Stayhound is an application that helps users locate reliable, safe and trustworthy sitters for their beloved pets. Stayhound users connect via their Facebook account since this helps ensure honesty and it let's Stayhound tell only the people who users trust that they are in need of pet sitting services. Users can also setup a profile for their furry friend so others can learn about the particular pup that they may be hosting. Profiles consist of a user uploading a photo of their pet, including the pet's name and a description so people know what the dogs are like. Stayhound enables users to let their friends know that they need a pet sitter and provides a link to their pet's Stayhound profile so the Facebook friends can check out the pet and respond with their availability via email and Facebook through Stayhound. For users who do not have a Facebook account, but who want to still use Stayhound's services, they can email Stayhound and they say that they will see what they can do to help. Stayhound aims to support responsible pet ownership and to connect pets with loving families.
Stayhound was developed by a group of animal lovers who found that their pets' lives are better when there is a support network of other pet lovers who can watch over the pet when the owner is unable to. Stayhound is a Portland, Oregon based operation led by CEO Alexis Peterka. By logging in and posting through Facebook, users can reach out to a community of friends who they already trust. Stayhound has been featured in Fast Company, Oregon Live, Need to Know on PBS and now AppAppeal.com! As of March 2012, the site is in its Beta form and is looking to add more features and functionality soon.
Stayhound is different from other social networks in that its focus is solely on connecting pets to the best and most reliable pet sitters. They really intend to improve the quality of pets' lives by bringing them together with other families or people who will love them almost as much as the owner does and who can care for them when the owner is unable to. Stayhound only connects through Facebook, so this may make it tough for people who have small circles of online friends to connect to a pet sitter. However, the concept is good and creating a pet profile is a nice way to feature the pet more fully than a normal Facebook post.
Stayhound has an excellent design and a professional and put-together motif that fits well with their mission. The site is fast, responsive and there were no broken or dead links observed during the trial. It is easy to sign up for the service if the user already has an established Facebook account. The only downside might be for those who do not have Facebook since it really makes this app ineffective in that case.
Registering for Stayhound can be completed by visiting the website's homepage and clicking on the "Connect With Facebook" link in the upper-right corner. From there users are taken to the standard Facebook permissions tab and they can select if they want their Stayhound activity to be visible by everyone, by their friends or kept private. From there users can access their Stayhound dashboard and setup their pet's profile.
Stayhound is a free application to use. The site is supported through the Wieden + Kennedy's tech incubator Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE).
Stayhound is a solid application for those who use Facebook, who have a significant set of friends and who has a pet who may need to have a babysitter in the near future. It is a pretty specific target audience, however for those who meet these qualification, Stayhound could be a handy and helpful way to connect their pets to a perfect "other family."