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The best places for pet adoption in NYC

At one of the best pet adoption and foster centers in NYC, find the furry, four-legged love of your life

ASPCA
Photograph: Stacey Axelrod/ASPCA
By Tolly Wright and Arielle Shorr |
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Adopting an animal from pet adoption and foster centers in NYC is the ultimate win-win: You get a pet aka a best friend on four legs, and an animal gets the chance to live a full life with a loving family. Especially in a big city, where so many pet owners give up their pets for adoption, anyone looking to buy a puppy or kitten should first stop by a rescue shelter to see if they click with an animal in need of a home. Most of these shelters prep the animals for adoption by vaccinating and neutering them, so all you have to worry about is which of the best NYC parks to take your new pup to, where you’ll go for brunch at dog-friendly restaurants in NYC or which pet store in NYC to go to buy your kitty the cutest accessories. So stop fawning over bodega cats you can’t take home with you and get to one of NYC’s best pet adoption and foster centers to rescue your own.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to pets in NYC

Best pet adoption and foster centers in NYC

1
Best Friends Pet Adoption Center
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Best Friends Pet Adoption Center

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center

The Best Friends pet adoption center in Soho is on a mission to end the practice of killing homeless animals nationwide. The pets it takes in are hosted in a beautiful gallery-like space, with some actually informational displays that spread the no-kill message. The idea behind its setup is to feel inviting to potential owners and encourage them to interact with the animals, upping their chances of connecting with someone. The center is always looking for foster families and, of course, forever families. 307 W Broadway (347-762-3678, ny.bestfriends.org)

2
Animal Haven Shelter
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Animal Haven

Animal Haven Shelter

This Little Italy no-kill shelter houses and finds homes for abandoned pets. It also conducts behavior intervention to ensure that pets are socialized and ready stay in their new homes for good. It even provides programs to help families and their new members get along well and bond with each other. The adoption fee covers spaying or neutering, vaccines and a microchip. 200 Centre St (212-274-8511, animalhavenshelter.org)

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3
Brooklyn Animal Action
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amy P.

Brooklyn Animal Action

Brooklyn Animal Action is an all-volunteer group that champions a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program. Dedicated to naturally ending the growth of homeless cat colonies, volunteers catch and neuter cats, find homes for socialized animals, and provide care for those which have lived feral for too long to be adopted. You can support its mission to end feral cat colonies, and if you’re looking to adopt a cat, this is a wonderful place to do so. (877-415-4889, brooklynanimalaction.org)

4
Social Tees Animal Rescue
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Samantha B.

Social Tees Animal Rescue

Social Tees Animal Rescue is an East Village no-kill shelter dedicated to keeping abandoned animals safe from cruelty, euthanasia and illness until they can find loving forever homes. All pets are neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, de-flea-ed, de-wormed and ready to be loved. The shelter holds adoption events in the East Village and Union Square every Saturday and Sunday, respectively. It tries to keep as many of the animals in foster homes as it can, so you will need to set up a meeting with a prospective pet in advance. 325 E 5th St (212-614-9653, socialteesnyc.org)

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5
Bideawee Animal Shelter
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

Bideawee

This century-old pet-welfare organization functions like a dating service but for the four-legged. In-house matchmakers use information about your lifestyle to figure out your ideal partner. Every member of the household, including dogs, must be present to meet your new furry friend before adoption.­ (Cats are exempt, because moving them can be traumatic.) 410 E 38th St (212-532-4455, bideawee.org)

6
BARC
Photograph: Courtesy BARC

Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC)

BARC—get it? (Hee.) This no-kill shelter is no joke: To be considered, potential adopters need to fill out an application and provide two references and a copy of their apartment management company’s pet policy. 253 Wythe Ave (718-486-7489, barcshelter.org)

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7
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sean Casey Animal Rescue

Dogs and cats are great and all, but they’re a bit basic for such a diverse city. Where’s the love for birds and lizardy things? Luckily, this Brooklyn spot rescues small mammals and exotic pets, including a wide variety of snakes. Yesss. 153 E 3rd St (718-436-5163, nyanimalrescue.org)

8
ASPCA
Photograph: Stacey Axelrod/ASPCA

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

As the western hemisphere’s oldest animal-protection organization, the ASPCA has found homes for dozens of generations of NYC critters. Most cats three years and older are free (mature felines make better lap-dwellers), and fostering is also available. 424 E 92nd St (212-876-7700, aspca.org)

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9
Bobbi and the Strays
Photograph: Bobbi and the Strays

Bobbi and the Strays

Roberta “Bobbi” Giordano started this Queens no-kill shelter after witnessing the hit-and-run death of a dog. Her nonprofit attempts to save animals slated for death in kill shelters and helps special-needs pets. 71-03 80th St (718-326-6070, bobbiandthestrays.org)

10
Rabbit Rescue & Rehab
Photograph: Rabbit Rescue & Rehab

Rabbit Rescue & Rehab

Listen up, bunny lovers: Rabbit House volunteers are dedicated to both finding homes for abandoned rabbits and educating their new owners, with tutorials on how to spot good hay and other helpful tips. 326 E 110th St (914-337-6146, rabbitcare.org)

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