Petfinder Member Terms of Service

Terms of Use



Thank you for visiting this website (the “Site” or “website”). Please read the Terms of Use contained in this document carefully since any use of this site constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use set out herein. If you do not agree to these terms of use, please do not use this website.

Throughout this site, the terms “we”, “us”, “our”, and “Petfinder” refer to Petfinder, a division of Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, a Missouri corporation. “You”, “shelter”, and “member” refers to any animal shelter, rescue, organization and/or person accessing and/or using this website to list adoptable and fosterable pets.

Please Note: These terms of use may be revised by Petfinder by updating this posting – Please read them carefully.


Petfinder is a free service for animal shelters, rescue organizations and other agencies involved in rehoming and caring for adoptable pets in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Petfinder’s mission is to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets by providing the most successful and largest platform to share your pets online.

Petfinder considers all areas of Petfinder, including email folders, as “public”. As such, any file, program, or material placed in these areas, including, but not limited to, web pages, pictures, videos, documents, sound files, message boards, chat rooms, scripts etc. are accessible to Petfinder and associates. By submitting content in these public areas, you grant to Petfinder the absolute right to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, etc. the content in any part, anywhere. Petfinder will enforce its community guidelines for all member-created content in these public areas.

Petfinder members are automatically enrolled in the Petfinder Foundation’s Sponsor a Pet program. You may opt out of this program at any time by emailing Sponsor a Pet allows Petfinder visitors to donate to your organization through your Pet Pages. You will receive an email immediately after each donation that includes the donor’s contact information. The Petfinder Foundation will disburse your donations quarterly, less 10% to cover the costs of the program, via echeck. More information about Sponsor a Pet can be found here.

In order to maintain Petfinder membership, each member account, including but not limited to homepages and pet lists, must adhere to the following terms:

1. The Member Code of Conduct must be followed.

2. The member’s Petfinder pet list must be kept up to date.

3. 501(c)(3) non-profit status, or federal charity status in Canada or Mexico, is not required for Petfinder membership, for adoption groups accepting and adopting out pets within their own country of origin. However, members must be legitimately operating as an animal shelter, rescue or adoption organization (large or small), and post your adoptable pets in a not-for-profit manner. Adoption fees must reflect the spirit of shelter pet adoption and are not expected to cover the financial investment a group has placed in a pet. Breeding animals specifically for the for-profit pet trade, encouraging the public to buy pets for breeding, auctioning or selling pets for profit is prohibited. Pets posted on Petfinder may not have been obtained in a manner that has provided profit for any commercial or individual pet breeder or seller.

4. Members are expected to adhere to applicable state and federal animal care regulations and seek veterinary guidance as needed or required by law. Pets may not be declawed, devocalized, or cosmetically altered via surgery as a tactic to improve their adoptability on Petfinder. Pets who enter an adoption group’s care already declawed, devocalized, or cosmetically altered may be posted for adoption on Petfinder.
Rescues or shelters that voluntarily accept pets (versus a municipal open-admission shelter that must accept all pets) must spay/neuter their adoptable pets before adoption or include a future spay/neuter in their adoption fee.

5. United States 501(c)(3) charity status, or federal charity status in Canada or Mexico is required of any group importing pets from outside of the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Pets must be physically in the US, Canada, or Mexico before being posted on Petfinder. The importing organization must follow the federal and local import and quarantine requirements of their state, province, or country.

6. Member home pages must contain enough information that a potential adopter can learn about the member, the member’s adoption policies, adoption procedures, adoption fees, and be able to contact the member, without leaving the member’s Petfinder home page. Any member-created web page must reflect the information provided on the member’s Petfinder home page.

7. Member-created content hosted by Petfinder shall not promote or advertise any competitor of Petfinder, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and/or any Petfinder sponsor. What constitutes a competitor and a sponsor will be determined at the sole discretion of Petfinder.

8. No advertising or URLS to advertising pages outside Petfinder are allowed on Pet Profile pages in any fashion.

9. HTML should not be used in the Animal Description area of Pet Profile pages. Petfinder Pet Profiles do not support HTML, and the code itself will appear, making your profiles difficult to read.

10. Petfinder sends a monthly emailed newsletter and statistics to our members. We also share other opportunities and benefits related to animal welfare with our members. By accepting membership with Petfinder, you agree to receive these messages. Please note that any additional contact people you list in your Petfinder account will also receive our mailings. For additional information regarding these messages, please see our Privacy Policy.

11. Eligibility for membership with Petfinder is determined at the sole discretion of Petfinder. Completion of a membership application does not guarantee membership approval. Potential and current members are subject to ongoing background monitoring to ensure eligibility.

12. Members may be removed from Petfinder at our sole discretion. Grounds for removal may include, but are not limited to: violation of the Code of Conduct, Terms of Use, or Terms and Conditions; fraud; overtly dishonest posting; conviction for animal cruelty, neglect or any animal-related crimes; pending legal action involving the seizure of pets or other serious animal-related crimes; convictions for other crimes that include a prohibition on posting on family sites or the internet, or put public safety at risk; violating the terms of your adoption contract with Petfinder visitors; failure to respond to direct inquiries from Petfinder via the contact information you have provided us; failure to modify any violations of the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct.

13. These Terms of Use, the Member Code of Conduct, and/or the Terms and Conditions may be revised and updated at any time. The most updated version will be found at each respective page.


Each Petfinder member plays an integral role in the mission of increasing pet adoption and decreasing euthanasia.  Maintaining a good reputation for pet adoption and a public trust in Petfinder is a responsibility we all carry to help all pets find loving homes.  Each Petfinder member must adhere to a basic Code of Conduct, ensuring pet adoption is a positive and rewarding experience for Petfinder visitors and adopters and to promote a community experience within our membership.

Being a Petfinder member means that you agree to the following Code of Conduct:

  • To keep full and accurate contact information available under “Contacts,” “Organization Info” and “Locations.”
  • To actively maintain a listing of your organization’s adoptable pets on Petfinder. Should your organization’s account fall temporarily inactive after 90 days of non-use, it can easily be reactivated after logging in via the member Pro web page.
  • To only post adoptable or fosterable pets available directly from your organization.
  • To post pets in the location where they are currently being fostered or sheltered at the time of posting. If a pet is available for transport, you may create a duplicate pet profile using the Transport Destination location type within the pet profile. The distance between each of these locations must be greater than 100 miles.
  • To give truthful information about pets’ descriptions and adoption fees, to the best of your knowledge and to remove pets no longer adoptable from the shelters’ adoptable pet list.
  • To only post adoptable or fosterable pets, not pets or items for sale, pets for breeding purposes, pets not allowed by law or the promotion of commercial products or services.
  • To operate in a not-for-profit manner, even if you do not have official non-profit status, with fees that reflect the spirit of animal shelter adoption.
  • To spay/neuter all pets before adoption, or include future spay/neuter in your adoption fee if your group accepts pets voluntarily and is not mandated to accept pets as a municipal open-admission shelter.
  • To maintain a basic home page on Petfinder, giving visitors more information about your shelter or organization, your adoption fees, and adoption procedures.
  • To reply to questions from the public in a timely and respectful manner, without requiring an upfront fee or application process.
  • Not to charge an application fee.
  • To reply to questions from the Petfinder staff in a timely and respectful manner.
  • To modify any pet profiles or home page content that violates this Code of Conduct within the timeframe requested by Petfinder staff.
  • Not to post disparaging information about other organizations, individuals, breeds/pets, Petfinder and/or Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Because Petfinder is a family web site, content must be suitable to be viewed by visitors of all ages. Profane, discriminatory, or slanderous language is prohibited.
  • You warrant that you, and any user(s) associated with your Petfinder account, do not have any animal care related citations, violations or crimes, or other convictions for actions that endangered public safety, or that that prohibit you from using the internet or social media sites.
  • You agree that your organization may be removed from Petfinder at Petfinder’s sole discretion, without advance notice, for reasons including but not limited to an organization’s deviation from this Code of Conduct or Terms and Conditions.

Last Update, August 23, 2022


In addition to the above, you are subject to and agree to our general website Terms and Conditions.