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Shelters Will Use Facial Recognition Technology to Reunite Owners with Lost Pets

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Losing a pet is one of the scariest scenarios any pet parent can think of. Even if you’re careful, accidents can happen and your precious pooch can wander off and get picked up as a stray by a shelter or a rescue. Unfortunately, many animal shelters are completely overwhelmed; there are too many abandoned and lost pets to care for and far too few people to help them. This is why many shelters don’t wait long before putting a dog up for adoption. Sometimes, it can be as little as 72 hours before your beloved pet ends up with another family! And that’s the better option, considering that many unclaimed cats and dogs get euthanized in shelters. To prevent these unfortunate scenarios, The Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter partnered up with Finding Rover, the company behind the revolutionary app that uses facial recognition to reunite lost pets with owners.

The sophisticated software works on a simple premise. You upload a photo of your lost pet, complete with any your contact info and a not of any unique details that might help identify them, and the app will compare it to the local database for matches. The computer algorithm will measure 138 features of a dog’s or cat’s face for an ID, and it even works for purebred dogs, which are often hard to distinguish one from another. In fact, the app is so accurate that it’ll probably have more luck recognizing your pet among the many than any human would! The scores are pretty impressive: the software picked the correct animal out of a database of 25,000 others in 98 percent of the cases.

While the is the first shelter in the area to partner with Finding Rover, they’re not the first to use this innovative service. The company has partnered with 600 shelters in the U.S., Canada, and Australia and has helped reunite over 15,000 pet parents with their cats and dogs. To make things even more perfect, their services are completely free, as they’re sponsored by Petco Foundation.

Hopefully, more and more shelters and rescues will turn to this novel technology- but until then, make sure to microchip your pet as a precaution. It’s inexpensive, non-invasive and easily available: and it can be the one thing that can help your pet find their way back to you if they get lost.


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