The Pet Helpline Research Project
PetRescue is working with a newly-forming foundation - whose interest is in supporting vulnerable pet owners, maximising pet retention, and stemming the flow of at-risk pets coming into pounds and rescue organisations.
PetRescue receives hundreds of emails from pet owners seeking support on a huge range of issues - from help finding emergency care while someone is hospitalised, advice on pet behavioural issues, assistance sourcing cheaper vet care and desexing, to temporary care for pets in domestic violence situations, and we are sure most rescue organisations also field similar enquiries.
The foundation is researching the establishment of a helpline (a bit like Lifeline) as a central advice and referral line for these types of needs, with a particular focus on pet owners who may need extra support (such as seniors, people with a disability, those experiencing a sudden change in circumstances etc.). As such, PetRescue is conducting a ‘test and learn’ Pet Helpline Research Project pilot alongside our two $25 cat campaigns (Meow’s the Time and Seniors and Shy Cats), to help inform their project direction.
The pilot for the helpline will follow the 2017 'Meow's the Time' and Seniors and Shy Cats adopters, as they are a specific, manageable group of people who can be tracked for ten-months after adoption. The adopters will be contacted at predetermined intervals (eg. 1 week, 1 month, 6 months), to track pet retention rates, gauge what sort of issues might arise that require extra support, and to help inform what sort of take-up the helpline would have.
Important things to know
- The helpline pilot does not supersede the rescue organisation’s relationship with the adopter, nor does it interfere with the usual support a rescue organisation provides to new adopters. In most cases, the helpline will refer the adopter back to the relevant rescue organisation, or help them with other issues eg. transport to the vet.
- Although PetRescue is managing the pilot and initial research phase, the helpline will be run by the foundation’s team, not PetRescue.
- Adopter details will remain confidential and will not be used for any other purpose or shared with any other party. The research report at the end of the program will be depersonalised and will not include specific adopter details.
Participation in the Meow’s the Time and Seniors and Shy Cats $25 campaigns is optional, but groups that want to be involved must provide the contact details of adopters for follow-up.
Got any questions about the Meow’s the Time and Seniors and Shy Cats $25 campaigns, or the Pet Helpline Research Project? Get in touch with PetRescue at firstname.lastname@example.org.