The Humane Society Waterville Area plans to join forces with Petco Love on April 23: National Lost Dog and Cat Awareness Day.

Petco Love is a national nonprofit working to lead and inspire change for animals, and animal welfare groups across the country, on a shared mission to help reunite lost pets with their families if they go missing. According to industry statistics, one in every three pets will go missing in their lifetime — an estimated 10 million pets each year.

Petco Love Lost is a new, searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to make finding lost pets quicker and easier. Beginning April 23, this simple-to-use tool will be easily accessible to participating animal organizations nationwide, as well as any pet parent or person who finds a lost pet. Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately scanned to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community.

“We see firsthand how quickly a pet can go missing, whether they were curious, following a scent, wandered through an open gate or became scared during a storm,” said Lisa Oakes, executive director of the Humane Society Waterville Area, according to a news release from the nonprofit. “We work tirelessly to care for pets, whether they’re awaiting their forever home or lost and need help getting back to their families. There’s nothing more rewarding than reuniting families with their beloved pets, and with Petco Love Lost, we’re confident it can lead to many more happy reunions, right here in Central Maine.”

To learn more about the Humane Society Waterville Area, visit hswa.org and follow the organization on Facebook. Visit petcolovelost.org for more information.