DENVER (KDVR) — Many families who escaped the clutches of the Marshall Fire were not as fortunate when it comes to getting their furry friends out of the home safely.

Hundreds of animals who were living in the evacuation zones are still missing or presumed to be dead. A wildlife organization director who lost his own home in the Marshall Fire believes the answer to saving more pets during the next disaster will come through technology.

When Dave Crawford evacuated his home in Superior, he said he tried to save the animals he knew were inside some of his neighbor’s homes.

“I don’t know offhand but probably 400 or 500 — at least — animals lost their lives,” Crawford said. “There was a cat in this house who lost his life, there were two dogs and a cat in the house over there who lost their lives, a cockatiel here, there was a turtle and a tortoise over there. I could have rescued all of those animals had I known they needed to be rescued.”

Crawford is no stranger to helping animals. He has an organization website and app dedicated to rescuing wildlife, but he said living through this situation opened his eyes to a need to help rescue domestic animals during emergencies.

“We’re going to take what we know with 10 years of experience with app development and create a buddy system that alerts you if your neighbor is unable to get home in a situation like this to rescue their animal and gives you permission to go in and rescue that animal,” Crawford said.

Rose Green is among the pet owners still searching for her beloved cat Clementine following the fire. She lost her home in the Sagamore neighborhood in Superior. She said Crawford’s idea could help others in the future.

“I’m hopeful. I think it’s a good resource to have but I don’t know if it’ll be perfect. I think it’s a multi-approach to make sure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again,” Green said.

Crawford said he thinks he can get a beta version up within six months with the goal of a full version out in a year.