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Social media helping to unite lost pets with their owners

Fintan Browne, veterinary surgeon in Blanchardstown Veterinary Hospital.

On occasion when I have been browsing through photographs on the photo sharing website FLICKR I would come across the sad faces of lost pets looking at me from my laptop screen. Lost dogs in Dunboyne, kittens in Killester, puppies in Portmarnock, cats in Clontarf, parrots in Palmerstown and lizards in Chapelizod (OK I made that last one up) all hoping to find their way back home.

This is all thanks to the excellent work of the Irish freelance web developer Joe Molloy who set up www.lostandfoundpets.ie to help lever the power of the internet and social media to help reunite lost or stolen pets with their owners. Joe has developed an excellent website that allows members of the public to post information and pictures of pets that have been either lost or found in Ireland. This information is then automatically propagated on numerous social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Bebo and my favourite FLICKR.

 

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An example of a found dog entry on www.lostandfoundpets.ie

We all know how distressing it must be to lose a much loved pet. As vets we would encourage all pet owners to have their pets microchipped, and to make sure that the microchip is correctly registered (we can help you with that). We welcome the governments announced plans to introduce compulsory microchipping of dogs in Ireland in the coming years. But so long as animals go missing without adequate identification we have to be thankful for excellent resources like www.lostandfoundpets.ie – thanks to Mr Molloy for all of his hard work on what must truly be a labour of love!

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