Homeless animals launched into cyberspace

Dear Editor:

Use a mouse to adopt a pet? You bet. Assisi Animal Shelter in Jersey City has joined the most unifying initiative to ever hit animal welfare, Petfinder.com, the first and most successful online shelter network.

From the comfort of your own home, you can log onto the searchable data base of over 25,000 homeless pets and enter your criteria-kind of animal, breed, size, age and/or gender. The computer whirs into action, visits some 2,000 shelters and rescue groups’ pet lists, and spits back a list ranked in proximity to your zip code. Each pet has its own home page with a description and usually a picture. Thousands of pets a day are getting a second chance, and member shelters and rescue groups are receiving free email and technical support. Visitors can see the local shelter or rescue group pets at www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ182.html.

Shelter personnel and volunteers keep the list of pets continuously updated. Some shelters and rescue groups report that up to half of their adoptions are a result of Petfinder listings.

The growth of Petfinder.com drew the interests of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), who partnered with it and provides national shelter outreach and continuing education. Petfinder.com is free to shelters and rescue groups and adopters, thanks to Purina, which has signed on as a sponsor, supporting its goal of promoting animal welfare. America On Line and Yahoo! feature Petfinder as their pet adoption link. Forbes selected Petfinder as one of its 300 best Web sites, and FamilyPC named it one of the best 100 family Web sites of the year.

Assisi Animal Shelter


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