Web­site launched for pet lovers

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KATASHA MCCUL­LOUGH

More than 1000 pets are reg­is­tered on web­site Pet­snearby, in­clud­ing high­land cows, chin­chillas and a minia­ture don­key.

The so­cial net­work­ing site was set up by Ralph Grand and Mack Saraswat in Massey Univer­sity’s E-cen­tre.

Mr Grand is work­ing to­wards a PhD in ge­net­ics and Mr Saraswat in bio­chem­istry but the stu­dents share a love of an­i­mals and want to make New Zealand more pet-friendly.

‘‘The ini­tial idea was to cre­ate a cen­tral place for peo­ple who are passionate about their pets to share and gather in­for­ma­tion.’’

The site is dif­fer­ent from other so­cial me­dia be­cause peo­ple set up and com­mu­ni­cate through ac­counts for their pets, rather than them­selves.

Mr Grand says it is the big­gest pet-re­lated data­base in New Zealand.

Users can upload pho­tos, read blogs and find nearby vets, cafes or shops.

Mr Saraswat says the parks and pet-ser­vices sec­tion lets peo­ple sub­mit their own pho­tos and share their ex­pe­ri­ences.

‘‘It means if you’re plan­ning to go to a dog-friendly cafe on a Sun­day morn­ing you can find a park as well,’’ he says.

The next step for the team of five be­hind Pet­snearby is to launch the events sec­tion where users can set up their own play dates and doggy days out.

Mr Grand says the web­site has at­tracted about 900 mem­bers in the three months it has been run­ning.

An­i­mal lovers: Massey Univer­sity stu­dents Mack Saraswat and Ralph Grand launched the Pet­snearby web­site to con­nect pet own­ers.

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