App uses facial recognition technology to reunite lost pets with owners

Posted at 3:44 PM, Dec 11, 2018

If you’ve ever lost your pet, you can probably recall the panic you felt.

But as technology advances, the chances of finding our lost furry friends gets better and better.

Ajax is Matt Sutton’s first puppy, and when they’re not together, he always wants to know where he is.  

“I would never want to lose him. It would be devastating if I did,” Sutton says.

That's why he got Ajax microchipped.  

“I have a Social Security number on there for his microchip, and that's plugged into my phone and that’s registered in the database for him,” Sutton explains.    

But now, there's a new way pet owners can keep track of their pets: facial recognition.

The Finding Rover mobile app allows pet owners to upload a photo of their missing dog or cat. The app then scans a database of more than a million rescued or found animals that could be a to make a match.

The founders of Finding Rover say the app is 98 percent accurate.

Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald says with so many lost and stray animals, facial recognition for pets could be a huge asset. However, it doesn't mean pet owners should abandon microchips.  

“Right now, I don't think that the official technology thing is as widespread,” says Dr. Fitzgerald. “You know, we aren't seeing that, but this should be. You know everybody should have a microchip.”

Finding Rover founders say they've reunited more than 15,000 pets with their owners.

“It's an added layer, and I think that's a very helpful asset to any dog owner,” says Sutton.