Pawsitive news during the pandemic


// Perth-based national animal welfare charity – PetRescue – has recorded an extraordinary rise in traffic and conversions during the times of COVID-19…

Over 1.1 million Australians have visited the PetRescue website over the past seven weeks – a 95% rise – representing 25.3 million-page views of potential new furry friends.

With home isolation now the norm, more and more Aussies have used the time to add a pet to their household. To keep the kids quiet perhaps?

Since its launch in 2004, the site has facilitated the adoption of more than six hundred thousand rescue pets, making it the largest searchable database of rescue pets in Australia.

Patima Tantiprasut, who was appointed General Manager of PetRescue last February, admits she is very relieved the website’s infrastructure didn’t fail as a result of the surge.

“Our small team of developers managed to do what needed to be done to keep the platform up and running….it was incredible to witness a team of 3.8* developers work their magic on something I’ve previously seen teams of up to 20 developers [required] to handle.”  

Patima Tantipraust, GM of PetRescue

However, it is not just the views for the website that are impressive; the actual uptake of adoptions has soared.


There were more than 12,500 pet adoptions between March 2nd and April 19th – more than double the usual 6,000 adoptions expected during this period.

This has resulted in the lowest ever amount of rescue pets waiting to be adopted; as of 23 April 2020 there are 3,633 pets waiting to be adopted compared to the ‘old normal’ of 7,000 – 8,000. 

Currently, there are over 1,000 pet rescue groups who are busy keeping up with 64,000 plus enquiries resulting in more than 2,000 pet listings on hold than before.

IMAGE SUPPLIED: Some of PetRescue’s happy clientele

The unprecedented demand will result in the resequencing of tech updates which includes more tools being rolled out to support rescue groups to alleviate their workload with enquiries and listings.  This includes a recent update that provides the ability to bulk notify enquirers, which is particularly useful considering some rescue groups are reporting 100+ enquiries per pet.

“Awesomely for the pet, they’ll be going home with one of these enquirers! But, sadly for the other 99+ enquirers, their search continues. Not only does this update save the group from needing to reply manually to each and every enquirer it also helps keep the enquirer updated so that they’re not discouraged from continuing their search,” said Patima.

Advice for pet adopting

Interested in adopting a pet? Here’s Patima’s advice…

  • Have a ‘socialisation and exposure’ plan for puppies: “For puppies, get set up for healthy ways to socialise. Do this a lot during the short but most important window in their learning lives – up to 16 weeks old.”
  • Have a ‘building confidence around humans’ plan for kittens; “For kittens, get them settled and familiar with gentle human contact nice-and-early to build their confidence.”
  • Have a ‘healthy behaviours’ plan for dogs; “For dogs, as much as both parties will want to be by each-others sides the whole time, it’s important to do the work getting them used to a healthy balance of contact and separation. Boundaries will help set them up for success as they spend more time alone in the (beyond-pandemic) future.”

More advice is available on the PetRescue blog.


Featured Photo: Autri Taheri

*3.8 developers refers to three full time developers alongside one of the co-founders and Patima herself.