Animal rescue groups and dog shelters around the U.S. are lining up to work with a new app startup called Shadow, which reunites missing dogs with their owners.
Shadow is the newest app from Zocdoc founder Cyrus Massoumi, which can help dog owners in 76 countries and 20 U.S. states reunite with their four-legged friends. The app works with shelters and rescue groups like the ASPCA to match photos of missing pets posted online and on social media with dogs they have in their facilities. Shadow enables A.I. technology to share potential matches with dog owners, who can set a distance radius and time setting to help narrow down the search for their missing pet. The app follows a social, “crowdsourced” model according to a Gartner report, meaning any consumer can join to help others find a lost dog, even if they themselves are not searching for a missing animal. Setting the app up in this way could drive downloads and boost subscriber rates, with more users able to provide additional “lost dog” posts or shelter images and thereby expanding Shadow’s reach and purpose.
Shadow is free to download for both iOS and Android devices, which again could raise user rates and awareness. The app does make money, however, from selling Instagram ads, which users can purchase for $10 each in a bid to boost exposure for their missing canine. For the fee, Shadow will manage the ad buying process and placement. Users who successfully find their dog through the app can also partake in Shadow’s “tipping program”, which provides additional revenue to the social start-up. As 10 million pets go missing in the U.S. each year, Shadow could engage an interested audience and help streamline the social process of looking for runaway dogs. With Facebook in particular a popular destination for “missing pet” groups, Shadow could further centralize the posting process and help each post get noticed, rather than lost in a sea of similar leads. Since its founding in 2018, Shadow has reunited 10,000 lost dogs with their owners, with the company aiming to double that number in 2021.
The Shadow app uses a social media-esque strategy to solve real world problems. The app can boost connections between dog owners and shelters and help bring a happy ending to a typically stressful situation.