Episode 79 – Artur Sousa

Artur Sousa created Adopets to help shelters and rescues amplify their online presence and manage adoption applications with just a few clicks. If you’ve ever adopted a pet, you know the application process is different for every rescue and shelter. Artur saw this and wanted to help streamline the process. Fill out one application and let the software do the rest. Adopets is a fantastic platform and was built with the animals in mind…best of all – It’s FREE!

For more information, please check out Adopets today!

Artur Sousa - Professionals in Animal Rescue

Welcome to the professionals in animal rescue podcast where our goal is to introduce you to amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue.  This podcast is proudly sponsored by Doobert.com. Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport.  Now, on with our show! Artur Sousa is a social entrepreneur and founder of severance buying ventures throughout the years, his mission is to support other entrepreneurs in all their endeavors, working together to develop ventures that will impact the world and a powerful and positive way. He’s a proud winner of the United Nations and DJ Award, a member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Music, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He’s participated in several human rights initiatives and has been an activist for Hansen’s disease eradication. In addition, he’s known as an enthusiastic theatre professor and public speaker. As you continues on his journey of social impact, he hopes to build on his achievements by using entrepreneurship to break the poverty cycle. Hey, Artur, thanks for coming on today. Thank you creates a really, really great honor to be with your guys. Well, I’m appreciative of you being on the program. So why don’t you tell us your you know your story, Your journey kind. How did you get to where you are today? Ah, it’s a long story, Chris. I’ve being a being around for 29 years since I was born. But essentially, you guys can tell by my accent I’m not from the US. I’ve moved here. It’s going to be six years ago now, in 2,019 on DH back in Brazil, my country foraging I wass working with non profit Fitz that was working with the mainly neglected diseases actually left Brazil ish man uses back, then studied business and just, you know, working with social causes and nonprofits. And that led me to study social entrepreneurship here in the US And I know that I’m meeting my wife now. Wife Ah, and never went back. Interesting. How did this social entrepreneurship now take you down a path for animals? Were you always a passionate animal person? I wass we had plenty of dogs growing up at some point in my life when I was living with my father we used to rescue dogs on the streets and just bring home. So I remember as a teenager being very past if at having to pick up in 20 different types of poops in the yard. But we always loved having all of them. We have them find new families. And honestly, I never thought of anyone welfare as my path back then, or even, you know, if you look five years ago, I didn’t think that would be it. But But essentially, I always saw myself within the social impact sphere, working with non profits or working with social businesses to really think of. How can we create a better society? Bye bye, utilizing things that we have around us and that was always that go in and social entrepreneurship was the first time that azaz a methodology, not methodology, but as a field. And I saw it as an opportunity just because one of my struggles in a non profit side was financially was always like the survival of it. And I can’t accept the idea that we couldn’t create sustainable impacts. Oh, my, my, my first business many years ago was actually a social business, and I didn’t know off it, but we were doing consulting and using the profits to revert back to them known profits and that we were helping. So we have a company’s side that we were doing, Ah, corporate social responsibility consulting. And with the profits of it, we would help the nonprofits getting the resources show actually be more efficient and scale their impact in different ways. Uh, and that, by definition, is a social business, right? I didn’t know if it but when I found out I had that organization being acquired by a Japanese foundation, uh, back in 2,000 and it’ll live in Orchard doesn’t in 12 something like that. And when I went to Japan, then then what’s this whole thing about social entrepreneurship and what we were doing it like? Jesus, this’s amazing. Yeah. So I decided to pursue my master’s degree on the topic. Interesting. So you now have a masters in social entrepreneurship. I do. Now. I do my wife as well, Which is the seems to be a family thing. Okay, that’s really cool. So now how did you come to format of pets? Oh, there was when we adopted my beautiful albino black lab. So we have. Ah, Frisco is an albino black lab we adopted from a rescuing taxes. My wife and I when we finally settled in Boston with sideshow doctor pad And then, you know, we we did the common path. Google it and then you get your Pathfinder or that the pad and then you’ll find adoptable animals. We submit about 11 different applications in the process of looking for that and understanding that process. I’ma processes guys. When I was going through that and it took in between everything right, transporting and finding applications, not getting answers, all of that. It took three months until we actually brought a dog home. And in my mind was that in that same period in the US, we had about 600,000. Pat’s aerial denies. Then I was like, Wait, so if we can make this faster, we save more lives. That’s just mathematically the logic of it. So if we had them, you know, in humans instead of three, that would mean that 200,000 would be saved. So it was like, How can we help? So it’s sort of working with that rescue to understand their process and and by understanding the process, I could figure it out ways off, optimizing it and mind you not. It’s not necessarily changing it. So I I get the evolution of the process over the years and I get that. We we do want to have some certainty over the match between the doctor. I also get that sum matches is just not going to work and having a really efficient system on the back, and we weren’t sure, is that we can find a new family and not damaged animal. The animals, Ah, psychological state in any shape or form or emotional state. So we really wanted to fix that somehow. And that conversation created what we now see as at a bat. So we built a system that would allow the shelters and rescues to continue to have the certainty over the process that they built, you know, in the past 20 or 30 years of experience and suffering, and and and and powering through, but using technology to simplify it and on and optimize at any different ways, like ultimate izing Ah phew! Off the staff that they have to do mentally nowadays that it’ll just happen. And then when you save two minutes here, one minute there, five minutes There we found herself saving for a small rescue saving and know about Ah 100 animals a month are medium rescue. Ah, 100 animals month. We’re talking about almost one month saved in time by using out of pants. So they gain 1/13 month off their year to save more animals. Yeah, and I mean, we know that definitely rescues and shelters. That’s one of the things they struggle with, right? They’re not always technology savvy. They don’t have a lot of good tech tools for these things. So to optimize something like what you talking about? And it’s very interesting Me It seems like such a niche part of the animal rescue and animal welfare industry. I mean, just just the applications process that you just supplicants dove into. And I’m guessing that wasn’t a t e c thing to optimize. No, there was not. And I think that that it was a complete, you know, a long journey crazy. You know how it goes. But it is we were founding differently, is at the beginning We were trying to do you know, the whole thing. Yeah, I don’t like way, way, but that that doesn’t work. And then we start trying to understand why it doesn’t work when you try to do everything right, and and that that the old tale that when it true everything, you don’t do anything well, it’s true. And then we’re like, Okay, so let’s focus on what matters most for us, and we know that, you know, it didn’t rescue space. We’re talking about a complexity and multitude off different tasks and things, so there’s so much more than just application in the adoption, However, we’ve learned that if you create no, let’s put this way. When you’re adopting an animal as a person, it is an emotional journey. Nobody, and that’s an animal from a logical perspective, period. You don’t do it. It is not a logic, it’s emotional. And then, if you’re adopting an animal and it is an emotional journey and the process currently, it’s not nearly as emotionally compatible to that journey. You literally were losing an opportunity to bring new supporters who our cause every day just because of the process that point reserve research recently that they were talking about that in the whole adoption experience adopters, it wasn’t the largest research of adoption within the adopter community. They found in that doctors do not remember the smell of the shelter. Doctors do not remember how it looked like, But they do remember the process. Yeah, something you’re still using paper that that’s, you know, it’s crazy. I can imagine your experience like you talked about, even even there are some organizations that allow you to do an online application, but everybody still has their own application. So you have to go 15 different shelters. You gotta fill out 15 and different applications, some of them in person, right paper application. They want your driver’s license. You know, it can get kind of crazy for somebody you can. And I think they’re the other aside off it, which which we decided to solve three communication flow as well, Right? Ah, what hurts is the expectation setting right when when you don’t know what effects going. But if you know what is happening there usually ah is the challenge. So what we wanted to do is that we want to give people a real time updating on what’s going on. So you know, when you are processes under review, you know when when your application is now second place or or you were the 1st 1 in line. You understand everything that is happening in real time. So even if you decide, you just submit one application you. It’s not silence, and we understand that people are depending on volunteer work and people, you know, it’s very hard to just keep everyone updated, and we don’t want people to do that manually. So the system just does it. I was just saying, Ron is through how you’ve now optimize this from a from in a doctor standpoint. So if I’m looking for an animal I start with at a pet store, how do I don’t know that that’s a common past O’Rourke. Once you go into your website, you will know the search that we are all familiar with. You’re going to say, What are you looking for? So let’s say you are looking for a dog, and then you can filter by breed and use the usual filters in age and sides and that kind of thing once you find a pad that you are kind of in love with their just submit an application so you’re clear on their profile. There is an applied to adopt. You submit an application we the first time you do there. It’s the longer form that is going to go through, but things that were like trying to learn about you. It’s nothing very personal. Nothing very complex, but you wouldn’t understand that. Are you looking for a dog to be a guard dog to be a work dog? Do you want a dog that it’s quiet? You want a dog, that it’s playful? You wanna dodge that itjust snugly. So all of the behavioral aspects ofthe it, because should that adoption not work, we already kind of understand what kind of profile you’re looking for. We also know each other said a little bit, um, or your home situation, right? If your feelings have a yard, if you don’t have a guard, that kind of thing on DH kids, if you have kids or not kids things that can be ah Abril block, depending on the breathe and the type of animal. Once you have done that, once that information it’s Ford and you don’t have to do ever again. Then there’s one less form in which you say, When are you willing to take up a call? One of the things that this is a funny one, Chris, because this simple form that we have and this one, you always feel that after, even after you submit an adoption, that’s what always happens that you say if one add a reference if you want. I had a co applicant, and then you also tell us when can you have an interview or call with the shelter as silly as that one sounds, that alone saves about 30 to 45 minutes off time on both ends. Really? And that’s because you don’t have to go in and schedule when you’re talking about right. I already told you that you can call me on a Tuesday morning. You can not available just truth they call men. Actually, I don’t have to communicate with you anymore. And that alone and I remember my own experience. We had about 13 different emails to decide when to talk. Yeah, that it’s time that we save and that not not not not even counting the time in between the males just counting specifically around that right so that kind of thing just simplifies it all. Once you submit an application, we will keep you posted on the APP or the platform. You can always see all. Now your application is under review. Um, if there isn’t a match with Essentially, once the organization rejects that application, you get a notification with all of the other animals. They’re compatible to what you were looking for, that it is not that original. One if somebody adopts first, you get a notification saying that animals no longer available. So look at the other animals here so that many ways that would keep you engaged in different aspects of it from every step of the way. Whatever happened to your application, you get notified of it. And once you’re ready to bring the animal home, you just follow that the shelter or rescue instructions and bring them home. That’s wow. You made that sound really super simple. So I’m sure it’s obviously not right. There’s a lot of work that’s gone into this. It has, I think, one of the challenges crazy this is I wanted to help, right? And I didn’t I didn’t know if within my field that could help you. You tend to think that that that should be in the animal welfare. You have to be there for many, many years and I didn’t know how shall help. And I think that that the fun part of being involved in this field now is that I could use what I knew best, right? I am a processes guy. I’m a technology guy. So I could use what I know to create something of value to you, to these organizations. And should the space, whether or not I think we could do other things or now we can make howto that’s this big or Dad big, it really doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, if I have one organization using it, that one organization is actually saving, you know, 100 more lives that they used to say before, that’s that’s enough. That’s enough. Should be of help. That is enough to If we have 100 off us, then we’re talking about many more animals and and and that’s I think it’s the coup part of doing this. Yeah, no, that’s really exciting. I had a had a similar approach when I started doing great to save Save the organization’s time because my theory was, If I save you time, you’re goingto increase your throughput, you’re going to save more animals. And so do her tagline was always animal rescue made simple because Anna rescue is not easy, but we do what we can make it simple. And so that was her first like line out of yet. Ah, now pet adoption made simple, made easy. Now Dr Merritt So it sze interesting. And I like your approach about trying to, you know, really study the process because I think that’s really important and that you’re allowing the organizations to use what they’ve learned about the right way to match up on owner potential owner with a new pet. So it’s not like you’re just saying, you know, hey, everybody gets his dog. You’re still allowing them as you said, to use their best practices and what they’ve learned, you’re just bringing that technology to really streamline it and to bring the consumer of the type of experience that they’ve come to expect from Amazon and other companies get pretty much pretty much that’s That’s a great, great way to put it and and it’s it’s It’s an interesting process. And I think that’s one of things that I admire about to produce. Well, that’s how the complex, how you bring the complexity into a very simple way for them to use. I think it’s his face that has been historically neglected by good technology. Ah, and and it’s a space that, as all known profits than should be very skeptical in the sense that there is always someone trying to take advantage. Right, Andi, I get all of that. But But there are good people like you creates an and I would like to believe us as well that we are trying to bring good technology. That is not, you know, trying to Teo make money on top ofthe these organizations or tried to exploit in any shape or form, but truly so add value in the way they deserve to have, rather than being in 2,000 and 90 now, which move time, flies and using technology that was built 90 2025 years ago. Yes. Eso talk a little bit about that, Archer. What? What doesn’t organization pay? What doesn’t adopt her pay to use this? That was the great question a well, and a doctor pays nothing. Ah, when they’re looking for an animal or bring them home adopting we don’t take any cut of the adoption fee or anything like that. And for a shelter or rescue they also currently paying, they pay nothing. The way we build the system is really that we don’t want to add more cost to these organizations that are. And we think that the pat industry has very, ah, various smart ways off trying to monetize and survive. And girl, there is not, depending on charging there once I can’t pay for it. Yeah, no, I’m that smart. And I think that’s I appreciate that approach, because certainly is. You know, rescues and shelters have a hard enough time trying to sustain their lifesaving operations. And, you know, you lose a cut here, there, you’re paying for this software, that software. I mean, they’ve got to pay for payroll software and donation, tracking and all sorts of other things. And and I think I took a similar approach with Do It is to say, Listen, this is a tool, right? And yeah, you know, I need to keep it running, but right Now it’s We’re making 100% free, just keeping it easy for them because they’re doing the work and we’re trying to help him do more of that works. I applied you for taking that same approach. Thank you, Chris. I appreciate that. It’s, you know, how challenging that can be. Its almost like swimming, you know, against the floor here and then and and sure, it’s It’s it’s It makes it more challenging for us to create new things and should grow faster and things like that. But at the same time, it not only feels every thing to do is, it’s, you know, we were not built to replace the other you like you said. They have other system. She used Raina and were built you to work with what they have, whether this pat point, our shelter, love or whatever they’re using comedian and so one. We’re not replacing it. We’re working in collaboration with Andi. In that sense, if we were tried more cuss, we would just create a barrier in between them having the right process. And right now there’s really no reason not to try. Just just try and if if you don’t see what we’re building it. Just tell me, and then let’s build it together. Nice. Yeah, that’s quite an interesting journey that you’ve taken from where you started in life. And now, as you said, I mean, you were rescuing dogs as a kid, but you didn’t view it in the same light, right? I mean, you were cleaning up all the dog poop, right? And now you’ve kind of almost come full circle back into this into this world. And now you’re contributing your tech skills to try and solve a really problem that almost every organization has is being able to manage these things in an effective way and communicate to their customers. Yeah. I mean, life is funny that way, isn’t it? It’s I don’t think again, if you ask me. Three years ago, we were in 2,019 so a little more than three years ago, because we started in 16. But I I wouldn’t have any idea. In December 2,015 animal welfare was like What? What is it? You know, like it wasn’t something that I’ve lived or breathe? Ah, as much as I have been breathing it. And it’s just Ah I think some some things. Whether we believe it or not, we might be destined. Chu I think I found my call without opens. I truly think so. It’s It’s something that that has been part of my life. You know, Chris, how much effort you put into Little Bird in making double what it is now. They didn’t became this important just by itself. You put in your sweat and it’s weekends. It’s night. You know, it’s that thing that friends don’t really understand. Why, why can you go out? Well, I can t do this or or even your your family members that you are always on your computer, right? But it pays off and it pays off because now we’re seeing the reaction to your new platform. We’re launching a new platform right now, and we’re seeing the reaction of what this two years ofthe learning have built into right and and sing the impact that we are bringing to the community. That’s that’s honestly, you can’t put a price on that. It’s incredible. Two finalists yourself like, Okay, you’re doing what you’re supposed to know. This is exactly what I was meant to do. Yeah, I know, and that’s really exciting. You mentioned you’re launching New Platform. One of the questions I was going to ask you is, What? What does the future look like? So it sounds like you’re taking what you’ve learned for two years, and now you’re applying that knowledge to something even better. Yeah, so we there was one of the And if I can be Frank, I think it’s important that people know what’s what was that? You know, we were building out of. That’s out of our own pockets and and not we don’t have to pocket. I truly, you know, having a day job. And I love that. And things took a lot longer than if I have had no family members with money or money myself. But it’s It’s just It took two years for us to really understand what is the best way of doing that. Processing from both sides from from the people’s perspective and adopting a pet animal as wells from the shelters perspective of getting that and and if either even with that reality that shelters and rescues are completely different. So we had to think on How can we serve both spaces on that on that same spirit and things like that. So all of that accumulated into this new tack platform that we built that is ah, again with shoe years ofthe learning baked into it and show how should better manage their adoption process. So even the things that we need to know best on how our demetrick sand and temperature checking on what’s going on in organization there, thinking on the adoption events and things that happened, Mohr temporarily versus the permanent changes in different locations and addresses that one can have. So all of that really ah, took long. But we’re finally getting to point out that is OK. Now we are available, including the fact that people will be able to see us off next week. They will be able to start completely new new system. We built everything else, and one fun thing is that one of our advisors used to run a team there in Latin America. Okay, and and people asked as I was just because of the match, and it really isn’t. But it’s because if when you build a platform from a design perspective and user experience perspective that engages people and keeps them coming back and keeps them no addicted, just just seeing all the animals and addicted to looking at those profiles. We’re ensuring that we can keep those those ah doctors satisfied and happy and engaged and excited. Which means that once they’re finalize the adoption, she just added Noah $5 a month kind of donation. It’s a lot easier because they are actually happy with the process. There is no there is no hard feelings, though Anger know anything, there’s just Oh, why not? I’m already paying that option for 300 bucks. I just had five more. And that’s the kind of thing that would make it easier to bring more income to this organizations as well just monetize upon the really great experience you gave your your doctor’s right now on. That’s what we’re looking at in the future is having uh, out of that scaling and getting more shelters and more baskets to be using on den. Improving experience went off our dreams. Shorting senses to make very easy for people should trust border animals by through Dilbert is just, you know, I’m adopting an animal from from Texas, and then we we would be having Dilbert handling all of transport for that person from Texas all the way to Maine. So that’s the kind of thing that we see that that not only that’s what the market is going to be bringing it to us in the next couple years. This seeing how you can easily create an experience for people by integrating great platforms together. Nice. Why? I love your vision. And it sounds like you got a lot of big things plan for the future. So I’m glad you came on today on the show to shoot with us. Is there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap things up? I just, uh, honestly want to say that that people like you, Chris, I know I’m being fortunate to have met you two. You two have learned a lot from you as well. I think that if we can have more people like Chris, more people just just come in, come in and help. It’s not about what you do. It’s not about what you know is just about what you want to do. And it could be something completely different than you were like Like, you know, you were telling me about the teacher and the amazing work they were doing with the with the class of students in the shelters using stem. You know, there there are so many ways that we can help to space. And no, somebody knows design like you can do really cool things for shelters just by creating pamphlets creating different as I thought things that engage the community. And there are so many young people and talented people there that have free time that we are really close to being an oak. Your country. We will get there as long as you continue to have people like you. Well, thank you are try. I’m really inspired by what you’re doing is well and that you’re putting your time and energy and money into solving a very big pain point in friction for rescues and shelter. So excited to see what it’s going to look like and excited to work with you going forward. So thank you. On the program today, Art. It was great to talk to you. Thank you. Creates Appreciate. And I hope everybody enjoys the conversation. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast.  If you’re not already a member, join the ARPA to take advantage of all of the resources we have to offer.  And don’t forget to sign-up with Doobert.com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.

This show is available on