The fabulous Chris Bennett, who is moving government into the 21st century (check out his government news ubersite GovLive here), offers this terrific tool--a QR code sticker-- for record keeping during disasters. We could definitely save more animals this way, armed only with smartphones, tiny printers (only 42 bucks at Walmart, or 35 at BH photo), and even smaller stickers.
Check out this CDC lecture on the use of artificial pets in facilitating physical and emotional rehabilitation. Yes, it's a little "AI," the movie, but it's also a lot Hallmark card smushy, and makes you feel good about the future. I wish I'd had a fake robot cat to help me through my physical therapy.