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Lost pets aided by new app

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A free smart-phone application unveiled by the ASPCA June 27 is designed to help pet parents find lost animals.

The app, which works on iPhone and Android devices, provides step-by-step instructions for searching for and recovering a missing pet. The instructions can be tailored to a pet’s personality and circumstances. The app also allows users to create a digital lost-pet flyer that can be shared on social media networks.

The app was unveiled in time for the Fourth of July, when the loud noise of fireworks can scare pets and cause them to run away.

"Whether your pet goes missing as a result of fireworks or a bad storm, the best, most proven tactics to recover that pet may not be as obvious as you might think," said Emily Weiss, the ASPCA’s vice president of shelter research and development. "When lost, a shy dog may behave very differently from a bolder, friendlier dog. And a gregarious cat may be found in a completely different location than an independent cat. Searching for your missing pet the right way is vital, and could make the difference between reuniting with your beloved pet and never seeing them again."

Another feature of the app is providing news, tips and advice on ensuring a pet's safety before, during and after a storm or natural disaster. The tool also allows owners to store their pet's vital medical records, which could save precious time during an emergency.

The New York City-based ASPCA, formally the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said it developed the app in consultation with Missing Pet Partnership, a Seattle-area nonprofit that helps reunite companion animals with their owners.

The app can be downloaded here.

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