New Facial Recognition Technology helps find lost pets

New Zealand is now home to one of the most sophisticated and intelligent systems in the world to find your lost pet.

‘PiP’ Facial Recognition, as it is known, will revolutionise the way we reunite lost pets with their families according to the New Zealand Companion Animal Council (NZCAC). The Council is the owner of the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR), which has now added this highly advanced facial recognition system to the existing New Zealand Companion Animal Register services. “Combined with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register microchip database and Scanner Angel smart network ‘PiP’ Facial Recognition will add another dimension to helping find lost animals” says the NZCAC Manager, Dr Jessica Walker.

‘PiP’ Facial Recognition uses cutting-edge technology so anyone can take the image of a pet they find and upload it to the New Zealand Companion Animal Register. This image is then compared against hundreds of thousands of images to identify the animal in a few minutes. Members of the public can upload images of found animals by phone app, expanding the lost and found network into the public arena.

Dr. Jessica Walker says “these exciting advancements in technology will work alongside traditional microchipping to maximise the number of lost pets that are reunited with their owners in New Zealand.”

In addition to providing New Zealand’s largest microchipping database for companion animals, the New Zealand Companion Animal Register has developed a second website called LostPet.co.nz. This new site gathers together all the FREE lost pet services into one easy to access location with the goal of reuniting lost pets with their owners as fast as possible. This site has already merged with Pets on the Net and includes automatic notification to Neighbourly users.

LostPet.co.nz is a FREE one-stop service where lost and found animals can be reported at no cost to the user. It also provides an interactive map showing a live account of lost and found pets within New Zealand.

New Zealand Companion Animal Register Manager, Nygllhuw Morris says “The NZCAR is extremely pleased to partner with SPCA New Zealand, the New Zealand Institute of Animal Management, Pets on the Net, and Neighbourly, so we can all work together” He added that “More partners will be added as more organisations sign up to use LostPet.co.nz.”

The New Zealand Companion Animal Council would like to take this opportunity to remind animal owners that while LostPet.co.nz and 'PiP' Facial Recognition are exciting initiatives, they do not replace the need for microchipping. Microchipping is the only form of permanent identification for companion animals and ensuring your animals are microchipped and registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register is still the most reliable way for owners to be contact when their animal is lost.

For more information please visit http://www.lostpet.co.nz/. For more information about microchipping and to register your animal’s microchip with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register, visit http://www.animalregister.co.nz/ or for the NZCAR 'PiP' Facial Recognition package, please visit http://www.pip.animalregister.co.nz/.

 

For more information contact:
Dr Jessica Walker – Manager, New Zealand Companion Animal Council
Mobile: 021 555 285
Email: manager@nzcac.org.nz

About the New Zealand Companion Animal Council
The New Zealand Companion Animal Council is a national not-for-profit organisation that lobbies and advocates on behalf of companion animals. The NZCAC working to encourage New Zealand to become a nation that values, respects and responsibly cares for companion animals.

The New Zealand Companion Animal Council is funded via profits raised from the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NZCAC
Visit our website: www.nzcac.org.nz

Virbac Change Policy On Replacing Microchips

Last week Virbac announced a program to replace all faulty Virbac chips regardless of whether they were still working. Yesterday (25 January 2018) they have changed the policy and will now only replace faulty chips that have failed.

Virbac did not consult with the NZCAR on this change in policy and we are disappointed with this decision. Not replacing chips that are proving to have a high failure rate has the potential to put the welfare of New Zealand pets at risk.

Pet owners with a Virbac chip now face having to get their chips checked on a more frequent basis. Also when their pet goes missing, pet owners may well have the unnecessary stress of worrying if the chip has failed since their last check.

With this change in policy, the NZCAR now makes the following recommendations to owners:

  • If your animal is to be microchipped and registered, consult with your vet or implanter over what brand of chip they recommend before implantation.
  • If your pet is already implanted with a Virbac faulty chip that is working we strongly recommend you look to get your pet rechipped at your next vet visit.
  • If your pet is already implanted with a Virbac faulty chip that is working and you prefer not to get your pet rechipped again, we recommend 6 monthly chip checks to ensure the chip is still working.

The NZCAR has the ability to store up to 3 chip numbers against every animals record and we feel it is better to have two working chips than one failed one.

The NZCAR are committed to supporting New Zealand pets and we will do our utmost to help vet clinics and pet owners with the situation that has arisen.

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For further information on this release or to seek information, please contact the NZCAR Manager, Nygllhuw Morris on 0800 LOSTPET (567873)

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pet

Disaster strikes when you least expect, so it’s important to be prepared.

Fotolia 135282176 XSAfter recent earthquakes here in New Zealand and natural disasters abroad, many people are beginning to realise the importance of creating an emergency plan ahead of time. This plan should include not only family members, but also pets.

Natural disasters are just as dangerous for our four-legged friends as they are for us. Almost three-quarters of New Zealand families own a pet, and as pet owners, it’s our responsibility to make sure that our pets are safe in the event of a flood, fire, or earthquake. Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself and your pet for the unexpected.

Have an Emergency Plan in Place

An emergency plan ensures that if a natural disaster is heading your way, you can safely evacuate as soon as possible. It’s best to plan to bring your pets with you in an emergency such as an earthquake. Leaving them at home can be dangerous, and you may not be able to return to feed them in a timely manner. Nearby animal shelters will likely be closed or overfilled.

You should draw up an emergency plan that the entire family agrees upon, and make sure to practice evacuation drills on a regular basis. This way, every member of the family knows their role when packing up and leaving the area, including pets.

Keep Your Dog Fit

Much like the importance of keeping fit for people, it’s also essential that your dog is exercised all year-round so that he or she would be in peak condition to deal with whatever disaster may strike. Although it may be tempting to stay indoors when the weather is bad in New Zealand, that’s no reason to stop your dog from being active. There are plenty of ways to keep your dog fit indoors, from seeking treats to playing hide and seek with you.

Prepare a Pet Survival Kit

You should have kits stored in your home that will make it easier to pack up and go in the event of an emergency. Your pet should also have its own get-away bag that includes:

  • A carrier or lead for transportation
  • Lead or rope
  • Veterinary records, microchip details and photographs of your animals
  • Extra blankets and bedding
  • Bottled water, food, and bowls
  • Plastic bags and gloves for waste
  • A collar with an ID tag that includes name, address, and telephone number
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • A first aid kit
  • A list of pet-friendly shelters
  • Familiar toys
  • Cleaning supplies

This kit can double as a survival kit if you get stuck at home without water or power. You should keep it stored in the garage and check on a regular basis to ensure that food and medications haven’t passed their expiry date.

Get Your Dog Microchipped

Even if your dog has a collar or an ID tag, you should still microchip your pet in case this tag gets lost or torn off. Microchipping allows you to locate a missing pet easily. If your pet is found by animal control or by a civilian, the chip can be scanned to bring up the address on file. Implanting a microchip is relatively inexpensive and will help to give you peace of mind if your pet goes missing during an emergency.

If your home is in the path of a fire, flood, earthquake, or another natural disaster, you may find you and your pet’s health at risk. You can keep your four-legged friends safe by keeping yourself prepared for any emergency.

Other Links to Read


Thanks to Lucy Diamond at smartdogowners.com for preparing this article for the NZCAR

NZVA Press Release - Virbac Replacement Programme

12 Jan 2018 - NZVA Press Release

Click here to read the New Zealand Veterinary Association comments on the replacement of chips announced by Virbac.

NZCAR leading the world in lost pet recovery.

PRESS RELEASE - 01 December 2017

New NZCAR initiative LostPet.co.nz site leading the world in lost pet recovery.

Lostpet.co.nz is an initiative by the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR), New Zealand’s largest dedicated repatriation database for companion animals. 

The goal is to bring together as many lost pet agencies and technologies as possible into one location. The advantage of one FREE location for all lost and found pets is everybody will know where to look. Overseas experience has shown when there are multiple databases, it is very easy for owners and finders to miss each other if using different systems.

LostPet.co.nz is not a replacement for microchipping and registration, but it is a huge step forward for ensuring that both chipped and non-chipped pets have a much greater chance of getting home.

NZCAR Manager, Nygllhuw Morris says “The NZCAR is extremely pleased to partner with the SPCA, NZIAM, Pets on the Net, and Neighbourly, so we can all work together” He added that “More partners will be added as more organisations sign up to use LostPet.co.nz.”

One of the first to join LostPet.co.nz was PetsontheNet.co.nz, a leading lost pet portal since 2002. Pets on the Nets founder, Kim Buchanan, will also write a Lost Pet advice blog and help manage social media.

The SPCA is also supporting LostPet.co.nz. As a founder of the NZCAR, the partnership to help lost pets has existed for over 10 years. The SPCA is the only animal welfare charity that serves the whole country and many owners turn to them for help when they lose their pets.

LostPet.co.nz will also work with the NZIAM to list lost pets and to promote responsible pet ownership. If dogs are registered with their local Council it increases the chances of getting home.

Neighbourly, the online community tool, has also come on board. Whenever a lost or found pet is listed on LostPet.co.nz, it is automatically notified to Neighbourly users in the locality.

The NZCAR is also leading the way by bringing new technologies to New Zealand. In 2015, Scanner Angel was introduced and since then over 650 free microchip readers have been given away. This smart scanner network allows Halo microchip readers to download and display chip numbers of missing pets to allow quicker identification.

In early 2018, the NZCAR is launching New Zealand’s first facial recognition system for animals. This advanced software can take the image of a found pet and compare it against hundreds of thousands of images to identify the animal in a few minutes. ‘Good Samaritans’ can upload images of found animals by phone, expanding the lost and found network into the public arena.

Nygllhuw Morris, says “Overseas experts have suggested that when fully up and running, LostPet.co.nz will give New Zealand, one of the most, if not the most, advanced lost and found pet network in the world.”
Lostpet.co.nz is a free tool for use by anyone. It is funded by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council.

For more information on this exciting new venture, visit www.lostpet.co.nz.