Petco Love, formerly known as the Petco Foundation, has partnered with about 1,000 animal shelters and rescues across the country to help reunite lost pets with their owners through a new searchable database that uses facial recognition technology.
A recent survey of pet owners found that more than half confirmed they were unsure of all the steps to take or the resources available should they ever lose or find a pet, while 88 percent of current dog and cat owners agreed a searchable database would be helpful, according to Petco Love officials, pointing to a survey it recently conducted of 1,005 past and current dog and cat owners.
“The fact that one in three pets will go missing in their lifetime is simply too many, and the only way to bring them home is by coming together on a single platform that connects shelters, pet parents and good neighbors together,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love. “We know the solution requires a national infrastructure, and we’re launching today with more than 1,000 animal welfare organizations and pet industry partners already signed-up. We encourage others to join us and pet parents to register their own pets should the unthinkable happen.”
Throughout the coming months, Petco Love Lost will continue to enhance its search algorithms and fine-tune the AI technology of the platform as additional partners sign on and more pets—along with their information—are added into the system. The more robust the database, the more pets will be reunited, officials said in a statement.
“This simple-to-use tool will be easily accessible by pet parents, as well as any person who finds a lost dog or cat,” officials added. “Uploaded photos of a missing pet are immediately scanned to determine whether there is a match at a participating shelter or neighbor in the community, providing initial results in less than a minute.”
Early adopters agreeing to drive awareness of Petco Love Lost, according to officials, include Petco, the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the North American Veterinarian Community (NAVC), BOBS from Skechers, Blue Buffalo, Hills Pet Nutrition, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 24PetWatch, Nationwide, State Farm, along with many more.
“Petco Love Lost can help millions of lost pets reunite with their families, protecting those animals from suffering, returning joy to their owners and preserving critical space and resources at shelters for other animals in need,” said Matt Bershadker, CEO of the ASPCA. “We are proud to support Petco Love on this remarkable and innovative project, which can also play a key role in helping families and their pets find each other following major natural disasters and emergencies.”
Additional details on Petco Love Lost can be found here.
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