LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County has launched a new program to help pet owners find a new home for their animals without having to surrender them to often overcrowded shelters.
The free online platform, called Home to Home, lets people fill out a brief form, upload a picture of their pet and submit, while prospective new pet owners can use it to look for dogs, cats and other animals that they can provide a home for.
It's part of a program used among animal shelters and rescue organizations across the United States.
The program has been in effect for a few weeks and county officials say it's already off to a good start. Plus, the program is not just for adoption, it also helps people keep their pets.
Through the program, the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control connects pet owners with resources, such as vouchers for pet food and supplies and veterinary care.
Officials say surrendering your pet at one of the county's animal care should be the last resort.
The pandemic created an even bigger need for the program after people who adopted pets when they were home found they couldn't care for the animals once they went back to work.
"Housing is really tough to find that's pet-friendly, maybe they have financial issues and they can't pay for veterinary care, so people come to us for help and we want to make the shelters a place for the animals that really need it," said Allison Cardona, with the county department of Animal Care and Control.
With Home to Home, the dogs, cats and owners can skip a visit to the shelter, which officials hope will make caring for a pet and adopting one easier for everyone.