Facial recognition… for pets?


LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) – Can’t find Fido? There’s an app for that! 

Pasco County Animal Services is turning to facial recognition software to help bring more lost pets home. 

Starting this week, every pet that comes into the shelter will be scanned into the Finding Rover database.

Finding Rover is a facial recognition software designed to recognize and reunite lost pets. Finding Rover features a smartphone app, putting the power of a pet detective in the palm of your hand. 

Pasco Animal Services Outreach Coordinator Rachel Stever calls the technology “absolutely revolutionary.” Stever says Pasco is the first county shelter in the Tampa Bay area to start using it. 

“We saw it as a great opportunity to really offer something to our community,” she said. 

Here’s how it works.

If your pet goes missing, you upload a photo and create a pet ID. The app then cross-references your pet’s unique features with pets already in the system to find a match. It also works in reverse if you find an animal and want to see if it’s listed as lost. 

Over the last two and a half weeks, 178 animals came into the Pasco shelter. In that time, just 28 were reunited with their families.

Stever hopes the app will be able to bring that number up.

It’s not just for shelters. Pasco Animal Services hopes all animal lovers in the area will catch on. 

“It’s a very easily accessible tool for anybody to be able to use,” Stever said. 

In addition to lost pets, Pasco Animal Services says they can also list available pets on the app for anyone hoping to adopt. 

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