Social media's role in finding lost pets

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WDTV)-- If you are scrolling through Facebook, you have probably noticed pictures of missing dogs and cats appear on your screen. So how has social media played a role in locating lost pets

Those at the Marion County Humane Society said social media is a game changer when it comes to locating stray animals.

"People have so many friends on Facebook so it's a good way to get them out there who are missing or if people find dogs and it's a good way to contact your local shelter and post dogs on there as well. It is really nice. We love it," said Frankie Spatafore with the Marion County Humane Society.

It is a convenient and easy way to spread the word quickly. Those at the shelter said they have come across several success stories thanks to Facebook.

"About a year ago we had a dog come in from Marion County Animal Control that we had taken in and we posted his picture. Somebody contacted us the next day and thought it was there dog. They came in and here the dog had been missing for over three months. They had been looking for it and they actually saw it because we posted a picture of him on our Facebook page and that is how they found him," said Spatafore.

Spatafore said social media has also helped spread the word about suspected animal abuse reports to authorities.

Over at the Harrison County Animal Control, they also use social media to their advantage.

"Even if they are not getting reclaimed by their owners, they are getting their pictures out there and they are getting adopted because they are on our Facebook page. We have about 8,000 followers on our Facebook pages so those pictures are getting out to at least 8,000 people and those people then share with other people. Sometimes we have 30,000 shares on some pictures on Facebook," said Elizabeth Keough, Director of the Harrison County Animal Control.

So how can you make sure your pet does not end up on a stray animal Facebook post?

"They should make sure they keep their animals on their own property at their residence and make sure they have tags and follow the law. It's not like we try to take peoples animals away from them, but if they are running down the street we may pick them up and then they have to have all of those things to reclaim them," said Keough.

If your pet is at animal control, you have five business days to reclaim it.