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Stray Thoughts

Irish Web Awards 2010 Nominations are Out!

September 9th, 2010

Irish Web Awards 2010 Nominated SiteNominations for the Realex supported Irish Web Awards 2010 have been announced and I’m delighted to see that Lost and Found Pets Ireland have been nominated in three categories no less, two of them big surprises to me, ‘Best Facebook Page for a Business or Organisation’, ‘Best SME/Small Business Website’ and ‘Most Useful Website in Ireland’.  Given that they had about 700 unique websites nominated by over 600 people and a few 1000 sites in total nominated, to make it into the nominations already feels like an achievement for ‘the little site that could’ and we wear our ‘nominated’ badge with pride.

A big thanks to all who took the time to go nominate us.  Its also great to see some of my own pet nominations on the list.  Best of luck to all of you as judging commences!

Share and Follow Lost & Found Pets Ireland on Google Buzz

August 23rd, 2010

Once again the title says it all folks.  I have just added easy sharing to Buzz on the lost and found pet listings pages and you now can follow Lost and Found Pets Ireland via Buzz.

Its unclear at this point what the eventual fate of Buzz will be with the much rumoured ‘Google Me’ social network apparently not to far off but it seems a reasonable guess that Buzz will be incorporated somehow into whatever new framework emerges.  Particualrly in light of Facebook’s bold move with their use of the Open Graph protocol, it is hard to believe that Google will not now make some form of aggressive move in the social networking space so I felt it was worth taking our place there.

Found a Dog? Don’t Take it Straight to the Pound

July 30th, 2010

Its impossible to say exactly how many of the found dogs listed here have actually been abandoned for one reason or another but its logical to assume that given the economic situation  in Ireland currently, that number is growing.

if you do find a dog and bring it to your local pound and if its not claimed within a mere 5 days on average, it will be euthenised. You give the dog a much better chance if you get your local rescue involved.  They are obliged to surrender strays to the pound but at least if they are involved they become aware of the status of the dog and can try to make arrangements to find the dog alternative accommodation.

So how do you locate your local rescues?  Irish Animal Shelters on Facebook maintain a list and also have contact details for many.

Here’s a short documentary on the topic of Irish dog pounds – be warned, it makes painful viewing.

Spay Week Ireland 2010, May 30th – June 6th

May 27th, 2010

Well, its that time of year again when all of us concerned with animal welfare in Ireland on a daily basis try to highlight the crises we have with abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats and the important role spaying and neutering  has to play in reducing this problem and improving the lives of all Irish animals.

Current conservative estimates put our daily dog destruction rate at 18 and while that is a definite improvement on previous years, we still have a long way to go.  The situation for cats is most likely a lot worse though it seems no official figures exist, anecdotal evidence clearly suggests that a cat’s life in Ireland is very cheap.

May 30th to June 6th 2010 - Spay Week IrelandAlready over on the Spay Week Ireland Facebook page, criticisms have been raised about the suitability of publicity photos depicting apparently healthy, well fed, cute pups with celebs – “I want a puppy!”.  The reasoning behind these shots from the organisers that these are the only kind of photos the media are likely to use is flimsy at best, patronises the media, and becomes even less credible when these same photos are given prominence on the organisation’s own website where they do have full control.  Truly a missed  communication opportunity.

But for me, the real disappointment here is that, despite the involvement of generous vets nationwide, there is no national voucher scheme in place.  Those who may be convinced by the coverage that neutering and spaying is the right way to go but who may not have the financial resources to cover the standard rates will be left to source subsidised services themselves with no points of contact for same on the Spay Ireland website or Facebook page.

I am sure highlighting shortcomings of this initiative will raise the ire of quite a few of those involved but that is not my intention.  I do not doubt that everyone’s heart is in the right place on this issue and do not question motives in any way.  My point is that it is difficult enough to sell the idea of spaying and neutering in Ireland at any time for cultural reasons, but particularly in these harsh economic times, anything we can do to make the right choice easier for people to make, should be done.

Geotagging Your Pet Listing Just Got Easier

April 22nd, 2010

Following on from my previous post announcing the addition of geolocation information to the free lost and found pet listings we have been watching how people are coping with marking the location of their loss or find on the map.

It seems that most people found the process of manipulating the map to get an accurate location quite tricky and when I got a submission this evening which placed a poor lost cat in the sea off the coast of Cork, I decided it was time to take a look at what I could do to simplify the process.

I have now added an interface below the map where posters can enter an address, street or road name, suburb or townland and county and we will have Google try to locate that area on the map and zoom in on it which should take most of the trickier manipulation out of the geolocation process for users.

Hope it helps.