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Current Petfinder upload status as of 7/17 10 AM

Here are the major issues you may experience:

  • Duplicate pets - pets without an ID number are not removed when the import from RescueGroups.org occurs. Petfinder says this is by design and the old pets (the ones without the ID number) should be manually deleted. Another option is to delete all of the pets in your pet list and let the import re-add all of your pets to get everything into sync. You may even be able to email Petfinder (help@petfinder.com) and ask them to delete your pet list for you.
  • Pictures in the wrong order - Petfinder has found a bug in their import system that is affecting the picture order.  They are planning to resolve the issue, but we have not been given an ETA for when the issue will be resolved. They suggested that you may be able to change the order in your Pro account, but they're not sure if the picture order will revert when the next import occurs. We do not have an ETA for when this issue will be resolved and we suggest that you contact Petfinder (help@petfinder.com and outreach@petfinder.com) if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Pets not updating - some random pets' descriptions and pictures are not being updated correctly on Petfinder. We do not have an ETA for when this issue will be resolved and we suggest that you contact Petfinder (help@petfinder.com and outreach@petfinder.com) if you have any questions or concerns.

Your RescueGroups.org account is able to upload your adoptable pet data to the Petfinder website.

In order to upload your pets to Petfinder you must first have an account with them.  If you don't already have one please visit their website to sign-up, and continue this setup process after you have an approved account.

It's really important that you be sure you have added all of your pets to your RescueGroups.org pet list before enabling the import in your Petfinder account, because when you do, all pets, including available and adopted, will be deleted and replaced with the available pets from your RescueGroups.org pet list.

If you are unsure, please contact RescueGroups.org Support before continuing.

There are a few limitations in what the Petfinder FTP allows us to upload. Most notably:

  1. Videos and Video URLs will not add to your pets when you use the FTP upload. There will be no videos associated with your pets.
  2. Petfinder does not allow any HTML in the animal descriptions. Any HTML will be removed from the pet descriptions.
  3. Pet-specific locations will not be set. All pets will inherit the default account location.
  4. Only pets with a sex selected will be imported. Pets without a sex selected will be ignored by the Petfinder import.


Do the following to set up your export to Petfinder and the import into their system:

  1. Send an email from an email address on your Petfinder account to help@petfinder.com and include the following information:
    1. Your Petfinder shelter ID.
    2. A request that Petfinder configure your account for import from RescueGroups.org.
    3. A statement that you understand that your Petfinder pet list will be replaced with your pets from your RescueGroups.org account.
  2. When you receive a response from Petfinder help it will include your FTP account username and password.  Forward that email to RescueGroups.org support.

Here is a sample email your can send to Petfinder.  Be sure to update the shelter ID to your actual account.  Please note that Petfinder will delete all pets from your account in preparation for the import from RescueGroups.org.

Please set up an FTP account for my account XX1234 and import from RescueGroups.org.  If my organization already has an FTP account with Petfinder please provide the password so I can forward it to RescueGroups.org.  Please remove all existing pets from our account in preparation for the upload from RescueGroups.org.

When we receive the FTP account information we will add the FTP account and enable your upload.  If we have any questions we will contact you.  You will receive an email from us when your export to Petfinder has been added and enabled.

Unexpected exports by Petfinder

Petfinder sends your pets to an undocumented number of websites, including classified websites like eBay and Kijij.  RescueGroups.org does not have any control over those uploads from Petfinder.

To check to see if your pets are being sent to that unknown list of websites, do the following:

  1. Login to your Petfinder account.
  2. Click on the Organization Info tab.
  3. At the bottom you will see check boxes for Partner sites and Petfinder API Users.

It is unclear which websites are in which category, but we believe that eBay and Kijij are in the "Partner sites" category.

Please remember that RescueGroups.org tells you who has access to your public information.  You can control your exports from the Animals > Exports page, but we are not responsible for any additional sharing, or how that sharing is managed.

Common troubleshooting steps

  1. Check the Petfinder "help" web page for outages and known issues that Petfinder is reporting.  The most common issues that have been reported to us include:

    1. "Pictures not updating."  If Petfinder reports that pictures are not updating, you should not expect them to appear on the public pet list.  This affects your pets regardless of whether you are using RescueGroups.org to update your Petfinder pet list.  See the troubleshooting pictures item below for additional information.
    2. "Pets not updating.  Search is out of sync, no updates."  You may or may not see your pets on the public pet list when Petfinder is reporting an issue related to "pets not updating."
  2. Check the Petfinder Pro page.  Do your pets and pictures appear there?  If so, the upload from RescueGroups.org ran correctly, but the Petfinder system has not updated their "public" pet list.

Common issues you may experience when trying to update your Petfinder pet list

  1. Pets on Petfinder have not been updated or added:
    1. Check the Petfinder "help" page to see if they are reporting any known issues, like pet lists not being updated, slow logins, denied logins, or pictures not being updated.
    2. Make sure the pet(s) have the Petfinder account selected under Export Accounts.
  2. Pictures are missing on specific pets or are in the incorrect order:
    1. Petfinder does not provide the ability to change a pet's picture once one has been added.  So, if your pet has 2 pictures already, they will never change.  You can add a third picture, but the previously added pictures will never change.
    2. The easiest way to get a pet's pictures to update is to delete that pet from your Petfinder admin pet list.  The next time your data is uploaded from RescueGroups.org a new copy of that pet will be added, and the current pictures should be added by Petfinder.

Requesting help

If you have worked through all of the recommendations and troubleshooting steps reported above and have not been able to resolve your issue, you can request our help.

If you open a support ticket with us

If you open a support ticket with us concerning animals that are missing, or animals that have not yet been taken off of the Petfinder list, we will ask you to do the following:

  1. Login to your Petfinder admin pet list.  Are the pets correct there?  If so, we will ask you to exercise patience.  We'll also ask you to check the Petfinder "help" page to see if Petfinder is experiencing any issues that would prevent the public pet list from updating in a timely manner.
  2. Send us specific examples of pets that are missing from your admin pet list, have not been removed from your admin pet list, or have missing pictures.

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