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Off Leash: Going Mobile

New smartphone app lets people connect with a Kansas City shelter wherever they go

Marsha Reynolds wasn’t ready to adopt.

She’d lost her old dog Henry, who was more than 17, not long ago, and she was still grieving. But that didn’t stop her longtime friend Marla Svoboda from keeping an eye out for a potential furry friend.

Svoboda’s job as vice president of development and marketing for Wayside Waifs, an animal shelter in Kansas City, Mo., keeps sweet, furry faces in her view all the time. But when she whipped out her smartphone at lunch to show her friend the shelter’s new adoption application (or “app,” software designed for handheld devices and mobile phones), Reynolds saw through the bells and whistles.

“I said, ‘Look at our cool, new app. It does this, and it does this, and you can even donate. You want to look at some animals?’” Svoboda recalls. “She was just window shopping, and she looked at a little dog whose name was Potter, and she just got tears in her eyes. She said, ‘This is the one.’ It’s amazing that it would happen on a 4-inch screen, but it did. She stopped in her tracks and said, ‘I have to meet this dog.’”

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