Adopt an Animal Canada arose out of an experience of one of the co-founders, Kathrine
Paterson, who was asked to investigate the conditions at a local municipal shelter for a
Toronto animal advocacy organization.
Not only had she never heard of the facility, its location was so remote that she couldn't
imagine how anyone would even know it was there, let alone think to adopt an animal
from there. She realized that if she couldn't find it (and she was given explicit directions)
then how could anybody else? Since the animals at this shelter were on a deadline
for euthanasia, she knew that she was looking at imminent death in each and every face.
Kathrine approached Anne Gibson, who had recently been fighting to help see Canada's only potential animal cruelty legislation - Bill C-22, formerly Bill C10(b) -
through parliament and had made many valuable contacts in the process.
One of those connections was Alison Gianotto in San Diego, director of Pet-Abuse.Com, who has developed highly
technical database applications for major corporations and animal protection organizations across the US.
Together they came up with an idea that would be called "revolutionary" in Canada by
Bob Van Tongerloo, president of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS).
They developed a massive searchable database of all the available animals in
Canada, and they would aggressively promote adoption as a viable, compassionate choice.
The idea was immediately picked up and people came on board from across Canada to
help set up the massive database. The database would be almost impossible to amass and even more of a challenge to maintain.
But they have done it. Alison Gianotto, together with Anne Gibson, hammered out
what would be needed, how it would be presented and how to make it accessible and
relevant to anyone — no matter how remote their location might be.