The New Zealand Companion Animal Council (NZCAC) announced today that it is funding the development of new software and applications to help the leading New Zealand Lost Pet networks to work together and be an even more effective tool in getting pets home.
Using the new software the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR) and Pets on the Net will be able to share information as well as introduce a number of new and upgraded tools to make finding lost pets even easier.
Both NZCAR and Pets on the Net already promote each other but this new system will enhance the partnership even further by allowing data sharing, one-stop registration for both systems and a range of new features such as pet matching, improved social media promotion, automatic vet notifications and lost pet poster generation.
The NZCAR is the leading microchipped pet repatriation database in New Zealand, and Pets on the Net is the largest lost and found pet database. Around 700 organisations are registered to use the NZCAR and it has almost 350,000 animals on its records. Pets on the Net is used by SPCAs and shelters throughout New Zealand, and averages around 500 adverts visible each day and has over 45,000 unique users of the service each month.
“The synergies of these two systems working as one will help reunite even more lost pets and owners”, says NZCAC chair Arnja Dale. “By registering with the NZCAR before your pet goes missing and then using your stored data on Pets on the Net after your pet is missing will mean the chances of your pet getting home are significantly increased.”
NZCAR Interactive Scanners
As well as the two lost pet systems working together the NZCAC is also helping fund a new interactive scanner for microchips that will launch in May 2015.
This new scanner not only shows the microchip number, it also displays a message if the microchip has been tagged as missing. Each time the scanner is plugged into a USB port to recharge it automatically updates the list of missing pets.
This new package, called Scanner Angel, has been developed and built in Europe by the Pet Accessory Workshop and is now being used in a number of countries. The NZCAR has been appointed the sole New Zealand partner.
To help establish the Scanner Angel system as an effective lost pet tool the NZCAC will be giving away over 650 scanners, worth over $80,000 to vets, SPCAs, shelters and local authorities,. These scanners will be made available to regular users of the NZCAR and Pets on the Net.
The new scanners are also available for sale with an RRP of NZ$125 + GST. The scanner will be priced low as part of making microchipping more affordable and more effective.
The major drive behind these new initiatives is the goal to see a single effective system for lost and found pets within New Zealand.
As Pets on the Net founder Kim Buchanan notes, “our goal is for 100% of all lost and found pets to be reunited. Our closer relationship with NZCAR and our more effective shared systems will mean that it is going to be even easier for people to find their lost pets.”
Overseas experience has repeatedly shown that a multitude of lost and found systems often mean owners miss out on finding their pets as the animal can be listed on a different system to those the owner is searching. Australia has six major databases and hundreds of smaller notice board systems at clinic, suburb and city level. With so many systems the chances of an animal getting missed are significantly increased.
Establishing a dedicated New Zealand system owned by a not for profit trust also means the costs for registration could be kept affordable. Many commercial lost and found systems charge unnecessary annual fees, or worse trap owners into paying excessive prices when a pet is actually missing.
The NZCAR fee is a $15 one-off cost at the time of registration, while Pets on the Net offer free lost and found notices for owners. This free cost includes having the ad visible in all searches on petsonthenet.co.nz, free replying to ads, up to 3 photographs, web links, social media exposure, online missing pet advice as well as support and customer service.
The NZCAR also offers 0800 phone support and advice as well as owner access to their records 24/7. On the NZCAR website, animalregister.co.nz, you can also access other free services such as free lost pet posters and free vet location maps.
2015 is going to see some major advances in how lost pets in New Zealand get home and the NZCAC is pleased it has helped two leading systems to be able to work together even more effectively.