www.petbond.ie

Designed & managed by vets, PetBond is a safe online platform where anyone can find a happy & healthy pet.

Photo of Tim Kirby
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Tim Kirby

Initiative's representative date of birth

2071977

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Ireland

Headquarters location: city

Dublin

Where are you making a difference?

Ireland

Website or social media url(s)

Website - https://petbond.ie Twitter - @Petbond_Ireland Instagram - @Petbond_Ireland Facebook - @Petbondireland

Date Started

03/2019

Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Promote inclusivity
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • Making online pet sourcing safe.

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €100k - €250k

Organisation Type

  • hybrid: a combination of different types of organisations, such as a social enterprise (an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being)

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I got a telephone call at 11pm one night from a very distressed young couple named John & Sarah, to say that their dog "Sparky" had just collapsed and was struggling to breathe. They had sourced Sparky online 3 days previously, and at the time were told that he was perfectly healthy & everything was fine. However, when they arrived to my veterinary clinic that night, I could tell that Sparky had in fact not been vaccinated, was never clinically examined by a veterinary surgeon & was sold by someone who was not the original breeder of this puppy. As we battled to save Sparky's life that night, I realised how existing online pet sourcing platforms devastatingly failed pet health & welfare, peoples needs and the idea of PetBond was born.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The demand for family pets has increased dramatically in Western Europe in recent years. With this, has come an increased incidence of people breeding puppies indiscriminately for the sole purpose of making vast profits. The lack of socialisation and correct rearing of such puppies from birth has seen huge increases in owners relinquishing their pets to rescue centres, and also abandoning pets. Ireland is known as the "puppy farming" capital.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

PetBond is the place where modern technology and I.T systems meet key animal health & welfare stakeholders in ensuring that meeting a new pet online now becomes safe. In a digital age, we have refined the critical requirements in making this process both safe for pets, and also for people looking to source a new pet. Using our veterinary expertise, we ensure that animal health & welfare is always to the fore. The goal of PetBond is to become the number 1 platform for people wanting to safely meet a new pet, and so far the process has worked fantastically well. I have designed a well created quality assurance process, which ensures that all critical checkpoints are addressed as someone ventures online in finding a new pet. As opposed to advising people what to do, we actually execute the action and as result ensure best practice at all points. The net result is that the pet sourcing public are only exposed to pets which have been safe, ethically and well reared, or have been sourced from a registered rescue centre.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

The platform I have created is very unique. It is designed and managed by veterinary surgeons, and the idea came about as a result of listening to the many issues faced by people when it came to sourcing a new pet using the internet. I decided to create a safe online platform, which transforms IT from a "necessary evil", into a source of greater good. In designing this, I listened to every problem point reached by both pets & people in the online pet sourcing journey. As a result, I have baked the solution to these problems into my online platform, which as a resulted was short listed as a leading start up Irish social enterprise in 2019. By incentivising people to ethically source a new pet, we are also enabling them to help other pets.

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

Through PetBond, people have the opportunity to meet a well socialised and happy pet from the very outset. Such pets are less likely to become fearful, apprehensive & aggressive, therefore they are statistically less likely to ever end up in rescue centres. For people who source a new pet, they can therefore now look forward to the bond of a lifetime, knowing that their pets has been ethically sourced, which offers huge peace of mind. In modern society, the reliance on pets for human mental health well being is rapidly increasing. Therefore, by sourcing a happy & healthy pet, we are preventing any mental trauma on people as is currently suffered as a result of pets being reared incorrectly. Through our work, we also bring an end to puppy farming, and as a result ensure that the highest animal health & welfare standards are afforded to all pets. As a social enterprise, we also vaccinate the pets of homeless people, many whom describe their pets as their only companion in life. I have seen first hand the value of the pet to such people. As part of our "Paw4Paw" giveback campaign, we donate a free life vaccine for every pet sourced through PetBond, to another pet in need.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Since my actual launch on 24th September 2019, a total of 33,000 visitors have been recorded through my website. Our social media channels such as Twitter have grown to 2,600 followers with over 250,000 views of our posts. I was nominated in the top 15 of 230 candidates as part of the Social Entrpreneurs Ireland programme. To date, we have managed to rehome 85 rescue centre pets, and 52 people sourced a puppy from a safe breeder through PetBond. I have featured in the major Irish newspapers, and also on radio stations as a result of my initiative. Through PetBond, I have vaccinated the pets of 48 homeless people, and am discussing how we can assist with the vaccination of hundreds of dogs in Bali against Rabies. These projects are a direct result of the PetBond "Paw4Paw" campaign. We have received countless testimonials from people endorsing our work all across Ireland.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

The idea is to assess the rate of growth of my existing MVP, and thereafter adjust according to customer/market response. To date, acceptance has been very encouraging, and the plan is to welcome other professionals to the network very soon. After Ireland, I have identified the UK, Germany, France, Spain & Italy as the next European markets PetBond will enter based on market analysis. I own all EU trademarking rights to Petbond, therefore will retain ownership. I expect to seek further fundraising as Petbond expands across Europe.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

PetBond creates a shared value for both pets & people as it prevents animal cruelty at source. As opposed to treating the results, we prevent at the root cause. We therefore end puppy farming, and reduce the numbers entering rescue centres. We also protect people as they source a new pet, as they are no longer in danger of acquiring a sick puppy, or one that has been reared in industrial puppy farm conditions. I will also be offering various pet related therapies for people in need. Right now, the PetBond model has allowed me to vaccinate the pets of homeless people in Dublin, Ireland. I also see areas where PetBond will support people with various mental health issues, and a consultant psychiatrist is ready to join PetBond very soon..

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

I am currently looking at various funding models, based on web generated revenue. This will either be on a subscription based model or charging for various services. The ultimate goal is to ensure that each transaction has a profoundly positive impact beyond the commercial value. This is an area I have researched, and will ensure that both pets & their people see this in action directly. I currently am preparing my investor pitches as later this year I will pitch for private funding, as this will also allow me to expand.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

I currently manage all of this project, only outsourcing to a developer for areas of web design beyond my capabilities. Going forward, I will have an in house IT expert, a marketing executive and ideally a customer services manager. With a more diverse team each excelling in the critical core areas, I have no doubt that I can scale this enterprise much quicker. As a vet with managerial experience, I have the knowledge and passion to lead a team in making this happen, without doubt.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

I want to be the actual change that is required in this area. I will be the blueprint for others to follow, and I also will transform the lives of so many pets & people as a result. I will be a leader and inspiration for others, who can see that such positive changes in pet welfare have such a profound impact on society also. I will bring this concept & template to other countries, and will speak publicly in as many locations as I can, ensuring that all stakeholders hear my message. I have a very clear vision of how scaleable PetBond will be, and in doing so encourage and welcome so many others in participating in our change. I already have started on this journey with an international group engaging on my project, having a huge benefit.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

1 evaluation so far

1. OVERALL Evaluation

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2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

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3. Does this entry have SOCIAL IMPACT?

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4. Does this entry have potential to GROW & demonstrate LEADERSHIP?

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5. Is this entry VIABLE?

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6. Does this entry have POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE?

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7. FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions or used an old model in a new way - 100%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 100%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 0%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

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