Published: 16th May 2020
This animal rescue app has brought animal rehabilitation and adoption to your smartphones. Here's how you can help
Let It Wag is a crowdsourced platform that connects animal lovers and animals who are in need, based within a 5 km radius with the help of local NGOs and veterinarians
The last crackers of Diwali 2017 were bursting when Yash Sheth discovered a stray dog in pain. And a scenario too many of us are familiar with unfolded — the NGOs listed on Google search were unreachable, the helplines were busy and the nearest vet was more than an hour away. Although people would stop by to feed the dog a biscuit or offer to help, there was no immediate way to rehabilitate the dog. Don't worry, the story ends well. An ambulance was rented and the injured dog found safety. But most times, the picture is not as rosy.
Yash, an entrepreneur, was immediately deep in thought. The idea of being surrounded by animal lovers but with no immediate support spawned the idea behind Let It Wag, a real-time animal rescue app. For this, he went on to meet animal welfare NGOs and animal lovers who have faced similar situations. His immediate confidante was Nishant Patel, now the Head of Marketing at Let It Wag, who was just as determined to find a solution.
Yash says, "Suppose you are traveling and find a stray dog who could use your help. The nearest vet or NGO could be kilometres away. So the primary service our app provides you is to connect you to animal lovers within a 5 km radius, just as a taxi app would connect you to a driver. You can post about the animal in need of rescue and it is broadcasted to all the users nearby. It also connects you to any ambulances, NGOs, helplines, and other emergency services that will respond to you in that specific locality."
FIND HELP: The app helps connect animal lovers ina particular area
Let It Wag also offers the feature of adoption. Think of a dating app but with adorable animal faces that you can swipe left or right on depending on what you can offer your adopted pet. The basic details like the family who will look after the pet and the one who is forced to give away is also available. And speeding up the process even more, the adoption documents are also processed virtually. Both parties can enter the adoption details on the app, download, sign and exchange it until they are ready to bring their pet home.
Nishant says, "The application is a helpful tool for NGOs as well. Think of all the WhatsApp forwards you have seen with pictures of dogs in need of adoption. What do we even know of the status of these messages? During our research, we found out that a lot of these are outdated and many of them are even trying to misuse it. We help NGOs and volunteer groups put up all their documentation online. So people can see which animals are still in need of adoption and which ones have already found a home. There's no proper platform where people can do this. Facebook and other social media websites generate the same posts over and over. This brings it all to one accountable place. And it is available in every part of the country using GPS."
On May 14, Let It Wag launched a crowdfunding campaign to help feeders and volunteers help strays during and post the lockdown. With a community of more than 12,000 downloads and 15,000 animal lovers, it has grown into a community that aims to find safe spaces for animals. It is available on Android and iOS.