(ANIMAL TECHNOLOGY) COLORADO — A non-profit group based in Boulder, Colorado has developed an app that will help you prepare for any animal emergency that comes your way. If you encounter a hurt, sick, distressed or abused animal, Animal Help Now will direct you to the closest veterinarian, wildlife rehab, animal advocacy organization or shelter depending on the emergency. Read on for more on this new animal technology. — Global Animal
Psychology Today, Marc Bekoff
It’s often very difficult to be fully prepared for animal emergencies. Most of us have the telephone number of our local veterinarian close at hand. But what if you need a veterinarian and you’re on the road? What if you need help with a wildlife issue? What if it’s 3 in the morning? Road kill, for example, kills millions of animals a day in the United States and many animals languish in deep and enduring pain as they slowly die. I can well remember wanting to help an injured animal when hiking or on the road, but didn’t have the faintest idea of what to do.
It’s always wonderful to learn of practical projects that help to save animals and alleviate pain in difficult/emergency situations. As Hal Herzog points out, “we can learn a lot about human nature by studying how we think about and act toward other species”, and this is certainly true when we encounter other animals who need our help immediately.
A non-profit group named Animal Watch, based in Boulder, Colorado, has developed a new way of helping animals using digital technology. The group has developed an iPhone app and website for anyone who encounters a lost, injured, sick, abused, or distressed animal. This project, Animal Help Now, directs users to the closest and most appropriate veterinarians, wildlife rehabbers, shelters, animal advocacy organizations, or law enforcement agencies, depending upon the animals’ situations. The Droid application is in development and is expected to launch before the end of May. The phone apps are free.
The initial service area is Colorado, but the group hopes to begin expanding throughout the United States before the end of 2012.
Animal Help Now asks a few basic questions about the animal and the situation, such as the kind of animal, the animal’s condition, and whether the user is able to transport the animal. Factoring in the time of day and the location of the user, the application provides contact information for the closest appropriate helpers.
The program underlying the applications is structured to address almost every emergency situation involving an animal, including abuse and neglect, animal issues involving human safety (such as cows in the road), injured wildlife, sick or injured companion animals and farmed animals, and lost and found companion animals.
Animal Help Now provides a long-overdue service that will no doubt save the lives of many animals and alleviate excruciating pain and suffering. Finding the right help during emergencies can be a difficult and time-consuming task that may cost an animal his or her life. Internet searches during a crisis may reveal many of the more popular helpers, but the best results for a specific situation or emergency may not be shown. Furthermore, internet searches may not base results on the time of day or location. Additionally, many veterinarians and wildlife rehabbers do not have web pages, which means those helpers will be absent from many search results. Animal Help Now makes it easy and fast to contact the right help no matter how remote the location or what the situation.
Animal Help Now raises the status of animals in society by demonstrating that animal emergencies deserve immediate attention. The development and distribution of this technology may well contribute to a thoughtful consideration of the nature of the relationship between human and non-human animals.
For more information about Animal Help Now, visit their website. You can also follow Animal Help Now on Twitter and on Facebook. And, more importantly, you can help develop an organization in your home town or state that can help animals in need. Animal Help Now is a wonderful and inspirational model to follow.