PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center is the first shelter in Michigan to utilize a new, high-tech tool to help return dogs to their owners.

The Finding Rover app and website uses facial recognition technology to identify lost dogs with 98 percent accuracy.

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“Oakland County is nationally recognized as a leader in implementing technology to improve how we operate,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a statement. “The Finding Rover app is just one more example of our commitment.”

Here’s how it works: Using a smartphone, a pet owner takes a front-facing shot of their dog that includes a clear view of the eyes and nose. They are the two most important features in facial recognition technology. Then, the pet owner uploads the photo to the Finding Rover app or website. Once approved, Finding Rover keeps the photo in its database.

If a person finds a lost dog, he or she can take a photo in the same manner and upload it to the Finding Rover app or website. Finding Rover then scans its database for a match. If there is a match, Finding Rover notifies the owner who can then call the person who found their pet to arrange a pickup.

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Beginning in August, the Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center has been registering every dog that enters the shelter on Finding Rover.

“Finding Rover will revolutionize how we return lost dogs to their owners,” said Bob Gatt, manager of Oakland County Animal Control Division. “We really encourage every dog owner to upload a photo of their dog to this free app.”

In addition, the Center’s adoptable dogs will also be on Finding Rover.

“Now it is easier than ever to search for your missing dog or adopt a new family member,” Gatt said.

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Finding Rover is free and available to anyone to using an iPhone or Android product or a personal computer. For more information, go to findingrover.com.