The article presents results of the first stage of the development of an animal monitoring system using IoT technology. Data on animal behavior collected using the system should confirm or refute the thesis about the ability of some animal species to respond to signs of an approaching earthquake. The article provides a review of the previous works on this topic and formulates new tasks, the solution of which will improve the previously available methodologies on the use of animals as a biosensor. The system exploits inertial sensors and computer vision to collect data on animal behavior. Data processing and analysis is carried out on the central server. It is expected that in the case of a systemic cause (for example, signs of an approaching earthquake) non-standard animal behavior should be massive. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018.