Out with your dog: Facebook group finds fur-babies
Free Press Pet Columnist
When Crystal Meyer isn’t helping out with her Facebook group — “Mesa County Lost and Found Pets” — she stays quite busy with her own menagerie of house pets and children.
“I have four dogs, one cat, one guinea pig, two birds, two turtles, and four kids,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a zoo.”
Editor’s note: “Out with your dog,” a regular Free Press column, discusses the many facets of loving and caring for family pets. Have a topic you’d like discussed? Want to weigh in? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Crystal Meyer’s daughter, Kearstin, lost her dog in 2011, it was a traumatic experience for the whole family. Buddy, a poodle mix, was gone for six long days.
Meyer, a longtime Grand Junction resident and animal lover, began helping with other regional lost-pet websites after Buddy’s return. But she still saw a need for a site specific to Mesa County.
“There needed to be a list that was smaller than the Western Slope,” she said, so she started something herself this past April.
Called “Mesa County Lost and Found Pets,” more than 400 animals have been reunited with their guardians through the page since it started almost a year ago, with more success stories happening every day.
“Just yesterday we got five dogs home within 24 hours,” Meyer said in an interview last week. “My group motto is ‘getting lost pets found, and found pets home!’”
Mesa County Animal Services director Penny McCarty is also a big supporter of the online group.
“We work closely with them,” McCarty said. “We’re always really appreciative when citizens help. Social media is a good tool and an excellent way to get minute-by-minute updates” on where an animal is going.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
To access “Mesa County Lost and Found Pets,” head to http://www.facebook.com/groups/mesacountylostandfoundpets.
Then post a current photo of your lost pet, along with information regarding its last known whereabouts, distinguishing markings, and any pertinent information that could help identify the animal (like if the pet has been micro-chipped).
For found pets, a photo of the animal and where it was found is all that’s necessary.
“When you lose a pet, report it immediately,” Meyer said — to both Mesa County Animal Control and her Facebook page. “Every second counts.
“People should always have a current picture of their pet, because you never know.”
McCarty agrees — “Pictures are worth a thousand words,” she said.
To easily monitor the group for lost and found pets, join the group for regular updates. It’s open to the public.
OTHER LOCAL SITES
Other local lost-pet websites include Grand Junction Lost and Found Pets — http://www.facebook.com/GJPETS — and Lost and Found Pets of Western Slope — http://www.facebook.com/LostAndFoundPetsOfWesternSlope.
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