If I were king for a day, the first law I’d enact would be a 12 minute work week. Shortly after that, though, would be a petting zoo in every back yard in the universe. True story: I once pulled rank to allow myself to stay inside the petting zoo beyond the 10 minute time limit at the annual summer neighborhood picnic hosted by a church where I was the pastor.

Yeah, I’m probably going to have to answer for that one someday.

I'll take one of each, please.

However, you can surround yourself with as many loving pets as possible without damning your immortal soul to the fires of Hades with Petfinder.com’s iPhone app. Unlike simply shilling for puppy farms and pet stores, Petfinder.com aims to find loving homes for homeless pets that need someone to take them in. Many of the animals found in here were abandoned, abused, lost, injured, or otherwise malfortuned.

Petfinder.com makes it easy to narrow your search down by allowing you to search as broadly or as narrowly as you like. Whether you want to look at all dogs in the state of California or are specifically looking for a female Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit in Trenton, New Jersey, it’s easy to customize your search to as granular level of detail as you need in order to find the animal that’s perfect for you.

At this time, there were zero Female Netherlands Dwarf rabbits in Trenton, New Jersey.
Not a lot of dwarf rabbits in New Jersey, oddly enough.

From there, you’re presented with pages and pages of heartstring-tugging photos of animals all waiting desperately for you to drive over and pick them up. Many of these thumbnails photos are oddly skewed and distorted since the app forces them into square dimensions with no attempt to crop, but the fullsize photos look just fine. A disturbing number of cat photos were fraught with red-eye, which may fit into your personal worldview of cats as evil, malevolent beings intent on destroying you. Or maybe it’s because they’re just not smart enough to look away from the camera when it’s flashing.

Along with photos of the animals, you’re given a bit of information about where they are, what their backstory is, and how you can adopt them for your very own.

If you find a pet that you think might be right for someone else, the Usual Social Media Suspects are all at your fingertips as well – the Facebooks and Twitters can be alerted to Yana’s presence immediately. Individual pets can also be Favorited to go back to later if you’re putting together a wish list. The “Happy Tails” section is essentially a news feed of even MORE hearstring-tuggingly-awesome stories of successful pet adoptions to put you over the edge of adopting your own if you weren’t already.

If this doesn't move you YOU HAVE NO SOUL.

The app feels pretty solid and stable, though my completely unscientific choosing-areas-of-the-world-at-random would return zero pets for large swaths of land in Canada, and zero results for anywhere in Europe, so it seems to be pretty USA-centric at this point, though I did get some results for Canada so hopefully the catalog fills itself out before too long. If you do live in an area where pets are readily available, this would appear to be a pretty simple way to get yourself started on the road to a new member of the household, and you won’t even have to break the petting zoo rules to do so.