READING, Pa. – Shelters in Berks County are using a new program to help reunite lost pets with their owners more quickly by using facial recognition.
“One in three pets goes missing in their lifetime and if you think about it, across the country that’s millions upon millions of pets,” says Humane PA CEO Damon March.
“We’ve never had this tool before,” says Alexis Pagoulatos, CEO of ARL of Berks, “so it’s a very exciting game changer for all of Berks County and all of our animal loving community.”
“If someone were to lose a pet, they would upload a picture of their pet’s face to the Petco Love Lost platform,” says March. “When we find a pet, or when the ARL finds a pet, we will upload a picture of that found pet’s face and the algorithm hopefully will match them up.”
Once you upload a photo and click search it will bring up a gallery of animals that have been found near you, that look similar.
“Hopefully it’s a match,” says Pagoulatos. “It allows people to see where their pets are now, and to connect with us and contact us so we can get them safely reunited.”
Making sure your pet has identification like tags and microchips is still recommended; this is just an added tool that can help pets get home as soon as possible.
“Getting animals back to their families is where they belong,” says Pagoulatos. “The faster we can do that, the more space it opens up for other animals that are needier for shelters like ours.”
They’re encouraging anyone who has lost or found a pet to upload a picture at PetcoLoveLost.org.