LifeLine Animal Project is using the latest in facial recognition technology to help reunite pets with their owners.

LifeLine, which manages the DeKalb and Fulton county animal shelters, recently partnered with Finding Rover, a free website and mobile app that uses photos of lost pets to help find them and place them back with their owners. Since many of the pets entering LifeLine’s shelters once had homes, Finding Rover is another tool it’s using to reunite them with their owners.

Finding Rover uses facial recognition technology to scan pet photos and search for potential matches. Through the partnership, photos of all stray animals entering LifeLine’s shelters will be uploaded to Finding Rover’s website.

When someone in metro Atlanta reports their pet as lost on Finding Rover’s website, his or her pet’s photo will be scanned against all stray pets at LifeLine’s shelters. The photo will also be scanned against all pets reported as found to the website and all stray pets at partner shelters within a 200-mile radius.

LifeLine was recently chosen to be a pilot member of the national coalition, Human Animal Support Services, which aims to keep the human-animal family together by providing a range of pet support services, including lost pet assistance. According to LifeLine CEO Rebecca Guinn, her organization is happy to have another resource to help reunite lost pets and their owners.

“We now have two caseworkers at each of our county shelters providing lost pet assistance, re-homing support and help to struggling pet owners,” she said. “Facial recognition technology is a wonderful new tool that we’re now using in addition to microchip scanning to help lost and stray pets return home quickly. We are excited about facilitating more reunions and proud to be the first Finding Rover open admission shelters to partner in metro Atlanta.”

Finding Rover works with more than 600 shelters in the U.S., has over 700,000 pets in its database and has reunited 18,000 pets with their families so far, including some in metro Atlanta through LifeLine. One metro-area dog, King, was reunited with his family after being missing for eight years.

It is meant to be used in addition to microchipping pets to increase the odds that if someone’s pet ever goes missing, they’ll be able to bring them home again. To set up a free pet account or to report a pet as found, visit www.findingrover.com.

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