New tech at animal shelter hopes to foster more forever homes

Amarillo’s animal shelter is preparing to implement new tech no other shelter in the country is using yet.
Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare will be the first shelter in the nation to beta test...
Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare will be the first shelter in the nation to beta test technology that hopes to increase adoptions. (Source: Adoptimize)(KFDA)
Published: Oct. 19, 2018 at 8:49 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - New software coming to Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare is hoping to improve the pictures you see of intake animals so they appear online just as they are in person.

Nationwide, animal shelter intake pictures are lacking the ‘it factor’ that’s getting animals out the door and into loving homes.

Adoptimize hopes to change that.

“It starts with better photos and better photos are the primary driver in time to adoption and can double adoption rates, so that’s the basis of this technology,” said Jessica Schleder, founder and CEO of Adoptimize.

When an animal enters the shelter, it’ll be led to a camera powered by artificial intelligence.

Instead of photos that look like those currently listed on the shelter’s site, the camera takes a video and automatically generates a photo and posts it online.

“Then, our algorithm gathers data from the video and creates individual pet profiles based on static factors like breed and age as well as dynamic factors like temperament,” said Schleder. “We actually take these profiles and create individual ads for each animal and introduce them to people online based on their online behavior. So if you’re on Facebook and signed up for a half marathon, you might be a good fit for an active dog.”

Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare is the first shelter in the country to use this thanks to a grant from Maddie’s Fund.

The shelter said it hopes this can help secure the best outcome for all animals.

“That’s why we wanted to partner with them to see how we can help each other help the animals,” said Richard Havens, Director of Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to get animals out, whether that’s through reclaim. This particular endeavor is going to be focused on adoptions. So increase in life saving activity.”

Adoptimize will start a 90 day trial run at the shelter beginning in November.

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