How to vet someone for a meetup?

I'd love to try for my first zoo experience soon but I'm not sure how to approach doing so. I figure I could find someone nearby after a bit of talking with users here on ZooVille, and get to know them better through private messaging.

My biggest concern is privacy and safety - I'd rather not meet up with someone who turns out to just be a total creep or could potentially harm or dox me.

Those of you who had positive (or a variety of mixed) meetup experiences, what were the green flags that made you decide to bite the bullet and meet up in person for zoo fun? What precautions do you take to stay safe before and after the experience?

(If this isn't the right section for this topic I'm sorry mods don't disembowel me π~π)
 

KennelDad

Zooville Settler
Once you get past texting, I would suggest Wickr. It has an anonymous voice chat feature. Nothing like actually talking to someone to get a better feel for the person.
 

unsurepup

Tourist
There's no 100% sure way of anything... but in my opinion find someone you are comfortable with. Go at your pace and if it seems like a possibility that they might be genuine then maybe do a meet evolving just lunch, coffee, or whatever.
 
Once you get past texting, I would suggest Wickr. It has an anonymous voice chat feature. Nothing like actually talking to someone to get a better feel for the person.
There's no 100% sure way of anything... but in my opinion find someone you are comfortable with. Go at your pace and if it seems like a possibility that they might be genuine then maybe do a meet evolving just lunch, coffee, or whatever.

Very good ideas. I've used Wickr before, didn't know that it had a voice chat.

I understand this would be unique to each meet up so not necessarily applicable to my situation, but was there a specific instance where your potential host/human partner showed themselves to be trustworthy? Or was it a lot of little things over the course of talking to them?
 

unsurepup

Tourist
It will be harder online, if you talk enough you can still make a connection but like I said before there's no 100% way to know for sure.. if you have kik, I've never used wickr but use whatever keeps you anonymous until you are ready... but have each other send pics to verify and pics have them unique in a way that can't just be pulled off Google
 
It will be harder online, if you talk enough you can still make a connection but like I said before there's no 100% way to know for sure.. if you have kik, I've never used wickr but use whatever keeps you anonymous until you are ready... but have each other send pics to verify and pics have them unique in a way that can't just be pulled off Google
Unique pics are a good idea, thanks!
 

cpl4knott

Tourist
Fully agree with all the aforementioned. Get to know soneone, take time to think about your initial interactions. Spend time texting if it's secure, never use your real name (of course) even if/when you decide to meet in person. Don't bring your pet if you are an owner! And...don't discuss the subject of petlove. Besides, use this time to decide if you actually like the person or if you would want them in your life, if even casually. We were recently in a state that currently had no laws against petlive, but we were still very patient. As was said previously, use your gut feeling and take things very slowly. If you do eventually meet someone, let them initiate any contact.
 

KennelDad

Zooville Settler
Very good ideas. I've used Wickr before, didn't know that it had a voice chat.

I understand this would be unique to each meet up so not necessarily applicable to my situation, but was there a specific instance where your potential host/human partner showed themselves to be trustworthy? Or was it a lot of little things over the course of talking to them?
It does. You'd be surprised, (maybe not LOL) at the number of "women" that loved texting, were willing to exchange "unique pics" and we're interested in getting to know each other. Until time to hear their voice, then poof! gone.

LEO, Catfish, or just a gal living a fantasy. I don't know. My guess is 99% catfish.

Anyway, the FEW women I've talked with are jewels.

Good luck to you!
 
Some good ideas here. I think if you are meeting an owner I would of course stay anonymous as much as possible until you meet. For the first meeting you you probably wouldn’t want to have the k9 there and just build up trust, ask to see some pictures of them and their dog together after you have met, maybe even ask them to send over a few more risky ones so that you know they aren’t undercover law enforcement or something. Then from there you can coordinate a play date if you feel comfortable. As a rule as well I wouldn’t use your real name until you get to know the person better and have built up the trust.
 

egoldstein

Citizen of Zooville
Don't be in a rush!
I'd also recommend not meeting someone with the intent of engaging in sex. Sex might happen, but meeting someone with the intent to commit a crime adds a lot of extra risk. Make it social only, meet up in a public place so that if you feel weirded out you can head off to the bathroom and vanish. If you get along with them after a few meets and find them to be a decent person you can start talking about more personal things, but if you keep it social at first then most of the creeps and problem people won't invest the time.

It can be terrifying meeting someone for the first time, understand your risks and mittigate what you can.
 
Thanks for all your replies! I'll try to keep this advice in mind - unfortunately for me I'm rather impatient and impulsive lol. I guess I'll just do my best to be friendly and active here and see where that takes me.

I've met a small handful of people around the internet who are nice to talk with and are into zoo, but it's few and far between - also being within travel distance just compounds the unlikelihood of meeting another zoo.

Any advice for connecting with people? Advertising my general location and preverences in someplace like this forum seems like a poor choice privacy wise...
 

Reconscope

Prized Citizen of ZV
Thanks for all your replies! I'll try to keep this advice in mind - unfortunately for me I'm rather impatient and impulsive lol. I guess I'll just do my best to be friendly and active here and see where that takes me.

I've met a small handful of people around the internet who are nice to talk with and are into zoo, but it's few and far between - also being within travel distance just compounds the unlikelihood of meeting another zoo.

Any advice for connecting with people? Advertising my general location and preverences in someplace like this forum seems like a poor choice privacy wise...
You keep it vague yet straightforward enough. Keep it far enough from your place. Always bring a form of protection too
 
There are quite a few posts in the
Thanks for all your replies! I'll try to keep this advice in mind - unfortunately for me I'm rather impatient and impulsive lol. I guess I'll just do my best to be friendly and active here and see where that takes me.

I've met a small handful of people around the internet who are nice to talk with and are into zoo, but it's few and far between - also being within travel distance just compounds the unlikelihood of meeting another zoo.

Any advice for connecting with people? Advertising my general location and preverences in someplace like this forum seems like a poor choice privacy wise...
they have the personal ads and meetup section on this site which seems to garner quite a bit of posts from all over. Check that out and see if there is a thread for your area. That would likely be the starting point.

Just take your time and don’t rush into anything and also don’t let yourself get into a situation where you are being pressured.
 
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