DALLAS-BASED STARTUP HAS NEARLY 900 CUSTOMERS USING THE SERVICE
Having a pet run away can be a frantic, stressful, and helpless experience. But like many of today’s problems, technology offers a solution.
The PawTracker allows pet owners to track their pets’ whereabouts in real time, making your lost dog or cat as easy to find as a restaurant on Google Maps.
Founder and CEO Daniel Bagwell invented the device with his business partner and CFO Scott Roberts after Bagwell’s injured cat ran away for three days. The cat eventually came back and had even received medical treatment, but they didn’t know who had taken the cat in.
Bagwell, a Dallas native, also nearly lost his dog, Biscuit, who was microchipped.
“With the PawTracker, you don’t have to wait for a call from the animal shelter — you can grab your phone and find your pet,” he said. “GPS technology has evolved to the point where every pet owner should have access to it and that’s part of our mission.”
PawTracker has a Kickstarter campaign running through Dec. 15 with a goal of reaching $25,000. It plans to use the money for building and updating the mobile app that controls the device.
The PawTrack hardware, which clips to the collar, has its own cell phone number and can send alerts when prompted by the app.
So far, it has nearly 900 customers who pay a subscription fee for the service. It’s $9.95 per month or $100 for a year.
“With the PawTracker, you don’t have to wait for a call from the animal shelter — you can grab your phone and find your pet.”
“It’s real time tracking to the dot where you are and there’s a line connecting them,” Bagwell said.
Other features include historical routes, allowing pet owners to track where their pet went that day. That could be helpful for cat owners who want to know their felines’ favorite haunts.
There’s also geofencing, where pet owners set a perimeter around their house and if the pet escapes that ring, they are notified via text. Pet owners can also call the device and listen to the noise in the area.
The PawTracker does need to be charged every few days or sooner, depending on how often the owner pings the device. It can ping every 30 seconds, every 10 minutes, or hour.
Just this month, PawTracker received official authorized dealer status from T-Mobile, which allows it to turn on the SIM cards remotely when devices are activated.
That’s important because it would allow PawTracker to sell devices in retail stores without having to pay for the cell service until its sold, Bagwell said.
He acknowledges that other companies are building similar devices, but the paw print look and various styles and colors make the PawTracker device stand out.
Bagwell lucked out with the hardware manufacturing, finding a company in China that could make it quickly.
While PawTracker is his full-time job, he also helps other businesses with search engine optimization.
So far, he’s generating 1,500 unique hits a day to his website without paying Google at all.
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