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Monday, November 30, 2009

Testing out the SpotLight GPS Pet Protection System!

Late this past summer, the nice folks at Spotlight GPS Pet Locator sent us one of their doggie GPS units to try out!

After a little learning curve, we were having some good fun testing it. Lucky for us we didn't need it fur real. But I have to say that if we did, this little piece of technology certainly would have helped us!

SpotLight GPS Pet Locator is a pet protection system combining GPS tracking technology and dedicated 24/7/365 American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery service.

Here's how it works...you charge up the unit, sign up for the service on the SpotLight website, configure your information (pet's name, home safety zone, alert functions, etc.) put it on your pup's collar, turn it on and you are good to go.

Coverage will vary depending upon where you live. SpotLight works with almost all cellular carriers and you do not have to be a T-Mobile customer to use SpotLight. However, SpotLight uses T-Mobile to send messages to your cell phone, so you'll need to check your location on the coverage map to make sure SpotLight can effectively communicate with you.

We had a little learning curve to decipher whether the unit was working, and how it worked...and there were times it worked a bit sporadically. But overall, we were super pleased, because when we tested it out, we thought it would certainly help us if Gracie ever pulled one of her 'escape artist' tricks. We are sure that we would have a much better chance of finding her, much more quickly and safely.

We've been testing it out now and then with our walks, and once we felt comfortable that it was working well, and we understood all the cool bells and whistles, we took it out for a final test drive this past weekend on our six mile hike.

Gracie wore the unit for us since it fit well on her harness, and we didn't think that it would hamper her movement through the brush. The company had sent us some nice covers for the unit, so that we didn't worry about it getting damaged as she trampled through the mud, burrs, brush, leaves, river and more. See, there she is sniffing up the trash barrel...you can see the unit attached to her harness. It has very nice doubled velcro attachment that would take a whole lot more than Gracie could dish out to get that off her.

We started out on the quick one mile drive to the park, and just as we turned the corner, Mum got a text message that "Johann (since we imputed into the system as me, Johann) has left the Home Primary SafeSpot", which we set up as 100 yards in the system. Great, working well!

As we continued on our hike, we checked a few times to make sure the unit was still picking up a signal by looking at the little blinking lights, and each time it was.

During the hike Mum got another text message that said "Alert! Johann may have been stolen" since we were so far away from home, had taken a break on the hike, and were in one spot for a few minutes. That's cool, because it would have told us where I was if I really was stolen.

Then when we were done with our hike and just turning into our driveway, Mum got another text message that said "Relax! Johann has re-entered the Home Primary SafeSpot." Which meant that I was home!!!

When Mum checked her email after we had dinner, she saw all those text messages in her email inbox too. And then she logged into the site to check our 'history' and see where we had been...it tracked us in four spots throughout our six mile hike.

Very slick!

The unit costs $249.99 and the service costs $7.99 to $19.99 per month depending upon your level of events (events are times that your pet escapes :). A pittance of what it could cost to recover your pet if lost...not to mention the heartache, and piece of mind.

The unit, developed by Positioning Animals Worldwide, Inc. (PAW), utilizes the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) program. AKC CAR is an affiliate of the American Kennel Club® and the largest non-profit pet recovery service provider in North America.

Here's more about how it works:
  • SpotLight customers receive a lifetime enrollment in AKC CAR, which includes a collar tag with unique ID number, with a system that recovers: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • If your dog escapes, SpotLight alerts you via text message, email or both. To ensure immediate recovery, you'll then receive the dog’s real-time location and turn-by-turn directions to the dog.
  • Also, the AKC CAR recovery team is “on call” and available around the clock for hands-on assistance to assist with the tracking and recovery. SpotLight comes equipped with a “rescue” button so that if the pet is found, a Good Samaritan can notify the owner and AKC CAR.
  • The unit has a bright LED beacon that helps owners locate their pet at night from up to 100 yards away.
Very cool, and very useful technology! Thanks SpotLight GPS for providing us with this very useful product...we just hope we never have to use it :)

5 comments:

  1. Very cool. One of the many advances in dog ownership - things like this, microchips, etc are invaluable for so many..

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  2. that is a very cool idea but a little pricey for many people no matter how much they love their pets. There is a similar product that was developed for children and works in basically the same way that is about half the price.

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  3. It is really a nice idea for taking care of our pets. The SpotLight GPS Pet Locator, a GPS system you use for your pets, is a great way to have complete access to your pet’s location and protection right at your hands. Now, we can do everything from tracking location to customizing safe areas, all on our iPhone!

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  4. The ability to keep track of your pet has been a problem for decades, especially if he runs off your home. It really makes sense to invest in a GPS Pet Protection System because the chances of locating your lost pet or dog with  this system will be increased  exponentially.

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  5. Wow this looks really cool. We've been searching for a good system to use that wouldn't be cruel, but something that would be very effective. I like that they're on-call 24 hours. Pretty expensive but may well be worth it.

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Thanks for barking in!

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