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September 29, 2015
Paws For a Minute: New App Makes Owning a Pet Just a Little Bit Simpler
 
Proving there is an app for everything, a new pet-sitting and dog-walking app has launched in the greater Los Angeles area and is making life just a little bit easier for the average pet owner in the region. As Los Angeles continues to be one of the top cities to relocate to for career opportunities, there continue to be pet owners who are in need of a little help when work responsibilities overlap personal lives. Ensuring a quality life for our furry-footed loved ones could be not only beneficial to them but also guilt-free for us.

Walkio, a web-based mobile application and database, provides instant access to willing dog walkers and pet sitters. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, known as APPA, a leading not-for-profit trade association servicing the interests of pet product manufacturers and importers, recently released a survey stating that 65% of all Americans own a pet, yet between 6–8 million pets end up entering shelters on an annual basis. This happens because the lifestyle of the career professional and/or student often requires travel, working away from home, longer hours, and finding a affordable, dependable pet sitter, which can become a very difficult task.

In 2014, lightning struck as founder Hunter Reed and Cody Dysert, a software engineer, met at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and came up with the idea for Walkio. Cody had previously been running IT for his family business while building an app-based business solution for on-demand deliveries. Learning about each other’s interests, the two began conversing about the possibility of collaboration. Deciding to work together, they came up with the idea of Walkio and immediately formed a partnership. They have made it their goal “to ease the pains that pet owners face  [choosing between careers and their ‘family’]” with hopes of “making owning a pet easier and as a result reduce the number of pets in shelters.”

Utilizing web-based technologies, Walkio matches local pet sitters and dog walkers to compatible owners in need of ongoing care of their fur babies. Walkio also provides options for last-minute and emergency pet sitting, which can be a very difficult task without the use of such a powerful tool. Pet owners receive notifications upon arrival, departure, and interactions between pets and sitters through the system. Photos may also be provided to owners throughout the walk to eliminate worry during the sit.

Walkio directly handles all payments, acting as the liaison for safe communication and payment transaction, providing a platform that ensures ethical payment procedures and processing to continue delivering trustworthy service to all participants in the system. All sitters and walkers go through thorough application and on-boarding processes, as well as a standard background check, before accounts are activated. This also provides ease-of-mind to program adopters, knowing that pets, owners, and sitters are well-worthy of using such a life-changing solution. The app is now launched and is currently being adopted by users in LA, Nashville, TN, and Asheville, NC. 

Many career professionals choose not to have a pet in the home because they feel guilty for leaving their “babies” pinned up in the house all day while they are out. In the meantime, these same people are often lonely while millions of pets go homeless on a daily basis. This app could eliminate the euthanization of many innocent animals and greatly scale back depression for the human counterpart through its adoption and utilization. This app would also provide jobs to the many struggling to make it in such a major city. This would cut back on crime and homelessness in the area. Indirectly and not so far-fetched, this app could be one solution towards uplifting society!  

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Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan is the owner of Shorty Produkshins and an Internet Marketing professional, specializing in Social Branding and Public Relations. She has been a part of multiple International projects in both Entertainment Business and Professional Services industries. She often works with major marketing firms and job search sites under NDA in lending valuable insight to clientele, whether it includes hands-on project development or the crafting of a roadmap for a brand's awareness strategy. Find her online here. @sp_brand_social @sp_brand_social
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