‘WeRescue’ App Allows For Pet Adoption on Your Phone

Clear the Shelters

Prospective pet owners can now choose the furry friend they want to rescue without having to leave their home.  

Five years after it first launched, the adoption app WeRescue has expanded its reach across the U.S. and in Canada, and has hundreds of thousands of pets available for adoption at over 3,000 rescue organizations.

“We pull in data from all these different shelters and from the management system we are able to provide it to people before they actually go out to adopt a pet,” said Mark Wade, a software developer from Illinois, was inspired to develop the WeRescue app after an experience buying a puppy at a pet store. 

Wade said he was told the adorable Shiba Inu pooch came from a “small family farm in Iowa” and later learned that his four-legged family member was actually from a puppy mill.

Then, in 2014, he participated in a start-up “hackathon” competition, where groups of strangers pitch ideas and develop apps over the course of a weekend. Using a popular dating app as a template, Wade and his team wanted to create something that would help connect people with eligible rescue animals at local shelters. Their “Woof” app, the first rendition of WeRescue, won best in show.

That win was the incentive Wade needed to invest more time into his passion project.

The app is now one of several available on app stores that are aimed at connecting would-be pet owners with animals to adopt.

Wade’s app originally was limited to cats and dogs before he added birds, horses, rabbits, reptiles and small animals in 2017. And with the additional species, the name “Woof Rescue” would no longer do. Wade rebranded the app as “WeRescue.”

The app includes dozens of filters so that users can narrow their search results based on more than just breed, size and age, but also personality traits and whether the animal is hypoallergenic. The distinct filters make finding the perfect pet a walk in the park. Once you’ve selected a pet the app helps you contact the shelter to keep the process moving along. 

“It’s really important for people to adopt a pet. They are going to want to keep it forever. So, if they’re in an apartment, they need an animal that is appropriate for that situation. So what you are able to do it go into these filters and if you are in an apartment you may want to look for a smaller dog,” Wade said.

What’s more, this year, Wade has added a Clear the Shelters filter for users looking to adopt a furry friend during NBC and Telemundo stations’ fifth annual animal adoption drive. The filter will allow users to narrow their search results to include participating shelters.

“We were happy to connect with shelters nationwide,” he said. “Shelters that participate in this are even in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.”

More than 1,000 shelters and rescues have already registered to participate in this year’s event. So if you’re thinking about taking home a pet, consider heading to a local animal shelter to adopt during Clear the Shelters on Aug. 17 when hundreds of shelters will waive or discount fees as part of the one-day adoption drive. And with the Clear the Shelters filter on WeRescue, it’s easier than ever to find the purr-fect pet at a participating shelter.  

WeRescue is available to download on the Apple App store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clear The Shelters

Shelters near you


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Thousands of pets are looking for their forever homes and News Channel 8 is On Your Side helping to make that happen in the Tampa Bay area.

We are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 17, 2019, to help find loving homes for animals in need.

More than 150,000 pets found their forever homes since 2015.

Now is the time for shelters to register by completing the online application located here. Organizations interested in participating in Clear the Shelters must complete the Commitment Registration form to ensure proper verification of all interested participants.

When registering, please make sure you select the TAMPA-ST.PETERSBURG-SARASOTA, FL region. This will put your shelter on our CLEAR THE SHELTERS online map, driving families to your shelter. 

Here are the local shelters that are offering no-cost or reduced-fee adoptions for this event:

  1. Citrus County Animal Services - 4030 S. Airport Rd, Inverness
  2. Humane Society of Polk County - 3195 Dundee Road Winter, Haven
  3. Barking Out Loud Rescue, Inc - 300 N Lake Drive, Lorida
  4. Paw Warriors, Inc. - 355 Spring Time Street, Spring Hill
  5. SPCA Florida - 5850 Brannen Rd S, Lakeland
  6. Friends of Strays Animal Shelter - 2911 47th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
  7. Pinellas County Animal Services - 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo
  8. SPCA of Hernando County - 9075 Grant St, Brooksville
  9. Humane Society of Tampa Bay - 3607 N Armenia Avenue, Tampa
  10. SPCA Tampa Bay - 9099 130th Ave North, Largo
  11. Highlands County Sheriffs Animal Services - 7300 Haywood Taylor Blvd, Sebring
  12. St. Francis Animal Rescue - 1925 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice
  13. FLUFF Animal Rescue - 11220 Park Blvd N, Seminole
  14. Manatee County Animal Services: Palmetto Shelter - 305 25th St W, Palmetto
  15. Manatee County Cat Town - 216 6th Ave E, Bradenton
  16. Pasco County Animal Services - 19640 Dogpatch Lane, Land O'Lakes
  17. St. Francis Society, Inc. - Pet Smart - 12835 Citrus Plaza Dr, Tampa
  18. The Humane Society of the Nature Coast - 7200 Mobley Road, Brooksville
  19. Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center - 440 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa
  20. Humane Society of Manatee County - 2515 14th Street W, Bradenton
  21. Save Our Strays Inc. Safety Harbor, FL - 3223 San Jose Street, Clearwater
  22. Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section - 7115 De Castro Rd, Winter Haven
  23. Hernando County Animal Services - 19450 Oliver St., Brooksville
  24. Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA of Manatee County, FL - 5718 21st Ave W, Bradenton
  25. Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater
  26. Rescue Cats of Florida, 211 West Alexander Street, Plant City
  27. Precious Paws Rescue, 5164 S. Florida Avenue (Route 41), Inverness
  28. Hands Helping Paws Rescue, 53 West Bay Boulevard South, Lake Wales
  29. Cat Kids Rescue, 10500 Ulmerton Road, Suite 308, Largo
  30. Suncoast Animal League, 1030 Pennsylvania Ave., Palm Harbor
  31. Cat Haven Rescue of Tampa-Pasco County, 1231 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel
  32. Cat Haven Rescue of Pasco County, 8529 Little Road, New Port Richey
  33. Suncoast Humane Society, 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood
  34. Rebels Rescue, 11665 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
  35. Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, 26920 Gopher Hill Road, Myakka city
  36. Cat Crusaders, Inc, 6248 Commerce Palms Drive, Tampa
  37. SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress Street, New Port Richey
  38. Rescue Cats of Florida, 3313 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Valrico
  39. Countless Cats Rescue Inc., 3139 Duane Avenue, Oldsmar
  40. Cat Call Inc, Pet Smart 1051 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon
  41. Cat Call Inc, 11331 Causeway Blvd, Brandon

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