Back in February 2014, when I first started crowd- sourcing for the funds to build the first whistleblowing app on animal cruelty, I did not really not what was in store or what to expect.
Armed with just a vision and an incredible passion to advocate animal welfare I started a process, which was as consuming and frustrating as it was exciting.
There really was no clear trajectory of what to expect but once I had successfully raised the funds, I began the monumental task of pitching to developers to build this ‘concept’.
I met many developers and entrepreneurs, pitched to Microsoft (no less) and lobbied hard to get as many influencers involved, at the critical early stages. I met some incredible and inspiring people working in animal welfare on their own, much valued projects and whom were happy to advise. The more I understood the challenges welfare campaigners and advocates faced, the more determined I was to overcome obstacles of getting this app from a concept to a live, valuable resource.
The next step was opening discussions with animal welfare organisations, explaining why this was needed and how we could make the app as inclusive as possible. I was adamant that I wanted as many charities and orgs to be involved as possible.
In the UK the RSPCA are the only body with powers to investigate and prosecute animal abusers. We needed them to be on board to be able to handle the reports that the app would generate. put simply, without their say so, we could launch the app, but who would investigate the public’s reports?
We spent several meetings at RSPCA HQ listening and adopting their requirements so that the app was as efficient and responsive as possible, to enable them incorporate it into their existing processes. We then customised the app to their specifications.
We also spent a very useful day in Doncaster at the national call centre, sitting in with the call centre staff and witnessing first hand the challenges they face when the public telephone in to report cases of neglect, abuse and worse.
I also spent a day on the road with an inspector and witnessed first hand the incredibly hard and emotionally draining work they do (Please see my blog ‘A Day on The Road wit The RSPCA’)
All of this experience and insight was poured into completing the app to the highest possible standard and at the beginning of 2015 we achieved this.
We are so proud of what we have achieved-the Ethical Animal App and supporting platform is a sophisticated piece of software which has been approved already by iTunes for release. We have even built an android version too which will be available after our iTunes launch.
We spent several months at the beginning of this year negotiating contract terms with the RSPCA before finally signing. We are very close now to being able to share this with you.
Our current status is that we are still waiting the final confirmation from the RSPCA that they are prepared to accept reports from the public via the app, before we are able to go live.
Please bear with us, we hope to have news for you very shortly.