App lets you 'borrow' a dog

Bark'N'Borrow is a service that connects dog owners with dog lovers who don't or can't have their own furry companions.

- Anna Browne has a thing for corgis, but she's not ready to get her own. "I live in a studio... I work late most nights," said Browne, who works in financial services. So she found an app that lets her borrow one.

Bark'N'Borrow is a service that connects dog owners with dog lovers who don't or can't have their own furry companions. The dog lovers can borrow other people's dogs for short visits or even overnight stays.

"This is the next best thing between not owning a dog and committing to one," said Bark'N'Borrow CEO and Founder Liam Berkeley.

Browne now regularly "borrows" Sam the Corgi. His owner, Weiling Chen, decided to start a profile for him after reading about the app's launch.

"I did want him to be a little more socialized," Chen said. Though she did have some initial hesitations about letting a stranger hang out with Sam. "It sounded a little odd but you kind of figure if they're dog owners or dog lovers than it shouldn't be too bad," Chen said.

Chen has met up with a handful of potential borrowers to feel them out. Now Browne has become a regular.

"It's like a delight," Browne said. "On the weekend if I can hang out with a corgi for a couple of hours it's amazing."

Berkeley, the app's founder, told us the company individually reviews and vets every borrower's profile.

"That question is asked a lot," he said. "What if I lend my dog out to someone who wants to hurt it? We collect your residential info, your billing info, your address, your full details. There are much easier ways to get your hands on a dog if you are that type of person that wants to hurt a dog or steal a dog than going through our platform and through our system. We try to do the utmost."

The app now has 50,000 users nationwide, about 10,000 of them in the New York Area. And membership is growing.

The app also allows dogs owners to link up with professional dog walkers and dog sitters.

Right now Bark'N'Borrow is free, but starting next month it will introduce a paid subscription service, starting at $4.99 a month to borrow dogs.

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