We have been looking to adopt a dog since last summer, which by the way is not always as simple as showing up and going home with a pet that day. It felt like the job interview process of applying and being told we were too late or “not qualified” enough – apparently they expect everyone to have multiple kids, a house, and a yard with a white picket fence! But we persisted, looking at websites from AdoptAPet.com to Craigslist to the local MSPCA. There is even a “Tinder” app for dogs, BarkBuddy, that we swiped left and right at for months, trying to find our one. Example below, and warning: this is super addictive!
What we didn’t do, partially because so much information is online now and partially because the changing ways millennials “shop around”, we never went to a shelter in person; we felt with the pictures and backstories written online that we didn’t need to. And then one day we saw this and we knew we had the one.
Various Facebook messages later with the adoption agency and we set up a meet and greet. And then we got to take her home.
Kona, the 4 month old spaniel retriever mix. Many sleepless nights and a few accidents later and we are off to the races with our cute puppy. (Laverne was her original shelter-given name above in the Facebook post).
What amazed me in this whole process was that everything with the Rescue was done via social media and their website, and not only did they encourage users to explore these avenues first, they basically didn’t let anyone just walk into a “store-front” to pick a pet from behind a set of cages or windows.
This got me thinking about this type of “shopping.” Rather than go to the store to buy electronics or certain clothes, many of us now shop on retailer websites, apps, or aggregators like Amazon or Wayfair. Why is this any different than “shopping” for a pet? One would argue you lack the person touch but I would counter with there was very much the personal touch, once we had the search narrowed down. She wasn’t sent in a FedEx box with a signature upon delivery; we corresponded with the Rescue over Facebook, email, text, and phone and each side had plenty of information on each other.
I believe that as the internet continues to expand and there are more offerings for delivery of goods and services, more review sites and blogs to inform customers, and the efficiency and costs are lowered, we will see further acceptance of these types of services, whether tangible goods or a living being like a pet. I would argue that given the amount of active users on this Rescue’s Facebook page – those who like, donate, or constantly comment on posts – that it adds an even further level of comfort and credibility. Case in point: we looked at getting a breeder dog last summer, found a dog for $2,500, but could not find any reviews on the internet of whether this was a credible breeder, their dogs had behavioral or hereditary problems, their breeding methods were questionable or not, or any testimonials positive or negative – all of which gave us hesitation. Seeing almost 700,000 people “liking” the Rescue page above was significant validation of the organization.
To take it one step further, I have also noticed the proliferation of people who have social media pages for their pets! Up until we got a pet I thought it was comical, maybe even weird, but since adopting Kona people seem to ask me more about her than me (foreshadowing what it is like when people have children I guess). So we broke and created Facebook and Instagram accounts which also required a new Gmail account; I don’t even have a personal Instagram account yet our dog does! And thus we can now one-click post pictures and status updates about our dog to keep the eager world apprised.
I hope you have enjoyed the blog and if you would like further information about this Rescue, please see the links below. The stories and pictures of these dogs being rescued from kill shelters are heart-warming and if anyone ever wants to adopt a pet, please consider this rescue organization.