Customers → Adopt-a-Pet.com

“PagerDuty allows us to better support our mission when critical issues arise and help the animals we are determined to save.”
Shannon Cronin, CTO, Adopt-a-Pet.com

Adopt-a-Pet.com is North America’s largest nonprofit homeless pet adoption website that helps over 18,000 shelters, humane societies, SPCA organizations, pet rescue groups, and pet adoption agencies advertise their homeless pets to millions of adopters each month, for free. They also operate and maintain the world’s largest nonprofit, adoptable pet search engine.

Users rely on Adopt-a-Pet.com at the early stages of the adoption process prior to the moment of adoption. Users rely on Adopt-a-Pet.com at the early stages of adoption by partnering and supporting users as they consider adoption options, seek the right pet for their families, and take the necessary steps to communicate with more than 18,000 animal shelter and rescue partners in the Adopt-a-Pet animal welfare network.

Challenges Faced

Because of its global user base, the organization’s website needs to be able to support a high volume of traffic around the clock. Shannon Cronin, Adopt-a-Pet.com’s Chief Technology Officer, oversees the technology and engineering departments that help support the organization’s mission and availability objectives.

When Cronin moved into his role, his first order of business was to reconfigure the on-call incident response process and remediate the ongoing shortage of after-hours support. Additionally, at the time, many communicative processes between teams were often manually executed, which caused response delays and accountability issues in terms of ownership of services and applications. “If our site goes down or is experiencing other critical issues, this means pets are not getting seen or inquired about by potential adopters and that ultimately jeopardizes their chances of being adopted,” Cronin explained.

Before PagerDuty, Cronin’s team experienced several challenges, including:

  • Lack of processes to efficiently alert technical staff of critical issues
  • Unclear escalation policies, which created gaps in team communication
  • Low visibility into system and service health for key stakeholders
  • Difficulty routing incidents based on the integration or affected service

Due to the lack of communication and visibility across teams during non-business days, some service disruptions would go unacknowledged for hours or even days before someone picked up the issue. Cronin realized that meant missing Adopt-a-Pet’s SLAs and that he needed to rethink the way the organization executes incident management within its greater digital operations architecture.

The Benefits of PagerDuty

Since implementing PagerDuty, Cronin and his team have seen several benefits, including:

  • Improved response times to critical issues across services and applications
  • Full-service ownership as it relates to the technical staff and on-call teams
  • Faster alert routing, leading to better communication and quicker acknowledgement
  • Full visibility into on-call rotations and support staff availability

“Once my team is notified by PagerDuty that there is an issue, we’re able to begin troubleshooting and resolving these issues as soon as possible, literally saving the lives of homeless pets,” explained Cronin.

With PagerDuty, Cronin’s team was able to implement uniform escalation policies that routed particular teams to services they are responsible for, and even created a secondary response process. Additionally, by leveraging PagerDuty’s ecosystem of 350+ integrations, the Adopt-a-Pet.com team is able to integrate all of the necessary tools into their platform to create a single point of ingestion and gain full visibility into the environment of their application architecture and service health.

“We can confidently say that, with the support of PagerDuty, we’re able to provide the 300,000+ adoptable pets who are on Adopt-a-Pet.com, like Cooper (pictured below with his new mom, Rylee), with the ability to be seen by more than 5 million potential pet adopters who browse our site each month,” explained Cronin.