On the Friday of Hurricane Harvey, I woke up to a pelican with an injured wing in my backyard. There was noone to call so I took the poor thing inside and restrained it with a blanket and zip ties to let it rest. I didn't have a way to care for it beyond that so I had to let it go the following morning.
Citizens don't know who to call or contact for wildlife issues in a crisis
People are not aware of key temporary care insights for wildlife if help cannot come immediately
Rescue Organizations are decentralized and overwhelmed. They operate by dispatch, and work with limited information
Our interviews brought into focus three people in the wildlife rescue journey
Jim the Citizen reports the animals in his area, seeking support in a tense time
Rob the Dispatcher, an expert on wildlife rescue receives reports and uses his knowledge to get Jim help
Finally, Jenny helps Rob manage phones and transport rescue professionals to their assigned cases
Our first iteration of animal selection centered around search. This solution did not work for frazzled users who could not identify their animal. Our current interface breaks down animals by threat level and size, while informing rescuers about equipment they may need.
While it may seem counterintuitive, rescue professionals informed us that citizens often try to interact with dangerous animals to remove them from their property. We added a warning accordingly, as well as ID and safety tips.
Based off of other emergency response apps such as Geico Roadside and AAA, our Animal Location page assumes a map interface. We query for location type so that rescuers understand the context in which they will be performing the rescue.