Haachy is using AI to reunite lost pets and their owners

What would you do if your beloved pet went missing? Most people would post on social media, call their local vet or animal shelter, and go out on foot looking for the pet. But what happens if you don’t find the pet in the first few hours? You start to rely on pure coincidence to find the animal for you, and as the hours and days go by, your social media posts get harder and harder to find. After his dog ran away, Hariharan Jayaraman realized that the way we look for lost pets is seriously flawed. Frustrated with the lack of infrastructure in place, he and his team created Haachy.

Named after the famous Japanese dog Hachiko, Haachy uses artificial intelligence to help find lost pets. Their proprietary image recognition algorithm uses any image of a pet – taken with a smartphone, at a distance, or even in low light – to recognize and identify an animal. Other technologies in this sector use facial recognition, meaning that the image must be taken up close – and the animal has to sit still. Not a lot of people want to walk up to a stray and potentially unfriendly animal to take its picture up-close. Haachy eliminates this need, while also consolidating information from local SPCAs, animal shelters and major Facebook communities in order to provide the best chance of finding a lost pet. Haachy keeps track of all of the different information sources, and will notify you if your pet has been found or spotted. Hari has also partnered with a pet tracking agency, to get people on the ground looking for your pet who know what they’re doing.

When Hari’s husky ran away, all he wanted was a way to get his dog back, no matter the cost. Unfortunately, there was no system in place to help him. “My first reaction was to Google stuff, and people said report it to the SPCA. Those guys wanted me to stop looking for my dog, drive over there, write out a written complaint and staple a photo to it – all for it to go in a file just in case someone found my dog and brought him in.” This was Hari’s classic “there has to be a better way” moment, and he decided to create the service he had so desperately wanted.

“It doesn’t happen to you until it happens to you – nobody expects to lose their pet, but it happens all the time. There are a lot of instances where these animals are recovered after weeks or months in a different county altogether.” – Hariharan Jayamaran, CEO of Manakn Corp

Haachy will be available in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Stratford and Perth regions in the coming weeks. They are also looking to grow their team in order to accommodate the larger service area and help find more pets.