Refer a Developer, Get a Free Puppy?! — That’s What Rover.com Is Promising

Really? REALLY? The Internet-based dog-sitting company gets us all riled up with its promotion. And then...

Michael Leaverton  |  Apr 29th 2013


Rover.com, a web-based dog-sitting company, recently blew our minds all over the office with its new referral program to attract talent to the company. 

“Refer a devloper,” the Web site screams, “Win a Puppy!”

Wh-wh-wha-whaaat?!

It goes on: “For the next 30 days, Rover.com is offering something better: if we hire a candidate you refer to Rover.com, then you will get a free puppy! That’s right, let me say it again: FREE PUPPY!”

By this point, Dogster Editor-in-Chief Janine Kahn had passed out, her head hitting her keyboard. Managing Editor Vicky Walker said she was going out for a drink. Associate Editor Keith Bowers simply pulled a bottle of whiskey from a drawer and slammed it on his desk. 

Yet our fears were unfounded.

Rover is not the evil villain this promotion makes it out to be. No, the staffers are not handing out free puppies as if they were sticks of gum. They do not have a box of puppies in a closet, ready to be dumped into the arms of people who know experienced software developers with “Javascript and Front-End Focus” and “Conversion Funnel Optimization Expertise.” (What exactly are they building over at this dog-sitting company?)

Rover is, in a word, being cheeky. Attracting attention. Making the world take note of this company that connects dog owners and dog-sitters through the Internet. 

We realized this once we gathered ourselves up and read the rest of the web page: 

“Rover is not going to give you a puppy directly. Rover will give you $1,000 for you to use toward the adoption of a puppy, but you will have to adopt the puppy on your own.”

Okay, fair enough. But still, what if we don’t want a puppy? Why are you so hell-bent on making us get a puppy? What is it with this compulsion you have with us owning a puppy?

We kept reading:

“If you don’t want a dog, you could get a cat, but we don’t advise it because cats are snooty. Or, if you don’t want a new pet, then you can keep the money, or you could contribute it to one of our partners.”

That’s a deal we can get behind.

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