I know what you’re thinking– what sick bastard is looking to hook up with a dog tonight? Or slightly less creepy humans, but nonetheless creepy humans might be excited at the thought of a weird dog cross-breeding service that you can coordinate over your mobile device.
Luckily, BarkBuddy isn’t like Tinder in that it’s meant for those kind of hookups. As a matter of fact, as far as apps in general go, it’s pretty damn normal. The program, created by Bark & Co., the same canine-loving company that owns the monthly treat bundle service BarkBox and the on-call visiting vet service BarkCare, matches prospective owners with dogs that are currently being housed at nearby shelters.
There are a few things to take away from this. First off, if you lack restraint, this is a bad app for you. Sure, puppies are cute, but you can always Google image search the word “puppy” and have just as much fun without that one button that allows you to adopt one. Get your average softie on Barkbuddy and it would only be a matter of time before his or her apartment is inhabited by six pooches hopping around, knocking things over and crapping on the carpet.
Secondly, you can only hope that this will make dogs more photogenic. How many times have you tried to take a selfie with your parents’ dog before just saying “screw it” and giving up because the dog was being restless? If it depended on their adoption, however, you’d have to think (unless dogs are like stupid or something) these pups would make their “prof pic” look like a Sarah McLachlan ad.
Lastly, despite it being an app, and probably a really poor idea to adopt a dog that you’ve never handled in real life (although it doesn’t quite let you purchase from the app itself, instead it connects you up with the proper shelter), this will likely result in more abandoned pooches finding homes, which is a beautiful thing. In a Time Magazine article, co-founder Henrik Werdelin says that the app already has, “250,000 dogs in the database, and we are open to talking to any shelter about joining us.”
Whether you’re serious about rescuing a dog or you just want to swipe through photo after photo of lonely pups and say “Awww, poor thing,” the world of dog-dating apps can now be your oyster.