Webcams in shelter

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Modern technology has been put to good use to improve the care for animals in a shelter and, even more importantly, to help find these animals a good home.
Dogs in an animal shelter in Zandvoort (Netherlands) were filmed, and these films were paired with the descriptions of the animals. This was done to give potential dog owners a better idea of their future housemates and to increase the chances of a better match between owners and pets. Once the prospective owner has met the dog, he or she can now watch the animal ‘live’ by using a special log-in code. The future owner can thus get to know the dog better before making a final choice. The webcam images give people a more accurate idea of a dog’s character, as the behaviour of many shelter dogs changes when new people are present.

The webcams are also helpful for the shelter staff: they can keep an eye on the dogs without disturbing the animals. In addition, the cameras allow the behaviour of dogs in the absence of people to be studied, which can lead to improvements – such as changes in daily routine – for shelter stays.

This innovation is a Dierenbescherming (Humane Society) pilot project, financed with a donation from Mars Petcare.