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JoAnna Lou
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iPhone Amber Alert for Lost Pets
New app creates a wireless community for bringing missing animals home.
New iPhone app, Community Leash, gives dog lovers a new resource for locating missing pets.

Lately several people I know from the local agility community have had a beloved pet go missing. Fortunately all of the lost pups were found quickly, but it’s a heartbreaking experience, even if just for a few hours.

For years standard protocol has been to call local animal shelters and post flyers around the neighborhood. More recently, technology has allowed us to cast a larger net by sending alerts over e-mail lists, message boards, and even Facebook or Twitter.

Now we have a new resource which combines the best features of the iPhone with a widespread cellular network of animal lovers. The new app, Community Leash, allows you to send an alert to other users when your pet goes missing. On the flip side, if you find a lost animal, you can check local postings and even take a photo with your iPhone’s built-in camera and create a "sighting."

My favorite feature of Community Leash is its use of the iPhone GPS capability to keep you updated on lost pets in the area. This allows you to keep an eye out for missing pets even when you’re away from home.   

Hopefully you’ll never need the Community Leash app, but at 99 cents it’s an affordable resource to have at your fingertips and a simple way to help pets find their way home. 

For tips on finding a lost pet, check out the ASPCA’s online resource. To see other canine related iPhone apps, see my previous blog post on the topic.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo from Community Leash.

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