Dave Ropes, who co-founded the startup business mobiPET three years ago, believes that he can improve upon current pet-finding technology and increase the number of lost pets that are returned to their owners. He re-launched the company’s services last month and they now offer a free “Amber Alert” system for lost pets.
Users can register through mobiPET website for free. They simply answer a few questions about their pet and upload a photo and their pet is in the database. If their pet goes missing, an alert will go out to all users in their neighborhood or within a 2-mile radius.
People that don’t own pets can still register on the site as a pet finder. Originally, the company charged for the service, but after talking with customers, they decided to offer it for free with this re-launch. Ropes says that the service is attractive to pet owners because it does not require the use of scanners, chip-readers, or other equipment and it is also noninvasive like some other similar services.
They do offer paid upgrades for interested Starusers. Two paid options are available. They can alert all registered animal control facilities, shelters, and veterinarians within 30-miles of the animal’s home. They also let pet owners use the service while they are traveling with their pet and provide a metal ID tag for the animal as well.
Right now it is the only system of its kind in the U.S. All other systems only work once the pet is found, but they don’t alert users to a missing pet. Ropes believes better GPS tracking technology will be coming out in the next few years, but his company will have a leg up on the competition as long as they can continue growing their database.
The site offers a neighborhood feature which subscribers can use to put in a request for other members of their neighborhood to join. The system has worked well so far in Ropes’ gated community in Bluffton, South Carolina, but he is hoping to expand the company greatly this year.
In fact, he is planning to introduce the website to a large retirement community in Orlando, Florida this month. The community has over 50,000 residents. He is also in talks to expand into parts of Georgia. Currently, the company is also working persistently on arranging a partnership with a national animal rescue organization.
MobiPET offers a program to animal shelters so that they can earn donations from users that sign up for a premium service after being referred by staff at the shelter. They hope that this will spur more rescue organizations to join.