woman and dog

Reunite Lost Pets with Their Families

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on April 23, 2021

When the Unthinkable Happens, New “Petco Love Lost” Database Uses Breakthrough Facial Recognition Technology to Find Missing Cats and Dogs in Citrus County

Citrus County Animal Services Adopts Innovative Technology from Petco Love to Help Reunite Lost Pets with Their Families on National Lost Dog and Lost Cat Awareness Day

On April 23rd, National Lost Dog and Cat Awareness Day, Citrus County Animal Services is proudly joining forces with Petco Love, formerly known as the Petco Foundation, a national non-profit working to lead and inspire change for animals, and animal welfare groups across the country, on a shared mission to help reunite lost pets with their families should they ever go missing. According to industry statistics, sadly, one in every three pets will go missing in their lifetime.

Petco Love Lost is a new, searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to make finding lost pets quicker and easier. Beginning today, this simple-to-use tool will be easily accessible to participating animal organizations nationwide, as well as any pet parent or person who finds a lost pet. Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community.

“We see firsthand how quickly a pet can go missing, whether they were curious, following a scent, wandered through an open gate or became scared during a storm,” said Colleen Yarbrough, Citrus County Animal Services Director. “We work tirelessly to care for pets, whether they’re awaiting their forever home or lost and need help getting back to their families. There’s nothing more rewarding than reuniting families with their beloved pets and with Petco Love Lost, we’re confident it can lead to many more happy reunions, right here in Citrus County.”

“We know that one in three pets goes missing in their lifetime, an estimated 10 million pets each year, and we’re not ok with that,” said President of Petco Love, Susanne Kogut. “That gives us 10 million reasons why we created Petco Love Lost, because we believe nothing is more important than keeping people and pets together for a lifetime of love. Together with Citrus County Animal Services, our goal is to keep pets where they belong – at home, with you.”

For more information about Citrus County Animal Services, visit www.citrusbocc.com/departments/community_services/animal_services or call (352) 746-8400. If you’ve lost or found a pet, Petco Love Lost is here to help get them home. Visit www.petcolovelost.org or join the conversation @PetcoLoveLost on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via hashtags #PetcoLoveLost and #LoveandFound.

About Citrus County Animal Services

Citrus County Animal Services is the County’s only animal shelter. The open-admission shelter takes in approximately 5,000 animals annually regardless of capacity or reason for surrender. The shelter staff and its volunteers work tirelessly to find these animals loving and forever homes. Citrus County Animal Services relies heavily on the help of staff and volunteers to extend its resources and budget. Volunteers perform tasks such as dog walking, cat cuddling, grooming, cleaning kennels, dishes and laundry, data entry, receptionist duties, photography, animal fostering, obedience training and adoption outreach events, just to name a few.

In addition to animal sheltering, the shelter offers low-cost vaccination clinics to allow citizens to provide basic wellness care to their pets and encourages compliance with state and local laws. Microchipping and heartworm testing is offered in this clinic service. Lastly, the Animal Services staff is responsible for maintaining a Pet-Friendly Evacuation shelters in the event of a declared emergency or disaster.

About Petco Love (Formerly Petco Foundation)

Petco Love is a nonprofit changing lives by making communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing nearly $300 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Today, our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Join us. Visit www.petcolove.org to be part of the lifesaving work we’re leading every day


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