MissingCritters.com shares how to perform a smart search using the internet and popular social media sites to provide a timely and easy way to get word out.
Online Lost and Founds
These websites have potentially high value for being a quick way to search for a lost pet with little effort.
It is important that an online search NEVER replace a visual inspection of shelters, even if the shelters have a lost and found website.
Some online sites include:
Tweets are shared by friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends’ friends! Be wary if a fee or donation is requested.
A simple search for found pets can be made using hash tags (e.g. “#found #dog #Oklahoma) will pull up tweets containing found, dog and Oklahoma.
An example of a concise, informative tweet is: “Lost my dog in Moore, Oklahoma, near Cottonwood Park. Small black & tan Yorkie. Pls RT. Thx”.
Contact info is not necessary because it is automatically included through your Twitter handle.
A posting with a contact link can reach thousands of people via Facebook shares. To avoid the two most common errors (i.e. not including location and not allowing contact), include your city and state and ensure your security settings allow public messaging.
The following are common mechanisms used on Facebook:
Post on your page’s status line. Make it brief. Type the specific area where the pet went missing, a description of your pet and a request to share. Upload a photo of your pet. Share the posting with your friends. Make sure your security settings allow messages from anyone.
Create a page. A dedicated community or group page allows a lost pet to be featured as the focus of all those who like your page or join your group. Information can be easily shared. Allow messages by the public.
Search for lost and found pages. Type the words “lost” or “missing” or the location (e.g. Oklahoma) in the search box for “people, places and things”. Many of the results will be community or group pages allowing lost and found animals to be searched, posted and shared.
There are many other social media sites and online lost and founds. These were selected because they take little effort and have the most potential of reaching many people in a specified location.