Attention all pet lovers: the PAWW app has arrived for Apple and Android users as of April 11.
A University of Memphis student named Alexander J. Varnado has created a new pet owner app for mobile devices. The purpose of the application is to allow owners to capture moments with their pets.
Varnado said his personal experiences with his dog inspired him to create the app.
“I had a big scare with my dog, Jessie, back in December,” Varnado said. “It was traumatizing and life-awakening for me. Jessie is not just an animal to me — he is like the brother I never had.”
The app can also serve as a virtual pet journal for current pets or a memorial for pets that have passed away. It can be kept private or public.
Varnado also said it is essential to keep photographs of your dog, especially during times when the dog is ill or when they have passed away.
“I wanted to create an app that captures the memories made with Jessie,” Varnado said. “Me and my family could document past and current moments and look back on them when Jessie is no longer with us. Pets have unique lives just like humans. No one can tell their story except their owners. I believe the lives of pets should be documented just as humans document special moments in their life.”
Varnado said he has always been fascinated with mobile applications, so the process was not tedious to him but more so costly.
“I believe that with patience, faith, consistency and hard work, anything is possible,” Varnado said.
He created the app using only his home computer devices and inspiration from his pet.
“I learned by using an online computer software,” Varnado said. “I remember the saying, ‘There’s an app for that,’ and I knew from that moment I always wanted to learn how to create an app. I would always read hundreds of articles on how to create an app, take online free courses on how to code and watch YouTube videos on how to make an app. I just used the Internet as another way to learn, not only for entertainment.”
Varnado’s mission is to spread animal welfare awareness, promote animal healthcare and strengthen the bond between animals and humans. He hopes to promote animal adoption through education and leadership. His goal through the app is to cut the euthanasia rate to 0% every year in U.S. animal shelters. The current euthanasia rate is 1.5 million animals per year, according to the the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Varnado is also starting a fundraiser to achieve his goals.
“I call it #PAWWChallenge,” Varnado said. “I want to turn P.A.W.W into a non-profit organization and give back to the community. I want to donate to animal shelters and provide better lives for the animals living in those conditions. I will be fundraising to pay for start-up costs and a capital to start my own shelter. Everything is currently charged to credit card with an interest rate of 26.0 APR. After my stretch goal is reached, I plan to donate a portion of donations to current animal shelters and rescues not only in the community but across the U.S.”
Varnado said he thinks his mission and goal will be reached with support from the city and campus community.
“If we can get the school to come together as one and support, then we probably can get the whole entire city of Memphis to participate,” Varnado said. “Then it will capture other cities and states and have the potential to go viral. We will also get to see if we all can come together as a nation and help change the world.