Lost your dog? Find with phone! A three-step process records your dogs facial features (- FindingRover.com)
Lost your dog? Find with phone!
Lexile

Any pet owner who has spent days hanging posters, making phone calls and knocking on neighbors' doors hopes there's a better way to find a lost dog.

That became a reality when facial recognition technology reunited a pet at San Diego County Animal Services. Joanne Cox's family in San Diego turned to FindingRover.com, a website and app. It uses technology built by university researchers, to reconnect with their dog Roxy, a Shiba inu.

The website keeps a database of photos from the three county shelters. It tries to match eight distinctive facial markers on dogs. Eyes and noses are important areas, including eye size and their position near the snout.

FindingRover.com founder John Polimeno wants to expand the photo database to improve the odds of more happy endings.

The website is unique in using facial recognition but stands among many online tools people increasingly use to find lost pets. There are alarm systems, social media alerts and apps that post rewards or call people in neighborhoods.

Plus, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has its own mobile app for recovering missing pets. It offers tips on the best ways to search and allows users to create a digital flier to share on social media.

Facial recognition worked for the Cox family after Roxy bolted during a thunderstorm in late July. Five days after the dog disappeared, the family's 10-year-old daughter created a free Finding Rover account. The technology matched her uploaded photo to one taken at the shelter.

"Within four hours of her arrival to the shelter, we were there to pick her up," Joanna Cox said in an email.

Every dog entering San Diego County's three shelters is added to the photo database. Daniel deSousa, the system's deputy director, says the program can work two ways:

Someone finds a dog, takes its picture and sends it to the database, where a match generates a notice to the owner. The owner then can call the good Samaritan and arrange a pickup.

Dogs coming in to the shelters have their photos run against the database. If there's a match, the owner gets a call.

Critical thinking challenge: John Polimenos system depends upon two different photos taken by two different people. Why?

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COMMENTS (96)
  • 08Avery-May
    8/14/2014 - 02:20 p.m.

    WOW!!!! I would love to have that app. It seems like it really helps somebody find there lost dog.Whoever loses there dog I hope that they see this article.But the thing that I dont get is why it only does San Diego and not the whole country.That doesnt make sense.

  • 01Lyndsi-May
    8/14/2014 - 02:22 p.m.

    That's actually really cool! I know if I ever lose one of my dogs I would tell my mom to get this app on her Iphone. She probably would use it too! I will defenitally tell her about this one!

  • 03Alex-May
    8/14/2014 - 02:25 p.m.

    i think its amasing how fast tech evolves. i cant belive that all the hard work of running arround looking for your dog and hanging posters

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    8/14/2014 - 06:20 p.m.

    I think that findingrover.com is really amazing. I also think that findingrover.com is really useful for many pet owners. I think that the idea of using two photos and making a perfect photo of your dog is a great idea. I also think that technology is growing so much that you can find dogs easily. I think that if I had a dog and I lose it I would quickly go to my computer and try the website.
    Critical thinking challenge: John Polimenos system depends upon two different photos taken by two different people. Why?
    Answer: John Polimeno's device depends on 2 different photos taken by two different people because you need to find the 8 mandatory parts so that the photo can be complete.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/14/2014 - 09:04 p.m.

    I think this is cool because now people can stop wasting their time putting papers up walls or knocking on people's houses. Now, all they have to do is use facial recognition technology to find their lost dog and it notifies people if the dog is found. With the app or website, people can save time. But, I also think this would be hard because the article says the eye size and nose positions are important for the picture. This would make people see their lost pet faster which makes happy endings happier.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: John Polimenos system depends upon two different photos taken by two different people. Why?
    Answer: John Polimeno's system depends on two different photos taken by two different people because I think it increases the chance of finding the dog and that it would recognize the dog from its photo.

  • icecreamisyummy
    8/15/2014 - 12:59 p.m.

    Cant find your dog? There might be an easier way to find them! A new way to find your dog is with you phone. Do you really think this is a good way to find your dog? What if it actually hurts your dog in someway. Well, there is a good thing to come out of this you find your dog and hopefully get it home safely.

  • VictoriaRuizR
    8/18/2014 - 12:03 a.m.

    FindingRover.com is a website and app for lost dogs. It is a database where people upload photos of dogs using technology built by researchers. The app tries to match eight distinctive facial features on dogs; the most important are noses and eyes. The founder is John Polimeno, who wants to expand the photo database to help more families to find their dogs. That is how Cox family was lucky to find their dog through this application during a thunderstorm in San Diego County; it took four hours, after five days the dog disappeared. The application works in two ways: someone finds a dog and takes a picture which uploads to the database and dog's shelters have their photos of the dogs coming in to the shelter. If there's a match, then the owner receives a call.
    In my opinion, I think this is a very useful tool to find lost pets. It is very stressful spending too much days and energy hanging posters, knocking doors and walking around the city. It is important to expand this website and app, because the photo database needs almost all dogs' photos. I would like this organization could work in Chile. I liked it so much.

  • Eric6789723200
    8/18/2014 - 08:47 a.m.

    They made this website ,so people who lost their dogs have a database. The owner of this website made it ,so that you can have updates on your dog. The people that find your dog can take pictures and post them on the website. If you find your dog then the owner will arrange a pickup. This website is useful ,because you would be able to help you find your lost dog.
    You can find your dog ,because the people who will find your dog has shelters and they take the dogs there. If you lose your dog ,then you can go ,and get your dog.

  • Adriane927
    8/18/2014 - 08:50 a.m.

    Someone finds a dog, takes its picture and sends it to the database, where a match generates a notice to the owner. The owner then can call the good Samaritan and arrange a pickup. then to people will be searching for the dog and then you find the dog.

  • brandon1699
    8/18/2014 - 08:54 a.m.

    i think its great that people can use there smart phones to find there dearly beloved animals because to some people dogs are family like cousin the stay in the same house might as well treat them like family

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