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The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Services has launched a free online program to allow people who need to find new homes for their pets to match up with prospective owners without the animals having to be turned in at a shelter.

“Surrendering pets to an animal care center can be a distressing experience for pet parents and stressful for their animals,” said Marcia Mayeda, the department’s director. “By using `Home to Home,’ pet parents can work directly with potential new adopters, communicate more thoroughly about their pet’s needs and find a great new home for their pet.”

The Home to Home website—laco-lanc.home-home.org/rehome/–is part of a program used among animal shelters and rescue organizations across the United States, officials said.

Pet owners who need to find a new home their pet can fill out a brief online form, upload a picture and submit it to the website, while prospective new pet owners can use the search tool to look for dogs, cats or other animals at laco-lanc.home-home.org/findapet/.