App-etite: Adopt a pet with Petango

Pethealth VP, marketing, Susan Arts tells MiC about the company's new app that helps people adopt animals and find their lost pets.

As an adoptable pet search site, Petango‘s mission is to help potential adopters find their perfect pets. With their new Find a Pet iPhone app, and working with their network of 1,470 shelters across North America, they’re making that a little easier to accomplish.

Petango is part of Oakville, ON., company Pethealth Inc., which provides 24PetWatch microchip identification and health insurance for dogs and cats, among other services. The Petango website provides content for potential adopters and shelters, and an online pet supplies store, billing itself as the ‘one-stop destination for anyone looking to adopt a pet from an animal welfare organization in North America.’ The Find a Pet app is free, and availabe via the iTunes App Store.

Here, Pethealth’s VP, marketing, Susan Arts tells MiC about the company’s strategy.

Tell us about your app: what does it do and why did you develop it?
The Petango app is an extension of, with the goal of providing users an experience that encompasses the four stages of pet ownership: pre-adoption, adoption, post-adoption and the entire life cycle. The first release of the Find a Pet app focuses on the pre-adoption stage, allowing prospective adopters to search for available pets either locally or across North America within the Petango network.

We’ve also included the additional lost pet functionality. This allows users the option to view lost pets that have been reported into our 24PetWatch Lost Pet Recovery network.

Who is your target demographic?
Our demographic is women, 35-plus, college educated, homeowners with children.

How will this app be promoted to consumers?
We will be leveraging our existing network of PetPoint Shelters. Over 500 shelters embed the Petango adoptable search iframe on their websites and we’ll be promoting the app within that iframe, as well as encouraging the shelters to place banners on their sites and links in their social media networks. There will also be email campaigns to our existing database of 3.5 million people and, of course, it’ll be on and

What is your media strategy here? Why did you think an app was the best way to reach your target audience?
The app is just part of our ongoing strategy to expand our network. The more touch points we can provide our customers and potential customers, the better we’re able to grow our brand.

As for our media strategy, the opportunity for national brands to sponsor or advertise with us is evident in the reach of our network, both offline and online. We’re able to communicate with an adopter within minutes of an adoption taking place by sending a personalized email. We are the industry’s only fully integrated advertising platform for national brands, national retailers and local retailers looking to advertise their brand and services to adopters.

How does this app contribute to your overall brand strategy?
The Petango brand continues to evolve. We launched in May 2009, and since then we’ve evolved from an adoptable pet search website to a robust pet-authority portal, publishing pet-related content, incorporating social networking functionality and recently launching an online pet medication and supplies store in the U.S. The launch of the iPhone app is just another example of how we continue to leverage our technological innovation and marketing strengths to grow awareness of the Petango brand as a leading pet authority for current and prospective pet owners.