Petwatch iPhone App Creates Fun ‘Photobomb’ Experience With Exotic Animals

NEW YORK – March 13, 2012

EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local conservation and global health issues, announced the release of a fun and informative iPhone app that complements the organization’s PetWatch program ( The free app is available now and can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes application and can be used on iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices.  The new PetWatch app allows users to take a photo, add an assortment of exotic animals, choose a unique frame and share the final picture on Facebook or deliver via email to friends and family.  The app was designed with the idea of creating a ‘photobomb’ approach by adding exotic animals to everyday photos of friends and family.

The app creates a unique opportunity for parents and kids to learn more about exotic pet species that are fast becoming popular household pets.  EcoHealth Alliance’s PetWatch program aims to educate and inform individuals about the pros and cons of owning exotic pets based on criteria ranging from animal welfare to the affects on one’s own health from known wildlife diseases.

The PetWatch program and website ( is a first-of-its-kind mobile-friendly website aimed to help consumers make informed decisions about popular exotic pets.  Rooted in scientific research and based on data from global wildlife trade arriving at U.S. ports, PetWatch provides rankings of more than 50 species from Best choices such as the common canary or house gecko to Worst Choices like a Burmese python that is not only threatened in its native range but is also often abandoned by owners and released into the wild causing serious environmental issues for native wildlife and habitats.

“Our scientists and expert collaborators developed the PetWatch rankings from research on global wildlife trade coming into the U.S.  The PetWatch program evaluates species slated for the commercial pet trade and encourages responsible exotic pet choices and ownership by providing relevant information that might not be widely available at local pet stores,” said Dr. William Karesh, wildlife veterinarian and Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance.  Consumers should use PetWatch as a guideline to make educated exotic pet-purchasing choices, as all animals require varying degrees of specialized care, diets and daily attention.

About EcoHealth Alliance
Building on over 40 years of groundbreaking science, EcoHealth Alliance is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human health from the emergence of disease. The organization develops ways to combat the effects of damaged ecosystems on human and wildlife health.  Using environmental and health data covering the past 60 years, EcoHealth Alliance scientists created the first-ever, global disease hotspots map that identified at-risk regions, to help predict and prevent the next pandemic crisis. That work is the foundation of EcoHealth Alliance’s rigorous, science-based approach, focused at the intersection of the environment, health, and capacity building.  Working in the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide, EcoHealth Alliance’s strength is founded on innovations in research, training, global partnerships, and policy initiatives.  For more information, please visit


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