I don't often call attention to an app. In fact, I think this may be the first time. Why am I telling you about this one? Because I see the possibilities of helping a lot of people and their pets be reunited, and because this won't cost you anything. That's right, it's free.
FurAlert allows you to get the message out that your pet is missing while it allows you to be aware of pets in your area who are missing. This doesn't mean it replaces a collar or harness and tag, or a microchip. This means you have one more tool to help reunite you with your pet thanks to Cory Donovan who created the app. I had an opportunity to ask him about it, after trying it out. No, thankfully, my Aimee wasn't missing but I downloaded the app on my phone and could see how easy it is to use, even for someone who is not a techy person.
My questions are in capital letters. Cory Donovan's responses are in normal print.
|Julie, Indy and Cory Donovan|
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR THIS APP?
A friend was visiting and unbeknownst to me, he left the gate to our yard open. When I let the dogs out they escaped and I didn't know they were gone for a half hour. When I found out, I freaked out. As I was looking for them, I thought that people had probably seen them but were either unable (because my dogs were running too fast) or unwilling to approach them (because they are Dobermans). That's when it occurred to me that the phone number of their collar and on the microchip under their skin were essentially useless if someone doesn't physically engage the dog. FurAlert allows people to contact you with information about the location of your pet, even if they aren't physically in possession of your pet. Also, I wanted the app to be free because half the pets in this country live in low income households. So, from an animal welfare perspective, that was important.
WHEN WAS THIS?
That was about a year and a half ago. In the time since, we have been working hard and funding the project out of our own pocket. My wife is the co-founder and she is a veterinarian.
DID YOU DEVELOP IT YOURSELF OR DID YOU HAVE HELP?
Developing a good app involves a lot of steps beyond just writing the code. I am basically doing everything but writing the code.
IS IT FOR DOGS AND CATS? HOW DO PEOPLE FIND IT?
I have seen missing pet posters for turtles, frogs and snakes, so FurAlert can be used for any missing pet, not just cats and dogs, but I assume those will be the most likely subjects. In terms of how people learn about it. we are in the process of engaging with veterinarians, rescues, doggy boutiques, groomers and other organizations that are involved with pet/animal welfare and services. We will also be conducting our own marketing efforts to lead people to our website at FurAlert We would like to identify some pet lovers who are willing to champion FurAlert in their neighborhoods to help build a strong local community that can and will help each other when a pet goes missing.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY?
The most important thing I can add is for people not to wait for their pet to go missing before they download FurAlert. No one every plans for their pet to go missing. It just happens, and when it does it becomes the most important thing on your agenda because in a matter of minutes the animal can put itself in harms way. Time and distance are the enemy, so letting others near you know that your pet is missing allows them to help before the animal gets too far away. The app is free so there's no reason not to use it. And in addition to being there if your pet ever goes missing, you'll be able to help others in their time of need because the app will let you know when there's a missing pet in your vicinity.
Now, check below for a video that will show you how the app works: