Our history with Our English Setter Rescue (OESR)
Dave and I started following OESR on Facebook a few years ago as our beloved dog, Spaz, was an English Setter and we wanted to follow people who worked with the breed. For Dave’s 40th birthday, what do you get a man who knows everything there is to know or can figure it out in seconds??, I decided to donate the money I would spend on his present to a specific English Setter that OESR were fostering and rehabilitating, one that looked like our own Spaz, as a way of paying forward to another dog how lucky we felt to have Spaz in our lives.
Over the last few years OESR has expanded and changed management , and Dave and I have both become involved more than we had ever imagined, with more requests and need occurring in the South than previously. We have both helped with transports to get rescued dogs to their foster or final homes, and last year (2014), Dave pulled a ready-to-birth pregnant setter from a shelter just south of Atlanta, while I was visiting family in England. He set up a whelping box in our bathroom and spent many initial sleepless nights helping her (Taegan) get comfortable as well as taking care of her during the birthing process. That momma setter and her 5 puppies have all now been successfully placed in their forever loving homes.
Our 2 dogs, Buckley and Callie, both came to be with us through our connection with OESR. We rescued Buckley with the intention of sending him up to the OESR HQ in Ohio for foster and medical care, but after one night we knew he was to be our next forever dog. Callie, a mischievous “pocket” setter, was rescued in Illinois on the side of a street. She was terrified and for a long time was fearful of everything. We decided to foster her and help train and settle her and of course, we adopted her too. I took 3 Labradors (for a lab rescue located in the North) up to Kentucky (where we met a driver coming down form Ohio) and swapped them for Callie on a mammoth day-drive with my friend Sherry.
Website Development for OESR
Last year, OESR found itself needing to make more frequent changes to the website than ever, mainly to update available adoptable dogs and not wanting to pay monthly web design support fees. We agreed to take the existing site and content and adapt it so it had a content management system allowing the team to make changes themselves as and when they needed. We didn’t want to change the overall look and feel but we did create a wider display size so the website was better suited to widescreen monitors as well as other displays, and we updated some graphics.
When we started looking at OESR’s procedures for updating dog information, we discovered that they had one member of staff input new information on petfinder.com – where people can search all kinds of dogs across the country – and another volunteer updated the website, which often meant one website was more up-to-date than the other, and, at times, the information was inconsistent. Dave, our in-house web developer and coder, discovered that the petfinder website could “talk” to our website so we developed code to take all the information from the petfinder site and display it on the OESR available dogs page in the OESR color scheme and design theme. This eliminated one person’s task completely and ensured the same information was displayed in both locations.
And using the new CMS, OESR can update photos, text and content throughout the website, although we often do that for them as part of their official web development team.
Since helping on the website, we have produced a car bumper sticker that the organization can now send out with thank you cards when they receive charitable donations, as well as sell online for extra income. We also designed and arranged production of a double-sided flyer for volunteers to hand out at events and when they are dealing with the public on behalf of OESR.
We plan on staying involved with this dog amazing group of people with volunteer support in the form of fostering and transport and of course helping them with design and web development needs. It is a purely volunteer-run operation and has, over the years, been responsible for saving the lives of many from this wonderful, loveable breed.
We are interested in helping other dog rescues with website development to help them reduce their costs and time. Please contact us to discuss your pet rescue website project.