brampton animal shelter

Ontario animal shelter using facial recognition technology to help owners find missing pets

Demand for pets has skyrocketed in Ontario over the past year due to people spending more time at home than ever, but owning a pet unfortunately means there's always a chance of losing it.

If you live in Brampton and your pet goes missing, however, you'll at least have facial recognition technology on your side.

Brampton Animal Services announced Friday that it will be using the innovative technology from company Petco Love Lost to help owners locate their missing fur babies, making them one of the first Canadian shelters to do so.

"Pets are family, and it can be devastating to lose your furry friend," said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown in a statement. "We are proud to announce that Brampton Animal Services will now have the facial recognition technology to help you find a lost pet if that day comes."

So how does it work, you ask? The process is simple and free. Owners who've lost a pet simply have to upload photos of their missing four-legged friend to the searchable online database, which uses patented facial recognition technology. 

The photos are then immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter, including the Brampton Animal Shelter.

According to Animal Services manager Kathy Duncan, Brampton's shelter took in 562 lost dogs and cats in 2020, but only 163 dogs (67 per cent) and 36 cats (11 per cent) were returned to their families in the end.

This intiative is being introduced to try and increase those numbers going forward.

"Pets who were not returned to their owners needed to be rehomed with new families," Duncan said in a statement.

"There are many reasons why a pet may go missing, whether they were curious, wandered through an open gate, or even got scared during a storm. We hope this new initiative leads to more happy reunions between lost pets and their families for years to come."

Lead photo by

City of Brampton

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