Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
When it comes to matching pets and potential pet parents, Darrell Lerner, founder and president of AllPaws.com has the know how to make that happen. Why? As a former owner of a dating site he left that start-up and brought the knowledge and information along with him when he decided to start a pet site.
A Long Island native, Darrell said, “I’ve always been an entrepreneur, starting out with the proverbial lemonade stand.” He earned a law degree – but never practiced – instead he started a sports internet company before teaming up with his brother in 2005 to start Snap Interactive – a dating app that has so far seen 70 million installs!
“In 2012 I started to miss the early stage start-up excitement so I knew I wanted to start something else,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what it was, but I kept going back to the idea that I wanted to do something with pets… I wanted to build a better mousetrap and somehow apply the expertise I had from the dating space and create a better way for people to find pets.”
When it came to that “better mousetrap” Darrell built a site – a dating site for pets and potential pet parents – that currently has the ability to offer more than 100,000 pet profiles from which to choose. “We are different than some other pet-matching sites, I think, because we have a strong user experience in that we provide strong search filters and have built in a functionality that allows the user to choose anything from size to temperament to activity levels – you want a couch potato, we can match you with a couch potato pet!”
Darrell says if you visited the site recently and set your preferences and began a search, you will definitely want to check back because they are always enhancing the user experience. “We want to always stay at the forefront and give pets the best opportunity to make a match.”
Why should you come to AllPaws.com if you’re seeking a furry, or feathered, or well any kind of adoptable pet? “We know how important pictures are and we have a Pinterest style layout and that allows for bigger, better pictures of the pet,” he explained adding that, “The site also offers a deep and seamless social media integration and that helps us to share pet profiles and helps these pets get adopted.”
The site is free for both pet parents and for rescues and shelter operators that want to either search for a pet or upload “dating profiles” of adoptable pets in their facilities. “As much as we are focused on finding pets great homes, we are also focused on engagement – with engagement we can help spread the word to an even wider audience about the need for homes for these shelter pets.”
There are some pets whose profiles are automatically uploaded, Darrell explained, from data management pet software but most of the pets are added by the shelters or rescues. “This is not Craig’s list,” he said, “This is truly not where you’re coming to upload your pet to get it re-homed – we understand there is a need for that – but right now this is for pets in shelters and rescues.”
Success stories have been shared with the AllPaws.com team of successful matches between pets and adopters. “We have also had several shelters tell us they’ve had more leads and adoptions from our site than they have from other pet listing sites and we believe it’s because of the unique ‘online dating style’ approach we’ve set up.”
What kind of pets can you be “matched with” on the site? There are alpaca, llama, pigs, sheep, donkeys, a sugar glider, a hedgehog, puppies, kittens, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, bunnies and more!
Darrell says, “We are always looking for cool things for our users and the organizations that list their adoptable pets with us. We want to transform the adoption process and our site is always improving and enhancing what we do – finding pets new homes.”
If you’re a shelter or rescue that has pets in need of forever homes, Darrell explains that with a “couple of clicks” you can put in information about the pets available and enhance their chances of finding forever homes. “We have been growing every month and achieving our goal of getting more pets adopted.
”There are many widgets available on the AllPaws.com site that individuals and shelters can install on their own websites as a way to help spread the word about the adoptable pets. You can find the widgets here.