Losing a pet is an owner's worst nightmare. Lost posters are frequented on light posts and community billboards, often times including personal phone numbers and reward information for finding your lost pet. However, even when you do find your pet, those posters may still be up around town, posing a security and scam risk for owners who are no longer in need.
So it went for Pamela Fusco. A few years ago, Pamela received a call from her cousin; her 11-month-old dog, Mia, was missing.
"She came back from Syracuse where she was, and said, 'help me find Mia.' So we went, we printed all these flyers and we put postings on social media, we put a $500 reward out there to get Mia back," she explained.
Those "missing dog" posters included all her cousin's personal information. Even after they found their dog, who passed away, her cousin still kept getting calls from people claiming to have "found her dog."
"And this woman shows up with about 10 fliers in her hand that she'd taken down from places and says, 'I have the dog, give me the $500 reward, and I'll bring her here.' At that point, doing cybersecurity for as long as I have, I just thought, oh my gosh, this is craziness," said Pamela.
That’s how Pamela started “ZuluTails,” an easy-access, digital smart Pet ID and virtual portal.
"It tells you your name, email verified, and now it says next step [and] you have to create a biography for your pet," said Gina Fusco, another pet owner.
ZuluTails then creates a QR code on the tag, that’s mailed directly to you.
If your pet gets lost, anyone can use their phone to scan the pet’s QR code on the tag. From there, your pet’s profile appears with your pet’s photo and immediately shares essential details about your pet such as their name, breed and current medical conditions.
A secure message or an alert can be sent the pet’s owner or caregiver. Within seconds, anywhere in the world you are updated and informed and your private information is not given away.
"Doesn't matter where you live or where you go. It's always there," Pamela added.
Pamela says ZuluTails does not mess with your pets' microchip or other GPS technology. A membership for the program starts at $19.95 a year. Part of those proceeds go to "Western New York Heroes" and "Pets for Vets."