Internet Community Helps Locate Hundreds of Missing Dogs Each Month… and Has Some Tips

When dogs went missing in the past, relocating them was a bit tougher, since you could only rely on word of mouth, a missing poster here and there, or maybe an ad in a publication. Now, the internet makes it much easier to spread the word, and the members of one online community use the internet to facilitate happy reunions hundreds of times a month.

Lost Dogs of King County, located in the Seattle metro area, offers both a Facebook group and a helpful website. Launched by James Branson, founder of lost dog nonprofit Useless Bay Sanctuary, the community and the website help people share information about dogs that have wandered away from home, and help people learn more about what to do when they find a dog. The website has plenty of resources in related areas, too, including how dog owners can keep their furry friends safe.

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The impact is far flung, as the Facebook group has more than 34,000 members dedicated to keeping the pups and pup parents of the area together, whether they’re sharing information about a dog that they’ve found or asking people to be on the lookout for another. With all of these resources and dedicated animal lovers, hundreds of lost pet situations end up much better than they could have been, on a monthly basis.

The website says, “Each month, LDKC-FB helps to reunite over 300 dogs with their families. While we are pleased to help get so many lost dogs home, it would be best if less dogs went missing.”

So what can you do to help ensure fewer dogs go missing?

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Some tips from the website include putting a lock or a carabiner on your gate latch, putting a baby gate just away from the front door, not letting your small dog outside by itself due to the threat of predators like coyotes and owls, using a collar that tightens up when a dog tries to ease out of it, and using a collar, harness, and two leashes with new dogs who aren’t quite familiar with you yet. Be sure anyone who watches your dog knows these rules of thumb, as well.

If these preventive tips fall through, though, it’s important to have ID and possibly GPS tracking on your dog’s collar, a microchip, and clear pictures of your dog in case you need to post them anywhere.

What if you’ve found a dog that’s gotten loose? The website says you should take them to a vet for a microchip scan, look through any area missing dog websites or online communities to see if anyone is missing him, and take a picture of the pooch and post signs in the area where you found him. You can also take him to the nearest animal shelter, as that’s a place the owner is likely to search for their dog.

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Using tips like these, the dedicated members of Lost Dogs of King County will keep helping lost pooches and their broken-hearted owners. They may help another animal or two, as well.

The Facebook page says, “Dogs are more likely to benefit from social media awareness, because of the way they move around, but you are welcome to post about cats, iguanas, or wallabies if you think they will benefit from the exposure.”

If you want to help your community, see if you can get on board with any similar groups in your area. Maybe you’ll help reunite a dog and his family… or an iguana and hers.

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