Before you adopt, choose the right shelter or rescue group. The pet adoption experience at different types of shelters can be vastly different, so take the time to visit the home page of your local groups to see which you might enjoy working with most.
Open access shelters take in all stray animals and are usually county or city shelters.
Humane societies are private facilities. Some are open access and others are limited.
Foster groups, like PAWS, are volunteer foster parents who don't have a physical location. The pets live in temporary foster family homes until a permanent one is found.