Little girl posts lost puppy sign.
Never underestimate the power of social media.

I was surprised to learn our local authority is getting rid of its dog warden, and that all strays found in the area will be dealt with by the neighbouring council’s warden instead.

This means more dogs for one warden to collect and, for owners, further to travel to find your dog… and who would think there wasn’t a dog warden per borough?

Such situations make social media campaigns to find lost pets seem even more important in this day and age. By sharing local posts with friends at a charity hospital I have managed to help reunite a dog and two cats with their owners – and if I can do that by simply sharing a bit of information, think of what social media can do as a whole.

The only issue at the moment is there are so many different accounts to follow. On Twitter alone you have @HelpingLostPets, @petregister, @ukanimals, @lostpets_UK and many, many more.

In the future I imagine a kind of Rightmove for lost pet forums that will collate and display listings from all related sites and social media accounts, meaning you wouldn’t have to follow all of them. Such a service could also stop you from seeing multiple posts about the same pet, which can start to put people off.

@HelpingLostPets – one of the myriad lost pets forums on Twitter.

In this economic climate, and with dog theft rife in the UK, we can’t just rely on local dog wardens or a local authority-funded “lost and found” service. We need to find another way to connect regarding lost pets.

Veterinary practices usually have a connection with other local practices and are able to spread the word – but while this can have a good domino effect, it doesn’t get the word out to our eyes on the street: our dog walking clients.

Perhaps when considering what could attract people to your practice’s website or Facebook and Twitter accounts, this might be something to think about. It shows empathy with the community and provides a great service – something we are going to need more in the future if more local authorities remove dog wardens.

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