New Zealand pet-sharing service Share My Pet are encouraging pet owners and animal lovers to use their service in a bid to educate communities on responsible pet sharing and ownership.
David Johnson and Lili Wenzel, a couple from Nelson, set up the business at the end of 2017 after recognising a niche in the market whilst out walking their dogs.
“We’re out and about with our dogs a lot and they always get approached by one or five people – and I started asking people questions like, ‘Why haven’t you got a pet? You seem to love them obviously,’ and lots of different reasons came out all the time,” says Lili.
“There’s just so many reasons why people can’t have a pet but would still like to be part of a pet’s life.”
Their website, www.sharemypet.co.nz allows pet owners to connect with animal lovers so they can share precious time with the owner’s pet.
The couple have also recognised many university students would love to have a pet but factors such as renting, studying and work commitments mean they miss out on the benefits of owning one.
“I remember when I was a student in Otago, there was nothing like this and I would have adored it,” says Lili.
Not only does the service present an opportunity for people to get their ‘pet fix,’ Lili and Dave also use the service to educate people about owning a pet.
“Just promoting being a responsible pet owner as well, so instead of rushing out because your kids have been nagging you for a rabbit, why not meet up with a family with a rabbit?” says Lili.
“Get to know a pet before launching into the ownership.”
Despite dog attack statistics on the rise, the couple have experienced no troubles with Share My Pet and see it as a chance to promote safety around pets for children.
“Teaching children is a really great opportunity. A lot of children don’t know how to act around dogs,” Lili says.
“So, connecting family safe dogs with children who live in rentals and can’t have their own dog, but could go on a doggy date and form that special relationship with a little canine.”
Students can use the service as a ‘carer’ or ‘sharer’ for an annual membership fee of $50.00 – profits of which are donated to charity.
Interested students can visit www.sharemypet.co.nz for more details.