Lost Pet Search and Capture Equipment
The following lost pet recovery and prevention products are recommended by Lost Pet Research and Recovery. You may be able to find reviews and additional information on these products in the Lost Pet Research Blog.
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These are used to determine the presence of a lost pet, establish behavior patterns and/or monitor a live trap. In general, they are motion activated and will take a photo or video of anything that walks in front of them. Very useful for escaped indoor-only cats, displaced outdoor-access cats and skittish lost dogs.
These cameras use the cellular network to transmit photos to your phone and/or computer. Cell cameras are the best option for monitoring feeding stations and traps IF you have good cellular service in the area. However, they are more expensive and require a monthly service plan.
Unfortunately, there isn't a cellular camera available that has excellent reviews or works great all the time. The SpyPoint cameras are some of the cheapest available, but are prone to technical issues. I do use them, and they work fine most of the time. If you decide to purchase one, use referral email "email@example.com" when you activate and you will receive one free month of their premium photo transmission plan.
I have used the Covert Black Ops and Ridgetec cellular cameras and really like them both. While I have never used one, many lost dog trapping groups swear by the Arlo Go. If you are interested in Arlo Go, I would suggest visiting the Arlo website to find a camera in the cellular network that is best for your area. If you want to research other cellular cameras, check out the reviews on TrailCamPro.com.
These cameras work well for live monitoring of feeding stations and traps around your home (or any other area with wifi). Like a cell camera, they work with an app and will send photos and/or videos to your phone and/or computer. They are also good for monitoring entryways for a "house trap." Less expensive and generally do not require a monthly fee.
Comparison of Blink XT and Arlo Pro
SD Card Cameras
These wildlife cameras are motion activated and store all photos to an SD card, which you must remove to view the photos. Works well in areas without cell service or wifi. Best for establishing presence of a lost pet and patterns of behavior, but does not have live monitoring capability.
Browning strike Force
Browning Dark Ops
Browning Trail Cameras have been my favorite for a long time. Given the option, I would select a blackout or black flash camera like the Dark Ops. These are less visible to animals and people. Other good quality cameras are Bushnell, Moultrie, and Reconyx. For more information and reviews, check out TrailCamPro.com.
If you are on a tight budget, do a search for wildlife cameras on Amazon.com. They often have some for $40-$60. The biggest issues I have had with cheap cameras are an over-bright flash, blurry night photos and no way to attach a security cable. Most Browning, Bushnell, and Moultrie are compatible with a python cable lock.
Most cameras require the purchase of an SD card or microSD card. You may also need a card reader for your phone or computer. For security purposes, I recommend getting a good python cable lock and mini padlocks. Some of the cheaper cameras are not compatible with a cable lock. Good quality batteries like Energizer Ultimate Lithium will make your camera last longer. With lower quality batteries, some cameras may stop taking photos when the batteries fall below 50% power.
SD Card REader
For more information on finding and selecting traps, see these articles:
Tomahawk Cat Trap
Cat Drop Trap
Humane Way Dog Trap
Tomahawk Dog Trap
If trapping, the best option is to use a cellular or wifi camera to monitor the trap. The second best option is to alarm the trap using a driveway alarm. These can also be used to monitor an entryway for a "house trap."
Chamberlain Motion Alarm
Solar Driveway Alarm
I have been using the Chamberlain Motion Alarms for many years, but there are others in the $40 to $100+ dollar range that also have very good reviews. I would avoid the really cheap ones ($20 or less) due to their short signal range.
Don’t worry about losing your pet again with these lost pet tracking devices. Search dog Dante wore a Whistle GPS for most of his life and my own cats wear TabCat radio-trackers. For more information and reviews, check out the Lost Pet Research blog.