Meanwhile, at Single Dog Owners.com, a site with about 400 subscribers, Bruno the Chihuahua greets singles with the site's motto: "Date me, date my dog."What's more, these niche sites--especially those built around religion--have become some of the most successful hunting grounds for love-seeking singles, insiders say.

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Although Web sites catering to pet owners seeking love are unlikely contenders to dethrone any of the huge mass-market Web sites like Match.com, they have their place, said Steve Lavine, head of Transparensee Systems in New York City, which sells software to dating sites."I don't think this is the future of online dating," he said. Sure."At Animal Attraction.com, the stories are told through the eyes of the hopeful dater's nearest and dearest: his or her pet."Meow gives us the best food and treats," wrote Kato9toes' four cats of their owner.

But, they complained, "she spends too much time with those squeaky things in the house ...

sounds like dinner to me." The six Guinea pigs and three fish, the writers note, don't speak English."My biggest personality flaw," wrote Kato9toes, a 33-year-old woman from Greensboro, N.

Three months ago, Cate Newton was a lonely divorcee looking for a new love.

Now, after many heartfelt e-mail messages and long-distance phone calls--even some romantic getaways--she is the future Mrs. Like many other singles, Newton, 45, had turned to the Internet for help with her dating woes.

Her first try, at a popular general interest site, fizzled.

Then, on the last page of a Humane Society magazine, she noticed a tiny picture of a couple and their dog."Heart to heart," said the ad for Animal Attraction.com, a dating Web site for pet lovers.

"Pets can really break the ice."Newton subscribed and soon found Mullins, 55.

They met before Christmas and he proposed on New Year's Eve.

Now, the happy couple is planning an island getaway for their nuptials.

Online dating has been around since the late 1990s, but in recent years niche sites tailored for pet owners, hobbyists and the religious have been spreading like wildfire. Animal Attraction--"the meeting place for pet owners"--says it is reaching out to the estimated 40 million people in the United States who walk their dogs or curl up with their cats alone.