New text alerts for missing dogs and cats in Charlotte, North Carolina
A North Carolina lawmaker has added to his pet-centric business to launch a new text-based service to help find lost pets.
NC Rep. John Bradford, III, a Republican from northern Mecklenburg County, was raised in a home full of animals, including squirrels and rabbits rescued by his mother. He owns Pet Screening, a service for landlords and landlords aimed at helping them accept more tenants who have pets.
Last month he launched FidoAlert and tabby alert, a free service that uses text messages to alert neighbors to lost pets and reunite pets with families. In a recent interview with The Charlotte Observer, Bradford said the goal was to keep pets safe and that a wider user base would broaden the reach of alerts.
Text alerts for missing animals
The technology sends SMS alerts with credentials and a photo of the animal to all registered users within five miles of where the animal was last seen. When users register, they enter their phone numbers, up to 10 emergency contacts and information about their pets into the system. In return, the PetScreening sends a free stainless steel tag with a QR code that anyone can scan and find information about the pet’s owner.
The cat plates are shaped like a mouse and the dog plates are shaped like a bone. The back of the tag displays a nine-digit unique ID number in addition to the FidoAlert or TabbyAlert website, so those without a phone that scans QR codes can also find the owner. When someone finds the animal, the owner and their emergency contacts are notified by text message.
Texts are the fastest form of communication, Bradford said. This is essential, as an extinct animal becomes more endangered with each minute it is lost. More than 10 million dogs and cats in the United States are lost or stolen each year, according to the American Humane Association.
Fortunately, CMPD’s Animal Care and Control Unit stray dog admissions have dropped from 5,511 dogs and cats in 2019 to 1,384 stray dogs as of April 30, 2022. Yet Melissa D. Knicely of CMPD ACC says the microchip and extra layers of tracking are vital to keeping animals safe. She signed up for FidoAlert and praised the user-friendly experience, as well as the fact that it’s free and at no additional cost.
Before entering politics and founding PetScreening, Bradford ran a property management company in Charlotte that he always made sure was pet-friendly. When their insurance made them exclude certain breeds of dogs, he changed the company’s insurance so that all breeds were welcome on their properties. After running the company for 13 years, Bradford moved on and launched PetScreening. The service provides pet owners and owners with information about pets and their education that assures them that it is safe for owners to keep their pets with them.
Pet Events Charlotte
The FidoAlert/TabyAlert team kicked off a tour across North and South Carolina with their “first annual lifesaving meeting” last Saturday in Iredell County. Here are the events in the Charlotte area:
Saturday, June 4 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Doggie Day at Sycamore Brewing
Thursday, June 30 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Charlotte Knights Bark in the Park
Friday, July 15, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.: Charlotte Knights Bark in the Park
Sunday, July 17 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Doggie Day Summer Blitz at Sycamore Brewing
This story was originally published June 3, 2022 5:00 a.m.