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The best spots for pet adoption in NYC

Here are the best organizations for families to consider for pet adoption in NYC

Edited by
Will Gleason
Written by
Danielle Valente
Gerrish Lopez
Oliver Strand

There’s nothing like a furry, four-legged friend to bring extra warmth and joy into your home. Fortunately there are hundreds of dogs and cats of all ages (plus some other furry critters) who need homes in the city. The best choice for finding your family’s new best friend is to consider pet adoption in NYC.

These local pet adoption organizations — including shelters, rescues and networks of foster homes — work tirelessly to find homes for all types of animals, from puppies and kittens to senior dogs and cats, of all breeds and temperaments. Start your search online, visit one of the shelters or check out an upcoming adoption event. The organizations will work with you to find the best match for you and your family. Many also offer resources to keep your new pet healthy.

If you’re not ready to adopt, consider fostering. With shelters often bursting at the seams, temporary placement for animals is always appreciated. Also needed are homes for senior pets, often neglected when families are looking for a new friend. So if your household is on the chill side, a senior will be forever grateful!

Until you find your adoptable pet, get some animal inspiration by checking out our favorite animal and pet movies and have a look at our suggestions for the best dogs for kids.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do with kids in NYC

Pet adoption in NYC

The comprehensive adoption package at Animal Care Centers of NYC includes spaying or neutering, vaccinations, a certificate for a free exam, an embedded pre-registered microchip in case your pet ever gets lost and a collar. Dogs also get a leash, dog license and heartworm test, while cat adoptions also include FELV/FIV testing and a cardboard cat carrier. (If you're not into the canine or feline worlds, there are also bunnies waiting for new homes!) Interested in adopting? You start the process on the ACC of NYC website.

Address: Mobile adoption units and adoption events are listed online
Phone: 212-788-4000


There's a reason why the ASPCA is synonymous with pet adoption: This nonprofit has been taking care of our four-legged friends for years. Look at their online directory for a furry pal in need of a good home. You'll be able to select the dog of your dreams or the charming feline who's stolen your heart.

Address: 424 E 92nd St
Phone: 212-876-7700 ext. 4120


City Critters will help you find your best friend, primarily kittens and the occasional pup. You can look at the pets from City Critters on PetFinder. Bear in mind that the application and interview process is thorough, as the organization's main concern is pairing an animal with its best match. Not quite ready to commit? Try fostering with City Critters before adopting! 

Website: (or find their pets via Petfinder)

Bideawee has been operating for almost 120 years: It's a great place to go if you're thinking about expanding the fam to little ones with four legs and a tail. Browse the online directory, where you can take a look at cats and dogs of various breeds and ages who are up for adoption at the center's Manhattan and Wantagh locations. Once you've got a pet in mind, work on fulfilling the adoption requirements and you'll be one step closer to a new addition. 

Manhattan Adoption Center: 410 East 38th St
Wantagh Adoption Center: 3300 Beltagh Ave, Wantagh
Phone: 844-568-3738


Look into the adorable face of a pet that needs you…how can you say no? Animal Haven gives the best care possible to dogs and cats in need, but they need your help to find the perfect loving home! The organization also only accepts animals with zero history of aggression, so you’re more likely to get an animal with a friendly demeanor. 

Address: 200 Centre St 
Phone: 212-274-8511

This Williamsburg no-kill not-for-profit is perfect for Brooklyn families looking to adopt. The detailed web descriptions of each animal help you decide if a specific pet is right for you and the kids before leaving the house—they do it right at Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition. That's, ahem, BARC for short.

Address: 86 N 1st St
Phone: 718-486-7489


With “Saving badass dogs from idiot humans” as a motto, we know this savvy shelter has the right attitude. Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue saves dogs from high-kill, high-volume pounds from out of state to give them a second chance at life…now it’s your turn to make a difference. See some of their dogs online here

Address: Network of foster homes in NY, CT and MA
Phone: Contact via e-mail at

Almost all of the adoptable pets under Social Tees Animal Rescue’s care are not onsite at a shelter, but rather snuggling in foster homes around the city. It’s a much kinder situation for the pet and it gives the organization a better idea of the animal’s temperament. The rescue also has a soft spot for injured, ill and special needs animals and tries to place them in loving homes through its “Underdogs and Undercats” and “Grandpaws” programs. 

Address: 325 East 5th St
Phone: 212-614-9653


Petfinder is the leading online resource for pet adoption in the United States. It works something like a matchmaking service: You can find exactly the right pet for your home. Petfinder is a national organization, which means you might find yourself rescuing a furry creature from out-of-state—lucky dog! (And cat!)

Addresses: Adoption process begins online
Phone: Contact Petfinder online 

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