Stray animals in the sights of iCouncil app

Tablelands Regional Council in Queensland is using app to capture data on stray animals

Queensland-based local government authority, Tablelands Regional Council, is using an iPhone/iPad app called iCouncil to allow animal inspectors and residents to capture photos of stray animals and upload them to the Council’s website, saving time in reporting.

The iCouncil app is designed to help more residents report stray animals, and it can be accessed by the 46,937 residents of the area to take photos of stray pets or wandering cattle.

Council animal inspectors can use the app to access records about animals such as the owner of the animal and its registration details. In addition, the app can be used offline if the inspector is outside of the 3G network coverage in far north Queensland.

Tablelands Regional Council chief executive, Ian Church, told Computerworld Australia that animal inspectors had increased productivity as they were able to access resident reports about stray animals on their device in more a timely fashion, rather than having to call the office for more details.

“If a resident sees a problem within an area they can take a photo [of the animal], and using the app, upload the image to our website,” Church said.

“It then turns into a customer request and is redirected to the inspector for attention.”

He added that the app is much more effective than verbal descriptions over the phone as inspectors have a photo of the animal and details of where it was seen.

“We’re also uploading photos of the stray animals onto the Tablelands Regional Council website that have been picked up and are in the pound so residents can see if their animal is there.”

“People have started to get used to checking the website first for lost animals rather than phoning us up and having someone check if it’s in the pound or not and which pound it has been taken to,” Church said.

“There are several pounds in the area and the animal may have been picked up a significant distance from where its owner lives.”

The app, developed by TechnologyOne, has also been modified for use by building inspectors.

For example, building inspectors can use the app when they are doing a compliance inspection on a building in progress and there are questions about the person’s application.

“The building inspector has got all that information on their iPad rather than coming back to the office and pulling all of that information off our geographical information system [GIS]," he said.

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