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'The Response Is Insane': Animal Shelter Uses Tinder To Help Pets Find Their 'Purrfect Match'

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - An animal shelter in Germany is using a popular dating app in a new approach to find homes for abandoned pets.

The Munich Animal Welfare Association (MAWA) is posting their profiles on dating app Tinder in the hope that lonely humans looking for love might also settle for the company of a cat or a dog.

"Quite simply, it's fun," shelter worker Jillian Moss tells Reuters. "Why always have these boring ads in newspapers? We thought we'd join younger people -- sure, there are older ones on Tinder too - to follow a trend. This is something new, something creative which we definitely support."

The MAWA got an advertising agency to shoot professional pictures of 15 animals, including a black-and-white cat called "Captain Kirk," that it put on Tinder.

You won't find cute kittens or playful puppies here. These are older animals. They still love long walks on the beach but that have a harder time finding new owners.

"We purposely did not take the cutest, tiniest, new-born kittens but animals that have some sort of history," says Benjamin Beilke, who's in charge of the shelter's communications on Tinder. "I hope that these animals really find a new partner, a 'purrfect match' in the long term and not just for a few weeks."

The COVID-19 lockdown saw many pets adopted last year, but some are now being abandoned as people go back to work. In the United States, for example, some shelters are reporting the number of pets being returned has doubled since COVID restrictions have lifted.

But Moss says countless people are now swiping right in approval of her shelter's new Tinder approach, which means they're interested and want to set up a first date.

"We had in fact several calls already of people saying they saw such and such on Tinder. We are now conducting preliminary talks and we'll then invite people," she says. "The response is insane, it's exploding everywhere."

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