PetFinder

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Jan 21, 2003 8:05 pm


For those of you who rescue and who haven't already taken this step, I strongly recommend that you register as a rescue with PetFinder.org.

They will give you a home page and a pet list. This site is heavily indexed, and gets a lot of hits. When The Bunny Bunch had some of my pigs on their list, each pig got between 15 and 30 "looks" per week. This means that someone was interested enough to click on the name and look at the picture.

All you need is:

1) A copy of your adoption contract (if you don't have one, go to http://www.cavyrescue.com and click on "rescuer resources" to download one).

2) A letter of reference from your veterinarian stating that you do rescue animals and take good care of them. I had my vet fax this letter so that I could convert it easily to a .gif file.

To sign up as a rescue, go to:

http://www.petfinder.org/register/index.html

It only takes a few minutes and will be well worth it. Supporting documents are sent via email, and they have an address for you.

I just finished doing this for myself, since I can't rely on The Bunny Bunch to keep my pet list updated.

BTW, every week Petfinder will send you a list of how many times each pet was downloaded.

Foster

Post   » Tue Jan 21, 2003 8:19 pm


Petfinder has done wonders for our rescue too! We had 1750 hits last week alone! Coming up in March is "Adopt a Homeless Guinea Pig Month". During that month adoptable pigs will be featured on the homepage with links to lots of great information and pet listings. I think GuineaLynx provided the printable care sheet last year! We had 19 adoptions last March as a result.

Charybdis

Post   » Thu Jan 23, 2003 3:12 pm


Here is my Petfinder home page as an example:

http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/CA539.html

Foster

Post   » Thu Jan 23, 2003 3:29 pm


Very nice Charybdis! Ours is www.knoxgprescue.petfinder.org.

You can request an address that is easy to remember- .petfinder.org

Charybdis

Post   » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:43 pm


Excellent home page. Congrats on your success rate! 226 pigs--wow.

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:34 pm


Save-A-Pet is another site that has a rescue database.

There are only a few guinea pigs listed on there right now but the site is much more accessible than GPAN (plus it allows pics and GPAN does not).

It is important for rescuers to get a presence on the Internet. Most of the adoption inquiries I get come from people who found me on the various sites where I post piggies for adoption.

All I had to do was fill out a rescue application and list my vet's phone number. Here is the site address:

http://www.1-800-save-a-pet.com/index.tcl

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:43 pm


Here are some other ways that I have met great adopters:

1) Adoption days at local feed and pet stores. The advantage to doing adoptions at such chains as PetCo and PetSmart (both of whom allow this) is that you get to educate the public as well as possibly steer people away from buying guinea pigs in pet stores (just by your presence--I think it's a guilt thing).

I do adoptions in both my local feed store and PetSmart. So far I have had only 3 adoptions as a result--but I have disseminated a whole lot of information to people buying supplies who just come over to ask me questions.

The best way to go about this would be to contact the store manager. They will tell you which days of the week are open, or you might have to share a day with a dog/cat/rabbit rescue. I bring between 2 and 4 friendly pigs and set up a table with care sheets, business cards for vets, and miscellaneous informational packets.

PetSmart and PetCo are used to having rescues doing adoption days, but you might have to talk your local feed store into it. In this case, go straight for the owner. I have found that, if you tell them that you usually do adoptions at PetCo but would prefer to be in a "less commercial" or "more animal-friendly" atmosphere, they will be happy to oblige. It also doesn't hurt to tactfully point out that adopters will come back there for supplies.

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:54 pm


2) Your local shelters may seem at times like obstacles to your efforts, especially when some of them are no better than snake-food factories. However, shelter volunteers are valuable assets, not only as people who notify you when guinea pigs come into the shelters, but as possible foster homes when you are full.

I have 2 shelter volunteers who help me out this way. They let me know that there are guinea pigs in the shelter. Usually, I ask them to foster the pigs for at least a few weeks, giving them Ivermectin and whatever other medications they might need. Job was one of these fosters, and so was Sam. Right now my shelter friends are fostering 5 piggies for me.

A good way to get to know your shelter volunteers is to go down there and talk to them. If this isn't possible, call on the phone and ask to speak to a volunteer in the small animal area. Tell them your name, give them your number, and ask if they would keep you apprised of what is going on there. Shelter volunteers have big hearts. Even if they are not willing to foster, they will spread the word about you.

Where I live, there is a web ring for shelter volunteers in the area. It helps connect shelters, rescues, and potential adopters. Ask around and see if a similar site exists near you. I found out about this one from a volunteer for a dog rescue who was doing adoptions next to me in PetSmart one day:

http://www.amrt.net

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:01 pm


3) Your veterinarian's office probably has more connections than you realize. In addition, an adoption referral from your vet is somewhat more reassuring than a stranger contacting you over the internet.

The front desk of my vet's office has my name and number stuck to their desktop. In addition, I made a colorful flyer with my contact information and a picture of an adorable piggy and hung it up on their bulletin board. What has transpired from this is both adoptions and fosters. Potential adopters have been referred to me from the vet, and 2 of my fosters responded to my flyer in the office.

In return, I not only recommend my vet to adopters, but I take a stack of his business cards to my adoption days and hand them out. So it's a mutually beneficial relationship.

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:10 pm


4) Pet Fairs are great places to spread educational information, meet potential adopters, and make connections with other rescue people. Out here, there are many pet "expos" all year round, some of them exotics-specific, others open to all kinds of animals.

There are a couple of ways to get yourself some attention at the pet fairs. One is to ride in on the coat tails of another rescue, like a rabbit rescue or another cavy rescue. They may let you set up a booth in their area where you can hand out literature, show off your cavies, and make their rescue look bigger than they are.

You can also contact the event planners and tell them that you would like to give an informational talk and perhaps have a little set-up with literature and animals.

I have done this both ways. At the Pasadena Bunny Expo, I went with The Bunny Bunch, brought some pigs and gave an impromptu talk on guinea pig care (the microphone was literally thrust in my face with no notice!). I answered a lot of questions and tried to correct some of the misinformation that the pet stores give out.

And then on my own: In April, I am going to be giving a talk on guinea pig grooming at the Orange County Pet Expo. This is a huge event with lots of different rescues participating. Since I'm demonstrating how to clean out a boar butt, I should be the hit of the party.

Even if you cannot get on the venue at a pet expo, go there anyway. Hand out your cards and schmooze with other rescues. You just may meet someone who can help you out.

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:24 pm


5) Finally, in addition to web sites, shelter volunteers, veterinarians, and pet expos, the most valuable resource for you are the other rescues in your area, whether or not they deal with guinea pigs or not.

For instance, several other small animal rescues in my area have links to my web page from their site. I just emailed the rescue owner and asked them to do it. Believe me, they will appreciate it, because referrals take up a lot of a rescuer's time. This is especially helpful if you are just starting out and there are no other guinea pig rescues in your area. Sometimes, people call rabbit rescues looking for guinea pigs because they don't know where else to go.

You start making the most interesting alliances when you investigate the rescue community. Recently, my a vet tech who does neo-natal rescue happened to mention to her boss that several guinea pigs had been dumped outside a vet's office where she worked as a second job.

This boss just happened to be the ER vet who has seen some of my pigs, and she referred the woman to me. Needless to say, the guinea pigs wound up on my doorstep, but I made a valuable contact, because now I have someone to consult for care of newborns if needed. In addition, she is going to foster for me soon.

I already mentioned that I found out about the shelter/rescue web ring from a dog rescuer. And my pet sitter, who rescues Norwegian Elkhounds, has referred me to clients of hers who may be keeping a single guinea pig who could use a friend.

Hopefully this information will help other rescuers who are just starting out. The bottom line is, get your name out there so that you can find good adopters for your rescued pigs.

Charybdis

Post   » Mon Feb 03, 2003 2:11 pm


I just want to add this last little bit so that rescuers can see how effective Petfinder is. Here is my last "activity report"--the number of times my pigs were downloaded in one week:

Accesses from 1-27-2003 to 2-2-2003 for CA539

Abbott&Costello 35
Cody 37
Eddie&Nixie 28
Freckles 42
Glow 31
Job 22
Meg 44
Peaches&MamaPig 26
Ruby 34
Sunshine 40
Willard 46

User avatar
Teresa

Post   » Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:19 pm


You also can be pretty creative with html on Petfinder. I chose a totally different format: http://www.cavyspirit.petfinder.com

Now if we could only get them to drop Petco as a corporate sponsor.

Also added a link to this thread on the How to Start a Rescue page on Cavy Rescue.

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Feb 11, 2003 2:28 am


Teresa, that's great. Being only a novice with html, I was only able to mess with their format a little bit. Susan keeps offering to do some graphics for me, I should take her up on it.

pinta

Post   » Mon May 12, 2003 3:07 pm


This email was passed to me with a request to post it.

a new shelter on Petfinder

Hi everyone,
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan SPCA has just launched their Petfinder page. This little shelter has really been struggling to help their animals so please pass on their link to anyone who might know someone within 50 miles of Prince Albert.

Saskatchewan only has 3 Petfinder members compared to BC's 56 members, so please help introduce Saskatchewan to the pets on Petfinder. It would be great if we could get hundreds of people checking out the site. Maybe a dozen of those people would be able to open their homes to a desperate pet. You can't imagine how thrilled everyone there would be about that.

Prince Albert SPCA:
http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/SK05.html

User avatar
chelie07410

Post   » Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:04 pm


My two guys came from PetFinder..I found Have a Heart GP Rescue.

dhardawa

Post   » Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:06 pm


I am going to pick up my new girls tomorrow. I found them on petfinder.com. I love the way the site is done. It is so easy to use.

Dana

User avatar
ThatKat

Post   » Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:25 pm


I just want to add my experience with Petfinder. I rescued 16 piggies from a high kill shelter in October 2003. I placed ads in the paper and was having some questionable people respond to them. (Example: "I don't care what color, sex, age, etc. the piggies are, just so they are fairly small." "I want all the pregnant females you have." "I want to buy all of them to open my own pet store," etc.) I finally decided to sign up at Petfinder and I have been so lucky. Within a couple of days I found a WONDERFUL home for 4 of the piggies, and then 2 other homes for 2 other pairs very shortly after that. I have met the most wonderful, kind people who are specifically looking for a rescued pet. I have had people drive an hour or two to adopt a rescued piggy from me when they could have purchased one at a petstore 5 minutes away. The adopters I've found through Petfinder have been so amazing... each time I think I won't find another home as good as the last one, another person responds.

Of course, not everyone that looks for a pet at Petfinder is perfect, or even halfway decent. But it has helped me to find very loving homes for my piggies that I don't think I would have found otherwise.

ChadWPB

Post   » Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:46 pm


I found my latest adoption on Petfinder, a spayed sow no less.

Erin8607
Knee Deep

Post   » Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:48 pm


Three of my girls were products of petfinder, Faith and Angel were in the classifieds and Mama Peal was listed at Gracielee's rescue!

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