Build Status Build status codecov Codacy Badge

:cat2: :dog2: :rooster: :rabbit2: :racehorse:

PetfindeR wraps the Petfinder API in an easy-to-use, conveninent R package. The PetfindeR library also provides handy methods for coercing the returned JSON from the API into usable data.frame objects to facilitate data analysis and other tasks.


Petfinder is best installed with devtools to get the most recent production version.

install.packages('devtools') # if devtools is not already installed

PetfindeR can also be installed from CRAN using install.packages():


Please note the version on CRAN may be behind the most recent version on GitHub. I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience; however, submitting the package to CRAN can often be delayed due to reviews and other submission steps.

Examples and Usage

An account must first be created with Petfinder to receive an API and secret key. The API and secret key will be used to grant access to the Petfinder API, which lasts for 3600 seconds, or one hour. After the authentication period ends, you must re-authenticate with the Petfinder API. The following are some quick examples for using PetfindeR to get started. More in-depth tutorials for PetfindeR and some examples of what can be done with the library, please see the More Examples and Tutorials section below.

Authenticating with the Petfinder API

Authenticating the connection with the Petfinder API is done at the same time the Petfinder class is initialized.

pf = Petfinder(key=key, secret=secret)

Finding animal types

# All animal types and their relevant data.
all_types = pf$animal_types()

# Returning data for a single animal type
dogs = pf$animal_types('dog')

# Getting multiple animal types at once
cat_dog_rabbit_types = pf$animal_types(c('cat', 'dog', 'rabbit'))

Getting animal breeds for available animal types

cat_breeds = pf$breeds('cat')
dog_breeds = pf$breeds('dog')

# All available breeds or multiple breeds can also be returned.

all_breeds = pf$breeds()
cat_dog_rabbit = pf$breeds(types=c('cat', 'dog', 'rabbit'))

Finding available animals on Petfinder

The animals() method returns animals based on specified criteria that are listed in the Petfinder database. Specific animals can be searched using the animal_id parameter, or a search of the database can be performed by entering the desired search criteria.

# Getting first 20 results without any search criteria
animals = pf$animals()

cats = pf$animals(animal_type = 'cat', gender = 'female', status = 'adoptable', 
                  location = 'Seattle, WA', distance = 10, results_per_page = 50, pages = 2)

Getting animal welfare organizations in the Petfinder database

Similar to the animals() method described above, the organizations() method returns data on animal welfare organizations listed in the Petfinder database based on specific criteria, if any. In addition to a general search of animal welfare organizations, specific organizational data can be extracted by supplying the organizations() method with organization IDs.

# Return the first 1,000 animal welfare organizations

organizations = pf$organizations(results_per_page = 100, pages = 10)

# Get organizations in the state of Washington

wa_organizations = pf$organizations(state='WA')


About is one of the largest online, searchable databases for finding a new pet online. The database contains information on over 14,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across North America with nearly 300,000 animals available for adoption. Not only does this make it a great resource for those looking to adopt their new best friend, but the data and information provided in Petfinder’s database makes it ideal for analysis.