the concept

Many animal shelters & humane societies have excellent people behind them; dedicated volunteers, veterinarians, animal rights activists and so on. However, many do not have a decent website. The irony is that their requirements are few & simple, not to mention easily solved through WordPress.

By creating a modular open source theme we can significantly help the vast duplication of work that already occurs today, as well as provide the tools necessary to engage their audiences. Once the theme is complete, the goal is to start offering a free hosted solution.


In the last few years I (Noel Tock) had the chance to live in the Caribbean as well as travel to areas such as Bali & Costa Rica. During these travels I had the opportunity to meet wonderful organizations taking on the issue of homeless & abused animals head on. I documented a lot of it through photography (left), but images only go so far.

Now back in Switzerland, I've stayed in touch with a number of people still involved, and even voluntarily manage two chairty websites related to these animals. However, these websites are already pushing my capacity, hence my desire to streamline and develop a solution that can help many.


  • Help animal shelters reach wider audiences & engage more visitors globally by providing them with 1) Free hosted websites, or 2) Generic & modular WordPress theme for download;
  • Use to bring together animal shelter volunteers to share their experiences, lessons learned and more.
  • Use to create directory / world map of animal shelters, especially important for the southern hemisphere and/or developing countries where there is no infrastructure or national bodies to oversee and coordinate their efforts.
  • Use hosted platform to learn from visitors and continually enhance the service: landing page & search engine optimization, donation conversion rates and more. Publish all findings to blog.
  • Show viability of WordPress for collaborative "social good" projects, inspire others.

high-level roadmap

proof of concept

Establish base theme & hosted platform with core features: adoptions & donation campaign custom post types, social media api's, paypal api and core design.

open beta

Use social media & blogging partners to announce open beta of platform and theme. Target use > 100 animal shelters.


Enhance & deepen various features, as well as add new ones: theme translations, integrate local api's, extend page templates, etc.


Use existing media partners and new ones to launch hosted service globally.

our strengths


Paul GibbsCore Developer for BuddyPress. Works for the Daily Telegraph and blogs on his personal site.

Joe HoyleTechnical Director at Human Made Limited, UK. Lead Developer at Theme Force. Runs some really big WP installs.

Michael Kimb JonesFounded Wonder Themes, runs a design agency called base6 and blogs on his personal site.

Andrey "Rarst" SavchenkoAwesome contributer at WordPress StackExchange and blogs on his personal site.

Remkus de VriesWordCamp NL organizer, owns ForSite Media and blogs on his personal site.

Tom WillmotManaging Director at Human Made Limited, UK. Head Beer Taster at Theme Force.

design & ui

media partners

WPCandyAwesome site for WordPress community news and developments.




The project will rely solely on individual skills & strengths: Developers & designers will help create the product, media partners will provide coverage, partners in infrastructure with their services, etc. There are no plans to ever accept donations, exchange funds, etc.

existing solutions?

Whilst there are region-specific solutions in certain first world countries (Petfinder in the US, Adopt an Animal in Canada, etc.), there is no global solution or freely available WordPress theme (thus solving two problems at once).

my qualifications?

I first founded/lead a collaborative project (Project Reality) back in 2004. Whilst it was a game modification and I had no game design experience, it ended winning Mod of the Year (out of 4'700 projects), Best Multiplayer Mod and even entering the Mod Hall of Fame of ModDB. 7 years later, it pushes on. The success of this project relied on respecting & capitalizing on everyones strengths. Adoptr will work very much the same way, with passionate and skilled people coming together to craft a scalable solution. With my experience launching a WordPress web application (Theme Force), I'm ready to turn this project into something with tangible results.

money-making & political agenda?