I have received significant backing to design a new app/website relating to organizing transport (and it will integrate into Doobert, which is fantastic!). I have a lot of ideas for it--for instance, building in data science techniques to "recommend" which animals to transfer, which is the thrust of my organization--but the most important thing to me is hearing from you. If you could ask for anything, what features would you want? What would be something that is make-or-break? Do you have any concerns? Feel free to post below or reach out if you'd like to be involved or see some details!
All the best,
Hi there! My org, Humane Society for Greater Savannah, doesn't do a lot of transferring out. We get dogs in almost every week from Animal Controls in surrounding areas though. I believe if we had a go-to list of different rescue groups from all over, we could find more specialized placement for some of the pets we get. I've been gaining contacts in several areas through networking friends, but if an app had a detailed view of different groups, what they do, if they are foster-based or shelter, and reviews/pics that would be a lifesaver (pun intended 😉). One of my biggest hurdles in finding receiving rescues is not knowing how reputable they are, how the pets will be kept, etc. Thanks!!
Hi there! Have you tried using the Shelter Animals Count portal? You can dig into specific parts of the state, county, etc. The biggest issue is that not ALL facilities are reporting their numbers. It may not include all, but may give you a good head start. https://shelteranimalscount.org/m/home
Hi Beth! I actually haven't looked into the Shelter Animals Count data, thanks for the recommendation!
Good call, Beth! Best Friends also publishes much of this data on their site, though I haven't dug into it deeply. They also have listings of EVERY shelter/rescue in the US.
Hello! This is something that has rattled around in my head a bit, as well. Trust is so important in animal rescue and you have to know if you can believe the people who are sending/receiving the animals.
I really like your idea of a complete list of sending and receiving organizations, especially if people would keep it current. Maybe you can share your contacts, as well!
Hi there from Palm Valley Animal Society in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. We have relied on transfers as a main component of lifesaving and while adoptions are up and we want to continue that trend, transfers are still a core part of what we do. For us, we are in an area that typically is more impoverished than the rest of the state (and country). With COVID-19, we are already at about 20% unemployment. This is to say, fundraising locally is a challenge. If there is a way to build in co-funding for transports, that would be wonderful because then we could work with communities where the animals will end up, rather than continuing to try to draw on our base, which is generally poorer than areas the animals go.
Thanks for your message. I'm originally from Austin and have spoken to some folks at PVAS!
I certainly hear your concerns about funding. It's one of the most challenging areas of animal rescue. I'm hopeful that we will be able to work together to defray transport costs--my intention/hope has been to not charge animal rescues/shelters for this work. Thanks for your feedback.
So cool you're from Austin! Keep us posted on this work :-)
Hi. Transport availability saves lives. I would like to see in an app a file where you could access different kinds of people who can transport and supply different needs, some pets may have issues that others do not and I think it would be Fantabulous to have those people mapped to show location and the nearest and the most willing to do what needs to be done to save the babies lives and get them where they are going safely. I’m not sure how my shelter could function without being able to send dogs to a welcoming environment and transport has been an issue ....a lot !!
Could you consider, if you haven't already, having a feature where transporters can be rated/reviewed. Maybe similar to Yelp or there is a software development community, is it GitHub?, that allows for reviews and ratings?
Making it easy to filter down and contact the most viable volunteers, by location and day/time availability. A mapping feature would be useful, if you could plug in the starting location and the destination and filter to resources that would be along the route. I had built something similar using Google Maps for a small rescue that covered a tri-state area. The map pins were interactive and could allow us to identify and contact specific volunteers.
Have you looked into the design and features that are used by Uber/Lyft? I know there are some other companies that have built service platforms similar in other industries, like uberized healthcare services - I forget the company's name, but they provided nurses and phlebotomists for patients that were at risk or had difficulty getting to a medical providers office. They had a call center and dispatch set up.
I love your idea and as a market strategist, would love to help more if I can. If you'd like to set up a time to discuss anything, please feel free to send me a direct message.