WO2012006331A1 - Animal microchip management system - Google Patents

Animal microchip management system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012006331A1
WO2012006331A1 PCT/US2011/043045 US2011043045W WO2012006331A1 WO 2012006331 A1 WO2012006331 A1 WO 2012006331A1 US 2011043045 W US2011043045 W US 2011043045W WO 2012006331 A1 WO2012006331 A1 WO 2012006331A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
pet
microchip
system
owner
owners
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2011/043045
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Elizabeth Donaldson
Dennis Phillips
Aimee Gilbreath
Original Assignee
Found Animals Foundation, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US36216610P priority Critical
Priority to US61/362,166 priority
Priority to US37609110P priority
Priority to US61/376,091 priority
Application filed by Found Animals Foundation, Inc. filed Critical Found Animals Foundation, Inc.
Publication of WO2012006331A1 publication Critical patent/WO2012006331A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01KANIMAL HUSBANDRY; CARE OF BIRDS, FISHES, INSECTS; FISHING; REARING OR BREEDING ANIMALS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; NEW BREEDS OF ANIMALS
    • A01K11/00Marking of animals
    • A01K11/006Automatic identification systems for animals, e.g. electronic devices, transponders for animals
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S5/00Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations
    • G01S5/0009Transmission of position information to remote stations
    • G01S5/0045Transmission from base station to mobile station
    • G01S5/0054Transmission from base station to mobile station of actual mobile position, i.e. position calculation on base station

Abstract

Systems and methods for providing a universal pet microchip registry that eliminates or reduces the confusion caused by multiple microchip manufacturers and streamlines the processes of registering pets and notifying owners of lost pets. The microchip registry includes a universal repository for all brands of pet microchips. A free, web-based microchip registration and notification portal is also provided. The microchip registry further includes an automated notification process operative to notify pet owners, emergency contacts, veterinarians, and microchip manufactures that a lost pet has been found. The automated notification process may include sending automated voice messages, SMS text messages, emails, and/or faxes to pet owners and other entities associated with a found pet, such that the probability of locating the owner of a lost pet is substantially increased.

Description

ANIMAL MICROCHIP MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No.

61/362,166 filed July 7, 2010, and to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/376,091 filed August 23, 2010, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed generally to reuniting lost pets with their owners, and more specifically, to a universal animal microchip management system that facilitates reuniting lost pets with their owners using microchip implants.

Description of the Related Art

The following description includes information that may be useful in understanding the present invention. It is not an admission that any of the information provided herein is prior art or relevant to the presently claimed invention, or that any publication specifically or implicitly referenced is prior art.

An animal microchip implant (or "microchip") is an identifying integrated circuit placed under the skin of a dog, cat, horse, human, or other animal. Microchips are typically about the size of a grain of rice and are based on a passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. In general, a handheld RFID scanner (or "interrogator") may be used to read an identifier code stored on the microchip using radio waves.

Microchips have been particularly useful in the return of lost pets. Animal shelters, animal control centers, and veterinarians use microchip identification products to assist with returning pets to their owners. Further, when a pet can be matched to its owner, the shelter or veterinarian avoids the expense of housing, feeding, providing medical care, and outplacing or euthanizing the pet. Microchipping is becoming increasingly standard at shelters, and many require all outplaced animals to receive a microchip. In addition to shelters and veterinarians, microchips are used by kennels, breeders, brokers, trainers, registries, rescue groups, humane societies, animal clubs and associations, pet stores, and the like.

It has been estimated that one out of every three pets will get lost in their lifetime and unfortunately, without proper identification, 90% of those pets will never return home. A microchip substantially increases the chances that a lost pet will be returned to its owner. Since microchips are generally passive devices (i.e., they cannot be used to "track" a lost pet), microchips only function properly when the identifier in the microchip is able to related to a corresponding owner record in a data repository. However, since there are numerous microchip manufacturers each having separate data repositories, it is often difficult to locate an owner record for any given microchip identifier code. Further, it is estimated that less than 30% of the microchips implanted in pets are registered in the respective manufacturer's database, meaning that possibly 70% of pet microchips have no corresponding owner information on file. With no contact information associated with a microchip, the chances of reuniting a lost pet with its owner are slim. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an embodiment, the invention includes a system for reuniting pets with their pet owners, comprising a pet owner module accessible by client systems of pet owners via a communications network, the pet owner module including a profile module configured to receive and store profile information for pet owners, the pet owner module further including a pets module configured to receive and store pet information including a pet microchip number (e.g., from a plurality of brands of microchips); and a pet finder module accessible by client systems of pet finders via a communications network, the pet finder module being operative to receive microchip numbers of lost pets provided by pet finders, the pet finder module including a notifications module operative to automatically generate and send notification alerts alerting one or more entities that pets associated with microchip numbers provided by pet finders have been found. The notifications module may be operative to send notification alerts to pet owners and pet owners' veterinarians. The notification alerts may comprise automated voice messages, text messages, faxes, and emails. In some embodiments, the notifications module is configured to send a plurality of notification alerts to multiple entities over a period of time. The profile information for pet owners may include contact information for the pet owners and the pet owners' veterinarians. The pet owner module of the system may also be configured to automatically send notifications to pet owners reminding them to update their profile information and their pet information. The pet owner module may also be configured to allow pet owners to choose to receive alerts when pets of other pet owners are lost, and wherein the notifications module is configured to send alerts to the pet owners that previously chose to receive the alerts. The notifications module may be accessible by a telephone such that a pet finder may send a microchip number of a found pet to the notifications module via telephone to initiate the notification alerts. In some embodiments, the system includes a rescue group module configured to receive, store, and manage a plurality of rescue pets associated with a rescue group.

In another embodiment, the invention includes a method for reuniting pets with their pet owners, comprising receiving and storing profile information for a pet owner; receiving and storing pet information for a pet of the pet owner including a pet microchip number from any of a plurality of brands of microchips; receiving a pet microchip number of a lost pet provided by a pet finder; and sending notification alerts alerting one or more entities that the lost pet has been found. The method may comprise sending notification alerts to pet owners and pet owners' veterinarians, and the notification alerts may comprise automated voice messages, text messages, and emails.

In another embodiment, the invention includes a computer-readable medium having stored thereon computer instructions that cause a computer to receive and store profile information for a pet owner; receive and store pet information for a pet of the pet owner including a pet microchip number from any of a plurality of brands of microchips; receive a microchip number of a lost pet provided by a pet finder; and send notification alerts alerting one or more entities that the lost pet has been found.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of the hardware configuration for an exemplary embodiment of a universal microchip registry.

Figure 2 is a functional diagram of the universal microchip registry shown in Figure 1.

Figure 3 is a view of a login screen of the universal microchip registry.

Figure 4 is a screen of the universal microchip registry that shows a pet profile created by a pet owner.

Figure 5 is a screen of the universal microchip registry that shows the ability for a pet owner to add their veterinarian's contact information.

Figure 6 is a screen of the universal microchip registry that shows the ability for a shelter or veterinarian to create a profile that is visible by pet owners.

Figure 7 is a diagram illustrating a timeline for notifying a pet owner that their pet has been found using the universal microchip registry.

Figures 8A, 8B, and 8C illustrate a process for notifying a pet owner that their pet has been found using the universal microchip registry.

Figures 9A and 9B illustrate a functional diagram for an exemplary rescue group portal of the universal microchip registry.

Figure 10 is a rescue group information screen for an exemplary rescue group portal.

Figure 1 1 is a rescue animals screen for an exemplary rescue group portal.

Figure 12 is a microchip search and notification screen for an exemplary rescue group portal. Figure 13 is a diagram of a hardware environment and an operating environment in which one or more of the computing devices associated with the universal microchip registry may be implemented. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments described herein are directed to a universal microchip registry (or management system) configured for providing a universal repository for all brands of pet microchips. The registry includes a free, web-based microchip registration and notification portal (or "module") designed to eliminate the confusion caused by multiple microchip manufacturers and to streamline the process of registering pets with a national pet database. For animal shelters, veterinarians, rescue groups, and other entities, this system will automate and expedite the process of reuniting pet owners and lost pets by providing automated notifications, which increases the number of animals returned to their owners while decreasing opportunities for human error, thereby saving time and money.

Figure 1 illustrates a server system 100 configured to run an exemplary universal microchip registry application 104. A plurality of client systems 1 16 may be communicatively coupled to the server system 100 through a network 1 10. The network 1 10 may include any suitable wired or wireless network or combination of networks, such as the Internet or other communication networks operative to couple the plurality of client systems 1 16 to the server system 100. The client systems 1 16 may generally be operated by pet owners, animal shelter employees, veterinary clinic employees, rescue groups, or other users of the universal microchip registry 104. A diagram of a hardware environment and an operating environment in which one or more of the server system 100 and/or client systems 1 16 may be implemented is shown in Figure 13.

Several elements in the system shown in Figure 1 include conventional elements that need not be explained in detail here. For example, the client systems 1 16 may include a desktop personal computer, a laptop computer, a tablet computer (e.g., iPAD®), a personal digital assistant (PDA), a cell phone, or any other computing or communicating device capable of interfacing directly or indirectly to the server system 100 via the network 1 10 (see Figure 13 and related discussion). As discussed below, the client systems 1 16 may include transceiver devices operative to automatically interface with the server system 100 in the event an animal is lost. In general, the client systems 116 may execute a browsing program such as MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER, MOZILLA FIREFOX, SAFARI, or any other suitable browser which allows users of the client systems 1 16 to access, process, and view information and pages available to them from the server system 100 over the network 1 10. In some embodiments, the client systems 1 16 may access the universal microchip registry 104 using an application interface for a mobile platform (e.g., iPHONE, DROID, or the like) or a social networking site (e.g., FACEBOOK, or the like). Client systems 1 16 also typically include one or more user interface devices, such as a keyboard, a mouse, a touch screen, or the like, for interacting with a graphical user interface provided by the browser or application on a display.

Figure 3 illustrates a view of an exemplary home page screen 200 for the microchip registry 104 shown in Figure 1. From this screen 200, in box 202 a pet owner or rescue group can create a free account and previously registered pet owners and rescue groups may log into their accounts. Additionally, in box 204, animal shelters and veterinarians may create a free account or log in to their existing accounts from the home page screen 200. In some embodiments, shelters, veterinarians, rescue groups, and/or private individuals may be able to initiate a found pet alert from the home page screen 200 or other screen without being required to first create an account. In this regard, a larger group of entities (e.g., those who are not registered with the system) are able to initiate an alert when a pet is found. In some embodiments, these entities will only be able to initiate a found pet alert provided that their request does not conflict with any existing protocols of the system or with protocols of third parties (e.g., call centers, etc.). To permit access to as many users as possible, the microchip registry 104 may be available in multiple languages (e.g., English, Spanish, Italian, etc.). As an example, the home page may have a plurality of links for a user to select one from a plurality of languages.

Figure 2 is a functional block diagram of the universal microchip registry 104 also shown in Figure 1 . The microchip registry 104 includes a pet owner portal 120 (also referred to herein as a module), a pet finder portal 150, and a rescue group portal 172 (see Figures 9A, 9B, 10, 1 1 , and 12) that allow users to create a user profile, store information about each of their pets, and receive and manage notifications. By way of example, this data may be stored in a database 176 of the server system 100. It should be appreciated that the functional modules of the microchip registry 104 are provided herein for explanatory purposes, and that the registry 104 may be structurally configured in a number of ways.

A profile module 124 is provided to allow users to add their contact information such as name, address, e-mail, telephone, and the like. To improve the chances of a successful reunion in the event their pet is ever lost, pet owners may also have the option to add one or more emergency contacts and one or more veterinary contacts to their user profile. An example of this feature is illustrated by the screen 230 shown in Figure 5, which shows that pet owners may enter the name, address, phone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail address of their veterinarians. Pet owners may also be able to select from a drop down or pre- listed menu veterinarians (to facilitate adding veterinarian information for future alerts) and shelter locations (when they report a lost pet and want to locate the nearest shelters) based on their registered address information (e.g., zip code). As discussed in further detail below, emergency and veterinary contacts will receive automatic notifications in the event a lost pet is found, so that they may in turn notify the respective pet owner. These notifications may include automated voice messages, SMS text messages, e-mails, and/or faxes. Further, at the time when these contacts are added to a pet owner's profile, they may be automatically notified (e.g., by email or voice message) of their role so that they can better anticipate lost pet alerts. If the automated communication is undeliverable or the contact chooses to unsubscribe to the registry 104, the pet owner may be notified so they can make other arrangements for emergency or veterinary contacts.

The pet owner portal 120 also includes a pets module 128 configured for allowing owners to create profiles for each of their pets, including physical information (e.g., breed, color, sterilization status, etc.), medical or other notes, photograph(s), or other information regarding their pets. In addition, pet owners are able to enter the microchip number for each of their pets which is then stored as part of the profile for that pet. As noted above, the universal microchip registry 104 is configured to store microchip numbers from any pet microchip

manufacturer. An example of the pets module 128 is illustrated by the screen 210 shown in Figure 4. The pets module 128 may also include the status of each pet (e.g., lost, found, etc.) so that owners can check the current status of their lost pet. For example, once a lost pet shows up at a shelter and is scanned and entered into the registry 104, the found pet will have a status change (e.g., "found") and show up in the registry as being located at the shelter. The pet owner can log in to the registry 104 periodically to check if the pet's status has been updated to "found" and the current location of the pet (e.g., shelter name, address, contact information, etc.).

Referring back to Figure 2, the pet owner portal 120 also includes a "my notifications" module 132 (also shown as a tab in the screen 210 shown in Figure 4). The my notifications module 132 is where important messages regarding an owner's lost pet will be communicated to the owner. Such messages may include information regarding the location, contact information, or other useful information concerning the entity (e.g., a shelter or veterinarian) that has found a pet owner's lost pet.

Using the pet owner portal 120, pet owners may also have the ability to update the status of their pets. For example, if a pet is lost, the pet owner may flag the pet as missing using the pet owner portal 120. Additionally, if a pet is ever given to a new owner, the current owner may be able to transfer the pet to an account of the new owner using the pet owner portal 120. This transfer will operate to populate the new owner's account with the pet's profile. As another feature, once a pet is deceased, the pet owner portal 120 allows a pet owner to provide an indication in the system that the pet is no longer living.

The pet owner portal 120 may also permit pet owners or other users to sign up to receive alerts when a pet is lost in a specific geographic area. In this scenario, when a pet owner flags their pet as missing, the universal registry 104 may be configured to send alert information to other pet owners, shelters, veterinarians, or other people who have opted in to receive information about any lost pets in their geographic area (e.g. within their zip code, within a certain distance of their address, within a city, or the like). Since these alerts are generated automatically, people that have opted in to receive the alerts will be notified quickly, thereby improving the chances that a lost pet will be found.

As can be appreciated, one problem that frequently arises in microchipping systems is that a pet owner's contact information is outdated. Since microchips are typically passive devices, they function only when their identifier number can be associated with the contact information of a pet's owner. To help alleviate this problem, the universal microchip registry 104 may be configured to automatically periodically send pet owners reminders to update their contact information if they have recently moved or otherwise changed their contact information. For example, these reminders may be sent two or three times per year.

The microchip registry 104 also includes the pet finder portal or application 150 that may be used by animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and the like to improve the efficiency and reduce time spent on tracking down the owners of found pets. The pet finder portal 150 includes a profile module 154, a found pets module 158, a notifications module 162, a reports module 166, and a tools and resources module 174. A user interface for these modules is illustrated by a screen 240 shown in Figure 6.

The profile module 154 provides the ability for animal shelters and veterinary clinics to create free user accounts through the registry's web-based portal. Through this portal, they may add their location, directions, hours of operation, phone number, and website which all be visible by pet owners. The screen 240 shown in Figure 6 shows example profile information for a hypothetical animal shelter.

Through the tools and resources module 174 and an applications interface 170, shelters and veterinarians may have the capability to initiate a microchip registration process for their customers by importing their customer data directly into the registry's database 176. To provide this functionality, free application software (proprietary or commercially available) may be provided to these users that will run on top of their existing animal management software. This software will integrate seamlessly so that data is populated in both the microchip registry database 176, as well as the shelter or veterinarian's own databases. Further, once the customer's data has been automatically imported into the registry's database, the registry 104 may automatically alert (e.g., by emails, voice messages, or the like) pet owners to register their pet's microchip number with the microchip registry 104. In some embodiments, shelters are able to change microchip records to reflect new owners for pets and are able to transfer pet ownership in the registry 104 from their shelter to other shelters or entities.

The found pets module 158 provides an interface for allowing a user (e.g., an employee of a shelter or veterinary clinic) to input the microchip number of a microchip read from a found pet using a microchip scanner. Rather than spending the time to track down the pet owner manually, all the user needs to do is select an option in the interface to notify the pet's owner (e.g., by mouse clicking on a "notify" button) and a series of notification alerts then begins. As discussed below with reference to Figure 7, the pet owner, their emergency contacts, their veterinarian, as well as the microchip manufacturer may receive automated notifications including voice messages, e-mails, SMS text messages, and/or faxes indicating the pet associated with the entered microchip number has been found. As discussed above, individuals (e.g., private citizens) may be able to complete a "found a lost pet" form using the system to initiate an alert without having to first create a new account.

To further improve the speed in which pet owners are notified, the applications interface 170 may be configured to allow a user in the field that has found a lost pet to begin the notification process using a phone. For example, users may call a phone number and enter a microchip number to begin the notification process via phone. In another example, users may be able to send an SMS text message including the microchip number to begin the notification process. These transactions will be synchronized with the user's online microchip registry account profile.

The pet finder portal 150 may include other features as well. For example, in the situation where a pet owner only has a physical address on file, users may be able to automatically generate and print out a template letter, customized with the pet owner's address information to provide an alert to the pet owner that their pet has been found through standard mail. This "print template letter" feature may be available to some or all entities using the system including, for example, all animal shelters, veterinarians, rescue groups, and the like. The pet finder portal 150 may also include a reports module 166 that allows a shelter or veterinary clinic to keep track of their found animals using an online log and other reporting features.

The applications interface 170 may provide the capability for pet owners and other users to access the microchip registry 104 using a variety of devices and applications. For example, in addition to the microchip registry's web- based portal, social media applications (e.g., a Facebook application, or the like) and mobile phone applications (.e.g., iPhone, Droid, and the like) may also be provided, which provide additional opportunities for pet owners to register their pets.

The microchip registry 104 may also include various administrator features. For example, administrators, including microchip manufacturers, may be provided with the ability to notify pet owners on behalf of shelters who have yet to create accounts with the microchip registry 104. In some embodiments, shelter are able to initiate notification alerts on behalf of other shelters. Further, if more than one person enters the same microchip number, the microchip registry 104 may include a built-in process for ensuring the correct microchip number is associated with the respective owner. If a new account is created for a microchip that previously exists in the registry system, the system will first have the pet owner confirm they are entering the correct microchip number. If the pet owner confirms that the number is correct, the system may then alert the owner of the existing record asking them to either update their pet's microchip number (e.g., if they made a typographical error), release the microchip record (e.g., if the pet was transferred to a new owner), or confirm that the microchip number actually belongs to their pet.

Figure 7 illustrates an exemplary timeline 300 for notifying a pet owner that their pet has been found using the universal microchip registry 104. The microchip registry 104 utilizes current technology to improve the number of reunions and the speed in which lost pets are reunited with their owners. As can be appreciated, making contact with the owner of a found pet is extremely time sensitive. For example, once a pet enters a shelter system, it is only a matter of days before the pet is made available for adoption or euthanized.

The microchip registry 104 leverages electronic channels of communication to decrease the amount of time it takes to notify pet owners that their pet has been found. As noted above, when a lost pet is impounded by a shelter or otherwise found, all a user of the microchip registry 104 needs to do is enter the microchip number into the registry's online interface and select "notify." The rest of the notification process is completely automated. The pet owner, their emergency contacts, their veterinarian, and the microchip manufacturer will all receive automatically generated notifications including voice messages, text messages, emails, and/or faxes. In some embodiments, the alerts and/or messages may be customized to include specific messages (e.g., pet is deceased, etc.). As shown in the notification timeline 300, a series of automated notifications are generated once a user enters a microchip number into the registry's online interface and makes a selection to notify the system that the pet has been found. In this example, the notifications span over four days and include multiple SMS text messages, voice messages, and emails to the owner. The notifications also include multiple voice messages, e-mails, and/or faxes to persons selected by the pet owner to be an emergency contact. Notifications also are automatically sent to the veterinarian of the pet owner as well as the microchip manufacturer. These notifications may indicate the whereabouts of the found pet, including the animal shelter or veterinarian's phone number, address, hours of operation, directions, and the like (or in the case of a private citizen, notifications may contain the finder's phone number, email address, etc.). In some

embodiments, maps may be provided in addition to textual directions. In some embodiments, in the case wherein the automated notifications have been sent and no one has responded, the shelter (or entity that initiated the notification) may receive a "no response" indication, allowing them to decide to restart the notifications or have the system show the shelter more information about the pet owner (e.g., email, phone number, etc.) so a shelter worker may follow up manually with one or more contacts associated with the found pet. The "no response" indication may include a highlighted record, a note or message, or other suitable notification for the entity that originally initiated the found pet alert. In some embodiment, the system may keep track of found pets and designate pets that have been in the notification system multiple times. This information may let entities know that the pet owner may need to be contacted to determine the reason their pet is getting lost multiple times. As will be appreciated, the notification timeline 300 is provided herein as an example and other notification timelines are within the scope of the present invention. In addition, pet owners may have the option of selecting notification preferences to control the timing and specific implementation of the automated notification process. Figures 8A, 8B, and 8C illustrate an exemplary process 400 for notifying a pet owner that their pet has been found using the microchip registry 104. Initially, a user such as an employee of an animal shelter or veterinary clinic finds a lost pet having a microchip, block 404. The user may then read the microchip using a microchip scanner and enter the microchip number into the registry database, block 408. If a record corresponding to the microchip number is located, the user may then select an option to notify the pet owner, thereby starting the automated notification process, blocks 412 and 414. For example, as discussed above, a voice message, SMS text message, and e-mail may be immediately sent to the pet owner. The notifications may indicate the whereabouts of the found pet including the animal shelter or veterinary clinic's phone number, address, hours of operation, and directions.

In the case that the pet owner's information is current, the pet owner will receive the automated notifications and may then be reunited with their lost pet by contacting the shelter or veterinary clinic, blocks 418 and 420. In the situation where the pet owner's information is not current, or the pet owner is otherwise non- responsive, emergency contacts, veterinary contacts, and the microchip

manufacturer are all automatically notified by e mail, voice message, SMS text messages, and/or faxes according to a automated notification process, thereby greatly increasing the chances that the pet owner will be found and the pet will be reunited, blocks 422, 426, and 430.

In the situation where there is no record in the microchip registry 104 that corresponds to the microchip number entered by the user, block 434, the user may proceed using a conventional process to contact the microchip manufacturer in an attempt to locate the pet owner's contact information, block 438. Often, no customer record is available on file in the microchip manufacturer's database, block 442, so the microchip manufacturer may then attempt to trace the microchip back to the microchip implanter to which it was originally sold, block 448. In the situation where the company that implanted the microchip into the found pet is no longer in business, block 460, the pet owner's contact information cannot be found using the microchip, and the animal may be held for a few days and is either adopted or euthanized, block 452. Even in the event that the microchip implanter company is still operating, block 456, oftentimes the microchip implanter company does not have the pet owner's information on file, block 450, so the pet still cannot be reunited with its owner using its microchip. In situations where the microchip implanter company does have the pet owner's information on file, block 462, the microchip manufacturer may provide the user with the customer's data, block 466. If the pet owner's information is current, the pet may be reunited, blocks 474 and 430. However, as is often the case, the pet owner may not be able to be reached if their information is not current, blocks 470 and 452.

In the situation where the microchip manufacturer does find a pet owner record corresponding to the microchip number indicated by the user, the microchip manufacturer may provide the customer's contact information to the user, blocks 476, 478, and 480. Again, if the pet owner's contact information is current, the pet may be reunited with its owner, blocks 482 and 430. However, if the pet owner information is outdated, the lost pet may not be reunited with its owner using its microchip, blocks 484 and 452.

The microchip registry 104 described herein may also be helpful for animal rescue organizations, which often source their pets from animal shelters. For example, if a pet is adopted from a participating shelter, the shelter may initiate the free registration process for the rescue organization. The rescue organization may then create a profile in the microchip registry 104 to: easily track their inventory of animals; transfer pets to customers after the adoption process; and request during the transfer to remain as the emergency contact for the transferred pet in case the transferred pet is ever lost.

A functional diagram for an exemplary rescue group portal 500 is shown in Figures 9A and 9B. Figures 10, 1 1 , and 12 illustrate various exemplary screens for the rescue group portal 500. Beginning at a pet owner landing page 506 or a system home page 504, a pet owner may click on a "what is a rescue group" icon 508, which will take the user to a rescue group information page 512. The rescue group information page 512 allows users to access information about rescue groups and guides them through the setup process. From the page 512, users may also be able to start a new rescue group or search for existing rescue groups to join, block 514. If a user wishes to start a new rescue group, the user may enter a name into a text field. If the name is unavailable (e.g., already in use), the user may be provided with a "name taken" indication and be given the option of going back and selecting a new name. If the new group name is available, the new rescue group may be established, bocks 516 and 518. The user may also be given the option of sending a request to an existing group's administrator requesting membership with the existing group, blocks 520 and 522.

As shown in Figure 9A, the rescue group portal 500 also includes a "start a pet owner account" icon or page 510 that allows new users to register with the system before being allowed to proceed with setting up a rescue group or joining an existing rescue group. The page 510 may allow users to enter and create a pet owner profile and one or more pet profiles that are stored on the system.

Once a rescue group has been created, the pet owner that set up the rescue group is the administrator for the group and may access the group from his or her pet owner landing page 506. Pets may be added to the rescue group and are stored in a rescue group pet profiles storage 526 (see Figure 9B) that is accessible by the rescue group's members.

Figure 10 illustrates an exemplary rescue group landing page screen 600 (see rescue group landing page 528 shown in Figure 9B) which shows a group of navigation links 604 that enable a user to select a rescue group from a list of "my rescue groups." The screen 600 also includes a landing page information section 608 that includes a "snapshot" of the selected rescue group. The data in the information section 608 includes the number of members, number of animals, administrator contact information, and the like. The screen 600 also includes a wall and notifications section 612 (see wall and notifications block 530 shown in Figure 9B) that conveniently displays information, including public comments generated by members (e.g., "wall" posts), public system notifications (e.g., new members, new animals, animal transfers, etc.), and private system notifications (e.g., ones viewable only by an administrator, etc.).

The rescue group portal 500 may also include a form or page 534 that allows an administrator (or other existing rescue group members) to invite new members to the rescue group. Emails may be sent to new or existing members of the registry system. Users that are not yet members of the registry system may be prompted and directed to first setup a pet owner account (e.g., directed to the page 510 shown in Figure 9A) before gaining access to the rescue group.

The rescue group portal 500 may also include a manage rescue group form 532 (see Figure 9B) that includes information such as member names, member contact information, date joined, and the like. Additionally, although all members may view the manage rescue group form 532, administrators may have additional privileges. For example, administrators may have the ability to permit specific members to transfer ownership of animals without requiring administrative approval. Administrators may also be able to delete existing members from the rescue group.

The rescue group portal 500 also includes a manage rescue animals page or form 524 (see Figure 9B). An exemplary manage rescue animals page 650 is shown in Figure 1 1. The manage rescue animals page 650 is viewable to both the administrator of the rescue group and to the group's members. Some features may be only available to the particular group member that added a pet and the administrator of the rescue group. The manage rescue animals page 650 includes a search and filter section 654 that allows users to enter a search term into a field 664 and an option for filtering the search (e.g., by species) by selecting a category 660, which will assist in narrowing the search results. In some embodiments, the search terms may be limited to a particular field or category (e.g., microchip numbers, sex, name, group member name, date added, etc.). Upon selecting a submit button 668, animals that match the search criteria are listed below the search and filter section 654. The results section of the manage rescue animals page 650 includes data columns 658 and feature columns 662. The data columns 658 may default to a sorting of reverse chronology (e.g., the most recently added animals will be shown first). Users may have the option of re-sorting the list based on data in other columns (e.g., microchip numbers, species, date added to the group, etc.). In some embodiments, only the administrator and the group member that added an animal will have the ability to edit certain information about the animal, such as profile and medical information.

The feature columns 662 include status information (e.g., lost or not lost) as well as information relating to pet transfers and transfer requests. As can be appreciated, certain members may be able to modify the status or transfer information for a particular pet and others may be restricted. As an example, only the administrator of the rescue group and the persons who have been granted "transfer privileges" may be allowed to transfer animals to other rescue groups or users.

As shown in Figure 9B, the manage rescue animals page 524 also provides a form or page 536 for transferring ownership of the animals (see also the feature column 662 shown in Figure 1 1 ). Animals may be transferred to other members of the registry system inside or outside of the rescue group. In the case where an animal is to be transferred to an existing member of the registry system, an email may be automatically generated and sent to the member requesting acceptance of the transfer. In the case where an animal is to be transferred to a person who is not yet a member of the registry system, an invitation may be sent to the person that first takes them to the start a pet owner account page or form 510 (see Figure 9A) where they can register with the system. Once the person has become a member of the registry, they may then accept the transfer of the animal. In some embodiments, the rescue group portal 500 may function similar to a social media group page, which may permit the communication and sharing of information within a rescue group, between a plurality of rescue groups, or between one or more rescue groups and other entities (e.g., individuals, shelters, veterinarians, etc.).

Figure 12 illustrates an exemplary microchip search and notification page 670. The page 670 is a feature that may be available to all members of a rescue group. Further, this feature may not be rescue group specific (i.e., it may be available to both administrators and regular members of the rescue group). This page may be similar to a search and notification page available to animal shelters and veterinary clinics, as discussed above (see the notifications module 162 of Figure 2). The page 670 includes a microchip lookup section 674 that allows a user to type in a microchip (e.g., of a lost pet or a found pet). If there is no corresponding microchip number in the system, the system will notify the user that the pet is either not entered into the system or the microchip number entered is invalid. If the microchip number matches the number of an animal in the system, the animal's information and the associated rescue group information will be displayed to the user in a search result section 678 of the page. Additionally, the user will have the option of sending notification alerts via the microchip registry system by clicking on a submit button 682. The notification alerts may comprise sending automated voice messages, SMS text messages, emails, and/or faxes to pet owners and other entities associated with a found pet, as described above.

It should be appreciated that the universal microchip registry 104 provides several advantages over existing pet microchipping systems. For example, as noted above, a relative small percentage of implanted microchips are actually registered in respective microchip manufacturers' databases. One cause of this problem is a lack of consumer education. Many pet owners believe that their pet is protected simply because it has a microchip implanted under its skin. However, often pet owners do not understand that microchips are generally not active devices that allow tracking of a lost pet, but are rather passive devices. For a microchip to work the way it was designed, the pet owner must keep current contact information on file in a data repository. The universal microchip registry 104 described herein may provide users with information intended to educate pet owners about what a microchip is and what actions are required to take to ensure that the microchip functions properly. For example, when pet owners adopt a pet from a participating animal shelter or otherwise obtain a new pet from a

participating entity, they may receive an automated message explaining the registration procedure with a link to complete their profile in the microchip registry 104.

Another problem associated with microchip registration is that there are several companies that manufacture pet microchips. Due to the nature of microchips, it is common for pet owners to not know who manufactured their pet's microchip, since it is hidden beneath their pet's skin. In most cases, each manufacturer maintains an independent data repository and since many

consumers do not know who the manufacturer is, the microchip goes unregistered. The universal microchip registry 104 described herein is a universal microchip database, meaning that all microchips can be registered, regardless of which company manufactured the microchip.

Even when a pet owner knows who the manufacturer of their microchip is, there are often financial barriers to registering the microchip. Most microchip manufacturers charge a fee for the initial registration and many also charge to update information. Other manufacturers employ an annual fee structure requiring consumers to renew the membership in the database on an annual basis. Further, depending on the manufacturer, the process to register and update contact information differs. For example, many microchip manufacturers continue to rely on paper forms, forcing pet owners to print out forms, complete them by hand, and then mail them back to the manufacturer. This process is time consuming and may require resources to which pet owners may not have access. With the universal microchip registry 104, maintaining a profile or membership in the registry 104 is not only free to all parties involved, it is also user friendly. Pet owners may register their pet information 24 hours a day, seven days a week by accessing the online registration portal from one of various available interfaces. The process is paperless and electronic meaning the pet owner's data is entered into the database in moments rather than days.

As described above, another advantageous feature of the microchip registry 104 is the automated notification process. Rather than utilizing current technology to improve communication with pet owners, most animal shelters and veterinarians rely on outdated methods of communication. The typical system may involve multiple employees using paper logs to record the number of attempts to reach a pet owner by phone over the course of several days. This generally requires employees to place multiple phone calls and mail multiple letters to pet owners. As can be appreciated, this method is inefficient, subject to human error, and requires a substantial amount of time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. The universal microchip registry 104 utilizes cutting edge technology to improve the number of reunions and the speed with which lost pets are reunited with their pet owners. When a lost pet is found by a shelter or veterinarian, a user simply needs to enter the microchip number into the microchip registry's online interface and select "notify" to begin the automated notification process described above.

Although the embodiments described above are configured for use with passive microchip devices, it should be appreciated that in other embodiments the microchip registry system may be configured for use with active devices instead of or in addition to passive devices. Generally, active devices may be operative to communicate information directly or indirectly to the microchip registry system using various technologies, including Global Positioning System (GPS), cellular networks, and the like. Since active devices may be relatively large compared to passive devices, they may be worn on a collar of an animal rather than being implanted. Of course, active devices may be implanted as well.

In operation, a user may register an active device in a similar manner as described above with regard to passive microchips. In this case, when an animal is determined to be lost, the active device may broadcast its location, such that the microchip registry 104 may receive substantially real-time geographical information for the lost animal wearing the device. This information may be provided to the owner using the notification systems described above. Further, the microchip registry may be operative to display maps and/or directions on a user's device (e.g., a computer, a mobile phone, or the like) so that they may rapidly locate their lost pet. As a further example, the system may allow a user to see present and past locations of the animal, such that they may anticipate the direction the animal is traveling.

In other embodiments, a microchip may be implanted in an animal that then wears an external collar configured to communicate (e.g., read the identification code) with the microchip. The external collar may be further operative to send the microchip code and/or geographical information

automatically to the registry system when the animal is lost. Further, in the case where an implanted device requires power, the external collar may be operative to provide power to an energy storage device present in the implanted device. Power may be transferred from the external collar to the implanted device using any suitable method, such as electromagnetic induction, radio wave energization, or any other suitable technology.

In other embodiments, the active devices may be configured to operate in a low power or "sleep mode" until a time when the animal is deemed to be lost and the devices are needed. For example, when a user of the registry system communicates to the system that their pet is lost, the system may automatically send a "wake up" signal (e.g., through GPS, cellular network, or the like) to the device worn by the animal, so that the device may begin broadcasting its location. As another example, the devices may be configured to broadcast location information only when they have determined that they are outside of a particular geographic area (e.g., more than 2 miles from a "home" location).

In some embodiments, the invention may include a scanner configured to read a microchip implanted in an animal. One embodiment of a microchip scanner comprises a scanner integrated into a frame sized and shaped to allow a pet (e.g., a dog or cat) to "walk through" or walk by the frame, wherein a microchip implanted in the pet is read by the scanner. In this embodiment, a user such as a shelter employee could walk a found pet through the frame so that the scanner can detect a microchip implanted in the pet. The frame for the walk through scanner could take any suitable form, so long as it is operative to read a microchip when a pet "walks through" or walks in close proximity to the scanner.

In another embodiment, a scanner is provided that is embedded within a blanket or other suitable material that may be "wrapped" around a found pet, wherein the pet's microchip is then read by the scanner. In this embodiment, the scanner contains a reader that is operative to locate a microchip, read the microchip, and display information from the microchip. As can be appreciated, this "blanket" scanner may facilitate reading a microchip while wrapping a found pet with the blanket, which may be soothing to the found pet.

Both the walk through scanner and the blanket scanner may include a display or may be operative to communicate with a device having a display, such as a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet computer, smart phone device, etc. The scanners or the devices to which they connect may also be able to access and communicate with the microchip registry 104 (or any associated external entity) to instantaneously upload the found pet information and

automatically create a found pet alert notification.

Further, while the embodiments described herein are directed for use in locating animals including pets, wildlife, and livestock, it should be appreciated that these systems may also be valuable for use with humans. For example, the system may be particularly helpful for use with children and/or adults who suffer from disorientation or are otherwise susceptible to getting lost. In this example, users of the system may include health care workers, law enforcement officers, and/or family members who would benefit by having the ability to locate such people in the event they become lost.

Figure 13 is a diagram of hardware and an operating environment in conjunction with which implementations of the registry system 104 and/or client systems 1 16 may be practiced. The description of Figure 13 is intended to provide a brief, general description of suitable computer hardware and a suitable computing environment in which implementations may be practiced. Although not required, implementations are described in the general context of computer- executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by a computer, such as a personal computer or the like. Generally, program modules include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc., that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types.

Moreover, those skilled in the art will appreciate that implementations may be practiced with other computer system configurations, including hand-held devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, cloud computing architectures, and the like. Implementations may also be practiced in distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through one or more communications networks. In a distributed computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote memory storage devices.

The exemplary hardware and operating environment of Figure 13 includes a general-purpose computing device in the form of a computing device 12. The computing device 12 includes the system memory 22, a

processing unit 21 , and a system bus 23 that operatively couples various system components, including the system memory 22, to the processing unit 21. There may be only one or there may be more than one processing unit 21 , such that the processor of computing device 12 comprises a single central-processing unit (CPU), or a plurality of processing units, commonly referred to as a parallel processing environment. The computing device 12 may be a conventional computer, a distributed computer, or any other type of computer.

The system bus 23 may be any of several types of bus structures including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. The system memory 22 may also be referred to as simply the memory, and may include read only memory (ROM) 24 and random access memory (RAM) 25. A basic input/output system (BIOS) 26, containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within the computing device 12, such as during start-up, may be stored in ROM 24. The computing device 12 may further include a hard disk drive 27 for reading from and writing to a hard disk, not shown, a magnetic disk drive 28 for reading from or writing to a removable magnetic disk 29, and an optical disk drive 30 for reading from or writing to a removable optical disk 31 such as a CD ROM, DVD, or other optical media. The computing device 12 may also include one or more other types of memory devices (e.g., flash memory storage devices, and the like).

The hard disk drive 27, magnetic disk drive 28, and optical disk drive 30 are connected to the system bus 23 by a hard disk drive interface 32, a magnetic disk drive interface 33, and an optical disk drive interface 34,

respectively. The drives and their associated computer-readable media provide nonvolatile storage of computer-readable instructions, data structures, program modules, and other data for the computing device 12. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that any type of computer-readable media which can store data that is accessible by a computer, such as magnetic cassettes, flash memory cards, USB drives, digital video disks, Bernoulli cartridges, random access memories (RAMs), read only memories (ROMs), and the like, may be used in the exemplary operating environment. As is apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, the hard disk drive 27 and other forms of computer-readable media (e.g., the removable magnetic disk 29, the removable optical disk 31 , flash memory cards, USB drives, and the like) accessible by the processing unit 21 may be considered components of the system memory 22.

A number of program modules may be stored on the hard disk drive 27, magnetic disk 29, optical disk 31 , ROM 24, or RAM 25, including an operating system 35, one or more application programs 36, other program modules 37, and program data 38. A user may enter commands and information into the computing device 12 through input devices such as a keyboard 40 and pointing device 42. Other input devices (not shown) may include a microphone, joystick, game pad, satellite dish, scanner, or the like. These and other input devices are often connected to the processing unit 21 through a serial port interface 46 that is coupled to the system bus 23, but may be connected by other interfaces, such as a parallel port, game port, a universal serial bus (USB), or the like. A monitor 47 or other type of display device is also connected to the system bus 23 via an interface, such as a video adapter 48. In addition to the monitor, computers typically include other peripheral output devices (not shown), such as speakers and printers.

The computing device 12 may operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers, such as remote computer 49. These logical connections are achieved by a communication device coupled to or a part of the computing device 12 (as the local computer).

Implementations are not limited to a particular type of communications device. The remote computer 49 may be another computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a client, a memory storage device, a peer device or other common network node, and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to the computing device 12. The remote computer 49 may be connected to a memory storage device 50. The logical connections depicted in Figure 9 include a local-area network (LAN) 51 and a wide-area network (WAN) 52. Such networking environments are commonplace in offices, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets and the Internet.

When used in a LAN-networking environment, the computing device 12 is connected to the local area network 51 through a network interface or adapter 53, which is one type of communications device. When used in a WAN- networking environment, the computing device 12 typically includes a modem 54, a type of communications device, or any other type of communications device for establishing communications over the wide area network 52, such as the Internet. The modem 54, which may be internal or external, is connected to the system bus 23 via the serial port interface 46. In a networked environment, program modules depicted relative to the personal computing device 12, or portions thereof, may be stored in the remote computer 49 and/or the remote memory storage device 50. It is appreciated that the network connections shown are exemplary and other means of and communications devices for establishing a

communications link between the computers may be used.

The computing device 12 and related components have been presented herein by way of particular example and also by abstraction in order to facilitate a high-level view of the concepts disclosed. The actual technical design and implementation may vary based on particular implementation while

maintaining the overall nature of the concepts disclosed.

The foregoing described embodiments depict different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely exemplary, and that in fact many other architectures can be implemented which achieve the same

functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively "associated" such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as "associated with" each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being

"operably connected", or "operably coupled", to each other to achieve the desired functionality.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

Furthermore, it is to be understood that the invention is solely defined by the appended claims. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as "open" terms (e.g., the term "including" should be interpreted as "including but not limited to," the term "having" should be interpreted as "having at least," the term "includes" should be interpreted as "includes but is not limited to," etc.).

It will be further understood by those within the art that if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases "at least one" and "one or more" to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles "a" or "an" limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to inventions containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases "one or more" or "at least one" and indefinite articles such as "a" or "an" (e.g., "a" and/or "an" should typically be interpreted to mean "at least one" or "one or more"); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations. In addition, even if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should typically be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of "two recitations," without other modifiers, typically means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations).

Claims

Attorney jJOC ei CLAIMS The invention claimed is:
1. A system for reuniting pets with their pet owners, comprising:
a pet owner module accessible by client systems of pet owners via a communications network, the pet owner module including a profile module configured to receive and store profile information for pet owners, the pet owner module further including a pets module configured to receive and store pet information including a pet microchip number; and
a pet finder module accessible by client systems of pet finders via a communications network, the pet finder module being operative to receive microchip numbers of lost pets provided by pet finders, the pet finder module including a notifications module operative to automatically generate and send notification alerts alerting one or more entities that pets associated with microchip numbers provided by pet finders have been found.
2. The system of claim 1 , wherein the notifications module is operative to send notification alerts to pet owners and pet owners' veterinarians.
3. The system of claim 1 , wherein the notification alerts comprise at least one of automated voice messages, text messages, and emails.
4. The system of claim 1 , wherein the notifications module is configured to send a plurality of notification alerts to multiple entities over a period of time.
5. The system of claim 1 , wherein the profile information for pet owners includes contact information for the pet owners and the pet owners'
veterinarians.
29
DWT 17380421v4 0091558-001 WOO Attorney jJOC ei
6. The system of claim 1 , wherein the pet owner module is configured to receive and store microchip numbers from a plurality of brands of pet microchips.
7. The system of claim 1 , wherein the pet owner module is configured to automatically send notifications to pet owners reminding them to update their profile information and their pet information.
8. The system of claim 1 , wherein the notification alerts provide pet owners with information regarding the location or contact information concerning the pet finder that has found a pet owner's lost pet.
9. The system of claim 1 , wherein the pet owner module is configured to allow users to transfer ownership of pets to other users.
10. The system of claim 1 , wherein the pet owner module is configured to allow pet owners to choose to receive alerts when pets of other pet owners are lost, and wherein the notifications module is configured to send alerts to the pet owners that previously chose to receive the alerts.
1 1. The system of claim 10, wherein the notifications module is configured to send alerts to pet owners that chose to receive the alerts that are within a geographic area dependent on the location of the lost pet.
12. The system of claim 1 , wherein the pet finder portal is configured to receive and store pet finder information including contact information and location information.
13. The system of claim 1 , wherein the notifications module is accessible by a telephone such that a pet finder may send a microchip number of a found pet to the notifications module via telephone to initiate the notification alerts.
30
DWT 17380421v4 0091558-001 WOO
14. The system of claim 1 , wherein the pet owner module and the pet finder module are accessible via one or more social media applications.
15. The system of claim 1 , wherein the notification alerts include two or more of text messages, voice messages, and emails, and wherein the notification alerts are sent to two or more entities.
16. The system of claim 1 , further comprising:
a rescue group module configured to receive, store, and manage a plurality of rescue pets associated with a rescue group.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the rescue group module is configured to allow a user to transfer ownership of a pet from an existing owner to a new owner.
18. The system of claim 1 , wherein the system is configured to communicate directly or indirectly with active devices that are fixedly or removably coupled to pets.
19. The system of claim 18, wherein the system is configured to receive geographic information from the active devices.
20. A method for reuniting pets with their pet owners, comprising:
receiving and storing profile information for a pet owner;
receiving and storing pet information for a pet of the pet owner including a pet microchip number from any of a plurality of brands of microchips;
receiving a pet microchip number of a lost pet provided by a pet finder; and
sending notification alerts alerting one or more entities that the lost pet has been found.
21. The method of claim 20, further comprising sending notification alerts to pet owners and pet owners' veterinarians.
22. The method of claim 20, wherein sending notification alerts comprises sending at least one of automated voice messages, text messages, and emails.
23. The method of claim 20, wherein sending notification alerts comprises sending a plurality of notification alerts to multiple entities over a period of time.
24. The method of claim 20, further comprising automatically sending notifications to pet owners reminding them to update their profile information and their pet information.
25. The method of claim 20, wherein sending notification alerts comprises sending information regarding the location or contact information concerning the entity that has found a pet owner's lost pet.
26. The method of claim 20, further comprising transferring ownership of a pet from an existing pet owner to a new pet owner.
27. The method of claim 20, further comprising sending notification alerts to pet owners other than pet owners that have lost a pet.
28. The method of claim 20, wherein sending notification alerts includes sending two or more of text messages, voice messages, and emails to two or more entities.
29. The method of claim 20, further comprising receiving at least one of identity information and location information directly or indirectly from an active device that is fixedly or removably coupled to a pet.
30. A computer-readable medium having stored thereon computer instructions that cause a computer to:
receive and store profile information for a pet owner;
receive and store pet information for a pet of the pet owner including a pet microchip number from any of a plurality of brands of microchips;
receive a microchip number of a lost pet provided by a pet finder; and send notification alerts alerting one or more entities that the lost pet has been found.
PCT/US2011/043045 2010-07-07 2011-07-06 Animal microchip management system WO2012006331A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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US36216610P true 2010-07-07 2010-07-07
US61/362,166 2010-07-07
US37609110P true 2010-08-23 2010-08-23
US61/376,091 2010-08-23

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Citations (7)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20060143302A1 (en) * 2000-01-14 2006-06-29 Welsh Deborah T Pet registration, search, and retrieval system
US20030229452A1 (en) * 2002-01-14 2003-12-11 Lewis Barrs S. Multi-user system authoring, storing, using, and verifying animal information
US20070226257A1 (en) * 2004-05-28 2007-09-27 Yarnall Jr Robert G Internet Based Animal Registration System
US7411492B2 (en) * 2005-03-09 2008-08-12 Stephen Jay Greenberg Pet tracking systems, other tracking systems, and portable virtual fence
US20060224625A1 (en) * 2005-04-05 2006-10-05 Warner Chris J Alert method and apparatus for identifying pets available for adoption
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