Track Your Pet’s Location and Activity Levels From Anywhere With This Incredible GPS Monitor

Findster, YouTube
Findster, YouTube

If it’s getting distressingly late and your partner still hasn’t gotten home from work yet, a quick text is all it takes to find out where they are and alleviate your worry. Unfortunately, due to a lack of literacy skills and opposable thumbs, the same can’t be said for our pets.

To keep you from having to wonder if your pet is still safe at home whenever you’re at work, out of town, or even on a quick trip to the grocery store, there’s Findster Home—a device that tracks your pet’s location without requiring a cellular connection to send GPS coordinates. Funded in just three days on Kickstarter, you can get your own Findster Home—with one Basestation, one Pet Module and USB charger, and 12 months of Findster Care—for the early-bird price of $169 by heading here. There are also more packages available, depending on your needs.

All you have to do when using Findster is set the small, sleek Basestation somewhere in your home; attach a lightweight, waterproof Pet Module to each collar of up to three pets; and download the Findster app on your smartphone. After that, you’ll be able to check your pet’s location from anywhere. If your pet does happen to escape, the Findster app—and a text message, if you choose—will alert you immediately, along with any other friends or family members who are connected to your pet through the app.

Is your pet trained to have room to roam? You can define a “virtual fence” to run around the perimeter of your yard or even your whole neighborhood, and Findster won’t alert you unless your pet has left that area.

While the GPS tracking capabilities will certainly eliminate that nagging anxiety about your pet’s safety whenever you’re not with them, it’s far from Findster's only offering. It also monitors your pet’s behavior when they’re securely inside, compiling data on their activity levels and indoor location, so you can see where they spend the most time during the day, how much exercise and rest they’re getting, and more. Essentially, Findster Home fills you in on all the information you’d get from a full-time pet sitter.

findster home
Findster, YouTube

To help you interpret that data, the makers of Findster Home have developed Findster Care, a subscription service that includes 24/7 access to a veterinarian, analysis of your pet’s daily activity, and early detection of possible health issues based on that analysis over time. Though it’s optional, all Findster Home purchases come with one full year of Findster Care for free.

You can get your own Findster by heading to its Kickstarter page here. You'll have until December 14 to back the product, which is scheduled to begin shipping next June.

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Therapy Puppy Provides Comfort to Grieving Families at North Carolina Funeral Home

AllenSphoto, iStock via Getty Images
AllenSphoto, iStock via Getty Images

Emotional support animals have become common sights at places like airports, and now the funeral industry is embracing their therapeutic benefits. As WGAL reports, Macon Funeral Home in North Carolina now has a Bernese mountain dog puppy to provide comfort to grieving clients.

Nine-week-old Mochi isn't a fully trained therapy dog yet, but she's already winning over visitors. Tori McKay, Macon's funeral office administrator, had dreamed of bringing a grief-support dog into the business for a decade. Shortly after her 30th birthday on January 4, she and her husband "decided that Mochi would make a wonderful addition to our family and this decade of our lives," she wrote on the funeral home's website.

McKay chose a Bernese mountain dog for the breed's affectionate personality, relaxed disposition, and successful history as an emotional support animal. Between ages 6 months to 1 year, Mochi will receive therapy dog training in Asheville. The plan is to eventually make her available to families upon request and bring her to nursing homes to meet with residents. Until then, the puppy is meeting guests in a more casual setting as she gets used to socializing with strangers.

"Stop by and meet her, she loves making new friends!" a post on the funeral home's Facebook page reads.

[h/t WGAL]

One of the World’s Most Dangerous Spiders Could Invade Homes after Australia's Recent Rainfall

Ian Waldie, Getty Images
Ian Waldie, Getty Images

While recent rainfall has been a welcome change in Australia after destructive bushfires caused a widespread crisis, it hasn’t come without an asterisk. According to the Australian Reptile Park, the wet and warm conditions have made Sydney funnel web spiders highly active—and the funnel web spider happens to be one of the most venomous arachnids on the planet.

In a video the park shared on Facebook, officials warn that the weather might cause a marked increase in the spiders' activity, as males cover territory in search of a mate. They might be found in shoes, in laundry, or in yards. Fortunately, Atrax robustus is easy to identify, with its shiny body providing a helpful visual cue to immediately begin walking in the other direction.

Male funnel webs are thought to have venom up to six times more dangerous than females and also tend to move around more, making human encounters with them more likely. Because they can’t climb smooth surfaces, funnel webs are also prone to burrowing in piled-up clothing or other hiding spaces, providing an unwelcome surprise for anyone looking to retrieve their discarded shirt or socks.

The funnel web is also aggressive, quick to attack when provoked, and packs a powerful enough bite to pierce shoes. After being bitten, pain, muscle spasms, and pulmonary edema follow. Victims should use a compression bandage and limb immobilization to compress surface tissue until they receive medical attention.

Though the species is believed to have caused 13 human deaths, there haven’t been any fatalities attributable to a funnel web bite since 1981. That’s due in large part to antivenom made from milked spiders, an advancement that saved the life of a 10-year-old boy, Matthew Mitchell, bitten by the spider in 2017. The spider was loitering in his shoe and bit him on the finger. After 12 vials of antivenom, Mitchell made a complete recovery.

The Australian Reptile Park is actually encouraging citizens to trap the spiders and bring them in to drop-off sites to aid in the antivenom production effort. They advise nudging the spider into a plastic or glass container with a spoon. Extreme caution should be exercised, but you knew that.

[h/t CNET]