Pet-Friendly Online Dating Sites
by Stacey Waspe
Tired of finding Mr or Ms Right, only to discover that he or she is allergic to your little tail-wagger? Can't get up the nerve to flirt with that cute bulldog and his human at the local pet store? (What if she's not single?) Granted, it's much easier to meet and greet when you've got your pampered pooch at the end of his or her alligator leash. But to meet that special someone, sometimes you need to go beyond what you and yours can walk in a day. So how do you find a partner who isn't allergic and who will love your pup (almost) as much as you do? Look no further than your computer.
Print publications have long buried personal ads on the back pages and they've always carried the sullied stench of desperation. We've been there and done that, thank-you-very-much but shh! don't tell anyone!
Online dating sites, however, are dogs of a different color. While they are definitely not a new invention, they are becoming increasingly popular, especially among urban singles, with hundreds of people joining every day. Not only is everyone talking about it, they're even bringing their favorite pets with them!
There are a number of good places on the web for dog lovers to hook-up and get their dog leashes tangled. While some online dating sites focus on having the highest number of members, these specialty sites take a slightly different approach, concentrating instead on providing you with the largest number of pet compatible members. By allowing you to narrow your search based on lifestyle and pet ownership, they make it easier for you to meet someone who will find you and Fido irresistable.
Whether you prefer online matchmaker sites where you can post a personal ad with a photo or two or organized singles events that you can attend either with or without your pampered pooch, the following sites will have you and your dog drooling at the possibilities.
The love of animals and willingness to share your life and heart with a pet is good common ground and a great starting point for any relationship. So what are you waiting for? Get out there!
Leashesandlovers.com: Where Dog Lovers Meet
Leashes and Lovers hosts cocktail parties for single dog lovers in upscale locales in New York City. (Leave your pooch at home, but please, bring photos!) Parties are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Get a chance to mingle with other singles who share your passion for pooches at these feel-good events, which raise money and awareness to benefit a 'no-kill' animal rescue organization or shelter.
Not satisfied with just a photograph? Gather yourself and your dog and traipse off to Leashes and Lovers "Sunday Afternoons" to play with other singles and their dogs at various indoor and outdoor dog-friendly locales in the city. "Sunday Afternoons" will begin sometime in the spring on the first Sunday of every month.
The parties, which draw an average of 30 singles in NYC, have generated interest worldwide. "We have had interest as far away as Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and Japan to name a few," say co-founders, Michelle Kennedy and Sheryl Matthys. "Numerous dog lovers in various American cities have expressed interest in attending Leashes and Lovers events in their areas. We definitely have plans of expanding on a much larger level." This will likely include an expansion of their website, allowing singles everywhere a place to mingle online as well.
The success of these events is easy to explain: "Compared to other singles events, we anticipate that the success rates will be much higher since they all have one common bond or interest - dogs."
If you can't join Michelle and Sheryl at the next Leashes and Lovers party on February 17th, at Onyx (supporting the Noah's Art Project), be sure to tune in that morning as they join choice singles and their dogs on the CBS Early Show, showing all of us how to "mingle with a mission".
KissyKat.com: Where people who love pets find love.
Don't let the name fool you. KissyKat.com is for animal lovers of every flavor. "Not just for 'kats'. We also love dogs. Really. And birds. Not to mention fish, hamsters, ferrets, iguanas and pot-bellied pigs. You get the idea." Indeed, we do. Created for pet lovers by pet lovers, KissyKat.com came to life when the owners realized that it was a challenge to express their out-and-out adoration for their pets on other online dating sites.
The site couldn't be easier to use, and the search option lets you enter as much or as little information as you like; as a member, you can save your search to quickly find matches each time you visit. While you'll be asked the standard questions when you register, like gender and age, you must also confess who holds the key to your heart: the kind of pet you have and his or her name.
Setting up a profile is easy and fun. You can include a photo as well as audio and video greetings. Basic membership is free, which allows you to "send smiles" (like making eye-contact at a party) as well as receive and reply to KissyKat mail. Chatting and initiating mail requires a paid upgrade. Extras include a free personality quiz and matching, forums, and free animal-themed e-cards. And if you're looking to adopt, KissyKat's Pet Finder will help you find the homeless pet of your dreams.
SinglesWithPets.com: A Breed Apart
With members concentrated in the United States, SinglesWithPets.com is a site where you can post a personal ad, along with a photograph. Like other online sites, it's easy to search, and they have an automated matchmaker, which will tell you if there is another member you and your dog will love. They also have a gift shop, where you can buy clothing and other human accessories, which raises money for animal organizations such as the Humane Society and law enforcement K-9 units.
Animal and nature lovers abound here: members usually mention their pet and favorite activities in their profiles, so be specific when you write your online ad. Does your love of nature mean that you like walking your puppy in the big park around the corner from your townhouse, not your dog tent? Ensure that your profile shows off the personality of you and your little princess.
In this case, the name says it all. A dating site that will help you meet other singles like you, whether you're interested in making friends, finding a new love, or just having fun with someone who shares your love of animals. LoveMeLoveMyPets.com is easy to use, and has thousands of active members worldwide so you can meet people in Boston or Belgium. Ads with photographs get 8 times the response, so you and Fido should smile for the camera!
CyberCupid, an automated matching service, will send you email messages when you match with another member ? all you need to do is give Cupid a few tips on what you're looking for and he'll do the rest. Like most online dating sites, posting a personal is free, as is replying and receiving messages. LoveMeLoveMyPets.com has two different paid services, depending on your needs: an unlimited monthly service or you can use tokens and pay-as-you-go. You'll need to choose one if you want to contact another member.
AnimalPeople.com: Pets Bring People Closer
Lisa Skriloff and Jodie Gould, authors of "Men are from Cyberspace" highly recommend turning to sites where people with like interests can meet. Among their favorites is AnimalPeople.com, a Web site for singles who are self-proclaimed animal lovers. And at two marriages and counting, lots of singles are finding luck with this online dating site. They share a database with LoveMeLoveMyPets.com and you'll be able to search members who sign up at either location. Access and pricing are the same, so choose the site you like better.