How to Help an Adoptable Pet From Your Home

headshot of a small white-and-tan dog looking up alertly

If you're interested in helping a particular adoptable pet at your local shelter or rescue group, there are several actions you can take. And you can do some right from the comfort of your home. 

Adopt or foster the pet

The most direct way to help, of course, is to offer to adopt or foster the pet. If the animal is some distance from you, contact the shelter or rescue group directly to see whether you are eligible to adopt or foster. Some groups have a policy against allowing adopting or fostering by people outside a certain area. 

If they have such a policy, ask whether they will allow animal welfare professionals in your area to vouch for you. Your veterinarian would be a great reference, for example. If the group requires a home check, perhaps they will allow another rescue group in your area to conduct one.

If you do adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue group outside your area, there are many possible transportation options if you can't go pick up the animal yourself. There are volunteer networks of drivers, paid animal transport companies, and others who might be able to help.

Create a pet adoption flyer

If you are unable to adopt or foster the animal, ask your family, friends, co-workers, and others in your community to consider giving the animal a home. When contacting people about the pet, it will help tremendously if you have a nice flyer to hand out.

Ask the shelter or rescue group whether they have a flyer prepared for the animal you're interested in. If not, ask whether you can use any digital pictures they have to make your own flyer. 

Keep in mind that shelters are often understaffed, and many rescue groups are run by volunteers who do animal rescue work in addition to full-time jobs. Try not to get frustrated if it takes them a while to respond to your inquiries.

You'll also need to write a good pet adoption bio for your flyer. When writing the bio, be respectful of the organization where the animal is located; avoid writing judgmental comments about it. Emphasize the positive qualities of the animal, rather than dwelling on how the pet came to be at the shelter (e.g., by being dumped or abandoned).

Once you have a photo and an adoption bio, combine the two into a flyer. At, you can create a flyer by following the simple instructions. Plug in your contact information and the bio, upload the photo, and you'll have a very attractive flyer. You can save it as a digital file, which can be attached to emails and used for posting on social media, and you can also print out hard copies for posting.

Spread the word

Once you have your pet adoption flyer ready, get creative and think of ways that you can spread the word. Here are some ideas:

  • Post the flyer or information about the pet on social media. Ask friends and family members to do the same to reach more people.
  • Put up flyers at your workplace, your veterinarian's office, and other places where there's a public bulletin board.
  • Seek out pet-related groups and pet supply stores in your area, and ask them to post the flyer. 

Before long, your efforts could result in the animal getting a second chance at a loving home.