Design for a new dog-information sheet for the SPCA


Summary: Initiating a project to help an animal shelter to format information about adoptable dogs in a more effective manner.

I initiated this project as an extension of the other charitable work I was doing for the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA (CASPCA), in recognition of how helpful its staff was to me when I engaged in a long, frustrating search for the “right” first dog for me, after the 9/11 attacks.  (Note: In December 2013 I completed my first book, about this experience, and how the “miracle dog” I found, on the last day of my search, helped to save my spirit, and transformed my life; details here.)

When one visited the CASPCA during 2003-2004, each dog’s cage only had one piece of paper affixed to the wall or door, that described him/her, and information concerning health, intake, availability, etc., that looked like this (my Shayna’s actual intake form; she was “D-100”):


At the time, I was visiting the CASPCA as a volunteer dog-walker.  During orientation (which each dog-walker must complete), the management urged each participant to also do whatever he or she could to help teach the dog basic obedience skills, to help make him/her more adoptable.

The problems I detected

I contend there were several problems with this form layout:

  • It is very boring and tedious to read
  • It gives no indication of what obedience skills the dog has already mastered, or is in the process of learning, so the new dog-walker can quickly get a grasp as to where he/she is in the process, and time and effort can be devoted to the highest-priority items

The solution I designed, and proposed

As a graphic designer an creative consultant, I decided to see if I could come up with a new format that would solve these problems, and more.  I decided to pursue a solution that would, to the extent possible, present, would convey some personal information about the dog, and motivate both the prospective adopter and dog-walker to appreciate the uniqueness of him/her:

Hello info sheet v1

The result

I presented the concept to the CASPCA executive director and several other senior officials.  While they felt it was very innovative, they said that the existing forms would serve them until they could obtain an upgraded computer system that would allow some of the personal information about the dog to be entered (but none regarding its training status).

To share/print this item:

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *