It is hard to believe but 2018 is fast drawing to a close. As I reflect back upon this year, and think about what the next one holds in store, I am inspired as to the opportunities and am confident to declare that 2019 will be the year for animal rescue.
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
2019 will bring innovation, inspiration and positive changes for animal rescuePredicting the future is something I’ll leave to the fortune tellers and followers of Nostradamus. But there are so many positive trends and companies doing good for animals that it’s easy to see how the coming year will be even better than the last.
Technology innovations adorn the animal rescue landscapeAnimal rescue seems to have been left behind when it comes to technology. So many animal rescues and shelters do not have the tools and technologies that other small businesses have, in order to compete in our constantly evolving world. But thanks to great programs like the PetCo Innovation Showdown, there are many new entrants to the animal rescue community seeking to make a positive difference in the lives of animals through cutting-edge solutions and technology. Here’s just a few of our favorites:
- Adopet – There are dozens of animal shelter software companies out there, some free, some, like PetPoint, owned by large for-profit companies intent on monopolizing the marketplace and profiting on the backs of non-profit, mission-based organizations. But Adopet is focused on an area oft-overlooked by many of the shelter software guys.
- My Buddy’s Place – You might not think that an online pet food retailer has anything to do with animal rescue, but then you’d be wrong. Sean Downey is the brainchild behind this revolutionary idea where rescues and shelters can earn recurring revenue from what their adopters and supporters buy to feed their pets.
- PetFBI – Lost animals is an area of animal rescue that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Non-profit sites generally have poor user experiences, and limiting technologies making it difficult when someone loses their best friend.
Industry leaders will expand the possibilities for animal rescueIn my role as the caretaker of the Doobert system, I have been lucky to have the opportunity to be interacting with some of the most innovative leaders in animal rescue and sheltering. I’ve been invited to participate in conferences and discussions defining the future and am humble to be able to offer my perspective to seasoned leaders with decades of experience helping animals. Best Friends Animal Society and Maddie’s Fund may seem relatively new to the industry when you compare them to the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA, but tenure does not define impact and these two organizations are pressing the boundaries of what’s possible.
- Best Friends is set to release their Live Release Rate map of the U.S. in early 2019, showing on a county by county basis, the live-release-rates for each county across the U.S. Talk about holding people accountable. Now there will be publicly available information, fact-based information, about the success rate of the animal shelters in your city and state. Only the future can tell what the impact of transparency will have when leaders are forced to be accountable for their shortcomings when it comes to animals.
- Maddie’s Fund continues to innovate in the area of education and collaboration providing ongoing research and studies to help the industry understand the bright spots and best practices, and supporting online forums like the Maddie’s Pet Forum where animal rescuers can gather to discuss and share ideas and programs openly without the noise and harassment often encountered with platforms like Facebook.