How to Adopt a Pet on, Step by Step


The way Get Your Pet works is that potential Adopters like you send messages on our site directly to Guardians whose pets interest you. The site is set up to create a safe environment for Adopters and the Guardians to find each other with minimal intervention from us, arrange to meet, and create an adoption that satisfies both their needs. The fee you pay Get Your Pet for an adoption is $199 for a dog, $49 for a cat, paid after you have taken ownership of the pet. This fee is what allows us to keep our site up and running and pursuing our mission to keep pets out of shelters.

How to Adopt a Pet, Step by Step

Browsing for Pets / Sending Messages to Guardians

  1. Go to
  2. Select the button on the home page that says: Browse Pets.
  3. When you find a pet that interests you, select their photo and be taken to their profile details page.
  4. There, select the orange Connect button, then select Send a Message.
  5. You will be taken to a page that asks you to Register, if you are not already registered.
  6. Then you will be taken to a page that enables you to become a member of the Get Your Pet Community (it’s free). Becoming a member is very fast and easy. You just fill in a bit of information about yourself so that the Guardian can know something about who they are communicating with. You will also be asked to honestly affirm that you are financially able and willing to care for a pet’s upkeep, as well as pay our fee ($199 for a dog, $49 for a cat) when you adopt. As soon as you become a member, you will be able to send unlimited messages to the Guardian of any pet on the site.
  7. Refer to Questions to Ask a Guardian before messaging or meeting with Guardians.

Saving a Search

You can also save a search and be notified when a pet that meets or approximates your specifications is newly published on the site.

  1. Select Browse Pets on the homepage or from the main menu at the top of each page and begin searching for one or more pets that meet your criteria.
  2. Adjust your search criteria on the Browse Pets page to specify pet type, pet gender, and search radius from your zip code.
  3. If you wish, further refine your search by selecting Age, Size (for dogs), Claws (for cats), Energy, Compatibility and Coat. Select those that are relevant for you, choose your specifications, then select Apply. Select More Filters to show these filters on a mobile device.
  4. Then select Save (if on a mobile device) or Save Search (if on a computer) to name your saved search, save it to your dashboard and, if you wish, be automatically notified when a pet meeting your criteria is newly published on the site.

Meeting Up

When you are ready to meet up with a Guardian and their pet:

  1. Go to your Dashboard.
  2. Select the message you exchanged with the Guardian.
  3. Select the orange Let’s Meet button. Do not schedule a meet-up through the messaging window or by phone. You can arrange details by phone after you have scheduled the meet-up on the site.
  4. On the Let’s Meet page, select where and when you want to meet, then select the orange Let’s Meet button to send your proposal to the Guardian.
  5. Wait for the Guardian to accept or change or decline your proposed meet-up. Never go to a meet-up that has not been accepted!
  6. Read Tips for the Meet-Up before your meet-up.

Post Meet-Up

  1. Come back to your dashboard on the site and select Follow Up, regardless if you took possession of the pet at the meet-up or not.
  2. If you have taken possession of the pet, follow instructions for finalizing the adoption.

Everything is free until you actually adopt a pet. Only when you actually adopt do we charge our adoption fee ($199 for a dog, $49 for a cat). This is about half of what most shelters charge and it includes at no extra charge legal documentation of your adoption (very important if any dispute arises) and several other benefits that will help your new pet start off right in your home:

  • a voucher for a pet exam from a participating Get Your Pet Vet;
  • a certificate for 30 days’ pet insurance from Trupanion (offer varies in California);
  • money-saving in-store coupons valuable for those who live near Pet Valu stores;
  • $40 off pet care services with Rover, the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers (new Rover customers only).

Be aware that the Guardians on our site are not permitted to charge a fee for rehoming or to sell their pet, so don’t ask what they are charging for their pet.

Please remember to always follow up on the site and indicate what is happening — after a meet-up, for example — so that we can be sure your process is proceeding safely and on the right track.

To Adopt a Dog or Cat,

Browse Pet Profiles Now!