Tools & Information

Black and white speckled dog in baby pool with colored balls

Take a Gander at These Partner Perks!

Our Best Friends Network team is constantly looking for new opportunities and resources to share with the 3,200-plus (and counting!) organizations that make up our Network partners. Here are three benefits you may not have heard about that are designed to help your shelter or rescue group expand its ability to help animals and move us ever closer to no-kill 2025! 

Pet ID Tags of the Future 

Orange and white cat sitting on white rug looking at cameraVasyl Dub, co-founder and CEO of Animal ID, has set an ambitious goal for the company: to solve the problem of homeless or stray pets around the world within the next decade.  And the way to get there is by providing pet owners with a unique type of identification tag that uses a QR code and ties into a robust database to speed the return of four-legged family members back home.  

“The tag is registered online through the Animal ID app; if a pet is lost, the person who finds them can scan the QR code using their cell phone and be able to see all the info in the online profile,” Vasyl says. “The pet owner also will receive a notification that someone has scanned the tag and be provided with the location of their pet. It makes it very easy for people to communicate and find each other, and for the pet to get back home.”  

For those who lose a pet, there is an alert button that sends a message to anyone within a three-mile radius who also has the Animal ID app. So, the more people use the system, Vasyl says, the greater the networking reach. That’s why Animal ID is looking to work with as many animal welfare agencies as possible throughout the U.S. 

“We want to work with shelters and rescues in two ways,” Vasyl says. “One will be to give them free tags to use in their adoption packages. Adopters can then register those tags and add additional information that might be helpful for anyone who finds their pet, like medical details and microchip numbers.” 

The second way Animal ID can help shelters and rescues is with fundraising through sales of unique tag designs. The shelters can design their own special tag, which will be sold on Amazon. Every month, the shelter will receive $5 per tag sold. 

“Our organization has always been highly involved in social projects and I look forward to working with organizations in the U.S.,” Vasyl says. “We believe animal identification and registration to be the first steps towards building a more responsible attitude towards our fluffy family members and we encourage you to join us!” 

For more information, check out Animal ID’s website, Pet registration platform | Animal-id.net (animal-id.net) or contact them at info@animal-id.net.

Professional Development for Orgs Helping Senior Dogs  
 
Senior basset hound standing in sand in front of purple flowersThe mission of The Grey Muzzle Organization is to help animal welfare organizations build programs that show a commitment to senior dogs, and the organization does so by giving annual grants to a range of carefully selected groups. Like most granting organizations, however, Grey Muzzle regularly gets far more applications for funding than it has dollars to give out.  
 
“We typically only fund about 20% to 25% of the applications we receive,” says executive director Lisa Lunghofer. “That clearly shows there is a great demand for help among animal welfare organizations to address the needs of senior dogs in their care, or for those who could be in their care if they had more resources.” 
 
So, the Grey Muzzle Collaborative was created to support those groups the organization could not fund with a range of other resources.  
 
“We not only see a need for organizations to increase their capacity, but the results of last year’s Maddie’s Fund study, ‘Saving Seniors: A Study of Strategies to Increase the Adoption of Senior Dogs,’ also show the importance of changing the public mindset about which dogs are ‘saveable’,” Lisa says. “Organizations can also benefit from the sharing of proven practices around promotion and adoption of senior dogs.” 
 
Membership in the Collaborative is open to any animal welfare organization and includes access to quarterly webinars on such topics as fundraising, donor stewardship and sustainability plans for senior dog programs. A monthly e-newsletter called Directors Corner features content focused on professional development.  
 
“We include research and resources on the topic,” Lisa says. “When our new fiscal year begins in July, we want to offer virtual opportunities as well by pairing organizations with one of our grantees so they can learn from them. And we are looking at doing more targeted calls for grants modeled on that kind of learning partnership.” 
 
In fact, Grey Muzzle already recently received $50,000 from an anonymous donor to support such partnerships and selected three groups working on programs designed to prevent the surrender of senior dogs to shelters.   
 
“Assuming there are good results, and this model works, we plan to do another invitation for organizations to submit proposals around a specific topic,” she says. “There are just so many opportunities for us to learn actively from one another and bring the topic of senior dogs to more conversations at national level.” 
 
Additional benefits of membership include priority access to quarterly professional development webinars, product donations, features in publications and events (e.g., the Dog Bowl), and opportunities to promote senior dogs for adoption via Grey Muzzle’s social media platforms.   
 
“We also encourage people to let us know what else we could offer that would be helpful,” Lisa says. “We are really open to adding new benefits, but we want to be sure those are appropriately targeted to the needs of the audience.” 
 
To read more about the organization and find contact information to inquire about the collaborative, go to The Grey Muzzle Organization
 
Super Simple Tools for Getting the Best Photos 
 
Black and white cat with cameraSurely your organization has taken its share of bad pet photos over the years. And let’s face it, a snapshot of a cowering cat behind the bars of a cage is hardly going to inspire people to come in and adopt him.  
 
That’s where Adoptimize comes in. The free Adoptimize Foster web app transforms uploaded videos into high-quality images that let your organization put the best face forward for pets awaiting new homes.  
 
“A shelter or rescue only needs to upload a 30-second video and they will receive an email with the four best photos of the pet within minutes,” says founder and CEO Jessica Schleder, who has been passionate about rescuing animals since the tender age of six.  
 
The images sent back will have the background edited out, so that leash or kennel interior will no longer distract from the cuteness of the pet seeking a home. An advanced editing tool is also available on the app so users can further customize the image.  
 
Shelters around the country that have used Adoptimize have seen an increase in adoption rates. For instance, before the pandemic, Palm Valley Animal Society experienced a 150% increase in dogs returned to owners during a two-month period. The City of El Paso Animal Services saw an 88% increase in dogs returned to their owners in one month using the app.  
 
And although the company started off just focusing on dogs, last October it launched an algorithm to help return awesome shots of cats as well.  
 
“We knew cats would present a bigger challenge primarily because their fluffier nature makes transparency hard to master with background removal,” Jessica says. “But so far, we are seeing incredible results. Cats at Espanola Humane in New Mexico saw a 22% higher adoption rate and left the shelter 4 days faster while cats at Palm Valley Animal Society in Texas  saw a 25% higher adoption rate and left the shelter 1.9 days faster.  
“We've proven time and time again that great photos save lives and money for shelters,” she adds.   
 
To see how Adoptimize can help your organization and look at some examples of their photos, go to How It Works | Adoptimize Shelter Software

Be sure to check out our Elevate Lifesaving Work with Technology town hall to learn about additional services available to Network partners using technology to save more lives. 

You can learn more about Network partner perks by clicking here.

Liz Finch  
Senior writer
Best Friends Network