LifeLine Animal Project has upgraded its facial recognition technology to help reunite pets with their owners.

In September LifeLine, which manages the DeKalb and Fulton county animal shelters, 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 was another tool it used to reunite them with their owners.

In an April 23 news release marking National Lost Dog and Cat Awareness Day, LifeLine announced it is partnering with Petco Love, formerly known as the Petco Foundation, a San Diego-based nonprofit aiming to lead and inspire change for animals, and animal welfare groups across the country, on a shared mission to help reunite lost pets with their families should they ever go missing. According to industry statistics, one in every three pets will go missing in their lifetime.

Petco Love Lost is a new, searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to make finding lost pets quicker and easier. The easy-to-use tool is accessible to participating animal organizations nationwide, as well as any pet parent or person who finds a lost pet.

Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community. Participating shelters currently utilizing this technology include Fulton County Animal Services, DeKalb County Animal Services and the LifeLine Community Animal Center.

“We are thrilled that Petco Love Lost has rolled out pet facial recognition technology nationwide and proud to be a partner,” LifeLine CEO Rebecca Guinn said in the release. “Losing a pet can be heartbreaking, but Petco Love Lost is a wonderful new tool that will help facilitate more happy reunions.”

Petco Love President Susanne Kogut added, “We know that one in three pets goes missing in their lifetime, an estimated 10 million pets each year, and we’re not ok with that. That gives us 10 million reasons why we created Petco Love Lost, because we believe nothing is more important than keeping people and pets together for a lifetime of love. Together with LifeLine, our goal is to keep pets where they belong — at home, with you.”

LifeLine spokeswoman Karen Hirsch said the main difference between Finding Rover and Petco Love Lost is Petco’s platform is more reliable and partners with a larger group of animal welfare organizations (more than 4,000).

For more information, visit lifelineanimal.org or petcolovelost.org.

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