Every homeless pet is a pet in need. The Humane Society of the United States claims that millions of companion pets are in shelters across the country, waiting for a home of their own. Dogs and cats aren't the only animals to fall victim to unforeseen circumstances, fickle owners or irresponsible breeding. Exotic birds, rabbits and even barnyard animals are often put up for sale or adoption. Preparing ahead to care for a pet in need, and knowing where to find one, will help you have a rewarding experience with your rescued animal.
Decide what type of pet in need you'd like to rescue and prepare an appropriate home environment. Do this before you bring the pet home. If the pet will live indoors, make sure you have a safe and comfortable place for it to sleep and spend its time. Have a food supply ready with food and water bowls. Plan ahead for a safe area, if needed, such as an area that can be partitioned off with a pet gate. Have appropriate toys on hand for the animal's amusement and mental stimulation. Make sure you have grooming tools ready. Websites like the Humane Society of the United States can educate you on what supplies you'll need and what you should do before bringing home many different types of pets.
Prepare clean, comfortable and safe outdoor housing if your pet will live outside. The housing should protect your pet from uncomfortable weather conditions, especially extremes of heat or cold. Outdoor housing should be easy to clean and maintain. Make sure it's predator-proof and safe from neighbor's animals that may cause problems or carry infectious diseases.
Visit animal shelters and veterinary offices to find a pet in need. Locate these places through the Yellow Pages or by contacting your local government offices. Many county and municipal governments operate animal shelters. Most local animal shelters are filled with dogs, cats and sometimes other common household pets in need of homes. Contact and visit shelters in more rural areas if you're looking for barnyard-type animals. Veterinary offices often have bulletin boards posting advertisements for pets needing homes.
Check out websites like Petfinder.com to search for a wide variety of pets in need, including dogs, cats, birds, horses and fish.
Read classified ads in the back of local newspapers to find a pet in need. Animal feed supply stores often carry newspapers catering to the rural community, where you might find ads offering unwanted barnyard pets for sale or adoption. If you live within driving distance of a chicken or domestic fowl hatchery, call ahead and ask if if any unwanted birds are available for discount prices. Since many people prefer to purchase newly hatched birds, hatcheries sometimes offer older birds for discounted prices.