Social Media Helps Reunite Lost Pets with Owners

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Typically, when pet owners lose their furry companion they put up ‘lost’ signs around the neighborhood.

Now, owners are taking it a step further, by utilizing social media.

Winnebago County Animal Services looks at social media posts to help reunite lost pets with their owners.

A dog, lost for a week, was found through the website, Nextdoor.  

Adoption coordinator Donna Apgar says Winnebago County Animal Services has become more active in using social media sites and organization websites to notify the public about lost pets.

“A lot of our officers actually monitor some of those social media posts as well.  So, if they see an animal and they happen to come across one that’s lost, there’s a way to connect them,”  said Apgar.

She also says she’s seen first hand how people, reaching out on social media, have had success finding their lost pets.

“The other thing you’re doing is you’re engaging the entire community in looking for your animal.”

For some families, like dog owner Jocelyn White, the community involvement is what helped bring their lost pet home.

“You know, some people – some friends – had spotted it in different areas.  So, I wasn’t too concerned ’cause I knew we would eventually find it or she would find her way back to the house.”

Sharing photos of your lost pet on social media can be crucial in engaging the community and bringing them home.

Polly Richards, Community Service and Animal Control Officer at the Beloit Police Department, said their unit does just that.

“We attach it [a photo] to our reports… We put them on Facebook and hopefully we get some hits on that.” said Officer Richards.

Winnebago County Animal Services says besides Facebook and Twitter you can also go on other websites, like  helpinglostpets.com,  lostdogsillinois.org or the Facebook page Lost Cats of Illinois.

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