January 11, 2018
Categories: Announcements
Beige kitten plays on a computer keyboard

Should you be thinking about technology? Yes, because animals’ lives depend on it.

If you’re ready to get the most out of the technology at your fingertips to overcome barriers and advance lifesaving in your community, you don’t need to look further than “Using Tech to Save Lives” at the American Pets Alive! Conference in February. The panel features our very own Chief Information Officer, Lars Rabbe, along with David Meyer of Adopt-a-Pet.com and Greg Lucas of Shelterluv.

The trio will be discussing using technological tools to save time, money and advance your mission. In addition, they’ll take a look at common pitfalls animal welfare organizations face in understanding and retrieving their own data, as well as how to overcome them. They will also touch on the future of animal welfare through technological advances.

“Think of technology as a lever that you can use to find more people, engage them and in different ways, and erase some of the current barriers,” said Rabbe. “For instance, take the barrier of distance or the barrier of not knowing enough. Both can be erased with technology.”

Current technological projects from Maddie’s Fund, like Maddie’s® Pet Assistant and Maddie’s® Pet Forum, both came about as solutions to barriers discovered within the industry, said Rabbe. “We were wondering what are the kinds of things that are still preventing people from adoption, and one of the barriers is that things might happen when you bring the pet home. There’s not a lot of empirical knowledge about what happens when you bring a pet into your home, it’s mostly anecdotal.

“We wanted to create a platform where we could not only help and reach out to people individually, but also so we could start collecting data about what really goes on, what are we learning, and what can we take away from that so we can, in turn, be more proactive about it. With post-adoption support becoming more popular, we want to help people with that, and that’s where technology can really come into play.”

When it came to partnering with Adopt-a-Pet.com and Shelterluv, “We want to make it easier to adopt a pet – including the process of finding the right pet, getting to the shelter, meeting the animal, etc. Those are some of the projects that Adopt-a-Pet.com is working on right now, and we’re supporting them in that. The other thing we wanted to do was create a system for shelters that currently do not have good systems and that’s why we’re supporting Shelterluv. We want a modern solution and we want to make it available all the way down to the small rescue organizations.”

You can learn more about how these tools and how they can help you overcome barriers in your community and most importantly, save more lives by attending the session at the conference.

Rabbe will also be on the “Communicating in Crisis” panel, bringing a fresh technological perspective that we can all learn from. “I think there’s a lot to be learned from taking things from the technology world and applying them to crises in the animal welfare world. The problems are not the same, but how you deal with something unknown is the same. That’s the discipline of crisis management.”

Be sure to check out Rabbe’s sessions at the American Pets Alive! Conference to learn more. Not yet registered? Use code: THANKSMADDIE for $25 off!


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