One factor that we took into account in the creation of Woofr is the indefinite COVID-19 situation. Due to lockdown and heightened health protocol, it has been difficult for animal shelters to receive the same support, and it has also placed a strain upon the mental health of US citizens. For those who may be struggling, a pet is the perfect way to bring a positive influence into one’s life. Even after COVID-19 passes, this app will still remain relevant for those searching for their next pet.

When finding a new pet for my home, I realized how much of a struggle it was to actually find a dog we were looking for. It was already difficult to drive around different animal shelters as we were already occupied with work and school, and by the time those were over, the animal shelters were already closed. However, one weekend, we were finally able to find the dog we wanted: a small Boston Terrier, just a few weeks old, and struggling to survive due to the terrible conditions of the animal shelter we found her at. Seeing that someone struggled to find a place for her and left her at an animal shelter to die was heartbreaking. We picked her up immediately and brought her back to health, but it made me think as to how often this actually happens. We wanted to make Woofr because this happens all too often as unfortunately, the easiest way to get rid of a pet is to leave them in a shelter. We want these animals to avoid these terrible conditions as much as possible while also providing animal shelters a way to give animals to the community, so creating an app that allows an easy way to give dogs a better home would be the best solution.

What it does

Woofr is an app that matches dogs that need to be adopted with potential owners. Within one app, those “looking” for a friend and those “giving” a friend are able to connect and communicate on a streamlined platform. Woofr takes into account the preferences of the adopters while enabling those who have dogs up for adoption to advertise pets who are in need of a home.

How I built it

Front-end - React Native, React Native Elements for the UI framework Middleware - Node.js server Back-end - Redis, Redis Data Cloud, Hash Sets for data, Redis Search

Challenges I ran into

Through the process of creating Woofr, our group encountered challenges such as technology experience, managing Redis, time constraints, and, of course, remote communication. Most of the group members are primarily experienced in design and user interfaces, so it was a challenge for the developer to bring the design to fruition. In addition, none of the group members had ever used Redis before, so it was a significant, yet an interesting challenge to learn this new technology. However, one of the main issues we grappled with was the extent of features within the app that would be possible given our time frame. There were simply too many features and too little time to be able to implement everything while keeping the UI intact.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

As a group, we created a functional app that will benefit the lives of many people and pets. Throughout this entire process, everyone on this team learned a lot of skills from UI design to database functionality. We were able to apply these developed skills and collaborate to create this framework that we hope to further expand on in the future.

What I learned

Woofr has allowed our group to improve both our communication skills and technical skills. As a group, we utilized one another's strengths, but even beyond that, we had to understand how to implement the ideas of one another in a long-distance, virtual setting. Although difficult, this experience taught us the importance of communication in creating a cohesive product. In regards to technical skills, we learned how to use Redis and its modules like Redis Search along with the Redis Enterprise Cloud. In addition, we learned more about developing and designing front-end software through Figma, React Native, and its corresponding frameworks.

What's next for Woofr

Following the Redis Hackathon, our group intends to continue the development of Woofr. We hope to add additional features such as an adjustable location radius for users, a filter on the establishment that the dog comes from (shelter or home), and an information portal providing access to a pet’s medical needs. In regards to users’ search for dogs, we intend to expand the number of dog breeds selectable when indicating preferences. We will also finalize the “giving” aspect of the app and will make the app more convenient for users such as animal shelters. Shelters will be able to verify their status and will also receive alerts if a potential adopter expresses interest in one of their dogs. After interest is established, Woofr will prompt conversation starters that can begin dialogue between shelters and potential owners. In the future, we also hope to build connections with our user-base, including animal shelters, by reaching out to contact them with further information about Woofr.

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