The company behind pet-owners’ online communities dogster.com and catster.com has received $1m in funding from a syndicate of angel investors.

Dogster Inc., formed at the start of 2004, said the new cash would be used to expand the sites’ features and workforce, as well as to launch sites focusing on other animals.

The investment was led by ex-Goldman Sachs web analyst Michael Parekh, who will join the company’s board, and included Joshua Schacter, founder of del.icio.us.

Also involved were Jim Young of hotornot, and Mike Jones, who has just sold Userplane to AOL.

The $36 billion pet industry represents a large and growing market opportunity as multi-billion dollar advertising and direct marketing budgets go online,” Parkeh told Reuters.

Dogster says it has been profitable for over a year and claims to have 250,000 members from over 150 countries.

However, as reported by Techcrunch in July – it is facing increasing competition, including from newcomer PawSpot. While Dogster focuses solely on pets, PawSpot also allows owners to include profiles of themselves.