Website helps avoid pet peeves when looking for perfect pooch

BOSTON—People looking for the perfect family pet tend to choose a dog based on appearance or breed — but that’s barking up the wrong tree.“If you think they’re cute, you bring them home,” said Jodi Andersen, a dog trainer and author.That’s why Andersen, along with MaryAnn Zeman and Sharon Mosse, founded the new online business How I Met My Dog. It works like Match or eHarmony, fitting humans with dogs based on what really matters: personality, lifestyle and behaviour.Several other online services match people with pets, but the founders of How I Met My Dog say they take things to a new level with a more detailed, science-based questionnaire that narrows the number of dogs that meet a human adopter’s lifestyle and expectations.The service is needed because about 4 million dogs per year are handed over to shelters and rescues, they said. Too many end up back in shelters, and too many are being euthanized because they can’t find good homes.Article Continued Below“The system we’re using now is broken and has to be fixed,” Andersen said.Placing a pet in the wrong home is one of the biggest concerns at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which finds homes for thousands of dogs and other animals every year, spokesperson Rob Halpin said.Persuading adopters not to fall in love with the first dog they see is a major issue.