Sarah Oren Brasky has what is perhaps the best job title in the world: The Dog Matchmaker.
Her business motto is pretty darn good, too: “The only matchmaking site where finding love is a sure thing.”
Sarah’s business model as Dog Matchmaker is simple and lovely: For $150, she helps people who want to adopt dogs to find and bring home the right rescue dog for them.
Her clients live in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The dogs come from a handful of shelters and rescue groups with whom she has great relationships. (Sarah is also founder of Foster Dogs NYC, a nonprofit that helps place shelter dogs into foster homes, which doesn’t hurt.)
The process is bespoke (or, if you prefer, be-bark). Hoomans fill out a detailed questionnaire. They’re asked to describe their own lives — like how many hours a day they are home and what they like to do for fun — as well as what sort of dog they think would best suit their lives.
Sarah uses these answers to help her figure out “what’s truly important to the adopter” – like personality traits or exercise preferences – that’ll make for a happy household.
“Asking for a French Bulldog puppy or a purebred Poodle is a starting point for some people and then we work together to consider other options within the rescue world,” she says.
Sarah works with her network of shelters and rescues to find a dog who’ll be a great fit — helping them find pupparoos who are just perfect, even if they are a little older or a different breed from what the love-seekers thought they wanted.
On her website, Sarah describes this process as akin to hiring “an interior designer to furnish your home, or a tutor to help with a difficult subject, or a stylist to help you look your best, The Dog Matchmaker will help complete your family through dog adoption!”
Brooklynites Marjorie Berman and Jon Chang came to Sarah in April without much animal experience.
“The closest to owning pets was visiting Jon’s sisters’ dogs in Denver and Chicago,” the couple tells BarkPost in an email.
The two did what they thought was appropriate for finding their first pet together — made an astonishingly detailed spreadsheet that was supposed to lead them to their ideal dog, whom they thought would be young, small, not “overly aggressive.” (Seriously, this spreadsheet is a wonder.)
But after putting in application after application for dogs listed online, only to discover they’d already been adopted, an acquaintance who works in animal rescue put Marjorie and Jon in touch with Sarah, who was impressed with all that research — to a point.
“Finding a dog is more than an algorithm,” Sarah says. “I helped create a short-list of adoptable dogs for this couple, combining their ‘must-haves’ list with my expertise and resources.”
A week later, Jon and Marjorie met Lucy, a 5-year-old little dog who’d been saved off the streets in Puerto Rico, then became available for adoption through Animal Lighthouse Rescue.
“We knew Lucy was the one after meeting her for about 10 minutes,” say Marjorie and Jon.
“If it wasn’t for Sarah, we would’ve never even applied for Lucy, who’s about 5 years old. As first time adopters, we thought we should only look for young dogs under 2 years old. We were so wrong.”
They sent Sarah a dog-shaped bouquet once Lucy came home — and are eagerly anticipating bringing Lucy to meet her canine cousins.
It’s not just the clients who are excited about Sarah’s matchmaking. Rescues and shelters are, too.
“We absolutely love working with her,” raves Mel Fields, co-founder of Pupstarz Rescue. “She only recommends dogs to her clients that truly fit in with their needs. She does not try to push dogs off to adopters that are not the right fit. When we get an email from The Dog Matchmaker, we always get excited.”
“I think the amazing thing about Sarah is that she opens up the idea of adoption to a group of people who may not have considered to adopt, not shop, for their next family pet,” says Friends With Four Paws‘ Molly McDevitt.
Indeed, after helping about 100 families over the last few years, Sarah sees her work as bringing pet adoption to a new group of people — thereby getting that many more homeless animals out of shelters and into homes.
People who might have gone to a breeder if they felt overwhelmed or confused by adoption; people who might just not have realized how many wonderful rescue dogs are still single and looking for true love.
“Dog rescue facilitation is my full-time job, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Sarah says. “Every time I help another dog find a forever home through The Dog Matchmaker, I feel butterflies in my stomach and a true sense of pride.”
All photos via The Dog Matchmaker
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