We came up with the idea of creating adoptable.co.uk after a recent visit to a pet rescue centre. We went there for a meeting with the Rescue Centre Manager, who had asked us for advice on a new website. We sat chatting in the open-plan reception-office area for about 45 minutes, and during that time three people telephoned and two people visited the centre in person, all trying to find a home for a cat or dog they couldn’t keep any more. Sadly, all these people were turned away without help because the centre was totally full and the volunteer staff didn’t know of any other local centres with spaces.
When we spoke with the manager she explained that the centre alway operated at almost full capacity, but that since the recent economic turn-down, they had been receiving so many requests for help that they simply couldn’t cope. The number of unwanted pets had skyrocketed, whereas the number of people adopting had fallen slightly, probably for economic reasons.
As she explained, the centre leaned heavily on the help provided by volunteer temporary foster carers – people who provide short-term emergency accommodation for pets prior to rehousing – but that all their foster carers we all ‘fully booked’, and that new carers were incredibly hard to find. It was an eye-opener for us.