If you know the KPS3 team well, you know that we have a soft spot in our heart for both pets and charitable organizations. As such, the opportunity to design and develop a new website for Pets of the Homeless was one that really made us wag our tails. Not only did our designers love looking through photos of adorable dogs and cats, but the entire team jumped at the opportunity to build tools that would help people care for their beloved pets.
Pets of the Homeless believes in the healing power of companion pets and of the human-animal bond, which is very important in the lives of many homeless. They find solace, protection and companionship through their pets. They care for their pets on limited resources so they themselves have less.
Outgrowing the Old Site
In a very short amount of time, Pets of the Homeless has quickly scaled to help feed and provide basic veterinary care to pets of homeless people across the United States and Canada. Their previous website featured a single page with a listing of the more than 400 locations where people can find help for their pet. As you can imagine, this list was becoming unmanageable for both the organization and the people seeking help near them. And the number of locations continues to grow. They needed a platform that allowed for growth and ease of use.
One of the most important features we created on the new website was a location-based search tool to make finding nearby resources easier. By simply typing in their city name, users receive both a listing and a plotted map-view of the resources in their area – from food to shelter and veterinary care – along with details and contact information for each. If the person doesn’t know which city they are in (and they sometimes don’t), the site is capable of detecting the user’s current location (whether on a desktop or mobile device) and returning nearby results. Founder of Pets of the Homeless, Genevieve Frederick said, ”Our goal with the new website is to connect more people to more of the services we offer.”
Donations and Volunteers
Another significant issue with the old website was that donors had to go off site to PayPal to process a donation. Now all donations are handled within the website, and processed securely through Stripe. This is important because research indicates that donors are far less likely to complete a donation if they’re taken off of the nonprofit’s website to make the transaction. The chief reason seems to be connected to trusting that their donation is really getting to the charitable organization.
The resource search tool was also applied to help donors who are interested in finding a location near them to drop off food and pet supplies. What’s more, if a city doesn’t have a donation center, volunteers can easily sign up to start a center in their city. This should help grow the number of cities that are able to help pets of the homeless.
The majority of Pets of the Homeless website traffic comes from a mobile device (as opposed to desktop computer), so we also designed the site to be responsive to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. This way the experience on a mobile device is easy and enjoyable, while still offering full access to the information on a desktop. Gone are the days of pinching and zooming that we all hate doing on a mobile screen when a site isn’t responsive.
See for Yourself
We encourage you to “paws” for a moment and check out the website for yourself and let us know what you think. While you’re there, please consider making a donation to help this wonderful organization. They’ve been able to help tens of thousands of deserving pets eat and receive veterinary care, and your contribution can make a major difference in a loving animal’s life.
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