Monday, November 28, 2011

Pet Owners Use GPS Devices to Find Lost Pets

Via The Seattle Times - Houdini the dog lived up to his name.

The lab-shepherd mix, known as a crafty escape artist, was placed in a foster home by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Despite his new owner's best efforts to keep him close, the dog pushed an air conditioner out of a window and made his getaway.

Fortunately the staff at Best Friends anticipated Houdini's wandering ways and had outfitted his collar with a GPS tracking device. The device worked as promised, and Best Friends adoption manager Kristi Littrell found the errant dog in an overgrown lot in Kanab.

About half of the pets that enter animal shelters each year are strays or lost animals, but the growing use of GPS technology may offer owners a new option for trying to track down roaming cats, missing dogs and other runaway pets.

Several GPS devices are now being marketed that attach to collars and can be monitored by handsets, cellphones or computers with relative ease. Kristi Littrell, adoption manager at Best Friends, said Houdini was "the same color as the weeds" in the lot where she found him.

"I would never have found him without the GPS device on his collar," she added. Best Friends is still hoping to find a home for Houdini, and plans to give the GPS device to the new owners to help make sure that if he ever does get out again, he'll be easily tracked down.

"It's great these devices are available to us now," Littrell said. "They will undoubtedly help in a lot of cases where pets would otherwise not be found and returned home."

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Written by Sue Manning
Image via Seattle Times


  1. Knowing what Mel is going through right now with her foster dog, Lady, would actually make me consider buying these for my dogs!

  2. Yes - between that and the unfortunate situation with Jack the Cat, I can really see the value in it!

  3. Is this in addition to or instead of a microchip?

  4. It's in addition to a a microchip. It's a device that clips on to your pet's collar that you can track yourself.

    I wouldn't forgo a microchip because your pet may slip their collar. But your pet needs to be found and taken to a shelter in order for a microchip to be scanned.

  5. I am interested in this microchip device and felt it useful to trace my pet if it happens to get lost

  6. If you click on the link at the end of the post, you'll find a list of some of the available products. I do not specifically endorse any of these products, nor do I receive any compensation for a referral.

  7. I found out about a cat GPS collar tracker in the UK the other day: Pawtracker

    I think these types of product are more suited for dogs though - I imagine it would be much more difficult to retrieve a cat via GPS! :)

  8. I am interested in this microchip device and felt it useful to trace my pet if it happens to get lost
    Alaskan Klee Kai