When a dog or cat runs off, his or her worried owner typically searches the neighborhood for the lost pet. If the pet isn't found immediately, the owner posts fliers with the animal's photo on utility poles and distributes them door to door, in hopes a stranger will find and return the beloved pet. The search can last days, weeks or months, during which time the pet may roam outside the neighborhood. But even if the lost animal remains within the dedicated search area, a stranger may not recognize and associate the stray with the photo on the sign.
Some dogs and cats have an embedded low-frequency RFID microchip that includes the animal's unique ID number, which is associated with the owner's information in a pet-recovery database. The tag is typically scanned only when a pet is turned into an animal shelter or a veterinarian's office.
Most people don't have access to a low-frequency RFID reader to scan an implanted microchip, says Skoubee CEO Laurent Schwarz, but increasingly, people don't go anywhere without their smartphones.
Pet owners who enroll in the Skoubee program pay 30 euros ($33) for an ID tag. Then, they can create a public and private online profile for their pets. If a pet gets lost, the owner can log on to the pet's profile and access the "lost pet" function, which will send an alert to other Skoubee members that the pet is lost.
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