July 25, 2014 5:38 pm

Startups see potential in GPS pet trackers

Having some sort of way to track an animal seems like the solution to eliminating the feeling of panic when a dog or cat goes missing.

Derek Putz/ Global News

REGINA – Pet owners can relate to that feeling of panic when a dog or cat goes missing.

Having some sort of way to track an animal seems like the solution to eliminating that panic. So over the past few years, GPS pet tracking devices have been begun to spring up on the market.

Right now in Regina, tracking devices made by Sport Dog are available at some stores; however, they’re used primarily by hunters and farmers for larger dogs.

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“The people who are just looking for the tracking portion of it, those would be farmers who have dogs that like to go on walkabouts and things like that. I know huskies in particular are fond of going on wanders,” said Jon Flaman, retail marketing manager at Cabela’s in Regina.

The Sport Dog collar allows animals to be tracked up to 11 kilometres away.

Numerous crowdfunding campaigns are looking for backers for various pet tracking devices.

One of the smallest units emerging is the Whistle GPS, but the product is so new the company only begins shipping in the spring of 2015.

The Regina Humane Society supports any new technology that helps reunites missing pets with their owners, and says often times a lost animal is just around the corner.

“If you’ve got a neighbour who notices an animal outside, sometimes what they’ll do is they’ll pick it up and they’ll call us,” said Diana Bishop, a supervisor with Animal Protective Services. “So in cases like that, I think it would be much simpler for the owners to track them by themselves.”

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