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A helping hand for a lost paw

Anyone who has had the misfortune to lose a pet will know how heartbreaking and frustrating it is to try to locate them. Most of the time you have to resort to pictures on lamp posts and ringing round the local vets.

Now, thanks to the power of the Internet there is a solution - PawTraxTM. The idea for PawTraxTM came to its founder, Peter Callaway, while doing his day job tracking buses around London. PawTraxTM relies on a network of eagle eyed volunteers from taxi drivers and bus drivers to the local postman (or woman).

To link them altogether Peter has developed a sophisticated mapping system online at (pawtrax.co.uk) which graphically shows details of every pet reported to PawTraxTM that has either gone missing or has been found.

Details of pets that are not reported directly to PawTraxTM are collected from the Internet using various web technologies and added to the map on a daily basis.

Within minutes of reporting the loss and e-mailing a photo of the missing pet, PawTraxTM goes to work circulating the details and the photo to the entire team of 'PawTrackers' and vets, dog walkers, kennels and catteries too, thus increasing the chances that your pet is going to be spotted as early as possible.

Peter, who is also the sites Webmaster said, ‘It’s vital to ‘spread the word’ as quickly and as far reaching as possible, by incorporating RSS Feeds, a Blog and dynamically updating banners into the site helps us to achieve this’.

With 5700 dogs and cats going missing EVERY WEEK, 38 per cent of which are stolen, the PawTraxTM service is a must.

Unlike some other pet finding sites PawTraxTM is entirely FREE, the cost of running the site is borne out of advertising revenue and sponsors.

Why not give PawTraxTM a click; whether you've lost or found a pet, or you want to become a volunteer PawTracker or one of their sponsors Peter would love to hear from you.

Pick-a-Paw: PawTraxTM is also hoping to raise funds for The Animal Health Trust and Cambridge Veterinary Trust by asking visitors to upload a picture of a paw together with details of a lost pet, a company logo etc. onto a grid of 10,000 squares. When the ‘pawgrid’ is completely full of Paws, PawTraxTM will have raised £10,000.