Keller Students Pioneer the ‘Pet Dating’ Industry

Hannah Webb, Editor-in-Chief

We’ve all heard of Tinder, the popular dating app that allows its users to meet potential dating partners based on factors such as the potential partner’s age, location, and the newest photos he or she has posted to the site. While the concept behind the dating app is clever and can be extremely useful for young adults in or just out of college, its purpose is to help the user serve his or her own needs. But what happens when the concept of Tinder is used to serve a greater cause?

Two of Keller High School’s own students, Andrew Nelson and McKenna Hixon, have done just that. They have adapted the concept of Tinder to meet a need in the Keller community with their project dubbed “HSNTinder,” a partnership with the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) that aims to find homes for the animals housed there.

“We are a program that develops promotional videos for the dogs and cats up for adoption at the local humane society. We call it HSNTinder because we’re kind of developing ‘dating profiles’ for the dogs and cats and putting it into video form to match them with owners,” Nelson said.

Ultimately, this honorable initiative sprung from the two’s need to create a concept for their DECA public relations project. Part of their task included involving their entire DECA chapter and engaging other students in the school. Both dedicated dog-lovers and previous adopters of pets from shelters, Nelson and Hixon realized their shared love of pets and ran with the idea from there.

“We’re both dog-lovers, and we realized there’s a problem with overcrowding in shelters, so that’s kind of where we got our start. We both have a love for animals and we [saw a] need so we wanted to work to fix it,” Hixon said.  

They also drew inspiration from the website The Dodo which creates videos for animals that have been rescued or need to be adopted.

“[They make videos] for dogs just all around the world, and I thought that would be a great thing to do locally. That way people have more access to these adoptable dogs and cats,” Nelson said.

In addition to their unique concept, Nelson and Hixon have also succeeded in putting their project into action. To advertise, they passed out HSNTinder stickers to students on December 11th and asked them to wear the stickers throughout the day. The animals that are the focus of the project have also seen benefits.