Using HIKMICRO LYNX Pro LH19 to Search for Missing and Homeless Pets

3 jan. 2023

The HIKMICRO LYNX thermal monocular has a tiny size and is easy to carry, allowing users to experience the world in a very personal way. As a result, it may play a crucial and active part in animal detection. Recently, HIKMICRO donated a LYNX Pro LH19 to Magnar Ytreland and Tina Livsdatter Bullen Ytreland, who run a Facebook group dedicated to rescuing lost or homeless pets. HIKMICRO actively supports the animals conservation activities, this is just a starting point of stray animals protection.

HIKMICRO LYNX Pro LH19 has a screen with a 1280x960 resolution and an infrared sensor with a 384x288 resolution. It uses a WiFi hotspot to transfer photos and video, use live streaming and update firmware. It is rated IP67 and battery life is 7,5 hours.

In the first meeting, Magnar Ytreland and Tina Livsdatter Bullen Ytreland introduced us to their daily work and the starting point to retrieve animals using thermal imaging cameras.

As usual, in this group the members alert when a cat is found dead (usually hit by a car), is missing or a cat is found and supposed to be homeless. If the cat is dead we search for identification chip with an ID scanner. The owner will be notified if the cat has an ID chip and if not, the dead cat is sent to the nearest veterinarian for cremation. If the cat is alive and don't have an identification chip, it will be delivered to a catshelter where it will be neutered, chipped, vaccinateded and have a health check before it is ready for adoption to a new home.

When searching for missing or homeless cats, they usually use trailcams and cat traps. A trailcam take a photo and/or record video when the camera detects movement. The photo and/or video is then sent to the recipents phone. They often use a trailcamera pointed towards the cat trap to be notified when the cat is trapped. 

A cat trap is made of wood to prevent the cats from being hurt when it is cold. It is easy to operate. Inside the cat trap there is a sloped plate with a rope attached to a pin holding the sliding plate to the left up. When a cat is lured into the cat trap with catfood placed in the right end (both plates can be opened) the cat steps on the sloped plate, pulls the pin out and the plate to the left drops down amd the cat is trapped.

This is the basic of their work and how hundreds of cats and some dogs are found and captured every year. In order to locate the missing and homeless animals, they require some specific equipments to help them, espesially important during the winther when the low temperatures may cause frost damages to the pets resulting in amputations of damaged body parts.

HIKMICRO thermal imaging camera can pick up heat from pets and everything else that hot.

The hottest parts can be displayed in four different ways depending on the situation. White Hot and Black Hot are fundamental and performed better for object detection. Fusion is also great if you want to spot if a animal has walked or laid on the floor somewhere but for swiping over a area the Red Hot or White Hot is most used.

"For the thermal camera to pick up heat from a small animal like a cat, small dog, rabbit and so on it needs a high infrared resolution. When we started to look for a thermal imaging camera to be used for animal search, HIKMICRO LYNX Pro stood out as the perfect options. It has a high infrared resolution, it is possible to take photos and record video, it is user friendly and Hikmicro is pet friendly." Said by Magnar Ytreland and Tina Livsdatter Bullen Ytreland.

So far, you can find their real user experience feedback below:

I started to charge it. You need to use the supplied charge cable. It is standard USB-C (great) but a standard Samsung USB-C cable didn't work. Swapped to the included cable and the red charging LED was lit and the LED turned green when the battery was fully charged.

While it was charging I downloaded the HIKMICRO Sight app. Thankfully it was not necessary to create an account. S/N was the password and connection to app was simple.

Then I downloaded the newest firmware. I always start with that so I dont have to mess with issues that are solved in the newest firmware. With a charged battery and the newest firmware it was time to play.

The first thing I did was to adjust the focus so the text in the menu became sharp. Then I change the menu language to Norwegian. What a nice surprise to find my native language in the language list.

Often you just want to swipe over a field and see if a cat is there. At a distance, you can accurate and efficient spot the shape of a cat with its head and feet.

The shape of animals detected by LH19

What surprised me more was that, this is an image from a video of a mouse. Too small to show any shape but amazed to see that the camera managed to detect the heat from even that small animal. And we can found different color palettes can be used to spot different things in different environments.

A cat spotted beside a tree

Very soon I felt a bit like a super human. I could see in pitch darkness, download pictures and video to the phone and post it to Facebook or whatever you want to upload it to. I sometimes place the phone and swipe with the LH19 and livestream to the phone. I park my car somewhere with an overview of a search area and can spot animals under a balcony or inside a barn.

I can see the world more like animals. I now see that a manhole cover is hotter and a resting place for animals. I can see if a car has recently been used and provides a hot resting place for a cold animal. I can spot if a pet has urinated to mark their territory. I can watch as intruding cats are met with cats living there. All these situations makes me read the area in a much more understandable way from a pet perspective. We can place a bowl of pet food outside. Before we didn`t know who ate it without using a trailcamera. Now we can watch the size of the heat from the paw prints and know if the food has been eaten by a bird, cat or a dog.

So far we have only used it for a couple of days and we are very impressed of what it can do.

We highly recommend the HIKMICRO LYNX Pro LH19 for pet search.

Last thing I want to share is a overview of the buttons and connections. We like to turn it on and only use the three middle fingers to use the «Capture», «Mode» and «Zoom» buttons.  


"Through experience and the greatest equipment, HIKMICRO has committed to bringing something different to the world, relieving the members of organizations dedicated to stray animal tracking of their burden. Experience all of this up close and real!”


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