ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Although National Lost Dog and Cat Awareness Day is still a few days away, Angels of Assisi is joining forces with Petco Love and animal welfare groups across the country to help reunite missing pets with their families.

According to industry statistics, one in every three pets will go missing in their lifetime. However, Angels of Assisi says a new program, “Petco Love Lost,” is a searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to simplify and speed up the process of finding lost pets.

Starting Wednesday, April 21, this tool will reportedly be accessible to participating animal organizations across the country, 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 Dayna Reynolds, Director of Communications at Angels of Assisi. “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 the Roanoke Valley.”

“We know that one in three pets goes missing in their lifetime, an estimated 10 million pets each year, and we’re not ok with that,” President of Petco Love, Susanne Kogut, said. “That gives us 10 million reasons why we created Petco Love Lost, because we believe nothing is more important than keeping people and pets together for a lifetime of love. Together with Angels of Assisi, our goal is to keep pets where they belong — at home, with you.”

For more information about the Petco Love Lost program, follow this link.