Finding Lost Dogs, The Next New Thing

by Mary Haight on August 31, 2009

Looks like GPS tracking systems for finding lost dogs have made a leap–we’ve seen the Garmin unit, the Zoombak, reviewed here a couple of months ago, and RoamEO—all products that came out of the technology used to find stolen cars. You can locate your wayward wanderer for anywhere from10PAW Spotlight GPS Tracking System $100 to $500 with these. But I just read about the next new thing in this market niche, claiming to be streets ahead of the competition. It does have a couple of smart features, and, even better, it’s not at the top end of the price range. If it works as well as users are reporting, it should be a real winner, even if you’re a low-tech type.

Positioning Animals Worldwide (PAW) released a 24/7/365 tracking recovery service: “Spotlight” the only GPS pet locator system that partners with AKC Companion Animal Recovery, notifies owners via cell phone, smart phone, or via a real time aerial map on the computer if the dog has left a pre-programmed safe area (backyard, dog park, even by your side for a walk).

The locater gives you location, direction and speed the dog is traveling. You can also call a special number and the team will guide you, turn by turn, to your dog. “Spotlight” has another feature: A bright beacon that shines from up to 100 yards away. There is also a button on the collar that anyone who finds the dog can press and it will text the owner and the AKC CAR specialist.

Not only will you know where your dog is at all times, but should you be separated either by a car accident or some other unforeseen event, you will be able to find him again. This device has the potential to reduce the number of lost dogs in pounds, keeping them out of the animal control system altogether. If you have an “escape artist” for a dog, this is your ticket to reducing the panic that sets in on those occasions, and the price is not astronomical.

Now available from $199 at SpotlightGPS, AKCcar, the price goes up to $249 in the Fall. There’s a choice of monthly service packages, $7.99 for 25 escapes per year, $14.00 for 100 escapes, and $19.00 for the unlimited package.

Apparently you need to make sure you turn off the alert process before your walks or that may count as usage! Read the directions carefully.  Even if you turn off the alerts, the tracker will remain on should you get separated from your dog. iPhone, Windows, and Blackberry mobile apps will be available soon. And, remember, any of your low-tech friends or family can just pick up the phone and get those turn by turn directions from a real person.

Chris Newton, CEO of Positioning Animals Worldwide, talks about Spotlight GPS with host Peggy Smedley in this audio clip.

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