Napa County using facial recognition app to help owners find lost dogs

NAPA CO. (BCN) — Napa County’s animal shelter is using facial recognition technology to find and identify lost pet dogs.

The shelter says it is the first in Northern California to use Finding Rover, a mobile app and website that allows users to find their missing dogs via their smart phone or computer.

The Napa County Animal Shelter has photos and information of lost pets on its website and has been using Finding Rover since May 12, shelter manager Kristin Loomer said.

Dog owners take a front-facing picture of their pet, mark the eyes and nose, and a facial recognition system scans the dog’s features and keeps them on file. If the dog is ever lost, its record will be in the system and it will be quickly identified.

The free pet registration process can be done by email and it protects the animal for life.

Finding Rover alerts a large network of dog organizations and members, including veterinarians, shelters, rescue organizations and social media, about lost dogs. The finder of the dog snaps a photo of it and Finding Rover’s facial recognition technology does a facial recognition search and contacts the dog’s owner.

Finding Rover has found 7 million lost dogs, according to its website.

Finding Rover is available for free at findingrover.com and on iOS and Android devices.

Loomer said the Napa County Animal Shelter updates its list of lost and adoptable dogs daily, but Finding Rover is updated every hour. The Napa shelter has an average of up to 20 dogs up for adoption, and 10-20 dogs that are lost or strays.

“We have a 94 percent live release rate. We place every adoptable animal without time limits,” Loomer said.

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