Scroll through your local Nextdoor, Craigslist or Facebook site and you’re sure to see far too many notices of lost, found or wandering dogs. Ditto when you walk around your neighborhood, go to your vet’s office or stop by the pet supply store.

While all these notices are good as far as they go, they’re siloed, restricted to their respective venues. Making connections across all these platforms isn’t necessarily easy, or even possible. What’s needed is a nationwide lost-and-found pet database, one that harnesses the power of the internet and the capacity to search and sort that databases provide. Luckily, several have come online over the past few years, including one we find particularly noteworthy.

More than 20 years ago, Maresa Fanelli, a retired French professor living in Ohio, had a distressing experience while looking for a lost cat. That experience inspired her to…

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