Last updated: 4 Jun, 2021
Published on: 30 Jul, 2020
Hacking into a safer future for pets
Sometimes, big problems call for the brightest minds to come together and create social change 🙌
At PetRescue we believe (and have witnessed!) that taking giant leaps of faith in advancing technology can lead to ground-breaking and progressive solutions to create a better tomorrow for every pet in Australia.
The big, hairy proof? Over 650,000 pets have found homes with the help of PetRescue's adoption platform in just over 16 years! 💯
As part of our commitment to continuously evolve our Animal Welfare Strategy, we’ve got to look beyond our core work in pet adoption and focus on the underlying problems that put healthy and adoptable pets on kill lists in pounds across the nation.
Although there's been a massive increase in adoptions over the decade, the unfortunate reality is...
100,000* adoptable pets are still killed in pounds every year, and we can’t adopt our way out of this crisis.
So how can we save these lives?
By stemming the flow of pets entering this broken system.
There are a few reasons that lead to pets going into pounds. The common misconception is that these pets are those that don’t have homes or aren’t capable of finding homes, but this is rarely the case.
👉 There is more demand for pets than pets available
While it’s believed that pets end up in pounds because there is an overpopulation of pets, our data shows that there is, in fact, far more demand for rescue pets than supply. However, since there is currently no legal requirement for pounds to list pets available for adoption or report statistics about pets taken in, not all healthy and adoptable pets are given the opportunity to find a new home.
👉 They are not all homeless pets
You might be surprised to learn that 70% of the pets in pounds are actually urban stray cats! Well-meaning members of the public often believe that they are abandoned pets in need of ‘rescuing’. However, in most cases, these cats are not abandoned or lost; they are unowned stray cats living happily in urban communities and being cared for from animal lovers in the community.
👉 Lost pets go into the system
A large number of pets that go into pounds are lost pets. Flawed, outdated legislation often makes it harder for pet owners to track their lost pets before they are left to the pound's mercy (pet owners have just between 24 hrs to eight days to claim their lost pet, depending on their local council).
Why a hackathon?
We need to break this cycle for pets in Australia! Using innovation, we can once again create change together 👏
A “hackathon” (an amalgamation of the words hacking and marathon) refers to constructive problem-solving using new and innovative solutions.
Typically, a hackathon is a two-three day creative and intensive competition where a diverse group of people solve problems using technology as an enabler. Participants partake in a hackathon for several reasons, including networking, creative problem solving, or simply for the rewarding experience of busting their brains to smash a challenge that’s put forward.
Leading tech companies such as Facebook and Google have used hackathons for their management processes, employee engagement and partnerships. Features such as the ‘like’ button and ‘search’ bar on Facebook originated through hackathons.
The participants in a hackathon often break up into smaller groups and use resources available to them (laptops, paper etc.) to dive into the proposed problem areas, with the ultimate goal of challenging the status quo.
And since Australia is a nation of pet lovers, we’re reaching out and rallying passionate Aussies from diverse fields from technology to marketing to come together individually, or in teams, and help us find solutions that will help keep more pets safe, respected and loved.
PetRescue hackathons are all about…
Racking our brains to hatch the next big (or small) idea that can pull together the broken parts of the existing system, or overhaul it completely. Pethacks encourage participants to innovate and push the envelope to challenge and create sustainable, measurable solutions by tackling the problem spaces that send pets into the system 💪
And we’re all ears for some good ideas. Continue to read more about our Safe and Sound Pounds program to learn more about our initiatives to help save more lives, or reach out to us with your ideas and feedback via our contact page.