Over the last months I have been working on a personal project of a cause that I care about. Helping more dogs and cats and other pets to get adopted and not fall through the cracks and be destroyed due to overcrowding in local shelters. Petfinder is an organization that a lot of smaller shelters work with and provides an xml api to their data that other developers can use. I have three sites which are based on the same source code and same data, one nyc-adopt-a-pet.com which has all the information, nyc-adopt-a-cat.com which has a filtered data set which is for shelters that have cats or specialize in cats and nyc-adopt-a-dog.com which has the same for dogs.
This project has been important way for me to help others, sometimes helping humans has been frustrating in many ways, for instance in many ways volunteers are not allowed to do very much, and can only help in very limited was, where there may a great need, and then also dealing with people who frustrate. It is easier to love animals and feel less frutrated. I would love to be involved with some of the shelters, but my time is limited and I already have two adopted animals I care for and can’t really take in more, in some ways working on this allows me to keep my distance but help.
I have hoped that I would be able to find volunteers to help work on this project, for instance with outreach and promotion, which I don’t do well, being a bit of an introvert doing promotion and outreach is hard. I have also wanted to have others involved with generating content and raising money to help with advertising. This has been frustrating, I think people are more interested in working down in the trenches.
For those interested in more technical information on the project…