Students at the University of Colorado Boulder are using the power of crowdsourcing to help bring people and pets separated during natural disasters back together.
The students have created a website, EmergencyPetMatcher, that will be deployed during and after large natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. Anyone can go to the site to create reports and post pictures of lost and found pets. Users can then suggest matches, which other users can review and vote up or down. Once a match receives enough up votes, the site sends an email to the people who posted both photos suggesting that they contact each other.
The site is touted as a resource for pet owners as well as a way for people of all ages, and from anywhere in the world, to get involved and help people and animals after a disaster.
Joanne White, a doctoral student at CU-Boulder's Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society, also notes that the site will help fill a gap in current laws regarding animals and disasters in the United States.