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"One by one until there are none..."

Criteria for participation in
Montana Pets on the Net

All Montana humane societies and animal shelters are encouraged to participate in this site which offers free listings for shelter pets. You may also double list on other sites but we do encourage you to make this your primary site since we are averaging 2,000 visitors and 35,000 hits a day on this site :) There are two criteria to participate.

  1. A shelter must update its list at least weekly without prompting from the webmasters. The reason for this is that unless the lists are kept current, it reflects on the credibility of the whole site. Also, maintaining this site requires thirty to fifty hours per week by the webmasters who both work full time. Prompting shelters to update increases that time factor.
  2. A shelter must have an email address and someone committed to answering the mail within twenty-four working hours at least most of the time. In the event this is not possible (such as vacations or other extenuating circumstances), it will be the shelterís responsibility to notify the webmaster in advance so that a notice can be placed on that page. The webmaster is also available to divert and answer the mail for that shelter upon request. This site generates many emails regarding adoptions, donations, shelter policies, and needs. It serves no purpose to promote adoptions and needs to the public if their emails are not answered in a timely fashion. It is also understood that all shelters on this site are in compliance with Montana laws regarding the spaying/neutering of shelter pets. Read the Law.

FAQís of the webmasters at Montana Pets on the Net

Q.Our shelter would like to participate but we donít have a computer at the shelter. Can we still participate?
A.Yes, many shelters donít have computers. You will need someone with Internet and computer access but it doesnít have to be at the shelter.
Q.Our shelter would like to participate but we donít have time. Can a volunteer do the posting?
A.Yes, but you must provide the needed information to the volunteer or allow free access to the information for the volunteer to be able to do it.
Q.Who does the posting for each shelter?
A.In some shelters the director, in some a staff person, and in some a volunteer.
Q.We don't have a digital camera. Can we still participate?
A.Yes, pictures are encouraged but not required.
Q.We can get a digital camera but we donít know how to use it or send pictures via email.
A.Weíll teach you.
Q.Would you mind if we sent scanned pictures instead of using a digital camera?
A.Thatís fine as long as they come in the format we need to fit our software.
Q.We have computer and Internet access but weíre not very computer literate.
A.We have set up the system in a very simple to use format. Weíll teach you.
Q.Iím a volunteer. The shelter doesnít want to participate. Can I do it for them?
A.Probably not. Many shelters have a volunteer functioning in this capacity, however, because of the intimate networking necessary between the shelter director/staff and the volunteer to pass/answer emails, coordinate adoptions, and answer questions, it is absolutely vital that someone on the shelter staff be willing to cooperate with the volunteer to get this work done. If the shelter director does not wish to participate, we respectfully request you not join the site. Been there. Done that. Doesnít work.
Q.We're a rescue group, not a public shelter. Can we still participate?
A.Possibly. Montana rescue groups are listed: Here and references are required. If you also have a webpage, we will link to it. If your rescue group is functioning as a shelter, but not subject to the MT. laws because it isn't a public facility, we will require references from a vet clinic or another shelter if you desire to post your animals on this site. Each Rescue will be evaluated on a case by case basis. This is necessary in order to ensure all animals are being spayed/neutered, going to screened homes, and being housed in conditions comparable to the standards of a public shelter.
Q.Can an out of state shelter or person post a pet on MPON?
A.No, this site features Montana pets only.
Q.Can a private citizen list a pet on this site?
A.No. This site is open only to Montana shelters and humane societies for several reasons. One is that we cannot guarantee the person placing the pet has the ability to screen homes. Second is that there is no way to verify the pet was spayed or neutered prior to placement. Third is that posting for private citizens increases the time factor to maintain the site. We will on occasion post pets on an individual basis for a kennel club member or a legitimate rescue group. This is decided on a case by case basis by the webmasters.
Q.How do we get started?
A.After the criteria for participation is agreed upon, we ask you to first list your pets on another shelter's page or Petfinder as a trial to demonstrate committment. We added this criteria because it takes many hours to set up a new shelter which we have done on several occasions only to have to take it down several weeks later when the updates weren't provided. We will link to whichever place in the meantime. After the trial is completed, we will set you up on our system. You are then given the URL for on-line entry for your shelter. There is nothing to set up on your end. We will instruct you in how to do the entries. We also make "house calls" if needed on a case by case basis.
Q.What will it cost a shelter to participate?
A.There is no cost to participate in MPON. We support the site ourselves in addition to donations received from several sources such as the Helena Kennel Club.
Q.What happens if we donít keep up on the criteria to participate?
A.You will receive one friendly reminder. If compliance is not met, the URL for your shelter will be redirected to this page.
Q.Can a shelter rejoin a site if they were not able to meet the criteria for participation earlier?
A.Yes, as soon as they can meet the criteria for participation, they can rejoin.

If you have any further questions about Montana Pets on the Net, please email the webmasters at di@montanapets.org

Dianne and Ron Armstrong