Frequently Asked Questions
How it works
The basic concept behind Lost-Petz is simple. The moment that you realise that your pet is missing, you use the App to issue an alert to people in the vicinity asking them to look out for your pet. The alert contains a current photo, location and time that your pet went missing, along with any details which you have chosen to add to the alert such as a description.
When someone finds your pet, or has information that they wish to pass on to assist the search, they can make immediate contact with the issuer of the alert using the contact button on the App.
When you have been re-united with your pet, the App delivers a message to others in the area to confirm that the pet has been returned safely
Our aim is to help re-unite you with your pet in the shortest possible time.
Downloading the App
The App can be downloaded from the Apple iPhone App Store and will soon be available as an Android App for other various Android smart phones.
When you have downloaded the App, the intuitive menu will show you how to add details of your pet/pets to the system. This will include a current photo and any other relevant information (name/type/gender etc).
Why should I register, and is it safe?
Registering is required as part of the process leading to purchasing a subscription for sending alerts through the App. Apple require us to share that subscription across all of your devices and the only way for us to know which devices are yours is to link them all with a user account.
To be part of the Lost Petz community and receive Alerts in your area you do not need to register. Just by downloading and running the App you will be part of the community.
Sending an Alert
You can practice sending an alert using the test function. It's a simple process.
Open the App
Touch on the relevant pet
Touch on Send an Alert
Add any relevant additional details (eg wearing a red collar), change the last seen location if required by touching on the map, and lastly change the last seen date and time if required.
Touch the Send button
Choose to send either a Live Alert (one which will be broadcast to everyone in the area) or a Test Alert (one which will only be sent to you).
Wait for the Alert Notification to pop up on your device. And that is it.
You can see how the App works by using the Test function, which is also a great way to show family and friends as we build the Lost-Petz community. If you send an alert using the test facility, the alert is sent back to your phone to illustrate what other users in the area would receive if a real alert had been issued.
What happens next?
When someone sees your pet, or has information that may help in tracking your pet down (eg ‘we saw him 5 minutes ago in the car park), they will contact you directly by phone or text.
When you have been re-united with your pet, you will be asked to confirm that your pet has been found and a message will then be despatched to everyone in the vicinity confirming that the search is over.
What to do if you receive an alert
If you receive an alert, we would like to ask you to be extra vigilant. At its best, this may include actively looking around you, particularly in high risk areas such as busy roads or near open water – and checking your swimming pool if a pet has been lost in your neighbourhood.
If you see the pet, you can immediately contact the issuer of the Alert using the contact details in the App and arrange how to re-unite the pet with the owner.
If you have information which may help to track the pet, or have seen something suspicious, then you can also send a message to the issuer of the alert so that there is a permanent record of the information should this be needed as the search intensifies.
If you see someone with the pet, please contact the issuer of the Alert immediately. It may be the owner and they have yet to hit the ‘Found’ button, but your call could be critical.
Do not hand the pet over to anyone unless you are in direct contact with the issuer of the alert.
￼Helping to build the Lost-Petz community
The success of the App depends upon numbers. That is why we have enlisted some of the best known pet welfare organisations in the world to help to spread the word.
We have made the App free to download for people who are happy to step forward as good citizens and offer help when a pet goes missing
We have also made the App as cost effective as possible for owners - in every country around the world, you will be able to register your pet for less than the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
What can you do to help?
Please make sure that you tell all of your friends and family about the App and encourage them to download it.
Go to the LostPetzApp page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LostPetzApp) and click ‘like’
Follow us on Twitter @LostPetzApp
..and maybe even speak to your local media about running a campaign to make your village, town or city a safer place for pets
How often does Lost Petz update location?
In order to preserve battery life, Lost-Petz updates your location only when your location changes significantly. Typically, this is whenever you change WiFi networks or cell towers. When Lost-Petz detects a significant location change, the GPS unit briefly activates to get more accurate location coordinates.
How will Lost-Petz affect battery life? In general, you shouldn't notice much change in battery life. If you frequently change location, you could see a 10 - 15% reduction in battery life.
Why isn't my location updating?
Make sure the Lost-Petz app is running. If you have recently powered off your phone, you'll need to restart Lost-Petz. You should only need to restart Lost-Petz after a complete phone shutdown.
Verify that your phone is not in "Airplane Mode".
Make sure in "Settings > General > Location Settings" that Location Services are marked "On" and Lost-Petz is also marked as "On".
In addition, the location only updates when your phone changes location.
How can I ensure I get the most accurate location results?
Turning WiFi "On" often leads to improved accuracy and more frequent updates
When travelling abroad with the Lost-Petz application, there are essentially two options.
1 - If you are comfortable with international roaming charges and you are aware of the applicable pricing structure, you do not need to make any changes.
2 - If you are unaware of your provider's international roaming charges or you do not wish to have additional data/roaming costs, then you need to disable 3G data in the settings menu on your iPhone. Please ensure that your WiFi is still enabled.
If you have chosen to disable 3G data on your phone, you should still leave the Lost-Petz application running; as the application will still be able to function when a valid wireless connection is present.
If you need to send out an alert for your pet, you need to ensure that you have a valid Wi-Fi or 3G data connection.
The free App (no subscription required)
The free Lost-Petz App will hopefully remain unused on your device for many years. There is nothing to see and nothing to do. In fact, it is probably the most boring App you will ever download.
But one day, if someone near to you loses a pet, the App will spring into life and you will receive an alert - and you may just be the person who finds the pet and re-unites them with their owner. To that owner you will be a hero.
So download the App. You may save a pet's life.
The App (with subscription)
The subscription version of the App unlocks additional functionality, by allowing you to add your pet's profile (unlimited number of pets) to the system; ready to send out an alert should you become separated for any reason. If you wish to be able to issue an alert, it is important that your App subscription is up to date and details of your pet have been entered into the system. In an emergency, every second counts.
If you share an iTunes account (Apple ID), you are able to add the App to each of the shared devices (iPhones) and one registration fee will allow the account sharers to sync the pet's profiles, send and received alerts. To do this, one user registers an account with Lost-Petz, then the other user logs in with this account also.
Information Disclosure Options
If people are looking for your pet, it is clearly easier to spot a pet if a photo is included. Without a photo, the public have no idea of knowing if someone is walking off with your pet. If the alert just says 'a 3 year old dog' then the public have no idea of knowing whether a young pet walking with an adult is the missing dog with an abductor - and it is highly unlikely that they will stop every adult with a young dog to check. A photo does not increase the chances of anyone seeing a lone pet, but it does allow us to understand more about the many other situations that may arise when a pet is lost - and for that we believe this is an important feature of the App.
The alert contains owner details with the option of including a photo. We believe this to be very important as after the alert is issued, if the public see your pet with an adult who is not the alert sender, then they will be more inclined to intervene. The person may be a good citizen who has found the pet (they may not have the App), they may have contacted the sender of the alert and be waiting. Either way, your details and photo will help everyone to make smarter decisions about how to act when they see the lost pet - with or without an adult.