#openimpact — Cute Pets Twitter Bot

Cute Pets Denver

Source: flickr

(this is one of the projects of the #openimpact shortlist)

Cute Pets is a twitter bot that shares photos and info about adoptable animals in shelters. It allows to better share information about adoptable animals with potential adopters. The project was started in Denver and has since spread to covering 15 U.S. cities, including Boston, Austin, and San Francisco.


What does it do? Reads data from animal shelter website and shares photos and info on Twitter
Outcome Increases the likelihood that potential adopters find adoptable animals
Project page codeforamerica.org
Organizations Code for America, Denver Animal Shelter
Contact persons Becky Boone, Drew Wilson
Media govtech.com



Source code github.com (CutePetsDenver), github.com (CutePets)
Data used Denver Animal Shelter
Data generated Tweets
Tech stack Ruby (CutePetsAustin is coded with Python)



Replications In various U.S. cities (see map here and list here), can also be adapted to post on Instagram or Facebook
License MIT License
Maintenance costs/month tbd
First steps 1. Start by scraping data from a single shelter's website
2. Make an API for the scraped data (more like a "fake API" because it's not data from a database, but instead data from scraping)
3. Make a twitter bot using the "fake API" to show the value
4. Show the "fake API" to the owner of the shelter (and to the company that provides software for the shelter, if applicable)
5. Tell them that the fake API is fragile and will not last, so we need a real API
6. Ask the owners of the data to make a quick, small real API from their database
7. Switch the twitter bot to use the real API
Interested in replicating this project? Join our DataLook #openimpact Slack channel or hit us up on Twitter.
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