Dogs & Nonprofits

With Elena Battles (MBA, Stanford University), I co-founded 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 owners, rescues, responsible breeders, and shelters 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, 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 more recent media coverage, see this HBS Working Knowledge article, which was also reposted on Forbes and covered by BarkBox. There is also a podcast available on Economic Rockstar.

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.

I am also on the advisory board for the The Life You Can Save.