When a pet runs away or gets lost, many owners face the agony of constant worry about whether it will ever be found again, especially if the pet has not been microchipped or wasn’t wearing an ID tag.
And, while the traditional method of posting signs in your neighborhood may yield results in locating your lost animal, the Internet might also be able to help, especially as companies adapt existing technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, to the pet world.
Finding Rover, for example, is a U.S. company created to reunite pets and owners via pet facial recognition.
On the Finding Rover site, users can report a lost pet and search pictures of lost pets.
Users can also do a Facial Recognition Search using a photo of the missing pet.
Here’s one of Finding Rover’s success stories.
As a precautionary measure, you can also register your pet for free, so that, if it ever does get lost, you can simply click a “Report your Lost Pet” button on the Finding Rover website or app.
This all sounds wonderful and very high tech, so we decided to give the Finding Rover site a try. As you may know from some of our recent posts, we recently adopted a cat that we found without a collar and assumed was a stray. We’ve done searches in Facebook missing pet groups in that area to see if anyone was reporting her missing, but haven’t seen anyone posting a lost report meeting her description.
We decided to upload her picture to Finding Rover to see if anyone reported her lost on that site or if she was in any of the shelters Finding Rover provides pictures of pets from.
It’s a pretty simple process: We clicked on Found, typed in the city and state where we found our cat, along with her species and gender, and then uploaded her picture, after which a facial recognition search started. We were then given the chance to Register a Lost Pet and peruse photos that came up as matches.
Although some of the cats looked a lot like our kitty, none who came up were close to us. The nearest was about 70 miles away. This is probably because the app hasn’t yet caught on in enough areas to make it easy to find pets anywhere in the U.S. and we were searching in a very small city in North Carolina.
Also, some of the cats looked nothing like our cat. In the screenshot below, you can see our cat on the left and some of the matches shown on the right.
However, we will say that it is certainly a helpful resource for many and, given time for usage to spread and more developments with pet facial recognition, this app could probably prove invaluable to a very broad base of people and their pets.
If your local shelter is not a Finding Rover partner, you can click here for instructions on how a shelter can get set up to let lost pet owners search current shelter pets using the app.
For more about Finding Rover and pet facial recognition, check out the WBPS news story below:
Meanwhile, in China, according to an iCrowd Newswire press release, Megvii, a Chinese AI startup that supplies facial recognition software for the Chinese government’s surveillance program, has expanded its technology beyond humans to recognize different faces of pets.
As reported by Abacus News, Megvii’s new program recognizes dogs by their nose prints.
The company says it can register a dog simply by scanning the canine’s snout through a phone’s camera. Similar to the way a phone registers your fingerprint, the app asks you to take photos of your dog’s nose from multiple angles.
The app has more than one use, however. Megvii says its can also monitor “uncivilized dog keeping” to fine civilians who don’t pick up after their dogs or allow them to walk without leashes in public.