A cultural obsession with cute animal videos and fluffy creatures doing human things drastically contrasts with the amount of irresponsible pet ownership, animal rights violations, and significant populations of abandoned pets in American cities. As we head into a future with an widening wealth gap, it becomes increasingly apparent that responsible ownership of living creatures is a privilege for those who already have their necessities met and possess the financial bandwidth to care and provide - and to LEARN how to care and provide - for a furry dependent. If that wasn't bad enough, there is a pandemic of loneliness that is hitting people all over the world due to poor work life balance, urbanization creating smaller and smaller living spaces, and advancing technology that is distancing us from even the people next to us. That's where Petsi comes in - a way to connect people with the professionals with the know-how in an innovative way. Petsi is meant for people who are interested in a caring for an animal companion and want to connect with the professionals that are looking to home animals that are in need of love and safety. However, its not an easy process since people are imperfect and pet ownership is a big commitment, not to mention picky potential owners.
What it does
Petsi is a React multi-page webapp that securely logs you in after the landing page and takes you to available animals in the form of swipe cards that you can swipe through. Then once you find a potential pet and swipe right, Petsi sends you to the decentralized chat app portion of the site to communicate your interest in your chosen animal and learn about the adoption and ownership process with a partnered rescue or shelter. People can use Petsi to quickly navigate through available animals in need of a home and learn about what it takes to make them apart of the family in an accessible, less time-consuming, and less intimidating platform. Petsi a way to adopt for the next generation of pet owners.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
For the entire team, we had to learn what a decentralized app is and how it works, build one that works, and finally deploy a chat app within a React app. Additionally, React and creating authentication was brand new to many members. Half of our team was international which required adapting ourselves to different time zones.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we came together as a group of strangers and were able to learn new technologies, make new friends across cultures and distance, and create an awesome project that has the potential to impact society positively and bring society closer together.
What we learned
What's next for Petsi
So, we've made a drop in the bucket in addressing the crisis of abandoned animals across the nation. Doomed to suffering fates, unsightly and dangerous to our health and our communities, and a financial burden to people and to local government, that frankly, is difficult to take on when there are what seem like more pressing issues everywhere. So the next step for Petsi would be to add a two pronged revenue producing plan to the existing app. The first would be monetize the app with Coil and replace images of animals with a quick video of that animal so as to keep the attention of the perusing viewer that perhaps isn't ready to go through with a connection, but the time they spend on the site with help the medical, training, and maintenance expenses of these animals. Contingent on the cooperation of animal rescues and animal protection agencies, a booking and appointments feature would be added to Petsi to allow for the leasing services of furry companions on a sliding scale. This would fill the void in market of single, young professionals or financially strained families or lonely people who are all seeking that endorphin rush that comes from a furry member of the family but aren't in a position to make a lifelong commitment. By reducing the barriers to adoption, reducing the costs of animal care and maintenance, and striving to make a self-sustaining model, we would want Petsi to help alleviate animal suffering and human mental health struggles well into the future.