PetRescue/Sheltermate Integration




This documents details what information is required to be entered by the
RSPCA offices using the PetRescue/Sheltermate Integration system
(currently Queensland only) for animals listed within Sheltermate to
automatically appear on the PetRescue website.

Also detailed is how any changes made by the end users directly on the
PetRescue website will be affected by the Sheltermate integration system.


John Bishop
Mobile: 0417 331 376
Phone: 08 9200 6244
Fax: 08 9200 6245

PetRescue Ltd

ABN: 35 123 057 536
ACN: 123 057 536



The PetRescue/Sheltermate Integration system aims to increase the visibility of pets available for adoption in RSPCA shelters across Australia, by automatically listing animals that are logged in each shelter's Sheltermate database on the PetRescue website. The system will import all animals (dogs, cats, and other animals) that meet the quality requirements into the PetRescue database.

This system is to be trialled with the Queensland RSPCA branches, starting in August 2009, and if found to be successful, rolled out to the other state-based RSPCA branches. There is also the opportunity to include other non-RSPCA Australian users of Sheltermate in this project.

It is important to note that, to meet the stringent pet listing quality requirements of PetRescue, a minimum amount of data must be recorded within Sheltermate for the animal to be automatically imported into the PetRescue database. This is detailed below.

It is also important to note that each individual shelter represented in the data export from Sheltermate (represented by the RegionID value) must be pre-configured as a member on the PetRescue website for pets listed by that shelter to be included in the integration process.

Several assumptions have been made about the pets that are listed by this system.

They are:


  • All animals are vaccinated
  • All animals have been wormed
  • Vaccination for leukemia status (cats) is not known
  • Heartworm treatment status (dogs) is not known
  • Adoption fee for animals is not defined


  • receives 4.1 million pageviews from 228,000 unique visitors each month
  • Visitors spend 9 minutes browsing the site
  • 115,000 informational opt-in emails are sent each month
  • 37,000 members of the Australian public receive our monthly opt-in e-newsletter
  • 1,150 dogs and puppies are adopted each month
  • 480 cats and kittens are adopted each month
  • 125 ‘other’ animals (guinea pigs, rabbits, birds etc) are adopted each month

All statistics are based on June/July 2009 site statistics for
Statistics are provided by Google Analytics and are available to view on request.

Minimum data requirements

For a shelter that has the PetRescue/Sheltermate Integration system enabled, the following information must be recorded for a pet listing to be imported into the PetRescue database. These requirements are detailed below.


  • The pets' Description must be completed, and must be at least 6 characters long
  • The pets' Name must be completed, and must be at least 2 characters long
  • The pets' Type (eg Dog, Cat, Guinea Pig etc) must be selected
  • The pets' Primary Breed (eg Burmese) must be selected
  • The pets' Size must be selected
  • The pets' Sex (gender) must be selected
  • If the pet is a dog or cat, it must be flagged as Spayed/Neutered
  • The required system data (ID, RegionID, AccountID) must be included
  • The RegionID must match an existing PetRescue Member account

The integration process

The integration process, scheduled to run every hour, follows the below steps.

Process managed & maintained by Sheltermate

  1.  A CSV file with the animal records is exported from the Sheltermate database, including all current animals listed for all Regions in that database
  2. The CSV file, along with JPG images of each animal (where available) are transferred via FTP to a PetRescue server for processing. The image files are assumed to be named <ID>.jpg.

Process managed & maintained by PetRescue

  1. The CSV file is parsed, and individual records are handled based on a number of scenarios:

Data quality requirements are not met

No action occurs.

Data quality requirements are met, and the record does not exist in the PetRescue database (ie, a new record that has not previously been processed)

A new record is created in the PetRescue database for the pet, and if provided by Sheltermate, the matching image is processed and included with the listing.


The record already exists in the PetRescue database (ie, has already been previously processed)

No action occurs. It is important to note that, if any updates have been made to the listing in the Sheltermate system, they will NOT be updated in the PetRescue database once a successful import has occurred once. This is intentional, as shelter staff will be able to update listings on PetRescue manually (via the normal PetRescue site) to add additional animal details, photos, video etc, and confusion will arise if information manually entered is overwritten by subsequent data imports.


The record exists in the PetRescue database, but no longer appears in the Sheltermate export

It is assumed that the pet has been rehomed, and the record in the PetRescue database is amended to note this. The pet will now be listed as rehomed on PetRescue, and will not appear in any 'available' search results.

The record has been successfully imported, and subsequently manually marked as 'removed' or 'rehomed' on the PetRescue website, and still appears in the Sheltermate export

The assumption is made that, for some reason, it is not desired that the listing is to be shown on the PetRescue website. Even if the record is still present in the Sheltermate export, in this scenario, the data will not be re-added to the PetRescue database as a new record.


A record exists on PetRescue, but was never included in a Sheltermate export (ie, the record was manually added by the shelter)

No action occurs.


PetRescue/Sheltermate Integration Notes - 6/8/2009
Commercial in Confidence © PetRescue Ltd

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