Finding Rover Helps Reunite Hurricane Harvey Pets With Their Families
Patricia Mercer is the president of the Houston, Texas, SPCA, and says the work before them in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is overwhelming. And even with all the devastation, she’s empowered by the strength and resilience of her community as neighbors help neighbors to bring pets displaced by the hurricane back to their families.
Finding Rover and the Petco Foundation are joining that effort, with an app that allows a pet owner to upload a picture of his or her pet that’s gone missing in the aftermath of the hurricane. The app’s facial recognition technology scans pictures of pets brought into shelters in the last few days and helps rescuers and pet parents connect. Finding Rover utilizes large networks of pet care organizations all over the country–and due to the fact that lost pets were sent to whatever shelter could take them, the facial recognition technology is particularly helpful now.
As animal shelters and rescues across the country take the displaced animals in, they are uploaded these pets into Finding Rover’s database. Houstonians can upload a picture of their pet, and an algorithm works to match pet owner with pet location. All this comes free to shelters and pet owners, because they want to do everything they can to help families who have already lost so much.
Now that Harvey has left the region, families are starting the rebuilding process and are anxiously searching for missing pets. We hope that Finding Rover will help bring some happy endings together. And even if you’re not affected by the hurricane, it’s a good idea to join the Finding Rover community–it’s free, and you hope you’ll never need it, but if you do? You’ll be glad you did.
More by Lori Ennis