Baldwin County Animal Control has joined the pet adoption website Petfinder in an effort to help homeless pets find forever homes.
Petfinder is known as the largest database of adoptable animals on the Internet. Currently, it contains 340,706 adoptable pets from 12,990 adoption groups, according to its website.
It has been committed to animal welfare and rescue organizations dedicated to the cause since its founding in 1996, according to Petfinder officials.
The site allows a potential adopter to view pictures and search for animals that meet specific criteria. The database search lets the user choose the type of pet, size, gender, age, as well as more detailed search criteria such as declawed, house trained or special needs pets.
The specific qualifications are then matched to listed animals on the site within the selected area.
The site also gives the adopter an opportunity to evaluate the healthiness of a potential pet by reading additional information provided by the animal agency.
The animal placement group that has listed the pet on the site carries out the actual adoption process.
"So far it's been working great. We've definitely seen an increase in the adoption rate since we joined," said Ryan Mosley, animal control officer.
He said use of the site helps them reach out to more people while reducing the euthanasia rate for animal control.
“Any resource we can use to help bring down the numbers of animals that come in that have to be euthanized is always helpful,” he said.
Local animal advocates said they are pleased with the partnership.
"I think it's a great idea, and we always support their efforts in any way we can," said Robyn Register, local Animal Rescue Foundation president.
Register said ARF and animal control work together to achieve the same goal — to increase the number of pets being adopted and to reduce the number of pets being euthanized.
Petfinder can be accessed both online and through mobile apps.
For more information on local animals listed on Petfinder call Greg Hill at Baldwin County Animal Control at 478-445-5514.