Smartphone App Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Locate Missing Pets

2010_tyd_photowinner_louiseTechnology is at work to help pet owners looking for lost animals. A cell phone app called Positive Identification of a Pet (PiP) issues alerts for missing pets. The PiP app uses facial recognition technology to find a missing pet. The owner can upload a picture and description of their pet. When the pet goes missing, an owner can activate a PiP alert. The alert is sent out to veterinarians and local animal shelters. The alert will trigger PiP technology to watch social media outlets for postings of pets that have been found. It uses a facial recognition system to find a positive match to a found pet in the database.
PiPPhones-1 The PiP app is a free download for all Smartphone users.  At the moment a pet goes missing, an owner can activate a PiP “amber alert” and immediately broadcast to animal control/animal rescue agencies, veterinarians, social media outlets, and other app subscribers within the local area that their pet has been lost. Simultaneously, the amber alert will trigger PiP’s technology to watch social media outlets for any posting of a found pet.
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Thank goodness, my dogs have not gone missing so I have not tried the PiP app; I opt for the old-school dog tag with my contact information and microchips on both of my dogs.

Pet microchips are available at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, most veterinarian offices and many animal shelters. A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. It only takes a few minutes to have a pet microchipped and your information can be updated during the life of your pet.

Want to learn more about Positive Identification of a Pet (PiP) technology? Check out this video including some feedback from animal owners and rescue experts. Please take a moment and fill out the poll below.

Is Your Pet Ready for the Unexpected? June is National Pet Preparedness Month

Summer in Saint Louis can be a time of extremes; severe storms, dangerous heat, flash flooding, and brush fires. In the wake of recent events like tornadoes and brush fires, the question must be asked: “Are you prepared to take care of yourself and your family, including your pets, when disaster strikes?” This is the question National Pet Preparedness Month is designed to bring to the forefront and help us to plan for the four-legged loved ones in our lives.

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For millions of animal owners, pets are an important family member. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done in advance.

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you must evacuate your home, is important NOT TO LEAVE PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are heading to a public shelter in an emergency, animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

A good preparedness kit includes enough of your companion animal’s regular food, medications, first aid supplies, and an appropriately sized carrier. It is also recommended to have updated pet photos, immunizations records, and multiple contact numbers in the kit.

Here are the top ten items for a pet preparedness kit:

Food (your pet’s regular food)
Water
Leash and collar
Bowl(s)
Photo of your pet/ID and a photo of you with your pet
Medications your pet needs
Immunization/vet records (keep both updated)
Pet carrier
First Aid Kit
Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, out-of-town friends/family

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