DURHAM – Ever had the deep desire to connect to other pet lovers and their four-legged fur babies? Well, now you can, especially in these days of social distancing as people find themselves spending more time at home and away from interaction, shopping and much more.

Enter Ark Mobile and its new smart pet iOS app, which connects pet families and pet service providers create a community that supports the entire pet life cycle.

The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) processes to aggregate pet resource information and content across a range of categories: veterinarian services, pet care, pet life cycle, holistic pet products and the pet owner community.

The Android version is planned for release later this year.

“We are thrilled to share our pet technology with the public,” said marketing consultant Kimberly Williams Moore, who co-founded the Durham startup with friends Patrick Hannah and Lauren Bell. “During this time of physical distancing, it is even more important to establish connections with our pet families and friends.”

Ark Mobile

How it works is simple: Once the app is downloaded, the user is mapped to the pet service providers in their local area and then they can indicate favorites as well as add providers who are not listed. There is also a community feature that allows the user to upload a pet profile and share the latest updates and photos of their pet.

Launched in February 2019, Moore said the group got inspired to launch the platform after one of the co-founders had a friend whose pet died because she couldn’t find the closest vet.

“This story of loss created the opportunity to think about what would happen if pet families had a way to immediately see the closest pet service providers and not have to think about searching Google when you are in a panic situation,” Moore recalled.

“Science tells us that the connection between humans and pets is good for our mental and physical health, especially in times of stress.” she added. “Our virtual community has grown, and we want to provide even more content and connection for pet families. Join us as we bring our virtual community to a living room near you.”