It’s scary when your dog bounds out the door, disappears down the street and doesn’t immediately return when you call his name. But technology has evolved to facilitate and even speed up the reunion process.
For example, a growing number of smart phone apps now are available to help. Consider the Finding Rover app, which uses facial recognition technology to analyze a photo of a lost pet and match it with photos in the app’s database. It’s available at findingrover.com.
Or you can purchase a digital ID tag such as PetHub’s TapTag, available at http://www.pethub.com⁄shop. The person who finds a pet wearing this tag either can scan the code on the tag with a smart phone or enter the ID number on the PetHub website. Plus, a toll-free number is printed on the tag.
Unfortunately, technology has its limitations.
“The question is how tech-savvy does the person who finds your lost animal have to be to make the reunion occur?” asks Kirsten Theisen, director of pet care issues for The Humane Society of the United States.
The most important thing you can do, of course, is to make sure your pet has an identification tag with up-to-date contact information, including your phone number. If your pet has a microchip implant, be sure to provide the microchip company with your current contact information, Theisen says.