Uploading animals to aggregators of adoptable animals

Zoe Rogers
Zoe Rogers
  • Updated

Shelterluv can be configured to automatically upload your animal records to aggregators of adoptable animals including Petfinder.com, Adopt-a-Pet.com, and RescueGroups.org.



How do we set up the auto-upload?

To start, you will need to get your FTP credentials from each of these organizations using the instructions below.

FTP-specific usernames, passwords, and servers are different from your general login details to your account on these sites.


  • FTP Server: members.petfinder.com
  • FTP Username/Password: Email Petfinder's support at help@petfinder.com with this message:
    "We are switching to Shelterluv as our software provider and would like to request our FTP credentials for auto-upload. Shelterluv will be sending photo URLs for our animals."
    These credentials are NOT the same as what you use to log into your Petfinder account.

We recommend having Petfinder wipe your existing pets from your account before setting up auto-uploads to avoid duplicate listings, but this should be planned carefully with the Petfinder team so that there isn't a gap in your animals being listed. Animals will be listed in the order they are uploaded, and the newest animals will appear first.


  • FTP Server: autoupload.adoptapet.com
  • FTP Username/Password: Documentation on Adopt-a-Pet's website can be found here.

Adopt-a-Pet displays the FTP Username & FTP Server in reverse order from Shelterluv, so double-check to make sure you're entering the right credentials into the right fields!
You will need to log into Adopt-a-Pet to set up an auto-upload account before entering your FTP credentials into Shelterluv.

Setting up in advance:

If you currently have an auto-upload account running through a different software, you will need to wait until the day you go live with Shelterluv to generate the FTP credentials in Adopt-a-Pet. On that day, you will turn off the auto-uploads from the other software, save, and then select Shelterluv from the dropdown menu to generate your credentials.

If you do not have an auto-upload account running through a different piece of software, you can generate your credentials on Adopt-a-Pet anytime and enter them into Shelterluv in advance by keeping it "disabled" in your Configuration panel. If you do this, your publicists will get automated emails asking them if they need AutoUploading help; they can ignore these emails. Once you are ready to enable auto-uploads (which will permanently erase all current animals in your Adopt-a-Pet account), just toggle it to "enabled" in your Configuration panel.


  • FTP Server: ftp.rescuegroups.org
  • FTP Username/Password: The credentials you enter into Shelterluv are NOT the same as what you use to log into your RescueGroups account. Please follow these instructions to do the following in your RescueGroups account:
    1. Generate your FTP credentials to enter into your Shelterluv account
    2. Configure an import account for Shelterluv with the file name pets.csv

This integration may also allow you to publish animals to your Facebook account!

Testing the Connection

To test the connection with each aggregator after entering the credentials, make sure it's set to "Auto upload enabled" and then click the "Save" button. You will see a pop-up with the results of the connection test.

Be sure to switch each one back to "Auto upload disabled" after the test if you have not gone live with Shelterluv yet.

Upload Sites

If you have multiple locations or have foster homes spread out across multiple regions, please read How do I set up uploads to multiple Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, or RescueGroups accounts?

Upload Intervals

Once the upload is enabled, it will take several hours to send and process the initial upload. Please note that animal records in the initial upload may appear without photos as they take longer to process, but will generally appear a few hours after the initial animal records. Following the initial upload, aggregators will update at the following intervals:

  • Petfinder: Hourly
  • Adopt-a-Pet: Every 8 Hours
  • RescueGroups: Daily

Publishable Animals

We will only upload animals in a status that's configured to Publish=Yes. Once the animal is moved into a status that's configured to Publish=No or adopted, it will be taken off these sites when the next auto-upload runs.

Can I update animal profiles in each aggregator directly if I am using auto-uploads?

If you are utilizing auto-uploads, you will not want to update animals directly in your aggregator sites as this will be overridden each time an update is made (we send a new file on intervals listed above to the aggregator sites, letting them know what animal information to upload and your aggregator account is wiped each time a new file is processed).

Frequently asked questions


Why isn't my Adopt-a-Pet auto-upload working?



There are a few different things to double-check if your Adopt-a-Pet upload isn't working for you.

  1. Make sure you have the correct credentials saved in your Shelterluv configuration.
  2. Double-check that you have Auto-Uploading turned on in your Adopt-a-Pet account. To do this, log into your Adopt-a-Pet account and go to https://www.adoptapet.com/cgi-bin/shelter/autoupload.cgi. Select "Shelterluv" which will set your Auto-Uploading to yes, and click "update."
  3. Double-check that you have an Auto-Upload contact in your Adopt-a-Pet account. If you click "test import now" from your account's AutoUpload Settings page (https://www.adoptapet.com/cgi-bin/shelter/autoupload.cgi), you will see an error if you don't have an AutoUpload contact. The error message will explain how to update this information.



Why isn't an animal showing up on Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, or RescueGroups?



If one specific animal is being excluded from your auto-uploads, follow these steps to troubleshoot:

  1. Verify that the animal is currently in a status that is configured to be publishable.
  2. Verify that the animal has a sex of Female or Male
  3. Verify there are no special characters like commas or semi-colons in the attributes added to the animal record
  4. If an animal is showing up on these sites without a photo, be sure to check if the photo is set to "Publish" and that a "Cover Photo" is selected.



Can I update animals in Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, and RescueGroups directly if I am using the auto-upload feature?



If you are utilizing auto-uploads, you will not want to update animals directly in your Adopt-A-Pet, Petfinder, and RescueGroups accounts as the changes will be overridden each time an update is made.

We send a new file at intervals to these aggregator sites which lets them know the animal information to upload and update in your aggregator account. Each time we send a new file, your account is wiped clean of any additional changes each time a new file is processed.

For Petfinder specifically, the upload file does not include a field for Location or Contact, but these fields do exist for each animal within your Petfinder account. Since our integration does not support either of these fields, any changes made to them within Petfinder directly will remain unchanged when the next upload file is processed.

If you want to add a completely new listing through Petfinder directly and the animal won't be included in your published animals via Shelterluv, you would need to make sure the "Pet ID" field is completely blank, otherwise, the pet will be deleted/overwritten with your next upload from Shelterluv.

If you would like to retain a record of adopted animals in your Petfinder account, you can choose to remove the "Pet ID" field in your Petfinder account prior to processing the adoption in Shelterluv, then mark the animal as Adopted within your Petfinder account.