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Screenshot from Tinder

Screenshot from Tinder

Casey N. Wilson, Editor-in-chief

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It seems like everyone is on Tinder these days whether it’s to look for something casual, a serious relationship, a gym buddy or even a pet. That’s right, the OC Humane Society in Huntington Beach is using a dating app to help connect animals with potential owners.

Currently, there is only one Humane Society HB dog on Tinder and his name is Bandit. The pitbull mix is a long-term resident and a very sweet dog that Jose Jorge Netto thought would be the perfect test for the program. Netto has been volunteering with the OCHS for over a year now and he and one of his co-workers offered their services pro-bono to raise awareness for OCHS and promote dogs in need of adoption. “We came up with this marketing idea of finding puppy love online because we feel shelter dogs lack online exposure to find a permanent home,” Netto said.

“This idea has been yielding amazing results so far,” Netto said. “In less than two weeks, we have matched Bandit with over 30 potential adopters on Tinder.”Bandit’s Tinder is also linked to an Instagram account that showcases his personality through photos and videos. Bandit has gained over a hundred followers on Instagram and many followers are sharing his profile and contact info.

The program started when Bandit’s profile first went online on Feb. 11. Netto explained that he chose to use Tinder because they were able to only use pictures of Bandit and that is a geolocation app so potential owners would be in a reasonable distance from the shelter.

Netto noticed that many potential dog owners were looking for companionship the same way people do on dating apps such as OKCupid. Adoption dynamics are not unlike dating; meeting different people, first impressions and compatibility.

“It’s also a bit like dating in the sense that it can be a numbers game,” Netto said. “Sometimes you meet a lot of people before finding the right one. Since shelter dogs don’t usually get a lot of exposure outside the usual circles, why not increase their exposure through social media?”

If this project, tentatively named Bandit Rescue, finds Bandit a home, OCHS will be putting more dog profiles on Tinder.

Orange County Humane Society of Huntington Beach can be found at 21632 Newland St., Huntington Beach 92646. They can be contacted at (714) 536-8480 and at Hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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