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Lost and found pets find their way home through Facebook pages

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It’s no secret that the social networking site, Facebook, has brought success to animal rescue by leaps and bounds. But it’s not only shelters and rescue groups making good use of the social networking giant. Individuals have utilized the mass cross-posting outlet to help thousands of lost and found pets find their way back home.

Facebook pages like Lost and found Pets USA, Lost and Found Pets Missouri, and thousands more across the US are popping up to save lost and found pets all over. Almost all localities now have someone within each area that has created and manages a lost and found pet page. Southeast Missouri is no exception.

St. Louis Missouri Lost and Found Paws and SEMO Lost Pet are two of the biggest in the Southeast Missouri region and they’ve helped thousands of pets find their way back home.

Need stats to comprehend the numbers? Let’s take a look at SEMO LOST PET.

The page was started in 2010 and has grown to have over 3500 followers. A single post to the page reaches the news feed of roughly one third of its fan base (based on Facebook’s selective broadcasting).

If a single post reaching a little over a 1000 fans isn’t impressive enough, one must consider the likes, shares, and comments by fans that re-post into the news feed of thousands more connected to them through their friend list.

For example: On Feb. 10, a single post was seen by roughly 1000 people that are fans of SEMO LOST PET. The post received 364 likes, 286 comments, and 764 shares. By the time those likes, comments, and shares were cast, that single post reached the news feed of over 28,000 people. Yes, 28 thousand! A “slower” post, made on Mar. 02, reached roughly 1/3 its fans. But after 128 likes, 40 comments, and 280 shares, the post ended up gracing the news feed of almost 10,000 people.

All that sharing and simple page interaction creates a huge network of people seeing and broadcasting pets all over the area. The chance of those pets being seen by someone in the community, or the owners being located, grows by leaps and bounds and gives each pet a greater chance of making their way back home.

To report a pet lost or found is simple. Just go to the lost and found pet page for your area and post a photograph (if you have one) and a complete description of the pet in question; Post with the image the area the pet went missing from, pet’s name, breed, age, size, weight, sex, color, and even collars, cables, or clothing the pet might be wearing. Always post your contact information. Some page managers will even provide their telephone numbers and allow fans to send posts via text message just to make things easier.

Once the information is posted to the lost and found page, or text to the page manager, the manager will “share” it on their end. This sends the image and information into the news feed of all (or a large portion) of the page’s fans. From there it’s a firestorm of liking, sharing, and commenting, and pretty soon, someone “knows that pet”, “has seen that pet”, or at the very least a whole community of animal lovers are looking for the pet or their owner.

It’s good to use a little etiquette when you utilize a lost and found pet page to announce a pet you have found or one you might be looking for.

  • After you have posted a lost or found pet keep an eye on the post. Promptly answer any questions fans may have.
  • If the pet finds its way back home, make a comment on the posting stating so. Believe it or not, many people watching and sharing your post are concerned enough to want to know the outcome of your pet’s situation.
  • If a stretch of time has passed and the pet or owner has not been found, make a comment on the post and tell people that you are still looking for the missing pet, that you still have possession of the pet, or even if you have transferred a found pet to another individual, shelter, or rescue. The more information provided the better.

Sometimes, when pets cannot find their way back home, some caring fan of the page is willing to take ownership of the pet, giving them a new and loving home. Many animal rescue volunteers are connected to lost and found pet pages and can sometimes help get found pets into shelters or rescues when no owner can be located.

It’s impossible to say how many pets actually do find their way home, albeit a majority surely does. Lost and found pet page managers say keeping track of the pets finding their way back home is an impossible task considering the vast numbers that are posted on their pages.

How can you find a Facebook page for pets lost or found pet in your area? Try Google; type in something like “your town or area + lost+ found pets+ Facebook”. Any number of choices will pop up in the search results. Or just type in “your city, county, or area name lost and found pets” in the Facebook search box.

If you know of a lost and found pet page in your area, please feel free to post it in the comment section below this article so others can become connected as well.

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