FBI facial recognition technology to help find missing dogs

PRETTY FACE: RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty and Cr Andrew Antoniolli check out the new Finding Rover app to locate missing dogs (image digitally altered).
PRETTY FACE: RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty and Cr Andrew Antoniolli check out the new Finding Rover app to locate missing dogs (image digitally altered). Rob Williams

IPSWICH is the first city in Australia to adopt facial recognition technology that the RSPCA hopes will help put lost dogs back with their owners quickly.

The mobile phone software, called Finding Rover, is able to automatically match a photograph of a lost dog with a database of registered pets.

Dog owners need to take a photograph of their own dog's face and provide their contact details in order to benefit. It relies on the same technology used by the FBI to match human faces.

RSPCA CEO Mark Townend said Ipswich City Council should be congratulated on leading the way. "The key to making this work is to get the numbers on there," Mr Townend said. "The RSPCA invests hours and hours into every lost dog, so this has the potential to save us a lot of resources."

Mr Townend said the RSPCA received about 200 lost pet reports per day.

Ipswich health and safety spokesman Andrew Antoniolli praised the innovative software.

"Residents can list dogs as missing, found or simply upload the image as an extra protection against the unexpected," Cr Antoniolli said. "Staff at our pound will be integrating the same app into our lost dog processing and using it to reunite families with their pets faster."

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