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Adorable Adoptables but Ugly Website?

New website help for animal rescues

By: Heather Davis | July 21, 2011

I love networking! After all, isn't it how we as pet guardians, animal advocates and welfare workers all connect and work together for our common mission?

Today I received an email from Amy Shever with 2nd Chance 4 Pets, who shared this great blog post (below) written by Susan Daffron with the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals, who mentioned Caroline Golon with High Paw Media. And now, I'm sharing with with you, and hope you'll share it with other rescuers and nonprofits groups.

Susan has been working on her book, Publicity to the Rescue, chocked full of great ideas for drawing more attention, awareness and support to your nonprofit organization. In her brief post, Susan calls out those among us with less-than-stellar websites and offers a great, FREE program for getting your web presence on track.

I have to say, I have been quite impressed with the websites of several local rescues, but far too many depend wholly on PetFinder or another adoption site, and some who do have their own website probably shouldn't. After all, no matter how awesome your group is, when a website looks like your first grade kid made it, it screams "unprofessional". And at the end of the day, a nonprofit has to be managed and treated as a business like any other. Your business just happens to be rescuing animals!

Here's some of what Susan blogged about today:

"In the book, one of the things I talk about is the importance of being ready for the media. One of the key steps is to have your Web site set up to virtually 'greet' the members of the media. Unfortunately, many rescues have websites that are unprofessional at best and downright horrible at worst. (If your Web site sports the font Comic Sans, cheesy clip art, or has flashing anything, I'm talking to YOU.)

In fact, a bad website can actually hurt your organization, rather than helping it. If you or others are mortified by your website, you need to check out this great opportunity from Caroline Golon.

Caroline is the founder of High Paw Media and she has launched a FREE effort to help rescues and shelters with their websites, social media and online marketing. Caroline and 4 other pet bloggers have joined forces to mentor rescues or shelter organizations who are looking for assistance with their Web marketing efforts. Using a free Web site template program, www.mysheltersite.com, Caroline and her team will walk you through setting up a new site, help you set up and/or leverage social media platforms and drive adopters, fosters and donors to your site. The blogger team's motivation? Using their expertise to give back to the pet community. With your permission, they would like to share their work with you with their blog readers in the hopes of helping even more organizations.

If you've ever wanted to have someone walk you through 'all that Web stuff' this is an incredible opportunity.

But you need to act quickly. The program kicks off MONDAY JULY 25 and runs through August 25, so email Caroline at as soon as possible to learn more."

So, take an honest look at your website. Is it ugly? Homemade? Cluttered? A long run-on stream of information and animated clipart? If you could use some help, there is no shame in taking it! While the free templates offered here won't give you the ultimate signature site, they will offer you a web presence that is clean, organized, easily navigated and most importantly, professional.

Take your website up a notch and get on the path to better marketing... the animals who depend on you will thank you for it!