We’re only a small team here at PetRescue, but we make big and bold platform updates to help more pets get seen, and adopted, every day!
From time-saving features for rescue organisations, to matchmaking, to security and stability patches and speedy optimisations; we’re all hooves on deck to remove the boundaries in animal welfare!
Check out some of the most recent updates our pawsome Devvies have recently shipped!
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We were su-purr excited to kick off 2022 by sharing our first state of adoption report, which included valuable insights from the rescue community, combined with data from our platform. This im-paw-tant report aims to capture the challenges and track the progress we make together in the rescue sector. We're sure you didn't want to try and decipher tables and tables of data and insights, so we carefully designed it to be as easy to read as possible.
This update has got our tails wagging because we love seeing that look on a pets face when they're enjoying one of their fave times of the day; mealtime! Which is why we updated the total amount of food donations we’ve coordinated to date on our homepage (that’s a lot of happy pets!)
Whoops - in a recent navigation menu update, we forgot to update our hovers and our clicks! This would have been furr-strating for many people, so we've fixed that up now.
Pro-purr-ly formatted numbers make us happy, which is why we popped delimiters into the numbers in our search sidebar.
Using their elusive dev magic, the team made the site faster by adding caching for feature toggles. Or, for us mere mortals, we added shortcuts to get data, optimised to improve performance.
Our dev crew gently caught and released a bug which was causing a visual issue with the spacing of alert page ‘tags’. Much better!
While they were busy gently disposing of bugs, the team also fixed the button alignment for enquiries, which was to the left.
Another whoopsie caused the pet search to always include pets available for interstate adoption even if it was unticked. With a bit of convincing and snoot boops, the function is no longer ignoring that request and won’t show interstate pets if this box is unticked (even though pets available for interstate adoption are great!)
While we were busy making things visually appealing, we also fixed the alignment of ‘tags’ inside the pet listing breed(s) input, making for a better listing experience for member groups.
Yikes, for a little time there, our handy help beacon was covered by a pesky ad - which meant that folks had to click to exit the ad before they could access the help beacon. We’ve now fixed the beacon’s positioning so that it’s su-purr easy to access these helpful resources again.
To kick things off this month, we improved search capabilities by adding additional filters and options for each species of pet, which means that more adorable pets are now appearing for each search. The sidebar also now displays exactly which filters are applied, for an even better experience searching for pets! Better search experience = better chances of humans finding their new soulmate.
Next up, we focused on improving our security for both users and member groups. In the unlikely event that a user or group is hacked, we can now force log them out of their account, without them losing access. PetRescue: 1, Spammers: 0.
Another security measure put in place to stop those pesky hackers was to replace messages created by potential spammers with a handy spam warning to purr-vent any phishing incidents.
One of the most im-paw-tant parts of the PetRescue website is the helpful resources we share with our wonderful member groups and the public. We’ve moved a very useful resource about compassion fatigue for member groups into the footer for these amazing folks to easily access.
The only funny characters we like around here are adorable pets and their a-mew-sing ways! Encoded symbols were being added sometimes in chat emails in older email clients, which meant that the recipients weren’t receiving these - grrr! This is now all fixed.
What could be better than giving a gift that can help homeless pets?! We popped in a new banner which promotes awesome PetRescue gift cards available for Christmas. This came as part of our larger Christmas appeal, which enables us to continue helping homeless pets all over Australia, and providing an awesome free platform for all!
We’re feeling festive at PetRescue HQ this month! We popped on our Santa hats and added some Christmas easter eggs to the site.. Search for a reindeer name or click the PetRescue logo in the header three times for a Christmas surprise.
There’s not many things we enjoy more than looking through adorable pet photos, so to make this viewing experience 10/10, we added in a blur effect around the edges of images uploaded to cater for different ratios, making all images look square and nice and tidy. Rescue groups will now save time from needing to do things like cropping when uploading photos as the platform will automagically format them - hooray!
We know how furr-strating it can be when there’s ads in the way of something you want to click but sometimes the cheeky things break out of the box! We’ve done some shuffling to fix these up.
We’re always on the lookout to improve security on the website - we’ve done some optimisations across the website - including on the login, signup and password pages.
This month, we were su-purr excited to announce that we were recognised as a Winner for Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2021! This award is a paw-some opportunity to bring awareness and fantastic exposure to Australian pets in need and to connect the incredible rescue community with a potential new wave of supporters and adopters. For this reason, we popped the charity award logo into the footer of our site.
We know how many pet-loving folks visit our website for helpful pet adoption information, so we popped a link to our blog library into our new mega menu, to make it easier than ever to find these resources.
While they were adding more pizazz to the website, the team also brightened up the banner on the homepage and added some shadowing to the hero image so it’s more visible to see the images of the happy pets! Making it su-purr visually pleasing to everyone visiting the site.
The devvies squad also caught (and gently released) a bug which meant the library impact page link was incorrect in the mega menu - this now all fixed, and folks can easily find out about our impact and work towards our big, hairy audacious goals.
There were also some sidebar links which were broken, that the team fixed, making for a much easier user experience all round.
We’re starting off with a bang this month - the team has been working hard behind the scenes to build a paw-some new mega navigation menu (found at the top of our site). This makes it easier for folks to follow their nose and navigate through the sections of our giant floofball of a website. Visitors can now find specific pet species and highlighted areas such as helpful resources and featured pet types with a quick boop (rather than lotsa boops)!
Speaking of menus, the “burger” menu also got an upgrade to be even better for the mobile experience. Both the desktop and mobile versions of the website are now easier to use and navigate as it’s now su-purr clear visually. And that’s (almost) as good as a tasty burger!
Who doesn’t love watching adorable videos of pets? We know that seeing videos of a pet in action can really help a potential adopter to fall in love quickly, so as part of our work to put the video feature front and centre, we’ve redesigned our video and photo uploader for member groups. It’s now easier than ever for members to upload adorable videos of the pets in their care. As part of this improved design and usability, members can now easily add or change a photo or two, not the whole listing. This is the start of some very exciting editing tools that are being rolled out to make things as easy as paws-sible for members to manage pet profiles - watch this space!
As part of the updates we’ve been working on to put the video feature front and centre, there is now an easy edit button for photos and videos on pet profiles. We know how difficult it is to narrow down all the adorable photos and videos of a pet to post, so now it’s much easier for groups to switch these out!
We believe that two pets are better than one, so our devvies have continued to work hard behind the scenes on setting up data models for related listings (bonded pets).. Watch this space!
Any bug that causes adorable pet photos to be cut off isn’t our friend! The team fixed a bug which was causing banner images on our blog to be cut off, maximising your blog viewing experience.
This month, our devvies caught and gently released an annoying bug that was causing user profiles to bork when a pet photo doesn’t exist, stopping this furr-strating user experience from happening.
Usually we’d love a cookie overflow situation, however a cookie overflow error in dev land is not ideal! While the devvies were working on activating admin tools, the machines would rise up and kick them out of their own session - this has now been fixed. Devvies: 1, machines: 0.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is super im-paw-tant for getting potential adopters eyes on sweet rescue pets featured on our website in need of a family (this term re-furrs to improvements made to the platform which result in Google being able to read and interpret the content on the platform). So this month, the team has been working hard to improve our SEO in order to maximise visibility for all the pets looking for a home!
First up on our Devvies SEO checklist in September was to create brand new adoption landing pages, highlighting awesome bonded and senior pets specifically, making it easier for potential adopters to see these adorable pets who could often be overlooked.
Next up on the SEO list this month was adding in some general usability and accessibility improvements to the PetRescue mobile site, such as updating font sizes and spacing. More importantly, the more accessible our website is for our users overall, the faster pets can find homes, and the closer you are to booping your new rescue pets snoot!
Our rescue organisations Members have the ability on their group page to set their default communication preferences to only email or only phone calls, or both - improving the experience for both members and potential adopters! Furr-stratingly, however, for Member organisations creating listings through integration with Sheltermate or ASM Manager, we found a miscommunication between the systems that meant some features weren’t syncing claw-rrectly, and in turn - that group’s preferred contact details weren’t registering. Fret not however - this is now all fixed!
The only type of break our Devvies enjoy here at PetRescue is the dancing type - so when a bug which caused the dropboxes on our platform to break if the ‘down’ key was hit without a verified selection option being selected first, they got straight onto fixing this up!
We looove multiple photos of pets (who doesn’t?) but we don’t love duplicates of the exact same image, over and over, quite as much! When listings were being created, a pesky bug was causing the same image to be uploaded multiple times if the “upload photos” button was clicked multiple times. This is now fixed - freeing up space for even more adorable pet photos. Swoooooon!
It’s super im-paw-tant to ensure that details such as source numbers or microchip numbers are included in listings to comply with state Government legal regulations. So, enter our Devvies - who recently fixed a bug which was causing required field inputs not to show when a lo-cat-ion didn’t register, when they should. This was occurring because the system needs to ‘listen’ to where the pet is located to determine which pet ID’s are necessary when Members input this detail to their pet listing, however just like Whiskers when you tell him to get off the kitchen bench, it was going in one ear and out the other! This is now all fixed by our dashing Devvies, the input is listening to location, and our Members have more time to focus on what they do best - saving lives!
This month, our delightful Devvies fixed some MailChimp list issues we’d discovered - which will now ensure our supporters receive the claw-rrect eDM they’ve signed up for! This also helps with delivery of receipts and those im-paw-tant tax time docs to our amazing donors.
We made a spiffy new update to the ‘Our Work’ page, which now sees the overall design lookin’ so fresh and oh so clean. Plus, there’s now the ability to review all of the historical projects and campaigns our team has delivered to previously!
We’ve levelled up our spam protection capabilities, and blocked some that were slipping through - causing some furr-ustrating errors in our chat platform! This means that spam is now caught and sent to the trash before it ever reaches a user conversation, using automated checks.
Time for some release notes inception… we’ve now popped in a link to our pun-tastic (if we don’t say so ourselves) monthly technical release notes updates in the footer of our website for easier purr-rusal. One for the fans!
We gave listing thumbnail images an accessibility glow-up, by making them larger when viewed on mobile. Fun fact for the tech heads out there: an average of 73% of our platform users view our website via a mobile device. We see you! We got you!
To help us better match humans and pets, we have re-purrposed data inputted to our pet listings by Member rescue organisations (which is used in search filtering for potential adopters), such as ‘good with other pets’ and made it more visible on each pet listing page. Highlighting this criteria on the profile ensures that these pets are putting their best paw forward to catch the eye of the right adapter for them.
While we’re here borking about accessibility glow-ups, we also added keyboard navigation for listing thumbnail images and a visual highlight to show they’re selected - making it easier for you to track what you’re doing and where you are.
To help prevent paw-tential adopters going down a long and windy road when seeing listings that fit their pet alerts, we’ve now popped a link to alert matches in the navigation bar. This means that folks can easily see and manage all their alerts and which pets match those filters within their adopter profile, making their pet search much easier (and faster!).
As part of our work to promote paw-some bonded pets available for adoption, we’ve updated our new campaign promo banner so that it links straight to the bonded pet search results page. This means that potential adopters can jump straight into looking for their new bonded furry family members! Once in search mode, there is also a handy link to our campaign highlight article - so you won’t miss out on all the info you need to know about how adopting bonded pets are twice, or perhaps even thrice as nice!
Cats off to our Devvies on this one - they’ve now fixed some issues on our image thumbnails within listing pages which were accidentally scroll-able, meaning you could never escape their sweet faces, regardless of where else on the page you tried to go (not that we’re complaining, really…)! Now, we’re back to regular programming and it’s only the page that can be scrolled.
Breaking mews for our Internet Explorer user friends - we’ve booped in some additional support for code running in older browsers, which in turn will improve the experience of navigating our site for the loyal IE allies amongst us!
And last, but not least, our Devvies have fixed a furry annoying bug which meant the button to open the site side menu would raise an error if it was clicked before the page was properly loaded. This seemingly harmless bug could break the page, so we’re glad it’s now smoothed over to improve the user experience and prevent furr-thur furr-rustration!
Mullets are now the official PetRescue hairstyle cause we’re all business in the front and party in the back, baby! We’re celebrating some rad new developer capabilities in the backend including ‘feature toggles’ - which enable us to efficiently turn aspects of the platform on/off in record time so our website is overall much more stable and our Devvies can reallocate their attention to battling the bigger stuff!
We did say business in the front, and we sure weren’t kitten around! New badges and a reinvigorated dashboard for our group profile pages now highlight our Member rescue organisation’s important credentials like their ABN and Vet Reference qualifications. These de-tails are significant in ensuring that the pets are being adopted securely and safely by certified groups. Our new dashboard for displaying adoptions and listings amplifies the ability to showcase the organisation themselves and the pets they’ve helped, too!
Our divine Devvies (gently) captured and released a bug which was causing listings to be able to be created without an assigned user association. Though fret not - there’s now a platform requirement that every pet listing created has to be linked to a system user, which ensures that enquiry emails are now going to the right recipients (the rescue organisation Member looking after the particular pets profile!).
While they were sorting out nasty bugs, our Devvies also located one which was causing our Members’ ABN verification label to not show up on some group pages when it should have been. All rescue organisation Members of PetRescue are required to have an active ABN in their organisation name, as well as a certified vet reference on file, as part of our Code of Ethics and quality assurance for the public and adopters. This is an essential requirement to be a Member of our community, as it proves that our members are genuine rescuers, and they conduct their organisation according to ethical and legal requirements.
When it comes to math, the only pi we know are the cutie-pies listed on our platform. However, if pictures are worth a thousand words, we can quantifiably cow-culate the value of videos on pet listings! Video thumbnails have now been added into the ‘about’ section of listing profiles - all with the intent to further increase pet visibility and truly convey their purr-sonality.
Our demolition Devvies LOVE breaking stuff… only to make that stuff a meow-sand times better. In recent mewes, the Devvies broke some images on the platform, but fret not - in addition to fixing that issue in itself, they also made the system more robust so it doesn’t happen again! Booyah!
We helped make life easier for our paw-some support team (and in turn - you!), by adding user prop-purr-ties to our Helpdesk FAQ’s beacon, so that they have direct access to user accounts registered in the platform straight away. This means that when you submit a query through the bee-con, our team can now see a special section containing a link direct to your user profile or rescue organisation group page - so we can identify you quickly and answer your query even faster. Less time searching for user details + more time for answering enquiries = win!
Sweep sweep! In preparation for Spring, our Devvies also conducted a tidy up of the rendering of special characters in alert emails. When folks signed up to receive adorable pets available for adoption alerts straight to their inbox, sometimes the text was affected by strange special characters. But… voila! This is now fixed - and the only special characters you’ll be seeing from us are your paw-tential new furry best friends!
Tax time is most certainly over but the re-purr-cussions of such generosity have not fallen short on us. Infact, we’ve added the ability for auto-generating EOFY receipt data so that in the future, receipts will be delivered to donors more efficiently. Talk about tax time ready!
Our Devvies also fixed up a furry annoying bug which caused all videos on a profile to play at once when one was clicked on a listing page! Now, the platform plays only the specified video you request, leading to a much more enjoyable viewing experience (break out the popcorn, stat!).
Aaaand we’re officially half way through 2021, still with us? Well PetRescue has hit a claw-lossal milestone with the 700,000th pet being marked as adopted - read more about it here! Did you notice the platform banner we put together to celebrate? *queue confetti and good boy boops all round*
Winter has arrived so what better excuse to curl up with a cuppa than to check out our new and im-paw-roved multimedia and pet listing layouts. Videos and images have now been separated for clarity and accessibility for our Members when listing pets (and in turn - for adopters when viewing pet profiles, too!). These layouts vary for Member rescue organisations and adopters to be more user friendly, all based on how you use the platform. Now there’s even a purr-poseful button just to view pet listing videos so you can purr-severe on your search for your new bestie with clearer prompts and navigation controls.
We understand the furr-ustration of deciding how many traffic lights there are when prompted by the Recaptcha security widget (especially when the traffic lights span over multiple boxes *sigh*). Well, we wanted to make this security measure less insu-furr-able for our users (that’s you!) - so we moved the widget to sit inside the payment pages form, where you’d expect it to sit in the first place! We know the previously awkward paw-sitioning niggled away at you a lil bit - so really, it’s the least we could do!
Foster care can be as equally fulfilling as adopting (and is just as needed!), and with the paw-sibility to foster multiple pets - you can help save even more lives. In foster-ing this belief, we wanted to highlight the ‘Foster Carer Needed’ label on active pet listings by pulling it out of the info table, where it could be overlooked, and into a Big. Hairy. Banner! This new banner style aims to draw in more attention and create awareness when a pet is listed as requiring foster care - in hopes that the individual pet can catch the eye of the right human(s) for them!
Pet alerts can be great when searching for the new additions to your family, and easily self-managed via the platform directly. But, what if you need to remove some of these alerts and find you need some assistance? Say, your spouse really means it when they tell you 6 cats, 3 guinea pigs and 2 roosters is enough pets (is it though?) so you probably need to resist the urge to adopt by removing some alerts for now. Whatever the case may be - we also understand that sometimes you may require some help in managing these alerts so now we’ve given our helpdesk team the functionality to do so! Now, our admins can unsubscribe users from any pet alerts upon request entirely - helping you resist the urge while you’re purr-suading your spouse!
Couldn’t find the answer you were looking for on our FAQ’s beacon? Need an answer by... yesterday? While we may not have a time machine (yet!), we understand there’s no time to waste when adopting your furry, feathery or scaly soul-mate so we’ve taken ulti-mate measures to ensure we can get back to your queries faster! Now, when you pet-lovers reach out to our customer service team via the beacon, your email address is automatically generated and aligned to your PetRescue purr-ofile so we can source information we may require to assist, even quicker!
So our member rescue teams are ex-purr-ts in conveying a pet's purr-sonality through their listing photos and kinda like a dating app - it’s always best to strategically order a pet's photos to highlight their best lewks, quirks and uniqueness to really capture the attention and hearts of prospective adopters! We fixed a pesky bug discovered where in some cases, our members couldn’t rearrange listing images. Now pets can put their best paw first to really catch the eye of their soulmate!
Boy do we love our buttons, not so much when they overlay a heading for our mobile users and even less when it’s the SECOND TIME this has happened! tsk-tsk disobedient buttons… Frustrating, we know, but before you rip the buttons off your shirt, we’ve fixed it.
The launch of our Tax time donation appeal has arrived! Your generous donations go via the platform towards supporting our big, hairy and audacious work which you can read about here. Not only do your donations go furr-ther in this period from the contributions of some of our pet lovin’ partners, but every donation you make over $2 is tax deductible! It’s taxing work looking for puns... but your continued support is an investment we appreciate.
If you’re the #1 fan of our release notes here at PetRescue (we hope so), you may recall last month when we added an error detector to notify our deputy Devvies of any backend error to claw-rrect before you even noticed it. Well, turns out this update worked a treat - so we pushed for the same error detector in the front end too!
Look, we’re not here to convince you to welcome Ads with open arms and we know they certainly won’t grow on you like Mr Whiskers did on your dad (safe to say it’s *his* cat now). We heard you last time, so now we’re thrilled to report that sticky Ads have a close button - aaaaaand good riddance! Imagine the feeling your pet has after you finally install a doggy door - yep, you can smell the freedom…
Now that we’re nearing the middle part of 2021 (yikes), there’s been some general updates and content changes to the ‘Our Work’ page - just to keep you informed on our current work and areas of focus here at PetRescue. Is it just us or does time feel like it’s flying by in dog years??
The Recaptcha security software integrated with our platform went all Gandalf on us with it’s new ‘you shall not pass’ attitude for all you pet lovers just wanting access to your own PetRescue accounts. The security gate-keeper, as such, started treating everyone like scammy scammers with some of the new Recaptcha code preventing submission of their security form but... we resolved that. Now, your account is accessible by you and still secure.
Technology integrations like that of PetRescue and our external animal management platforms are im-purr-itive in creating happiness and saving lives so it’s pretty RUFF when this integrated data trans-furr overlooks the preferred contact details of our Member rescue organisations (boooo hisssss!). For Members who utilise these external platforms to manage their listings - contact information on those listings now defaults claw-rrectly!
An external animal management software PetRescue integrates with received another big backend upgrade, resulting in faster more atomic updates and overall less issues. The software now syncs in bite-size steps instead of one big chonk, so if there are any errors, they are isolated to that step and the rest remains GrOoVy.
Our new enquiry count feature could be quite litter-ally the most im-purr-essive update of the month! Member rescue organisations can view and sort their listings by enquiry counts in their listings management dashboard. Meaning pet profiles with lower amounts of enquiries can ensure they receive the extra bump of love they need to be seen, and if enquiries for a pet profile are high - the organisations’ team can jump in and get responding to enquiries already received. The opportunity for better transparency, better communication and better outcomes for pets - we’d say that’s pretty epic!
Our latest internal tracker notifi-cat-ions can now allow for our team to sniff out errors in some of the work that happens in the background, alerting our deputy Devvies, enabling them to fix most errors on the platform before you even notice them!
While the bond with your furry friend may be forever, we understand your contact details aren’t often as purr-manent. Now when a rescue organisations’ pet listings contact details are updated after it’s already been posted, they are automatically added to existing enquiry conversations. This means when someone enquires about a pet, we grab the new contact information and add that to the existing conversation enquiry sent. So if you are awaiting an update on a listing, you can rest easy knowing that the rescue organisation would’ve received your communication and are working hard on getting back to you with an update as soon as they can.
If you’re not a soulless monster, you most likely love a cute pet video or two… unless of course it hinders the ability to add even cuter headshots to the existing pet listing. Well, we discovered that’s exactly what’s been happening (but the good news is - we’ve fixed it!). Up until recently, if there was an older pet listing with an accompanying video, our Members weren’t then able to upload images to it, but bippity-boppity-boop, now get a look at that snoot! *heart eyes*
*boop* you’ve got a chat bubble message alert! Haha, just kidding. *boop* okay, seriously NOW you’ve got an alert! Haha, gotcha again!... tired of this game yet? Yeah, we feel you. Turns out there was a sneaky lil bug in which our pet-lovin’ platform users were being alerted to a new chat notification only to find out that there were no unread messages (womp womp womppp). Now that we’ve resolved this bug, there will be no more false hope that someone wants to talk to you, we promise!
It’s a requirement that all pets listed on our website must be associated with a platform user from a Member rescue organisation so we have a strong line of communication for every pet seeking a new home. However, it seems some unassociated listings were sneaking through the cracks. So, we enlisted the help of Scooby and the Mystery Gang (otherwise known as our dauntless Devvies) who applied some quick sealant to the cracks of these anony-mouse pet listings, so now a user is required to be linked in order for it to go up on the platform! Hazar!
Aaaah! Just like putting that satisfying final piece into the puzzle, our Home2Home program framework is complete; we finished the build of the payment management platform! Now that the program is fully built out, we can shift our focus to be on ways to improve this program for owners, adopters and most importantly, pets in need! Our Home2Home admins can now manage adoption fee and safety net fee payments with an abundance of capabilities making the entire process a heck of a lot smoother.
We know how purr-poseful our pet listing pages are - so they got some lovin’ (cue the big sloppy dog kisses). Additional breadcrumbs (this is the name for a feature which shows you your personal website navigation history, and how to get back home again, we didn’t just make this up - promise!) were created so you can easily see your trail of links that got you to a certain page and find your way back home when you need - no Hansel & Gretel shenanigans here, just cute pet pics! We also redesigned the pet details table so you can easily purr-use the important pet info you need to know.
The external animal management software PetRescue syncs with now claw-rrectly translates pet listings to our platform like the rest of our code, hooray! Purr-eviously, the software translated code in an alternate way that caused a higher risk of error.
With the a-bunny-dance of adoptable pets on our site, have you ever fostered the thought of fostering one (or five) of them? Well, we’ve added a link on ‘how to foster’ to the sidebar and footer for easier accessibility to learn all you need to know!
As our Member rescue organisations have an informed opportunity to provide insights on all things animal welfare, our Devvies inbuilt a sector survey pop-up component to ensure Members are prompted to share their feedback with us. Obtaining Members insights iis critical for us to be able to gather info on the current state of the sector and work towards more targeted initiatives. This prompt helps create as much participation as possible to obtain well-rounded, qualified insights from those in the know, and in turn - allow us to continue to advocate for the rescue sector as best we can. We’re not horsin’ around, here!
If by chance we can’t find any pets available with the criteria you're searching for on our listing search page or there’s a tech error, we’ve now made a more purr-ceptive alert pop-up to provide insight around the type of error you’re facing, to guide you back on track!
Your generosity in sup-paw-ting our mission makes us feel all the warm fuzzies! And due to the general consensus that sticky ads can be somewhat insuf-furr-able, we’ve removed them from our donation page. Just our little way to hopefully make your navigation of the page a little less disruptive. To top it off - this restriction of ads enhances the security of your payment details when donating - preventing scammy scammers from making any unusual purr-chases from the household kitty account!
Jumping onto our platform to look for your new family member? Procrastinating on work needing to be done with all the cute snoots in your vision? Or maybe you’re looking for an article about the best enrichment toys for your dear old Whiskers? Maybe you don’t know what pet related info you’re looking for until it paws you right in the face! Well this is us pawing you ever so gently in the face by increasing the a-meow-nt of recommended posts on our Homepage from two to three - yippee!
Sometimes a fake website posing as ours isn’t as easy to sniff out as a space between ‘Pet’ and ‘Rescue’... unfortunately for these scamming scoundrels, they are no match for our dazzling Devvies! Our team has now locked down site access so only certain pages can be embedded by other websites to prevent potential im-paw-sters!
Look, we can’t bury our heads in the sand with this one… unless you want us to find a bone, an odd sock or that TV remote you were looking for last year? So it turns out we accidentally removed some labels from the little white input boxes around our site meaning you may have been temporarily unsure of what to type into said boxes - “Do they want my name? Location? Phone number?” What a whirlwind… nevertheless, this has now been resolved!
The sidebar is a great tool for accessing quick links and purr-omptly navigating our platform… just not when there’s a bunch of social sharing buttons covering it and blocking your ability to click on links altogether! We’ve now made sure that the sidebar now opens OVER the listing social buttons instead.
There are instances where interstate adoption just isn’t possible or is advised against for the wellbeing of some pets, so identifying an enquirers location from the get-go saves loads of time for everyone involved. Purr-eviously, if you didn’t select the state you’re in when enquiring, our form wouldn’t let you send your enquiry - with no explanation as to why it didn’t submit. Now, an error code will clearly explain that you need to include your state before progressing - aaaand success! We hope this leaves you less befuddled.
We bee-leive our shiny NEW sign-up page is the bee’s knees! The more rescue organisations who sign up to our free PetRescue platform, the greater reach and impact we can all make for pets on a whale scale (more specifically the Antarctic Blue Whale!). The sign-up page has been purr-posefully condensed with various text enhancements and linking content. Hello to all our pet-lovin’ rescuers out there! We see you!
Oh but wait, there’s more... we also see you, our pet-lovin’ adopters! Further to revamping our Member sign up page, we pup-dated various text and link content around the entire site. The more accessible our platform is for YOU, the faster we can get pets adopted and into YOUR loving arms - prepare for the belly rubs!
When Member rescue organisations list pets on our platform, they can choose to embed a PetRescue feed on their own webpage so their listings automatically pup-ulate from our platform to theirs - talk about ef-fish-iency! We’ve now introduced a new feed layout, improving the feed com-paw-sition on their webpage and ultimately increasing visibility as well as reach of the smooshable little faces listed for adoption!
Our Cin-Dev-ellas cleaned up a bunch of old janky code to close out the month *duster emoji*. Unfortunately there were no chirping birds, talking mice or glass slippers to be seen.
Much like taking down the Christmas tree before the dog plays tinsel tug-of-war or the kitten chases baubles around the house, we had to pull down our Christmas logo and hidden platform surprise for another year. And if you didn’t find the hidden surprise, well, there’s always next Christmas…
Several tweaks were made to sign-up forms and the text inputs all around our site so it’s a smooth ride, from filling out your de-tails to typing keywords into the search filters - all in the effort to connect you to your furry friends faster!
You may not care about minor software updates but I’m sure you DO care about the meow-trageously adorable pet listing photos. That’s why we updated the software in charge of uploading them to avoid any cat-estrophic scenarios for our Members in future.
When Whiskers the cat uses your couch for scratching, you realise it’s time to purr-chase an actual scratching post. Well, similar to this feedback loop, we’ve reformatted and upgraded Google Analytics - so now the way you use our site helps us recognise ways to improve your experience! Of course, unlike Whiskers, you can also always reach out to us with any suggestions or feedback at email@example.com!
The difficult decision to rehome a pet should not be further complicated by an insuf-furr-able payment system. With the implementation of our new Home2Home program - we’ve reformatted this system for adoption and safety net fee payments so you can focus on rehoming your loved one, uninterr-pup-ted! Read more here!
Oops, it seems our snoots made a boop! In pup-dating our site, we accidentally removed the ‘Foster Needed’ checkbox from our alerts form. Now, before you send us to purr-gatory - our diligent Devvies were quick to resolve this error, as we know how important the feature is in connecting foster heroes with pets in need!
Can you imagine the confused tilt of your doggo’s head if you were to change requested commands from ‘stand’ to ‘sit’ in the one breath? Well, previously, if you were donating and adjusted your preferred payment method commands (i.e. from PayPal to credit card), our system tilted it’s head in confusion... so, we’ve restructured the system backend in order to take more flexible commands - anything for a treat!
Our platform has thousands of lines of code being updated and adjusted daily and we’ve got a bunch of tests continuously running to ensure all code fulfills its intended purr-pose. There was a tiny subset of tests that furr-got to run this month, but that’s been fixed so the platform is once again undergoing full coverage autono-mouse code checks, around the clock!
Seeing double pet listings on our group listings page? Yes. Tweety birds flying around your head? Probably not. It sounds like the duplicate pet listings you were in fact seeing are our blunder *blush* which we have now resolved. However, if you DID bump your head earlier, we’d advise seeing a medical professional for a cat scan (as if you didn’t see that coming)...
Falling head over paws for a pet on our site is highly paw-robable and often the instant connection can be so adrenaline pumping that you go to enquire before even checking their lo-cat-ion. Depending on a Member rescue organisation’s preferences, they can enable or disable interstate adoption for their adoptable pets so it’s nice to have an alert reminder pop up if the pet is in a different state to you. Somewhere down the line, that prompt was briefly MIA but... it’s back!
Information is certainly im-paw-tant, so long as it’s true and claw-rrect! Sheltermate (one of two external animal management software PetRescue syncs with) doesn’t share quite the same filtering capabilities and in turn, resorts to a default selection. So, to avoid confusion, we’ve removed this info from the enquiry section *if* it is one of the external software’s associated listings. This means the pet’s personality you see in their profile is direct intel from the Member rescue organisation (dog, cat, kid friendly etc.). So if the profile says Garfield loves lasagne, well you can bet he sure does!
Video killed the radio star, aaaaaand our search page… well, kiiinda. When a pet listing’s first image is a video, it previously wouldn’t display on our results page at all. This made us sad as we always want to see all the cute snoots and give them the best chance of being adopted. Fortunately, our dashing Devvies image-ined a solution! So now, instead of displaying a blank thumbnail, it grabs the first frame of the video to use as an image, hooray!
Now, here’s a big-un! We enabled search by Microchip and BIN numbers on our admin pet search tool. Searching these numbers in your precious pet’s paw-tfolio ensures there will be no copy-cats of your cat (or any species, for that matter). Every pet is special and unique and these numbers reinforce that. They also guarantee credibility where we can cross-check and ultimately, ensure a safe listing and adoption space for all pets and humans alike!
What’s better than having a primary contact for each of our Member rescue organisations? Being able to add a SECONDARY contact group details! The logic is simple really - two contacts strengthen the lines of communi-cat-ion and security, while they're busy saving lives!
Disclaimer: Please cease reading immediately if you are offended by an obscene amount of pet-related puns in one month of updates….. on the other hand, if you enjoy a pun or ten, we can only presume this could just be the highlight of your day.
PetRescue was designed to be a secure and credible platform, promoting the safety of all species - humans and critters alike. As such, ABNs are required by our dedicated and purr-fessional Member rescue organisations to help guarantee a safe and secure PetRescue community for all. We’ve now included information regarding ABN requirements into the registration form, to ensure all new Members joining our movement are qualified and verified up front.
We want to ensure all pets have the best op-purr-tunity to find love! Our Devvies have added structured data to Member rescue organisation group pages and pet listings pages, making it easier for search engine bots to recognise the content - connecting users to rescue pets faster than you can search “cute cat videos”!
Time to put away the pen and pay-purr! Member rescue organisations can now add notes to their individual pet listings, allowing group users to share internal notes of pets in their care for improved transparency and management. Now, that’s what we call great communi-cat-ion!
Grab your cuppa and settle in cause this one’s a doozy! When pet lovers choose to donate while sitting on a Member rescue organisations group page, they will see a modal pop-up to select how they’d like to support. It’s one quick step to choose where their donation goes; whether it’s directly to the rescue group themselves, or towards supporting PetRescue’s work. This cross-check is im-purr-itive in ensuring that donations are reaching the originally intended organisation, so our Members and PetRescue can continue to work together towards the mission where every pet is safe, respected and loved!
When it comes to memory, humans remembering passwords can be a lot like a doggo remembering not to beg at the dinner table… (you’d expect us to opt for a goldfish joke but turns out they’ve got better memory than we thought!). We’ve enabled admins the ability to re-send verification emails and trigger a duplicate of the 2FA code which allows us to help pet lovers who are unable to login to their account. Password suggestion? Try your childhood cat’s name and your doggo’s birthday (please don’t do that, we’re kidding).
Many pet lovers were purr-plexed when clicking “Remind me later” on a footer pop-up only for it to stay right there on the page.… oops, we feel paw-sitively pawful about this bug. Not to fear, this has been fixed so now the pop-up ACTUALLY closes when clicking "Remind me later". Sorry for the pop-up poop-up!
The notification drop down on mobile looked as dodgy as your doggo’s paws after they swear they didn’t dig up that spot of grass AGAIN - we’re just sayin’ it had the pet-ential for a good tidy-up... so we gave it a fresh groomin’ and it’s now looking slick!
So it’s been a massive month and yet, our daring Devvies still managed to put their fun fedoras on with a little Christmas treasure hunt on our platform! Not only did they unveil our festive PetRescue Christmas logo across the platform to get into the spirit, but they hid a little surprise gift somewhere on our platform for all you pet-lovin’ detectives to find… Did you find it? Hint: Santa’s little helper!
In the few seconds of loading our website, you may have sniffed across a rather embarrassing flash of broken checkboxes and button styles. Well, if you did - we’ve now updated our checkbox and radio systems across the site. It’ll also make using the forms on the platform as smooth as your doggo’s freshly washed coat!
As your postman is probably aware, no one likes to be barked at or yelled at - even if it is in the form of a flash message to indicate a form submission error. So we’ve made some friendly language improvements and now these alerts are a little less yelly, and a little more supportive.
In preparation for summer just around the corner, our Devvies did some SERIOUS spring cleaning! This included a bunch of purr-formance impurr-ovements, code clean-up and refactoring - enhancing the design, structure and implementation of the software, while preserving its functionality!
We meant it when we said last month that we value your inbox and the privilege of alerting you with potential new furry family members. We also understand that you could be on the search for a foster doggo, a kid-friendly kitten and a senior sheep all at the same time! In considering this, we’ve created a new pet alerts page and form making it easier for pet lovers to set up and manage multiple pet alerts, all with different personalised filters!
Yes - it’s November, and you know what that means! With Christmas less than a month away, our Devvies have a new feature in their sleigh! Like Santa’s little helpers, our Devvies have worked away on a thoughtful Christmas surprise for your pet-lovin’ loved ones. Whether it be a last minute panic shop (we’ve all been there), a plan to win the ‘best gift of the year’ award or you’d like to give a thoughtful gift that makes a difference to the lives of pets - you can now give the gift of creating happiness and saving lives with an official PetRescue Christmas gifting donation! When gifting this donation, you can now select the card style of your choice, and write a thoughtful message as to why you chose this gift for them too (they must be a pretty special human)!
The pet alert email design has received a refresh! We think it’s now as cool as a cat’s pyjamas. Now, it’s been realigned with on-site pet profiles, highlighting important aspects of the pet up front - improving promotion of pet listings AND including even more relevant content to encourage potential adopters to view the pet’s profile.
Extra natural language search tools added at the top of the listings page to help adopters find their furry, feathery or scaly friend!
We moved some code during an upgrade... aaaaaaand had to remove it again (we accidentally broke something, but then we fixed it - hooray!).
Our coding critters added handy dandy proactive code checks to our system so minor fractures on the website no longer affect the entire central nervous system.
Member rescue organisations work hard to respond to the claw-lossal amount of pet enquiries they receive. We've added some insights panels for rescues to be able to see and manage their total enquiry counts in their entirety.
Got a big heart but only a single bed big enough to share with a small doggo? Well, as part of the MatchMakers initiative, the size and gender info have now been added to dog listing cards to increase the visibility of suitability for adopters on the search for a furry family member.
When your doggo just isn’t cut out for security duties, we’ve got you! We’ve added the security measure of ReCaptcha to more areas of the website; helping to prevent pesky scammers and increase security to keep out unwanted bot mail.
Policy level filters enabled for potential adopters to search by the adoption paw-licies of the particular Member rescue organisation. Adding transparency with adoption policies means that expectations can be managed right from the initial pet search stages.
BIG news for our Member rescue organisations who like adding their purr-sonal touch when bulk messaging enquirers! We introduced customisable mass-message for when a pet is placed on-hold - ensuring enquirers can be kept up to date on the status of pets straight from the horse's mouth.
Humanely removed a pesky bug causing some display issues with pet listing videos.
As the stars align in finding your furry counterpart, so too should our platform pop-ups, so our Devvies fixed this issue on all devices.
We’ve fine tuned the adopter profile place-howl-der text to provide an example to pet lovers of what should be included in their adopter profile at a minimum; creating a better adopter outcome AND improving the quality of enquiries for our Member rescue organisations to boot!
For our Member rescue organisations who utilise shelter management software, we can now sync even more listings! Previously, enabling this external software meant those groups could only sync profiles of dogs and cats to our platform - well, now they can share a whole load of other species too! Hello, turtles and llamas!
Internal group statistics panels added to remind Member rescue organisations of their impact and achievements. Time to celebrate those big AND little wins (i.e. their number of pets listed, pets adopted and profile views!).
We’ve been building bots! Long gone are the days of manually pushing changes up to the website as our Devvies have now made it is paw-ssible to ship these changes automatically. This means we can get these changes to you as fast as a dog will react when you say ‘walkies’! This clever automation creates an extra 4 hours of Devvie time per week which equates even more time to make even more platform improvements!
Our Member rescue organisations already have more to juggle than an otter (seriously, otters juggle rocks... if you didn’t know, well, now you do!). So we’ve made the onboarding process more efficient for new Members to integrate their external animal management software with our PetRescue platform.
We have A LOT in common with man’s best fur-iend, including the desire to follow our nose and roam freely (and securely)! So we’ve added a bunch of extra menu links for pet lovers to sniff out all content more easily around the site!
We’ve got a Source-ey new update when it comes to requirements for pet adoptions in Victoria. As of July 2019, all pets advertised for adoption are required by law to come along with their very own Source Number. To ensure that all listings on the PetRescue platform adhere to this, we’ve opened the lines of communication between our system and the VIC Pet Exchange Register - meaning all listings will meow be cross-checked to comply with Government paw-licies.
You know that feeling of getting home after a day at work and your furry family member knocks you over with pure excitement and sloppy kisses? Well, that’s what our system experiences when our Member rescue organisations get showered with thousands of loving enquiries for their pets seeking a home. This experience unfortunately caused a borked profile management feature to hang for listings that had thousands of enquiries, resulting in it taking dog years to load. We’ve fixed that issue so our platform can now keep up with ALL the loooove!
Pet listing pages on our platform were running on dif-fur-ent services; and the delayed sync of these services caused some mismatch mayhem between what our Members saw in their list of pets and what showed in the public search. Thanks to our Devvies - the search page services now receives data faster so this means the group’s listing page and public pet search page now claw-rrectly show the same pets (okay, that’s enough puns for one month… ).
Impact panel added on our homepage to celebrate our collective impact together as a rescue community - including the number of pets adopted, amount of food donations and the new innovations in progress!
Look, if you thought you were getting distracted at work by viewing 15 pets per page on our platform then you might as well pour yourself a cuppa and settle in as we’ve gone ahead and upped the ante again to 24 pets listed per page! And of course there’s always the option to view more (which we would expect you to do anyway).
Searching for your furry, feathery or scaly friend shouldn’t be complicated, in fact it should be so easy that it feels natural! At the top of the pet listings page, you may have sniffed across a new natural language search confirmation feature (i.e. “you’ve found this many pets in this area.”) This special feature will make a claw-lossal improvement to accessibility and clarity while on your search for your new best mate!
A heckin’ cool Pet Hackathon Project has just landed with a page to go with it! Read more here *jazz hands*
Unlike Scooby Doooobyyy Dooooo, the pets on our platform aren’t down for mystery. All pet enquiries made should provide loads of information to help rescue organisations determine the compatibility between the pet and their potential new family up front, so we’ve created a toolkit on the enquiry page. You’ll now see an info checklist, reminder of the specific pet’s needs and placeholder text to guide your enquiry. Already, these tools have resulted in quite a significant increase in the length of enquiries, with inclusion of details about the enquirers home and lifestyle. Fun fact - the average enquiry length has increased by 184.15324557532807 characters, meaning a better chance of finding the most compatible match!
Removed a bunch of dependencies on third party code to accelerate your experience on the site. It's housekeeping, but someone's gotta do the sweeping!
Less clicks to get to your impawtant PetRescue platform tools! Member rescue organisations will now notice a new little black submenu appearing under the navigation menu for.… you guessed it - easier navigation!
Printable pet adoption posters - because we know websites just aren’t for everyone and sometimes a physical poster on a noticeboard is preferred, so we gave the design a bit of love to ensure available pets also get to shine…. offline!
Capturing the moment a dog smiles straight at the camera is hard enough without having to find a suitable file format to upload it. Now our platform supports HEIC (iOS) format image uploads so you can capture all of those candid pics from the convenience of your iPhone and upload them without the iHeadache!
We put our creative hats on to enhance the accessibility of our platform including a bunch of user experience updates from obvious style changes to more subtle consistency tweaks. These design adjustments will ultimately improve user accessibility AND increase visibility of the drop-[roll]-gorgeous pet listings!
Another style change you may have sniffed across was our pet listing cards - much more pleasing to the eyes with rounded corners and slight shadow… oooh, fancy!
Like a pupperino learning new tricks, our Dev team too needs to practice and test all of their cool new tweaks and updates for the platform. So we’ve ramped up the testing process meaning the faster we can review, test and approve platform improvements, the faster we can implement them for you!
Communication is hard enough when you’ve got precious Whiskers walking across the keyboard@#$heshfoe [knock it off, Whiskers]. Anyway, we’ve optimised chat threads to make life a little bit easier.
An issue with our automatic site update process has been fixed so it now actually tells us when there’s something wrong, unlike your supposed “guard” dog who’s too busy snoozing to notice the doorbell! Now, Issues are more likely to be rectified by our team before you even notice them!
Once upon a time there were two star-crossed lovers who lived in different states. The barrier of distance tried to separate the pet lover from their destined furry counterpart. Fortunately, PetRescue enhanced backend functionality with their external animal management software so interstate adoption became easier, the barrier of distance was demolished and the companions lived happily ever after!
The Member rescue organisation signup page had some user experience touch-ups, yay!
Rolled-out some website redesign features including MVP versions of our Cha-cha-charter and Our Work page so you can SEE. WHAT. WE. DO. *mic drop*
What’s cute as a button? Our buttons. We made our buttons cute.
Our driven Devvies collected some fancy tools to help fix issues on the site with ultra-efficiency.
We incor-paw-rated a new way of releasing updates to the website which is now much faster and much less error prone - freeing up more time for the BIG stuff!
Some of you may have noticed an issue with case sensitivity when entering your email address on our platform causing some accessibility issues. We managed to fix this little system bug (catch and release of course) so now, email addresses will no longer be CaSe SeNsItIvE.
A long time ago, a bug was introduced that really messed up some synchronised listings from an external animal management software - we’ve now cleaned up the aftermath of that.
Through the implementation of a Facebook landing page and chrome extension, we’ve added the capability for Members to join the exclusive PetRescue Member Facebook Group DIRECT from the PetRescue platform - keeping the rescue community connected!
Our Member groups will notice some cool new tools for archiving pet enquiry conversations when the pet’s listing status is changed. They can also archive the chats prompt when the listing is marked as adopted. These tools should aid in communication demands and hopefully clear some mental space for our paw-some rescue groups when handling enquiries and adoptions. Hooray for communication and transparency!
We wanted to make sure that our pet lovers are able to find info on our site as easy as a dog to a bone - so we’ve embedded a help beacon in our contact us page. This means you’re now able to find answers quick-smart! And if the question is rather peculiar, well, just send your question through to us via the beacon and one of our friendly team will be in touch with you to assist.
It’s fair to say that our Member rescue organisations have a claw-lossal amount of work so now we’ve built in bulk-messaging when updating a pet to “on hold” status. It’s a win-win for rescue orgs and paw-tential adopters allowing for super efficient communication.
Our rescue organisations are busy bees and shouldn’t have to worry about remembering pesky admin updates, right? Well now they can just keep buzzing because we’ve set up a modal prompt to remind Members to update their group details annually. We hope this creates some peace of mind knowing that there’ll be regular reminders to update Members’ details so important communications will not be missed!
In the background, our diligent Devvy’s have enhanced integration between our platform and external pet management software, enabling us to recognise any pet listing synchronisation errors and resolve them promptly for our Members. This means that pet listings will be reconciled faster and displayed more accurately than ever before.
Were you experiencing issues logging in, using 2-Factor-Authentication? This was an oops from us. All fixed!
More site maintenance to ultimately improve platform speed and security, including the reduction in chat notifications nagging the server - you’d be surprised how much impact this small change can have. Our server is now free to do all the backyard zoomies it wants!
Finding foster fams was this month's jam! Enhancing the ability to match interested foster carers to rescue organisations with pets in need of foster care. The search filters and pet alerts were supercharged to help meet the pandemic surge in demand for rescue pets. This means you can quickly find pets who are in need of foster care AND you can be alerted when more pets are listed in your area faster!
Now even more pet blessings per page! Apologies to YOUR workplace for distracting you on the job now that you could look at even MORE adorable pets (but also, you’re very welcome). We’ve increased the default display of pets per page from 12 to 15, and provided options to display even more pets looking for love at one time.
On the back end, our admin capabilities have been upgraded in order for our team to respond to your enquiries with higher quality and greater insight - we’re committed to connecting pets with their new families, creating happiness and saving lives!
Here at PetRescue, we understand the importance of mental health for all of our paw-some rescue organisation Members - a strong mind is essential in the work they do! So our Members can now temporarily pause their organisations’ account with us. This means that when a break from rescue is needed, our Members can reset with the peace of mind knowing that their account has been temporarily paws’ed, ready to come back to when needed. The organisations’ profile will temporarily go incognito to the public and everything will be ready to re-activate and dive back in when they’re ready! We want to encourage all of our rescue-rockstar Members to take the break whenever they need to.
The rescue directory received a facelift and you can now choose a map view making the search for your local rescue organisation easy-peasy!
Security improvements on some of the website's forms so Members will receive less spam - heck, we wouldn’t even feed that to our cats…
Do you feel your frustration levels rising to uncontrollable limits when your pet snail moves faster than a loading web page? We can relate - so we’ve optimised communication between the platform and our database. Pages should now load a whole lot faster than Spongebob’s Gary!
Further improvements to the navigation and user interface so our pet lovers and their furry counterparts can find each other even easier.
The Members only area received a few helpful additions! The exciting release of a “Members library” helps keep the rescue community informed on what’s happening across the industry as well as PetRescue updates.
Remember last month when we did a little freedom for BREEDom trial? Well we soon realised that hiding breed labels in the pet search is a GAME CHANGER for ALL pets and it’s here to stay! This is the beginning of social change to reduce breed bias and save more lives! That’s what we’re here for, right? Learn more about the Love knows no breed movement!
We shipped 2 Factor Authentication, delivering a secure link between your PetRescue account and yourself. This ensures your account is protected from any prying paws.
More helpful menu items for all you pet-lovin’ folks to sniff out more good stuff on the PetRescue website!
Security updates & platform health advancements following some rather pesky phishing activities. Fortunately, no fish were harmed in the process.
Freedom the BREEDom! Did you notice that breed labels were hidden across the pet searches? We’re trialing this adjustment to listings, but we have a squeaking suspicion this may just stick around for the long-haul. Learn more about the Love knows no breed movement.
PetRescue is designed to be a safe place for pets and people alike. Conversations that breach our Code of Conduct can now be reported via the platform. That's right - we won't hesitate to send inappropriate communications to the doghouse!
Auto-syncing rescue platform management systems to officially say good riddance to tedious manual updates! This isn’t a lip sync, but definitely something to sing and dance about!