Pittsylvania Pet Center using technology to help get lost pets back home

Shelter's pets now pictured on Finding Rover

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – At the Pittsylvania Pet Center, there are lots of stray cats and dogs, and the majority of them aren't finding their way back home.

"This year, we're averaging only 10% of all the strays that come in being reclaimed by their owners," pet center director James McLaughlin said.

That's why, when Finding Rover, an organization with a website specifically focused on helping reunite lost pets, reached out to help, McLaughlin didn't hesitate to say "yes."

"It shows all the found pets that we've received," he said.

Displaying the pets on the website is free for the pet center.

The website also shows pictures of all the pets currently available for adoption at the shelter.

If you upload a picture of your pet, the website will let you know when a possible match is found.

"Sometimes, what we see happen is: Somebody's passing through Pittsylvania County. They find a dog. They're not familiar with this area. They're familiar with another shelter and they're heading that way, so they take the dog there," McLaughlin explained.

"If the other shelters around us are using Finding Rover and that was to happen, people can still use the facial recognition and it'll let them know, 'Hey, it's at Franklin County's shelter.'"

But perhaps best of all, increasing the chance of a pet going back home means increasing the chance there will be space in the shelter for other pets in need.

"We're very optimistic this is going to help," McLaughlin said.

Finding Rover can be downloaded from the Apple app store and Google Play store for free. 

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