Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things. And when it comes to losing one of the most precious parts of our lives, around whom our entire existence revolves, not to death and not permanently, how can we possibly give up looking? We are talking about man’s best friend.
Any pet owner who has been through such moments of separation, takes desperate measures like hanging posters and fliers, making phone calls and knocking on every neighbours’ doors. Joanna Cox, owner of Roxy, a Shiba Inu went through similar hell recently. Roxy got spooked by thunder and lightning and escaped and was out in the unknown for 4 days while her family canvassed the entire neighbourhood with the hope of finding her safe. But what came to her rescue was technology. It’s called Finding Rover, a website which helps track lost dogs. Their 10 year old daughter happened to come across the website and created an account and uploaded the puppy’s recent picture, and on the 5th day she was identified by the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services on her arrival and within a span of 4 hours the family was at the shelter to pick her.
Built by Steven Callahan and John Schreiner of the University of Utah and founded by John Polimeno, FindingRover.com is primarily based on facial recognition technology. It is built on the premise that dogs have eight distinctive facial markers, which include their eye size and position near the snout, which is far fewer compared to the 128 points on the human facial recognition program.
“People are sort of uniform, the shape of their faces, skin tones, all their eyes, noses and mouths are in the same general location,” Callahan discovered during the designing of the software.
It is a less known fact that more than 7 million dogs are lost every year so FindingRover.com’ s motto is simple: “Let’s bring ’em all home Together”.
Here’s how they bring them home in three simple steps:
- The owner of the lost dog has to register his pet
- The finder snaps a photo of the lost dog and the app does a facial recognition search. The website also keeps a database of photos from the three county shelters and plans to expand the photo database to improve the odds of more happy reunions.
- Then pops the contact info of the dog’s owner and with this the pup will be back home in no time!
Keeping up with the pace of tech-equipped world today, even the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who are believed to be rigidly old school, came up with their mobile app that recovers missing pets. It offers tips on the best ways to search and allows users to create a digital flier to share on social media. “The best method for pet owners to find their lost pet is to get out the door, search their neighbourhood, post flyers, check their local shelters and make sure that their pets have ID tags with updated information,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of ASPCA shelter research and development. Well old beliefs are difficult to break into and replaced with the latest.
Talking about the latest, with its existence in mere 4 countries, we hope that one of the very few revolutionary inventions that revolves around our furry friends, FindingRover.com continues to broaden its horizon.