Local Government Magazine
Emergency Management

New animal welfare chatbot

New animal welfare chatbot
Situate Me Launches Ema For Animals. Left to right: Ella Harnish, Helen Wang, Andreas Benz and Rob Gourdie with Mac the Huntaway.

Situate Me has launched a new animal welfare add-on that allows pet owners to register their animals left home alone in an emergency. The organisation is the emergency management crowd sourcing specialist behind the compassionate Virtual Disaster Assistant, Ema.

Pet owners who are not at home, or who are prevented from returning home, to look after their animals when disaster strikes, can now register their unattended pet with Ema. The chatbot takes the owner through a series of conversational questions to establish the type of animal, the gender, any medical issues, special needs or dangerous or anti-social characteristics.

From a cloud-based dashboard, authorities who have installed the platform can gauge the scale of the operation in advance of heading into a disaster zone. Emergency responders can view mapped data to assess the extent of the unattended animal issue and plan how best to prioritise check-ups, rescue and re-location.

Situate Me is inviting local councils and emergency management groups to evaluate the unattended animal situational awareness tool with a view to including it in their preparedness resources.

Rob Gourdie, Situate Me’s co-founder, says the unattended animal bot is a first for the emergency management industry and will transform the animal welfare effort in an emergency situation. Find out more about the animal welfare resource – which also includes a register for unattended livestock – at www.situateme.com/animalwelfare.


This article was first published in the October 2019 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.