Here are a few pointers

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When it comes to finding the right pet for you, it might take multiple visits to your local shelter or scouring social media, but it is important that you’re looking in the right places. Here are some tips for rescuing your fur-ever friend and showering them with the love they deserve.

Learn the Stats

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 6.5 million pets enter U.S. shelters annually (3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats); 3.2 million are adopted, and the rest are claimed by their owners or euthanized. To raise awareness for National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30), we spoke to Sandy Williams, director of the Tunica Humane Society (tunicahumanesociety.com) in Mississippi.

Know Your Shelters

Reputable rescue organizations and other shelters often charge $50 to $250 in adoption fees, which can include examinations, spaying or neutering, vaccines, and other treatments. “Puppies are cute, but they require training and housebreaking,” notes Williams. “Older dogs are a lot more self-sufficient.” If you want a specific breed, check out groups like Cavalier Rescue USA or your local Adopt a Golden organization.

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Foster a Pet

If you can’t commit to being a permanent owner, contact a shelter about fostering a pet. “We are a no-kill shelter and can only take animals that we can care for properly,” says Williams. Fostering frees up physical space for us to help more animals.

Be Social

“Social media is key to our success,” says Williams. “We list our animals on Petfinder and post their stories on Facebook to help find their perfect homes.”

Give to Give Back

If you’re not able to adopt or foster a pet at the moment, you can still contribute to the cause. Proceeds from Harry Barker’s Canines for Veterans Peanut Butter Treats go towards helping train rescue dogs to be service animals for war heros. They are also a tasty way to reward your own pet for their good behavior.