Thursday 4 October, 2012
Tamworth Regional Council has turned to social media to help it reunite owners of missing dogs and cats with their beloved pets.
Tamworth Regional Pound has launched its own Facebook page in the hope of being able to either find the owners of dogs and cats which find their way to the facility or find new homes for them.
An image of every dog and cat being cared for at the pound will be posted on the page, found at www.facebook.com/tamworthregionalcouncilpound. Tamworth Regional Council Manager Environment and Health, Ken Reid, said the biggest advantage of the pound Facebook page is that it allows residents from across the region to see if their lost pet is at the pound.
'A resident with a lost pet will be able to log in to Facebook and see in a matter of minutes if their dog or cat is at the pound by scrolling through the images on the site,' he said.
'At the end of the day, Council wants lost animals returned to their home or for them to find a new home if their original owner does not claim them. We believe Facebook can help us improve our success rate.'
Mr Reid praised the efforts of ranger Kellie Tulacz who came up with the idea of the pound Facebook page.
'Kellie has put a lot of work into this – it's a credit to her enthusiasm for her work and her love of animals,' he said.
Ms Tulacz said she hopes the Facebook page will make it easier for local residents to find their lost pets.
'The page is a way for animal lovers in the Tamworth region to communicate about lost and found pets,' she said. 'Anyone who has lost or found a pet can post it on the page with the hope it can find its way back home.'
'For best results when posting, please add as much information as you can about your lost animal such as breed, sex, description, location last seen, name, whether it is microchipped and a photo if you have one. This will allow Council's rangers to cross reference it with animals currently at the pound.'
Mr Reid said while the Facebook page is a tool to make the search for lost cats or dogs easier, it is also important that pet owners also visit the pound in person.
'If you have a missing pet, it is essential that you go to the pound and look for yourself,' he said.
'Don't only phone and inquire because all people see things differently - what you describe over the phone may not be what the ranger sees. Even looking at a photo on Facebook is no substitute for visiting the pound and seeing animals for yourself.'
Ms Tulacz said she hopes the Facebook page makes searching for lost pets less stressful.
'It's not unusual for people to become quite distressed if their dog or cat is missing,' she said. 'The aim of the Facebook page is to make the searching easier and more pets get back to their homes.
'It will also give those people looking for a new pet the chance to buy an animal from the pound which has not been claimed by its original owner.'
In 2011-2012 958 dogs and 271 cats were cared for at the Tamworth Region Pound. A total of 20 cats were returned to or reclaimed by their owners, released to organisations such as the RSPCA or found new homes. There were 584 dogs reunited with their owners, released to organisations such as the RSPCA or found new homes.
Dogs or cats which are not registered or microchipped are kept at the pound for at least seven days before they are released to organisations such as the RSPCA or a new owner. Registered and microchipped animals are kept for at least 14 days before they are released to organisations such as the RSPCA or a new owner.
Missing Pets – Tips on what to do
- Be pro-active if your pet is missing. Make regular calls to all vets in the area where you live.
- Go to the Tamworth Regional Pound and look for yourself.
- Post your pet's photo and description on the Tamworth Regional Pound Facebook page www.facebook.com/tamworthregionalcouncilpound
- Animal owners are reminded to update their contact details on their pets' microchips when they move. It is not uncommon for animals to go missing and end up at the pound but the owners' contact details are not current.
For more information about the pound and costs to buy a dog or cat, see Council’s website. Click here.