PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Michael McKenry played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was a fan favorite. Now, you can find him behind the desk after just about every game, doing analysis on the team.

Known as “The Fort,” the catcher played for the Bucs from 2011-2013.

In addition to his wealth of baseball knowledge, McKenry is also an animal lover. He and his wife have a dog named Griffin.

He’s hoping to help not only Griffin but animals all across the country with his next project. McKenry is helping to develop a brand new app for pet owners.

TailTrax uses “litter link technology” to track you pet’s health through its family.

“The way it works is it’s going to tie the litter through your vet. So normally, when you go to the vet, they treat the symptoms,” says McKenry. “So, I take my dog in, Griffin, and he has hip dysplasia, now my vet can send an alert to all the other litter mates’ vets and let them know that ‘Griffin, of so-and-so’s litter, has hip dysplasia. You may want to reach out to the families and let them know.’ Maybe they can do some tests, maybe they can do some preventative care. But it’s just all about the dog, all trying to help them.”

The new app is being developed by McKenry’s friend, who lost two of his dogs to cancer.

“He thought, ‘How can I help vets help us?’” he said.

McKenry says one of his main motivations joining the project is helping the helpless.

“Dogs can’t control what happens to them, can’t speak up for themselves, and we just want to give them a chance to be back together with their families,” he says.

TailTrax can track your dog’s brothers and sisters even if they don’t live in the same community or town or state.

“Because of technology, because of algorithms and data, we can tie dogs from anywhere in the world,” he says.

McKenry says it may take longer to track down the family of a dog with a more mysterious background, but it is possible. He adds that there is so much more to come from the app.

“TailTrax is for all dogs anywhere, doesn’t matter if you get them as a rescue, a pet parent, a breeder or a vet, it’s catered to the whole pet community,” McKenry said. “We’re really excited for what it’s capable of. It’s got so many facets and so many features to come in the future.”

In addition to health records and reminders, McKenry says TailTrax can help pet owners find dog parks, pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, veterinarians, breeders and more.

The download is free.

For more information on the app, visit the website here.
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