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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -
It may be the world's first photo Amber Alert for pets.
mobiPET is a system designed to help you quickly find your four-legged friend, and it was developed right here in the Lowcountry.
"When we started brainstorming this idea, I said 'Wow! Right now, if a pet goes missing and you're a pet owner, you go into this emotional panic,'" said mobiPET co-founder David Ropes.
He created mobiPET after noticing that there was nothing like it around.
These days, the retired marketing executive prefers his new title, Chief Pet Finder.
mobiPET is designed to help pet owners not waste precious time looking for their pets by doing all the work in advance.
All it takes is a photo of your pet and a mobiPET ID tag, much like a Social Security number.
"On the back, it has a metal engraved tag, it has three key tags," said Ropes.
If a pet goes missing, all you have to do is send a text to the address on the key tag. mobiPET will then send out a mass text and email alert.
"All of the neighbors within a two mile radius and all of the vets and shelters within a 30 mile radius," added Ropes.
And whether or not you own a pet, anyone can sign up for free through mobiPET's Petfinder program.
Ropes developed the idea with his business partner about a year and a half ago.
Despite his business expertise, he's using Internet crowdfunding to raise money for it.
"It's not just banks and venture capitalists and angel funds anymore, it's crowdfunding and this is a perfect example of that. mobiPET is a consumer based product which has a lot of people that are interested in it," said David Nelems, Executive Director of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation.
For pet owners, the cost is a one-time $24.95 fee.
So far the crowdfunding has been a little slow, but thanks to some new glowing blogger reviews, they are optimistic mobiPET will soon be stored in everyone's cell phone or key chain.
mobiPET is already available in most of the local pet stores and animal shelters around Bluffton and Hilton Head.
Ropes is planning to bring it to the national level this summer.