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Cutting Edge Kiwi Canine Website is Global Phenomenon

( More than 1.2 million people from 207 countries have logged onto a new website developed to help rescue the thousands of dogs abandoned in New Zealand every year.

The state-of-the-art Kiwi website, Doggelgänger, uses cutting-edge human to canine pairing software to connect homeless dogs to their human doubles.

Developed by facial recognition experts NEC, the software is being used by the Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust in this year’s annual campaign, which aims to give homeless dogs in New Zealand a second chance at life.

The website has been visited more than 1.5 million times by over 1.2 million people in countries including the United States, Taiwan, Brazil, Iraq and Angola.

Pedigree marketing manager Oliver Downs says the company is thrilled with the traffic to the website to date.

“These statistics are unprecedented. The website was only launched a few weeks ago and has been averaging around 80,000 hits a day so we can only hope that these numbers continue to grow. However at the end of the day, our main goal is that the Doggelgänger site connects homeless dogs throughout the country with loving new homes,” Downs says.

The development of Doggelgänger by NEC follows a 2004 study by the University of California San Diego that found when people look for a canine companion, they look for one that resembles themselves. The study concluded that dogs are more likely to be chosen by a person who shares similar features.

NEC’s Head of Research and Development Glen Cameron says the core technology “NeoFace” has been ranked* as the world’s most accurate at comparing human to human faces.

The software is also used internationally in applications such as anti-terrorism and automated border control.

Cameron says the technology works by looking for visual areas of similarity between browsers and an abandoned canine looking for a home.

The Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust is part of a global programme established by Pedigree to help raise awareness and funds for desperate dogs in local communities, helping to house, feed and care for the unwanted canines. It is estimated that more than 10,000** dogs are abandoned by their owners each year in New Zealand.

For more information on the Pedigree Adoption Drive and Doggelgänger see

Media Release 11 July 2011.



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