8th Grader Builds Website to Help Shelter Dogs Find Permanent Homes

dog Cropped

Aiden, an eighth-grader from Texas, went above and beyond for his latest class project. As part of his “passion project” coursework, he chose to build a website to match people with shelter dogs.

Dog Do or Dog Don’t is a simple site dedicated to helping people find their perfect new four-legged family member. Interested families or individuals are encouraged to take a survey which determines which breed (or breeds) of dog would thrive within that person’s lifestyle. The survey involves detailed questions about the person’s ability to provide for a dog, including house size, financial standing, and how much time they are able to spend with the dog. The survey helps potential adopters realize all of the responsibilities that come with providing for a companion animal. So often people adopt a dog without being fully committed. Aiden’s survey helps to prevent people from making a spontaneous decision that they cannot support.

Once the survey is complete, participants are directed to the “Results” page, where they are matched with the perfect pup, based on a percentage generated by the survey. Low percentage results advise cats and toy breeds, and as the percentage increases, so does the size (or complexity) of the breed. For example, puppies are not recommended under the 65% range, and only those who score a 76% and above are recommended to adopt a pix mix or bully breed.

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According to the website, one particular dog inspired Aiden to launch this free service. He wrote, “This is Royce. He is the dog that has inspired me to start my whole project. He is a 3 year old American Cattle Dog. Royce is hearing impaired and can only hear very loud noises. He is the sweetest dog I have ever met.” As of the site’s last update, Royce is available for adoption via the Bastrop Animal Rescue.

With over 6.5 million animals in the US shelter system alone, adopting your next companion animal is crucial. There are plenty of venues to find your perfect fit, from non-profit organizations to municipal shelters and specialty rescues, such as the BeFreegle Foundation and the Rescue + Freedom Project. Further, celebrities including action star Jackie Chan and professional soccer player Alex Morgan have highlighted many of these options to promote the “Adopt Don’t Shop” message and ensure all companion animals find a forever home.