When it comes to adding a furry member to the family, we all want to ensure that we’ve found the right fit for ourselves as well as our new companion animal. There are so many important factors to consider: lifestyle, location, family, existing animals, income, and work schedule are just a few examples. Truth be told, the adoption process — and all its attendant stressors — can often be overwhelming for even the most seasoned pet guardian.

Every year, six to eight million adoptable dogs and cats make their way into the 3,500 shelters located across the U.S. Sadly, due to overcrowding and lack of funds, many perfectly healthy animals are euthanized before they can ever find a forever home. Because of this, it is so important that you adopt and never shop if you are looking to bring a new animal into your home.

But helping an animal find a forever home doesn’t have to be complicated. With the advent of new technologies, such as mobile phone applications, identifying an animal to adopt no longer needs to be such a protracted process. So, if you’re looking for a cat or dog of a specific breed, size, age, or temperament, look no further than the smartphone in your hands!

Check out these pet-friendly apps, all designed to help make the adoption process that much easier — and bring your new companion home that much faster.

1. Petfinder Mobile

You might already be familiar with the popular Petfinder website, but did you know that the company now offers a mobile app? Just like the website, you can view animals in your area and around the country, search animals of a specific breed, gender, or size, and read all about each animal. What’s more, Petfinder allows you to “favorite” your top cats and dogs so that you may return to them later. You can even share them on social media! Best of all, this app is free.

6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes

2. LikeThat Pets

If you’ve ever seen a friend’s pet and secretly wished he or she was yours, well, there’s now an app for that. Sort of. LikeThat Pets allows you to take a photo of a cat or dog that you like, and, with the help of image recognition technology, it will generate a list of similar pets that are up for adoption. Even if you don’t have a specific animal you love, you can still browse sample pictures to find your perfect match. Check out this free app and see for yourself!

6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes

3. AllPaws

Featured on news outlets such as ABC News, Huffington Post, and MSN, this free app is a must for anyone looking to adopt a new companion animal. AllPaws features over 200,000 dogs and cats available for adoption, complete with pet profiles and photos for viewing. The app also has a Pet of the Day notification, allowing you to share photos and descriptions on Facebook and Twitter so more people can learn about the benefits of adoption.

6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes

4. Pose A Pet

What if you want to find someone to adopt your pet? Pose A Pet is the perfect solution: a cell phone app that allows you to take a digital photo of your pet, create a rescue flyer, and distribute it over social media. Further, the free app features pet photographer-tested noises so that you can be sure to get a winning shot of your cat or dog. Even if you aren’t planning to give a pet up for adoption, this app can still come in handy if you are volunteer at a local animal rescue or animal shelter. Snap a picture and share with friends, family, and colleagues.

6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes

5. BarkBuddy

Dating apps are so 2014. Move over, Tinder, and make way for Barkbuddy, a free smartphone app that aims to pair humans with their perfect pet. After registering, users complete a survey that tells the app their preferences in a companion animal (size, age, gender, etc). Then, Barkbuddy generates a list of matches located in shelters near you. Swipe right for animals you love, and swipe left to pass. Each animal’s profile has the contact information of the shelter at which they are located, making it easy to meet your new best friend (and much less risky than online dating, as we’ve learned from Catfish…).

6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes

6. ResQwalk

Even if you aren’t looking for an animal to adopt, you can still help animals in need of loving homes. With ResQwalk, you can raise money for animal rescues and shelters by simply going for a walk. Each week, the app announces a donation pool. To earn money for your favorite rescue, turn on the app’s GPS when you’re out for a walk. At the end of the week, ResQwalk pays out donations to various rescues in proportion to the total distance covered that week. Not only will you help saves animal’s lives, but you’ll get a little exercise, too.
If you’re looking for more adoption apps, there are numerous local shelters, SPCAs, and humane societies that have apps, too. Check to see if your city has an app!

6 Apps That Help Adoptable Animals Find Forever Homes

Image source: Michael Gil/Flickr