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  • PACC ramping up lost and found services

    Feb 16, 2021 | Read More News
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    missing petsIt sounds like something out of a science fiction film, but Pima Animal Care Center is implementing some new technology that will use facial recognition to help lost pets get back home. It’s called “Finding Rover,” and it’s free to download and easy to use.

    “All you have to do is upload a photo,’” said Monica Dangler, Interim Director of Animal Services. “We are hoping this simple system can get pets home more quickly.”

    People can upload photos to the app or through the website here. They should also file a lost report with PACC here. Then, when a stray pet comes to the shelter, PACC will upload its photo to the site. The “Finding Rover” system will then search the lost and found sections to see if any of the photos match up. Once “Finding Rover” locates a match, the system will contact the pet owner with the contact information of where the pet is located. This could be at the shelter or with a temporary foster in the community. 

    The shelter also recently added a new texting program for lost and found reports. If you have lost a pet, you will send the word “LOST” to (833) 552-0591. You will then receive some information that will walk you through the report. For a pet that you have found, you will send “FOUND” to (833) 552-0591. The automated system will walk you through how to make a “found” report. The texting program is run by Simple Texting. PACC does not charge for this service, but data and message rates may apply according to your phone carrier. By texting, you agree to receive promotional messages sent via an autodialer, and this agreement isn’t a condition of any purchase.

    “The return-to-owner rate at PACC is about 22%, which means around 22% of lost pets make it back home to their original owners,” Dangler said. “This is up from about 17% in 2019, so we are proud of it, but we are always striving to get 100% of lost pets back home.”

    PACC is offering up some other helpful tips for pet owners to put in place before a pet goes missing and after they go missing.

    • Make sure a pet has updated microchip information. You can update it free here.
    • Get a sturdy collar with an updated name tag that has a current phone number on it. You can get a collar and a tag at the lobby store at PACC by making an appointment here
    • Check your home and yard for holes. Pets can escape through the tiniest of spots.
    • Text “LOST” to (833) 552-0591 as soon as the pet goes missing.
    • Upload photo to “Finding Rover.”
    • Post fliers in your community. Many lost pets are found near their homes.
    • Make posts on Nextdoor, lost and found groups on Facebook, etc.
    • Check PACC’s intake photos, lost and found groups online, and other shelters in the area. Check often.

    “Many of our lost pets could have been reunited faster with updated microchip information or I.D. tag information,” said Dangler.

    The shelter is open for essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. All non-emergency appointments will require an appointment. People can make their appointments and keep up with the operational changes at pima.gov/animalcare.