October 08, 2021
Dogs are a huge part of any family, and the loss of your pet is a time of great emotional distress, whether they’re simply lost or have been stolen. In recent years, there has been growing frustration amongst the dog-owner community over the lack of power both owners and authorities have to bring dog thieves to justice. Whilst dog theft has been an ongoing problem for quite some time, the Covid-19 pandemic saw figures skyrocket as criminals capitalised on the increase in demand for a lockdown companion. When this news came to light and it was reported that thefts had risen 250%, it became clear there was a gap in the market for an effective software solution to keep dogs safe. With this in mind, the concept of Smart Snout was born.
Co-founder, Phil James, is a drone pilot who uses his experience to search for lost dogs in his spare time, and he has successfully managed to reunite 29 dogs with their owners. The drone operator connected with fellow dog lover, Bradley Watson, and the pair decided that with thefts across the UK only getting worse, it was time to use their combined passion to bring their vision to life.
Mr Watson approached Dotsquares in April 2021 with the aim to prioritise the protection of dogs all over the country, and develop a tool to tackle the dog theft crisis by using advanced Image Recognition software, and connecting dog owners across the UK. By August, the app was ready for download on all IOS and Android mobile devices, seeing hundreds of loving owners already subscribed and praising the app’s success. But what does Smart Snout do and how does it work?
Smart Snout enables users to make sure that their dogs are safe with a unique functionality harnessing the power of Image Recognition. The core feature of the app is being able to identify your dog with its individual nose print. Just like the human fingerprint is unique to each person and will stay the same throughout their lifetime, a dog’s nose is the key to its identity. In order to register your pooch on the app, the owner will set up a profile including just a few simple details about their pet, upload a photo and they’re good to go. The app is designed to be totally secure with no personal owner details needed to activate the account. Once your account is live, you would set your status to “OK” and in the event that your furry companion would get lost, all you have to do is update to “Missing” and this will allow other users, official or guest, to contact you if they come across your dog. When a seemingly lost or endangered dog is found, any member of the public can download the Smart Snout app, scan its nose, and it will bring up any registered matches. Even if the user does not have an official subscription, they will be able to chat with the owner for free to arrange the pick up of their beloved pet - No sign up necessary, making it incredibly accessible and effective for all.
Often owners assume that their dogs will be protected as they are microchipped, however when it comes to theft, there is, unfortunately, a very slim chance this will be effective as thieves are known to remove any form of tracking device. Our team at Dotsquares are grateful that we got to be a part of collaborating on an app that will bring such reassurance to so many across the country, as well as help vets and police officials to reunite a family in a simple and easy way. Our aim was to ensure any user could navigate the app seamlessly and make the user experience as intuitive as possible.
Since its launch at the end of July, Smart Snout has already seen 400 people sign up for the service, and the word is continuing to spread. It has even gained the attention of the media, seeing ITV cover the revolutionary application.
The hope of Co-Founders, Phil and Bradley, is that this will soon become a widely-used solution to missing dogs worldwide. They have seen first-hand the devastation caused by losing a pet, and this technology has the potential to deter thefts and protect your loved one.
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