By Stacey Ross
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.“ ~ Anatole France
I agree with the above quote, and the more we embrace technology, the more we can help rescue the millions of dogs and cats that are cared for by shelters each year!
Considering that microchips and animal tattoos are becoming outdated and tags can be lost, it is exciting to see the growing use of technology and social media to help re-unite lost pets with their owners, as well as find loving homes for shelter animals.
In fact, just last week I received an automated call that, for once, was welcome! A young dog was lost within a few miles of my home and LostMyDoggie.com came to the rescue. Thanks to technology they are able to deliver “amber alerts” to notify neighbors and
businesses about lost pets in their area. I reflected upon the huge value that this service offers. Here, sharing details with the masses was an animal recovery service that has helped 1000s of owners find their lost pets!
Another growing lifeline is the PiP My Pet app for iPhone and Android. PiP helps pet owners locate their furry friends by using facial recognition technology. Anyone with a smartphone can take a photo of a found animal and check the app’s database to see if it has been reported missing. The app’s facial recognition engine is reported to have between a 95 and 98 percent success rate. PiP is making arrangements with a number of U.S. counties that would share data and images at no cost to lessen the number of pets that end up in shelters.
Using similar technology, PetMatch (iOS and Android) helps connect people with a pet they want to adopt by searching through the PetFinder database. Looking to adopt a terrier, for example? Take a photo and the app will use the image to find a similar-looking dog in your area that is ready for adoption.
Some shelters have developed yet another brilliant way to rescue pets! iPet Companion allows viewers to view and “play” with animals available for adoption through a live video feed. Users get to play for two minutes, maneuvering the camera to see the animals and clicking on toys to interact with the kitty or puppy of their choice.
Pet rescue and adoption is now easier, thanks to our handheld devices, apps and high-speed Internet access. GPS devices are also growing in popularity. We must also give props to social media for creatively highlighting the efforts of shelters and rescue services! Twitter and Facebook posts of available pets are very visually powerful images. Just this past summer, a Facebook friend, Lisa, posted a picture of the dog that my family had been waiting for and thanks to her efforts in support of AlmostHomeAnimalRescue we now we have an adorable 22 pound Yorkie!
Social platforms are ideal for business owners like Lisa to not only gain exposure themselves but to partner up with humanitarian services. All part of a noble effort to help save lives and build memories, one precious fur ball at a time!
Stacey Ross is an online consultant, social media enthusiast, freelancer and owner of SanDiegoBargainMama.com. A former teacher and middle school counselor, she is now a mom of two who researches and freelances about lifestyle topics involving family and well-being.