Dog-matching site borrows cue from online dating to find pups fur-ever homes
If you're looking for your soul mate, there's a new site joining the ranks of online matchmakers like eHarmony, Zoosk, OKCupid and Tinder that you'll want to check out.
It's called PawsLikeMe.com, and there's only one catch — your potential new partner will be extremely hairy and bring an abundance of drool to the table. And, oh, did I mention he or she will also walk on all fours?
That's right, y'all. There's now a dating app for dogs. Well, not for dogs, per se. They lack the opposable thumbs swiping right requires. Rather, PawsLikeMe.com hopes to match pups with compatible people.
Using the same online dating-style algorithm made popular by romantic companion sites such as Match.com, this doggy-matching database uses a short assessment to pair pups in need of a good home with people based on their compatibility and proximity to the user.
And I, for one, think it's brilliant.
Statistics suggest that nearly a quarter of dogs dropped off in shelters were originally adopted from the originating shelter or another shelter or rescue. Given that five million companion animals enter into animal shelters nationwide annually, you do the math — that's a staggering number of dogs missing out on time with their forever families, and I would wager it is largely due to incompatibility.
Perhaps the person doing the adopting didn't realize how high energy the breed was. Maybe they thought a large dog was up their alley when, in reality, their personality is more suited to a teacup pup. Or maybe the person and the pet's personalities just didn't vibe. Dogs are remarkably emotive and similar to people in their individuality. If you're a pet lover, you know this to be inherently true.
PawsLikeMe.com created their complex matching score by combining four core personality quadrants — energy, confidence, focus and independence — and then applying scoring weights based on environmental (think kids in household, other pets, etc.) and special (dog traits, quirks, etc.) factors.
"The two major issues I saw running a nonprofit dog rescue were one, people's assumption of what they needed wasn'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," explained Elizabeth Holmes, CEO and co-founder of PawsLikeMe.com. "We wanted to provide a way for people to connect on a national scale."
Rest assured, though, the site is not in it for the money. They charge nothing if users find a dog at a shelter or organization on the site (adoption fees would be up to the adopting organization), and they only charge a nominal fee for connecting dogs and people through private pet owners. Fret not, feline fans — the site eventually plans to include cats, but working out that algorithm is decidedly more complicated.
So the aim of PawsLikeMe.com is pure — to find good, lasting homes for four-legged friends who've yet to experience the kind of true love that comes from being placed with the right family.
And that, I think we can all agree, is a concept worth swiping right for.