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Guiding Us To Our Canine Companions

Our canine companions provide unconditional love and loyalty. They create a positive impact on our health and well-being. They keep us physically active, reduce stress levels, and provide endless joy, friendship and happiness. If you are committed to adding a companion to your life, there may be some things to keep in mind. This is where Elizabeth Menegon saw a problem and decided to do something about it. Elizabeth, a Greenwich native, has developed a concept to help individuals find their ideal canine companion. Through her app, Hands2Paws, it matches you to a breed most suited for your lifestyle. It also guides you to a responsible breeder or available rescue resource. 

GL: What inspired you to start this concept?

EM: After one day out, I noticed the same dog breed in three different places and got back to my apartment and thought, do people realize their dogs may not be living in the right environment? There are over 200 breeds of dogs and 40% of people buy a dog that their friend has or that their neighbor has. After doing some research I discovered there was no resource out there that would connect people to finding a dog that’s right for them. 

GL: What makes your approach different?

EM: There is no app available to consumers and this app is a vehicle to get people to the right dog. It’s free and asks questions to match the breed based on a person’s profile. Questions like shedding, dogs' stature, energy level, and other people or pets that are in the household. It takes the guesswork out by using an algorithm to match users with breeds based on their answers. It also connects you to an association.

GL: Can you tell us a little more about how the app connects you to breeders/rescue shelters?

EM: The app will connect the user to breed-specific associations. For example, Beagles have the Beagle Club of America. St. Bernard’s has the St. Bernard Association of America. You will then go right to the breed-specific website to get further information and dog show results. Puppies are born, don’t meet the show dog standard and are given DQ (disqualified) status. My Italian Greyhound, Vanessa was 7 lbs. and disqualified because she didn’t meet the standard. The app also connects you to an adoptable dog within 200 miles of your location. This business is a conduit for people to find an ethical breeder or rescue. 

GL: Why is it important for people to find a dog that is right for them?

EM: Every dog has a purpose and when you get a dog living in an environment in which nature did not intend people wonder, what’s wrong with my dog? It’s about educating people. If it’s a Corgi living in an apartment in the city, it won’t be suitable because they are herding dogs. If it’s a Beagle puppy living in an apartment you will get thrown out because they howl and bark. You do a disservice to the animal if you can’t let the animal do what they are meant to do. 

GL: What else is important for people to know?

EM: Don’t buy a breed that someone else has. That breed may not work for one person’s lifestyle but may work for another person. Be cautious of puppy mills. Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa and New York State have many puppy mills. Also, go check out an event put on by the American Kennel Club called Meet the Breeds. It’s the best thing. Reach out to people who own the breeds and see the breed in person.

Elizabeth Menegon is a 4th generation Greenwich native who owns a company called SugarSkinn. She created Hands2Paws as a way to educate people. 

  • Here she is with her Italian Greyhound, Vanessa.

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