What the Tech? Dogs gone - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Dogs gone

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According to the ASPCA some 7.5 million companion pets wind up in animal shelters and nearly 3 million of them are eventually euthanized. Keeping those animals out of shelters is important and new technology is helping pet owners reunite with their dogs and cats.

Everyone is tracked through the GPS on their phone and several companies are trying to do that with pets. The Whistle Pet Tracker attaches to the collar and uses GPS and cell towers. Users set up a geo­fence "safe zone" and if the pet wanders away from it, Whistle sends a notification to the owner's phone. Whistle and a similar device from Garmin do require the area to have a good cellular signal. These devices generally cost in the $80­$100 range and users pay another $10 a month for the tracking service.

Finding Rover is an app that uses facial recognition to find a lost dog. Users take a snapshot of their pooch, line up the eyes and nose and enter your information. The app then scans the dog's face and enters it and the information into a database. When someone finds the lost pet, they can check the database using the app or website and it will, using facial recognition, search for and find the owner who will then be contacted. Finding Rover is relatively new and is being used by many animal shelters and vets. It is a free service for dog owners and those shelters.

Facebook pages is another resource for people who have either lost or found runaway pets. We checked and found "Lost Pet" pages in nearly every city, county or community. Owners of lost dogs will post a photo and information about where the dog was last seen. Those photos are then posted and shared from the Lost Pet pages.

Kenny Chargois didn't know anything about the Facebook pages until his dog Jax jumped over a fence and ran away from home. He and his sons searched for him for 2 days in the neighborhood and saw plenty of Lost Dog signs, but none for Jax.

"A couple of signs had "Lost Dog" and a phone number and website which was for lost pets in the area," Chargois said. His son posted a photo on Facebook and he says within 3 minutes someone responded with a photo of a dog they'd found.

"I said, there's no way that could be my dog, it was in another city, actually a city across the lake."

Chargois soon learned that Jax had run down the street and into the lake. He's certain the dog swam over a mile to the other side. A woman who found Jax saw his post and reached out to him. Jax was back home that day.

Chargois said he recommends everyone join a "Lost Pets" Facebook page in their area to help reunite dogs with their owners. 

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