DENVER — Like many Coloradans, William Loopesko brings his dog with him almost everywhere.
“I like going hiking and camping, and when I got Clovis, I wanted to be able to include him in all those adventures,” Loopesko said.
But he soon realized that would mean leaving Clovis unattended if he had to make a bathroom stop or run a quick errand.
Loopesko started brainstorming, and eventually PuppTech was born. The portable device monitors heat and humidity inside the vehicle. It uses an algorithm to determine a dog’s comfort level based on their age, weight, breed and other factors. That information is sent to the owner through a smartphone app.
“When the dog is in a comfortable range, it’ll say "comfy" and it will be green, and then when it’s warm, it will go to orange, and then pretty quickly it will go up to red and say that Clovis is too hot,” Loopesko described.
PuppTech caught the attention of Denver technology accelerator Raika Technologies. CEO Cythnia Delaria said she felt a personal connection.
“I love animals, and any time someone is trying to solve a problem that allows people to spend more time with their dogs, I am all for it,” she said.
Delaria is also on the board of a husky rescue group, and said this is a common problem for groups that have to transport dogs.
“You can’t always tell if they’re comfortable in the back seat, or in the back of a van, or in a kennel, so having a way of monitoring that even when you’re right there, makes so much difference,” Delaria said.
Every PuppTech device also comes with window stickers to let other people know that the dog is being monitored. They can use a code on the sticker to check the temperature in the vehicle and alert the owner.
Loopesko said that hopefully this will eliminate the urge to break a window to rescue a dog, which is legal in Colorado if the dog is in danger.
“We’re not advocating that anyone should ever leave a dog in a car, we’re just acknowledging that this is a problem people have and they have to deal with, and we’re just trying to help them do it more safely,” said Loopesko.
PuppTech is now available for pre-sale through the company's website.