Besides papering the neighborhood in fliers when your pet goes missing, you might also consider a new app that claims to help people find their furry friends with a few clicks of a button.
The new app called PiP, which stands for "Positive Identification of Pet," uses facial recognition software to help track down lost pets, according to its developer. Owners simply upload a few photos of their pet, in addition to a few other details, and the app then sends out an alert to all other PiP subscribers in the area, as well as local shelters and veterinary offices.
Any photos of found pets will be cross-referenced with the picture of missing Fido. It would be a bit like a child Amber Alerts, but for pets.
The idea for the app came to PiP CEO Philip Rooyakkers when he was working with a dog that was adopted by a new family only 48 hours after arriving in a shelter, giving the dog's original owners little time to find him.
"It struck me that this dog was grieving, that he was missing 'his true owners,' and I knew that somewhere out there his true owners were also grieving," Rooyakkers said in a statement. "The unfairness of this situation struck a chord with me and I knew there had to be a better way to reunite lost pets with their rightful owners."
About 9 million companion animals are admitted to shelters each year, according to a study by the American Humane Society. Additionally, a cat or dog lost without a microchip or ID tag has a slim chance of being found; only 15 percent of dogs are found and 2 percent of cats.