February 5, 2019 - 10:15 am
VILNIUS, Lithuania — If the pooch melts your heart, swipe right.
Animal lovers in Lithuania have created a mobile application inspired by the popular dating app Tinder to match up dogs in local shelters with new owners.
Called GetPet, the app was launched last month and is getting hundreds of new users daily and already has made a few matches. It joins a growing market of apps for people looking to adopt a pet, including PawsLikeMe and BarkBuddy.
“It is like Tinder, but with dogs,” said Vaidas Gecevicius, one of app’s creators. “You can arrange a meeting with the dog — a date.”
GetPet features profiles of furry four-legged creatures looking up with soft, yearning eyes. Scrolling down reveals more information about the pup, and those interested can then swipe right.
But there are limits to the Tinder comparison. It’s a one-sided situation and the dogs don’t get to have a swiping experience. If you swipe left, another dog profile appears.
Gecevicius said the idea came to creators when they saw a stray dog on the street through the window during a computer workshop.
The app only features dogs for now but the plan is to eventually include cats and other animals.
Two friends, Emily and Elena, recently scanned the app and then visited the SOS Gyvunai shelter in Vilnius to meet Piff, a medium black-and-gray mongrel. They took him for a walk in a snow-covered park and said they would return soon to take him home.
“I think it’s actually a very great idea because in Lithuania we have a lot of stray dogs and a lot of people who want to adopt,” 24-year-old Elena said as dogs nearby ran around in outdoor cages barking.
Ilona Reklaityte, the shelter’s founder, said she is very happy about the innovative approach to an old problem.
“I really welcome this new app as it gives us more chances to find our pets new owners and a new home, and that means we can then help other dogs still on the streets,” Reklaityte said.
“We have 140 dogs right now. Sometimes we give away one or two of them every day, but now we receive (many) more calls and people are coming more often.”