Where to Find Puppies for Sale: 10 Ethical Sites for Puppy Adoption

Sandy Writtenhouse Updated 29-05-2020

So you’re on a mission to get a new best friend—a puppy. What an exciting time! But where do you go to find your next best friend?


Local shelters and rescues are the ideal places to start if you’re interested in adoption. And if you’d like a purebred pup, you have that option too. That’s where top pet websites like these come in handy. They can help you find the right puppy for you and your family. And, they make it easy to find a perky little pooch nearby.


Adopt-A-Pet Main Page is an excellent website, backed by well-known companies like Purina and Bayer. And the site is not just for dogs either. You can search for cats, rabbits, horses, birds, and other types of pets. You can also look for local shelters and rescue services.

The interface is clean and easy to use. Enter your location and optionally the age and breed you’re looking for. Hit Search and you’re on your way to finding Fido! You can browse through the search results, see photos, or narrow your search further. You’ll see details for the dogs that interest you like age, color, and weight, and can then follow the adoption process.

Adopt-a-Pet also offers a handy pet alert options where you can receive emails when new pets match your search criteria.


2. American Kennel Club (AKC)

AKC Marketplace

The AKC is an organization that has been around since the late 1800’s, so you know it’s reputable. Also, they play a major role in registered breeds. The marketplace page on their site is only a very small part of their focus, but if you’re interested in learning about an organization you know you can trust, it’s an option for you to consider.

You’ll only find dogs from breeders who are AKC-licensed or club members who have AKC-registered puppies. These aren’t going to be average breeders, and especially not people whose dog had an unplanned litter of pups.

In addition, you’re going to be paying a lot more for a dog who’s registered by the AKC. With them, you’re looking for a dog who can compete in shows and trials.


3. NextDayPets

NextDayPets Search Results Page

On NextDayPets, the interface provides a nice way to navigate through their website. Enter a breed into the search box and click the blue Find a puppy button.

You are then able to refine your results by gender, location, price range, and other factors. Each result displays the breed, age, and location. If you select a pup to learn more, you’ll see additional photos and full details about the dog including if they are microchipped and AKC-registered.

You can contact the seller or breeder directly through the NextDayPets website or hit the Reserve Me button to move forward through the adoption process.


4. Petfinder

Petfinder Main Page

Petfinder is another very well-known source for finding puppies, as well as many other pets. In fact, its search results are used by many other websites and it also allows breeders and rescue organizations to host their own website directly within Petfinder.

On the main page, enter your location and start your search for the type of puppy that you want. You can then narrow down your results by age, breed, size, gender, behavior, or other options.

Select a puppy that interests you for additional photos, a description, whether the dog is good with children, and other helpful details. If you want to contact the current owner or shelter, you can do so easily with the form on the website.



ASPCA Adoptions

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, otherwise known as the ASPCA, is another very reputable source for finding nearby animal shelters.

Click the Adopt button at the top and then check out pets available for adoption from dogs to cats to horses. You can also select the Local Shelters tab to find a shelter in your area or view dogs available at a local shelter. Enter your zip code, optionally a breed and gender, and mark options for sizes, ages, and behavior.

Selecting a pet will provide you with full details, their location, and the contact information.

6. RescueMe.Org

Rescue Me Main Page

Rescue Me! is an animal rehabilitation center that offers adoption services through their website. Click the View Animals for Adoption button at the top, pick the type of pet, and then browse through the adorable photos covering any breed imaginable.

You’ll then move onto choosing your location and will see results for the breed you select in your area. When you see a pooch you like, check out details about their compatibility, personality, health, and more.

What’s really awesome about Rescue Me! is they have a whole page of links for not only all of the Unities States but an impressive amount of countries in the world too.

7. The Shelter Pet Project

The Shelter Pet Project Main Page

The Shelter Pet Project is a public service ad campaign focused on encouraging potential pet owners to consider rescuing a pet from a shelter as their first option. They are backed by The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund.

To begin looking for your new best friend, just enter your postal code, select either the cat or dog, and click the Search button. The results are magnificent and are easy to scan through. If you want to narrow down your search, you can click the More Filters button and choose breed, gender, size, and age.

In addition, you can search for nearby shelters.

8. Petco Foundation

Petco Foundation Adoptions

Petco is a popular shop for buying pet supplies The 12 Best Online Pet Shops for Pet Supplies and Food Want to get the best pet supplies and pet food products delivered? These online pet shops offer the best deals on pet products. Read More , whether in stores or online. The Petco Foundation focuses on animal welfare and making a difference. So you’ll definitely want to head to their website for finding your new pal.

To help you on your puppy search, you can enter your location and any information about the type of dog you’re looking for such as breed and size. The site also lets you find cats, reptiles, birds, and other types of pets.

When you receive your search results, you can browse through the photos and then pick a pet that interests you. You’ll see details about the dog like age, gender, color, and size along with their current location. You can then call or email if you’d like to move forward with the adoption process.

9. PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities Adoptions

Like Petco, PetSmart is a terrific place to purchase pet supplies. As another leader in animal welfare, PetSmart Charities have helped millions of needy pets across the country. And if you’ve ever visited a PetSmart near you, you may have joined in on their pet adoption events.

On their website, you can find adoptable dogs and cats near you. Enter your zip code and then browse all available dogs or narrow down your options by age, breed, size, or gender. Pick a pup and check out full details along with the pet’s story. Click to send an email if you’re interested in adopting the dog you find or get the contact information.

PetSmart Charities is a wonderful place to continue your search for the perfect pet.


PuppyFind Main Page is a popular place to go to find a dog. The interface and ease of navigation around the site is decent.

Upon visiting the website, you have the option to search by clicking the Find a Puppy tab or using the search panel on the left side. The Find a Puppy page alphabetizes the breeds and provides rankings on size, grooming, exercise requirements, watchdog ability, and how good they are with other dogs.

You might be wondering how PuppyFind works. Like many of the websites in this article, PuppyFind simply helps you narrow down your options by breed and location and provides the contact information for the breeder of the dog you’re looking for. However, it plays no role in any purchase.

They also offer tips for puppy buyers and provide a contact link if you come across a scam.

Caution: There have been some complaints in the past that has dogs from what are called puppy mills.

Beware of Puppy Mills

One of the biggest things you should be aware of is puppy mills. I’ve already mentioned it briefly above and if this Wikipedia link doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. They put profit and capital over the well-being of the animals. Unfortunately, some websites can’t catch every single one, so they rely on users to help. Many of the websites mentioned here provide more information about them, including the ASPCA, if you’re interested.

Finding Your Next Best Pal

Keep in mind that the ASPCA emphasizes that it’s best to see the puppy in person and to support your local shelters whenever possible. So hopefully one of these top pet websites can help you locate, contact, and visit with a dog that turns out to be the right fit for you and your family.

Once you’re connected with your new best friend, these free online dog training courses will come in handy, especially for young pups. And take a look at these GPS trackers for pets The Best GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats Looking for the best GPS tracker for dogs or cats? These devices let you find your pets if they escape, providing peace of mind. Read More that run off.

Image Credit: Sergey Lavrentev/Shutterstock

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  1. Abby
    June 28, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Never buy a pet from Its a scam going on from 4-5 years. Google and you will find many news regarding this. Never buy a pet without checking in person.

  2. Renee
    January 15, 2019 at 1:19 am

    This is srupid it didnt help

  3. LOUIS
    September 11, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    most of these websites is where you will be able to buy agressive, unhealth and mentally ill dogs from puppy farms, DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST!!!!!!!

  4. Jacky Kuman
    October 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hey, great I used one of your services for buying my first puppy. I started regarding dog as my best friend after reading Owning a dog can be really stimulating to your life!

  5. Charity
    May 17, 2013 at 12:52 am

    This is a very poorly researched article. In the first place, eBay does not allow the sale or auction of live animals. Furthermore, is the best site to find pets and there is nothing wrong with adopting pets without seeing them in person first. Sometimes that is not possible. With rescues and their foster homes, your application will be screened to get a good idea of the fit. I've fostered and adopted pets like this for years. There have been times I've applied for a certain pet and found they had another that was a better fit and I've NEVER been disappointed. I've traveled cross-country for the right pet. Adopt from rescues for the best fit. They know their foster animals better than anyone and know the best family for that particular pet. Trust their judgment.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 17, 2013 at 6:24 am

      Aaron recommended eBay Classifieds, not eBay. There even is an official section for pets. Aaron also recommended So what exactly do you find poorly researched?

      I think Aaron did a fantastic job listing all the alternatives and describing their pros and cons.

      Thank you for sharing your experience about adopting pets from rescues!

      • Darlene
        October 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm

        Ebay classifieds is now called "Close 5" and no longer allows the sale of live animals.

        • Tina Sieber
          October 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

          Thank you for the update Darlene. Hadn't heard of the name change.

  6. Rajaa Chowdhury
    May 16, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Facebook page from where you can adopt puppies too :

    [Broken Link Removed]

  7. Rajaa Chowdhury
    May 16, 2013 at 3:00 am


    I am a bit surprised that you have missed the effort of Eldad Hagar ( [Broken URL Removed] ) and her initiative Hope for Paws . Check their Youtube channel for all the Dog Rescue mission. All the dogs are up for adoption. Sitting in India, I know about it, and being a USA initiative, got missed here. Surprising!!!

  8. Zhong J
    May 16, 2013 at 2:46 am

    I'm sure you can create your own digital dog in your computer, hello programming.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      May 16, 2013 at 3:01 am

      And what about the emotion and loyalty part? You gonna get that faked too. Sometimes nice to get real. :)

      • Zhong J
        May 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

        I'm sure you can setup some script that display emotions, using some classic emoticon and of course, programmers always do their best to perfect their coding, so loyalty is not even a question.