FALL RIVER — Searching for a lost dog or cat can be agonizing for pet owners and to help alleviate the distress, Forever Paws Animal Shelter is partnering with FindingRover.com, a social media app that uses facial recognition technology to help find lost pets.

Shelter administrator Casey Fredette sits behind his desk with his new side kick, Walker, whom he recently adopted. An adorable three-legged black basset hound mix, Fredette is clearly smitten.

“If this little thing was lost I’d be ransacking the neighborhood to try and find her,” Fredette said.

Recently while attending a professional conference, Fredette said FindingRover.com came up in conversation.

“Two people had their stories about losing their pets and using this software. They found their animals where they least expected to find them,” Fredette said.

A free app for both users and organizations, FindingRover is funded by the Petco Foundation and has been up and running since 2014. It’s run by the organization Adopt-A-Pet.Com, an organization that Forever Paws also works in partnership.

“It uses facial recognition that, when I first heard that I laughed, but then they explained that essentially human facial recognition is actually more difficult because the software all basically considers us to have the same flat face with very few contours,” Fredette said.

“But with dogs and cats, they have distinctive muzzles. They’ve got the big ears, the small ears and it’s a lot easier. They boast a 90 percent accuracy rate of recognition.”

Users can register their pet on the app by uploading pictures of their dogs and people who find a lost animal can also upload a picture of the missing pet.

On Forever Paws end, the animals found as strays by the three animal control officers from the municipalities of Fall River and New Bedford and Westport, are entered into the shelter’s operating software, are marked as strays and automatically be uploaded to the FindingRover system.

Fredette said every animal that enters the shelter is photographed and added to their database.

“So if you lose your pet you find your pet’s most recent photo, download the app or go to their website. They’ll ask you your location, your contact info and upload the picture and then it starts running it through the data base,” Fredette said.

The app then matches the shelter’s information with the pet owner’s information and gives notification that there is a match and gives the information where the animal is located.

There are many good pet finder sites on social media by people doing good work to help and many pet owners will place notifications on posters in an effort to find their lost dog or cat.

That has led in some instances of abuse of a bad situation and targeting desperate pet owners through scams.

“The problem is the worst of human nature likes to pray on the best of human nature,” Fredette said. “It’s a great way to get pets back to their people and help mitigate some of the issues.”