More pet owners are turning to social media to track down their missing animals in Hillsborough County.
Pet Owner Nancy Latimer started the facebook page "Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County," in 2011.
The page has grown to include more than 6,000 fans in the last two years. Pictures are uploaded daily.
"The posts are coming in. The amount of lost and found animals in this county is really tremendous," Latimer said.
Latimer says she has volunteered at local shelters for more than ten years. It's through volunteer work where she met Pet Owner Linda Kelecy, who joined the social media effort.
"I started doing this a year ago and I say it has tripled the amount of pictures and posts that we are getting," said Kelecy of the fan page.
Kelecy says the smartphone has changed the way people search and report missing pets. Pictures can be taken and uploaded within seconds. Information is quickly made available to thousands of people.
"It comes almost non-stop all day long," Kelecy said.
Pet Owner Paula Petty discovered her dog Casey missing and alerted a family member.
"I started looking for him. I ran around the neighborhood," said Petty. "I lost my husband at this time a year ago, so he is like my comforter right now."
Petty said her relative checked the "Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County," where Facebook user Kathi Koombes had already uploaded a photo. Koombes discovered the missing dog near her home less than a mile away.
"There was a white poodle running in the middle of the road. There was cars that almost hit the dog," said Koombes. " I put the sign out, went straight to facebook, posted his picture and where I found him. Within 15 to 20 minutes I had a message saying 'Hey, that's my dog!'"
Petty's dog was returned, still Latimer says there are more lost and found pets missing their owners.
"Everybody can be keeping their eyes open for missing and found," Latimer told Fox 13 News.
Latimer encourages pet owners to keep a picture of their pet in case they go missing, begin searching for missing pets immediately, reach out to a local shelter and consider getting microchips.
For more information on Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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