Lost pets might find their way home sooner, thanks to new facial recognition technology.
The tool is being implemented by Lollypop Farm in addition to existing methods of reuniting lost pets and their people.
Here's how it works: Pet owners register for free by uploading a front-facing picture of their dog or cat to FindingRover.com. If the animal ever goes missing, or if someone finds a stray pet, they can check the website's data base for lost or found animals in their region.
"People might think of taking the pet to a shelter or animal control if they find a pet, which is something you should still consider doing if you find a pet,” said Adrienne McHargue, a spokesperson for the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. “But this allows you to check before you do that, and maybe you can get them home right away."
So far this year, 1,026 pets have been reported lost or found to Lollypop Farm. McHargue said that is consistent with past years.
"Sometimes they find little ways out of the house or they sneak past you when you open the door,” she explained, “and we want to help everybody get their pets back home as soon as possible."
Lollypop still urges pet owners to have their pets microchipped.