This story is from the 2019 Access FYI: FedEx Young Innovators List. Explore more from this issue
BarkBuddy Dog

Swiping Right to Find Your New Best Friend

Dating apps are inspiring a new way to connect with rescue animals.

BarkBuddy Dog

The elevator pitch for the GetPet app is an instant classic: “It is like Tinder, but with dogs,” creator Vaidas Gecevicius told the Associated Press. “You can arrange a meeting with the dog — a date.”

It is like Tinder, but with dogs. You can arrange a meeting with the dog — a date.

—Vaidas Gecevicius, Creator of GetPet

GetPet, available only in Lithuania for now, displays profiles of shelter dogs with photos and first-person profiles that include info such as breed, age and temperament. If you swipe right — no, the dogs don’t get to swipe to make a match — the app connects you with the shelter to plan a face-to-face meetup. The founder of a shelter in Vilnius, Lithuania, says that since the launch of GetPet, she’s seen a noticeable increase in calls and visits from people looking to meet their canine soulmates.

GetPet joins a number of other apps that connect people and adoptable pets (dare we call it “petworking?”), including BarkBuddy, developed by the founders of the pet-product subscription company BarkBox. BarkBuddy features profiles of more than a quarter-million rescue dogs in the U.S. and Canada, and can show you the ones nearest you. It builds a profile for you, too, collecting your swiping stats to determine the breeds you love most and letting you filter your search to see your best matches.

Once you’ve made a connection with a furry friend, there’s even an app to help you find a human who’ll love you both. Dig, a dating app for pet lovers, launched in 2018 after co-founder Casey Isaacson broke up with a guy who didn’t dig her dog. It now matches dog people in nine U.S. cities and will even suggest dog-friendly first dates along with tips and deals for dog owners.

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