The most popular way of adopting and animal so far has been to adopt an animal with WWF (World Wildlife Fund - click for their animal adoption site)  The other main place to fo to spondor or adopt an animal is the Aspinall Foundation 
Many people now prefer to sponsor an animal in addition to – or rather than – having their own pet.
Sponsoring or adopting an animal has many benefits – both to the person who is taking out the sponsorship or adoption not to mention the organisation and the animal being sponsored.
So how does it work? Basically, sponsorship of an animal, whether it be a lion or orang-utan, an elephant , donkey, badger , tiger , rhino, rabbit or a rodent tend to be run by animal welfare organisations and charities.
Research suggests that people tend to take out a sponsorship or adoption for one of three reasons:
1. As a gift for someone for Christmas or their birthday
2. Where a person would really love a pet but does not have the space or the time for them
3. Where they want to help animal charities or a cause (such as saving endangered species)
Of course, there will be the feelgood factor as well, giving people the satisfaction that they are actually making a difference to the lives of animals by adopting an animal, whether it be an endangered species or a rescued domestic pet.
With most sponsorships, you will receive a certificate to show that you have sponsored the animal and normally a glossy photo. Some organisations will send you a newsletter to update you on your sponsored animal or maybe a small gift – these tend to vary from sponsorship to sponsorship.
Some places – such as wildlife parks – allow you to sponsor or adopt an animal and will then put a plaque on the cage with your name on it. The cost of a sponsorship will vary too, from a small minimum donation to a set fee.
For the organisation, running an animal sponsorship or animal adoption programme has immense benefits. It can help build a rapport with the general public as well as getting the message of the cause across.
Once an animal sponsorship programme is set up and all the hard work is done in arranging the photographs and certificates (or whatever their particular sponsorship features), an animal sponsorship programme is easy to run and manage.
Of course the main reason why sponsorship programmes are run is to bring in money to help pay for costs – but rather than asking people for a one-off donation where the person feels that they have paid out money but not got anything back, a good animal sponsorship package adds value.
This means people are more likely to come back again and take out another animal sponsorship or buy an additional one for a friend or loved one.
The combined factors of having that ongoing almost personal communication with the sponsor (for example, in the form of a quarterly update) means that they are more likely to stay loyal to your concern and give further support in the future.
Overall, sponsorship of an animal is a win-win situation for everyone concerned – to least the small furry animal or the big lion being sponsored or adopted.
Article adapted from one by Jason Hulott co-founder of CavyRescue