Online dating has taken the world by storm. One study states that one third of couples have now met through one of the many internet dating platforms. Quite often, the connections are more successful than the relationships between couples that met through other venues. The reason could be that many of these sites use a lot of science, algorithms, and other fancy technological strategies (that only tech-savvy people can really understand) to find the perfect partner for the user.
Elizabeth Holmes, CEO and co-founder of PawsLikeMe, figured that this same general principle could be applied to finding the perfect pet for your family.
While working in tech, Holmes ran a rescue group for many years…
…where she learned what it really takes to match a person’s specific situation with the right dog, based on many different factors. During this time, she got flooded with calls from people needing to surrender their pet. She was surprised to find that many of them were willing to foster their own pup for a while.
The reality is that most dogs end up being re-homed at least once in their lifetime.
More often than not, the original family doesn’t want to give up their dog.
However, changes in circumstances can often force a dog to be re-homed.
What PawsLikeMe offers is a platform for current pet owners to find a new home for their canine without having to surrender him or her to a shelter.
The current pet owners can also make sure that their baby goes to a truly great home.
The hope is to reduce the amount of dogs that end up in shelters…maybe someday in the future eradicating the need for shelters altogether.
With the help and resources from PawsLikeMe until a match is found, the entire process is made much less traumatic for the pup.
Avoiding kill shelters can also, obviously, help save lives.
Perfecting the precise matching algorithm wasn’t easy. But now, PawsLikeMe is able to provide a 91% match based on info provided from the current owner or shelter and the person applying to adopt a dog.
That’s right it’s not only individuals posting their pets online, PLM is partnered with other organizations.
Dogs from 1,000 shelters nationwide (and in Canada) are available for adoption through the site.
About 140 organizations have actually enrolled to partner with the site.
Partner shelters and organizations can list their residents for free, with PLM collecting 0% of the adoption fee. If an individual goes to a PLM partner shelter and agrees to foster their own pet at home, the shelter or organization and PLM split the fee evenly to help keep both institutions afloat. Individuals looking to re-home their pets also get to list for free directly on the site, charging the adopter $75 that goes to PLM. Included with that fee are cool perks, such as 30 days of pet insurance!
Ok, so there’s a bunch of science, sweat, and logic that went into the site…but are there real results?
The PawsLikeMe inbox is constantly overwhelmed by positive feedback from users.
One of the very first success stories is from before the algorithm was even perfected: Loki’s
When his parents simply couldn’t financially support him anymore, they wanted to make sure he found a loving new home. They caught wind of the brand new site and insisted on posting their pup even though not all the kinks had been worked out yet. After a few weeks of adopters taking the matching test, one family in Florida ended up being the perfect match. They needed a pup that could handle a small child, cats, another dog (Java, left), and a busy work schedule.
Loki’s new mom couldn’t be happier with her new baby.
“Hi PawsLikeMe, I recommended your website to a friend today who is anxious to get matched to her new dog!! Loki has worked out even better than we could have imagined. He and Java are attached at the hip, so Java is not lonely anymore while we’re at work. We were pretty set on another Rottweiler when we started our search, but your site pointed us in the right direction…we are now firm believers in matching to the right personality first and foremost.”
So, are you looking for a new member of your family?
All of the dogs pictured above are up for adoption, and you can click through to their page using the links directly under their pictures. This is Manzanita. He loves to play and receive lots and lots of belly rubs…but he needs a special kind of home, without any other dogs, cats, or children. He would make a perfect dog if only he could find the right family!
What does the future hold for PawsLikeMe?
Holmes looks forward to expanding the platform to help cats get re-homed as well, but, as we all know, cats are very different from dogs, and that will require an entire new matching algorithm. Before expanding to the feline community, PawsLikeMe wants to dedicate their full attention to making sure their site continues to perform at 100% in the dog department…which includes adding post-adoption support for users. So hold tight, for now, felines.
If you’re interested in either posting a loved one you are no longer able to take care of, or are looking to give a new forever home for a perfect pup, head over to their website and have a look around!
It’s a wonder no one thought to do this earlier…it makes so much sense to factor in all the aspects of your life, needs, and qualities before giving a home to a pup. Paws Like Me was a long time coming in this day and age!