Did you know that globally there were more than 470 million pet dogs in 2018? The number has increased steadily every year since then. In fact, research indicates that the pandemic accelerated this number due to increased adoption of dogs as pets. That’s great news! But what’s worrying is the rise in the number of missing and lost dogs. Take the example of the US, where almost 10 million dogs [and cats] are lost or stolen every year. In the UAE too, we frequently hear of missing and lost dogs. Many are found while some unfortunately don’t make it home. So, when I read about ForPAWS, an app that tracks missing dogs with facial recognition, I had to share this with our beautiful PawzNRead community.
The free-to-use ForPAWS app developed by Mars Pet Nutrition uses “facial recognition technology and a wide network of kind pet lovers to quickly identify, locate and reunite lost pets with their family!”
How ForPAWS tracks missing dogs
Registered users can create a profile of their beloved dogs on ForPAWS with a recent photo, name and some other non-mandatory but relevant details. Facial recognition technology then creates a smart ID unique to every dog. If a dog goes missing, they will have to be labelled as ‘Lost’ so app users can immediately begin a search. Missing posters can also be created for free on the app.
Meanwhile, when a dog is found the finder must upload a photo of the dog on the app after which the database is scanned using artificial intelligence to match details against the smart ID. Then the dog is reunited with the family. “The technology, powered by an advanced machine learning algorithm, constantly improves the accuracy rate with the addition of more photos.”
Where is ForPAWS currently available
Currently ForPAWS is only available in Bengaluru, India. It is gearing up for a city by city launch in India. For now, the app is available only on Android devices.
Well, ForPAWS made me think of our very own Aleef app developed by the Dubai Municipality that works on a similar mechanism 😊
 Global dog and cat pet population 2018: Statista
 American Humane Association