Jiatong (Alyssa) Yu
Jiatong (Alyssa) Yu
Hey there! I am a New York/Beijing based creative mind aspiring to be a product designer with an interest in branding, and also a mom of three dogs with a passion in promoting better animal welfare. I have a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts, and am currently pursuing my MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design.
Thesis Faculty
Aya Karpinska
Louisa Campbell
Chris Romero
Ethan Silverman

Furiendly (寻找毛孩子) is non-profit service platform aiming to effectively connect animal rescue groups, potential adopters, and any individuals who are willing to participate in animal rescue in China.
It also creates an online space for anyone in the animal rescue community to share and educate.

In China the existence of stray animals has been a wicked problem for decades, and as the stray population increases over the years, it leads to some greater social problems concerning public health and safety. Therefore, solutions are highly demanded.

According to a statistics provided by the World Health Organization, there are over 40 million stray dogs, which accounts for 20% of the global stray dog population, and 50 million stray cats in China. The number is expected to grow due to the outbreak of Covid-19. However, out of the 10,000 non-governmental rescue groups nationwide, only 2000 of them are well maintained in terms of organization and future development (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences).

Based on interviews with three experienced rescuers based in different cities in China, and extended research on animal rescue in China, it is evident that there is the connection and communication between rescuers and the public is limited. Having WeChat as the main communication tool and information outlet, people need to be first added into a group to access any information they need, for example available or adoptable animals. And on the other hand, it is also hard for the rescuers to spread the words out in regards of adoption event or any helps they might need. (If you are interested in seeing more of my research, please check out my online publication "Interviews & Insights on the Stray Animal Problem in Modern China")

With the specific needs addressed by the interviewees in mind, I created Furiendly, or 寻找毛孩子 in Chinese, which translates to "finding fur babies". The objective of this project is to create an integrated system that connects everyone in the animal rescue community to help more stray find homes, and attract more people to join this community.

Traditionally, people might think that the only way to save a stray is to adopt them; however, there are more ways to help. The core concept of this app is to introduce the FOUR ways that people can get involved in animal rescue.

1. Adoption: If you are interested and ready to add a new member to your family, consider adopting;
it is better to adopt over purchase because by doing so, you not only provide a home but save a life.

2. Fostering: If you are not able to make long time commitment and still want to help take care of our furiends, consider fostering; temporarily take home those who cannot stay in the rescue base because of capacity, and save them from being euthanized straight away.

3. Volunteer: If you are not able to provide a stable shelter for our furiends, consider volunteering;
people working in animal rescue groups can really use your help in many ways, and by giving a hand you are contributing to this community.

4.Donation: If you cannot commit to any of the activities being said, you can still make a change by donating; your donation will 100% goes to the rescue group and used to provide a better life for our furiends.

Ultimately we aim:
to find a home for every animal who needs one;
to help people find their “pawfect furiend”;
to connect everyone in the animal rescue community.

Along with the service platform, I also made a series of Public Service Announcement for a hypothetical animal rescue campaign in collaboration with ASCPA and The Humane Society of the U.S.. The graphics are made using a series of black & white photos I took in an adoption event in San Diego, CA where I volunteered as documentary photographer, with a simple narration of each dog's unique story. The intention of this PSA is to tell that every dog is special and deserve a home by calling out the stereotypes against certain breeds or dogs in certain conditions that might make them less likely to be chosen.

Every stray belongs to a loving home, and it is now our task to help them find it.
Join us, and save a life :)