Dogs & Nonprofits
With Elena Battles (MBA, Stanford University), I co-founded wagaroo.com to bring a simple principle to life: when it comes to getting a pet, it's time to make it easier for people to do the right thing! No puppy mills. No backyard breeders. Just folks working together to find great homes for dogs who need them. Here is a video from our successful crowd-funding campaign.
As discussed in Al Roth's blog, which was later re-posted on Freakonomics' blog, Wagaroo seeks to overcome market failures, arising from search costs and information asymmetry problems, that prevent families from easily finding dogs and lead to millions of dogs being killed every year.
Through our Family2Family program (now the main focus of Wagaroo!), we help owners in crisis of needing to rehome their dog. Instead of surrendering their dogs to shelters, we help owners directly rehome their dogs to new families. We also developed a mechanism, discussed in a subsequent blog by Al Roth and in a Harvard Business Review blog by Paul Oyer, to screen out "bad actors" from our Family2Family program. Related to this mechanism and our business as a whole, we also recently led a discussion in a MBA seminar. For other media coverage, see this HBS Working Knowledge article, which was also reposted on Forbes and covered by BarkBox. Most recently, see this blog post on rehoming from BravoTV .
To hear more from me, you may also listen to this podcast available on Economic Rockstar (which is also shown below).
You may also listen to me on this other podcast available from the Animal Rescue Professionals Association, or should you choose to order audio from the 2018 Best Friends Animal conference, you may listen to my talk there.
Outside of economics, my inspiration for co-founding Wagaroo truly began as a teenager when I started volunteering at my local animal shelter. Not very long after, I met a small brindle pit with an unshakable love for life. Before finding her forever home with us, she spent 30 days in a cramped cage where she could barely turn but still managed a near constant wagging of her tail. Pepper passed away in the Fall of 2015 but remains an inspiration. To learn more about my motivation to save dogs, you can read an article in my alma mater's magazine.