If a dog or cat goes missing in Washington, there’s a good chance the police department are on top of it.

For the past year the department has been utilizing its social media page by posting photos of lost pets picked up off the streets. If a pet goes missing in Washington with no identification and is picked up by the police, a photo is posted to the department’s Facebook page.

Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said using the department’s Facebook page has made the process of reuniting owners with their lost pets a much easier, faster process. He said, oftentimes, owners are reunited with their pets within the hour the photo is posted.

“Typically after 10 or 15 minutes of us posting it we get a response or private message or someone calls and says that’s their dog,” Sitzes said.

The posts not only have made it more likely dogs lost in Washington will be found by their owners, but also cut down on the time officers spend transporting lost animals to the Franklin County Humane Society (FCHS) in Union.

“Using social media saves our officers an hour. It’s only Union, but after driving there, filling out paperwork and driving back — it takes time.”

Pets are kept in a kennel inside the police station’s garage until an owner claims them, or they are taken to the FCHS. Sitzes said sometimes if a dog isn’t claimed, residents will step forward to adopt the pet or temporarily foster it until its owner comes forward.

“People see these requests and wonder if the dogs have been claimed and after a while, if it hasn’t, they ask about adoption or fostering them,” Sitzes said. “If we do take them over there (FCHS) it’s out of our hands.”

Since the department starting using their page to reunite owners and pets, Sitzes estimates more than 20 pets have been returned to their owners.

Kavahn M.

WCG Pet Posts 05/12/18