'pets by step' is a website for current pet adopters and animal organizations to use as an animal adoption resource. This site gives resources for animal organizations to update and improve their process of getting adoptable animals to their forever homes. It helps animal adopters know how the process of animal adoption works and which shelters and rescues have adopted this new and improved process.

about pets by step?

what is 'pets by step'?

You’ve come to the right place to learn the ins and outs of the animal adoption process resource called pets by step! On this page, we go over why this resource is important and needed right now, what pets by step is, and provide some information about the creator herself. 

why does this matter right now?

​Within the next year, millions of cats and dogs will enter shelters and rescue groups nationwide. There are many animals who still need to find their forever home.

COVID-19 has increased the demand for pet adoption and has forced the current process of animal adoption to be mainly digital. This makes it easier for people to view pets in their area but actually adopting a pet is now the hardest part. In-person adoption events are limited and shelters/rescues are communicating to potential adopters through social media sites, email, or phone calls. These places have been juggling emails, phone calls, direct messages, etc. and they have not been able to get back to everyone in a timely manner.

The communication between shelter/rescue and pet adopters can sometimes feel like you are running a marathon with no finish line in sight. Communication in an experience like pet adoption should be clear and understandable. This change would help pet adopters not feel overwhelmed or hopeless. Pet adopters would be less likely to give up on the search for their new pet if the process was simple, stress-free, and enjoyable.

who created this?

This process was created after a Portland State University student, Emily Anderson, had researched the ins and outs of pet adoption and what would be helpful and crucial to improving this experience for potential pet adopters, shelters, rescues, and pet organizations.

Emily Anderson experienced the pet adoption process during the COVID-19 pandemic. She and her fiance were on the search for a dog to add to their little family. The process was months long with no end in sight. The demand for pets was super high since everyone is able to stay home and take care of a new pet in the house. Because of this huge demand, the weaknesses within the process of pet adoption came through. Applying for pets was like writing a book with how many applications people have to fill out and the communication between

the shelters/rescues and potential adopters needed some work.


Emily constructed a new and improved process for shelters, rescues, and pet organizations to adopt. This website lays out the process for those people in those organizations as well as the experience for potential adopters.

a note from the creator of pets by step

"This website is a guide for places to adopt and people to reference. This process is not universally used by every shelter, rescue, or pet organizations


Make sure to check our who’s involved? page to see the list of shelters, rescues, and other animal organizations who have adopted this new process of pet adoption."