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Social media helps owners find lost pets

Social media websites like Facebook first became popular as a way to keep in touch with friends, but now more people are using it as a platform to improve animal rescue missions.

Sherry M. Schalk of Tonawanda, New York, has her Facebook friends to thank for her reunion with her German shepherd, Roxie, who escaped from a relative's yard and got lost, according to the Buffalo News. After Schalk lost her dog, she created an online campaign to get the word out about the missing pet. Others who saw the information stepped in to help, bringing Roxie home safely, even though she was miles from home.

After the rescue, Schalk and Mallory McNicholas of Amherst created a Facebook page called Pet Alert of WNY, where owners can post photos and information about missing pets. Users who "like" the page get updates and information about the lost animals, creating more awareness and raising the chances of the pet being found. So far, more than 1,600 people have "liked" the page, and about 29 animals that were posted there have been found and returned to their owners.

Schalk and McNicholas are not alone in this trend. A number of rescue organizations and even communities with concerned animal lovers have created a Facebook presence to raise awareness about lost pets. In addition to posting fliers on telephone poles and even on Craigslist, Facebook reaches a vast audience. 
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