As a rule, I steer clear of Petfinder.com, the mega database of adoptable companion animals. I have two rescue dogs in my home—and that’s pretty much my capability max. And I don’t trust myself to scroll through the photos and profiles without wanting to adopt—or strong-arming a loved one to the point of alienation over adopting—another dog. But, in the interest of research, I downloaded the new, free Petfinder iPhone application (also good for the iPod Touch) from iTunes onto my phone to see how it works. It took about 15 seconds to load and input my location.
Thirty-five minutes later—I kid you not—I put down my phone, my thumb tired from scrolling; my head conflicted over the pleasure of seeing so many lovely dogs and the unhappiness of knowing they don’t have homes. From the striking Catahoula Leopard Dog named Wizard to a Nick-and-Nora-ready pair of Airedale Terriers named Loki and Hank to an intense, shiny Pointer named Lexi and on and on. Is it my imagination or have the photographers and writers at rescues and shelters gotten crazy good at their jobs? Each photo captured doggy essence and seemed to say, “Yup, I’m a good and loving pup that will make your life complete.” Each profile stressed the good but made the challenges clear. All of this in the palm of my hand. I have to think this is a good thing. More of these wonderful dogs reaching more eyeballs, and those eyeballs attached to ever-networking fingers ready to share profiles and photos via Facebook, Twitter or quaint old email. This has to lead to more homes, while at the same time putting a compelling face (many faces, in fact) on the overpopulation problem.