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Kaua‘i Humane Society cats and dogs find love on dating apps

LIHU‘E — Single on Valentine’s Day?

Perhaps you would be interested in Samson, who has a high-powered job as the Chief of Tennis Ball Collections, according to his Hinge bio.

Or Mana, whose Tinder profile says that he enjoys going on runs and playing tug-of-war.

These are two of the 14 eligible dogs and cats that have taken to Tinder, Bumble and Hinge this week in hopes of finding love and companionship.

The profiles are part of an unorthodox initiative from the Kaua‘i Humane Society meant to connect animals to owners.

“There’s a very small dating pool here on Kaua‘i, and it’s very easy to swipe through all of your matches and run out,” said Caitlin Fowlkes, KHS marketing and communications specialist. “I thought it would be funny if a single person was swiping looking for a Valentine’s date and they came across an adoptable shelter pet.”

When looking for Valentine’s Day promotional ideas, Fowlkes saw an article about the Lee County Humane Society in Alabama using the same strategy last year, and after polling the organization’s social-media following, she decided to give it a shot.

She arranged a romantic photoshoot where she posed the eligible animals with a bouquet of roses.

She then asked staff to pick their favorite animal and write bios for them, then swiped right on as many people as possible.

KHS Executive Director Nicole Crane was more discerning with the managing of a cat named Sickle’s profile, swiping left on anyone who described themselves as a dog lover.

When the accounts get a match, the employees engage with the potential owner. This has led to some interesting connections, Fowlkes said, adding that one employee had managed to connect with an animal-training service on O‘ahu as a result of the program.

“The staff has had a really fun time with this,” said Fowlkes. “It’s sparking some conversations and engaging the community in a different way.”

KHS currently has 198 animals in its care. The “dating” animals are all long-termers whose adoption fees are currently waived.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, KHS saw an uptick in adoptions, as more families felt able to take on a pet.

One of the bachelors has already managed to find a match.

Sickle, whose Tinder profile describes him as “the purrfect man for you,” who likes “food that comes in a can and scratches behind the ears,” was adopted after a week on the dating sites.

Sickle’s new owner actually didn’t find him from his dating profile though — they met in person, the old-fashioned way.

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Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 647-0329 or gscrimgeour@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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