Special Report: Dog Detector
Dogs love to run and play, but April Tucker of Framingham knows all too well how fun and games quickly turn to panic when they get lost.
Her prize pup Maggie has run away from home several times.
"The times when she has gone missing were absolutely frightening, heart breaking," Tucker recalled.
Jennifer Durst has had similar experiences.
She remembers searching for her beloved pets throughout New York City.
"They used to run away all the time," Durst said.
It was here that she stumbled upon an idea.
"I thought about LoJack, which was available for car tracking technology, you know, if the car gets stolen. And I thought we should have "Lo-Dog," she explains.
A few months ago, she turned that idea into Global Pet Finder. It's a small gadget, the size of a cell phone, and attaches to the dog's collar.
We tried it out on April's little wanderer Maggie, sending them for a walk around the block.
They might have gone out of sight, but all Jennifer had to do was look at her PDA to show where they had gone.
"It says that she's at 55 Eaton Pines Lane, in Framingham, Massachusetts, at 1:20 PM," she read.
The Global Pet Finder can send messages to your mobile phone.
Simply dial #, and every three minutes a location update or a map will appear.
April has used the finder to set up virtual fences, which send an alert to her phone every time Maggie leaves a certain area.
"You just type in your address and you can set up a boundary of any size around your property. So it could be a hundred feet or 200 feet," Durst said.
Distance isn't the only thing that this doggy device can control. Owners can be alerted to conditions that might put your pet in peril.
"When the temperature gets too hot or too cold, we send a message to your cell phone or your PDA or your email letting you know that the pet is in a dangerous temperature," Durst explained.
This device won't find all Fidos. The user needs to be in an area that has cell phone service and the Global Pet Finder so far only works for dogs 30 pounds and over. A smaller version is in the works.
"Our Version 2 product will fit on cats and toy breeds," Durst said.
The Global Pet Finder costs roughly $350 in addition to a monthly monitoring fee of close to $18.
But for April, the peace of mind that she can spot her priceless pet is worth it.
"Now I know where to find ya," she tells Maggie.
For more information on how April Tucker is trying to help dogs, click here.
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