Petfinder is a popular website that allows users to search for adoptable pets from animal shelters and rescue organizations across North America. It contains over 300,000 adoptable pets listed on the site.

However, sometimes Petfinder may stop working properly. When this happens, it can be very frustrating if you are trying to search for a new furry friend to adopt. There are several reasons why Petfinder could stop working and a few ways to troubleshoot the issues.


Reasons Why Petfinder May Not Be Working

Here are some common reasons why Petfinder could stop working:

Inactive Dashboard Account

If no one from your shelter or rescue group has logged into your Petfinder dashboard account for 90 days, it will become inactive. This will make your pet listings unavailable to the public.Simply log into your dashboard account again. This will reactivate it so your pets become visible on Petfinder searches once more.

Website Outage

Like any website, Petfinder can experience outages where the site goes down temporarily. This is often due to technical issues on Petfinder’s end. Checking their status page can confirm if there is an outage.

Internet Connection Issues

Problems with your own internet connection can prevent Petfinder from loading. Issues like network outages, Wi-Fi problems, or using a VPN can block access.

Browser Problems

Glitches with your web browser, like using an outdated version or having corrupted browser caches, could stop Petfinder working. Trying a different browser can test for problems.

Search Problems

Entering an incorrect location or other search criteria can sometimes cause errors on Petfinder. Double checking your search details is worthwhile.

Mobile App Issues

The Petfinder mobile app may have its own technical issues, like crashing or connection problems. Force quitting and reopening the app can help.

How to Fix Petfinder Issues

If you encounter problems using Petfinder, here are some troubleshooting steps to try:

Check Petfinder’s Status Page

Petfinder has a status page that lists any current outages or technical issues occurring on the site. Check here to see if there are any reported problems.

Fix Pets Not Appearing in Search Results

Even if you can access your dashboard, your adoptable pets may not be showing up in Petfinder’s search results or pet list links. This is another sign your account has become inactive. Justlog into your dashboard account to reactivate it. Your pets should begin appearing in search results again within 24 hours

Confirm Your Internet is Working

Try loading other websites to make sure your internet connection is working properly. If other sites fail to load, you may have a temporary internet outage.

Retry on a Different Browser

Attempt to load Petfinder in an alternate web browser. If it loads properly, then you may have a browser-specific issue.

Restart Your Modem and Router

Power cycle your modem and router by unplugging them for 30 seconds. This can resolve many connectivity problems.

Update Your Browser

Make sure you are running the latest version of your preferred browser. Outdated browsers can cause sites like Petfinder to malfunction.

Clear Your Browser Cache

Clear your browser history and website data caches. Cached data can sometimes disrupt sites from loading correctly.

Disable Browser Extensions

Try disabling any browser extensions and add-ons temporarily. These may sometimes interfere with page loading.

Reset Petfinder Mobile App

On mobile devices, force quit and relaunch the Petfinder app. Or try deleting and reinstalling the app to resolve glitches.

Double Check Search Criteria

Carefully verify any search criteria entered like location and animal type. Incorrect inputs can cause errors.

Contact Petfinder Support

If all else fails, you can contact Petfinder’s customer support for additional troubleshooting help.

Why Adoption Group Not Calling Back?

Sometimes Petfinder users complain that a shelter or rescue group never got back to them after they submitted an adoption inquiry through Petfinder. There are a few possible reasons for this:

  • The rescue group is all-volunteer and doesn’t have enough people to handle the volume of inquiries.
  • The foster home for that particular pet has not checked their messages.
  • Your inquiry got accidentally overlooked or missed.

Be patient and follow up again in a few days. Calling the rescue group directly can also help get your inquiry to the right person faster. Make sure to leave your name, contact info and the pet you’re interested in.


This is how you should be able to get Petfinder working again. The most common fixes involve checking for website outages, clearing browser caches, or reinstalling the mobile app. Paying attention to error messages can also point you to solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact Petfinder customer support if you need extra help. With these tips, you’ll be back on track, searching for adoptable pets in no time.

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Vineet Maheshwari is a passionate blogger and relationship oriented digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC management, web analytics, domain investing, affiliate marketing and digital strategy. He has helped high tech brands connect with customers in an engaging manner, thereby ensuring that high quality leads are generated over time.