Lost pets get help

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By VICKI BROWN vbrown@lowcountry.com

Colleton County Animal Services joined forces with Petco Love Lost on April 23rd, National Lost Dog and Cat Awareness Day, to find missing cats and dogs in Colleton County. New technology from Petco Love can help reunite lost pets with their families by using the “Petco Love Lost” Database, a breakthrough facial recognition technology that has now been made available to the Animal Shelter.

According to industry statistics, one in every three pets will go missing in their lifetime. Petco Love, formerly known as the Petco Foundation, a national non-profit, is working on a mission to help reunite those lost pets with their families. Petco Love Lost is a new, searchable national database that uses facial recognition technology to make it easier to find lost pets. This easily accessible tool will be available to animal organizations nationwide, as well as anyone who finds a lost pet. Scanned photos of a missing dog or cat can be uploaded to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with someone in the community.

“We see so many pets come into the Colleton County Shelter who have escaped their yard through an open gate or followed a scent and didn’t get back home,” said Laura Clark, director of Colleton County Animal Services. “We work to reunited these pets with their owners through many methods, but Petco Love Lost will be an amazing tool for us as well. We love to make the connection and help lost pets get back to their families and with Petco Love Lost, we’re confident it can lead to many more happy reunions, right here in Colleton County.”

Clark said the Colleton County Animal Shelter, a division of Colleton County Animal and Environmental Control, is excited about the potential of this new database. Located at 33 Poor Farm Road in Walterboro, the shelter houses domestic animals who are temporarily homeless for a variety of reasons. While the shelter is an open-admission shelter funded and controlled by Colleton County, the staff and its non-profit partner Friends of Colleton County Animal Shelter strive to save as many healthy animals as possible.

This is only possible with the support of the citizens of Colleton County as we continue to send the message of the importance of spay/neuter, responsible care and control of pets. “We know that one in three pets goes missing in their lifetime, an estimated 10 million pets each year, and we’re not ok with that,” said President of Petco Love, Susanne Kogut. “That gives us 10 million reasons why we created Petco Love Lost, because we believe nothing is more important than keeping people and pets together for a lifetime of love.

Together with Colleton County Animal Services our goal is to keep pets where they belong – at home, with you.” To learn more about Colleton County Animal Services, visit www.colletoncounty.org/animal-shelter-1 and follow Colleton County Animal Services on Facebook. If you’ve lost or found a pet, Petco Love Lost is there to help get them home.

Visit www.petcolovelost.org or join the conversation @PetcoLoveLost on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via hashtags #PetcoLoveLost and #LoveandFound. You can also contact Laura Clark, Director of Colleton County Animal Services at lclark@colletoncounty.org., or Jennifer Perez at Petco Love, Foundationmedia@petcofoundation.org.

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