ROGERS (KFSM) -- Since 2014, social media has been helping Rogers Animals Services find the families of many lost pets.
Assistant Manager Matthew Colston said they saw an increase of lost animals around July of 2016. He said this is typical around that time of the year, but what was unusual was they continued to see the trend into 2017.
“We have more dogs, than we’ve had ever," Colston said. "Last year at this time, I think we had about 20 empty kennels, this year we have three.”
Out of about 1,400 animals that came through the shelter in 2016, Colston said they were able to return just under 700 to their owners, which he said was huge.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter give Colston and his crew the opportunity to get more eyes on the lost animals they have in their kennels. He said this is one of the best tools they have at their disposal.
While these animals are in the shelter's care, he said they feed them, water them and because of an ordinance passed in Rogers, all animals are chipped if they go through the shelter. Once the animals have this chip, the shelter catalogs the information just in case the animal is gets lost again.
“We have nine people and over close to 120 animals to take care of," Colston said. "So if you break that down, that’s quite a burden.”
Colston advised that there are three things a pet owner can do if their dog or cat has run off.
First, he said to check the Internet. He says not every shelter has a social media page, so it is best to check their actual website as well.
Then he said to call every shelter in the area. Colston explained it is easy for a pet to wander into another town, so they may not be at your city's animal shelter.
The last thing he said to do is go to the shelters. An employee of the shelter may have a different description of your dog than you do, so Colston said to go to the shelter to make sure the dog they have is yours.