Caught on camera: This Chihuahua owned by Victoria, who works in an Emergency Response Call Centre says it gives her “peace of mind knowing that her chi-babies are safe and sound”.
The footage is set on night vision, and sends random, live images. Two Chihuahuas play fight in the lounge room on a beanbag. A collie in Pottsville NSW snoozes. While a rabbit in Blacktown, waits for his nightly bowl of carrots and lettuce. As the animals go about their business, the cameras are rolling.
“The Secret Life of Pets,” is this summer’s hit movie with Pet lovers keen to see it and perhaps it will reveal what our pets really get up to while we’re away. It’s an animated kids movie, set in New York City. In the film, the pets throw noisy parties, massage themselves with eggbeaters, listen to heavy metal, hijack trucks and tumble down gang-infested sewers. But in real life with the amount of high tech remote web cams on the market, there is little need to wonder. Go into any hi-fi store and you’ll see action cams, nanny cams, pet cams, home-security cams — beaming a steady stream of activity each day across the mobile and web screens of gadget-happy Australians.
Pet Owner Jeanette Cheung posts on her facebook wall “Finally found the time to set up my ICPooch
which allows me to video call Oscar and drop treats remotely using my mobile phone.
The only trouble is I'm not so sure he's that intelligent to recognize me on the phone when I'm on screen.”
So what exactly do these animals do, cooped up in empty apartments? "They actually sleep most of the time", says PetCloud pet pitting company CEO, Deb Morrison. Even when awake, they spend a lot of time just waiting for their owners to get home, especially if they’re dogs. As crazy pet owners, (mostly those of us who have a desk job in digital) we will set up remote cameras on our pets for a number of reasons; Because they want to make sure if a parcel gets delivered. Because they want to break the monotony and entertain their colleagues at work, and partly it’s because they feel a bit guilty about leaving them at home all day.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says 5 million of Australia's 7.7 million full-time workers put in more than 40 hours per week. Of them, 1.4 million put in more than 50 hours per week. Around 270,000 put in more than 70 hours per week. “Ha! It’s not quite what goes on in ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ movie. But we have been inundated with Pet Owners emailing us photos of what their pet gets up to, and it seems to be a mix of sleeping, or partial destruction of a lounge chair or pot plant."