A novel way of finding homes for abandoned dogs has been adopted by Auckland's SPCA - using facial recognition technology to match humans with their canine counterparts.
The cutting edge software is typically used for border control and anti-terrorism purposes.
But the SPCA has adapted it for its own needs, enlisting New Zealand company NEC to create "Doggelganger", a website where people match images of themselves with pictures of dogs in SPCA shelters to find their canine double.
Glen Cameron from NEC said the technology was first tested between dogs, then with dogs and people.
"We detect the head region and the face region... then we have to extract facial features from that face.
"So once those features are extracted then we compare those with other things - in this case dogs," he said.
Ollie Downs from the Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust said the site is aimed at prompting people to think more about adopting.
"We're really hoping it will translate into actual adoptions.
"The more interesting you make the campaign the more people take notice, and obviously the more people that take notice should translate to more people adopting dogs," he said.
The idea for Doggelganger - a play on doppelganger which means a ghostly double of a living person - came after a study around dogs and their owners was published in the American Journal of Psychology.
"They actually took dogs and their owners to a park and separated them and then got people to try and match them and there was definitely a correlation between how owners and dogs look," Downs said.
Martin Mackenzie from Auckland SPCA said the technology could not have come at a better time for the shelter.
"At the moment we've got no room, we're totally full. We're sort of two or three (dogs) up in each pen and it's not easy for us to look after them," he said.
Close Up tested the site using the show's presenter Mark Sainsbury, who was matched with a 9-month-old bull terrier cross called Friday.
But fun and games aside, Downs said the site does have a serious purpose.
"It's really about finding homes for dogs that need them, so making sure that all dogs have a better life," he said.
Mackenzie, for one, is hoping for the best.
"If it finds a home for one that's a success I think, but let's hope it finds thousands."
If you want to find out more about Doggelganger or how to adopt one of the 10,000 dogs abandoned each year click here. http://www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.co.nz/