An AMBER Alert, for Pets
Several organizations are marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by stepping up efforts to prepare for massive animal rescue efforts following a similar disaster. One of the ideas being trialed is a visual “AMBER Alert” for missing pets.
Katrina took a massive toll on humans, as Americans watched in horror. Rescue and relief efforts proved to be haphazard, and inadequate – leading to overhauls of local, state and national procedures.
But Katrina was also a disaster for human companion animals, with the storm stranding more than 250,000 pets.
The American Humane Association remembers Katrina well. Its Red Star Rescue team was on the ground within days after the storm, rescuing pets and reuniting them with their owners.
Reuniting Lost Pets with Owners, the 21st Century Way
To mark the 10th anniversary, American Humane Association is teaming up with The Weather Channel and mobiPET to unveil a new, high-tech, visual “AMBER Alert” for missing pets that the organizations say will not only will help reunite lost pets with their owners, but will help raise funds to help animals in need all across the country.
MobiPET is a mobile image and information service designed to increase the chances that families will find their lost dogs or cats.
With the service, owners upload their pet’s image and contact information to register each pet and receive the mobiPET web app for their phone. If a dog or cat runs off pet owners can text the word “LOST” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Smartphone owners can either text or open the web app and click on “Lost a Pet.”
MobiPET said it will donate 10% of all premium service subscriptions to American Humane Association when pet parents include “AHA” on the referral line.
This will help fund the American Humane Association’s century-old Red Star Rescue program, which comes to the aid of lost, missing and homeless pets following hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.
But perhaps more importantly, the AHA is teaming its traditional rescue methods with mobiPET’s 21st Century technology.
Any pet owner who loses a pet in a disaster area to which Red Star deploys can go to the websites of mobiPET , The Weather Channel’s Connect with Weather site, or American Humane Association and upload their missing pet’s photo from the owner’s computer or cell phone.
During a Red Star deployment, mobiPet is waiving its normal $50 fee for those within the disaster area.
Hopefully, this advance in technology will help to reunite pets with their owners in the wake of a disaster.
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