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An App allows users to research for new pets

| Blog | October 16, 2013

The Star of Oct 15 13 has this story :

App allows users to search for new pets and reunite with lost ones

by brenda ch AND #8217;ng

Koh showing the features of the online web portal and mobile app

Koh showing the features of the online web portal and mobile app

Koh showing the features of the online web portal and mobile app.

Koh showing the features of the online web portal and mobile app.

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ADOPTING a pet is now made easier, thanks to the petfinder.my phone application which allows users to browse through pets for adoption from the comfort of their own home.

This is another option for animal lovers looking for pets to adopt.

“The application is aimed at making it easier for pet lovers seeking to adopt a pet,” said petfinder.my founder Andy Koh.

Koh, who is the creator of the mobile application, also runs the online portal www.petfinder.my.

The portal acts as a platform for all animal welfare societies to connect with the public to showcase the animals in their shelter which are up for adoption.
Screenshot of petfinder.my mobile application homepage
A screenshot of the homepage of the phone app.

“We have helped over 17,000 abandoned animals find homes throughout the five years since we started,” said Koh.

This figure is achievable partly due to the presence of the mobile application, which was introduced three years ago.

Available for both the iOS and Android mobile phone operating system, this application has received a positive response, with more than 80,000 downloads throughout the nation so far.

Users of the application can not only search for pets up for adoption nearby, but also post about lost and found animals.

“This lost and found feature is a way of giving pet owners a little hope that their pet can be rescued and found,” said Koh.

For example, if a poodle is seen roaming the streets looking lost, passers-by can rescue it, snap a picture and post it up on the application in the Lost Dog section.

If by chance the owner looks through the application, chances are, owner and pet will be reunited.

“We have had quite a few success stories where a dog ran out of the house and the owner could not find it.

“Two weeks later, my friend heard of this owner’s situation and advised the latter to check if someone had found the dog and posted it on the app,” he said.

True enough, the dog’s lost picture was published in the application and the owner collected the dog from its rescuer.

Koh added that many individuals may have rescued stray pets but do not know what to do with them after, as there was no proper platform to advertise or send the lost dogs to.

Now, rescuers can either snap a picture and take the dog home until the owner comes for it or just snap a picture and alert the owner through the mobile application.

“However, I hope rescuers will be more aware and careful as random strangers may pretend to be the owner of the pet rescued,” he said.

One way of preventing this is by removing the pet’s belongings, such as collars.

Post the picture and then ask questions such as was the pet wearing a collar, the colour, and the pet’s name.

Apart from this, the mobile app also allows users to filter their searches.

Users are not only able to search for pets within a 50m radius but also filter it down to the animal’s breed.

Results will appear with pictures of the pet, breed, age, price and if it has been neutered or vaccinated.

There will also be contact details of the pet rescuer or owner who wants to give their pet up for adoption.

“Those interested can call them directly and pick the dog up wherever it is. It does not have to be through us,” he said.

Meanwhile, for animals in animal shelters, mobile app users can call the shelter and inquire about the pet they would like to adopt.

After that, they can go directly to the shelter to pick the dog up.

This app also comes embedded with a map which consists of different coloured drop pins to let users know the location of the abandoned, lost and rescued animals.

On average, about 14 to 16 animals are adopted daily, while about 500 every month.

However, about 100 entries are posted on the app daily, and Koh thinks this figure is alarming.

“There are thousands of individual rescuers out there, but if we don’t tackle the issue of strays and abandoned, then this figure will not reduce,” he said.

He said the only way to successfully reduce strays and abandoned animals was through spaying and neutering.

On the mobile app, about 85% to 90% of the animals comprise dogs and cats, while the rest are reptiles, chickens and even ducks.

“There are ducks and chickens specially bred for adoption,” he said.

Apart from that, the app also features a section called WAGazine, which consists of articles written by reputable contributors.

Some written by vets and lawyers are educational while others are feature articles.

Currently, the app is actively used in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor.

Koh hoped animal rescuers and shelters in other states such as Ipoh, Pahang, Malacca and Sarawak would start using the application more.

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