Over the Holidays, Santa gave me a new Petfinder

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If you’ve been to Petfinder.com recently, you’ll have noticed that we launched a new look and feel for the site. Encompassing the homepage, almost all our content and touching our adoptable pet search, it’s hopefully something you like, but more than anything you find better to use. That was certainly our intention when we designed it last year, but I’d love to know what you think – so please leave any comments, feedback or ideas below.

Dashiel is one of the adoptable pets we hope will benefit from the new Petfinder.

Certainly, we haven’t rebuilt all parts of Petfinder.com yet (you’re probably reading this on a part of the site we haven’t updated yet!), but we will  in the coming months. This is only one of many substantial technology changes that have happened or will happen on Petfinder this year.

We’re building the site on a much better publishing platform, one that powers one in six of all websites. We’ve rebuilt our photo service too. In recent years, we’ve tried to turn everyone into Annie Lebowitz to get pets adopted, and alongside the Petfinder Foundation and many other partner organizations, it’s been very successful. So with all these incredible photos of adoptable pets (that studies have shown increase the likelihood of adoption by 70%), we needed to develop a fabulous new photo service that could store and manage them at high resolution and deliver them flexibly to our website, and to the 1,400 partner websites who carry listings of adoptable pets from Petfinder.

If you think how important photos are to finding forever homes for adoptable pets today, that’s how important videos of adoptable pets will be in the next couple of years. So we’ve also integrated a new video platform into Petfinder, that enables us to better manage and playback adoptable pet videos on all kinds of web-enabled devices. Our next mission will be to train a generation of Steven Spielbergs in our shelter member community!

In the coming months, we’ll launch more technology. We’ll have a new system to enable you to notify a shelter and share your details when you’ve found the pet that you want join your family. Right alongside that, thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, if you’re unfortunately unable to adopt that pet, you’ll be able to make a donation to support the shelter that is caring for them. And later in the year, we’ll have a new API into Petfinder for developers to access adoptable pet listings on Petfinder and create new tools to help get them adopted. That API will also provide hooks to shelter administration software developers to be able to integrate more seamlessly with Petfinder.

And there is a lot more. Petfinder is at its heart a technology company and we want to provide a technology platform for responsible pet parenting. I can say without a shadow of doubt, that every single person working at Petfinder believes that technology will make finding a forever home for every adoptable pet something we can achieve. Since Petfinder started in 1996, the euthanasia of pets in the US has dropped by 75% and Petfinder has contributed over 20 million adoptions to support that. We’ve got more work to do to reduce that further, and we will not stop trying. However, to this mission, we are adding the goal to make every pet parent a responsible pet parent. We don’t have all the answers on how to do this yet, but whatever we do, I feel pretty confident that technology will be at the center of it.