Despite frequent shelter visits and daily refreshes on petfinder.com, I wasn’t having much luck finding a kitten; I wanted a younger tabby with a particular look, shelter populations were thinning for the winter, and kittens were moving fast.
I finally found my new best friend, Monkey, three months later following a great tip from a shelter volunteer.
The tip: expanding my search to include PetHarbor, a national database of lost & found pets.
Most shelters receiving found animals will first list them on PetHarbor. Once listed the animals enter a waiting period, ~1 week during which owners can claim their lost pets before they’re made available to the public for adoption.
Searching PetHarbor for lost pets returns listings of found animals who aren’t yet up for adoption. In these listings I found Monkey; 5 days later he was unclaimed and I was at the shelter first in line.
A 2012 study found that only 2% of lost cats were recovered at the shelters, so while there’s a small chance of adopting someone’s lost cat off PetHarbor, it’s more likely you’re browsing stray and abandoned animals.
The rest of this post is pictures of Monkey: