About a month ago, the Plano Animal Shelter started using facial recognition technology to identify lost pets, an added tool to help animals find their forever home.
“Finding Rover is an app that uses facial recognition technology to match people who may be missing a pet with the animals we currently are holding in the shelter,” Plano Animal Services Director Jamey Cantrell said.
Users are able to search the shelter from their phone in an effort to locate their lost pet.
Amber Weible, Senior Animal Services Officer, said Finding Rover has a lot to do with helping pets get home to their owners.
“Sometimes owners don’t realize how far they can make it. People pick them up, they can end up in different cities, sometimes one hundred miles out even,” she said. “So, it’s a way to broadcast them out a lot further than they normally would”.
However, Finding Rover doesn’t just help locate lost dogs. It even allows people to look for a specific breed in the shelter that they are wanting.
“Say you had a dog at one point that was your favorite dog ever and your saying I would like to have another one and I would like to have one that looked like him. You can upload a picture and it will search the shelter animals, the adoptable ones, and say this one kinda matches, it might be a good one,” Cantrell said.
Now with the program in place, the shelters main priority is to reunite pets with their owners.
“That’s our top priority when we have a stray pet isn’t getting them into adoption but it’s getting them back home with their family,” Animal Services Officer Mary Lovell said. “I think thats always the most stable environment for the pet.”