Pet thefts spark high-tech pet trackers

Lost pets prompt GPS, Apps, Pet Amber Alerts

Author: Mike Holfeld, Problem Solver, mholfeld@clickorlando.com
Published On: May 30 2012 07:50:27 PM EDT   Updated On: May 30 2012 11:18:18 PM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

A surprising jump in reported pet thefts in Central Florida and across the country has sparked a new generation of high tech pet tracking devices from GPS to Amber Alerts.

Both the American Kennel Club and PetFinders.com report a surge in pet thefts.

PetFinders.com says 2 million pets were stolen last year while AKC reports a 70 percent increase in pet thefts between 2010 and 2011.

Despite concerns about missing pets the most available pet tracking option seems to be ignored by many pet owners.

A check of Lost Pet web sites by Local 6 has found that the most available tracking option, micro-chipping, was never used on roughly 80 percent of the dogs listed on the sites.

Lisa Carroll of Oviedo has been looking for her 4-year-old white Maltese, "EWOK" since April 29.

She says she had the option to have the Maltese micro-chipped years ago by her vet, but was afraid it would be "too painful."

Caroll, an interior designer, says she regrets that decision.

"Maybe I have my dog back now," she said. "It’s been four weeks already, I miss him every day he was my baby."

WinterParkLostPets.com reports while lack of micro-chipping has become a problem, many owners who purchase the micro-chipping forget to update the information when they relocate.

Experts say the micro-chips are useless without accurate contact information.

Charlotte Reed, a pet care and lifestyle specialist, says the new high tech options including GPS collars, are nearly fool proof.

The TAGG GPS system works very much like your car’s GPS.

"It’s attached to your pet’s collar and it will track the pet in real time," Reed said.

Once the pet leaves your property or designated zone you will receive a text or email pinpointing the exact location of your pet.

Of course it’s all about compliance. The pet needs to be wearing the collar.

There are other options including a collar with a QR Code and a system with an Amber Alert.

You can get more information on all three options by clicking these links: the GPS Collar, the QR App and Amber Alert for Pets or www.amberalertforpets.com.