Boo on Dogster!

Lucy OhannessianLucy Ohannessian Posts: 5,986Member
I am extremely disappointed with Dogster's new format, with the adoption link now going to Petfinder. Dogster had long been an alternate option for promotion of the adoptable pet. Including a place for those who cannot get on Petfinder, most SIGNIFICANTLY amongst them private owners who were shouldering the responsibility of rehoming on their own, and/or those who choose to independently foster. The only option for such people on Petfinder is the classifieds, which do not show up on search function results. We at Southpaws have made several key adoptions through this avenue, PARTICULARLY with our harder to adopts, who managed to connect with people in some specific way thanks to the Dogster pages. The process also availed us to significantly dog savvy/dog experienced people. Whilst people can still access dog's pages, it is only through the back door. A click on the adoption link will get you nowhere. Petfinder has enough money, enough exposure.....the more the better, but of course they do not LACK for it, whereas others do. I do not feel the change is putting dogs first and it compromises some of the uniqueness of the site. *NOT* happy.
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Comments

  • tracy stevenstracy stevens Posts: 667Member
    edited 26 May, 2010
    I agree Tiller. Since I only adopt, I use every avenue in searching for a dog. I use petfinder and feel it is a great avenue when looking at shelters and rescues(esp. since both my minis were petfinder finds) but with dogster, it's more of a personal level, the petfinder classifieds can be just as bad as craigslist in just trying to sell the dogs. But the dogster adoption area and adoptable profiles lets you get to know the dog, and I would trust a dogster dog(owner) over a petfinder classified since we are all here for the same reason, the love of the dog. It is a shame that the format had to change in this way and take away a wonderful opportunity to save more lives and to help out the fellow dogster. Hopefully HQ will see the error in their ways and correct this situation.
  • Austin Boxer Rescue *Austin Boxer Rescue * AustinPosts: 101Member
    edited 29 May, 2010
    I am still confused. I list all the dogs on dogster for our rescue. Today I logged on to update & was totally confused. We also have someone list dogs on pet finder. How does this work ????
  • Dana MitchellDana Mitchell SalemPosts: 7,455Member
    edited 29 May, 2010
    Oh, I agree, if what I understand is that the adoption link will not highlight dogs that are also on Dogster listed as adoptable. Perhaps there could be an inclusion of the former Adoption Center option on the Adoption page? That way, someone can also see dogs listed on dogster that are adoptable. Tiller, have you contacted petfinder? I don't know the requirements to list as a rescue or shelter but I'd imagine Southpaws would be able to.
  • Jim SumrallJim Sumrall NorthwestPosts: 3,236Member
    edited 29 May, 2010
    Kiona unless they've changed their policy, they won't list interstate rescues.:(
  • edited 29 May, 2010
    Well, feh. I haven\'t had a chance to explore all the changes here at Dogster, but I\'m very, very disappointed to see this.
  • Sara HoffeeSara Hoffee Bloomington/NormalPosts: 8,936Member
    edited 29 May, 2010
    Have you guys tried contacting HQ directly? I'm sure they'd appreciate this kind of feedback, and unfortunately they're pretty busy so they don't always have time to read through ALL the forums. I'd send them an email directly and see what they say!
  • Lucy OhannessianLucy Ohannessian Posts: 5,986Member
    edited 29 May, 2010
    Thanks Rondo.....I think I will do that :) It would be a shame not to have the resource, as we have done quite a few rather stellar adoptions through Dogster....not only good adopters, but dogs who had less "hook" generally. Typically, I have found adopters here are more "doggy," and in fact are looking for avenues other than Petfinder....something different. Perhaps hoping to find an individual trying to rehome their dog, or a small fry rescue, or perhaps they have just enjoyed the adoption strolls? I don't know....but they have been golden, so for the moment, I am bumming! Kiona....Petfinder isn't quite *there* yet when it comes to the whole transport rescue concept. I was fortunate to get some great insight from a stellar rescue here, who, bluntly put, essentially plays a bit with the facts of the matter in order to list on Petfinder. They (Petfinder) will not accept rescues who promote dogs not in their immediate area. The rescue I consulted with works out of a southern state where there is a saint vet and a saint foster. The vet's clinic receives their dogs straight out of the shelter, and they will stay in hospital while looked over and treated as necessary. Then they go to the foster, who can manage 50 dogs....she has a lot of land, a lot of facilities, a lot of help. Marvelous woman, who essentially decided enough was enough, and found some great gals up here who were willing to run the placement end of things, and find homes for the dogs up here. They are very successful, but to be so essentially are expert at slipping under the radar, so to speak. At any rate, they offered to just courtesy post our dogs, and that was a jolly old time for as long as it lasted. They were posting ours, as well as courtesy posts for other shelters and local New England dog owners trying to rehome their own dogs. Then Petfinder demanded they stop their courtesy postings :( Apparently....they don't like that either. Duncan had hoped, having a "in" at Petfinder that they would exception us in, knowing we were transporting from the south. Alas, not true. They refused us because some of the dogs are fostered in Louisiana. Their position I understand, but it is not exactly cutting edge. It is that it is very important to them that those searching Petfinder can trust the listings implicitly, and for that Petfinder does not want to risk any confusion that a potential adopter would assume a dog "here" that is actually "there." Very frustrating, for making it clear in the listing that the dog is not being fostered locally is not enough. That's a wee bit too bureaucratic, I fear :? I've dealt with many people who are cool with the concept....some indeed who specifically want to adopt straight out of the south, knowing the plights of the region.....and those that are not are very nice about it, and I always refer them to a good locally-fostering rescue. So I would say too bureaucratic. So many people now are aware and supportive of the concept now. The person Duncan talked to did say that Petfinder was aware of this bobble-y conflict and was trying to figure out what to do about it, but the end result for the moment is that we were refused. :( Jackal Jackson, fortunately, did turn us on to Adopt-A-Pet. They were wonderful and are now our primary listing site. We've had good success, but on Dogster also.
  • Dana MitchellDana Mitchell SalemPosts: 7,455Member
    edited 29 May, 2010
    Ah, I didn't know that about Petfinder... yes, that is frustrating. Come to think of it, I always have to make sure it says REALLY BIG on my foster dog's profile that they are located in Salem, Oregon. The rescue is in Wenatchee, WA, which is close to 350 miles, 6 hours away. So, someone who searches in the Oregon area will not know about my foster if they don't search far enough. It is troubling. And I second Rondo, email HQ directly. They are working their tails off on so much right now it is unlikely they'll see this thread.
  • Lis CareyLis Carey Posts: 5,402Member
    edited 30 May, 2010
    It should not be technically difficult for Petfinder to allow rescues to identify the area where the pet is being fostered, and to indicate that they do (or do not) transport to other regions. But they have to decide to do that, and have someone who can write the code for them.
  • Carole TrammCarole Tramm Posts: 4,348Member
    edited 30 May, 2010
    I hadn't even realized they did this. I'm beginning to despise this new layout and the "new" options and information being provided. Dogster was a great alternative for people with transportation rescues or individuals needing to re-home their dogs.
  • edited 30 May, 2010
    I saw this when I first joined. Petfinder is great, but only rescue organizations can post dogs and there and not people who do individual rescue. :(
  • Linda WoodyLinda Woody Posts: 299Member
    edited 31 May, 2010
    Mommy put a Petfinder Link on my page- after reading this post, I realize they won\'t need my measly little link anymore. Since Dogster has decided to eliminate all local and out-of state hook-ups for adoptions. Not very nice, Dogster! What are you thinking? Oh, I get it. More advertising and money? Note the ads of BIG companies? How about the Dogster Adoption I favorited? Is that gone? I have to say boo, too. I\'ll take off the Petfinder link when I get the time.
  • Sally TurnerSally Turner Posts: 354Member
    edited 31 May, 2010
    I'm not sure I understand what Tiller is talking about. 2 of the largest rescues in our area, VT, do not actually have the dogs here in the state. They rescue out of the south and the adoption fees include transport, but you can't meet the dog till after it gets here. Basically you will see a photo on petfinder and in the caption it will tell you what state the dog is currently being fostered in. Maybe it's just too early and I'm not getting it, but I'm pretty sure they allow you to post dogs not in your immediate location. :-k
  • Dawn Taylor-ChurchDawn Taylor-Church Covington, LouisianaPosts: 1,469Member
    edited 31 May, 2010
    :-$ Misty, if you alert Petfinder, they will not allow those postings and will probably remove the account of those rescues. They are getting away with it. There are some who are, for now, like the one Tiller referenced earlier. If it is brought to Petfinder's attention though, they will put an end to it. :(
  • Lucy OhannessianLucy Ohannessian Posts: 5,986Member
    edited 31 May, 2010
    Yup :( Would like to reiterate that Duncan has personal ties with a person of some position at Petfinder. The hope was they could exception us in, but what we got instead was a fair and rational explanation of why we could not be. Petfinder cannot or does not police all their participating shelters and rescues. Simply reporting to them that someone is listing out of state dogs, or by some accounts even courtesy postings, however, prones you to being told to stop or lose your listing privileges. They are on record as not being able to approve rescues who post dogs not fostered locally. And I appreciate Casey's post saying what I could not :-# I will email HQ, but unfortunately may have nothing to offer them other than our intention to rescue dogs, and good reputation at so doing. I do not think they are being very nice. I thought I was being jaded, but another Dogster told me I was only being realistic.
  • StellaStella Posts: 6,822Member
    edited 31 May, 2010
    :-k I find that this new policy seems to negate the \"For the Love of Dog\" feeling I originally got from Dogster. We have have members from all over the world here, and to take the potential to find future homes through this site is just not right. I can remember the excitement all of us felt when Southpaws found a match for T-Beaux and his family. We were a community cheering on our resident rescuers, who were setting up a doggie love match. I found such a story truly wonderful and rewarding as it unfolded. While this will, in no way, stop rescues like Southpaws from doing the great work that they do, it does seem that cuts off an informed segment of dog-lovers from getting a dog placed. *Wags finger at HQ-Not Nice!*
  • Sally TurnerSally Turner Posts: 354Member
    edited 31 May, 2010
    I had no idea that petfinder would do such a thing. :-O Why in the world? What does it hurt to have non local dogs posted? Two of my best friends just adopted a very sweet Shepherd cross puppy from Virginia. I guess I don\'t get the problem. Up here it is pretty normal to adopt a southern dog, both of mine came from overcrowded southern shelters. I just can\'t imagine why they would have that type of rule...:?
  • Dawn Taylor-ChurchDawn Taylor-Church Covington, LouisianaPosts: 1,469Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    |:| Misty thank you for adopting Southern dogs in need!!!! Of course I couldn't agree more, what does it hurt to have non-local dogs listed, as long as that is clear in the listing itself? Apparently Petfinder got complaints from people who nevertheless felt misled, that, for example they did a search in VT, and found a listing for a dog that appealed, but it turned out to be currently fostered in the South. Transport obviously was available for a dog listed in this fashion, but some people using the site did not like this. So, at least that is how Petfinder explained their policy to us. I was talking with someone tonight, at another rescue and she said that she has had courtesy postings removed even when the dogs were local. This is a private rescue, and she would do courtesy postings for the local municipal shelter to increase their dogs' exposure, or for individuals trying to re-home their own dogs, etc. Petfinder apparently has a problem with that too, like if the particular rescue does not currently have possession of the dog, it is misleading for them to post the dog under their account, even if they do write it very clear in the listing that it IS a courtesy post for someone else. Ack, I don't know Petfinder just has a lot of restrictions and a lot of beauracracy, which is unfortunate because they are such a power player and they could be doing so much more good. I understand they are trying to protect their reputation but I think they ought to figure out *how* to address these needs in the rescue community. It would be best for the dogs, and best for the adopters, the people that use their site, too, as they would have better selection to choose from, and be able to be aware of more options for finding their family member.
  • Lis CareyLis Carey Posts: 5,402Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    Petfinder could easily solve the problem of pets being fostered elsewhere coming up as "local" by adding a field to indicate the location of the pet separately from the location of the rescue. It would not be hard; it would cost them about ten minutes' time of whoever they have doing their website. Duncan, can you bring up that idea to your friend? I do hope that Dogster HQ will figure out that just linking to Petfinder is not an easier, more efficient way of listing adoptable animals, but in fact a real loss for the animals and the rescues trying to help them.
  • Karolyn WcisloKarolyn Wcislo Easton, PAPosts: 7,551Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    I am very dissappointed in this as well.
  • Ron CurranRon Curran Posts: 520Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    One of the things I have noticed is that the Community Button sometimes won't work from some pages. Also sometimes the ads cover the drop down box on the "Community" button. I'm sure there are some things they are still trying to fix. Just wait and see what happens.:) Some of the upgrades are cool so maybe they are working on some of the problems.
  • John VarsJohn Vars MinnetristaPosts: 1,016Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    Hi, We are totally working on a ton of things right now to make this better and better. I realize that some things we made worse too - we are urgently trying to fix those things. Regarding Petfinder: We include their listings in our search, but Dogster-only listings are still going into that search. It is a combination of Dogster listings and Petfinder listings. Our goal is that all these doggies find their furever home. Our intention was in adding Petfinder listings to our own listings that we would have the best place in the world for pets to get homes. If there are ways we can make this better, we are totally into making those things happen. Adoption is a big part of our future and we want it to be great. Keep sending us ideas for this please! John @ HQ
  • Kimi HKimi H SunderlandPosts: 2,257Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    Thank you, John at HQ! I was in a bit of a panic. Like someone mentioned, there are an awful lot of people on the site from non-USA places, and Petfinder serves USA only. I'm in the UK myself and thinking of rescuing a dog in the next year, and my top resource for such was gonna be right here! I've noticed a couple of bugs since the design change, but I figured since you-all are making changes you were likely checking things frequently and already aware-- but as long as you're reading this, I'll ask, should I report 'em?
  • Kimi HKimi H SunderlandPosts: 2,257Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    Hopefully, this will be further helpful info for HQ! As a test, I entered my new address into my account info and clicked the adoption page... Dogster, if you are borrowing code from Petfinder re: searching by location-- STOP! Petfinder is USA only and the search is based solely on postal codes. I can't even ENTER a UK post code, let alone have the site recognize it and find me matches. If there are adoptables entered on Dogster in my area, I've zilch way to search for them. If you want to do it by post code instead of typed city or province name or whatever, feel free, but please try to find a way to allow for the varied codes of the countries represented by our members! That WOULD make this the best site for adoption ever. Petfinder may be super swell and all but it's 100% useless if you're not in the States.
  • Dana MitchellDana Mitchell SalemPosts: 7,455Member
    edited 1 June, 2010
    Thanks HQ! Another flea - if I search for adoptable Siberian huskies within 30 miles of my zip code, nothing shows except... except one of the dogs on my account (Inga) is listed as adoptable, so she should appear. When you first changed everything I clicked on the Adoption link it showed Inga, which reminded me I had forgot to change her status as adoptable. She was adopted several months ago. But, I saw this thread, and recalled I had seen Inga and I knew it had to be my page she was pulled from, so I re-listed her as adoptable to see if Dogster was included both adoptable dogster dogs and petfinder dogs. So now, she no longer appears as adoptable on the adoption page... Anyway, I know you are slammed but just letting you know. I have every faith that dogster intends on keeping adoption a priority!
  • elizabeth randallelizabeth randall Posts: 273Member
    edited 2 June, 2010
    Is anyone else having a problem with their dogs listed on Petfinder not showing up at all when searched via Dogster? Pierre and his rescue org are on Petfinder (as are many, many more of AWFA\'s listings), however when I search him with exact parameters (breed, gender, location), he does not show up. Actually none of AWFA\'s animals show up... Help??? :?
  • Lis CareyLis Carey Posts: 5,402Member
    edited 2 June, 2010
    Greater Derry Humane Society dogs aren't coming up, either.
  • Ron CurranRon Curran Posts: 520Member
    edited 2 June, 2010
    John: I am the webmaster and IT guy for 4 radio stations, I know it takes time. With that said I think you guys made some great changes to the site! It looks good and overall functions well. Thanks for all your hard work!%:D%|$|
  • edited 2 June, 2010
    We have been on vacation since the day after the new site premiered so have not had too many issues yet. We are coming home this afternoon though so I will be able to get on and really check it out. The petfinder problem sounds really disappointing Tiller. Hopefully all these issues ya'll have listed can be fixed. I have only had a few minutes here and there so nothing big jumped out at me! We will see...
  • Amanda LynchAmanda Lynch Posts: 3,400Member
    edited 2 June, 2010
    I love how HQ listens to what Dogsters want. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this or even if this is the correct place, but Dogster simply will not remember me when I sign in and click 'remember me.' I'm glad Dogster searchables are still going to be there.
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