October 19, 2007 Pet owners would appreciate the trauma associated with losing a four-legged member of your family. Standard ID tags can be unreliable and often contain outdated contact information, so petFINDER has developed a new ID system linked to a message service aimed at helping reunite U.S. pet owners with their lost animals much sooner.

One of the biggest problems with lost pets is locating their owner, which is why only 10% of lost pets in the U.S. are ever returned to their original home. So rather than relying on one or two phone numbers on an engraved metal tag the petFINDER system allows pet owners to register multiple contact numbers and other pertinent info about their pets.

Before placing the petFINDER tag on their pet owners call a number and record a personal message about the animal including name, health/dietary/behavioral issues and any other relevant information. They then register three contact numbers to be reached on if their pet is found. Anyone who finds a lost pet in North America with one of these tags on will see the toll-free number on the tag and can call to hear the message and be automatically connected to the phone numbers listed.

The beauty of this service is that you can change the contact numbers or messages as often as you like - very handy if you are going on holidays or moving house. To protect the safety of pet owners no personal information, not even your phone number, is given out to the person who finds your pet. The system connects the finder to your home, work or cell phone without divulging the number.

Tags can be purchased for US$14.99 from the Finder Products website. It should be noted that this product does not replace micro-chipping and registering your companion animal, rather it acts to complement it and adds an additional method for people to reach you if they find your lost pet.

Not high-tech enough? A GPS based system known as GlobalPetFinder that uses Global Positioning System data and wireless technology to provide pet location updates every 2 seconds is also on the market.

View gallery - 2 images