If pets are part of your family, you most likely treat them like family. Taking them to the vet, giving them baths, and even spoiling them with treats are all part of being a pet owner. Perhaps the scariest moments of pet ownership are when our pets go missing. Today, with technology and the work of some great animal lovers, there are new ways to not only keep track of our pets, but also reunite us with them even more quickly than ever before. The great thing about many of these services is that they are free!
Petharbor.com is one of the newest technological tools available to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. According to Christine Bidgood with Lost Dogs Arizona, the database is completely free. Individuals like Christine are able to help pet owners locate their pets by using the enormous database on petharbor.com. Volunteers manually input details about each lost pet that is reported to them; then these details can be cross referenced when pet owners are searching for their four legged friends across Maricopa County. “Every time I’m helping an owner locate a pet, I am providing them hope.” stated Bidgood.
There are also apps available for pet owners to download on their smart devices and phones. For example, Finding Rover is a completely free app which allows you to report your lost pet. It can also be used to receive notifications when others may have found your dog or cat. Using photos of your pet, Finding Rover also utilizes facial recognition technology to cross reference photos of pets that others have found. All of these facets of the service help you minimize the amount of time you are looking for your fur baby. PawBoost is also available for download to pet owners, and is quite similar to Finding Rover, but downloading both could improve your chances of finding your pet even more quickly.
More than 35,000 pets are taken in by the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters each year, according to their website. That is nearly 3,000 pets per month! It is highly recommended that pet owners have their pets tracked with the microchip technology that is available. This is an additional cost to pet ownership, but it well worth the peach of mind if you can afford it. If you do have a microchip company you are using, always contact them first to notify them that your pet may be lost or stolen. Also, contact your local shelter to report your pet lost or stolen, so that they can be on the lookout for him or her. Any information you can provide about your pet will help volunteers find them more efficiently.
The number one thing to do after contacting local shelters is to go out and search for your pet on your own as well. In the event you believe your pet to be stolen, you should contact the police immediately, as theft of a pet is a crime. Even with the police, shelters and the many volunteers who work to help bring pets home, some of the most successful stories happen when pet owners find their lost pet on their own search efforts.