Anyone who's ever been on Tinder knows having a cute animal in the photo is usually a big hit.

But what if Tinder profile photos only featured that cute animal? And what if, instead of a millennial would-be hooker-upper, it was the adorable dog or cat itself looking for true love?

That's an idea some animal shelters are toying with.


"We are always trying to come up with ... creative new ways to get our shelter dogs out in front of potential adopters," says Karen Hirsch, public relations director at LifeLine Animal Project in Georgia.

And experimenting with online dating for dogs and cats might just be working.

The harsh world of pet adoption is extremely competitive: About 6.5 million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters every year, each seeking a good forever home. It's too big a need for shelter operators to just sit back and hope they all get adopted.

That's why you see adorable dogs on display outside the grocery store, partnerships with Uber that will bring puppies directly to you for playtime, and aww-inspiring social media campaigns like dogs in pajamas.

An estimated 50 million people worldwide use Tinder. So LifeLine and other shelters and rescues figure why not give it a shot?

After all, people using online dating apps are already looking for love and companionship — just maybe a slightly different kind.

Hirsch says they recently created profiles for 22 of their dogs and cats.

Photo by LifeLine Animal Project, used with permission.

Animal profiles are also showing up on Bumble, which is home to another 20 million users or so.

Like sweet Penelope here.

Photo by LifeLine Animal Project, used with permission.

Each pet is assigned to a volunteer who creates the profile and handles the conversations after a match.

"In a crowded shelter, pets often get overlooked, but on a dating app, the animal becomes an individual," Hirsch says. "People learn about them and form a 'virtual' attachment."

Photo by LifeLine Animal Project, used with permission.

Plus the witty banter is oodles of fun.

Photo by LifeLine Animal Project, used with permission.

For LifeLine, the experiment is still new. But Hirsch says people are responding to it incredibly well so far.

At the very least, Tinder and Bumble have proven to be great for word-of-mouth awareness-building on the importance of adopting shelter pets. The animals are getting dozens of matches. Hirsch says there have been more than a few online adoption inquiries, as well as people coming into the shelter to meet their "match" in person.

She also notes that one of the matches even became a regular volunteer at LifeLine.

This new animal dating idea has another upside for apps — and the people using them, too.

Dating experts are finding that people are getting burned out by online dating. Between "ghosting," "cushioning," "the slow fade," and a bunch more of those annoying slang terms, humans out there are wondering if dating apps are even worth the effort.

For romantic love, who knows?

But now that you might just meet the dog or cat of your dreams, that's not a bad reason to keep on swiping.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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