By Karin Krisher
Meeting your perfect pet has never been so easy. While the matchmaking industry for humans is raking it in (online matchmaking services pull down 1.049 billion per year), the pet courting industry is just getting started. And we’re not talking matching Sadie with Rufus. We’re talking you and your ideal animal friend, shaking paws for the first time through a personality test: matchmaking for dogs and cats.
That’s right, a personality test. But it’s not just for…persons. Canine-ality and feline-ality play a large part in the process. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has launched Meet Your Match, an incredible tool to assess if your personality will mesh with that of a prospective pet. Rather than viewing kitties in cages or receiving one picture in the mail before you make a commitment, you simply take a short test to find the love you never knew.
This Valentine’s day, head to a shelter just like the good ol’ days. That’s where things start to get shaken up. You’ll take some time to fill out an adopter survey– a list of 19 questions that reveal all sorts of fun facts about your needs and desires.
The dogs and cats at the shelter have done the same. Researchers consider many factors in each assessment, and eventually choose one color that best describes the pet in question, attaching a color-coded collar when the process is complete. After your survey, you get a color too. Then the real matchmaking begins.
Says the ASPCA: “Each adoptable cat is assessed based on level of interest in play, exploring, ‘talking,’ and being the center of attention so that he or she can be placed into one of the nine color-coded “feline-ality” types that make up the Meet Your Match program. Green cats are savvy and adventurous, orange cats make the perfect companions and purple kitties are quiet, seek affection and stay out of trouble. The color is indicated on the cat’s kennel card, along with a short description, so you’ll know just who you’re dealing with in your quest for your dream kitty.”
What more could we ask for in a matchmaking for dogs and cats service than the simplicity of color-coding? Not only will you be able to quickly assess whether or not the animal in front of your eyes is the animal you want on the couch, but the ASPCA boasts that participating shelters have found a 40- to 45-percent increase in adoptions and a 45- to 50-percent decrease in returns and euthanasia since program implementation.
If there are any qualms to be had about this innovative service, they might involve missing your match. If that pup in the purple seemed like the “couch potato” on one particularly sluggish day, but isn’t quite so relaxed in a new home, you might fear that you passed up another opportunity that may have been better suited to your personality. However, the likelihood of this is smaller than it would be without the survey, meaning it can’t be to blame.
There’s never been a better time to be an adopter. Even in the coldest season, flowers of love are blooming at your nearest Meet Your Match-supporting shelter. Brave the snow and give something new a shot—statistics say you won’t regret it.