Animals connect with owners by cell phone

Abbey Stirgwolt

For those who feel their cell phone contact list is a little skimpy, or for those who are looking for a new friend with whom they can spend some free time chatting, or even for those who are simply concerned about their pet’s general welfare, technology comes through once again with the latest in cellular breakthroughs: the PetsCell.

Introduced by PetsMobility Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., PetsCell is the first mobile device on the market designed especially for pets.

The bone-shaped phone is similar in size to a standard “human” cell phone and is designed to attach to the front of a pet’s collar.

The PetsCell uses GPS technology to establish two-way “voice” connections between pet and owner, as it is designed to automatically “pick up” after one ring when an owner calls his or her pet.

If Fido barks, the owner can be relieved to know he is at least still breathing.

In addition, the device features a “callback” button that the lost dog’s finder can push to connect to its owner, a PetsMobility representative told CNN.

“The ability to talk to your pet from a distance on the pet’s own cellular phone is definitely novel,” PetsCell inventor Cameron Robb said.

Robb told CNN he hopes the invention will eventually be adapted to be used in search-and-rescue or with the military, in addition to being a boon for concerned pet owners who haven’t seen their furry friend in the past few hours.

Though PetsCell is the first device on the market to allow two-way communication between pets and their owners, the concept of using technology — namely microchips — to locate lost pets is not entirely original, as companies like the HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service advertise the use of microchips as “permanent pet identification,” according to the HomeAgain Web site.

The product is not sold in stores, but is set to be available for distribution this spring and can be viewed on the company’s Web site at

Contact technology reporter Abbey Stirgwolt at [email protected]