This German animal shelter is using Tinder to get pets adopted

Suddenly the internet is romantic again.

Photo taken in Calarasi, Romania
Ionita Veronica / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

If you happen to be browsing Tinder in the Munich area this month, you might happen upon some very unique dating prospects: cats and dogs. Fifteen of them, to be precise, thanks to a local animal shelter that’s decided to go for a less traditional route to getting their residents adopted.

The Munich Animal Welfare Association had a professional photographer come by to take “headshots” of the cats and dogs. The organization then created a Tinder profile for each pet, uploaded the photos, and waited for the swipes to come in.

And they did. “The response is insane, it’s exploding everywhere,” Jillian Moss, a representative from the animal shelter, told Reuters.

The move comes at a pivotal time for animal shelters around the world. Pet adoption rates went sky-high during the pandemic, but as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out globally, people are aching to return to some sense of normalcy. For shelters, that means it’s time to get creative.

Tinder’s in on it, too — As a dating platform, Tinder is first and foremost concerned with keeping its platform free of bots and safe as a place for people to meet strangers without fearing abuse. One might expect actual animals to constitute some sort of breach in the company’s terms of use — but Tinder’s actually really into this idea.

“There aren’t only lonely souls among humans, but there are also a lot of lonely souls among animals,” a Tinder communications staffer said. “We hope that these animals find a new partner, a ‘purrfect match’ in the long term and not just for a few weeks.”

Bad pun aside, the sentiment is appreciated; Tinder understands that this particular use case, while not exactly what the app is intended for, is toward a very good cause indeed.

More of this, please — The prolonged pandemic era we’re (somehow still) living through has transformed the internet for good. We do everything on the internet now: conduct daily business transactions, meet up virtually with friends and strangers alike, watch the news unfold on Twitter or Facebook or CNN.

Because we’re using it constantly, now, it’s all too easy to forget the more magical parts of the internet. When everything is status quo, we often lose sight of the simple innovations that make the internet fun and interesting.

The Munich Animal Welfare Association took up the internet’s biggest challenge — to keep things interesting — and succeeded. Maybe, if we’re lucky, others will watch the organization’s success and come up with their own novel solutions, too.