You get back home after a long ugly day at work. All you want to do is crawl under your blanket and wallow in your sorrows. But as soon as you open your door, there he comes, running, with his tongue out and tail wagging at the speed of light. Before you can even set your bags down he is all over you, telling you in his ‘woof’ language that he missed you so very much and that you mean the world to him. At that very moment, you forget all about your worries and you feel nothing but just pure unadulterated love. That warmth is truly incomparable.
Ahh… Pets bring us such joy! Having one at home is enough to bring together your otherwise dysfunctional family. These four-legged fur balls are surely the culprits that soften your otherwise hardened heart. Their love for you and your family is truly unconditional and their faithfulness as strong as diamonds.
Unfortunately, there are many abandoned pets at rescue centers that are looking to brighten up someone’s humble or palatial abode. They are waiting for their masters to come and take them home. Also, the lack of awareness among people about where and how to find such pets is also posing as a barrier in the process.
Well the good news is that there is a new mobile app on your app store called Woof Rescue that beautifully addresses this issue. It not only makes people aware but also gives them access to where and how they can adopt these munchkins. With Woof, find the love of your life at your local pet shelter.
Meet The Genius Samaritans of Woof!
This start-up was co-founded by Mark Wade, Ari Krzyzek and Debbie Stefko. They must be truly passionate about pets to even start an app that helps the noble cause of finding them beautiful homes.
“Our team came together after a win of Startup Weekend Chicago in June of 2014, which is a forum for people to share ideas and begin a startup over 54-hours in a single weekend. Most of the people from the weekend had full-time jobs and were unable to continue. However, I decided to pursue the dream of building a business full-time to help pet owners. Ari and Debbie committed to help in any way they could with the project despite their full-time jobs elsewhere. I am an iOS developer, Ari is our designer and Debbie does business analysis”, says Mark.
Know Woof Better!
This app is here to make a powerful difference and strongly believes in the motto ‘Don’t shop for your next pet…. Please ADOPT’.
The mission of Woof Rescue is to help people find the love of their lives at a local pet shelter. According to the Humane Society, only 30% of pets in homes come from shelters or rescues. As a company, they aim at increasing the number of adopted pets by raising public awareness of how great it can be to rescue a pet. They wish to approach this by showing detailed information along with beautiful photos of the pets in a mobile phone app which was released in November, 2014.
Also, as per Humane Society an estimated 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year because they aren’t adopted. The team through Woof is trying to solve this very serious problem.
“People love to look at pictures of cute pets. Our solution allows people to see thousands of pets on their smart phone, and the beauty is that they are all adoptable. The lives of individuals and families are greatly enhanced through pet ownership, as are the lives of the pets who have often had a traumatic life which led to being in a shelter”, adds the team.
What Inspired This Noble Idea?
The idea of building a “Tinder for pet adoption” came about during Start-up Weekend Chicago. The team built a prototype during the weekend and won the competition when a panel of 4 judges voted on Sunday after 54-hours of work. It turned out there was already an app that used the Tinder card-flipping interface for showing pets. Therefore, a new design approach was taken when the business was started post that weekend with the members of the team who were committed to bringing the idea to life.
On Challenges Faced & Competitors
The biggest hurdle for the team was monetizing Woof in an environment where so many apps are free. Also a continuing challenge has been bringing together the team members who want to participate in building the start-up, when they are still dedicated to their full-time jobs in other industries.
As far as competition goes, there are a number of companies trying to help as Woof Rescue is. The majority of the apps that are available are powered by Pet Finder data, and they have a mobile app of their own. However, the team chose to obtain their pet data from a company that is smaller, but much more nimble and responsive to the needs of shelters and to those that are trying to bring awareness to these pets.
One result of this is that, Woof Rescue is at an advantage of offering a search by primary breed which other apps are not doing effectively. Also the team has been highly responsive and has already had two major releases in a month’s time.
On Expansion Plans
“The ultimate goal is to make the Woof brand synonymous with pet care. When someone thinks of adopting a pet, we should be the first place they look. When they think of any pet needs, Woof should be the brand they look to for those services, or a reliable reference to, who can provide those services. Our expansion plans include generally any area which can benefit pet owners to make their experience more fulfilling. Specifically, we are looking at each potential service one-by-one to see where the opportunities exist,” says the team.
On The Journey So Far & Target Audience
Within the first month of launch and with very limited advertising, Woof already reached a base of over 1,000 users. The early adopters of the app have generally been people who are passionate about pet rescues.
As the Woof brand becomes more familiar, the team wants people who hadn’t considered adoption to think about it. They want the users to be a part of the solution to reduce homeless pets and in the process enhance their own lives by rescuing a pet.
“Our audience for the upcoming services will vary based on the service, but will typically be busy professionals and families who need a little assistance in caring for their pet”, adds the team.
On Plans of Monetizing
The next release of the app will introduce a freemium model which is supported by in-app native advertisements from both local businesses and national brands. The team wants to keep Woof Rescue classy without too many ads, but will use the funds raised to support expanded promotion of the app through media and event sponsorship. In their upcoming services, the team also plans on generating revenue through referral fees.
For all you people out there, who are looking to enrich their lives with pets, do consider Woof Rescue. It is free to download and available on your app store. Be the change and adopt a lovely bundle of joy from the pet shelter near you instead of ‘shopping for one’. Give these rescue pets a change to love you unconditionally.
To know more about this awesome app, do make it a point to visit: http://woofapp.com
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