Finding Rover: Free Facial App For Lost Pets

From 'National Check the Chip Day' to 'Bird Chips,' chip technology has helped immensely in relocating lost pets. However, while that software has become the gold standard in this regard, another option is available for concerned pet owners, when and if they find themselves in this dire situation. A new app aptly named 'Finding Rover' makes relocating lost pets a snap . . . erh, make that a "click".


After downloading the app with Google Play or iOS, pet owners can upload a photo of their missing dog or cat and click "lost" on the free app. After posting some required data, the app will scan a database of more than a million rescued and found animals that could be a match in your area.

Within seconds, you will hopefully see a list of found photos with the contact information of the kind person (or shelter) who has located your Bella or Rover.

Gives everyone the opportunity to participate . . .

So far, the service had partnered with nearly 600 shelters in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

This gives everybody the opportunity to save a lost pet by just taking a photo of it. In other words, you don't need to own one to save one.

Success Rate

Finding Rover has an accuracy rate of 98 percent, according to the app's founder, John Polimeno. The app's database scans for fur color and texture, snout length and space between the eyes, plus a few other significant characteristics.

"Through the Finding Rover app, we've reunited over 15,000 pets with their owners," said Polimeno. [Note: this stat was documented by ABC News in December 2018.]

Privacy Issue

Slate contributor Jane C. Hu posted a privacy concern that pet owners should aware of. "So far, most of the discussion of facial recognition has centered on human faces, but it’s on the rise among other animals as well — and with that comes a different set of privacy concerns," she noted.

After all, apps selling data to third parties is nothing new. This is how free apps make money. Like social networks, Finding Rover may be making money based on your data, and "you would never know this unless—and maybe even if—you read their privacy policy,” says Casey Oppenheim, CEO at Disconnect, a privacy app.

Polimeno said Finding Rover doesn’t sell data to marketers. However, parts of their company’s privacy policy state they could provide third parties with this type of background information. When asked, Hu said Polimeno Hi said it's "not the company’s intention to do so, but that in the future, it may adopt in-app advertising for revenue.“ Just something to keep an eye out for in the future.

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This app was not designed to take the place of microchipping your pet. But it's an added layer of protection should your pets go missing. And personally I think it's something to consider.


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