by Caroline Vandergriff | CBS 11


DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas animal shelters are using new facial recognition technology to reunite families with their missing animals.

It’s a scenario all pet owners fear – Fluffy or Fido runs away from home and is unable to be found. People come to the Denton Animal Shelter every day looking for their lost pets.

“A pet has either scaled a fence and ran off, or someone maybe opened a door and the cat ran off, so they are either coming to our website or calling in or coming in, asking us, have we seen their animal?” said Randi Weinberg, Denton Animal Services Manager.

The shelter found an innovate way help. It’s a free app called, Finding Rover, and it used facial recognition technology to identify a missing dog or cat.

Finding Rover app (findingrover.com)

“It’s basically like a three-step process,” Weinberg said. “It’s so simple.”

Once you download the app, all you have to do is create a profile for your pet. Take a close up picture of their face and upload it.

“So in the event that you lose your animal, it’s simple just to active the button, say I Lost My Animal, and it starts automatically sending that facial recognition to the partner shelters and rescue groups,” Weinberg said.

Plano Animal Services started using Finding Rover in October, and it has already successfully matched several families with their lost pets.

“Absolutely we’d use that,” said Elizabeth Jernigan, who adopted a dog from the Denton Animal Shelter a year ago.

Chase has quickly become a part of their family.

“The very first day we got him, he bolted out of the house,” said Joseph Jernigan. “That’s how he got his name – Chase.”

If he ever ran away again, the Jernigans are glad to know Finding Rover is an option so Chase hopefully wouldn’t stay lost for long.

If you find a lost pet, you can also use the app to help reunite it with its owner.