Grad Student Fosters Pet Project

Christine Exley ’09 is using her UMW
economics training to help match
homeless dogs with people to love
them. The Stanford University Ph.D.
candidate graduated from UMW with
departmental honors in economics and
math and received the 2009 Darden
Award for highest grade point average.

Pepper was about to be killed when Christine Exley ’09, then 17, fell in love with the 20-pound pit bull. The dog, shoehorned into a crate, had survived a month − three weeks longer than average − among the constant influx of strays at the animal shelter. “She never lost her spirit,” Exley said. “I took her home.” Eight years later, the doctoral student of economics at Stanford University is trying to save dogs on a larger scale. To do so, she’s applying a lesson learned in a freshman economics class at Mary Washington. Shawn Humphrey, associate professor of economics, taught his students that the discipline could be used to solve real-world problems – and ultimately help make the world a better place. With so many people looking for pets, and with millions of dogs being killed every year, Exley thought the problem to be solved was in matching them. In early 2012, she and fellow animal-lover Elena Battles started Wagaroo.com, a company that helps bring together dogs and the … [Read more...]