to just go for it. It was one of the best things we did! Gretel is so special and a wonerful addition to our adventurous weiner dog family. She even inspired me to finally start my blog. We are so glad we found each other. Thanks Petfinder!

    • What a lucky girl Gretel is!! It is just amazing how many great dogs are available at shelters and rescues…and I’ve read as many as 25% are purebreds. I’m so happy to hear you found such a great family member!! –Paris