ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – July is lost pet prevention month, and one company is changing the way pets get home safe.
According to Lorien Clemens, the Co-Founder of PetHub, one in three pets will go missing in their lifetime. PetHub has created a centralized database for pet parents to find their fur babies within 24 hours at a 96% success rate.
“It just allows pet parents to use data in a really smart way for all sorts of aspects of their fur kids lives,” Clemens said. “In this case it’s keeping their identification up to date connect them to a digital ID tag that can help them get home quickly.”
Clemens co-founded PetHub with her husband Tom Arnold back in 2010. The idea for an external ID tag came to Arnold when he was on a business trip. What was supposed to be a month-long trip quickly turned into three. During that time, his cat went missing and he realized how difficult it was to have all his pet information in one place, and how hard it was to access.
“I’ve literally been in an airport, at the gate, ready to board a plane to go Chicago and thought, oh wow we’ve got a new pet sitter, I need to add them to my pet’s profile,” Clemens said. “Then I immediately add them, kick off the old pet sitter, and I did it in 30 seconds. And now if my pet goes missing while I’m on a business trip, the new name of the pet sitter is there on the list.”
Typically when a pet goes missing they get sent to a shelter, where their microchips are get scanned. However, some animal shelters charge to get your pet back, and if it happens multiple times that may result in a ticket.
Chips are a great safety net, but many pet owners often forget to update the information. Clemens said that 52% of pet chip information is out of date, but some individual shelters may have numbers as low as 10-17%.
“The average is around 10 days that a pet could stay in a shelter before they get home, if they get home at all,” Clemens said. “The statistics are pretty daunting — that if a pet doesn’t have identification — of them actually getting home, they’re actually rather depressing.”
Anchorage Animal Care and Control is just one organization that has partnered with PetHub in the fight against lost pets. Their Public Education Manager Patricia Vannatter said that they could see hundreds of lost pets come through their doors each week.
“So if your animal ever gets out anybody can scan the QR code that’s on the back of the pet license and they’ll be able to get your pet back to you faster,” Vanatter said. “That way you can bypass the shelter all together and just get your animal back as quick as possible.”
According to Vanatter, in Anchorage it is required that pets over four months old must have identification. In the last seven years, 40,000 pets have been found through PetHub.
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