Montana Pets on the Net

I can’t say enough good things about Dianne and Ron Armstrong started and ran the web site. They are heroes in the most real sense. Because of their hard work and dedication, countless animals in Montana have found homes. They work quietly behind the scenes, without publicity, yet they accomplish so much.

Well, Dianne and Ron, here’s my way of showing how much I appreciate what you do. And I’ll continue to sing your praises and share your knowledge with anyone who reads this blog. Your web site is an excellent resource for anyone looking to adopt a pet and pet-related topics.

Here is some history from their About Page:

Ron and I began as volunteers for the Lewis & Clark Humane Society in Helena, Montana, in the fall of 1993. We started by designing and implementing software for use in lost and found, which was tremendously successful, having increased the owner located rates on stray dogs from 25% to the 70’s % and stray cats from near 0% to approximately 13%. From there, we expanded that software to include an animal waiting list, which we also maintained daily. Next, we computerized the animal census lists into “resident lists” to be used for advertising the animals. These were posted in seventy local businesses around town regularly. This was so successful in increasing adoptions that we began networking with other cities and shelters, making use of volunteers in the different villages surrounding Helena, to also post our census sheets there. As of April 1998, more than one-fourth of our adoptions were going to locations more than thirty miles from the shelter. I also wrote the Independent Record “Pickapet” ads since their inception.

We began talking about creating a webpage for the Lewis & Clark Humane Society several years ago. Eventually, we, together with three other local people, put that plan into action. Ron and I designed, implemented, and maintained a large portion of the webpage for ten months daily that included the Lewis & Clark Humane Society’s total census with pictures, including follow up stories of all pets leaving the shelter each day. We had many emails from people asking how they could help a particular animal. Thus came the Guardian Angel Program, which allowed people to sponsor the pet of their choice on the webpage with credit given to them under the animal’s picture. We were surprised at the number of inquiries about long-distance adoptions, so we reached out to the community to help make that possible, and the response was overwhelming. The Independent Record donated the “ride needed” ads, and participation from the local travel agents helped more than twenty shelter dogs get to screened, loving homes in other states.

From there, we went on to add a link to the other Montana shelters and featured some of their available pets on our site. This was so successful that in ten months, more than three thousand people were viewing the Lewis & Clark Humane Society webpage each month. In April of 1998, Ron and I decided that we were ready for new challenges so we stepped down as webmasters for the Lewis & Clark Humane Society, to start this page with the ultimate goal of having one page from which people could link to all the Montana shelters and humane societies.

We plan to expand the same format and writing style the public has enjoyed those ten months on the Lewis & Clark Humane Society webpage to as many of the other Montana shelters who have requested us as time allows. It will be updated daily in the same manner as we did before. We hope you enjoy it and welcome your feedback.

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