admin help pages


1. Basic Information
2. Additional Information
3. Contact/Location
4. Photos
5. Video
6. Animal Description
7. Microchip/Other Identification
8. Adding, Editing and Previewing an Animal
9. Using Templates
10. Help Video Tutorial

1. Basic Information

Your pets’ photos and descriptions will appear on Petfinder once they are added to your shelter or rescue group’s Petfinder Admin account. With your Petfinder Admin account, you can add up to 3 photos and video of each one of your pets. Click on “add new” to begin adding a new animal to your account.

The minimum fields required to add an animal to Petfinder are:

Name, Animal Type, Animal Status, Arrival Date, Species, Primary Breed, Gender, Size and Age

Name: List the name of your animal here.  This field is required.

Random Name Generator: Stuck for ideas on a name?  Click the Random Name Generator to choose from a collection of sample names.

Petfinder System ID: This is the unique, automatically generated Petfinder ID for each listing.  This is how we identify pets and it becomes part of the Pet Profile URL web page address.

Animal Type: Choose the type of animal you are listing.  This field is required.

Animal Status: Choose the status of your pet.  This field is required.  Note that pets marked as Adoptable will be entered into the Petfinder search database.  Pets marked as Adopted will appear in your Happy Tails list.  Other pet statuses are not visible by the public in searches, but can be accessed by a direct link to the Pet Profile web page address.

Arrival Date: Select the animal’s arrival date.  This field is required and will default to today’s date, but can be edited later if necessary.

Species: Choose the species of the animal you are listing.  This field is required.  For some species, it will be the same as the Animal Type already selected.

Primary Breed: Select the pet’s primary (most visible) breed.  This field is required.  We know this can be hard to determine; take your best educated guess.

Secondary Breed: If the pet is a mix of more than one breed, choose the second most visible breed here.

Mixed Breed: This will change automatically to Yes if you select a Primary and Secondary Breed, or you can list just a Primary Breed and select Yes for Mixed Breed (for example, select German Shepherd Dog as the Primary Breed and Yes for Mixed Breed to list a German Shepherd Dog Mix)

Primary Color: Select the primary color of your animal.

Secondary Color: Select the secondary color of your animal.

Coat Length: Select the coat length of your animal.

Gender: Select the animal’s gender.  This field is required.  Note that you must choose Male or Female for all Animal Types except in the case of Birds, Scales, Fins & Other and Wildlife.

Size when grown: Select the animal’s size.  This field is required.  For young animals, choose the size you expect them to be when fully grown (for example, select Extra Large for a Great Dane Mix puppy).  For guidelines on choosing sizes for your animals, please see below:

Age Guidelines

For Dogs and Cats:
Baby 0 – 6 months
Young 6 – 24 months (2 years)
Adult 2 – 8 years (dogs), 2 – 10 years (cats)
Senior >8 years (dogs), >10 years (cats)

Size Guidelines

For Dogs:
Small 0 – 25 lbs.
Medium 26 – 50 lbs.
Large 51 – 100 lbs.
Extra Large 100+ lbs.

For Cats:
Small 0 – 6 lbs.
Medium 7 – 12 lbs.
Large 13 – 25 lbs.
Extra-Large 25+ lbs.

For Rabbits:
Small 0 – 5 lbs.
Medium 6 – 8 lbs.
Large 9 – 12 lbs.
Extra-Large 12+ lbs.

For Birds:
Small finches, canaries, budgerigars, cockatiels
Medium conures, lovebirds, Amazons
Large cockatoos, macaws
Extra-Large peafowl, geese, emus

Age: Select the best estimate of the animal’s age.  This field is required.

Birth Date: If you know the animal’s birth date – or a close guess – you can enter it here.  This will not change the selection you make for the Age field.

2. Additional Information

Use the checkboxes here to provide more details about your animals.  All checkboxes are optional.

House Trained: Allow adopters to quickly find house-trained pets by selecting this checkbox when appropriate

Spayed/Neutered: This will not affect search results, but will appear on the animal’s Pet Profile.

Current on Vaccinations: This will not affect search results, but will appear on the animal’s Pet Profile.

Declawed: Allow adopters to quickly find already declawed cats by selecting this checkbox when appropriate

Special Needs: If your animal has special needs (blind, deaf, FIV+, requiring medication, etc.) please check this box to let potential adopters know

Prefers a home without: Select any of the three to help potential adopters know if this pet is right for their household

3. Contact/Location

Animal ID: This is an optional field, but visible to the public.  If you have an alternate way of identifying animals, such as a kennel number or intake number, you can list it here.

Internal ID: This is an optional field and not visible to the public.  You can use this to list a kennel number, intake number, foster home or any other private identifier.

Animal Location: The animal location determines the search location of the animal.  It will default to your Main Organization Information.  If all of your animals are in one location, you can ignore this drop-down.  If your animals are in various locations (such as offsite adoption centers or foster homes), you can select the matching location for the animal.  Please see our Help Pages for Locations to learn more about how Locations work.

Animal Location Notes: If you wish to add a note about the selected Location (such as hours), you can do so here.

Contact Person: The contact person determines the phone and email address that will appear to the public for your animal.  It will default to your Main Organization Information.  Note that this is separate from the Animal Location.  If you want all adopter inquiries sent to your Main Organization Information, you can ignore this drop-down.  If you’d like your foster homes contacted directly, you can select the matching contact for the animal.  Please see our Help Pages for Contacts to learn more about how Contacts work.

4. Photos

Photos are incredibly important and not surprisingly, a pet profile with a great photo is much more likely to be clicked on by a potential adopter.

You can add up to three photos for each animal listed. Photos must be a JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG file type with a maximum size of 8MB. For free photo editing software, please click here

To start adding photos, click the blue “Add” button under Photo 1. This will open a small window.

Click the + Add File button to locate the photo(s) on your computer.

Select your first photo from a file on your computer and you’ll see the file name appear in the Upload window.

Repeat until you have up to 3 photos listed in the Upload window.

Click Upload and you’ll see your photos appear back on the Animals screen. Depending on your internet connection speed and size of the photos, the upload may take as little as a few seconds or as long as a few minutes.

To change your Primary photo (the single photo that appears in Petfinder search results pages), simply click Make Primary under your favorite picture.

To delete a photo, click the delete button under the picture you’d like to remove.

For additional photo-troubleshooting help, please review the following:

Picture Does Not Appear

If you have uploaded a pet picture, but it does not show up on the pets page or your pet list right away, don’t worry. There is a short lag time between when you upload photos and when they appear on the live system. They go into a buffer directory where they get approved (usually once every hour or so). In the photo section of the Add an Animal page, you should see your photos if they uploaded properly. Note that you will need to save that animal’s information (click the Save button at the bottom of the page) for any changes to be recorded.

Refresh the Page

Sometimes web browsers store recently viewed pages so that you don’t have to re-download the entire page. If content has recently changed (such as adding/deleting an animal or text), those changes may not appear on your pet list until you refresh the page and force your web browser to display the most recent version of the page and graphics. You can press the refresh/reload button (or the F5 key) on the page you’re viewing to view the changes. Remember – you need to save the animal’s information for it to be recorded into the Petfinder database.

File Size & Format

The file size should not be larger than 8 MB and it should be in JPG format. Simply renaming the file with a (.jpg) extension does not make the file a JPG.

If you get an error, then you’ve uploaded a file that got corrupted in transmission or, more likely, a file that is not really a jpg file (even though it may be named *.jpg). If you are trying to upload a photo and the system gives an error, when you’re sending (or if you get an error message that says “too much data”), then your photo file is too large. Consider saving it with lower resolution (fewer pixels) or with fewer colors (256 colors rather than millions of colors) or simply crop out the background and make it physically smaller.

If you do not understand the terms above or you are in need of a program to do this for you, you can now get one, for free, at

5. Video

Video can turn a potential adopter into a real adopter! You have two options for uploading a video of one of your animals.

1. To upload a video file from your computer:

Videos must by 25MB or less. Petfinder supports the following video formats: .asf, .avi, .dv, .flv, .mov, .mpeg, .mp4, RealVideo, .qt, .vob, .webm, .wmv, .3gp
Videos can be uploaded from a local drive (or a camera plugged into your computer).

Click the circular button next to “Upload a Video”, and then click the “Add Video” button.

When the upload window opens, click the + Add File button to access your files.

After selecting the video file on your computer, it should begin uploading immediately.

Depending on your internet connection speed and size of the video, the upload may take as little as a minute to as long as several minutes.

When the video has been successfully uploaded, the status should say NEW.

2. To embed a video from YouTube:

Instead of uploading a video to Petfinder, you can embed a video that is already uploaded to YouTube, or another video site. It will appear the same as an uploaded video on your pet profile.

Open a new tab or window in your browser and locate your video on YouTube or another video site.

On the page for your video on YouTube, look for the Share button under your video.

After clicking Share, click the Embed button and copy all of the text/code from the Embed box (YouTube will automatically highlight it for you).

Back in the Petfinder Admin System window; paste the copied text/code in the box for an embedded video.

Note that you can only add one video – either directly or embedded. Videos can be replaced at any time.

6. Animal Description

The description section is the chance to make your animal shine. Write your descriptions with positivity and honesty to help your adoptable pets put their best paw (or feather, hoof, fin, etc.) forward! Type a description of your animal in the box provided.

You also have the option of saving animal descriptions for each Animal Type. These saved descriptions will automatically appear in the description section when you add an animal.

To save a description, select the Animal Type for your Saved Description from the drop-down menu above the description text box.

A small window will open for you to add the Saved Animal Description. When you’re done, click Save at the bottom.

7. Microchip/Other Identification

You can add up to 6 different pet identifiers for each of your animals.  Note that this information will not appear to the public.

To expand the Microchip/Other Identification section, click the >> arrows on the right of the “Microchip/Other” bar.

To add your first Identification, select the ID Type from the drop-down menu.

You must enter at least an ID Type and an ID Number to add identification information.

After completing the fields, click Add ID Info button.

If you have more identifiers to add, just repeat!

8. Adding, Editing and Previewing an Animal

You can preview how your animal information will look on the Pet Profile visible to the public.  Click the Preview button at the bottom of the page.  Your preview will open in a new browser window.  Note that Preview does not mean Save.  After seeing the Preview, go back to your editing screen to Save or make further edits.

Once you have completed adding all the information for an animal, click Add This Pet at the bottom of the page.  If you have uploaded an animal with a status of Adoptable or Adopted, the animal will appear to the public in a matter of minutes.

You can edit or update an existing animal listing at any time.  Follow the same instructions as with Adding a Pet.  When you are done, click Update this Pet at the bottom of the page.

9. Using Templates

If your animals frequently have similar characteristics, such as in the case of a purebred rescue group, you can save animal information as templates for later use.

To begin exploring templates, click the Manage Templates link located in the bar above your animal editing information.  This will open a new small window.

To create a template, click the Add New button.  You can save as many templates as you’d like for later use.  When you are done entering the information for your template, click Save and Apply to have that information both saved and added into the animal or just click Save to use it later.

To apply a template while adding a new pet, just select the template’s name from the dropdown in the upper right corner of your animal editing screen.

You can use the Manage Templates link at any time to add additional templates, as well as to edit or delete templates.

Help Video Tutorial

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