This proposal has been completed. The results can be found on Tag cleanup - Part 1 - Results

This is the first step in cleaning up Pets' tags. Most steps I have sufficient rep to do myself, but I would like a community discussion beforehand. Here we go:

  1. Tag creation proposal - to create a tag (although I am flexible to an alternate tag name).
    • Example question - What to do if I cannot find my cat?
      • Basic tag description - Questions about finding a lost pet, or questions about lost pets in general, such as what to do if you find one.
  2. Tag burnination - to burninate the tag .
    • Reasoning - This is not a relevant tag (aka a meta tag), meaning a tag that describes the actual post, not the problem at hand.
      • Procedure - Edit the tag out and have it destroyed by a mod or staff so it can never be used again (insert evil laugh here).
  3. Tag edits/possible renames - vs .
    • Problem description - Shelters and rescue organizations are sightly different things. However, the two tags seem to have alternating use. Both tags a) have unrelated questions that should be edited out, b) poor or no tag descriptions, and c) confusion over which to use.
      • Solutions - a) edit out unrelated questions, b) add accurate tag descriptions, and c) either keep them separate with accurate descriptions or merge tags under a new name describing both shelters and rescues.
    • Additional information - Users seem to go either or for the two tags. However, is less used (10 questions, 5 of which don't need it) than tag. We need to clear up the difference between the two and edit out the irrelevant questions. If the tags overlap too much, it may be best to merge them into one tag, something like .
  4. Tag synonyms - tags that mean the same thing or overlap with a different tag.

That's all for right now! Of course, fulfill your moral duty and edit out incorrect tags in questions, and add the correct ones. If this is successful, I hope to do some more tag work.

Please, add your answer on your thoughts on one or all of these points. Be nice and thank you for putting in your time to this somewhat tedious work!

2 Answers 2

  1. Dogs (and sometimes rats) are trained to do search and rescue, so I'd counter propose something like instead. It's less confusing, and more... laypersony.

  2. is a bit of a special case of meta tag. It's meant for questions that are asked super often, and the goal is to build a canonical resource for similar questions. Quite a few sites have it, and it's one of those things that should be more, not less.

  3. No strong opinions here.

  4. It might be useful to consider in trying to merge - collars and harnesses are things that interface with pets. Leashes interface to humans. Folks often have strong preference with respect to all 3! I don't think leashes is the 'right' main synonym, but I can't think of a single simple English language option that covers all 3.

  • 1
    I totally agree to 1. "Search and rescue" is a serious job for pets that requires regular training and specialized equipment. The first associations that come to my mind are mountain rescue and bomb sniffers. "Lost pet" is unambiguous and easy to understand
    – Elmy Mod
    Commented May 21, 2021 at 4:29
  • @Nai45 Look at that: we already have a lost-pet
    – Elmy Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 17:13

Concerning 3. ( vs ):

The one thing that's problematic is that doesn't have a tag description, but the word has different meanings:

  • protection against the environment and weather;
  • refuge, asylum;
  • a place to live that's not your own;
  • a place where you can adopt pets.

The meaning and interchanging use may be caused by the different ways shelters work globally. There are countries where shelters euthanize animals after a very short time for a lot of reasons (including lack of space and adoptability of the animal) and there are countries where shelters are forbidden to euthanize for any reason but to prevent suffering. There are countries where rescue organizations offer common pets for adoption and other countries where they pick up injured wildlife (or feral stray cats) and release them back into the wild after nursing them back to health.

Depending on where you live, each tag may mean a different thing. In my country, any place where you can adopt a pet would be called a "shelter", regardless of whether it's run by a rescue organization or not.

I recently learned that shelters can have very different names in different countries, like "animal/community health center" or "animal sanctuary". If people translate those local names into English, the most probable outcome is "shelter", even though the type of organization might be considered a "rescue organization" in other countries.

My proposal is to define as a synonym to and to add a proper description to (which has 0 questions) to make it mean "shelter from the weather".

  • 2
    Just a little update: I gave shelter a proper description. Please have a look and see if it's easy to understand and as unambiguous as possible.
    – Elmy Mod
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 4:41
  • 1
    Nobody actually got notified about your comment, I found it right now by pure accident, I think it is better posted in some place with more traffic, I will copy it to litter box.
    – lila
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 19:57
  • @Elmy Thanks so much! Very helpful. Commented May 28, 2021 at 20:05

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