Illinois reaches new level in placing homeless pets

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Illinois has achieved a milestone at, the Web’s largest online database of homeless pets.

“Over 300 Illinois animal placement groups are now listing their homeless pets on our Web site,” said Betsy Saul,’s president. “We are impressed when a state reaches the 100, then the 200 mark, so we’re really thrilled that Illinois has reached this new level.

“Our mission is to find homes for adoptable pets, and more listings gives more homeless pets a chance to make the transition into a home,” Saul added.

The Web site features more than 230,000 homeless pets in more than 10,000 animal placement groups in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico. Each pet has its own Pet Notes page with a photo and description. Visitors to the site enter their search criteria, and a list comes back that is ranked according to the visitors’ Zip code. Adoptions are handled by the organization where the pet is housed. is the ideal way to search for a pet, according to Cathleen Evans of Brookfield. “A family member referred us to,” she said. “We began our search and had results much quicker than we expected. We were extremely pleased to find all the helpful searching tools—the many ways to narrow the search, and most especially the little indicators for animals that were not kid friendly, cat friendly, etc.”

The Evans family found their dog, Chumley, online, and to adopt him, they contacted In Your Heart Pekingese and Small Dog Rescue in Aurora, which had listed him on the site.

“I highly recommend to anyone and everyone I know looking into pet adoption,” Evans said.

Once a shelter’s pets go online, the chance of an animal being adopted goes up exponentially as its information is jettisoned around the world. The Web site includes cats and dogs, which make up the bulk of the listings, horses, reptiles, rabbits, pocket pets, pigs and others.

Thanks to its sponsors, is free, both to its members and to potential adopters. Purina signed on as the Web site’s premier sponsor. Other exclusive sponsors are BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a manufacturer of home cleaning and floor care products, PETCO, a national pet supply retailer that sponsors in-store adoptions and provides coupon books for new adopters, The Animal Rescue Site, and Merial, maker of the No. 1 veterinary-recommended flea and tick preventative FRONTLINE®, and heartworm preventative HEARTGARD®.

From the Jan. 3-9, 2007, issue

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