Shelter website aims to match lost pets with owners

The Rainbow District Animal Shelter has created a new lost and found page for pets on its website, in an attempt to match lost pets with their owners more quickly.
Richard Paquette, manager of the Rainbow Animal Shelter, spends time with a dog at the facility. The shelter has started up a lost pets section on its website. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

In an attempt to match lost pets with their owners more quickly a Sudbury animal shelter has created a lost and found page on its website.

The website provides real-time updates of the pets that are discovered or brought into the Rainbow District Animal Shelter.

Shelter manager Richard Paquette said the organization takes in about 1,500 animals every year.

More than half of the dogs found are returned to their owners, but fewer than 10 per cent of cats had the same outcome.

"The nice thing about this is that we can see pictures of your pet, members of the public can see pictures of your pet," he said.

"A lot of times we can avoid having the pet impounded by animal control services and you can get your pet right back."

Shelter discourages social media to find lost pets

Paquette said people should report lost and found animals to the shelter first, before using social media.

"They might put something on Facebook, they might put something on Kijiji, but they’re not calling us to ... [say] they’ve found them," he said.

"So we have people who have lost their pets [who] are desperately seeking these pets, and we get reports four or five days later sometimes."

Although the shelter does use social media, it’s most useful for those looking to adopt new pets, not find lost ones, Paquette added.