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UC alumna Jayme Basil founded and designed Fureverhome.com to connect adopters with nearby cats and dogs. Photo/provided


 

Web design worth barking about

 

UC grad used design skills to help pets find their forever homes


by Fernanda Crescente
513-556-5224

Sept. 26, 2016

A deep love for animals has a recent University of Cincinnati graduate putting her design degree to good use by bringing welfare organizations, volunteers and adopters together to save hundreds of lives.

Jayme Basil, DAAP ’12, founder of Fureverhome.com, said she created the website to aid animal shelters and rescues when she moved to Los Angeles to work as a freelance graphic designer.

Being an animal lover, Basil tried to spend some of her time helping animal shelters in the area, but poorly designed websites and an overall lack of information made it difficult for volunteers to even get a chance.

“Everything seemed to fall through because they weren’t providing the right information,” Basil said. “Instead of going out to shelters and volunteering there, I figured I could fix this problem in my free time.”

So she did. After talking to shelters and figuring out their needs, Basil designed a simple and intuitive nonprofit web platform that allows animal welfare organizations to find volunteers as well as homes for its animals.

“Collaboration is probably the most valuable thing I learned at DAAP,” Basil said. “I found it really important to take everybody’s opinion into consideration before really having my final project.”

Fureverhome.com currently works with 42 shelters across the country, including the Cincinnati area, and has helped over 1,900 pets find homes, she said.

 

Fureverhome.com partnered with Sweet Dream House Rescue to host an event at MadTree Brewing with adoptable dogs. Video/provided

 

How it works

Shelters and animal rescues use the website to post pictures and bios of pets up for adoption. Once potential adopters find an animal they love, they can contact the shelter or submit an application.

The website also makes it easy for the general public to become involved. Shelters and rescues can post listings specifying their exact needs and zip codes. Then, volunteers apply based on their areas.

These services have helped shelters tremendously, Basil said, as many of them struggle with a lack of resources. “They usually don’t have the money to put into their own website,” and the lack of a quality website discourages potential animal adopters. “It pushes the people that want to adopt animals away, instead of bringing them in,” she said.

Kirsten Knight, director of Adopt a Pit, the largest pit bull rescue in the Dayton, Ohio, area, knows this all too well. Last year, she said her organization spent over $89,000 on vet bills alone.

“I get all the dogs no one will take, because they are too sick, too broken, too hyper or too loud,” Knight said. “The dogs I get are normally on the euthanasia list. We have had our share of dogs that need an amputation because of some sort of traumatic injuries they had before they came to us.”

 

Image of the website fureverhome.com

The simple and intutive design at Fureverhome.com is helping hundreds of dogs and cats find new owners.


Fureverhome.com stands out from other similar adoption websites because of how it functions, Knight said. Most other platforms she uses for Adopt a Pit crash regularly and are not as user friendly.

The best part about the service, however, is that it makes the process of finding a dog easier, she said.

Knight said the pictures and bios are an important part of the concept, as they help showcase pets in their best light. “It gets them out there and gets people interested in them, it allows us to do better advertising for them,” she said.

Potential adopters using Fureverhome.com can also narrow down their search to the specific animal, breed, gender and size they want and can even look for pets that are good with kids or other animals.

“When somebody is adopting a dog from the rescue, they are saving three lives,” Knight said. “They saved the dog they rescued, they are saving the life of the dog that I am going to pull [out of a shelter] and opening up space for another dog in the shelter. If they are not full, they are not euthanizing.”

Pam Berge, a longtime friend of Basil’s family, has been helping her with Fureverhome.com ever since Basil came back to Ohio. Berge, who is a board member of Fureverhome, said the website is changing the animal adoption world.

“In the past, you might have had to physically go someplace if you were thinking about adopting,” she said. “Now it is there if you are sitting in your home, in your office. It is like social media. It is instant.”

If it weren’t so convenient, Berge said she is not sure whether or not people would just let it pass by.

LINK:
Explore Fureverhome.com


Fernanda Crescente is a senior journalism student and writing intern with UC Magazine.