Are you on the search for the perfect pet, but unsure how to find the right fit for your family? Finding the perfect cat or dog has become a lot easier — and a lot more accurate — thanks to the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match program, a system designed to identify compatible matches between animals and adopters.
PAWS is one of the many shelters across the country that has adopted the Meet Your Match® program, which evaluates an animal’s behavior and personality, and then matches them with a prospective adopter’s preferences to ensure it is a good fit. The Meet Your Match program helped us match Mia (pictured right), an independent senior cat, with the perfect guardian.
How does it work? It’s pretty simple, actually. When an animal first arrives at the shelter, PAWS staff use Meet Your Match guidelines to assign the cat or dog a “feline-ality” or “canine-ality” — a description of their personality based on factors such as energy level, playfulness and motivation. The animals are assigned a color — green, orange or purple — and one of three sub-categories in each color category.
For example, Green represents the active, go-getter types such as adventurous cats and active dogs. Orange is for go-with-the-flow pets, and animals who fall into the Purple category tend to be more quiet, easy-going and laid-back.
Adopters also fill out a survey designed to gauge what kind of pet might be best suited for their lifestyle, and they are assigned a color based on their survey score. Adopters can then match their color with the assigned color of any cat or dog in the shelter to find what feline-ality or canine-ality suits them best.
“It’s a great system, because it helps us meet the adopter’s expectations as well as find the perfect home for the animal,” says Alex Banibashar, a PAWS intern who performs the Meet Your Match behavior assessments. “It really does help us find the perfect match.”
The Meet Your Match system helps PAWS engage the prospective guardian and make them feel part of the process, and it can even make the adoption process more fun! “People like finding out what their color is, and looking at all the animals who they could be ‘matched’ with” says Banibashar.
Most importantly, the program ensures that adopters know exactly what to expect when they bring home their new cat or dog, creating a seamless and stress-free transition into “happily ever after.”
If you want to meet a match of your own, stop by for our Adopt-A-Cat Month Adoption Special with waived adoption fees on all adult cats!