Originally Posted by Lucky Rescue
Petfinder cannot possibly screen the many thousands of rescues listed there, other than asking a few requirements of a group before allowing them to list.
Petfinder is just a listing service, and they do their best but unless someone complains, they have no way of knowing who is operating in a less than reputable way.
It's actually a bit hard to get on Petfinder and they work very hard to keep breeders off. To get listed you need to fill out their form, get in touch via phone, supply your adoption contract (not application form), prove you have a spay/neuter program-and if you don't have a non-profit registration you have to supply a letter from your primary vet.
However-many unreputable rescues can easily get non-profit status (non-profit only pertains to your tax status and it's just a matter of some forms-it has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the shelter above and beyond what it does with money) and many of them do have non-profit. If they have that and an adoption contract they meet the qualifications to list on petfinder.