Did you know that there’s a fantastic free app that will help you find your lost pet fast? It’s called PawScout, and after reading my interview with the CEO, you’ll see why it needs to be on everybody’s phone! Yep, even if you don’t own a pet!
As a Pharaoh Hound owner, I am constantly petrified of losing my dog. See, her breed (along with other sighthounds) is very prone to escaping and never coming back. They have super high prey-drives and simply can’t help themselves. If they’re in pursuit of prey and they can make it out of their yard or off their leash, they’re gone. So many of these dogs have wound up hurt or lost forever, so you better believe I’m insanely neurotic about making sure it never happens to Freya.
Even though we’re beyond careful about watching her while opening the front door, she actually did make it out once. Fortunately, she was still a baby and her prey was under my neighbor’s shed, so we were able to grab her. Now, she is microchipped, and while that does make us feel a little better, it’s not enough. Someone would have to find her and think to take her to a shelter or vet to be scanned, after all.
Posting to a local Facebook group is another option, but honestly, I tried posting about a dog wandering our neighborhood and he was long gone before the admins approved it. Really, the best option is a real-time app that lets you send out alerts to everyone in your area (or at least everyone with the app) right away. That’s where PawScout comes into play! Read on for my interview with CEO Andrea Chavez.
PawScout CEO Explains What Makes This Free App So Special
In case it isn’t obvious, my questions are…well, they’re the things with question marks. 😀 No, seriously, they’re in bold and blue headers. All images below are courtesy of the PawScout website. This post is not sponsored. However, it does contain an affiliate link at the end. Thanks!
Can you quickly give my readers a bit of background on you and why you created PawScout?
AEC: We originally started Pawscout with the goal of reinventing the traditional metal tag, which has not evolved/improved since its inception 200 years ago. The Pawscout Tag has an accompanying smartphone app that quickly involved into a platform for all-things pet, enabling all pet owners and lovers to create profiles with their pets, swap tips and advice, schedule playdates, quickly create and broadcast lost/found pet digital flyers, and generally ensure the safety and happiness of their pets.
Is the app really free? Do pet owners need to buy anything specific to make it work?
AEC: Yes, it’s free. Pet owners do not need to have anything other than an Android or Apple smartphone. The tag improves the experience, but the app is useful and fun for all pet owners and lovers.
How will PawScout help me find my dog if she makes a break for it?
AEC: If you don’t have a tag, you can still report your pet as lost in the app. We guide you through a few critical questions (your contact information, and reward information, where was the pet last seen, how was the pet lost, any medical/behavioral issues a rescuer should know about) and generate a digital lost pet flyer that is broadcast, in real-time, to all users in your area. If you have a tag on your pet, anyone who comes within 300 feet of the pet will receive an alert as well as instructions for contacting you.
If you don’t have a Pawscout tag on your pet, nearby Pawscouters will still see the lost-pet flyer and will be told how to contact you if they see your pet on the loose. We have helped return 6000+ pets to their homes – and counting.
What is the first thing I should do in the app?
AEC: You should create profiles, as detailed as possible, for your pets. If the worst happens and your pet goes missing, you don’t want to waste time entering all the pertinent data. You will want to get the alert out as quickly as possible.
How about the other way around? If I find a dog wandering my neighborhood, how can I use the app to help him find his way home?
AEC: People use our app to help lost pets return home all the time. If the pet has a tag, users can download our app, scan the tag, and immediately contact the owner. If the pet does not have a tag, users can go into the social feed part of our app and use the Lost/Found Pet post option to create a digital flyer that is broadcast to all Pawscouters in the area.
I notice that the PawScout app has a “Safety Map.” Can you quickly explain what this is and how it helps keep pets safer?
AEC: You can always go into the safety map and pinch out to get an idea of how many Pawscouters are in your area. If you don’t see tons of Pawscouters nearby, you are encouraged to invite friends, family, and neighbors to download the app. It only takes a few Pawscout users to cover an entire neighborhood.
You can also use the map to find local pet points of interest, like pet stores, grooming, boarding, parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and more.
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How about the Bluetooth tag? I notice that it doesn’t have GPS on it, so how does it help us find our lost pets?
AEC: Although our tag does not have GPS we do leverage the GPS in your smartphone (via a Bluetooth connection between your tag and phone) to approximate the location of your pet. If you lose a pet, you should:
- report him as lost, as described above;
- look at the map and determine the pet’s last-known location. Go to that location and walk around until the pet (hopefully) comes back into range;
- As mentioned above, anyone with the Pawscout App who comes within 300 feet of your lost pet will be alerted and told how to contact you.
We chose not to include GPS at this time because we are trying to offer a viable replacement for the traditional metal tag. GPS trackers are $100+, with monthly fees, require frequent recharging, and are too bulky for small animals.
With vacation season still in full swing, a lot of pet parents are planning flights with their cats and dogs. How can PawScout take some of the worry out of flying with our pets?
AEC: All pets deserve better protection than that offered by traditional metal tags. Pets are often uncomfortable in new situations and may be more prone to hide or bolt. Our app/tag invokes the help of our 150K+ devoted pet community to help in real time should the worst happen. No more lost pet posters!
Do you have any other tips for families flying with their pets? Things to watch out for or ways to make the experience less stressful?
AEC: We just wrote a detailed blog post on flying with pets! (Check it out here: Airplane Travel with Pets: Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet)
Where to buy the PawScout tag:
Find it on Amazon or the PawScout website.
- SOCIAL FEED: Build your pet's safety network with Pawscout's social tools. Share photos, arrange walks and playdates, and alert neighbors to pet hazards or pet-friendly places. Invite friends and family to expand your "petwork."
- WALK DIARY AND OUTDOOR VIRTUAL LEASH: The Pawscout Tag's Bluetooth beacon is designed to work over short distances. It is NOT going to give you an exact location for your pet! Instead, the Tag sends out a beacon that extends 300 feet in all directions, and tells you whether your pet is within this "cone of safety." As such, it's ideal for tracking walks and keeping tabs on your pet when you're in the yard or out on an adventure.
- LOST PET ALERTS AND DIGITAL LOST PET FLYER: Mark your pet as lost in the Pawscout App, and Pawscouters within five miles will be prompted to join the search. Receive notifications and location data when your pet comes within 300 feet of anyone with the Pawscout App. No monthly or activation fees.
- DIGITAL PROFILE AND MEDICAL RECORDS: Create a full digital profile of your pet in the Pawscout App that includes photos, your contact info, vaccinations, and behavioral or medical issues.
- WHAT WE ARE NOT: Pawscout is not intended to give exact location information. Your Pawscout Tag only knows whether or not a pet wearing the Tag is within 300 feet of you or someone else with the App installed. This capability allows us to tell whether your pet has wandered away from you, and can help anyone locate a missing pet by alerting them that the pet is within range. Location services must be enabled for Pawscout to work properly.
Last update on 2019-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API