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On new crowdfunding site, vets vet pets so owners don’t sweat over debt

July 24, 2018

Margaret Mazzella sat in Saybrook Veterinary Hospital, becoming emotional as she wondered how she was going to come up with 860 of its 20,000 has been raised thus far for about 50 pets, which extend beyond Connecticut to New York, Texas, California and Canada.

Some cases have been fully funded, meaning they hit $2,000, the limit a single campaign can raise on Waggle.

And that’s just while Waggle has been beta testing the site. Mornelli expects those numbers to “rise precipitously” in September, when he starts marketing on a national level more aggressively. This will include outreach to national-level pet influencers and creating more success videos.

Also by September, he is going to allow animal rescue organizations and shelters to post, after they’ve been vetted by Waggle. The platform requires them to first go through an animal hospital.

Mornelli also plans to allow pet guardians to post directly but they have to upload treatment cost information from their hospital.

The platform currently is just for dogs and cats but Mornelli is looking to expand to horses in 2019 or 2020.

Waggle makes money in part through an 8 percent fee tacked on to donations, though 3 percent of that goes to the credit card companies, he said. Donors can leave an additional tip to help with operations, and Waggle has corporate sponsors.

The company is structured as both a for-profit B Corp and a nonprofit, the Waggle Foundation.

e.moser@theday.com

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