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We mitigate a lot of our major interpersonal interactions online now – we talk to people on social media, go through dating sites like Match.com and OkCupid to find love, and more. However, there’s a new service on the horizon to bring the same principles of dating sites to dog ownership.
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In many ways, picking a pet is a lot like picking the love of your life – it’s necessary to find someone with a compatible personality, interests, and an attitude you can get along well with. While dogs can’t tell you these things, there’s a new website called PawsLikeMe.com that wants to do that for you.
In essence, PawsLikeMe.com is an online matchmaking service that works to match humans with dogs profiled on their website. The site uses a lot of the same principles as Match.com, eHarmony and other dating sites to make their matches.
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When you go on the website, you just have to take a two-minute survey and you can be instantly matched with dogs who need a quality forever home.
Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO and co-founder of PawsLikeMe.com, said, “The two major issues I saw running a nonprofit dog rescue were one, people’s assumption of what they needed weren’t in line with what pet was best for them and second, a ton of people were wanting to surrender their pet without putting it in a shelter… We wanted to provide a way for people to connect on a national scale.”
The site came about in late 2013, developers testing an algorithm to accurately match animals and people for over a year afterward. Shelters partnered with the website to feature their animals there, in order to help them find good homes, and started a beta program in Florida in August. PawsLikeMe expanded to all of America the following month.
PawsLikeMe’s first and most crucial service is connecting interested users in shelter dogs or rescues, which it facilitates as a middleman and takes no profit from these transactions. The adoption process is instead addressed through the usual channels at the shelter in question.
What sets PawsLikeMe apart from other shelter services is its desire to match the perfect dog with the perfect owner. According to Marianna Benko, co-founder and chief communications officer of PawsLikeMe, “We’re really trying to have people understand that a German shepherd can be different from another German shepherd based on each dog’s personality… We’re encouraging people to look at pets that are rescued in a new light. Some of the smaller organizations have trouble connecting to a wide audience.”
Right now, the website only features dogs, but the crew behind PawsLikeMe does want to branch out into matching cats, and even horses. But for right now, the expressiveness and clear personality of dogs makes it a perfect match for a service that quickly and effectively gives dogs owners that match their temperament. In the wake of PawsLikeMe’s success, this kind of adoption selection may well keep growing.
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Image credit: Matthew Roth