Every year, thousands of pets go missing and many pet lovers turn to the internet to help locate their furry family members. One new site focusing on reuniting pets and owners is WheresMyPet.com, founded by Miami-based Tony Carrera. DogTipper recently caught up with Tony to learn more about this website he describes as a work of love.
Can you tell us about your background and how you came to work with pets?
I’ve worked in the computer industry since 1999 while still in high school designing websites, assembling/integrating computers for Alienware, doing network administration/IT in the public school system and launching my own company, Axoline.
I first started working on the idea for WheresMyPet back in 2004 when I thought it would be a fun project and there was no other similar site out. Work halted the project for several years until my cat, Willy, went missing. I decided I would work on the project and release it with features that I thought would be useful. Unfortunately the feature list kept growing and growing and I built two to three versions of the website until it became obvious that it was too much. After a break, I decided to refocus on the core functionality of the site, recovering missing pets, a couple of weeks ago. I finally completed the first version of the site and launched Saturday.
How would you describe your pet-related business?
The purpose of WheresMyPet is to help people recover missing pets and make the process as painless as possible.
Incredibly, some people have told us that certain websites require payment simply to post a lost or found pet listing. I find this insulting. You wouldn’t find it right for the police to ask for payment to help find your child or to post an alert/listing. Why should it be any different with pets?
The goal is to make WheresMyPet the destination for all who have lost or found pets. We are working hard to get user feedback and make small but important changes to head in that direction.
What’s your typical workday like?
I have a non-typical workday. Nowadays, I split my days working at Powerhouse Lighting and LEDSparks (both of which I’m a partner) and working at Axoline.
I typically work from 8am-4pm on operations and growing both Powerhouse Lighting and LEDSparks and I work nights getting Axoline and personal projects running. It’s a lot of work but it truly doesn’t feel like it because it’s something I enjoy doing.
Can you tell us about your pets?
I have two outside cats, Oreo and Sahi.
About a month or two after Willy went missing (two years as of this writing), a friend of mine gave me a call asking if I knew anyone who could take one or two cats home. It turns out my friend’s girlfriend, which worked at Enterprise car rental at the time, found the cats in the trunk of a car!
Turns out they were brother and sister and I didn’t have the heart to separate them. So I took them home and they’ve been safe and happy ever since.
What else would you like the readers of DogTipper.com to know about your work?
When I contact certain people they think WheresMyPet is some sort of advertising scheme or don’t believe this is a no-strings attached service.
This is genuinely a work of love. I’ve spent a lot of time and resources getting the website up and running to truly help people recover their pets. There are no schemes or crazy motives behind WheresMyPet. I just want to make a service to help people.
What’s next for your business?
The focus will be on getting the site to be as simple as possible to post lost and found pets and to allow others to easily discover posted pets.
Plans include mobile applications for the iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. A read/write API for developers to use and help spread the word in creative ways.
For More Information:
- follow WheresMyPet on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wheresmypet
- fan WheresMyPet on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/WheresMyPet/139730010366