Lost pet? There's an app for that.

Mar 23, 2018

When a pet goes missing late into the night, resources like animal control might not be available, leaving search operations up to owners. But a Dartmouth resident hopes to change that with a new app.

Dartmouth’s Brian Harrington is the creator of Iggy Alert, a new app to aid in finding lost pets. Development began after the Odies Place Animal Rescue owner noticed an influx of lost pets in the area and demand for a system that works outside of the usual hours of area animal control offices.

“I am not Dog the Bounty Hunter, I don’t show up with a lasso and lasso them in, it’s not necessary,” Harrington said. “I just keep an eye out, build awareness, pass flyers out.”

The app is based on the concept of first-hour, immediate awareness of a missing animal, similar to the Amber Alert system. The more people who know a pet is missing, the more help there is for search operations.

Once posted to the app, a newly formed volunteer task force will reach out to the owner and assist them with the search. Task force members will be on-location knocking on doors and spreading awareness, while others constantly monitor the app to match reported dog sightings with owners.

The app isn’t meant to replace animal control, but rather offer another alternative when animal control isn’t available.

Iggy Alert takes its name from a dog in the area. Iggy went missing after a car accident on Highland Avenue. The dog escaped from the owner’s car in the crash, and despite Harrington’s eight-hour search, Iggy was eventually found dead on Interstate 195.

“That dog was failed by the system,” Harrington said. “In my opinion and we need to do something in his memory and in his name.”

Iggy Alert will be released on April 14 for Android devices. An iOS version will be available by the end of the year.

A subscription email signup is available on the app's website, http://iggyalert.com, for those without access to app stores. People can also sign up on the website to be a part of the task force.