App could be a vital lifeline to injured wildlife

Just about everyone has been in a situation where they have been faced with an injured wild animal. There is always that awkward moment of uncertainty about what should be done to help the animal. An app produced by a group in Colorado hopes to one day fix that issue.

The Boulder, Colo.  group known as Animal Watch has developed an app and a website in the hopes of providing aid to both animal and rescuer, both of which make getting animals the help they need much easier. The app version of AnimalHelpNow is only available on iPad and iPhone, but it is free to download and use.

Screenshot of the AnimalHelpNow app. Image from iTunes App Store.

The app attempts to make finding help for an injured animal as simple as possible for a potentially panicked rescuer. Using either the computer’s IP address or the phone’s GPS, the app will find the closest veterinary clinic or group that helps to rehabilitate animals. After establishing where a user is, the app will then ask users a series of simple questions such as if they are able to transport the animal, whether or not it is a domestic animal or wild animal, etc. These questions help the app to determine the best local group or vet for the person to go to or contact.

The app attempts to help users quickly and effectively reach out and help wildlife; while this is its major function, it also enables users to report animal abuse. It also will allow users to report lost or found pets.

The major drawback with this app is that it is only for Colorado. The developers of the app hope to extend it to different states. There is no way for them to do that, but there are plans to enable users to input information into the app, which will give the developers the ability to develop custom lists for different states and localities.

One of the best things about this app is it is designed to work without Internet access of any sort. This enables users who may be out in the middle of nowhere with no cell service to still help an animal in need by putting in the required information.

If development goes as planned, this app could bring needed help to wildlife and would be rescuers of wildlife alike. This app is an example of how a little creative thinking with modern technology can go a long way toward providing a valuable service that many can make use of.