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Furry Friend Finder helps find missing pets

By Katie Higgins
Published On: Jan 29 2014 09:25:37 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 29 2014 11:19:46 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Katie Higgins has more about Bend Spay and Neuter's new project to help find missing pets.

BEND, Ore. -

The Bend Spay and Neuter Project's Furry Friend Finder is similar to an Amber Alert, but it's for your pet.

"The Furry Friend Finder is a new database we're starting," Megan Wellinghoff, executive director of Bend Spay and Neuter Project, said Wednesday. "What you're signing up for is agreeing to receive an e-mail when there's a lost pet in Bend, Oregon."

Participants get one e-mail a day and no more, with missing pet information.

"You can also use Furry Friend Finder to report your pet lost," Wellinghoff said.

So instead of posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Craigslist, or all three, that your pet is missing, you can use this as a resource to reach a large number of people who want to help.
 
Wellinghoff got the idea when a friend told her about a girl he ran into along the Deschutes River. He told her that the girl was frantically looking for her dog, so he posted a picture of it on his Facebook page.

Eighteen of his friends shared his post, and within days, the dog was located.

Wellinghoff said she thought it would be even better if that could have gone out to thousands of people.

"Our mission you know is to keep animals from entering the shelter," Wellinghoff said.

But the reality is that missing animals many times do end up in a shelter. The Humane Society of Central Oregon wants to warn people not to rely on this source alone.

"They need to come down to the shelter to see if their pet is here or at least, at the very least, they need to call and put in a report that the pet is missing to us," said shelter manager Karen Burns.

The Humane Society takes in 100 to 150 strays a month.

"Advertise everywhere when your pet is missing -- just make sure you're advertising here as well," Burns said.

The database provided by Bend Spay and Neuter is an extra resource. Plus, Bend is one of the first places to create one like this.

"There's not much out there that works like this, like an amber alert for pets," Wellinghoff said.

Bend Spay and Neuter hopes the alert becomes a model for other cities.

To check it out, visit: http://www.bendsnip.org/furry-friend-finder/

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