Wellington Scoop

Stokes Valley trialling new technology for finding lost dogs

News from Hutt City Council
The Lower Hutt suburb of Stokes Valley will be one of the first in the country to trial a new dog tag technology.

Called ‘Doggone’ it’s designed to help reunite dog owners with their lost pets. The technology includes a Bluetooth tag and app that sends location updates when the dog passes within 60m of someone else with the Doggone App.

“In simple terms, Doggone links an ID with the Bluetooth registration tag and the free Doggone App. When the dog is marked as lost on the App by its owner, the owner receives location updates of where their dog has been”, says Council Divisional Manager of Regulatory Services and Emergency Management, Geoff Stuart.

“We’re always looking at ways to be innovative and want to test the waters to see if dog owners think this kind of technology is useful. If the trial is successful, we’d look into making the technology available during the 2019 dog registration period.”

“We have around 1000 Doggone tags available for the trial which is why we’ve limited the trial to just Stokes Valley. This suburb has a lot of dogs and is a fairly discrete geographical area, which could mean a higher concentration of tag and app users and therefore, a useful trial. We’re excited to see what dog owners and our own Animal Services team think of the technology and the value it delivers.”

CEO of Doggone Ltd, Tracy Austin, says the inspiration behind Doggone was the opportunity to reduce the anxiety and stress felt both by dog owners and dogs in the event of a dog being lost.

“There are many reasons why dogs are referred to as man’s best friend. People who have lost their dog before will tell you that the stress of not knowing where they are can be overwhelming, and the longer they’re lost the more stressful it becomes,” says Ms Austin.

“I wanted to develop a way of quickly reuniting dog and owner that is smart, safe and easy to use. And I wanted it to be accessible to everyone to encourage a whole community response to keeping dogs out of shelters and at home where they belong.”