January 29, 2015 03:15 PM

Students at the University of Colorado Boulder are putting their computer science skills to good use for animals and pet owners, creating a website that will help reunite missing pets, often lost in natural disasters, with their owners.

The site, emergencypetmatcher.com, will launch officially after the next future natural disaster, USA Today reported of the effort, which the creators hope will become a “one-stop” place online to reconnect upset families with their lost furry friends.

The site works by allowing those with missing pets to post photos online. Those who may have found or seen those missing can also post and each side can suggest possible matches, which are also voted “up” or “down” by other website viewers, USA Today said.

Once a photo gets several matches from each side, emails are sent to connect the parties in an effort to create a happy and no-doubt relieved homecoming.

Recent disasters like Superstorm Sandy exposed the need for helping missing pets get home, including one family who found their lost dog after going to a shelter to adopt a new one.

Thousands of animals went missing after 2006’s Hurricane Katrina, prompting an massive outreach to save and re-home many of them as well as several lawsuits over new owner adoptions.

To broaden their efforts, the Colorado students are also at work on creating a bridge that will connect shelters and rescues to their pet-finder site, USA Today said.

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