A NEW app has been launched to harness the power of the community to find lost pets.

Basingstoke resident Mike Peates, via his technology company Owow Innovation has set up the app called Rescuar for Pets which pledges to combine technology with the power of social community to help owners to search and find their lost pets.

The app is designed to be downloaded before an emergency occurs but can be used at the point of crisis.

Owners add minimal details of their pet, including a picture, and when their pet disappears it takes one press of the pet’s icon to alert all other app users, within a defined radius.

When someone finds or sees the missing pet, they can call the owner at the touch of a button which negates the need to approach the animal which may be distressed.

Mr Peates, who has had backing from the SetSquared project in Basingstoke, said: “We noticed when pets go missing, owners generally seek help on social media and lost and found websites at least an hour or two after the event, but more often days later.

"After talking to dog wardens it became clear the most critical time is the first few minutes but there was nothing available to provide that immediacy of creating a local search team.

"We wanted to make it as simple as possible to use because the owners are already in a heightened state of distress and don’t want to be spending time filling out social media posts or website forms.”

The Rescuar for Pets mobile app is available from Google Play Store at a cost of 99p.