Michael Hamilton, founder of Peeva, is driven by his passion for dogs, particularly those that have been lost or stolen. Through this passion, Hamilton has built a business that has the potential to make a significant mark on the pet industry. The entrepreneur has set out to create a centralized database, via chips and scanners, where all pets‘ electronic records are stored.
Last week Hamilton announced that his company signed a Global Marketplace Partnership Agreement with Covetrus, a global animal-health technology and services company – formed from the recent merger of Vets First Choice and Henry Schein Animal Health. Peeva also has significant financial backing from two closed funding rounds, a working product, and paying customers. I had the opportunity to sit down with Hamilton to learn more about his company’s latest developments and what it means for pet owners.
According to Hamilton, the missing pet epidemic could be reduced to a much more manageable problem if scanning was the standard for all veterinarians and shelters. It turns out that the industry also lacks standardization, which means that a microchip will not likely be read if the pet is lost and taken to a shelter, or stolen and taken to another vet. This is something I found perplexing. Apparently, there are multiple microchip companies, multiple scanners, multiple frequencies in which they operate, multiple cataloging systems, and multiple registration databases. In other words, a scanner from microchip company A cannot read a microchip from microchip company B. Even if a chip can be read in certain instances, multiple registries need to be visited until a match is found. Then, when a registry is called, the calls are often placed on hold for long periods of time – veterinarians don’t have the time, staff, or resources to accommodate for the overall process. This has ultimately led to a lack of scanning for microchips altogether. As a result, pets that go missing are seldom recovered, Hamilton told me.
Peeva is the name of Hamilton’s dog.
“The lack of standardization issue is only one piece to the puzzle that we can resolve with our hardware and firmware alone,” Hamilton said, “To resolve this, we are ultimately resolving a data problem, by implementing a better system of data organization; however to do so, a critical mass of data is required. That is why this Covetrus partnership is so important to us.”
Currently, Peeva is pairing microchip identification numbers with their own pet medical records, which are then uploaded into one central location. The ability to pull up a pet’s complete medical history by scanning any brand of microchip streamlines veterinary workflow by making the transfer of information quick and easy, thus ensuring pet owners that their pets’ microchips will be scanned and read. The Peeva system will also notify rightful caring pet owners via mobile notifications – including the address, telephone number, and exact location on a map – whithin seconds of their pet’s microchip being scanned.
“The Covetrus Connected Marketplace integration and solution delivery platform provides a single point of integration with most practice management systems (PIMS), enabling trusted partners to provide innovative services to the veterinary community,” explained Hamilton. “The Covetrus arrangement will give us the opportunity to scale at a much quicker rate than we could have possibly imagined, as they will be making the introductions to the hospitals on our behalf as a trusted partner.”
Peeva pairs microchip identification numbers with their own medical records (into the Peeva system) at no cost to the veterinary practice or pet owner. The company will also be auto-enrolling each pet that is chipped with a Peeva universal microchip, into the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool, as the business scales. “This overcomes the objection of not yet being a known registry,” said Hamilton. “Every other company wants to be a central registry, but none are willing to share their data. We will be the first and only company to do this.”
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