We’re retiring our Website traffic reports and analytics

We're retiring the RescueGroups.org Website service traffic reports and web analytics.  Starting August, 2014 we will no longer collect hits/pageviews on our Website service, or show web page hit counters.

We strongly recommend that you add one of the freely available Web Analytics trackers to your website.  The Google Analytics tool provides a lot more features and useful reporting than we would be able to provide, and many organizations are already using them on their website.

We have already added support for the Google Analytics code directly in the Affiliates feature of your Website service.  To add the Google tracking code to your website all you have to do is go the Affiliates page and enable the Google Analytics affilate, and enter the UA code.

If there is a different web analytics tool you'd like to use, you can always add the necessary code to your website's Header, or to a Custom Code Snippet.

We are providing a 3-month transition period to allow you to setup your web reporting tool.  Please see this User Guide article for help creating a new Google Analytics account, and please contact Support if you need any assistance.

Overstock.com – amazing new exposure for adoptable pets

We’re excited to tell you that Overstock.com will soon be adding an adoption listing feature to their website!

Overstock.com has been a big supporter of pet adoption in Utah, where they are based – in fact, they have been for years. Helping rescues and shelters is not a new thing to them.

We’re very happy that Overstock has decided to take a larger role in helping adoptable pets find a home on a national scale.

I believe that Overstock.com is the most well-known Internet presence to provide a national adoptable pet search. It’s great that they have also decided to support the rescue/shelter community even further by receiving your adoptable pet data from RescueGroups.org.

Overstock.com is already in your Exports list (see your Animals > Exports page), and was added using your New Exports preferences a few months ago.

Their adoption search feature will go live on or about March 28, 2014.  If you’d like to read more about Overstock and their support of the animal welfare community, please see their landing page:


It’s time for better animal picture handling

So right now, RescueGroups.org takes an uploaded image and creates two new images:

  • A "fullsize" version that is a maximum of 500px wide
  • A "thumbnail" version that is a maximum of 100px wide

The 500px wide limit was originally put into place (back in 2002) because that was what Petfinder limited their pictures to.  I'm not really sure why we followed their lead and resized all of our images instead of thinking for ourselves -- oh well, can't change the past.

That method is obviously not going to work in the long run, and we're in the process of changing it.

When the updates go live, we will start to have three versions of animal pictures:

  • The "original" image file (not resized or changed, although we may decide to always convert to jpg format)
  • A "large" size image that is a maximum of 500px wide
  • A "small" size image that is a maximum of 100px wide

Any current/old pictures would obviously just have two actual picture files, since the "original" image would have been resized.

Also, we're moving the animal pictures into a different directory structure in preparation for some new features in the future.  This task is going to take weeks because we have millions of animal pictures, and each picture has to be copied individually.

Once things settle, we'll be able to start using the different image sizes in various places and give our users (like the website service, Toolkit, etc) more options to use larger images (or smaller/medium sized images in some cases).

We're hoping to update our production systems within the next week.  We're hoping to minimize any inconvenience, but if you experience any problems, please contact support.

DogsInDanger now receiving data from RescueGroups.org!

Update 3/19/14: In order for your adoptable dogs to be exported to Dogs in Danger you must enable the sharing of the Euthanasia Date and Euthanasia Reason under Animals > Exports > Settings, and also set the Euthanasia Date and Reason on each dog.

Hello All,

We're excited to tell you that DogsInDanger.com is now receiving adoptable dog information from RescueGroups.org!

As you may know, DogsInDanger.com helps municipal shelters save dogs. More than 1,000 adopters visit DogsInDanger.com every day looking for dogs and since 2007 they have helped save 70,000 dogs from death.

The DogsInDanger export was added to your list of Exports last week.  You can enable/disable the export to this website just as you do all of your other exports.  You can access your exports by going to Animals > Exports in your Manage account.

Remember, DogsInDanger is dedicated to dogs facing death in municipal shelters. Only dogs with a Euthanasia Date and Euthanasia Reason will be uploaded to DogsInDanger. Dogs without these two pieces of information will not be uploaded.

If you’re not already registered with DogsInDanger, you’ll need to create an account with them. Remember registration is limited to municipal shelters and animal control agencies. Click here to register: http://shelter.dogsindanger.com/admin/register1.jsp

Please contact shelter@dogsindanger.com with any questions about DogsInDanger.

Updates coming February 11, 2014

We've been working on a few updates, and we're planning to release them on Tuesday morning, between 6-9 AM Eastern.  We are not expecting any significant downtime because of the release.

Here's what is included in these updates:

Datatable Usability

We are updating the datatables in our Manage interface with a few usability improvements.  Primarily, your web browser's back button should take you to the previous page, view, or search.

Renaming the Ear Type "Uncropped" to "Natural/Uncropped"

"Natural/Uncropped" will now appear as a choice for animal Ear Type.  It will be replacing the choice "Uncropped."

Link from Contacts to Animal Intakes

Contacts will now have a link to their associated Animal Intakes.

Drag & Drop Feature for Website Menus (Beta)

This is a beta feature and currently does not replace the existing method of moving menu items around within a Website Menu.  This new feature will allow you to add and move menu items by dragging them.

If you have any questions or issues after the updates, please contact RescueGroups.org support.

Three things we’re especially thankful for this Thanksgiving

I know this post is a little late, since it’s already the week after Thanksgiving now.  I had written it, but with our upgrades and typical holiday madness, I didn’t get a chance to post it.

So here are a few things we're especially grateful for this Thanksgiving.

The Sync App developer

We’re thankful for the volunteer developer who created the Sync App to update Petfinder.  It has saved thousands of organizations and volunteers an immeasurable amount of time performing mundane tasks.

If you’d like to thank the Sync App developer yourself, shoot him/her an email or even donate to help cover their hosting fees.


Community focused for-profit partners DogTime, AllPaws, and 911PetChip

When it comes to adoption listings, Monopoly should stay just a board game.  Your adoptable pets need to be shared across the Internet, freely and without any strings.  Lives depend on it.

RescueGroups.org is thankful for partners like DogTime, AllPaws, and 911PetChip, who provide community-focused services.  You can feel the difference when working with partners like these -- they are always looking for ways to really impact the rescue and shelter world, and not just make a buck.

Support from the community

The support of the rescue/shelter community is invaluable to us.  Currently we have over 3,700 active organizations, and tens of thousands of volunteers and staff using our services, and we're growing by leaps and bounds.

A quick and easy way you can help us is by writing a testimonial.  Here’s a blog post on how to do it:


We’re really dependent on the community for financial support.  Our income comes only from our low service fees and the donations we receive.

It would be great if you can donate to help -- perhaps we made your life easier, or increase your adoptions and donations?  But your pets are always first... they always take first priority.

Regardless, we're not changing our services.  Our free services are remaining free… in fact, we’re planning to add more free services and features in the near future!


Thank you so much for your help and support.  We hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and we wish you a wonderful holiday season.

System upgrades scheduled this coming week

RescueGroups.org has a couple system upgrades scheduled for this coming week, including over Thanksgiving.

First, on Saturday 11/23 from 8-10 AM, the RescueGroups.org FTP server will be unavailable.  This will affect any data uploads (to RescueGroups.org) or bulk export functions.  Exports to the adoption listing websites and the API will not be affected.

Then, early Thanksgiving morning, we will be performing a system upgrade on our production web servers.  We do not expect to have any noticeable or significant interruption of service because of this upgrade.

These upgrades do not include any changes to the functionality of our services.  They are primarily back-end system changes.  However, due to system architecture changes, software version upgrades, and the consolidation of our code base, there may be minor issues immediately following the upgrade.  We're not expecting any issues, but we realize that with a system as large as RescueGroups.org, a minor one here or there is generally inevitable.

You might be a little leery of system upgrades and their potential impact to your life-saving operations.  So, here's some things we're doing to make sure this upgrade goes smoothly:

  • We're doing as much testing as possible beforehand.
  • We'll do the upgrade on a holiday, so hopefully any minor issues will be resolved while you're relaxing and away from your computer.
  • We will be available all day Thursday, Friday, and the weekend if there are any issues that need attention.
  • We will respond to you promptly and directly if you need to contact Support regarding an issue you notice after the upgrades.
  • If there are any significant issues that cannot be resolved quickly we will be able to switch back to the previous systems.

Although these two system upgrades do not provide any new functionality, they are a big step in the right direction so that we can provide improved service performance and roll out enhancements with a lot less overhead.

Thank you for your support!

Upgrades & New Features – Please Donate!

As you probably already know, RescueGroups.org is supported by our low service fees and by your donations.  We believe it's better for the community that we are a non-profit organization, and not have corporate sponsors -- it means we are able to do things in a better way that wouldn't be possible if we had investors, share holders, and corporate sponsors to answer to first.

Occasionally we ask our community to consider donating to help us work toward our mission.

No one is required to donate -- our free services will remain free even if you don't donate.

The past few years have been tough -- our income (from service fees and donations) has not been paying the bills.  We've been dependent on loans to keep us going.

But this year has been a little better.  We've found ways to trim some of our costs, and we've brought on more partners.  We hope that (with your help) we'll be debt free by the end of this calendar year!

This year we did a lot with our limited resources:

  • Brought on full-time administrative/support staff (our employee count remains at one)
  • Free microchip integration
  • Free imports from PetPoint
  • Free Online Forms and Common Adoption Application service coming soon!
  • Custom contact groups
  • Improvements to the Messaging Center
  • API updates including FTP-based XML exports
  • Brought on dozens of additional API websites and services
  • As much as we could from the Requests list
  • Tons of usability enhancements

We have huge plans for the next year:

  • Bring on at least one additional microchip registration partner
  • Usability improvements to the Portal website
  • Enhanced features for the free Toolkit service
  • Improve user permissions and security roles
  • Maybe a mobile app or two?
  • As much as we can from the Requests list

If you are able to donate, the Donation page includes information on how to donate online or with a check.


Thank you so much for your generosity and support!

Donate $15

Donate $25

Donate $50

Donate $100

Donate any Amount

Free Online Forms Service coming soon!

We're excited to announce that we are bringing a free version of our wildly popular Online Forms service to all organizations, for free!

The free Online Forms service will include features like:*

  • Built-in adoption application with detailed static questions
  • Contacts/adopter tracking
  • Per-user and per-form alerting features
  • Submitted form assignments
  • Add comments and discuss with other volunteers
  • 3rd party submissions via the API (eg, adoption listing websites)
  • Online Form iFrame (put your application on any website)

The Online Forms service will include a built-in adoption application, called "Common Adoption Application."  The Common app will have dozens of the most frequently used adoption questions -- all taken from the feedback we received from our community surveys.  Regardless if your organization has an existing adoption application, or you're looking to create one, the Common app will have you covered.

If you haven't used our Online Forms service before, you can find the link to Online Forms and to Submitted Forms on the Features menu of your Manage account.  The Online Forms page will show you the forms (adoption application, questions, etc) and the Submitted Forms page will show you the completed/submitted applications from your potential adopters.

We will also be renaming our current Online Forms service to "Advanced Online Forms," and it will continue to include these additional features:

  • Create unlimited forms (adoption, volunteer, foster, etc)
  • Create public and private forms
  • Create your own questions
  • Create unlimited pages per form
  • Track the progress of adoptions with the steps feature
  • Contact the application via email
  • Use an iFrame to put your application on any website!**

In the future, we plan to add these features:

  • Online Forms and Submitted Forms expanded API
  • Share adoption applications with other organizations

Look for these updates very soon!  We don't have an exact release date, but you should see the changes before the end of October.

We've worked really hard to put together this new free Online Forms service and expanded Advanced Online Forms service. We hope to improve communication, tracking and processing of adoption applications -- to help you work more effectively -- and increase adoptions!

Use the comments below to let us know what you think.  Thank you for your support!

* Specific features are subject to change -- we're close, but it's not in production yet, so we may have to change some things before going live.

** We've added this capability to the Website service also.

Coming Soon — AllPaws.com

We're excited about an adoption listing website that is "coming soon."  It's called AllPaws.com, and has been started by DCL Ventures.  DCL Ventures was founded by Internet entrepreneur and online dating/matchmaking expert Darrell Lerner.  The team plans to use some of the things he learned in the dating world to help adopters find the right pet.

AllPaws.com promises to be fresh and unique, with a lot of new features that aren't available with any other pet adoption website -- features that could really drive a lot of new adopters and opportunities to you.

We're excited not only because AllPaws.com is going to use the adoptable pet data from RescueGroups.org, but especially because AllPaws.com will be one of the first websites to integrate with the advanced features of the RescueGroups.org API.

The details of the new features are still being worked out at this time, but we're hoping to announce additional information about their integration in the new future.

If you'd like to get updates directly from AllPaws.com, please sign-up on their website:


From their website you can interact with them via Facebook, Twitter, read the DCL Ventures blog, and email them.

Be sure to like and share their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AllPawsWebsite

AllPaws.com was featured in an article on Mashable last week: http://mashable.com/2013/08/23/allpaws/

If you have a second, please share, like and tweet the post from the Mashable website!

And there has also been a press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/allpawscom-launching-to-help-people-find-their-perfect-pet-220798531.html

Keep your eye out for more details in the near future!