Longtime Parkite develops a free smartphone app to help locals locate lost pets
For information about the Dog-Gone Park City app, visit the Google and Apple app stores, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Park City residents often see their dogs and cats as their own children, and they know what it’s like when they get lost.
Longtime Parkite Ed Parigian has found a way to quickly reunite these lost pets with their owners, and launched the Dog-Gone Park City app earlier this month.
The app, which is available as a free download at the Google and Apple app stores, is a simple and safe way to find or report lost animals, Parigian said.
“Dog-Gone was a catchy name, but it’s not just dogs,” he said. “If you have a cat, you can use it for your cat. If you lose a giraffe, you can use it for that, too.”
The idea of the app is saving time, Parigian said.
“If you lose your pet, it takes a lot of time to report it to KPCW or the police and wait for them to get it on the air,” he said. “But if you have this app, you can report a lost dog and anyone else who has the app will get an instant pop-up notification.”
Users can click the notification and immediately connect with the pet’s photo and geo-location information of where it was last seen.
“Everyone will know about the pet within seconds of the reporting, and will be able to get their eyes on the ground,” Parigian said. “It’s like an Amber Alert, but for dogs. So you can call it a Fido Alert.”
Parigian, who has lived in Park City for nearly 50 years, came up with the Dog-Gone Park City app idea almost four summers ago, while hiking with Turbo, his border collie, in Round Valley.
“We met this obviously lost dog and I told him we would find his owner,” he said.
After calling the radio station and the police, it still took three hours to find the owner, Parigian said.
“During all that time I was envisioning and designing this app in my head,” he said. “I kept working on it. Then about a year ago, I decided to really do it and found an app developer, and he began working on it in December.”
The Dog-Gone Park City app requires owners to enter their profiles and contact information and their pets’ profiles.
“It’s important to activate the app once downloaded,” Parigian said. “All you do is input your personal profile and zip code, and then set up all your pets’ info, including two good pictures — a head shot and body shot — which you can take from within the app.”
All the information is secure and used only for the app, Parigian said.
“I don’t save it or use it in any way,” he said.
The app’s reach is limited by zip codes — 84060 and 84098 — which is basically Park City proper and Snyderville Basin.
“The area can be expanded,” Parigian said. “I can come up with another version of the app for all of Summit County and Wasatch County, which may come in the future. I just didn’t want the area to be too big so that people were being inundated with notifications.”
The app is and will always be free, although it does feature donation and sponsorship buttons.
“It does cost money to upgrade and keep the app current, so if anyone feels inclined to donate they can,” Parigian said.
Anyone interested in sponsoring the app can click the sponsorship button or contact Parigian directly by emailing email@example.com.
“We are limiting it to 10 sponsors a year,” he said. “They will be on a banner that rotates every minute.”
Parigian feels Park City pet owners could use the app more than ever.
“People have been spending more time with their pets because there’s really nothing else you can do with COVID,” he said. “Pets are precious. And we hope you never need it, but if you do, it will be right there.”
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