Virginia animal shelter to use facial recognition technology for lost pets

Pets and Animals

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center has a new tool to help you find your lost pets with the help of facial recognition technology.

Trying to find Rex? Just swipe right. Well, sort of. Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center has partnered with Finding Rover, a company specializing in facial recognition technology, to help reunite missing dogs and cats with their family members.

Perhaps a bright side to an often highly debated and controversial topic, Finding Rover’s partnership with NACC will be the first of its kind in Hampton Roads from the use of a smartphone or computer.

Here’s how it works: NACC will add photos of dogs and cats from its facility into Finding Rover. The owner of the missing pet can add photos of their pet into the system, and then Finding Rover’s facial recognition technology will try to find a match to the uploaded photos from NACC’s shelter and Finding Rover’s registry of found animals.

Jessica Guckert with the shelter says they get around 5,000 animals into the shelter a year.

While some animals are reunited with their owners, many do not. Dogs have a higher rate of being placed back with their owners.

Guckert says only around 50 cats entered into the shelter are given back to their owners because they do not have the same tags or identification dogs have.

In addition to helping with reunions, Finding Rover also allows for residents to find new, adoptable furry family members through the system.

Every dog and cat that leaves NACC through adoption and reunions are registered in Finding Rover if they ever get lost in the future.

With more than 1,000 lost animals reunited each year at NACC, the tool will be a useful one as the facility becomes the first stop for those seeking lost pets, says NACC Operations Manager Jake Roos.

Pet registration in Finding Rover is free for all owners. You can learn more at

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