You could find your dog within minutes with this app.
Many people have experienced the horror of losing a dog, whether it be for one fleeting moment where they’re chasing the dog and thinking what might happen if they get away, or for days at a time with no idea where they may be. Some people never recover their dogs, and that’s truly the saddest experience of all.
John Polimeno went through this harrowing time as well with his crying kids in the backseat, so when he saw a “lost dog” poster while at a coffee shop, he started thinking that recovering lost pets should be easier.
When he looked around and saw everyone on their smart phones, he knew just what platform his new idea should be available on.
He developed an app called Finding Rover that uses facial recognition technology to reunite lost dogs with their humans. The technology matches photos of the lost dog with photos of found dogs to make it easier to reunite the pair.
The Oakland Press spoke to Bob Gatt, manager of the Oakland County Animal Control Division, who said,
“Finding Rover will revolutionize how we return lost dogs to their owners. We really encourage every dog owner to upload a photo of their dog to this free app.”
Those who are looking for their lost dog can upload a photo and those who have found a dog can also upload and the app will do the rest. Each time a set of photos matches, the owner is notified that their dog has been found.
Polimeno worked with a team from the University of Utah to study the technology used in prisons and casinos to develop an algorithm that would work with pet faces and recognize unique facial features.
Shelters have also been using the app to make it easier for owners to find their dogs at their facility, which cuts down on the amount of dogs that end up at the shelter. Many people don’t know that they should check shelters continuously when they have lost their dog, so their dog could stay there until they are put down or adopted by someone else.
The app has a 99 percent success rate of matching two dogs, something that came in handy for several users, including Laura Steveson who lost her Brussels Griffon, Monchichi. She said that they had been through everything: divorce, remarriage, moving, and everything in between, so when Monchichi went missing, she was heartbroken.
Since the two were out of town when Monchichi went missing and couldn’t search for her personally right away, Steveson’s husband looked for alternative ways to look for her in the meantime. He happened upon Finding Rover, uploaded a photo, and minutes later, he received an email that she was found at the San Diego County Department of Animal Services.
Laura was overjoyed to have received peace of mind so quickly, especially while she was in such a helpless situation. Polimeno said,
“We want to do everything we can to safeguard our dogs from being lost forever. A dog is a beloved family member, and if he or she goes missing, it can be devastating to everyone involved.”
Finding Rover can truly help families reunite, especially because it’s a completely free app, unlike other similar apps. Most others require a paid subscription, which can be inconvenient and deter lots of dog owners.
We’re so glad that technology is helping dogs and humans stick together for life! The same technology will soon be available for cats as well.
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