Smith, a 29-year-old Case Western Reserve MBA student and owner of a white Westie named Dexter, says she came up with the idea after she and her friends tried various online dating sites with little success.
"I thought, 'Why isn’t there a place for people who love dogs?' she says. "Having pets is a great way to meet people, there’s no great way to do that online in Cleveland."
The project came to fruition a couple months ago, when friends and colleagues agreed the idea had legs, so to speak. Two weeks ago she started a website and social media accounts for Fetch.
Currently, Smith is talking to developers about the features and logistics of her app, but says it will be something similar to Tinder but with more dogs, naturally: Users will be encouraged to show themselves out with their dog.
"My biggest pet peeve (excuse the pun), is when guys immediately jump to 'What are you doing tonight?' It’s not meaningful," Smith says. "Maybe if you come into this with something we have in common, maybe it allows for more meaningful conversations in the beginning."
Graduating in May, Smith says she plans to have the app up and running by summer. She says that Cleveland, the community she's lived in for a decade, is the perfect test market size for the app.
But does Cleveland need another dating app? Even though there are oodles of Very Good Dogs out there and plenty of singles?
"Dating apps are what they are, but I hope Fetch helps to chip away at who a person really is," she says.
And while dating apps that include people's dogs do exist, Smith says they all are focused on friendship and dating. And as Fetch's website explains, the app plans to craft a great space for meeting your potential mate:
Fetch is excited to provide dog owners with a place to connect over the first loves of their lives, their pups. Cliché as it may be, having a pup is a fantastic way to meet people when walking around the neighborhood, taking a trip to the dog park, or at a local festival or flea market. People can't seem to resist stopping to say hello! Fetch believes that this experience of meeting people through their pets should be replicated online. Think of Fetch as the digital dog park!